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Everything posted by bellows

  1. [TR] Mt Shuksan - North Face 4/16/2016

    Very cool thread bump. That V-thread got me to search up the old thread from your FA. Pretty wild: http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/271947/Ice_on_Shuksan
  2. 2016/17 Ice Conditions

    Three of us made it to Strobach for the first time on Saturday. Good times. We ended up lapping FOTL pitch 1 and gawking at lots of much harder climbs. First on the Left: The more moderate Sudden Change of Plans and Sad Ce'bu that we had hoped to get on looked thin/out. Dropline looked fat though: Hate Pony, Adrenalepherine, and Ponderosa Pillar looking intimidating: Unholy Baptism gnar: Temps are looking to remain cold for at least another week, go get some!
  3. [TR] Chair Peak - NE Buttress 2/24/2017

    Nice pics! Timely beta, thanks for the report.
  4. Monday 2/20 - Ski tour with me and Fred B!

    Lol, awesome! I hope I still have the passion to get out in the snow like that when I'm 94, even if it's just for a minute.
  5. Monday 2/20 - Ski tour with me and Fred B!

    How'd it go? Share stories and pics!
  6. 2016/17 Ice Conditions

    Devils is open for business. Death-cicles are gone as of yesterday:
  7. [TR] Tooth - NE Slab 1/28/2017

    Fun route, thanks for the trip report!
  8. 2016/17 Ice Conditions

    Tydog, if you're looking for ice near Yakima the drip across from Umptanum Falls is fat right now. I took a few laps on it this morning. It's short but the approach is easy:
  9. St. Helens Presidents day weekend?

    FYI, the road to Marble Mountain sno-park is currently closed due to a landslide. You can only get as far as the FR81 turnoff which add several miles of snowy road walking each way.
  10. 2016/17 Ice Conditions

    Frankouray Falls at Snoqualmie Pass is still holding strong: Not as fat as the previous weekend, but it certainly survived the warm wet weather from last week. It's such a convenient area to get to from Seattle. I'd be up for a dawn patrol this week if anyone wants to get a few laps in early and be back at work by noon.
  11. Trip: Mt Teneriffe - Kamikaze Falls Ice Date: 1/13/2017 Trip Report: AndrewF and I climbed Kamikaze Falls on Friday. It is a very visible and popular destination for the hiking crowd (ref WTA trip reports here) but I haven't seen any spray about it as an ice climb. After an extended cold snap like the last couple weeks, it becomes a very fun very moderate two pitch WI3 climb with a pleasant approach on a good trail. We got an extra early start so we could be gearing up by sunrise. The falls are mostly south facing and sun hits the upper tier by 10AM. The first pitch is a long 60m romp up WI2-3 steps with good rests and fun steps: End at a great belay ledge with big tree anchor. Looking back at the ledge from the start of the second pitch: The second ~20m pitch involved a sketchy wet traverse left, then a couple short steep WI3 steps before some vertical schwacking to several belay tree options. Easy walkoff to the east to catch the Mt Teneriffe climbers trail down. The warm weather this week will probably trash the upper section, but the first pitch might hold on and there is a great tree to rap off if you only do the first pitch. Some friends climbed the first pitch early on Saturday and said the top tier was already melted out a bit from the sun. Check out wta.org for periodic beta photos of the falls from hikers. Gear Notes: 8-10 screws, goretex Approach Notes: Microspikes!
  12. Nice trip report. And good job navigating the sometimes problematic tr feature on only your second post ever!
  13. Nice work! Looks like a good day. With the cold snap recently I'm surprised it was as wet as it was.
  14. Summerland looks like Winterland. Thanks for the shoulder season trip report and dosage of alpine inspiration! I'm slowly ticking off the Smoots myself and was up there snow free a month ago. I imagine the ledge traverse would be much more interesting with snow. One question, not that it matters but what are your rules for ticking a Smoot? He sometimes gives a couple variations on summits. I think in his book the South Chimney is the variation of the lower Middle Chimney walk up. Same question would go for Mount Anderson vs West Peak and Three Fingers South vs North Peaks. Just curious. Regardless, way to go Tim! Which one is left???
  15. Beacon

    Happy Birthday! Nice way to spend it. Don't panic, you've reached the ultimate answer age.
  16. Trip: Slippery Slab Tower - Northeast Face Date: 10/1/2016 Trip Report: Slippery Slab Tower near Stevens Pass is a good destination if you're looking for a long hike capped with a short rock climb on an appealing alpine tower. Overall it's about 12 miles round trip with half a pitch of low-fifth rock. The hiking along the PCT is certainly the highlight of the day. Saturday's weather was just good enough for my wife and I to squeeze it in for one last climb to cap off our summer. Fall colors in full effect: Progressively closer views of Slippery Slab Tower along the approach: At the base of the climb we scrambled the obvious 4th class gully up to a big ledge with trees. From there I led a single pitch ~50' up a slabby dihedral, made appropriately slippery with a small squall of snow flurries and my trail runners. I took the single lead all the way to the summit block and belayed by wife up. From there we down climbed to a boulder with sling and rapped the route and gully. Action shots: About an hour later we were back at our packs where Mac was waiting patiently for us. Alpine crag dog: Overall is was just over 8 hours c2c via the Tunnel Creek approach. We were slowed down by plentiful blueberries still in season along the trail: Gear Notes: Small alpine rack. There's a stuck 0.3 (not mine) crammed way in a crack in the dihedral that you might be able to booty with a coat hanger, a flash light, and a patient belayer. Approach Notes: Savor the approach.
  17. Great pics as usual! If you ever decide to publish a coffee table book I'll be first in line to buy one.
  18. Trip: Yellowjacket Tower - Standard Date: 8/6/2016 Trip Report: My wife and I haven't gotten out together much this summer now that we have a nine month old baby girl in the house. But Saturday we got our au pair to cover a longer day and we set off for Der Town first thing in the morning. The goal was to get on something with an alpine feel. Something new. Something with a little bit of a hike in, some mellow climbing, and getting us on top of a peak or feature or something. And the crux: it had to be round trip from Seattle in 12 hours. A friend recommended Yellowjacket Tower. In retrospect I'm not sure if I'd totally recommend YJT due to the looseness in the approach gully but it fit the bill on Saturday. View from the road: Distances in the Icicle are deceptive. It looked pretty close from the road but ended up taking us almost two hours at a leisurely pace to get up to roped terrain territory. Lots of unpleasant scrambling and a few quick belays got us to the nicely bolted belay station at the base of the actual climbing. Katie tries to give me a kiss for good luck before I set off up the first 5.4 pitch: Katie following the first pitch: The second pitch to the top was short and sweet. Nice exposure to the valley below and a single 5.4 boulder move to the top. Katie showing off: A single big overhanging rappel from the upper belay station got us back to the base of the first pitch: A couple more raps and scrambling down the unpleasant gully got us to the base and then a quick descent back to the car. Back to Seattle by 5:30 with plenty of time to play with the kiddo before bedtime: It was overall an enjoyable day. Any day in the mountains with my wife is a good day in my book. For future reference, does anyone have recommendations for easy alpine climbs doable in ~12 hours round trip from Seattle? The Tooth is the obvious answer. We're looking for less obvious answers. Slippery Slab Tower looks like it could be a good less obvious option... Gear Notes: Light rack. Apparently a pink/red tricam will protect the top boulder move but it's not much of a move and solid pro at your feet protect against anything catastrophic. Approach Notes: Icicle creek mile 6, walk across the bridge & go up
  19. Trip: Sinister Peak - North Face Date: 8/14/2016 Trip Report: Despite its ominous sounding name, Sinister is a very attractive peak with a beautiful steep snow route directly up its north face. John ("Juan") Sharp and I tackled it over three big days this past weekend. We met up in Bellevue early Saturday morning, made even earlier for me after watching a surprisingly entertaining GnR concert the night before. Axl's still got it. Thankfully John drove. We were heading up the trail from the Suiattle shortly after 8 a.m. The approach was long and hot but at least there was a lot of brush, bugs, bees, and blisters. John is rather twisted, this would be his third time up Bachelor Creek in 14 months. Thankfully my first. Honestly though, my initial reaction to the the trail is that the schwack is a little overstated and the length is understated. Staying on old tread through the slide alder and brush and crossing the log at ~4100' worked well for us. Cresting the ridge above Cub Lake was glorious and we finally got views that paid off in spades: We were hoping to make the Dome-Chickamin col for camp but rolling into the Itswoot Ridge bivy spots at 6:00 was good enough. View of Dome from camp: Sunday was a long day. We had relatively easy travel up to the Dome-Chickamin col and then started down the Chickamin with great views across to our route: We belayed across a thin bergschrund at the top of the Chickamin and then spent quite a bit of time weaving and dead-ending through crevasses and ice falls to get to the flats below the north face. Looking back at the cracked out chick: As we rested and got ready for the north face, we noticed a lonely bear wandering around the glacier we had just descended and wondered if he was going to complicate our return. Hey buddy: Not much we could do about Yogi so we started up the face. A couple big simul pitches including one of nice tool sticks in easy ice got us to a moat about halfway up the face. A short mid-fifth rock pitch got us past the moat although we likely could have traversed a bit climbers left and maybe stayed on some thin snow bridges. After that it was cruiser calf burning steep snow up the upper face all the way to the top. Looking down on the upper face: Great views while on route. Gunsight looking rad: Dome looking domey: The summit was excellent and we relaxed a bit, read the entertaining register, and pointed out all the places we had been to or wanted to go to. Self promotion on top: The descent off Sinister was sketchy. In retrospect we probably could have found better beta and known to keep following the ridge all the way to a single rap to the col, but ended up rapping the "dirty 3rd class gully" off the south side of the west ridge that Beckey mentions. Three chossy loose raps down the gully. Ugh. No bueno. Coming off the Dome-Sinister col was also difficult with a belay across an awkward sliver of snow over a gaping bergshrund. And we still had to avoid the damn bear waiting in ambush for us on the Chickamin. Turns out the bear was long gone and we just had a long slog back to camp. Looking back on Sinister on the way out: I didn't want to orphan Dome so I tagged it on the way back through the col. The traverse to the true summit was unexpectdly exciting after a long day on the move: The return to camp was much less exciting as we started to feel the miles in our feet and knees. We ended up needing headlamps for the last hour or so. Monday we woke up late and had a long walk out. Parting view of Itswoot Ridge with an overly friendly marmot checking out our camp spot: And apparently a trip report with John isn't complete unless you include a pic of lower leg carnage. We kicked up a wasp nest on the hike out ~4 miles from the trailhead and each got stung a bunch. Two days later my ankles are cankles and itch like crazy: Gear Notes: We had a few nuts, 2 screws, 2 pickets, 2 tools, and 60m of rope to get off Sinister. Approach Notes: Bergshrunds below the Dome-Chickamin col and below the Dome-Sinister col will become problematic very soon. Actually the entire Chickamin Glacier is going to be problematic pretty soon.
  20. [TR] Mt. Index - North Peak - North Face 8/21/2016

    Good job and great writing! Blue collar climbing at its finest.
  21. Did you guys lose your bivy sacks or something??? Really impressive work on all the c2c classics this summer!
  22. Did you ever figure out who was throwing rocks at you? Interestingly, there was also a big rockfall event sometime Monday morning at Exit 38. I wonder if there was a mini-quake or something else linking the events. Info here: http://www.mountainproject.com/v/massive-rock-fall-exit-38-routes-damaged/112108748
  23. Ideas for a highschool mountain climb

    Snowking could be a great option for your criteria. It falls outside the National Park and wilderness areas so there are no permit or group size limitations. Beautiful camping up at Cyclone Lake. And a mellow glacier if you are so inclined, or you can avoid it completely and stay on a scramble up Kindy Ridge. Better yet, do a loop from Cyclone lake are go up the right side of the lake and across the glacier then come back via the ridge on the left side. Great views across to Eldorado and Forbidden and everywhere else. It's doable in a long day, more enjoyable over two days, and would be super chill over three days.
  24. [TR] Sinister Peak - North Face 8/14/2016

    Thanks! Bold ski descent. We saw your entry in the register: