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Everything posted by bellows

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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?
  4. 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
  5. Excellent trip report. Thanks for the beta and the stoke!
  6. Snoqualmie Pass had climable ice this weekend. Practice Gully was a fun five pitch romp up easy ice with a few interesting steps: Alpental Falls was slightly more challenging with a good finish to the first pitch. It gets a lot of midday sun but temps were cold enough to keep it solid: Great early start to the season!
  7. Looking to get out on a two-day moderate alpine climb this coming weekend. Smoke, weather, and permits may play a factor, but early thoughts include East Ridge of Inspiration, Early Morning Spire, or the Torment-Forbidden Traverse. Also not opposed to Washington Pass or the Stuart Range if smoke isn’t an issue. Potentially leave Friday night, back late Sunday. I have gear & wheels, comfortably lead 5.9/5.10- alpine and not afraid of long approaches or long days. Let’s get after something! PM me or email (better) me: djcbellows at gmail
  8. Alpine Climbing Partner, July 26-27

    Partner found
  9. Trip: Cutthroat Peak - South Buttress (rope solo) Date: 7/13/2014 Trip Report: The South Buttress of Cutthroat makes a nice moderate rope solo objective for those so inclined. There is lots of 3rd/4th class ground that you can cover quickly sans rope, and when things are steeper and more exposed there are numerous trees and rap stations to anchor into. The cruxes are typically short and fun, with the bonus of getting to climb them all twice when you self belay. I took the lesser used right hand gully to get up to the buttress. It avoids a little snow in the left hand gully, plus I wanted to get a better overview of the route. Once on the buttress I rapped down to the typical starting notch, stacked my rope in my pack, tied one end to the existing anchor, prusiked onto the rope, then led up the first short 5.7 section to a tree anchor. Tied off the rope, rapped back down on a single strand, cleaned the pitch, and reclimbed it again using a prusik belay. Pulled the rope up, restacked it, and led off again. I repeated this process again and again, loosing track of pitch counts, trying vaguely to follow the supertopo route description but mainly following the path of least resistance. Early trepidation turned into an enjoyable zen concentration as the exposure intensified. One nice thing about rope soloing is you don’t need to worry about rope drag so it’s possible to string together pitches that you otherwise couldn’t. It wasn’t until I wiggled under the huge chockstone and scrambled to the nice belay ledge to start “pitch 9” where I actually recognized details from the supertopo description. From there it took me two rope lengths to reach the sandy saddle between the humps, then a couple more pitches to the top. I spent five hours on route, though it felt longer in the heat. Once I topped out I had seen enough of the south buttress after moving over it three times, so I rapped down the west ridge to see new terrain. Two raps off nice new chains took me to the flatter section of ridge, then some heady exposed class 2 scrambling along the ridge, then 3 raps off chains took me to the basin below. Total decent of the ridge took two hours, then an easy hike back to the car. Round trip ~10 hours, although with no one to talk to except mosquitos and marmots I didn’t dally much during the day and if I did it with a partner it’d probably take just as long if not longer. Cutthroat from the road in the early morning: Looking at the buttress from the top of the rap into the starting notch: Looking up after cleaning the dirty chimney crux pitch: Final off-width pitch to the summit: On top! Let me take a selfie: Cool perspective looking down on the Liberty Bell massif: Mt Goode: Black Peak: Gear Notes: I clove hitched a screamer into my rope when I was on lead to give me a softer catch if I fell. Not sure if there is a better way to do this, but I basically tied off the rope to the anchor, then took a little slack and added the screamer as a type of fuse. Approach Notes: Easy peasy.
  10. For the steeper crux pitches I used both the prusik and a clove, as you said the prusik to limit fall distance and the clove as a backup. The cruxes are short and the terrain pretty ledgy so without the prusik I was afraid I'd hit a ledge with the slack needed for cloves. Truth be told, I just used a single nylon cord prusik on the lower angle terrain. I had an overhand on a bight every 15 meters of rope stacked in my pack to theoretically limit the distance the prusik could slide. I was comfortable with the setup and associated risks. Royal Robbins wrote about the "Barnett System" in his Advanced Rockcraft book which is essentially a prusik with a pulley rigged to tend it. I fiddled with that on some of the middle pitches but found it more annoying than tending a prusik manually. It's fallen out of use due to the risk of melting or fusing the prusik on big falls but I'm comfortable with it in lower angle moderate climbing. YMMV.
  11. Does that mean you have a Silent Partner you're looking to unload? I've been tying in with a prusik but it tends to short rope me on lead. I'm curious how well the SP works.
  12. Thanks for the trip report and conditions update! It looks like the highway might have opened a bit too late for that route this year? If you haven't seen it, NOAA has continuous temperature data for sensors at Washington Pass where you can see the past seven day temperature graphs. Looks like Saturday was the best day out of the past seven, but the day time temps look like they've been too warm with highs near/at 50 at the pass all last week. Linky: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/getobext.php?wfo=otx&sid=WAP55&num=168&raw=0&dbn=m
  13. Local climber dies on Denali

    Sad news. They were blogging their climb here: http://fox-challenge.de/news/
  14. Trip: Dragontail Peak - Triple Couloirs Date: 4/19/2014 Trip Report: Jay and I had a rowdy single push climb up Triple Couloirs this weekend. The runnels appear to be pretty similar conditions to StephenW’s trip report one week earlier: http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1123076 A much harsher than expected wind and snow storm late in the day turned the climb into a full on party - climbing the second runnel pitch and second and third couloirs (plus the sporty transition) through spindrift, high winds, and snow whipping around from every direction. View of the runnels from the lake Looking up the entrance to the hidden couloir Heading up perfect snow in the hidden couloir under blue skies Looking up at the runnels. We ended up combining them in two long (60m+) pitches. I led the first runout pitch on good snice to a nice belay underneath the large rock in the center. Jay took the second pitch. He did a thin traverse left into a shallow icy gully, then continued it up a steeper narrow icy chimney. Midway through the pitch the weather turned for the worse and he got to fight the crux while getting pummeled by spindrift. At this point things slowed down dramatically as we fought the weather. Visibility turned to crap, winds picked up, and snow was blowing everywhere. Here's Jay in the thick of it following the 2nd to 3rd couloir transition. We ended up summitting at 9PM and slowly made our way back down to the car by dawn for a 26+ hour single push. Topped off by heading straight back to Seattle in time for Easter service with my wife and in-laws & Jay going straight to a family brunch. Good times! Overall we both thought this route deserves every superlative thrown its way, even with the inclement weather. It is amazing climbing in a crazy setting. Gear Notes: We brought 4 pickets, 4 shorter screws, 5 pins, nuts, and cams to 2". Used it all. We also brought avy gear which we were glad to have for the descent off the summit during the storm. Approach Notes: The road is still gated at Bridge Creek. We carried snowshoes to the lake but never used them. We actually hiked in our approach shoes all the way to the lake.
  15. The upper couloirs were definitely wild! The winds whipping around inside them made things pretty intense. Glad to know we weren't suffering the weather alone. What time did Jens and Vern top out? After the runnels we thought it'd be much wiser and possibly faster to "bail" upwards. We figured the spindrift would be exponentially worse to a dangerous degree lower down with everything emptying and funneling into the hidden couloir. Here's a few more photos, credit J Allen: Looking up the second runnel pitch after the thin traverse left Looking back at the belay from the same location. At this point I think I mentioned the flurries were adding nicely to the alpine flavor of this climb snow everywhere Topping out on the runnels, no longer thinking the weather was adding nicely to the alpine flavor
  16. Trip: Leavenworth - Clamshell Crag Date: 4/13/2014 Trip Report: An ordinary Sunday cragging in Leavenworth was made noteworthy by the company of a 91 year old dirtbag. Fred enjoying the sunshine: (photo credit D Palma) Working the crux on Noisy Oyster (5.7) with a healthy top rope belay: Shrimp Salad (5.7) UP ROPE! Mac wishing he had opposable thumbs so he could climb too. In dog years he’s over half a millennium younger than Fred. Group photo at the end of the day (photo credit Robert M) It was truly a treat to be able to spend the day with such an inspiring man. Approach Notes: Ticks weren’t an issue. Even Mac escaped the day without getting any on him.
  17. Is there a story with Fred and pickles? When we picked him up he kept talking about a big bag of candy he had in his rucksack. He mentioned the bag of candy again when we got to the trailhead. He finally pulled it out when we got to Clamshell... and it was just a huge bag of raisins! Wtf, worst candy ever, and I thought my grandmother's butterscotch was bad!
  18. Snow/Ice Gear and Bike Handlebars

    PM sent on snow/ice gear.
  19. Trip: The Tooth - Northeast Slab Date: 3/15/2014 Trip Report: Jay and I found decent conditions on a nice climb up the Northeast Slab on Saturday. The route was varied and fun, including some steep snow, a bit of water ice, thin snice, and some mixed climbing along the ridge to the summit. Comparing it to previous trip reports I’d guess the route is in relatively good shape right now and should stay that way for a little while longer. Das Toof! Jay starting up the first pitch. This pitch had the steepest climbing on the route, and thankfully the best ice also. The full 60m pitch finished at a big belay cave with fixed gear in the rock on the right. Looking down the second pitch. This pitch started by traversing steep snow, then heading up a snow fluting which ended with 25’ or so of thin sketchy snice covering slabby rock to some scrubby trees, monkeying through the trees, then ending at a bomber tree belay further up (~50m). A couple pickets down low and two marginal screws protected the climbing, but I’m pretty sure marginal pro is typical for this pitch. The third pitch climbed a short bit of snow then some mixed climbing up and along the ridge (50m). Looking up the ridge, once we got there we climbed 4 pitches to the summit, including a few spots of awkward fifth class moves in crampons. Rapping down the South Face ended up being its own adventure with stuck ropes (twice!) ending with us finishing the descent and hiking out with headlamps. Overall a great day in the mountains! Gear Notes: We brought the kitchen sink: 4 pickets, 6 stubby screws, half set of nuts, several small cams, and a couple pins. We used everything but the pins. Also carried avy gear and a second skinny rope. Approach Notes: Used snowshoes up & down
  20. Seattle Pubclub

    As a long time lurker but fairly new contributor, I'll plan on being there and meeting some of you folks! Free tee shirts you say? I'm a large.
  21. Usage at CC.com in decline

    I care! I enjoy wasting time at work by reading trip reports by folks on this site, from gnarly Alaska first winter ascents to exotic Oman climbing to just another run-of-the mill trip up the Tooth. It gives me inspiration for new climbs, or good beta for old climbs. The catalog of trip reports on this site is amazing.
  22. [TR] Index - Bridal Veil Falls 2/8/2014

    Hah, yes, we laughed once we hit Lake Serene that the ultimate link-up would be to continue up the NF of North Peak or one of the gnarly couloirs between the peaks.
  23. [TR] Chair peak - Northeast Face 1/26/2014

    Nice work! I was in the party of two below you on the North Face proper yesterday. I like your pics, we were curious what your line looked like. Notes of the NF (with apologies to OP for the thread drift) - the bergschrund is wide open, we pitched out a crusty snow traverse above it to get to the normal starting belay - the hard rain crust made the approach and hike out pretty cruiser with crampons - we brought 4 pickets and 6 shorter screws and used it all, two pickets were used for the belay on top of the first ice step and two more were nice to have for the runout pitch to the trees - it was my second time on the route (last time 2 years ago) and I thought there was much more ice this time around And sorry about your lost screw. With the hard snow conditions I'm guessing it slid quite far! On the traverse under your line it almost felt like if we slipped we'd end up all the way down at Snow Lake.
  24. Rock Pro and Aid Gear

    PM'd you
  25. LS Baruntse Size 44 - SOLD

    I'm interested. PM'd you rother.