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Everything posted by bellows

  1. 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.
  2. Hey Nick, this is the best I got, looking down on the Mowich from the rock step around 12,000' We saw a couple headlamps early morning descending from near Observation Rock onto the North Mowich so someone out there has some recent beta. Good luck!
  3. Amazing photos as always. The Olympics are cool. Thanks for the inspiration, I'm adding it to my to-do list short list!
  4. Baker North Ridge/Coleman Deming Conditions

    I was up on the Coleman-Deming this weekend. Plenty of skiers out enjoying turns. There are a few bridges in the 8000' to 9000' range to watch out for but nothing too gnarly. Pumice Ridge still covered in snow. Hogsback fully melted out. Here's a pic looking down from the Roman Wall over much of the route: TLDR: go for it!
  5. [TR] Mount Cruiser - South Corner 5/23/2015

    Right on, nice trip report! The Olympics are cool.
  6. Wow! One of the best trip reports I've read on this site. Awesome job Buckaroo. Thanks for reviving the thread Jason, I missed it the first time around too. I probably mistook it for some random peak in China.
  7. [TR] Colfax Peak - Ford's Theatre 5/9/2015

    Right on, nice send! With skis on your back no less, I'm impressed, that's awesome.
  8. Trip: Dragontail Peak - Triple Couloirs Date: 5/3/2015 Trip Report: Triple Couloirs was in hero shape on Sunday. Two beautiful pitches up the runnels and a fun pitch with solid ice in the second to third couloir transition. Bucket steps up the couloirs themselves eases the calf strain. Nate G and I had our mind on Gerber-Sink on the hike in but in the early dawn it looked thin and we didn’t bring enough mojo. No regrets though, we heard some pretty big rockfall on the route while we were lounging at the bottom of the third couloir where the G-S joins it. Apparently there were two climbers (in blue jackets) on the route at some point during the day, hope they didn’t have to deal with the rockfall we heard. Nice view of the route from the far side of the lake, taken on the way out: Easy entrance on the far left side: Friendly party of two ahead of us on the route. They were fun to chat with as we sporadically met up with them at belays. Bucket steps! Views of Stuart never get old: Colchuck Lake, melted out for travel: My second time on the route, a walk in the park compared to last year. What a difference conditions can make. If you've ever wanted to get on the route in cruiser conditions, now is the time. Approach Notes: Dirt trail to Colchuck lake. You can no longer cross the lake, but you can walk along the south edge of the lake on the beach/ice debris and avoid much of the boulder field.
  9. [TR] Dragontail Peak - Triple Couloirs 5/3/2015

    My guess is with clear nights and an early start it will still be in really good condition this weekend. Last weekend freezing levels were forecasted at 8-9000' but with clear skies and radiant cooling the snow & ice froze up really well all the way down to the lake.
  10. Tent on a budget

    I've had good luck on Cascade volcanoes in all kinds of weather in an REI Arete ASL tent. The ASL stands for All Season Light and I think they sell it as a "3.5 season" tent. It's been a happy medium for me between my true four season tent (MH Trango) and my alpine climbing tent (BD Firstlight). I have 50+ days in the Arete, including using it on Ecuador volcanoes, Mexico volcanoes, and plenty of trips on Rainier, Baker, etc. and it's held up great. Set up is a breeze with full sleeves/pockets for the two main poles. If the weather is decent you can consider leaving the fly at home and get by in light sprinkles with the full nylon interior. It can get a little hot in good weather but otherwise it's been my go-to general mountaineering tent for the past four years in all seasons. No issues with winds up to 40 mph or so. Added bonus, if you don't like it REI has the best return policy around.
  11. [TR] Colfax Peak - Polish Route 5/3/2015

    Proud send! Great pics too.
  12. Damn, sounds like a sufferfest. Any sign of the lost gear from this rescue? http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1134645/Mt_Stuart_accident#Post1134645 From your description of wallowing I'm guessing it may be all buried under snow right now.
  13. Sweet, nice job Nate! Looks like a fun climb with a little bit of everything thrown at you.
  14. Capsizing a Bowline Knot

    Speculation on the anchor failure accident on Kiddie Cliff earlier this winter included some comments on possible bowline failure which surprised me and got me looking at the knot a little more. When I was a kid it was one of the knots my dad taught me and I always thought it was bomb proof. Not so, this video was eye opening: (fwd to 1:45 specifically) When cross loaded without a stopper knot, the bowline capsized in the test and failed at ~400 lbs(!!!!). I’d like to think I’ve never clipped into a bowline through the loop as it’s tied around an anchor, and that I’ve always put a stopper knot in the tail, but can’t say for certain since it’s the same way you’d clip into webbing at a rap station. Obviously I’ve learned something new, and think it’s worthwhile to share. Stay safe out there!
  15. Capsizing a Bowline Knot

    Yes, you're correct. The gage measured 184kg at failure in the video, I converted that to the more familiar pounds since I don't have an automatic feel for the magnitude of kilograms.
  16. Trip: Mt Cruiser - South Corner Date: 3/13/2015 Trip Report: A “heat wave” on Friday was the perfect forecast for a long day and mellow alpine climb on some low elevation south facing rock. Mt Cruiser fit the bill perfectly. West side of Mt Cruiser from Gladys Divide. The lack of snow in the Olympics was startling. Heading up Needle Pass. Approach shoes, aluminum crampons and a whippet worked fine for me on the snow. Getting up to needle pass would have been difficult without the crampons. Classic first view of the south face of Cruiser. For a 5.0 route the first view sure was intimidating! Looking Down the route from the summit. I scrambled everything up to the ledge on top of the chockstone, then self belayed a single pitch from the ledge to the summit. Views of Olympus were a treat. Washington and Ellinor. The Brothers. Flapjack Lakes on the hike out. Bridge over the North Fork Skokomish River. The Olympics are cool! Gear Notes: Light is right, it's a 20 mile day. Approach Notes: Not a touch of snow until 5000'. Nice trail all the way to Gladys Divide.
  17. Trip: Colfax Peak - Cosley-Houston Yardsale Date: 2/22/2015 Trip Report: Cosley-Houston is in good shape right now with lots of alpine ice, and the bonus of an easy drive to the trailhead, nice approach on a dirt trail, and no flotation required to get to the base of the route. Unfortunately my partner peeled off while leading the crux pillar, severely jacking up his ankle in the fall. We bailed, leaving behind stuck tools in the ice where he fell, a two screw anchor, and our rope. In the moment, material items seemed irrelevant and we needed to get down as efficiently as possible, to heck with v-threads and 30m raps. I’m guessing the ice will soon spit out the tools & gear, or ice over and swallow them up until spring time. But if anyone is heading up that route and happens to pick up some of the gear and wants to return it, you would be handsomely rewarded with good karma and beverages of choice. Alternatively and preferably, I’d love to clean up the gear myself (and finish the route!) but my partner is out of commission for awhile. If anyone wants to get on the route, let me know and I’d gladly go. I have a pretty flexible schedule after this week and can make it work almost anytime over the next month. PM me or email djcbellows at gmail. Cheers, Dana
  18. Trip: Banks Lake - Devils Punch Bowl Date: 1/12/2014 Trip Report: Brian S and I chanced the warming temperatures and made the long drive from Seattle to Banks Lake Sunday 1/12. An early alarm clock had us at the Devils Punch Bowl pull out a little after 9AM. Temperature at the car said 38. One advantage to the warmer weather was the infamous deathcicles were pretty much completely gone. There was a nice pile of ice rubble far down by the lake showing the remnants of them. It must have been quite a show when they came down. Devils Punch Bowl was in good shape and we each took a turn leading it, once towards the left and once far on the right. Conditions were good, a little wet at the top but nothing to complain about. Easy walk off to the south. view from the car Brian leading up the left side We took a look at Trotsky’s Revenge which looked rotten at the top and threatened by lots of hangfire above it. Trotsky’s Folly was also quite wet, and the upper pillar was melted out at the exit. After Devils we drove further north to Electric Avenue and climbed a single pitch on Electric Ramble(?). It gets pretty overgrown towards the top so we rapped off a tree. It’s really short and brushy and probably not worth the 30 minute scramble up to it but not much else was in that we felt capable of leading. short & brushy For future reference, here’s a temperature graph showing the last week at the Blue Lake NOAA station. Ref: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=otx&sid=TBLUE&num=168&raw=0&dbn=m You can see it hadn’t gotten below freezing since early Friday AM. In retrospect this may have been a good thing since it eliminated the deathcicles at Devils. All in all a worthwhile day. We gambled with the forecast a little and were prepared for just a long day of driving but totally worth it in the end. Gear Notes: No worries about screw length at Devils, the ice is super thick. Approach Notes: Drive East! The access road to Electric Avenue was completely snow free. Apparently it isn't plowed so you have to walk in once the snow flies, but there wasn't a lick of snow anywhere. You potentially need a Discovery Pass for Electric Avenue as well.
  19. Trip: Index - Bridal Veil Falls Date: 2/8/2014 Trip Report: Bridal Veil Falls is IN! Jay A and I headed out to Index Saturday morning, not sure what we’d find and prepared to continue driving over the pass to Leavenworth. But Bridal Veil Falls was fully formed and relatively fat thanks to the record(?) cold weather in western Washington this week. Buyer beware with the warming temps this week though, when the curtain comes down it apparently does so in spectacular fashion: http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=857357 We started center/left on the falls up the first ice covered dihedral, climbing two long pitches to a huge tree on the left side. From there we moved the belay further up to a second series of falls which we climbed in a shorter two-tiered pitch. Continuing several hundred yards up the drainage (sans rope) we came a third larger section of ice with quite a bit of water in the center. We found a line up the left hand side, involving a little Cascade mixed climbing with a couple turf sticks. At the top of these falls we figured it’d be just as fast (and more enjoyable) to take off the rope and scramble up the frozen creek all the way to Lake Serene. We were able to stay on ice in the creek the whole way up, avoiding occasional holes to the water below and enjoying fun little bouldering problems on the way to the lake. Arrived at the lake ~3:00 to amazing wintery views of the north side of Index Peaks. Overall an amazing day! For future reference, here’s the 7 day temperature profile from the weather meter in Index, ~1000 feet lower than the base of the climb. http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=&sid=TINDX&num=168&raw=0&dbn=m Looking up the the base of the climb: Jay starting out on the first pitch: Further up the first pitch: Second set of falls, lower tier: Third set of falls: Continuing up the creek to Lake Serene: Cheese: Nice views to top out to: Considering it is visible from Highway 2 we were surprised not to see anyone else on the route. Go get it while you can! Gear Notes: We brought and used a dozen screws of various lengths. Approach Notes: No snow at all on the trail to the base, although that likely changed last night.
  20. Something Alpine Thurs/Fri (3/5-6)

    Check your email Lee.
  21. I'll pay it forward seeing as how I just had some gear retrieved by generous souls on Colfax. My regular partner is out for a bit so I'm looking for a partner next (next) weekend 3/14-15 to go up there and get as much stuff as we can find and also climb the route. Weather permitting, although this winter that's almost a sure bet. Bring your biggest back pack! PM me or email djcbellows at gmail. Dana
  22. The pac northwest climbing community is great. Many thanks for all the offers of help from strangers, the attempts, and the actual retrieval of gear. Alex & partner, Eric, Jon & Nate, Brandon, Stewart, Tim… you guys are awesome! Beers on me whenever our paths cross. In the spirit of paying it forward, I’ll volunteer next (next) weekend 3/14-15 to go on a gear retrieval mission up the Ice Cliff Glacier if I can get a partner. PM me or email djcbellows at gmail. http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1135315/Lost_Various_Gear_on_Mt_Stuart#Post1135315 Cheers, Dana
  23. Trip: Lennox Mountain - Goat Basin Ice Date: 12/7/2014 Trip Report: J Allen and I suffered up a 4 hour bushwhack and scramble to find some good ice in Goat Basin below Lennox Mountain on Sunday. We were able to climb a fun unnamed two pitch WI3 line to the right of the named lines from the WA State Ice book. Most of the named lines were thin and falling apart, but their potential looked amazing from the bluff across the lake. If it weren’t for the hideous approach this place would be money! For folks that have been up there later in the winter, how much does snow ease the approach? I’m still picking devils club thorns from my shins and palms. In the lower basin after crashing through trees & devils club: Starting up the boulder field: Awesome views from across the lake. I think Sno Sense is second from the left and Jokers & Prophets center right, then Khusia and Spilt Decision far right both starting at the bottom of the big V (???): Further right was the best looking ice in the basin, two pitches of WI3: My iphone mostly went in my pocket when we got down to business but I did manage to get an action pic on the second pitch: Unfortunately a late start and long approach only left us time for the single climb, then a thrash out in the dark. I second the book recommendation to bring a tent and spend some time up in the basin. So much ice potential! Approach Notes: Wait of more snow? Bring a machete?
  24. We climbed Alpental 2 and 3 on Saturday. Two was fun with delicate moves on thin ice in blocky terrain. Three was thicker and steeper but WET, especially the bottom part which had water spraying out of it. There were also parties on Alpental 1 and 4. Doubt any of it will survive the pineapple express heading our way. Alpental 2: Alpental 3: Sunday we found good ice in Goat Basin on Lennox. TR here: http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1132100