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Posts posted by bellows

  1. Trip: Mt Logan - Fremont Glacier

    Trip Date: 08/04/2019

    Trip Report:

    "Did you go far..." a gray haired lady happily chirped at us, 100 feet from the parking lot. 


    "Yeah..." John and I muttered back at her in unison, giving her the shortest answer possible, not breaking stride as we trudged past.  


    We weren't trying to be rude, but our minds were focused on the truck, cold drinks, clean clothes, and comfortable shoes.  The longer answer is that we climbed Mt Logan over three days via the Thunder Creek valley and the Fremont glacier.  And yeah, it was far, clocking in around ~46 miles total.


    Thankfully much of that is on trail, ~18 miles to Thunder Basin Camp on Saturday.  Temps were cool enough and with enough shade that the hike in was relatively pleasant.  John and I had each been up the trail on independent solo attempts in the past couple years.


    Sunday we were moving my 8AM, up towards Park Creek Pass then the long traverse across alp slopes towards the Fremont Glacier.  We lost the climbers trail several times, but it was never critical.  Just keep traversing.


    A tough aspect of Logan is you never really see the summit until you’re on top of it.   



    The snow feature to access the scramble is melted back quite a bit, but not overly concerning.  We lugged a rope which was nice to have for peace of mind, but not a critical piece of gear.  The backside was more exposed than I expected, but is well cairned and stays mostly 3rd class unless you get off route.




    Views were worth it!  Seems like you can see EVERYTHING from up there.



    Monday was a long hike out on sore feet.  Sorry to the nice lady trying to say hi...

    Gear Notes:
    nothing unusual

    Approach Notes:
    • Rawk on! 4

  2. The register went back to 1992.  I saw your name in there.  Simpler times... before wife & kids?  I thought it was a fantastic climb and very worthy of a repeat.  It's an easy approach, pretty mellow climbing, and the east face stairs are total type 1 fun.

  3. Trip: Mix Up Peak - East Face

    Trip Date: 07/22/2019

    Trip Report:

    The weather was too nice on Monday to spend it working for the man, so I ditched work and headed out to the alpine.  The east face of Mix Up is a fun moderate climb with a couple pitches of low fifth and some of the best 3rd class scrambling I’ve ever seen.  Good times!

    Views from Cascade Pass and Mix Up arm.



    First view of Mix Up East Face.  Go through the lefthand U notch and circle around back to the righthand V notch.  The moat was fine on the left.


    I self belayed a short low fifth class 10m pitch directly up from the V notch to a rap anchor, then scrambled up to the top of the east face shoulder.  Surprisingly I ran into a party of 4 out-of-staters climbing the route right before the infamous white staircase.  The staircase looks intimidating from afar, but the rock is clean, grippy, and FUN!  And mostly only 3rd class despite the exposure down to the Cache Glacier.



    A final low fifth class 20m pitch at the top brought me just right of the summit.  The summit register was a fun read and I spent some time snacking, enjoying the views, and chatting with the other 4 climbers as they made their way up.  One of them “Ram” was making his fifth ascent of the peak.  Fred Beckey June 25th, 2006, age 83!



    Two raps off the summit block and two raps down to the V notch got me off the technical terrain and a nice walk back to the truck ~10 hours after leaving.  Overall a very worthwhile climb, I can understand why Ram was making his fifth trip up there.

    Gear Notes:
    60m rope and light rack to 2" worked well

    Approach Notes:
    Easy peasy
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  4. FWIW, here’s a pic of Spider, Formidable, and the Middle Cascade Glacier from Mix Up peak yesterday. The Cache glacier was also in good shape. Not sure beyond that, but there were several parties headed out on the traverse.


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  5. I really hope this can be fixed.  There are TONS of trip reports prior to the site change where the photos no longer show up, including ones where the pics were hosted in the cc.com gallery.  I know it can't be fixed for non-existent sites, but if the photos were on cc.com then hopefully it can get corrected.

  6. Trip: Buckhorn Mountain - High Traverse

    Trip Date: 11/18/2018

    Trip Report:

    Sunday was summer-like t-shirt weather in the Olympics!  I took advantage and did a high traverse over Buckhorn, NE Buckhorn, Iron, and Worthington from the Big Quilcene valley.  The views were incredible and the terrain was engaging albeit a bit chossy.  Surprisingly, despite the traverse being well above 6000' elevation, there was zero snow on the entire thing.  The difference between the Olympics and Cascades right now is significant. 

    Approximate route:5bf5bf1e17307_BuckhornTraverse.thumb.PNG.3d14b8b42797cc0c25f91dded83441d0.PNG


    Foreshortened view of Buckhorn(s) and Iron from the Big Q trail:IMG_1872.thumb.JPG.fddec5797b77f3801c1119bc76d4f9b1.JPG


    Marmot Pass:IMG_1876.thumb.JPG.ea99ffce56aea801d2adbbd21943bc66.JPG


    Buckhorn from Marmot Pass.  The main peak is an easy walkup on trail:IMG_1880.thumb.JPG.52d59c972447fae9fa5ae49cc8a61f12.JPG


    Constance, Warrior, and Inner Constance from Buckhorn trail:IMG_1882.thumb.JPG.5f307553e10a30aa2b66ffb9838ca79e.JPG


    Mystery, Fricaba, and Deception from Buckhorn trail:IMG_1883.thumb.JPG.462842b24efeb3a9712ed1d14889206b.JPG


    View of the traverse from the top of Buckhorn.  NE peak in the middle, Worthington on the left.  Iron is hidden behind the NE peak.IMG_1885.thumb.JPG.5b5c1a2edb5847fd0900d0d1880db758.JPG


    The descent off NE Peak (pictured here) was easily the crux.  In general, stay on the east side and pick your way down various chimney/groove/ledge systems.  It's never more than 4th class, but a rope could be useful here. IMG_1905.thumb.JPG.52d1edb21382ae04857ca2458e9cf6b3.JPG


    Choss lovers delight:IMG_1902.thumb.JPG.a8c7747cf7d0be2af220ecc52e55eba5.JPG


    Easy slopes up to Worthington:IMG_1910.thumb.JPG.88c65f83522764727883ed988896760c.JPG


    Looking back on the traverse from Worthington.  Iron Mountain is middle left, NE Buckhorn middle right, and Buckhorn proper on the right.IMG_1912.thumb.JPG.93e531a427d12983348ce99b0f335d95.JPG


    Big Q Valley from Worthington:IMG_1916.thumb.JPG.0671f00451d1915f0adbe20af1a573b7.JPG


    After tagging Worthington I dropped down on the east side and traversed below cliffs back to ~4800' on the Big Q trail to avoid any bushwhacking.  A staged bike and a continuation over Hawk, Welch and all the way to Townsend (pictured here) would be a great alternative exit:IMG_1918.thumb.JPG.a2748d385a4c778571e4da8a9640e9ea.JPG


    That'll do summer 2018, that'll do...

    Gear Notes:

    Approach Notes:
    Nice trail
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  7. Looks wintery! I’m amazed at the snow level difference between the Cascades and the Olympics right now. I was on & around Buckhorn on Sunday, almost a thousand feet higher than Lundin, and was in a t-shirt all day and didn’t come close to stepping on any snow. Maybe it’s the rain shadow, but what a difference.

  8. I'm grieving.  Jim was a friend of mine.  He was one of the nicest, funniest, and genuine guys I've ever known.  I never heard anyone say a bad word about him and I never heard him say a bad word about someone else.  That seems rare nowadays, and is a testament to what a good guy he was.  And it was infectious.  He was full of positive energy and rubbed off on anyone who came in contact with him.  I'm a better person for having known him.

    I don't think he posted on here, but he's shown up in an occasional trip report or two.  He's the "Jim" in the Dark-Bonanza-Martin traverse last summer.  Second to last picture, guy on the left:

    There's a service on Saturday 8/11 from 2-5PM at the Edline-Yahn & Covington Funeral Chapel in Kent.

    Stay safe out there.  This is hard to stomach.

  9. Trip: Monte Cristo Area - Columbia, Kyes, Monte Cristo & Cadet Peaks

    Trip Date: 07/21/2018

    Trip Report:

    Last Friday evening and Saturday I explored the Monte Cristo area by connecting four of the major peaks in a big full value alpine loop.5b5aa41e85761_MonteCristo.thumb.PNG.d42d03e61acb30d52766dbf7b7ee22ed.PNG


    I left the office early afternoon on Friday and found myself biking the old Monte Cristo road around typical quitting time.  First view of Columbia set my spirits sailing:



    Couple hours later below the upper mountain:



    I made quick work of the scramble up Columbia and scouted Saturday's peaks.  I wasn't sure if Kyes was going to be on the itinerary tomorrow, but the 5400' west face snow ramp was mostly connected and it all looked like it would go.  Better yet, it looked as though their would be a snow traverse to Monte Cristo Peak high on the west side of Kyes:



    After descending down to 6000' on the west shoulder of Columbia I settled into my bivy for the night:



    I was up and moving across the 76 glacier towards Wilmans Pass and then Monte Cristo Pass early on Saturday morning.  Looking down the Columbia glacier and Blanca Lake from Monte Cristo Pass:



    I descended to the glacier and on towards a large right facing gully and made my way up to the South Ridge of Kyes.  Cresting the ridge gave this view of Kyes summit:



    Class 3 scramble on the left got me to the top. View towards the next course, Monte Cristo Peak:IMG_9969.thumb.JPG.c0b2be34537daa5f8a270fb6bc94c1fa.JPG


    I descended the Kyes summit block back to the south ridge and found a short cliff leading down to the west face snow slopes.  Two loose 15m raps got me over the cliff and traversing the steep snow of the west face, eventually leading to some rock scrambling and finally to the Kyes/MC col and then the north side of Monte Cristo Peak.  From there I found the short fifth class pitch leading to class 3 scrambling above.  A large moat blocked access to the rock, but the moat had caved in ~100' north of the rock pitch and I was able to scramble down in the moat and get to the rock pitch, now an extra 20' tall out of the icy hole.  I self belayed the short fifth class pitch:



    And scrambled to the top.  Immediately looking forward to my next peak, Cadet:



    Another couple raps and I was back on the snowy north face of MCP.  Traverse to the north col, descend towards Glacier Basin.  At ~EL 5800 I started a hard traverse towards the south face of Cadet.  A perfect goat path led me across the bottom of the face where I eventually picked up the climbers trail to the top.  The first trail of any kind I'd seen since Friday evening on the way to Columbia.  Up the trail to the summit of Cadet, then reversing the trail down and into Glacier Basin with a view back up towards Monte Cristo Peak:



    Finally hustling back to the ghost town, my bike, and my truck, my home, and my family.  Passing this on the way out.  James Kyes was an interesting man.  His memorial deserves some maintenance:



    The Monte Cristo area is a great compact alpine playground!

    Gear Notes:
    30m rope, a couple pieces for Monte Cristo Peak

    Approach Notes:
    Bike the Old Monte Cristo road with the log crossing. I took the new old Wagon Road on the way out and it just adds extra mileage and worse, extra elevation gain.
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