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danhelmstadter

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About danhelmstadter

  • Rank
    addicted to cc.com
  • Birthday 06/09/1981

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    http://www.summitpost.org/view_object.php?object_id=434097&confirm_post=7
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    pnw
  1. [TR] Sloan Peak - NW Face and gully 4/16/2013

    sweet! nice work fellas, beautiful line!
  2. [TR] Big Chiwaukum - NW Face Couloir 4/1/2013

    Sweet, kick ass writeup Dan!
  3. Trip: Mt. Deception + peak 7638' - east face, ne chute + east face Date: 3/31-4/2/2013 Trip Report: I left Sunday afternoon with plans to explore Royal Basin, stocked with several days worth of food an gas, a guitar, and plenty of stoke. I got there as the day was fading, and eyed a potential line on the East face of Mt. Deception. Got started around dawn and was happy to find good consolidated spring conditions low down, the snow got deeper with elevation. I was tempted to ski linked turns off the summit, but sluff management was necessary. The crux came in a gully low on the face. I first tried to ski the way I had climbed, but found it too awkward and icy so I climbed back up a little and went skiers left over a ice bulge, it was steeper but sun kissed unlike the way I had climbed. I skied down to the floor of the basin and was so stoked I decided to climb and ski the NE chute. Conditions were a little crusty in spots but not bad, it is a beautiful line and was very fun to ski. That night was cold and windy and I didn't get much sleep. In the morning I half dozed in my sun warmed sleeping bag for a while enjoying the sounds of the wind through the trees. My plan was to slog out that day. On the way out I saw an alluring east face and decided to go for it. It was awesome, a little shorter and steeper than the east face route I skied on Deception. On my drive in, I came across a stranded couple walking down the road, they had listened to their radio too long roadside camping and killed their battery. I didn't have jumper cables but I obliged to letting them swap out my truck battery for a few minutes. IMG_0010 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr Mt. Deception east face by danhelmstadter, on Flickr IMG_0031 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr IMG_0046 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr crux, icy neve in the shade. IMG_0049 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr IMG_0039 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr East face of Needles peak 7638' on left IMG_0081 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr needles by danhelmstadter, on Flickr View south to Deception IMG_0097 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr IMG_0104 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr 7638' from lower down IMG_0114 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr
  4. [TR] Spider Mountain - North Face Chute 3/31/2013

    Awesome! beautiful pictures, solid work.
  5. Nice! great pics. Way to get it in prime conditions.
  6. Trip: Big Four - north face Date: 3/25/2013 Trip Report: Eric and I left Sunday afternoon and bivied near the ice caves at the base of Big4. We got there just as the sun was leaving. I hadn't seen that part of the Mountain Loop before, and was in awe of the impressive face above. Ski conditions looked questionably thin in many places on the face, I think we both thought that our planned effort was likely going to result in us turning back from poor conditions, but we did have a light rack and thin rope to deal with minor shenanigans if need be. Early in the morning we started up through a tricky cliff band next to a resonant waterfall. The climbing involved some monkeying around on vegetation since there was a lot of rotten snow over rock. Once above, we traversed a broad sloping bench to gain the central rib. The rib held knee+ deep unconsolidated pow. The going was slow, and we alternated skins and booting. From the road, there looked to be a few potential options on the face. We climbed up with those options in mind, and let the conditions dictate our direction. We ended up making an unplanned climbers left traverse then up a right trending icy gully to easier ground that led to the summit. The skiing was great. We found some variable and ice in spots, but there was also a lot of powder. The rib especially held amazing quality snow and really fun featured terrain. We didn't want to exit the face via the waterfall cliff band we had climbed up, so we traversed left, but missed the snow exit and ended up making a short rap off a tree. our line on big four by danhelmstadter, on Flickr 100_2367 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr bigfour by danhelmstadter, on Flickr 100_2392 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr 100_2398 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr 100_2403 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr 100_2408 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr variable conditions in steep trees by danhelmstadter, on Flickr steep trees by danhelmstadter, on Flickr 100_2426 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr 100_2419 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr bigfourtwo by danhelmstadter, on Flickr
  7. [TR] North Cascades - Isolation Traverse 3/23/2013

    nice photos and report, looks like it was a great trip!
  8. [TR] Three Fingers - east face couloir 3/9/2013

    Thanks for all of your comments. Crazedmaniac, yeah I think my experience up there has affected my dreams and goals for the better. Cool to hear a little about your times up on that wall! Matt, there was danger of going over the east face above the couloir, but not in it because of it's sunken nature. Gaucho, thanks, yeah that's what I skied.
  9. [TR] Mt Hood - North Face, Right Couloir 3/9/2013

    sounds like fun, those last two pics are great!
  10. Trip: Three Fingers - east face couloir Date: 3/9/2013 Trip Report: On days when it's not raining, There's a great view of Three Fingers from eastbound 20 out of Anacortes. Sometime recently I made that drive on one of those days when the sky is fine art. Cool cloud formations and late afternoon sun hit the mountain just right, and got me thinking about going up there for a closer look. The approach went well, the bush'wackin wasn't very grim, and I made it to my bivy spot by a boulder near the foot of the slope below the east face with time left to kill. I started my ascent in the dark hours of the morning, and soon my decision to leave skins behind became a nagging regret. The snow went from supportable easy going, to variable knee deep, but with a few healthy curses I made it to the base of the couloir before the sun started really cooking the wall above. Conditions made for slow going up the couloir. To make it easier, I followed the edge of a runnel that hugged climbers right. I kept my head up as much as possible to watch for big sh*t, there was debris coming down everywhere. Most of it small, but I did get bashed a couple times. The couloir topped out on a high shoulder, and I continued up moderating slopes towards the middle summit. The snow was much different above the shoulder, about a foot of consolidated cold snow overlay an ice crust. The entire ridge line was corniced except for a little notch just right of the rimmed summit nub. I aimed for that notch. I was about about 20 feet below it when I felt and heard a sickening WUMPH. No slab cut out, but It was a clear indication of instability in those final feet below the ridge, and the consequences were high. I backed off a few steps and clicked on the skis. Ski conditions were good, the slight double fall line nature of the couloir naturally managed my sluff. Timing seemed about right since the sun had softened up the icy parts, and left the couloir just after I skied it, I suppose I could have got started a little earlier to help avoid the ice/rockfall on the climb. 100_2229 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr Stoked about my new crampons from Jim's shop. 100_2226 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr John Scurlock photo John Scurlock image by danhelmstadter, on Flickr climbing above shoulder shoulder by danhelmstadter, on Flickr 100_2243 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr 100_2254 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr morning sunhit morninglight by danhelmstadter, on Flickr 100_2228 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr
  11. Trip: Distal Phalanx - Busted Distal Bicep Couloir Date: 2/10/2013 Trip Report: I woke in the bed of my truck five minutes before my alarm went off bleary eyed to headlights from an approaching car around the bend of highway 20 near it's west side winter closure. At that hour of morning it could only be my friends Ryan and Eric who had already been up and driving for hours. It didn't take very long before we found ourselves scrambling in the dark up steep muddy embankments and unpredictably punching through the shallow rotten snow in the bush of Colonial Creek. We reached it's headwaters at the crack of dawn, welcoming open blue skies and deepish light snow. At one point on our upwards zigzagging, I caused a snow bridge spanning a large glide crack to loudly fail just by getting too close. From a col high on Colonial, we looked far across the Neve drainage to the beautiful couloir on Distal Phalanx that was our ski objective. By that time, it seemed doubtful we'd make it since the day was already getting old. We talked about our options, and changed our minds several times. The difficult conditions and amount of elevation gained had ate up a lot of time, and we knew we would be setting ourselves up for an epic by continuing towards Distal Phalanx. Still collectively undecided, Ryan said something about epic days being memorable, the logic seemed right, the beautiful an slightly scary view of the couloir on such a bluebird windless afternoon seemed to call us at that moment of indecision, and we dropped down to the valley towards the Distal Phalanx with smiles. We alternated trail breaking up the deep snow in the couloir, dodged a couple ice chunks, found some wind affected snow, and topped out to find the sun low and red on the horizon. I was last to drop in, and triggered a slab after just a few turns. Eric and Ryan were in safe zones on the side of the couloir as the lanch trucked past them. It got dark quickly and we skied the lower section with headlamps. Hours of skinning back up to the col under starlight followed. We got a bit turned around high on the Colonial/Neve/Paul Bunion's Stump massif, but found the way with not too much sweat, and skied mostly enjoyable powder down through a developing marine layer to Colonial Creek. We milked what we could of the deproach through the woods on skis, we had to pack the skis when it got too patchy and clustered with deadfall to ski. We still had a ways to go. The snow was rotten in spots so every 20 steps or so, one of us would unpredictably punch through, with unseen hazards below, and we were sidehilling next to the creek which was steep in places. Somewhere near our creek crossing Ryan took an unlucky digger from punching through the shitty rotten snow in a bad spot, and hurt his arm. His bicep looked weird and he couldn't bring his forearm up very far. Ryan is one tough dude, I could hardly tell he was injured as we made our way out, even though I knew he was in pain. Eric and Ryan drove back to Seattle that night. I just heard from Ryan that his Distal Bicep tendon is torn. In all we gained 11,000+ feet of elevation and took 22.5 hours car to car. It seems that there are several approach options, and in 20/20 hindsight, it is clear that we chose an approach that given the conditions we found, may have not have been ideal. I didn't take many pictures, and this one below is courtesy of Ryan. The Busted Distal Bicep Couloir is in the distance. Ryan Lurie Image by danhelmstadter, on Flickr climbing by danhelmstadter, on Flickr lateday topout by danhelmstadter, on Flickr 100_2161 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr
  12. [TR] Shuksan - Circumnavigation + Summit 1/21/2013

    Awesome photos Jason! Chatting with you guys gave me a positive vibe that lasted all day. Great that Chad got to experience the cascadesin winter bluebird conditions!
  13. [TR] Mt. Shuksan - South Couloir 1/20/2013

    Thanks guys! Jason, it was great running into you guys too! I haven't heard of anyone skiing over there. Ryan, my hip feels pretty good, a few pops today and some tightness but nothing like before. I'm interested in hearing about your trip to montucky. Dan, it's been too long bro, your welcome anytime. Andy, I've got to find my passport! We should get out soon for sure!
  14. Trip: Mt. Shuksan - South Couloir Date: 1/20/2013 Trip Report: I am so happy to be out and about pain free in the mountains again. I've been plagued by a nasty debilitating hip pain since summertime. I tried a bunch of different treatments for it, none seemed to work until I got a shot of cortisone in the bursa at the top of my femur bone a few days ago. Phew. A couple days before I got the shot, I was taking a lackadaisical drive up the Baker Lake road with my dog. I noticed a striking line on the South side of Shuksan. south couloir by danhelmstadter, on Flickr I formed a plan to go explore it - if my hip ever got healthy, which I was doubtful it would. The first part of the day felt like a familiar Shuksan experience, I got a bit of a late start (but was able to grab a coffee and use the facilities at the White Salmon Lodge), snow was good for travel, good weather etc... I was stoked to run into my friend Russell Cunningham on the White Salmon. The summit was beautiful, and the pyramid gully skied ok. summit by danhelmstadter, on Flickr I was a bit reluctant to start sking towrds the South Couloir for several reasons, and almost wanted to go check out the NW Couloir. But with the thought that I could always turn around (moon + good weather) I proceeded as planed. I dropped in and enjoyed great springlike snow with some variable in places as to be expected. The couloir is about 2000 vertical feet, and the whole South face about 5500'. Towards the bottom of the couloir the slope steepened then cliffed out. I made a steep downwards traversy scramble on mixed shallow rotten snow, ice, and chossy rock. Luckily the rock had enough solid positive holds. It was scary and felt a little dangerous at times. scramble by danhelmstadter, on Flickr 100_2150 by danhelmstadter, on Flickr A bit more steeps after the scramble, then wide open slopes with heavy snow. I stuck to skiers left through the trees for the remaining skiing, to avoid cliffs that lie everywhere else at the bottom. It was getting dark as I reached the valley at 2000' elevation on the Baker Lake side. I skinned many moonlit hours up to, and over the Shuksan Arm back to my truck at White Salmon. More Photos... roll at top of the south face roll by danhelmstadter, on Flickr Couloir entrance couloir entrance by danhelmstadter, on Flickr zoomer zoomer by danhelmstadter, on Flickr sundown set by danhelmstadter, on Flickr
  15. Way to tough it out Kurt! Awesome write up, I'm not sure I know anyone else who hitchikes to many/most of their climbs, I'll never forget the time I picked you up on 20 and droped you off at Greybeard, or the next year on 542, cool shit, good to hear your healing up.
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