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Everything posted by bellows

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. Snow/Ice Gear and Bike Handlebars

    PM sent on snow/ice gear.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. [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.
  10. [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.
  11. Rock Pro and Aid Gear

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

    I'm interested. PM'd you rother.
  13. Trip: South Early Winters Spire - Southwest Couloir Date: 11/15/2012 Trip Report: Not enough November trip reports! I had an opportunity to sneak in a solo outing up SEWS yesterday afternoon after working the morning. Left the Blue Lake trailhead ~1:30PM and hiked up the summer trail in 6 to 8 inches of snow which got up to maybe a foot deep by the time I got to the bottom of the southwest couloir. The view from the first avy clearing on the summer trail. The giant chockstone almost turned me around but I managed to awkwardly get by it on the left side. I rapped over it on the way down. The white line in this photo was just powdery snow that disintegrated when I floundered up to it. Conditions were variable above the chockstone, with deep snow & avy debris down low and about 30 feet of alpine ice at the first constriction just above the split. This section was a lot of fun and I happily used both my tools on it. Waning daylight and falling spindrift added to the alpine feel. It was too short though. Topped out at 4:30 and made my way down pretty quickly. I would have liked to rap the short section of ice but a slabby traverse over to the rap station on skier's left seemed sketchier than careful downclimbing. Above the chockstone looking up the couloir. Pulled out my headlamp and hiked back to the car by 6:30. Gear Notes: Two tools and crampons & a rope for rappels Approach Notes: 12" of snow on talus is annoying
  14. Good meeting you on the NBC Shaun! 6 hours car to car is flying on that thing, well done. Thanks for the photos. -Dana
  15. Trip: Rainier - Kautz Glacier Date: 7/31/2011 Trip Report: Climbed the Kautz Glacier Saturday/Sunday. We bivied Saturday night on dry ground at 10800'. Woke up to high winds at 4AM and went back to bed. Got going a little later and tentatively moved ahead with an eye on the winds and visibility prepared to bail. Traversed with a short downclimb through the notch at 11200' to avoid Camp Hazard hazards. Minimal ice on the route, maybe 20' worth on the lower pitch which we simul-soloed. Still snow on the upper pitch. At the top of the second pitch we we roped up as the skies started to clear. Crevasses on the upper Nisqually were not trivial. Pretty intense winds at the crater rim. Carried over and enjoyed a quick stress free descent down the DC bootpack. Great weekend on Rainier! looking at the route from above camp on saturday easy work with a second tool large crevasses on the upper Nisqually gps log of route Gear Notes: Brought screws but didn't use. A second tool was nice but not necessary.
  16. Kautz

    A second tool was nice for the little ice showing through on the first pitch but probably wasn't worth the weight of carrying it up there. 1,000 words from this weekend:
  17. Petzl Quark- Ice Tools

    PM'd ya

    PM sent on all 8 trango cams.