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keenwesh

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Everything posted by keenwesh

  1. Current Snow Levels?

    Did a couple runs out of the Fall creek trailhead in Capitol forest. One was in heinous rain that became grauple that became sleet and freezing wet nasty. I had fun, my buddy endured and had some fun too, I think. Didn't realize there was such good empty singletrack up there! Much shorter commute and the trees are big enough to be pretty, even though they don't compare to oldgrowth.
  2. Current Snow Levels?

    Anyone know where the snow starts? Was thinking about running up the Hoh valley next week and curious where the postholing will start. Snotel shows lots of snow at 4k, but can't find anything lower, and the NPS doesn't seem to answer their phones this time of year (don't blame them, only morons would be trail running in a rainforest right now). Any other ideas for a good marathon to 50k distance that's snow free within a few hours of Olympia?
  3. Concerning snow pack

    If there's a layer that's a moisture barrier buried within the snowpack, such as a raincrust, and the weather is clear with big temp fluctuations between night and day facets can develop on the crust where the moisture gets stuck and can't move through the snowpack. That's generally an early spring continental snowpack thing though. Dry air draws moisture up out of the snow. Happened within 48 hours of some buddies skiing the skillet on Moran. Was not psyched to discover an extremely reactive death slab after skinning 8 flat miles across the lake in the dark, but the choice was clear. Made 1500 ft of lazy turns back to the lake, and turned our feet into hamburger slogging right back to the car while sledneckers ripped past us at 60 mph.
  4. Current Snow Levels?

    Can't wait to run on pavement to jump the fence and poach some track workouts, all in a torrential downpour. At least I won't have to wear microspikes. You have any chickenshit that needs rototilling, Off? I haven't asked, but I'm sure Eamon is game to join!
  5. Concerning snow pack

    To add to what Curt said, even slopes that have slid on the weak layer can be repeaters, in that the weak layer gets buried again after a slide, and continues to be dangerous. Hopefully thats less of an issue as the weak layer is so thin. Just make sure to check first and not get lulled into a false sense of security. Bummer that the snowpack sucks this year, but at least it's the first time it has happened in eons. Living in the rockies seems like every October we get a foot or so that becomes sugary garbage and hoses any chance for solid stability for the rest of the season. The old nothing is going to rip but if it does the entire snowpack slides and everyone dies scenario. Stay safe out there! Skiing is tight, dying is not.
  6. Current Snow Levels?

    Bottomless mud is more likely the major concern.
  7. question Grivel The Tech Machine Carbon - shaft delamination

    Those tools do that. Mine have chunks of the carbon missing. Not really sure why they were wrapped in the first place as the layer is so thin. My guess is something about “dampening the swing” and insulation, although the hands still get cold grabbing anything. Oh, and it makes them look sick. When end they get really smashed up think about buying a new set, but yer not gonna die. The strength comes from the aluminum shaft.
  8. I am tired of buying new lowers for BD expedition poles and bending/snapping them off multiple times a season. I'm tall, semi-uncordinated, and weigh 200 lbs, so I break a lot of gear. Big people out there, have you found a set of adjustable 2 piece poles that don't snap immediately?
  9. question Looking for durable ski poles

    I got some panda poles that are super burley and came without straps, saving the hassle of cutting them off. There's some kind of warranty involved, so if I somehow destroy them it shouldn't be a problem. Not light, but should function great for everything besides big mountain skimo shredding. Cone shaped baskets don't grab the trees nearly as much as conventional. Happy so far. They're poley poles. https://www.pandapoles.com/products/panda-pole
  10. Falling with skis A-framed

    Might be better to not blow it on steep snow, regardless of what's on your back. You're talking about playing a zero sum game. In all my time climbing couloirs and snow, with and without skis on my back, I have not fallen. Steep snow is pretty dang easy to climb, especially in ski boots with crampons. Don't break yourself or your gear. Learn how to walk. If it's fucked up enough that you could fall you can be sure you won't be able to self arrest.
  11. Skis for Denali

    I wore baruntses to summit denali and ended up with silver dollar sized blood blisters under each big toe, those boots are shit. Heavy and clunky. I would recommend a boot that's a little more technically oriented, such as the phantom 6000 or whatever the comparable la sportiva boot is now, SM G2? Don't neglect the fit. Heading up a second time in ski boots (normal sized) was a massive relief for my feet. I size up my doubles a little bit as generally feet end up swelling on long pushes where you've got everything cranked down tight to be able to climb hard. This is not the West Buttress. You could most likely make it up that terrain in sorrells with microspikes. If you don't size your ski boots overly tight, and feel comfortable huffing and puffing up a black ski run in a reasonable amount of time you will be fine.
  12. Need ice tool suggestions for harder routes

    I switch off between using north machines and nomics. Both are good, and will get you up any pitch you’re likely to find in the mountains. Start climbing ice, do some mixed, figure out what works for you. A set of nomics to start will most likely let you feel comfortable on the harder terrain, and once your skills are enough that the tool at your disposal doesn’t matter you’ll know what you want to climb with. There is no one right piece of gear.
  13. Skis for Denali

    Nothing compares to BN pow runs at 15k in June. Glad to share the stoke! There’s snow in the hills!
  14. Skis for Denali

    If you have bad weather it’s really nice to take a real ski setup. As long as the boots are comfortable enough and you pair them with over boots wearing them to the summit is completely reasonable. I really don’t like 404s for anything other than short flat approaches, they’re heavy, clunky, skiing in mountain boots is terrible, and most of all, it’s less comfortable than a real setup. There isn’t anything technical enough on the west buttress to merit double alpine boots, the majority is easily skiable terrain. If you’ve got the background I highly suggest going with the intent to ski the upper mountain. I skied the orient and it was the end of my first season on skis since I was a child. A far better day than summitting via the buttress, there’s just nothing like making jump turns at 18000 ft, sucking wind, in the biggest couloir you’ve ever seen. Plus, the skiing above 14 camp can be downright balmy...
  15. Skis for Denali

    What month? Any interest in skiing the upper mountain? I'd suggest something a little shorter in the 80-95 waist. Still light, and easier to manage when you factor in the sled getting down. Race bindings are nice and light, but pricey. More releasable and cheaper normal tech bindings will work, but are not nearly as light. On that type of terrain I lock them out and ski like I can't fall, because I can't. If you're not skiing them every day and only pulling them out for a trip like this or rainier I'd go for the race bindings. So sleek, so fast. As far as boots, try on a lot. If scarpa fits your foot start there. Lots of great options. Go to a ski shop! Enjoy the shopping experience, and practice those jump turns this winter, skiing the upper mountain is pretty dang wild. Highly recommend bringing the skis to 14.
  16. Using Crossfit for training

    It's a good icing on the cake activity, but not as a base. A lot of the gyms don't emphasize the importance of movement and form, which leads to injuries. Crossfit is really fun, but in general something to be wary of. You better be running a lot in addition to throwing the weights around, with a preference towards running if your time is limited. My most successful alpine seasons have been after winters spent ski touring and trail running 5-6 days a week, with minimal ice climbing or gym time (goes to show that most ice climbing isn't that hard). Strength training was sprinkled in there too, mostly to prevent injury and correct muscle imbalances that develop when you don't do full ROM activities all the time. I can tell you're very new and psyched brandon, get out there, develop your mountain skills, moving across uneven ground such as talus or snow. That's far more important than any strength considerations you might have at this point. I've started trail running over the last few years, and so many people in that demographic don't know how to move quickly across a talus field or confidently and smoothly ascend or descend a snowslope in running shoes. It takes practice and exposure. Enjoy the path, who knows where you'll end up.
  17. question Looking for durable ski poles

    I don't use ski poles in the summer, because I'd snap 'em. Got some fancy running poles that actually hold up quite well. A little hesitant to go CF, as generally they don't bend, they just snap catastrophically. To further establish myself as a destroyer: I'm the only person the Scarpa NA reps have ever seen who broke the shank on a pair of 6000's. I've loosened the head of (not exaggerating) 10 nomics. I broke the canting bolt clean off a pair of LS ski boots. Don't buy used hardgoods from me.
  18. Goode Glacier Conditions?

    A year ago, almost to the day, I was able to get across on some snow blocks that had fallen and closed the gap. No rope or ax required. If you’re bringing both of those things you’ll be able to figure out a way across. It’s not that massive.
  19. Speed records in Washington

    This last August I found myself in Washington without any reliable partners and ended up doing several car to car climbs by myself. I kept time, because it was fun to see my splits for sections of routes and also the total time it took me to cover all the ground. I'm sure my times were not even close to the records (I can't really run, something about being 6 foot 6 and having healthy knees) but I was wondering what the fastest times are. Here's the list that I'm specifically interested in, but if you've climbed something else pretty dang fast post up, cause there's a hell of a lot more routes out there than this (very) small handful. Serpentine arete on Dragontail Backbone Ridge on Dragontail (haven't done it yet, but it's on the short list) North Ridge of Mt. Stuart, from the Tenaway trailhead (or is it technically called something along the lines of Esmerelda peaks?) Mt. Olympus
  20. Mount Baker Speed Record

    The new guard has some pretty cool stories too, and frequently make new ones. Their company tends to be less redundant.
  21. How do people choose glaciers for unroped travel?

    Experience and complacency. I didn’t rope up once on Denali, despite the obvious dangers. I told myself it was fine because I was on skis, and moving behind/through parties on snowshoes. It was fine, but I’d think twice about doing it again. There’s not really any hard and fast rule. I’ve run below seracs unroped but with a line pre rigged, so that when one of us punched through to the waist they could throw the line to the other as they ran past. Again, not really the best technique, worked out fine, allowed us to move really fast through the worst spot, but I wouldn’t really recommend it as an actual method. Get out out in the mountains, be cautious, and really think about what you’re doing as you gain more confidence. Certainly not every glacier travel scenario requires a rope, but where that line is drawn can change for everyone.
  22. Slesse Conditions 2018

    Me and two of my buddies were almost taken out by a falling single car garage sized mushroom on the french route of Begguya that went at the coldest part of the night, dropped 100 ft right of us. 10 minutes later another released, fortunately it was small and broke up before washing over us. We bailed. When the sun hit nothing else came off, and there was so much hangfire up there. The biggest serac release I've ever seen went off a few hours after sun left the face. Swept 3/4 of a mile with a 10 foot high wall on the leading edge. We crossed it 24 hours later, and belayed completely in the firing line for over an hour. Sure, maybe it's less likely to go in the middle of the night, but why? Slesse is such a mellow climb once the glacier goes, dance with death when it's unavoidable. Seracs cannot be reliably predicted, no matter what you and your undeveloped prefrontal cortex might think.
  23. Slesse Conditions 2018

    The idea that the glacier is somehow stable at night is ludicrous. Do what you're going to do, take risks, but recognize that if you cross on top of or under that thing, any time of day, you are sticking your neck way way way out there.
  24. 3 O'Clock Rock rock fall

    Whether you want to or not you just earned membership in Team Danger! Climbing a route that obviously just fell down is worth 50 points, the same amount that you get for continuing to solo a route you decide you want to not be soloing anymore. Keep track of your points! You might be racking them up quickly.
  25. Guiding in the PNW

    Several guide services are flying out all their shit on Denali, and have been for the last two seasons, at this point it may be all of them.
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