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About billisfree

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  • Birthday 07/31/1948


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    Portland, OR
  1. Mt. Adams - Oct 15

    Hello Eric, Ben, Matt, Gary It appears you successfully made the summit... let me know. I'm SURE you guys got the workout of your life! Ashish and I got down to Cold Creek campground with no incidents about 2PM. We wanted to stick around and wait for you guys. My guess was that you would not be back until between 5pm to 7pm, which seemed like a long wait. Ashish had a midnight flight back to Houston, so he was running on a tight schedule. Hope you all home, tired and happy. I'll write up a little trip report for ya. Picutre below shows Eric, Matt, Gray, Ben at the 9,900 ft level. (Bottom 4 climbers.)
  2. Mt. Adams - Oct 15

    I have plenty of home problems... helping my daughter move... etc... It's looks this is only going to be a day hike for me... I won't make the top... unless I'm very lucky. IF I come, I will be there about midnight or early morning tomorrow (Saturday). If things can be pushed back to Saturday-Sunday, I'll climb with whoever is still there. my e-mail
  3. Mt. Adams - Oct 15

    Hiking boots are fine. Gaters are nice if you want to keep your socks dryer. Crampons are likely a must. I have extra crampons, ice axes, if someone wants to borrow them.
  4. Mt. Adams - Oct 15

    I'm still "iffty". I might show up and join in for a bit. Likely, I won't make the top. I can take care of myself and will head down on my own just fine. I've been up the route 6-8 times. I only summitted once in 3 tries. How will I recognize everybody at the trailhead?
  5. Mt. Adams - Oct 15

    I'm interested. I'm 63 and not exactly a fast climber... but I can get there if nobody rushes me. I'll try to camp on the lunch counter (9,400 ft). If other camp lower down, you'll have to catch me on way up.
  6. [TR] No Country for Bold Men

    Lucky the ranger didn't catch us? LUCKY? Define lucky! Of all my years of hiking/camping/climbing I've rarely met a Ranger. When I do - they've never asked for my papers. Like when I climbed St. Helens, 85 of 100 permits were issued. I was one of only two people to make a serious attempt on the summit. We DID meet two Rangers coming down, but neighter botherd to ask to see our permits. I repeatedly see people parking where a northwest forest pass was required, and never once saw a ticket on the windshields of those who never had one. ONCE, I saw rangers issuing tickets at a ski resort parking lot where SNOW-PARK passes were required. Even on Rainier, people make climbs without permits and rarely get caught. But, for peace of mind, buy the permits if practical. You'll feel happy and secure if you did.
  7. [TR] No Country for Bold Men

    WAAAAY too many pictures posted! Post only the best ones. (This is Bill, the 3rd climber on the team.) Hmmmmm.... an overly dramaticalized report. I didn't feel the way Josh reported the adventure. But is was interesting to see his viewpoint on our adventure. I never regarded this trip as dangerous, but yes, it was quite an spectacular adventure. Hmmmm... that's the 2nd time Josh went without a sleeping bag and paid a small price. If he had informed me that he had no bag, I would have loaned him one, because I think I had one right in my car. I was fresher than these two younger men, yet was much older and a little slower - almost 62 years old. Makes we wonder, Josh deverted our climb from Mt Baker to this - because of snow forecast on Mt. Baker. Instead we got a few snowflakes falling on the entire climbing portion of the trip. The two mountains aren't THAT far apart. I guess, I was out of the loop and left the decision making to these two - because they've been here twice before. I'm just here to look after myself and try to keep up. Afterwards, I realized they've never done this in snow conditions. The first decision at the trailhead - sleep in my van or climb up to Cascade pass? So, camping is illegal here? I don't make decisions here. They probably didn't realize I could have removed seats and made a nice bed for all to sleep in the van. Anyway, I'm glad we did climb 1,700 feet to Cascase Pass and make camp. Leaving after dusk, we made the pass at 1am with a rising moon in the night sky. We found about the only pracitcal place to camp - admidst a clump to alpine trees with plenty of soft forest ground. I was bedded down in a warm bag inside my bivy bag by 1:30 am. Josh and Lewis shared a 2-man tent. We had agreed to wake at 4am. But... that gave us only two and half hours to sleep! As I did my 3rd rollover during my sleep - I realized it was getting light outside - 4:30 came really fast! I felt like sleeping longer... so I slept on... We ate our breakfast snacks and were on the move at 6:20 AM. By now, the clear skies were completely overcast and a few stray snowflakes were falling. We made our first section - 1,000 feet up to the "Sahale Arm". Yep, as Josh put it, the views are spectacular all right. It would have been even nicer if the misty clouds would clear. I wrongly assumed the weather would clear. No direct sun was ever encountered - yet a faint halo of sun through the clouds would eventually leave me and Michael with moderate sunburns. We put sunblock on too late. The climber's trail on the Sahale Arm was approximately 85% snow covered. We met a solo climber coming down. Since I was of poor hearing, I let Josh do the talking. Once past the climber's campsite area at 7,000 ft, the climb was fully snow-covered. We could see the summit at times when the light haze wasn't too thick. Contradictory to Josh's account, the fog was never "thick". We could clearly see at least 200 ft to adjacent rocky outcroppings and knew where we were. The snow was never at any time "icy", but rather good stuff for cramponless climbing. I was working up a good sweat all right - until the climber's camp, things chilled down a bit for me to put my waterproof shell on. I may have been a bit slow, taking a brief rest break every 6 vertical feet or so. This is my normal style about 700 vertical feet/hour. Josh and Lewis carried heavier packs than me. I carried my JetBoil and didn't carry so much "heavy" water in my pack. They did their climb on less water than I did. I was warm, dry and confortable and nowhere near being tired. We stopped to rope up. Michael was pretty efficient about the whole process, roping and tying all the knots for me. I was learning a lot of new stuff about rope technics. I have taken a rope climbing class, but was not taught any crevasse rescue tactics. We never really needed to use all this stuff, but at least I was learning new things. He was just being nice and careful about the whole thing. That solo climber we met... climbed just fine without ropes. Once under ropes, we continued onward. Snow balling in our crampons was a problem. Close to around 8,000 ft we encountered our one and only crevasse, barely 100 ft long, intermedantly hidden with freshly fallen snow - of sorts. Maybe six inches wide at the most. Not nice to step through, yet not large enough to swallow a man. The slope was now approximately 35 degrees. Josh started kicking steps in the snow for us. It took us an hour to cover a measy 200 ft doing this - SLOW! Who makes steps anymore? The snow was firm enough just to climb with smaller toe-steps. But below, the snow had not really solidfied. An ice axe handle would sink clean to the end. It was quite laborous to pull our handles clean out of the snow every time. I switched to using a lighter touch - try not to sink my pick into the snow - unless needed. It was kinda frustrating waiting for Josh to kick extra-extra secure steps. Did he REALLY need to do all this? Yet avalance danger was an issue. Snow was semi-wet deep down but no evidence of "layering". I'm no expert here. I wasn't too worried. Why didn't Josh climb closer to the rock outcroppings where avalance danger would be less? Well, Josh did all that extra work... leaving me plenty of time to stand around and rest up. But standing around, I was beginning to chill down. Once we reached the rocky craig of the summit it was clear from the lichen-covered rocks that these were secure rocks - they haven't moved in eons. Still it seemed like a fantastic climb so far. I was happy with me accomplishments and told them I'm ready to go down. Josh seemed a bit more determined to summit - all the way. We unroped and did a little rock scambling. Still wearing crampons, I climbed the rocks a short ways and soon realized it was not worth the risk. Josh seemed to want to try the other side. I led the traversed the 40-degree slope to the other side. I was just mindful not to walk anywhere where I would slip and slide into rocks below. Near the end of the traverse, there was a 60-degree slope below - and beginning to get scary. This was a time to be more careful. There was a notch between two rocky craigs where the snow was only 40 degrees. The far side of the notch, the snow was 60 degrees. So I just kept climbing... hugging the rocks and using rock handholds where possible. Nothing seemed that dangerous to me. A "knob" of snow got in my way with a 70 degree slope. I cut away the top 8 inches and leveled it somewhat make a more level path. NOW I was getting worried. I carefully took a peek over the edge and saw the sheer drop-off on the other side. The risk of a unseen overhanging cornice was a concern. I crept up slowly, testing the snow and ALWAYS keeping an arm on a nice firm rock ledge just in case the snow-tongue/cornice collasped. One must trust the good solid rock - NOT the snow. Eventually there was plenty of rock for me to hold onto and continue. I made the summit before I knew it. There was a geographical marker at the top... set in 1939. The rocks have not moved for at least 70 years... probally much longer. So I knew I was standing safe and secure. It felt good, a slight breeze and wet fog was blowing. Visibility stunk tho. Boston Peak could not be seen. I wore my pack all the way to the top... really not thinking about it. Yet, 30 ft below Josh and Michael were trying to follow my steps upward. They were slow, their legs seemed shaky and the fear of heights was on their nerves. Josh is right, the absolute true summit was about 10 feet away and a foot higher. Yes I could have easily stood on it, but there was no need to take additional risks. The tiny spot had room for one person to stand - with near-vertical drop-off of 50 feet on 3 sides - enough to give anybody shaky legs! Interesting, I could see three different webbing ties and caribeaners left on various rocks. I guess this is a true "rock climb". Thanks to this tongue of snow extending all the way to the summit, we did not need any rock climbing equipment. Likely we should have used rope here. I felt confident and secure regardless. Going down, I was much surprised to find my two friends were re-kicking new steps down. Why? We already kicked steps coming up. Use them! Their condifence was not so good. I realized I better show them what to hold onto and where to put each step. Things went a bit faster after that. I normally do not like to tell people what to do. We stood on a rocky ledge at the snowline about 50 ft below the summit and took a snack break. Going down, we did not rope up, it was important to move laterally and carefully downward - AWAY from any steep slopes or rocks that we could potentially slide into. Shortly after reaching this safer area - I slipped. Snow had balled under my crampons so I made yet another one of many slips. This time, neighter my other foot nor ice axe saved me. I fell into self arrest position nicely... but the snow was too soft to hold. I went down, down, down in a rather controlled slow slide. 200 feet down, I tried lifting my axe handle and pressing the head deeper into the snow. That worked. I was never worried. I knew there was nothing below that I might smack into. Looking back up, Josh and Lewis were still working their way down. At least I made a quick, smooth descent! We followed our footsteps down... making a careful crossing over that one small crevasse. Most of the descent was uneventful except we were using ocassional sitting glisades. Below the Sahale Arm, the weather took a turn for worse, becoming a drizzle and eventually light rain. Because of this, we could not see our campsite. A thin layer of fresh snow plus some snow melting hid our climbing tracks at times. I had to trust Josh's direction. I carried a GPS and had our climbing path recorded. But Josh seemed slightly confused and my GPS did not clearly record our path up. In my haste, I think I gave them wrong directions and we got slightly lost. I inadvertantly led them down a steep snow-covered wooded gully. Oops... sorry about that! I've been in a similiar situation before. Coming DOWN a mountain in foggy or forested areas without sun or clear landmarks - is RISKY BUSINESS! We could easily have spent the night bivouacing without tent, food or sleeping bags. Trusting my GPS had correctly recorded our campsite... the tiny forest patch emerged from the fog and drizzle - once we got within 50 yards of it. I was tired. All of us were! I wanted a nap. My gloves were soaked, but my hands were warm. I had dry, waterproof clothing. My boots were recently NixWaxed, were fully wet on the outside, yet my socks were dry inside. Michael told me he was dry and warm. Somehow, cramming 3 men into a 2 1/2 man tent didn't seem inviting. Where would we put our muddy boots? How would we keep our packs and equipment dry? We packed the tent and hiked our - arriving at the trailhead a 9:30 PM as darkness set in. We had been on the move 15 hours. Overall, I thought this was a FANTASTIC adventure! I don't share Josh's opinion that this was a risky nor dangerous undertaking. Personally, I think is trip caption is quite an extrageration. I am NOT a rock climber and I have no intention on becoming one. I lost my hearing due to ear infections, but thankfully my balance was never affected. Being a sailer who has survived ocean storms, this is peanuts!
  8. Great report... would be nice if you could post a map of your route, and save me the trouble of figuring out where you went. I want to climb that peak... eventually.
  9. Anything tall and snowy between 6/21 and 7/5

    You didn't say where the plane ticket was to. Seattle? Portland?
  10. Hood - Hogsback / Adams - South Spur

    Hello I'm a 60 year-old retired engineer. I've been into Mt Hood crater 4 times, summitted once. I've been up Mt. Adams five times - summited once. I really don't think you need a guide or partner for Mt. Adams. It's not very technical nor dangerous. It should be no problem for your unexperienced friend... IF he can make it. Mt Hood can be done without a partner, but it's best to join up with others for safety's sake. Getting to 10,500 ft is no problem, and not very dangerous. Getting the last 800 feet depends on snow conditions. Cell phones work all the way up to the summit. I'll be happy to go with yuh anytime, cuze I have trouble finding a partner. Have any questions? Bill
  11. The Brothers this Friday/Saturday (Oct. 3/4)

    I'm game, live in Portland, but... where is the Brotherss? Bill
  12. PDX alpine partners

    I'm available from PDX. I'm no pro, I've only climbed Mt. Hood once and just like trying other mountains. I prefer weekdays. Monday - Thurs. Contact me more direct at billisfree@yahoo.com.