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kiefner

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About kiefner

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  • Birthday 01/18/1982

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    Seattle, WA
  1. Yea, I did have some Cui, along with other weird stuff like cows feet soup. My stomach was definitely in rough shape during the climb, just to add to the excitement of it all.
  2. Trip: Cotopaxi, Ecuador - Standard Date: 11/18/2009 Trip Report: I was fortunate to tag along with my fiancé as her work sent her to Ecuador (she works for an adventure travel company – tough life, eh?). After two weeks exploring the Galapagos Islands and the highlands of Ecuador she flew south to Peru to continue her trip and I was left in Quito with a couple days before returning to Seattle. I had doubts regarding my ability to climb Cotopaxi; the summit is 19,347 ft. after all. I brought my gear down but wasn’t fully committed yet. The whole trip came about on short notice leaving little time to hit the gym before leaving. I also became terribly sick in the week prior to the trip eliminating any possibility of good last chance workouts. Additionally, snorkeling with sea turtles in the Galapagos and enjoying plentiful cervezas followed by hot springs and gorgeous haciendas didn’t provide for ideal acclimatization either. I managed to get in a great hike/run up to 15k ft. I felt strong and decided to make a go for Cotopaxi. After running around the Mariscal area of Quito I secured a guide for that very night. I made the two hour drive from Quito up the endless cobblestone road to Cotopaxi with some college friends who happened to be in Quito on their four month drive from Colorado to Ushuaia in a VW camper van ( Here is their blog ). My friends and I hiked up to the refuge (15,748 ft), dropped off my gear, and continued to the glacier where the rest of my group was practicing ice climbing on the seracs. The concerns I had about my ability were quickly replaced with doubts that any of the group would make it. The group consisted of a couple from London and one Aussie, for all of whom this was their first time on crampons. My Colorado friends said goodbye and we wished each other luck on our respective adventures. I laid out my gear, ate dinner, and crawled into the sleeping bag around 8:00 for a midnight start time. Sleep was difficult to achieve in the stack of bunks that accommodates around a hundred people. The thin air made sleep difficult and the stench of cigarette smoke wafting up from the guides in the dining area below didn’t help matters. The anxiety level in my group of rookies was palpable as we geared up and snagged a quick breakfast. While envious of the anticipation in the group of mountaineering virgins, I relished in the routine of lacing up my plastic boots and putting on my harness. We ascended loose scree for an hour before reaching the glacier. The head lamps of ten other teams zigzagged back and forth in the darkness behind us. The group soon had their crampons on and I tied in at the back of the rope, behind the Aussie and our guide, Pablo. It immediately became alarmingly apparent that rope management and glacier travel were NOT skills discussed yesterday afternoon. Pablo insisted we not hold the hope in our spare hand which led the Aussie to trip frequently as his crampons snagged the rope. I pleaded with the Aussie to ignore the guide’s instruction and to loosely grab the rope to prevent tripping and prevent a dangerous fall. Also, no one comprehended that piercing a climbing rope with a sharp crampon point should be avoided(!!!). Every break was accompanied by commands from me of “Watch the rope!” to both the Aussie AND the guide as they stumbled around with the rope uncoiled between them. I even had to teach the Aussie how to use the ice axe. Despite my frustrations and concern, the ascent progressed smoothly and quickly as we leapfrogged with other rope teams. There were some steep sections on solid ice that I was happy to be roped on. The crevasses were easily avoided or jumped. A fresh dusting of snow over night added to the beauty as we meandered around seracs and the various pitches of the glacier. We reached the summit (oh, did I mention it’s 19,347 ft!) just after sunrise. Scattered clouds above and fog in all the valleys made for a beautiful view. The summit platform dropped steeply down to the crater where steam was swirling about; Cotopaxi is the second highest active volcano in the world. After nearly an hour on the summit taking pictures and congratulating other teams, we began the descent. Had I noticed the deteriorating condition of the Aussie we would have began the descent much sooner. He struggled with the ascent but appeared to recover fully at the summit. Within minutes of leaving the summit he was exhausted, nauseous, and uncoordinated. Descending at a snail’s pace, he would frequently collapse in the snow midstep. I reassured him that he would begin to feel better with every decrease in elevation. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case as his condition continued to deteriorate. He was soon stumbling dangerously and dry heaving. He neglected to mention until hours later on the descent that he was out of water. I gave him nearly all of my remaining Nuun water. Hopefully his body absorbed some of it before the next round of dry heaving. Never a fan of the descent, I was ready to be down and pushed him to carry on every time he collapsed with the reassurance that he would feel better as we got lower. We finally made it back to the refuge, packed up our gear and descended to the waiting Land Cruiser. The Aussie’s recovery didn’t occur as I expected and the two hour drive back to Quito was interrupted with frequent emergency stops. It wasn’t until later that evening back in Quito that he recovered sufficiently for a celebratory beer. I was ecstatic with my accomplishment! 19,347 ft! While not the hardest or most technical of climbs, I was still proud. Despite my frustration with the guide and the altitude sickness of my ropemate, it was awesome to share in their enthusiasm. All three of the virgins swore off mountain climbing after this, but I hope once the pain subsides and they look through their pictures they will find the desire to don crampons and begin the long arduous journey to another summit. Gear Notes: Standard glacier travel gear (I did meet two Czechs who climbed unroped, but didn't recommend it)
  3. Cotopaxi in November?

    Success! I made it to the top of Cotopaxi last Friday. Had a great time, and good weather. I'll post a full TR shortly, as there is too much to tell here. Thanks for the feedback.
  4. Cotopaxi in November?

    Thanks for advice, and concern regarding acclimatization. I wasn't too clear before, the 10th - 15th is actually my climbing window. Fortunately, I'll have a full week before then treking around Ecuador in which to get some altitude. I'm not heading from sea level to quito to cotopaxi in 4 days; that would be ambitious! My acclimating schedule is still shorter than I'd prefer, so I'm definitely ok turning around shy of the summit. Unless, I meet some good climbers down there, I'll likely be doing it with a guide (hell, maybe I'll even have a cook!). I'll post a TR once I return on Nov 15th. Thanks again. Dave
  5. Cotopaxi in November?

    Anyone interested in joining me on Cotopaxi in November? I’ll be in Ecuador for a couple weeks in November traveling to the Galapagos Islands and some other spots inland. I’ll be back in Quito on November 10th, at which time I’d like to climb Cotopaxi (19,347 ft). I have a flight back to Seattle on November 15th. Unfortunately, it is not a huge window of time, but easily enough for this climb. Is anyone interested in meeting me there to get some serious altitude? The climb is comparable to Rainier, just higher. I’m an experienced mountaineer, I’ve been up to 19,000 ft before, and I even speak some Spanish! Anyone interested in meeting up? I’d really prefer to do it with another experienced climber rather than a guide service with a bunch of rookies. Let me know if you’re interested, thanks!
  6. Route Recommendations for Oct 2-4th?

    We ended up ice climbing the seracs on the Baker's Coleman Glacier. Had a great time! There was about 5 inches of new snow; enough to cover small crevasses and keep things interesting. Also ran into a group of about 40 people practicing (a Mountaineers group, I assume). Perfect weather and good climbing: a great trip even though summiting was out of the question. My friend from Utah is currently getting his PhD in glacieology, and that experience on the Coleman may have been enough to get him to move up here. Thanks for the recommendations!
  7. Route Recommendations for Oct 2-4th?

    Cascade climbing at its finest! Completely variable weather! Thanks for the recommendations. We still haven't decided, but a summit attempt on one of the big peaks is definitely out! (Rock fall plus new snow over crevasses doesn't sound like a lot of fun.) We're leaning towards heading east for some rock. Thanks everyone!
  8. Can anyone recommend good mountaineering or alpine rock routes for this weekend? I've read most of the TR's and haven't found many mountaineering routes that appear to be in good shape this time of year. I have a buddy coming in from Utah this weekend. We're both experienced mountaineers and rock climbers. Possible ideas we've tossed around are Rainier, Shucksan via Sulphide, or Baker. (Nothing too ambitious due to the variable weather forecast) Please give me some good tips; I need to show him that our Cascades are better than Utah's Wasatch! (Last time he visited in March we got skunked due to extreme avy danger.) Thank you in advance! Dave
  9. Ski Mt Adams: May 30-June1

    Hey guys, I'm interested in joining up for the Adams ski, preferably climbing on Sunday (May 31st). My buddies backed out of doing Forbidden this weekend (two w/ bad backs and one's sick), so I'm looking for other options. Let me know if you want to join up. Dave 303-250-9048
  10. Grivel Air Tech Light Crampons

    Are they still available? Email me at dkiefner@yahoo.com. Thanks.
  11. WTB Crampons and Ice Axe

    I'm looking to buy a mountaineering 12-point crampon. Semi-auto binding would be preferable, steel or aluminum is fine. I'm also looking for an ice axe, about 65 cm in length. I've been hooked on this sport since doing Rainier a couple summers ago. Now I need the gear so I can finally stop renting! Thanks. Dave 303-250-9048 dkiefner@yahoo.com
  12. Karhu Jak BC Skis, 172 cm - New $195

    Sorry, the skis have been sold. Dave
  13. I bought a pair of Karhu Jak BC's, but they are too small for me and I cannot return them. They are 172 cm in length, good for skiers 135-160 lbs (according to Karhu's website). These skis are brand new and never mounted. Most sites have these listed at $450-$500. Here are the dimensions: 124/90/113 Here's what Karhu's site says about them: "The Jak BC remains the undisputed backcountry king. The lightest in its class, the Jak BC stays trim for the uphill by replacing Titanal® with the Carbon Powerband and using the new Greenlight™ Core to ultimately weigh in a pound less than its in-bounds brother. Others may compromise on the way down, but the Jak BC skis smooth and strong with the same great shape and a sweet spot that’s impossible to miss. Accept nothing less." Here's what the Backcountry Store says: "Last year the Karhu Jak BC was our best seller among recreational backcountry skiers. This year they get updated and should be equally popular. Toned back to 90mm in the middle, the Jak BC will do very well on hard snow and steep terrain, even though it's made for the soft and untracked. Edging is excellent, with Karhu's new wrapped shet of Titinal integrated with the wood. Karhu skis are tough and well designed for the backcountry. After all, they have been building backcountry skis for us since the beginning." This would be a great ski for anyone interested in telemark/alpine touring (AT)/backcountry skiing. Please email me if you have any questions at dkiefner@yahoo.com. I'm asking $195. Thanks!
  14. I bought a pair of Karhu Jak BC's, but they are too small for me and I cannot return them. They are 172 cm in length, good for skiers 135-160 lbs (according to Karhu's website). These skis are brand new and never mounted. Most sites have these listed at $450-$500. Here are the dimensions: 124/90/113 Here's what Karhu's site says about them: "The Jak BC remains the undisputed backcountry king. The lightest in its class, the Jak BC stays trim for the uphill by replacing Titanal® with the Carbon Powerband and using the new Greenlight™ Core to ultimately weigh in a pound less than its in-bounds brother. Others may compromise on the way down, but the Jak BC skis smooth and strong with the same great shape and a sweet spot that’s impossible to miss. Accept nothing less." Here's what the Backcountry Store says: "Last year the Karhu Jak BC was our best seller among recreational backcountry skiers. This year they get updated and should be equally popular. Toned back to 90mm in the middle, the Jak BC will do very well on hard snow and steep terrain, even though it's made for the soft and untracked. Edging is excellent, with Karhu's new wrapped shet of Titinal integrated with the wood. Karhu skis are tough and well designed for the backcountry. After all, they have been building backcountry skis for us since the beginning." This would be a great ski for anyone interested in telemark/alpine touring (AT)/backcountry skiing. Please email me if you have any questions. I'm asking $290. Dave 303-250-9048 dkiefner@yahoo.com Seattle, WA
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