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About belayerslayer

  • Birthday 10/18/1983


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    des moines

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  1. Trip: Del Campo Peak - Southwest Buttress Date: 8/1/2009 Trip Report: A slightly more technical variation to the standard scramble route up Del Campo, the SW Buttress climbs up large flakes and incuts on poor quality rock. According to Smoot/Becky, the actual route climbs directly up the buttress and gains the west ridge leading to the summit. Unintentionally, we took a variation of this route. A late, leisurely start found our team of 4 hiking up the Monte Cristo road at 11:06 am saturday morning. The hike in is nice, steep, beautiful, with views across a deep valley toward the major summits of the monte cristo area. Within two hours, we reached Gothic Basin and had lunch. My first time to this area, I was stunned by the unique geology of the rocks and picturesque hues of the smaller lakes. We followed the well worn trail up through rock beds, reaching a great vantage point of our objective and Foggy Lake (Crater Lake) From the lake, the trail takes you past a smaller body of water - really deep and narrow - then east up a mixture of meadow and rock. The views were amazing the higher up we got The trail leads through a small grove of pine and across some rock beds until reaching talus and a few small snowfields. We hiked up this, skirting around the snowfields and heading leftward from the standard scramble gully. The route starts just to the left and above a prominent rock abutment with several small trees/bushes We geared up here. I took lead with my sister following behind. Aharon and Alex formed the second following team. Looking back, we should have brought 30 meter ropes. We coiled most of our 60m rope and gave about 40 ft between us. The route supposedly goes at around 5.0 so I figured we would simul-climb most of it. I started up extremely loose class 4 ledges, traversing to my right across the buttress. The first bit of climbing was interesting, with loose flakes and crumbling rock. I refused the 'blessing of generally sound rock' Fred Becky gave this peak in his cascade alpine guide. It all felt sketchy to me. Without really paying attention to what was going on above me, I moved us too far to my right across the face, aiming towards a dihedral. I looked around and above me, realizing we had missed the route to the ridge above. A fairly wide ramp-system seemed to lead towards easier ground higher up I fixed a couple slings en route and reached the end of the ramp. The rock looked horrible above and I was afraid to commit. I took a minute to look around. My buddy Aharon from the second rope team hollered behind me about a possible chimney option to my right and down a few feet. I gingerly traversed off the ledge, down a couple feet and over slabby rock to the obvious chimney formation, finding a perfect belay spot. I even lucked out finding a shiny, solid-looking anchor Aharon and Alex traversing over to the chimney I brought my sister over and had her belay me up the chimney. The thing starts real narrow at first, with a couple solid handholds outside. I guessed the first move (and 'crux' of the route) was an awkward 5.5. In stem-pullup style, I wiggled up into the chimney and climbed for about 20 more feet - definitely the best climbing of the entire route! I topped out just below where the scramble route exits toward the summit. Blocky class 3/4 would bring us to the top. Becky coming up the chimney On the summit. Beautiful day, beautiful views back to the car after 8:30 pm - over 9 hrs car to car (we moved pretty slow). Great time in the mountains but definitely not on my repeat tick list Gear Notes: long slings
  2. Trip: Mt. Rainier - Tahoma Glacier attempt Date: 7/25/2009 Trip Report: Once again I must bombard cc with a conditions report and not an actual summit experience. Prepping for our annual summer Rainier climb, I had been vying to get off the standard routes in favor of something more remote and challenging. In chatting with a couple climbing rangers, they both seemed to agree that the Tahoma Glacier would be the best option on Rainier's west side. Everything else has, or is melting out fast. There were 9 of us, consisting of a mixture of family and friends. Everyone had been eagerly training this previous year, and we bagged several summits over the spring months in preparation for Rainier. On thursday evening of last week, 8 of us packed and organized gear at my house in Des Moines. We left at 5:45 am the next morning, meeting a 9th partner in Ashford and then reaching Longmire at 8:45. Took care of the various red tape chores in the rangers station and drove back down the road to the Westside turnoff. By 10:35 we were packed and hiking up the closed section of the road. me organizing gear The 3.5 miles to round pass took just under two hours. We made the best of our initial journey along otherwise perfect road conditions and lamented when a truck was spotted at the pass parking lot. Took a short break, then hiked in to the south puyallup river trail. Met a ranger at the south puyallup river bridge who mentioned something about a missing 17 year old somewhere in the vicinty on the Wonderland Trail. Anyone know any info on that? From the bridge, the trail switchbacks relentlessly through thick brush and dense trees, until higher up it breaks out along a ridge below some meadows. By 4:00pm we reached St Andrews park - 2.5 miles from the bridge crossing, and approx. 8.2 miles from our car. From here, we continued along the wonderland trail, reaching St. Andrews Lake. After consulting with the guidebook, I realized we were supposed to take a cutoff from St. Andrews park and hike up to the ridge above. With the day coming to a close and slower partners, I opted to make camp at the lake, get an early start in the morning and reach the terminus of the puyallup cleaver on saturday. Rainier, and tokaloo spire in foreground along the ridge Woke up at 2am and began hiking up towards the ridge. We left one partner at the lake. The ridge is actually gained easily from the lake - follow the wonderland trail up to a high-point above the lake with great views of the valley on the other side. Then trend southward toward the ridge, heading up talus and a couple snow slopes to an obvious dip in the ridgeline above. We gained this and began navagating along the rocks, sometimes scrambling, sometimes downclimbing, until reaching Tokaloo spire Tokaloo spire A short distance beyond the spire, the cleaver rises up and the rocks become impassable. A short jaunt down a rock gulley provides easy access to the edges of the Puyallup glacier. We were roped up and on the glacier by 8:05 am following a combination of goat tracks, old climbers tracks(?), and my own gut, we weaved a course along the puyallup glacier, below and to the left of the cleaver proper. Easy going at first, then a steep incline to gain a relatively flat stretch with signs of crevasse openings here and there. I found a couple en route, broke them open a bit wider, then brought the team across. Stepped into two up to my knee and went wide to avoid several others. Mostly it was rockfall I was concerned about - paralleling the cleaver meant we were in line for anything that felt like breaking loose. Coming back, my sister, who was last in line of the first rope team, shouted "rock!" and we all turned to watch a rock the size of an easy chair roll by ten feet behind her Made it to the ending of the cleaver where a couple nice bivy spots were found, just below the lower St. Andrews formation, at around noon saturday. Set up camp and scouted the route. The tahoma glacier looked decent higher up, but the access to it from our camp seemed a bit questionable. Mostly, I was wondering how to actually get onto the thing, as it seemed to have formed a moat between the access gully and the glacier itself and looked horribly broken up throughout. We all chatted and agreed that the first thing to do was to take a nap. We slept for a few hours, made dinner, had another chat, then got ready for bed again. Come sunday, summit day, only 4 of us would be heading up. The rest graciously declined and were content to enjoy basecamp. That evening the winds picked up and blew at our tents. I've never felt gusts that strong - our tent was squeezed inward and with me sleeping opposite the direction of the wind I felt the other side of the tent pushing against me. My dad was totally smothered at times by the side of the tent. We awoke a little after midnight sunday morning and the 4 of us geared up, then headed off. We had decided to try for the sickle variation because it would put us up higher on the tahoma glacier and hopefully bypass the initial broken sections. unfortunately this meant negotiation the long stretch of climbing to bypass the lower and upper St. Andrews rocks. We headed uphill on a steep snowslope until reaching a loose rockband. We belayed each other up through the horribly loose rock and reached a steeper snow wall which delivered us onto a ridge. From guidebook descriptions, this ridge would bring us right up and over the lower st. Andrews formation. The ridge quickly turned from snow to knife-edge rock with the winds howling and raging, the team cried "uncle!" and called it quits. We were just a couple hundred feet below lower st. Andrews rock, still a long ways from reaching upper st. Andrews and the puyallup glacier, and an even longer way from the summit. Worked our way back down to basecamp, snagged a few hours sleep, packed our things and began the descent. My dad, showing how to jump in style over a crevasse Enjoyed a dip in St. Andrews lake, met a few other hikers/climbers, and began the journey back. The hike out was painful but seemed to go pretty quick. Several of our team were able to give their packs to a student conservation group who had a truck and was heading out. This helped the sore muscles! All in all, great trip, a lot learned, experienced, fun to see a new part of the mountain and always nice to be there with my dad and sister :grin: Approach Notes: Trails all fine. Regarding the Westside Road, with 4x4 and enough clearance, the washed out sections are easily driveable. I am currently working on figuring out how to acquire the keys for the gate at the Westide Road closure. Rumor is, special 'conservation groups' are allowed access in...anyone up for doing some "restoration" on the cleaver?
  3. Trip: Park Lakes - Trail Run Fun Date: 7/1/2009 Trip Report: Nothing exciting here - just a trail conditions update: the plan was chikamin peak. Left des moines 5:45 am, arrived at Mineral Creek trailhead at 8:30 - a long, but beautiful drive. Organized my few running items then hit the trail. First river crossing at a couple hundred yards down the path forced my shoes off. By the second one, at approx 1.5 miles, I just waded through - my feet were nearly dry within another mile. Overall this may be the worst trail I have ever run - a mixture of vegitation at various lengths (and depths) prevented me from a consistent pace. At one point I went on all fours just to see if I was still on the path. The last half mile to the lakes is a great calf burner! Reached Park Lakes at exactly 10:00 am; 1:23 from car to the lakes. At least 15 min of that was spent navagating through the horrible brush. Smoot's guidebook indicates a 4.7 mile distance to the lakes, whereas signs at the trailhead claim 6 miles. In my opinion it felt a solid 5, maybe slightly more. Once at the lake, I began searching for the PCT, which would bring me to Chikamin. There are many little offshoot trails along the shore, with a fair amount of snow still remaining, which added to my difficulties locating the PCT. On a slight time-crunch (a date at exit 38), I crossed the other side of the lake for a final look, then called it good. Running out definitely felt faster, yet the watch told otherwise with a time of 1:09 back to the car; only 14 min faster than the approach. Definitely not on my 'return tick list' of trail runs (or hiking trips for that matter) but still an enjoyable workout. Gear Notes: 80 ounces water, 4 scoops cytomax 2 powerbar gel blasts 1 tjs dark chocolate bar tnf ultra 104 trail running shoes Approach Notes: Ate some time up trying to find the correct turnoff from hwy 903. Smoot references Cle Elum River Campground, then a left on fr 46. There is a bridge shortly after the campground, which appears to turn into the "10 unpaved miles to the trailhead", however this is not 46. At least another mile down 903, you'll find a second turnoff across the river. Neither turnoff was marked as 46 (or i just couldn't see it) but the second one is the correct road, which remains paved for about five miles, and then turns into the aforementioned "10 unpaved miles"
  4. right now, the cascadian is snow free. Couple snow patches below the notch where one first sees Sherpa peak from the south side. Sherpa is steep, and scary the first time I did it but definitely shorter!
  5. Trip: Stuart - Cascadian Fun Date: 6/20/2009 Trip Report: Having endured the 'classic' descent of Stuart's south side five years ago, I decided to see how my perspective might change when heading uphill on it instead. There was little difficulty recruiting an eager, emphatic, energetic, and otherwise enervated team: Seven of us launched from Seattle saturday morning and arrived at the ingalls th roughly 11:30 am, connecting with Dave - a fellow cc'er. By noon we were heading up the trail. By 12:15 I was running back to the car to retrieve someone's forgotten ice ax. By 1:20 we were admiring the views from the top of longs pass In my ignorant mind, I had envisioned the couloir being filled with snow, permitting straightforward step-kicking all the way to the ridge. Recent warm weather chose otherwise. The temps were warm (60-70s?) and the skies were mostly blue, with clouds blowing in from behind Stuart. We sucked in the views and then worked our way down into Ingalls basin. Classic river crossing Somehow managed to find the right trail leading up the Cascadian (it starts at the edge of an open sloping meadow) and wandered a ways on talus until I realized that we were committed to finishing the couloir before sundown - there are no bivy spots until the ridge and none of us felt like hiking back down to the river to camp. I glanced over toward ingalls peaks and noticed the cloud buildup The joys of snow-free couloir hiking Amy and I reached the end of the cascadian just before 8 pm - 4 hrs from the basin to the top and rougly 7800 ft. We found several amazing bivy spots with snow nearby and tantalizing views of the foothills and Rainier far in the distance. Stuart's false summit loomed above us Sparing little details about difficulties our other team members were facing getting up the couloir, including my descent in flipflops to retrieve an abandoned pack, we all were safely at basecamp by 10 pm (!) Brewed drink fixed dinner and headed to bed. Set my alarm for 5:30 hoping for an alpine start. Awoke close to 8 am with some dismay, and couldn't figure out why my alarm hadn't sounded (this was later unravelled on the trip down when the watch cheerfully whistled at 5:30 pm). I think the xtra sleep did us all well. While gearing up, I fortunately managed to stumble on the 3 softball-sized rocks an anonymous team member had slipped into my pack. Got breakfast and got moving up the trail until reaching a notch where Sherpa can first be seen. From there, easy scrambling leads to the start of the steep snowfield up to the false summit. We cramponed and ice axed up, regretfully leaving two of our members behind. Dave also had to bow out from tagging the summit - father's day plans that evening - and thanks to my late start, had forced his premature departure. Sorry dave! From the false summit, easy rock scrambling and snow traversing along the ridge leads you to the top! Stuart had done a fine job of keeping the weather on the north side at bay throughout the night, yet became overwhelmed as we climbed higher. Heading down from the summit we were fully consumed in clouds with light snow falling. Took just over 3 hrs from basecamp to the top. Less than an hour back down to camp. Packed up and headed out as the weather fell over us. A mix of rain and snow hammered our descent and lingered with us the whole way back to the car, which was reached at 9pm (!) Gear Notes: a good sense of humor Approach Notes: patience
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