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Everything posted by jstluise

  1. question AT Ski Width Recommendation?

    Thanks all for the advice! Lots of good info here. My original and main intent is to have these for some spring/summer skiing, but since I'll have the setup I'll definitely be looking to get out in the winter. The biggest issue for me when I started looking is that whatever binding I choose will lock me into my ski width due to the brake. The dynafit radicals I'm looking at have brake widths in 90, 105, 120, and 135. Seems like the best bet is to get the 105 version which will allow me some leeway between 90-105. Any thoughts on this? I could get the 120s to accommodate wider skis but I'm sure they'll be too wide for a narrower ski...say 95. The explanation for a shorter ski makes sense, I'll keep that in mind. Can't complain about having lighter equipment. Sounds like I can't go too wrong with 105s for covering most of the snow conditions. Let's say I eventually have two sets of skis: winter and spring/summer. Maybe 90-95 for a spring/summer ski and then 105s for winter? Or would you go wider for winter? I guess the situation I want to avoid is buying another set of bindings in the future. Love the idea of quiver killers. Thanks again I really appreciate all the advice! Edit: So I thought the brakes were permanent on the radicals, but after looking around some more it seems you can buy the brakes w/ baseplates for around $80/pair. Not bad if it comes down to it in the future but I'd like to avoid it if possible.
  2. question AT Ski Width Recommendation?

    Thanks for the response. Would you mind going into some reasons behind your recommendations? For example, 100-105mm vs. let's say 90-95mm? My guess is the wider would be to accommodate variable conditions since I'll be using this for an all around ski? Also, based on my height/weight everything about length seems to suggests around 185cm. A shorter ski will be more maneuverable, but is there another reason? For sure tech bindings. I have my eye on the Dynafit Radical ST 2.0s, but we'll see. Thanks again!
  3. First timer on the Kautz?

    Looking for some advice here. With several Rainier summits under our belt (#6 last week) among other peaks, I've been itching for some more challenging/technical routes. Everything we've climbed has been class 3/low 4. I'd really to get some experience on steep snow/ice that requires a 2nd tool and placing pro. My climbing partner and I threw out the idea of another trip up Rainier at the end of this month, but maybe up the Kautz route this time (of course depending on how the route looks). By that time I'm sure the ice section will be mostly ice though, and from what I understand its a couple pitches 30-60 degree ice. We're both very comfortable in crampons and being on steep, firm snow and being exposed. Never have been on solid ice or had the need to swing a 2nd tool. Very comfortable with setting anchors/belaying, etc. just from doing some sport climbing and general crevasse rescue practice, but haven't set a lot of screws besides a few for practice. So, I'm wondering what advice would you have for us? Is the Kautz a good route for a team with our experience? Or can you recommend another mountain to get some practice on this year and then we tackle the Kautz next year?
  4. First timer on the Kautz?

    Thanks Chris for the beta. I think we'll head up there if we get a really good weather window. If we only make it to Hazard and explore the steps a little before having to bail, that's fine with us. It'll be nice just exploring another part of the mountain; never have been up to Hazard.
  5. First timer on the Kautz?

    Thanks for the axe recommendations. Bummer for that party. I didn't think about descending down the Kautz, I just assumed everyone did a carry over. It would certainly keep things interesting coming down the Kautz compared to the normal scenery over on the DC. If we go with Scared's suggestion of spending an extra day at Hazard and practicing on the ice, we can decide if we want to carry over or come back down the ice on summit day.
  6. First timer on the Kautz?

    Sweet. So heading up the Kautz (or similar) you'd recommend just bringing along a BD Cobra tool and a trekking pole, leaving the traditional axe at home? Just didn't know if you'd bring along a regular axe for the approach and not-so-technical sections of the glacier.
  7. First timer on the Kautz?

    I totally agree. That's where my comment came from about it being a PITA using a traditional ice axe. I have a BD Raven Pro, so really lightweight and perfect for simple glacier travel, but not great at all for swinging. Something like the Grivel you mentioned, BD Venom, or Petzl Summit II would be a better option for a more versatile axe. I picked up a pair of BD Cobras (first gen) years ago but haven't used them (I actually have two sets because I ran across a craigslist deal I couldn't pass up ) . Plan was to bring one of those along on routes that needed them. Guess I'll have to start climbing some routes to see what I like. An more versatile axe mentioned above seems like a good option that I'll probably move towards. JasonG, thanks for the recommendations. And I agree, good footwork makes all the difference.
  8. First timer on the Kautz?

    Thanks for the reply. I guess I was a bit sloppy with my terminology. I said 2nd tool when I shouldn't have. I just meant an actual tool beyond my regular ice axe. But I agree that it doesn't require two tools. Most trip reports I've read people climb it with a single tool, or in some cases have one tool and their ice axe. Though, does a traditional axe even help on steep ice like that? Seems like a PITA to get any solid placements... I like the idea of spending a bit of time at Hazard to play around. We may just do that if the route looks good and we get a decent weather window. And thanks for the recommendations down at Hood. That would be a good trip to get some ice practice in.
  9. I have a pair of Asolo Powermatic 200 GV boots that have served me well for the last 8 years or so. After my last climb I discovered the outsole is completely coming off at the midfoot/forefoot on both boots. Can anyone recommend a good way to fix this? It seems like pulling the entire outsole off and re-gluing it (type of glue?) after the proper prep would be the best way. Or, maybe someone can recommend a shop that can do this repair that won't break the bank (Seattle/Bellevue area). Thanks
  10. Boot outsole coming off...how to repair?

    I finally got around to dropping by boots off at Dave Page's shop. Boy am I impressed! They completely resoled the boots and they look awesome (they treated the leather, too). I'm glad I went this route and didn't try to fix anything myself. Feels like I have a brand new pair of boots at 1/4 of the price!
  11. Boot outsole coming off...how to repair?

    I emailed Dave Page and asked about re-gluing the outsole. He said I'm guessing that means resoled? Anyways, it is $75 for the pair. I'll probably just do that since the uppers are still in great shape.
  12. Boot outsole coming off...how to repair?

    Thanks! I'll check him out.
  13. Trip: Mount Shuksan - Fisher Chimneys Date: 7/17/2015 Trip Report: We had a great time up on Mount Shuksan and the Fisher Chimneys route on Friday and Saturday. This was our first time up the Fisher Chimneys (previously climbed via the Sulphide) and we really enjoyed it. Lots of fun scrambling on this route! Brief summary of route conditions: Overall the route is in good shape; however, it will be interesting to see how the Upper Curtis glacier looks in a few weeks. Currently one snow bridge remains at the toe of the glacier that provides the only route up onto the glacier. Once that opens up the route may be out for the season. A guide we talked to mentioned the glacier doesn't usually look like that until September. Other than that, everything else was great. Chimneys and summit pyramid gully are snow free. Bivy sites open above and below Winnies Slide, as well as running water at both camps. Trip Details: -Day 1 With a excellent weather forecast for the weekend we were excited to try out the Fisher Chimneys route. Our last trip up Shuksan (Sulphide route) was in the clouds with zero views so this would be a good change. Our plan was to get up above the chimneys on Friday, camp, and then summit before heading home on Saturday. We were on the Lake Ann trail by about noon on Friday and it wasn't long before we passed the lake and were heading up the switchbacks to the entrance of the chimneys. From reading previous reports and gathering route info, it seemed picking the right entrance for the chimneys is tricky. Our problem turned out to be before that. Mt. Baker from Lake Ann trail Shuksan, the chimneys, uppper/lower Curtis, and Hell's Highway Baker Lake Lower Curtis Glacier Mt. Baker and Lake Ann The main Lake Ann trail ended but the climbers trail continued with cairns every so often. Eventually we hit a washout in the trail and couldn't quite figure out where to go next: up through a little gully that looked okay, or continue traversing up closer to the Lower Curtis. We chose the latter which turns out is not the preferred way to go. We did see a couple cairns so we weren't the only ones that took that route. Anyways, after some traversing we started to head up to what looked like the start of the Chimneys. Luckily everything panned out and we found the entrance, which included the big boulder with white painted arrow. On the chimneys We had no issues navigating the chimneys and it took us just under an hour to scramble up through the class 3 rock to the first camp. There we met up with a group of 7 that arrived a bit before us. We had also passed a guided group of two coming up the chimneys. So, there were plenty of spots to camp but we decided to continue since I read about some bivy site "above Winnies Slide". Here is where the confusion began. We climbed the first steep snow after the first camp and found more bivy sites, just at the base of the Upper Curtis glacier (with plenty of running water). With all the beta I got on the route, it should have obvious that we just climbed Winnies Slide and those were in fact the bivy sites, but we second guess it mainly because the USGS map mislabeled where Winnies Slide is. The map says Winnies Slide is on the north side of the Upper Curtis. That made me think the bivy sites were on the ridge just north of the Upper Curtis, so that is the way we headed. Above the chimneys We donned our glacier gear and hopped onto the Upper Curtis. The glacier was pretty broken up and heading directly northeast to the ridge wasn't going to happen because of the crevasses. Instead, we took the only route we saw which meandered up through the middle of the glacier. We were the first ones up on the glacier for the weekend since we didn't see any tracks. Once on top of the glacier it was a straight shot to the ridge. We found a lone and tiny bivy site there. Still not convinced we were in the right spot, we figured it was good enough and set up camp anyways. We weren't about to go back down! We made it to camp by about 7pm. The worst part was that there was no running water, so we had to melt snow. Other than that, it was a good spot with nice views all around. Sunset Mt. Baker sunset Mt. Baker sunset Pink glacier Sunset -Day 2 We slept in and after a quick breakfast, we were back on the glacier by 630am. A light layer of clouds rolled in overnight and it was a bit breezy, but we couldn't complain. It was a quick shot over the glacier and up Hell's Highway without any issues. We saw some fresh tracks in front of us: the guided party. No sign of the large group. Near the top of Hell's Highway North cascades Glacier Peak The Sulphide looked good and we had a pretty direct line up to the summit pyramid where we dropped our crampons and ax before heading up the main gully. By this time there was a couple parties in the gully and one on the ridge. Almost to the summit pyramid We met up with the guide at the base of the summit pyramid. He mentioned the large group left before he did and ended up bailing after not being able to navigate the Upper Curtis. It was early (3am I think he said), so maybe they didn't see our tracks? The guide mentioned the Upper Curtis doesn't usually look this bad until September and he wouldn't be surprised if the route is out in a few weeks. We didn't get involved in any traffic jams and made the quick scramble up the snow free gully. We were on the summit by 8:45a, just over 2 hours from leaving the camp. A bit windy on the top so we didn't stay long, but had enough time to soak in the views. View from the summit We kept the rope stowed and downclimbed the gully, mainly because rappelling with the short glacier rope we brought for the two of us probably would have been more trouble that it was worth. Once back on the glacier it was pretty uneventful going back down to camp and heading back to the top of the chimneys. By that time clouds were burning off and the sun was coming out. It was going to be a warm day. Heading down the Upper Curtis Glacier Looking back up the Upper Curtis Coming down the chimneys Like the gully, we opted to downclimb the chimneys. There are plenty of rap stations if you want to use them, though. When we hit the bottom of the chimneys, we followed the correct route this time back to Lake Ann. After a quick stop at the lake for some water and to dip our feet, we were back on the (now very warm) trail to the car. Entrance to Chimneys (center of image) Since we both like scrambling up rock, this route was pretty fun. Would definitely do it again, but this time we would stay above the actual Winnies Slide. While our makeshift high camp saved us a little time on summit day, the lack of running water made it much less desirable. Our route. Green - Ascent, Magenta - Descent. You can see where we dropped down before getting to the chimneys entrance. Our times: 4hr30m from car to top of chimneys (base of Winnies Slide) 2hr from top of chimneys to our high camp 2hr15m from high camp to summit 7hr from summit to car (with 30m stop at Lake Ann) Since I didn't see any GPS data anywhere for the route, here are some waypoints: Chimneys Entrance: N48° 49' 53.3" W121° 37' 26.0" Camp 1 (below Winnies Slide): N48° 49' 54.4" W121° 37' 02.8" Camp 2 (above Winnies Slide): N48° 49' 52.7" W121° 36' 56.4" I tried to attach my GPS data, but it seems I cannot attach .GPX files anymore. I'll try to find an alternative. Gear Notes: Standard glacier gear. We climbed the gully of the summit pyramid so we did not need any rock pro.
  14. [TR] Mount Shuksan - Fisher Chimneys 7/17/2015

    Great weekend for it, huh? How was the weather for you on Sunday morning for the summit? I wasn't expecting the cloud cover on Saturday morning but at least we still had some views...and it did keep us cool on the way down. It was sure getting hot by the time we got back to the car. I too noticed some inconsistencies with the labeling of The Hourglass and Fisher Chimney between the maps and info I found online.
  15. We're looking for some route conditions for Fisher Chimneys. Anyone been up there recently? We're thinking about making a trip up there this weekend...I imagine is it pretty bare right now? Any info on the Chimneys, Hell's Highway, and the gully of the summit pyramid would be appreciated. We climbed it mid-August a couple years ago via the Sulphide, we we're looking forward to trying out the Chimneys. Also we had zero views last time because of weather so this weekend should be much better!
  16. Shuksan (Fisher Chimneys) conditions?

    Thanks, makes sense now. Forgot to ask...is there any running water above the chimneys?
  17. Shuksan (Fisher Chimneys) conditions?

    Great! Thanks! Even though it was a couple weeks ago it at least give me a gauge for what the conditions are. Sounds like it should be pretty good...we'll see how those crevasses look. Good to know the gully is snow free, I heard it can get hairy when there is still snow left over. Last time we were up there the gully was bare and the ascent/descent was not bad at all (besides the obvious loose rock). We'll be heading up to camp at Winnies Slide on Friday, so maybe we'll beat the crowds. Last time up Shuksan we did it all in one day, so it will be nice to take our time and enjoy the views this go around. I didn't follow you here...can you explain? Did you take a different route down? Excellent pictures, btw! I'm excited to actually use my camera on this trip...last time we were in the clouds all day.
  18. Cold Springs access on Adams?

    Thanks for the report. Sounds like the road should be mostly clear by now. Will call the ranger to see current conditions. The road conditions website still list the road up to Cold Springs (NF 8040) as closed, but that was last updated in February.
  19. Cold Springs access on Adams?

    Any updates on Cold Springs access? Thinking about making a trip up the south route mid April. Sounds like it should be driveable, pending if the gates are open or not. I'll make a call to the ranger in a couple weeks, but just wanted to see if there has been any new developments since the last post.
  20. I had a Mountain Hardwear G50 softshell jacket for the last few years and it was my go-to everyday jacket for fall thru spring. It has the conduit membrane so it always kept me dry. Anyways, I haven't worn it since the beginning of summer and I must have left it somewhere because I can't find it anywhere! Looks like I need a replacement. Hoping to find something comparable since they don't make the G50 anymore. Any suggestions?
  21. Lost my MH G50 softshell jacket...replacement?

    Rub it in, why don't you!
  22. I was up on Little T yesterday and the route looks to be as direct as it gets. I'll pull some pictures off my camera tonight so you can see the route from a different perspective...should be a nice addition to mthorman's GPS data. When are you heading up? Lots of parties heading up yesterday. It was pretty cool seeing the cleaver lit up like a Christmas tree while we were crossing the lower Ingraham Glacier at 3am
  23. Little Si climbing accident

    I heard on the radio this morning that the climber wasn't wearing a brain bucket, but I couldn't find anything online to back that up. If he wasn't, he's damn lucky. Here is the article about the teen who died near Pilchuck this weekend
  24. I just went through the application for life insurance and, IIRC, I was asked if I did any extreme sports. I said I am into mountaineering, but I wouldn't call it extreme (he brought up activities like SCUBA or sky diving). He didn't seem to make a big deal about it. I was more concerned that by me having a motorcycle endorsement that that would increase my rate. After I was approved I met with the guy again and he said I got the preferred rate and there was no mention of additional costs for anything else. I asked about the motorcycle stuff, and he basically said that as long as I'm not doing anything professionally (or semi-pro?) at the time of signing up (e.g. racing motorcycles), then there isn't any problem. The only time restriction he mentioned was that I have to wait at least two years before I commit suicide. I'll keep that in mind. So from what I understand, at least from my meeting with the agent, is that I'm free and clear to do anything I want, without having to worry about my policy not holding up. I could go and become a mountain guide without issues, since I was not one (or never was one before) at the time of signing up.
  25. We managed to get a couple permits for St. Helens for the beginning of July. Thought it might be fun to Adams while we are down that direction. We are coming from the Seattle area, so my question is: If you were to climb St.Helens and Adams, which driving route would you take to get there and which would you climb first? I've been to Cold Spring CG, and we took the route from the north side through Randle. What I don't know about is the route between the climbs, Forest Road 90. Seems to be a well-traveled road. I'm thinking maybe do Adams first, coming down through Randle, then heading over to Helens via FS90, and then back up I5? Any advice would be appreciated! Regardless of what route we choose, it is going to be a lot of driving!