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Everything posted by bellows

  1. Olympic Scrambles

    Hey oly, you ever been up Anderson and/or West Peak? I'm looking at heading there over the weekend if you got any interest. I'm in West Seattle too!
  2. Trip: Sharkfin Tower - Southeast Ridge Date: 6/20/2016 Trip Report: Yesterday I celebrated my 39th trip around the sun by ditching work and heading to the North Cascades. An alpine start from Seattle had me feeling old but some coffee and a pretty sunrise driving north had me feeling young again. In reality I guess I'm starting to fall somewhere in between. The road is still closed at the Eldorado trailhead so there are a few extra miles of road walking to warm up on before crashing up the overgrown climbers trail. Stream crossings were casual. Views in Boston Basin were stellar as always: A large group of 12 climbers left a nice boot pack up towards the Quien Sabe Glacier. From there the obvious gully to Sharkfin was obvious: A guide and client were near the top of the route by the time I tied into my rope solo. Snow on the initial low fifth pitch made things a little spicy. The next arete pitch was dry, super fun, and exceptionally clean: More snow on the final low fifth pitch let me to the top and stellar 360 degree views of Forbidden, Logan, Buckner, and everything in between: Some down climbing and two raps got me back to the snow and a long hike back to the truck. I accidentally upped the difficulty level of this trip by forgetting my food bag at home (!!!) and was bonking pretty hard on the road walk out. Thankfully I didn't have to outrun this guy: On the bright side leaving my food at home left me with a huge appetite for a big birthday dinner with my wife at Din Tai Fung in Seattle. Perfect start to my next trip around the sun! Gear Notes: Small rack, aluminum crampons and a whippet worked for me. Approach Notes: Access gulley is all snow but the moat at the bottom is melting quickly and may require some rock scrambling in the near future.
  3. Upward directional anchor at the bottom of each pitch, rope fixed to anchor with the rest stacked in my pack, tied in with a series of loops on clove hitches which I would release and reset as I got to the end of each loop, placing protection as I went along. Anchor at the top of each pitch and rap/downclimb to clean & reascend with a microtraxion.
  4. Accident up at Source Lake/Alpental

    Coming off the Tooth. More info: http://kingcounty.gov/depts/sheriff/news-media/news/2016/June/Injured-Climber-Flown-to-Harborview-on-Guardian-two.aspx
  5. Goode or other N Cascades conditions?

    FWIW I think Goode (or Storm King or Black?) is on the far right in this picture taken yesterday 6/20: Last Friday/Saturday dropped a fair amount of snow at high elevation that was still hanging around on ledges as of yesterday making low angle fourth/fifth class climbing a little spicy. Not sure I'd want to do a couple thousand feet of it.
  6. Nice work Jeff and crew! You've been crushing this year. Nice pics and nice line.
  7. Trip: Colfax Peak - North Face "Ford's Theatre" 500' AI4+ (FA) Date: 4/20/2015 Trip Report: Yesterday, Andrew Fabian and I skipped work and put up a fourth route on the north face of Colfax. The previous three noted in the Alpinist blog after Colin Haley put up his route earlier this month. I spotted the potential route back in February when I climbed to the col west of Colfax to get a cell phone call out to my wife. I’ve been itching to get on it ever since. Most of the route is hidden from the approach and previous beta has only speculated about seeps coming out of the rock forming the lower ice. ref: http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/738732/2 It does indeed connect to upper snowfields and eventually tops out with the last 100’ of the Cosley-Houston. The route is in great shape, climbing 3 pitches of steep ice before mellowing out on steep snow gullies to the eventual summit. It’s a spectacular setting, with amazing views of Lincoln Peak and the Thunder Glacier cirque, and the Salish Sea far off in the distance. The climbing is fun and sustained, but with not many belay options after the first pitch. A bold party could likely combine the second and third pitches into one long pitch and avoid hanging screw belays. Big credit to Andrew for making the route go and rope gunning the hard pitches! Typical view of the North Face of Colfax. Polish route center left (hanging pillar not touching down). Cosley-Houston center right. The bottom portion of Ford's Theatre just visible to the right before it disappears behind rock buttresses. Before commiting to the climb we hiked up to Point 8704 to get a good view of the route and verify it would go, center left over Andrew's shoulder. Heading up to the base of the climb. I led the first pitch, a short 20m WI3 pitch to a great belay cave and nice stance. Enough snow gets blown into the cave to create a bomber picket anchor, saving screws for the next lead. Pitch 2 immediately gets down to business with a short free standing pillar and continuing up steep hard ice. Here Andrew leads out, with Lincoln Peak watching the action on Ford's Theatre while Assassin Spire creeps up right of Lincoln and the Wilkes-Booth route sneaks up from behind... Andrew stopped at a hanging belay ~30m up the WI4+ second pitch. From here we hung/aided/gumbied across an awkward traverse to move the belay before Andrew fired the last ice pitch, also AI4+. Steep! Looking down from the new belay for the final ice pitch. Steep snow Looking up the last 100' shared with Cosley-Houston All smiles on top: Overall we thought it's an outstanding route, slightly harder than Cosley-Houston but a good alternative for anyone looking for something new. With the snow fields feeding it from above I'm guessing that if C-H and the Polish are "in", so is this route. Gear Notes: We took 10 screws of various length. A couple more would have been nice. Pickets were also key for a bomber belay anchor on pitch one and for the top of the last ice pitch. Also nice for the upper snow fields. Small rock rack and pins carried but not used. Approach Notes: No sweat!
  8. Tis the season. Temps are low. Forecast is promising. Time for a catch-all Washington State ice conditions thread! I’ll start… Austin Eats It (Umptanum Falls area) is short but sweet and was in good shape Sunday: Umptanum Falls itself was decidedly not in: Frenchmans Falls also not in as of Saturday. Lots of flowing water at the top: Fugs Falls was a bit better but still pretty thin & wet on top. Could be okay by the coming weekend: Smart people are skiing right now. Ice climbers are not necessarily smart people though. Who else has firsthand reports of ice out there???
  9. 2015/2016 Washington Ice Conditions

    Jens, any photos from Banks? Your description doesn't seem to match the description in the other thread of "nearly as good as ...past several years". Not sure where to put my money but it seemed a touch too warm on the east side. We checked out a couple Ellensburg areas Sunday and found nothing. Salvaged the day by getting some late afternoon laps on the reliable Kiddie Cliff at Alpental: Todd Anderson, FYI Franklin Falls is one of the more popular hikes in the Seattle vicinity and trip reports pop up almost daily on the WTA site. Check it out for recent pictures: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/franklin-falls
  10. 2015/2016 Washington Ice Conditions

    Happy New Year! Fugs Falls was good yesterday. Enjoy it while it lasts:
  11. Central/Eastern WA Ice Conditions??

    Sent you a pm calford. I checked out Vantage this morning. Frenchmans is mostly water with spray ice on the sides and at the bottom. Fugs is looking a little better but still too wet. Needs more time with colder temps.
  12. Lillooet? Strobach?

    Jacob, check out the "West Coast Ice" group on facebook for Lillooet conditions. There are several recent reports from the area. And the forecast looks good up there with temps below freezing thru the weekend. Good luck, happy hunting!
  13. November ice?

    The Goatee up the Snow Creek Trail was in ok condition on Saturday and is high enough in elevation that it might just survive the warm wet weather this week. Pitch one funky snice/ice. Pitch two mostly snow. Pitch three 30m of fun WI3 making it worth(?) the hike for eager climbers. Beware of sluffs coming down from the gully on lookers right. Millennium Wall #2 also looked in but we didn’t climb it. In retrospect it may have been a better option to run laps on Millennium rather than schwack up and off the Goatee.
  14. November ice?

    If you're really jonesing, there's a pitch and a half of climbable ice in the Practice Gully at Alpental. It's an easy low commitment trip and good dawn patrol option. I snuck it in yesterday afternoon in four hours round trip from Seattle.
  15. Trip: Temple Ridge - The Temple Date: 9/19/2015 Trip Report: Mount Temple is a long way to go for a couple 5.6 moves but the views are enchanting and the company was second to none. All the beta you need here. Pay attention to the 4th class traverse to the right from the talus field above Nada Lake. From there roughly follow the creek to its headwaters below The Temple taking the path of least resistance. There’s occasionally a rough climbers trail but I found it hard (and not necessary) to stay on. Following the creek thru Temple Canyon. Mount Temple on the left. Stack Crag on the right. There was zero snow below the col, which added a little fifth class chimney on the way up and a rappel on the way down. Looking out towards Edwards Mesa. Larches are just starting to turn. View from the col to the summit. The 5.6 crux slab is just out of view due to foreshortening. It is (not really) protected by a manky 1/4" bolt. You might be able to fiddle some small gear off to the left of the slab. Weather moved in right when I topped out, raining a little and stealing some of my views. Prusik was visible briefly, then overtaken by clouds. A single steep 30m rap got me back down. Beware of the rope eating hole beneath the crux slab. I hiked in and out the same day. Just under 12 hours car to car at a consistent but relaxed pace. Beats playing the permit lotto, but it would be a beautiful place to spend a couple nights and climb several of the other Cashmere Crags along the ridge.
  16. Excellent trip report! That looks like a beautiful route, thanks for the stoke.
  17. Torment-Forbidden Traverse

    Nice pictures! I like the one of the purple flowers with J-Berg in the background. I remember hiking by them on the way out a week ago. Fun climb.
  18. Trip: Torment Forbidden Traverse - TFT Date: 7/19/2015 Trip Report: Wojtek and I & Will and Guy climbed the TFT as two parties of two over the weekend. It was gorgeous. Looking at the traverse from Boston Basin on Saturday morning: Views of Johannesberg never get old: Crossing a broken Taboo glacier to the sharp notch leading to the south ridge of Torment: From the notch we climbed a short pitch to get to the bottom of the gray dihedral, then two long simul pitches brought us fairly quickly to the summit of Torment. Lots of familiar faces in the register which was fun to read through while enjoying the views: Forbidden, still a day away: Easy simul-downclimbing and traversing brought us to the north side rap. With the huge moat and a secondary bergshrund we used both ropes and did a big 70m single rappel to get to easier snow below: 4th class around a rib gave us our first view of the steep snow traverse which looked pretty melted out: Wojtek and I chose to skip the snow traverse and climb directly up on the ridge. Tedious route finding found us in a hideously loose steep chimney just right of the crest, then a short rappel, finally easier climbing put us on the ridge proper and more solid rock: After the gendarme we eventually met back up with Will and Guy who saw us fighting the chimney and decided to take the steep snow/ice traverse. They had decent things to say about their choice, using a picket and a couple screws along with two tools to make it across. After that point things got decidedly easier and we pushed on with the WR of Forbidden getting ever closer: Finally to the west ridge notch bivys where we spent a beautiful Saturday night: Sunday morning had us climbing the highly enjoyable west ridge all by ourselves: Forbidden summit: To make a true traverse, we took the sketchy east ledges descent. My first (and last) time taking that route down. To steal a quote from my friend Colin - this is how I choose to remember the east ledges: All in all it was a really fun route. I've had my eye on it for a couple years and it all came together very quickly and went really well. It's doable in a day, but why rush through such fun terrain! Gear Notes: Screws and a second tool if you want to take the steep snow/ice traverse. Approach Notes: Stay on the trail all the way through the upper Forbidden bivys even when it seems like the trail is not being very direct.
  19. [TR] Mount Rainier - Liberty Ridge 6/22/2015

    Right on, nice work Greg! Way to sneak into that weather window.
  20. Trip: Mount Adams - Adams Glacier Date: 6/15/2015 Trip Report: Yesterday was total Type 1 fun! Light & fast through an engaging crevassed glacier with steep enough terrain to keep us entertained but not steep enough to trip the anxiety meter. Greg and I left the cars at 2AM Monday morning, reaching the snowfield just above the pea-soup lake in time for sunrise lighting up the big tahoma: We roped up at flattish terrain by a rubble island ~8200’ and I headed out towards the far right side of the glacier: Getting steeper at ~9000’: We thought we’d tackle the icefall at ~10,000’ directly since it looked more interesting, however once we got in the middle of it there were too many crevasses and jumbled ice blocks to really make it work. Instead we rapped ~20’ into the belly of the beast and traversed out right across a snow bridge towards the NFNWR. Looking back as I escaped the icefall: A few hundred feet up we traversed back onto the Adams Glacier proper and from there weaved in & around crevasses up to the top: It was cool to have the top all to ourselves: A tedious descent down the quickly melting out North Ridge put us back in the meadows mid afternoon. Parting shot at a good looking mountain: On the way out we didn’t notice any bugs until I stopped at a creek to cool off my feet. Seconds later I looked down to DOZENS of mosquitos, everywhere! Milliseconds later we were hustling back down the trail. Overall the route is in excellent shape for those with good crevasse navigation & rescue skills and comfort level on steep 45 degree snow. We didn’t see any critical bridges or areas that would be show stoppers if melted out and I’d guess the route could stay in climbable shape for several more weeks if not longer. Enjoy! Gear Notes: Pickets were bomber. Screws weren't necessary.
  21. Right on, nice pics. We were impressed at your ski tracks exiting the face over the bergshrund.
  22. Sorry, can't help you on the south side, we came in from the north. But here's a trip report from last saturday that might help you decide: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2015-06-14.6354050512
  23. Mt. Adams beta or conditions

    I climbed it yesterday and added a trip report to the database. In short, it's very climbable right now for a competent party with good crevasse navigation & rescue skills and comfort level on steep snow. We did lots of front pointing and french technique leaving only crampons prints in the hard snow and also crossed numerous snow bridges over big crevasses. If that's your skill level then go for it! I really enjoyed the route.
  24. Anyone recognize any of these climbers? We found some of your gear near Ptarmigan Ridge high camp last weekend. Email me djcbellows at gmail and I'll get it back to you.
  25. Trip: Mount Rainier - Ptarmigan Ridge Date: 6/7/2015 Trip Report: Ptarmigan Ridge is in great condition right now. Mowich Lake Road is still closed, but that just means you don’t have to do the car dance and you get a nice tour of the north side glaciers from the White River approach. Greg M and I left the cars predawn at 3AM on Saturday. The early start let us get across the Winthrop and Carbon Glaciers in firm conditions, leaving only crampon prints. Things started softening as we headed up the Russell Glacier ~8AM but nothing too bad, maybe ankle deep snow at the worst. We got into high camp at 10,200 at the base of the route just before noon and set up our tent, rested, melted snow, and watched a pair of climbers slowly making their way up Liberty Ridge. Looking across the Winthrop to lower Curtis Ridge. We followed the boot pack low around the ridge and found a pretty straight forward entrance down to the Carbon ~7200’. Awesome views of the north face of Rainier from lower Curtis Ridge: Crossing the Carbon and up the Russell was easy peasy: Views of the impressive Ptarmigan Ice Cliff above camp and the upper part of the route to the right: We left camp at 1AM Sunday and dropped down a few hundred feet to the bergshrund leading to snow slopes trending left as we climbed. The snow hadn’t quite frozen overnight but was still stiff enough to be secure, and also saving our calves up the 1800’ of steep snow to the big rock buttress where the route splits left/right. We chose the right hand variation. Greg leading below the buttress: A few couple hundred feet past the buttess we reached a half pitch of water ice. The climbing was a little stiffer than we had thought it would be (AI3 maybe?). Although it might have been the elevation & isolation making it feel harder. Overall it wasn’t bad and it took screws well. From there we traversed snow and 4th class rock and up to the short 5.4 rock step. We brought a couple nuts and a hex to protect the rock section, but didn’t use them, instead I clipped a perfectly placed angle piton, made a big reach to a jug, and pulled over the step. After that it was just a long hike up the Liberty Cap Glacier in boot deep compacted powder: Finally over Liberty Cap summit, down the saddle, and an easier hike up to the tippy-top in an existing boot pack. Columbia Crest cheese: Fantastic climb, get on it, the boot pack is now in! Side note, near the Ptarmigan Ridge high camp we picked up a pair of jackets, a camera, and a few other items that looked like they were blown off the ridge pretty recently. PM me and I’ll get the stuff back to you. Gear Notes: We brought pickets, screws, and an ultra-light rock rack. Didn't use the rock pro. Approach Notes: White River. Leave early!