Jump to content

bellows

Members
  • Content count

    181
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    7

Everything posted by bellows

  1. Trip: Cerro Aconcagua - Ruta Normal Trip Date: 02/02/2020 Trip Report: Back when the world was more normal, I took a solo two week trip to Argentina to climb Aconcagua: Day 1 (Thursday January 23rd): Fly out of Seatac – Santiago - Mendoza Day 2: Land in Mendoza, get permit & supplies, drive to Penitentes (el ~8500) for the night at Hotel Ayelan Day 3: Start of climb. Hike to Confluencia (el ~11,100) Day 4: Side trip to Plaza Francia at the base of the South Face for acclimatization, second night at Confluencia Day 5: Move to Plaza de Mulas (el 14,100) Day 6: Scramble nearby Cerro Bonete (el 16,417), second night at Mulas Day 7: Carry water & gear to Camp Canada (el 16,600), third night at Mulas Day 8: Carry gear to Nido de Condores (el 18,200), fourth night at Mulas Day 9: Move to Nido, skipping over Camp Canada Day 10: Acclimatization hike to Camp Colera (el 19,700), second night at Nido Day 11 (Sunday February 2nd): Summit (el 22,841), return to Nido for the night Day 12: Descend to Mulas Day 13: Hike out, return to Mendoza, rearrange flight home Day 14: Fly out of Mendoza - Santiago – LAX - Seattle Day 15 (Thursday February 6th): Land back in Seattle It’s hard to capture two weeks in limited pictures, but here goes. The park entrance off the main highway between Mendoza and Santiago, Chile has a great view of the mountain with the summit visible as the bump on the right. With limited vacation time, I increased my time efficiency (and fuel inefficiency) by renting a car at the airport in Mendoza and driving myself around. This meant I didn’t have to faff around with bus schedules and figuring out transport to/from the trailhead, and also allowed me to get my permit in Mendoza, get some last minutes supplies of fuel, lighters, meat & cheese, and drive up to Penitentes all in the first day so I could spend my first night at elevation. As an added bonus, I drove up to the Christo de Redeemer statue on a winding mountain road to a pass at El 12,572 where I spent 30 minutes walking around at altitude. The start of the hike to Confluencia was beautiful on wide trails through grassland with the mountain dominating the view in front. Confluencia, home for my first two nights on the mountain. My North Face Assault-2 tent is barely visible near the big yellow and white domes on the lower right. The first night at Confluencia when my appetite was high, I splurged a bit and bought a nice dinner from my mule service provider. From then on out it was lots of ramen, rice, and freeze dried. To help my acclimitization, I took a side trip up to Plaza Francia and the massive South Face of Aconcagua on my second day of the climb: Heading up to Plaza de Mulas on the third day. Helicopters were a common sight shuttling gear & supplies & the occasional climber up the valley. Even more common were the mules who do the bulk of the heavy lifting. I used Grajales Expedicions mule service to carry ~50lbs worth of gear from the trailhead straight to Mulas. I was relatively cheap and well worth it. Along with shuttling your gear, it comes with filtered drinking water and toilets and trash service at Confluencia and at Mulas. Plaza de Mulas is a bustling place with tons of climbers from all over the world. There are rangers and doctors at Plaza de Mulas checking on climbers from both independent and guided climbs. I brought a pulse oximeter to periodically check my SpO2 which hovered in the 70's for much of the trip. The rangers also posted a weather report every couple days. Mulas has cell reception (Verizon) so I was also able to check mountainforecast and other websites, but invariably the ranger forecasts were more accurate. My ideal itinerary had me planned to summit on the 4th or 5th, but forecasted high winds had me push the envelope a bit and go for the summit a couple days earlier. Summit day! I got up at 2AM and was hiking by 3AM. I hiked relatively fast early on, but as I got higher my pace slower considerably. First light right below Independencia: Traversing the Gran Acarreo. By this time my pace had slowed to about 5 second rest steps. Resting at La Cueva below the Canaleta. The summit looked SO close from here, but was still over an hour away. On the summit ridge: On top about 1pm in the afternoon. I spent all of two minutes on top. I had severely rushed my acclimatization schedule because of the weather forecast, and my hypoxic addled brain was well aware that I needed to get down quickly. Looking back a couple months later and summit day is definitely a fuzzy memory. A day later back at Plaza de Mulas I splurged on the best pizza I've ever had. Mules once again carried the bulk of my gear down from PdM to the park entrance, and I had a pleasant hike out enjoying the thick air and satisfaction of a climb well done. And finally beer in Mendoza! Gear Notes: Carried an ice axe and crampons but never used either since it was an incredibly dry year. For footwear I wore trail runners all the way to Nido. For the upper mountain I used La Sportiva Baturas with Mountain Tools Supergaiters. Approach Notes: Grajales Expedicions is top notch for mule service A rental car can save a few days on the trip total if you don't have three weeks of vacation. Easy free longterm parking at the trailhead.
  2. Good observation @ScaredSilly. Despite the low o2 readings, ultimately I think I acclimatized to the altitude fairly well. My only real symptoms throughout the trip were a little trouble sleeping and headaches in the middle of the night, especially the first nights at each camp. The first night at Nido I woke up thinking my head was going to explode, took an o2 reading in the 60’s, and sat up and took deep breaths for awhile watching it climb into the 80’s and feeling the headache dissipate. I did this every couple hours. During the daytime things were relatively good and I felt strong. In retrospect, the pulse oximeter probably caused me more stress than anything. I’m still not exactly sure how to correlate the readings with how I felt.
  3. Crushing it! Way to go you two. Your TR is fantastic. Reading accounts of previous ascents it’s tough (at least for me) to understand how tenuous the climbing and exposure really is. I stood at the base of it two summers ago. Here’s the more cowbell you missed: IMG_0484.MOV
  4. Trip: Monte Cristo Area - Columbia, Kyes, Monte Cristo & Cadet Peaks Trip Date: 07/21/2018 Trip Report: Last Friday evening and Saturday I explored the Monte Cristo area by connecting four of the major peaks in a big full value alpine loop. I left the office early afternoon on Friday and found myself biking the old Monte Cristo road around typical quitting time. First view of Columbia set my spirits sailing: Couple hours later below the upper mountain: I made quick work of the scramble up Columbia and scouted Saturday's peaks. I wasn't sure if Kyes was going to be on the itinerary tomorrow, but the 5400' west face snow ramp was mostly connected and it all looked like it would go. Better yet, it looked as though their would be a snow traverse to Monte Cristo Peak high on the west side of Kyes: After descending down to 6000' on the west shoulder of Columbia I settled into my bivy for the night: I was up and moving across the 76 glacier towards Wilmans Pass and then Monte Cristo Pass early on Saturday morning. Looking down the Columbia glacier and Blanca Lake from Monte Cristo Pass: I descended to the glacier and on towards a large right facing gully and made my way up to the South Ridge of Kyes. Cresting the ridge gave this view of Kyes summit: Class 3 scramble on the left got me to the top. View towards the next course, Monte Cristo Peak: I descended the Kyes summit block back to the south ridge and found a short cliff leading down to the west face snow slopes. Two loose 15m raps got me over the cliff and traversing the steep snow of the west face, eventually leading to some rock scrambling and finally to the Kyes/MC col and then the north side of Monte Cristo Peak. From there I found the short fifth class pitch leading to class 3 scrambling above. A large moat blocked access to the rock, but the moat had caved in ~100' north of the rock pitch and I was able to scramble down in the moat and get to the rock pitch, now an extra 20' tall out of the icy hole. I self belayed the short fifth class pitch: And scrambled to the top. Immediately looking forward to my next peak, Cadet: Another couple raps and I was back on the snowy north face of MCP. Traverse to the north col, descend towards Glacier Basin. At ~EL 5800 I started a hard traverse towards the south face of Cadet. A perfect goat path led me across the bottom of the face where I eventually picked up the climbers trail to the top. The first trail of any kind I'd seen since Friday evening on the way to Columbia. Up the trail to the summit of Cadet, then reversing the trail down and into Glacier Basin with a view back up towards Monte Cristo Peak: Finally hustling back to the ghost town, my bike, and my truck, my home, and my family. Passing this on the way out. James Kyes was an interesting man. His memorial deserves some maintenance: The Monte Cristo area is a great compact alpine playground! Gear Notes: 30m rope, a couple pieces for Monte Cristo Peak Approach Notes: Bike the Old Monte Cristo road with the log crossing. I took the new old Wagon Road on the way out and it just adds extra mileage and worse, extra elevation gain.
  5. [TR] Mix Up Peak - East Face 07/22/2019

    The register went back to 1992. I saw your name in there. Simpler times... before wife & kids? I thought it was a fantastic climb and very worthy of a repeat. It's an easy approach, pretty mellow climbing, and the east face stairs are total type 1 fun.
  6. Nice work. Your video commentary is surprisingly upbeat for being stuck in the gully without a rope! Attitude is everything.
  7. Ptarmigan Traverse conditions

    FWIW, here’s a pic of Spider, Formidable, and the Middle Cascade Glacier from Mix Up peak yesterday. The Cache glacier was also in good shape. Not sure beyond that, but there were several parties headed out on the traverse.
  8. Unique report Jeff! Good stuff
  9. Woah, those stats don’t do your trip justice. That’s a crazy amount of terrain to cover in a single push! Nice job, way to inspire.
  10. Good stuff! That area is my favorite in the Olympics. I agree, the standard scramble up Clark is quite nice. Heather and Deception basins (Mt Mystery!) are well worth a return trip. I'm working my way through the Smoot book too. To copy the Bulger lingo, I'm at 90/100. I need to start signing non-Bulger summit registers that way to confuse folks...
  11. What hapened with the site?

    I really hope this can be fixed. There are TONS of trip reports prior to the site change where the photos no longer show up, including ones where the pics were hosted in the cc.com gallery. I know it can't be fixed for non-existent sites, but if the photos were on cc.com then hopefully it can get corrected.
  12. Ah, I can actually see it in one of your pics. Good stuff!
  13. [TR] Lundin - Southeast Ridge 11/17/2018

    Looks wintery! I’m amazed at the snow level difference between the Cascades and the Olympics right now. I was on & around Buckhorn on Sunday, almost a thousand feet higher than Lundin, and was in a t-shirt all day and didn’t come close to stepping on any snow. Maybe it’s the rain shadow, but what a difference.
  14. Cool! Curious, what’s your lead solo set up?
  15. Old Kloke Book "One Day Winter Climbs"

    Awesome, thanks Jason
  16. Old Kloke Book "One Day Winter Climbs"

    Hey Jason, any chance I can get a pdf sent my way too?
  17. [TR] Johannesburg - NE Rib 1957 10/13/2018

    Awesome, proud climb for the shoulder season.
  18. Very cool! Thanks for writing it up. Looks like a fun adventure and great way to salvage a day if the north side routes look iffy.
  19. Wow, fantastic trip report. I always find it interesting how quickly the "get me the f*ck off this mountain" moments seem to change a few days later at the office to "get me the f*ck on that mountain" thoughts.
  20. Colfax Ice - Oct 6 2018

    Cool, thanks for the early season stoke! How was the West Ridge? I don't think it is in the Beckey or Alpine Select guides and I've never heard anything about it before. You should write up a TR.
  21. Nice trip report and pics. I love that climb! The summit picture is a classic, so much so that it's the cover of Nelson's Selected Climbs vol 1.
  22. Jim Rothwell

    I'm grieving. Jim was a friend of mine. He was one of the nicest, funniest, and genuine guys I've ever known. I never heard anyone say a bad word about him and I never heard him say a bad word about someone else. That seems rare nowadays, and is a testament to what a good guy he was. And it was infectious. He was full of positive energy and rubbed off on anyone who came in contact with him. I'm a better person for having known him. I don't think he posted on here, but he's shown up in an occasional trip report or two. He's the "Jim" in the Dark-Bonanza-Martin traverse last summer. Second to last picture, guy on the left: There's a service on Saturday 8/11 from 2-5PM at the Edline-Yahn & Covington Funeral Chapel in Kent. Stay safe out there. This is hard to stomach.
  23. Trip: Mt Thompson - West Ridge Trip Date: 12/09/2017 Trip Report: Jake and I took advantage of the high pressure and big inversion to climb Mt Thompson over the weekend. We hiked in Friday night and camped on a flat spot on the ridge below Kendall Peak and before the Katwalk. Hiking up in the dark was easy, with the bonus of shortening up the long winter night sleep. We arose at dawn and made our way along the surprisingly easy to follow PCT. Snowed over Kendall Katwalk: First view of Thompson: From Bumblebee Pass: The route was mostly dry, although moves on the north side of the ridge had some snow/ice on them. The very first move of the entire route perplexed us for a bit as we debated on boots/gloves vs crampons/tools. In the end Jake led it with the steel assist while I gingerly followed without: The next three pitches were quite good on warm rock with a bit of snow/ice on ledges and in cracks. Spring like climbing in December! The easy pitch from the false summit to the summit is on the north side and was full on winter conditions and added nicely to the climb: Views for days on top: Two raps and some slogging back had us drinking whiskey at the tent by 9PM. Easy hike out Sunday morning. The inversion layer was startling, especially with how defined the temperature line was. ~5000' temps dropped 10-15 degrees over the course of a few steps. Gear Notes: tools & crampons, snowshoes for the approach Approach Notes: PCT
  24. New forum software!

    What is the effect between the new site and google indexing? Search results on google aren't showing a ton of content from cc.com.
×