Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by bellows

  1. 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. 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: 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.
  2. 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: long
  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
  4. [TR] Mix Up Peak - East Face 07/22/2019

    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.
  5. Nice work. Your video commentary is surprisingly upbeat for being stuck in the gully without a rope! Attitude is everything.
  6. Ptarmigan Traverse conditions

    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.
  7. Unique report Jeff! Good stuff
  8. Woah, those stats don’t do your trip justice. That’s a crazy amount of terrain to cover in a single push! Nice job, way to inspire.
  9. Good stuff! That area is my favorite in the Olympics. I agree, the standard scramble up Clark is quite nice. Heather and Deception basins (Mt Mystery!) are well worth a return trip. I'm working my way through the Smoot book too. To copy the Bulger lingo, I'm at 90/100. I need to start signing non-Bulger summit registers that way to confuse folks...
  10. What hapened with the site?

    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.
  11. 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: Foreshortened view of Buckhorn(s) and Iron from the Big Q trail: Marmot Pass: Buckhorn from Marmot Pass. The main peak is an easy walkup on trail: Constance, Warrior, and Inner Constance from Buckhorn trail: Mystery, Fricaba, and Deception from Buckhorn trail: 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. 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. Choss lovers delight: Easy slopes up to Worthington: Looking back on the traverse from Worthington. Iron Mountain is middle left, NE Buckhorn middle right, and Buckhorn proper on the right. Big Q Valley from Worthington: 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: That'll do summer 2018, that'll do... Gear Notes: Helmet! Approach Notes: Nice trail
  12. Ah, I can actually see it in one of your pics. Good stuff!
  13. [TR] Lundin - Southeast Ridge 11/17/2018

    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.
  14. Cool! Curious, what’s your lead solo set up?
  15. Old Kloke Book "One Day Winter Climbs"

    Awesome, thanks Jason
  16. Old Kloke Book "One Day Winter Climbs"

    Hey Jason, any chance I can get a pdf sent my way too?
  17. [TR] Johannesburg - NE Rib 1957 10/13/2018

    Awesome, proud climb for the shoulder season.
  18. Very cool! Thanks for writing it up. Looks like a fun adventure and great way to salvage a day if the north side routes look iffy.
  19. Wow, fantastic trip report. I always find it interesting how quickly the "get me the f*ck off this mountain" moments seem to change a few days later at the office to "get me the f*ck on that mountain" thoughts.
  20. Colfax Ice - Oct 6 2018

    Cool, thanks for the early season stoke! How was the West Ridge? I don't think it is in the Beckey or Alpine Select guides and I've never heard anything about it before. You should write up a TR.
  21. Nice trip report and pics. I love that climb! The summit picture is a classic, so much so that it's the cover of Nelson's Selected Climbs vol 1.
  22. Jim Rothwell

    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.
  23. Trip: Mt Thompson - West Ridge Trip Date: 12/09/2017 Trip Report: Jake and I took advantage of the high pressure and big inversion to climb Mt Thompson over the weekend. We hiked in Friday night and camped on a flat spot on the ridge below Kendall Peak and before the Katwalk. Hiking up in the dark was easy, with the bonus of shortening up the long winter night sleep. We arose at dawn and made our way along the surprisingly easy to follow PCT. Snowed over Kendall Katwalk: First view of Thompson: From Bumblebee Pass: The route was mostly dry, although moves on the north side of the ridge had some snow/ice on them. The very first move of the entire route perplexed us for a bit as we debated on boots/gloves vs crampons/tools. In the end Jake led it with the steel assist while I gingerly followed without: The next three pitches were quite good on warm rock with a bit of snow/ice on ledges and in cracks. Spring like climbing in December! The easy pitch from the false summit to the summit is on the north side and was full on winter conditions and added nicely to the climb: Views for days on top: Two raps and some slogging back had us drinking whiskey at the tent by 9PM. Easy hike out Sunday morning. The inversion layer was startling, especially with how defined the temperature line was. ~5000' temps dropped 10-15 degrees over the course of a few steps. Gear Notes: tools & crampons, snowshoes for the approach Approach Notes: PCT
  24. New forum software!

    What is the effect between the new site and google indexing? Search results on google aren't showing a ton of content from cc.com.