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  1. Mt Hood

    Wow, that's the most barren I have seen Mt Hood this early in the season. I'm going up this weekend with skis. Looks like we will need to start carrying skis right off the parking lot, which had never happened to me before. Thanks for the photos. Looks like the actual hogsback has shifted to the right quite a bit this year.
  2. [TR] Mt Baker - North Ridge 4/19/2015

    A climbing ranger was killed on Ranier a couple years ago from falling into a crevasse.
  3. Trip: Cutthroat Peak - S Buttress/SE Buttress Date: 9/5/2012 Trip Report: Rough timeline: 6:10: left car 9:00: started roped climbing 14:40: summit 15:30: started descending 18:30: finished rappelling at the base of the gulley 20:05: back at the car This is not a busy route and now I know the reason. Route finding was a challenge. I did plenty of homework and still was lost most of the time. We had the summitpost description, Beckey's description, as well as supertopo and it was hard to match the actual features to the descriptions and topo. All the descriptions are vague, too many variations are possible, and the route lacks distinctive features. First we couldn't locate the "notch" where pitch 1 starts. I thought it would be on the crest. But it's more on the west side of the crest and above the northern approach gulley. It's definitely not 5.7, but rather mid class 5. Then the next few "pitches" were confusing. We didn't know what to expect so we pitched out, but placed none or very few pros. It was definitely not worth roping up for at least 3 or 4 pitches. I was still looking for supertopo's pitch 7 when I realized that we were at the base of the "Tarzan leap" pitch (supertopo's pitch 12). Supertopo calls the Tarzan leap pitch the crux at 5.8, and I would disagree. It's not as hard as a previous squeeze chimney, unless I was off route. I also don't understand why people call it "Tarzan leap". I didn't have to leap, I just traversed low and stepped down. My wife is 5'3" and even she didn't have to leap. There are two notches between the sandy ledge between the humps and the true summit. I don't know how others do it, but if you climb directly out of the first notch, it looks very hard: overhanging and hard to protect. Instead, we walked down the loose gulley (class 3) towards west for 30 ft, turned right to an obvious opening, and scrambled up (class 4 or very low class 5) into the second notch. There is no 5.7+ boulder moves out of the notch, and there is no down climbing into the second notch. The 5.7 layback slab on the final pitch is probably the only hard-ish move on the route that doesn't protect well. The famous OW on the final pitch is fun. If you are a solid 5.8 crack/layback leader, you can get away without a 4" pro. The rap route needs some work. There are too many rap slings scattered around and I suspect many lead to nowhere. Yet you sometimes need to scramble quite a bit to the next one. It wasn't completely straight-forward, at least the lower part. We got our rope stuck at one place. I had to redo that pitch to free the rope. In general, the route is technically easy for its 5.7/5.8 grade. Most crux moves are burly rather than delicate. Sorry that we didn't take pictures. We were too busy with the route finding. If I were to do it again, I'd take pictures at every belay station and draw the climbing route on them.
  4. http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/spo/3241899494.html Set of #1-#8, with #2 and #4 being TCUs. Lightly used for 4 seasons. #5-#8 have been rarely placed, especially #7 and #8. Smallest 4 have seen more usage. None of them have seen a leader fall. Most have been used in body weight applications (hanging belay or aiding). All of them have been taken good care of, lubricated once a year. Buy the whole set for $280 or $35 per cam. I have color-matched carabiners for all the cams, #1-#6 are Metolius FS Minis, #7 and #8 are BD Neutrinos. Add $4 if you want the biner.
  5. Pack belt vs harness positioning?

    Get a pack with gear loops (e.g. First Ascent Alchemist 40). Wear a harness with low profile gear loops (BD Couloir) or no loops at all (CAMP Alp 95)
  6. Trip: North Early Winter Spire - S Face / SW Face / Chockstone Route Date: 8/26/2012 Trip Report: Rough timeline: 6:15: Leave parking lot 8:30: First rope leaves ground 11:15: First team summits 12:20: 4th team summits 12:30: Start rappelling 13:25: All teams back to base 15:10: Back to parking lot Make sure you check out the topo from Supertopo. It's much better than summitpost. However we found that the 5th pitch is longer than 50'. We found 5 fixed pins on the crux pitch plus a bolt. Yinan led it and I followed. Since the crux is a traverse and downclimb, it's almost as hard if not harder to follow than to lead. I set up a handline for the following teams and had the strongest climber of the group to sweep and remove it. I used a 20ft cordlette and fixed it to a piton, the bolt, and a #1 cam in the crack above. On the last runout chimney pitch, I moved onto the face rather than the OW. It didn't feel as hard as 5.6 but I was running out wildly and it was a committing move to get onto the face. I found a fixed pin about 1/3 way up the pitch. It's rusty and hard to spot. I ran out the rest and placed a tiny nut on the face after leaving the chimney. You can probably find some sketchy psychological placements. Gear note: Small cams can be useful (I used a yellow Metolius). Bring 6-8 slings including a couple of doubles. Don't bring any big pieces. A single rack up to 1" is more than sufficient. Yinan and I placed about a handful of pieces for the whole route. Descent note: from the summit, do not use the rap slings on a tree as summitpost suggests. Keep going west to a pair of bolts and do 3 30m rappels to the gully. The second one is almost longer than 30 meters and you need to stretch the rope a little to reach the next set of bolts. On the second rappel, you will see 2 gullies below you. Go to the (skier's) left one. This way, you can avoid using tree anchors and double rope rappels. Pitch numbers in the following description and pictures are all references to SuperTopo. Pitch 1: 5.0-5.5, 25 feet. The goal of pitch one is to climb into the 3rd class gully below the giant chock stone. Starting directly under the 3rd class gully is probably the easiest (4th class to 5.0). One can also start just left of the gully up low angle slabs which probably provides a slightly more challenging option. Pitch 2: 3rd class, 150 feet. Scramble the sandy gully to the base of the giant chock stone. Pitch 3: 5.7, 80 feet. From your belay below the chock stone, move left and up easy (c. 5.5) ledges. If you're on the correct ledge, you should see two pitons pounded into a seam. Move left on this ledge (c. 15 feet) and pick up a vertical corner/crack. You'll find 2 fixed pins in this crack, one before a strenuous 5.7 layback move and one after. Move up this feature for about 20 - 30 feet until you're roughly level with the top of the chock stone. Clip a bolt on the face and move up (smearing move) to a slopy ledge and traverse to the right (1-2" crack above you for hand). Then dismount from the ledge (about 8 feet above top of chock stone) onto the chock stone. Belay from the rap bolts atop the giant chock stone. Pitch 4: c. 5.4, 60 feet. Walk up the gully (unexposed class 3 but dirty!) until you're about 20 or 30 feet below the upper chock stone and belay here. Your goal here is to top out on this upper chock stone from the left side. Move up the somewhat runout (but easy) steps to the left (and starting below) of the upper chock stone on some blocky golden rocks. About 30 feet above the ground, look up for slings on a pair of bolts. Climb to the left of the bolts and traverse 10' below them. Belay here. You are now almost level with or slightly higher than the chockstone. Pitch 5: c. 5.0, 100 feet. Do a rising traverse (3rd class) to the right till you are directly above the chockstone and go straight up (4th class or 5.0). Look for slings around a rock horn. Belay here or keep going for another 15' to some small trees. If you are climbing in the morning, this is probably the first time you'll be in the sun. Now you are on the S face of NEWS. Pitch 6: c. 5.4 - 5.6, 160 feet. Head up the chimney (c. 5.4) to the left of a huge overhang. At some point you have an option - continue up the chimney into what looks like an off-width (this might be the 5.6 off-width Becky mentions) or move left (5.6 mantle move) onto a face then an adjacent gully. Either way, you top out on the summit slabs just west of the highpoint. From here it's a 100 foot walk (exposed in places) to the true summit. References: • Supertopo • http://www.summitpost.org/south-face/159186 • http://chossclimbers.com/?page_id=6876 • http://ajtrekker08.blogspot.com/2011/08/north-early-winter-spire-south-face.html • http://cascadeclimbers.com/trip-reports/alpine/news-and-sews-south-face--57--and-sw-rib--58--7-28-2012-6476/ • http://www.ncmountainguides.com/permalink.asp?id=465
  7. [TR] Shuksan - Fisher Chimneys 8/11/2012

    Thanks for the tips!
  8. Trip: Glacier Peak - Disappointment Peak Cleaver Date: 8/19/2012 Trip Report: My wife and I climbed Glacier Peak on 08/19-08/22/2012, and bagged our last WA volcano. It was a fun and tiring trip. Some beta to share: * If you go with Beckey's approach notes, he tells you to go E from White Pass for 1 mile to a 6500' saddle. That was a looooong mile. It took us 45 minutes. Granted we were not moving very fast towards the end of the hot day. The Foam Creek trail starts at White Pass (5900'), gradually ascends to 6200' and contours at that elevation. After crossing several drainages, leave the trail and ascend a wide open slope on the left. There is a carin marking the branch off. Keep your eyes peeled after about 40 minutes from White Pass. The climber's trail ascends a couple hundred feet to the 6500' saddle and this will be your first view of Glacier Peak. * At the saddle, move right for 20 ft and follow a carin and some boot tracks down for a couple hundred feet before ascending again to a ridge at about 6500'. * You'll then go up and down for another couple of times before reaching White Chuck Glacier. You'll have an awesome view of the peak and the basin. We camped here. Dry spots available and there is plenty of running water. * Going from White Chuck Glacier to Glacier Gap is slow. It took us 2 hours. Others reported similar times. Basically, you need to traverse on talus field, snow patches, and mud. You need to walk on the rock with crampons or on the snow without crampons, otherwise you'll be taking them off and putting them on many times. * Glacier Gap is melted out too. Running water is a little ways from flat camping spots. * After ascending and descending a couple hundred feet, you'll see the cleaver and Disappointment Peak in front of you, just like the picture in Beckey's book. A big carin marks the start of a climber's trail on the ridge at ~7200'. * Ascend the ridge for about 500', hop on the snow after the first rock outcrop to avoid loose crap. Going is a lot faster on the snow from this point. We made a mistake and continued on the ridge for another 200-300 ft and we regret that. On the way down, we descended to 7700' on the snow and climbed up the ridge via a small ramp. * We went through the glacier without a rope. The crevasses were scarce and clearly visible. There was literally one place where you needed to cross a big snow bridge. The crevasses were shallow and not intimidating. If you fall into the crevasses, you probably won't die, but it will be some work to get yourself out. We were comfortable enough not to rope up, use your discretion. * At the saddle between the true summit and Disappointment Peak, leave your crampons. It's snow free all the way. Near the summit register book, there is a flat spot with stone walls, perfect for a nap in the sun. A brief time line: Day 1, we left TH at 10am and reached camp at 6:30pm. We arrived White Pass at about 3:30 and took a long break there. Day 2, we left camp at 6am and summitted at 1pm. We wasted some time on the ridge. Had we hopped on the snow earlier, we could have saved about half an hour. We started descending at 1:30 and got back to the camp at around 5:30pm. We took a longish break at Glacier Gap. Day 3, we left camp at 7:40 and were back at the car at 3.
  9. [TR] Shuksan - Fisher Chimneys 8/11/2012

    Nice video! We climbed Sulphide Glacier on the same day and I saw members of our team in the video. 3:46-3:50. I'll probably climb the Chimneys later this season or next season. I heard the entrance to the Chimneys is hard to find. Any tips? Thanks.
  10. Have you climbed Boston Peak?

    It's not as bad as people claim. Chossy rock? Yes. But it's the Cascades, not Sierra. Route is very straight-forward. From Boston-Sahale col, follow the ridge, staying mostly on the E side of the ridge crest. There are some faint trails to follow at times. Test holds before committing and tread lightly.
  11. [TR] Mt. Jefferson - Jeff Park Glacier 7/21/2012

    Fantastic! I climbed this route in 2009 and it's still one of my favorite climbs.
  12. Enchantments conditions?

  13. Enchantments conditions?

    Update: we went in 7/14 and 7/15 via Aasgard pass. It was mostly snow free to the pass. There was still tons of snow up there though. Perfection Lake was mostly covered by snow and ice. Prusik Pass was snow covered. I wore only approach shoes (not water proof) with a pair of low gaiters. They got a little wet but it was bearable.
  14. Enchantments conditions?

  15. Enchantments conditions?

    I'm headed to the enchantments this weekend and wonder where the snow level is at right now. Can I get away with a pair of runners and low gaiters approaching from the Snow Lake side? Thanks.