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Posts posted by JZickler

  1. Trip: Mt. Stuart - Gorillas in the Mist


    Date: 7/7/2012


    Trip Report:

    Scott Coldiron and I took advantage of the splitter weather this weekend and climbed this gem up the impressive West Wall of Mt. Stuart. We raced out of Spokane Friday evening after work and arrived at the trailhead around 11 pm. The parking lot was packed – not surprising given the great weather on a weekend following a holiday. After situating gear, we rolled out our sleeping bags in the parking lot and racked out for a few hours of sleep. Of course, I woke up 10 minutes before my calculator watch alarm chirped. After a quick breakfast of Dave’s Killer Bread, peanut butter and lukewarm coffee from the night before we hit the trail. We maintained a casual pace up to the trail and gained the pass just after daybreak and got our first glance of the route up the shady NW aspect. There’s still a tremendous amount of well-consolidated Spring snow in the Stuart Range making travel fast, easy and reasonable to do in lightweight approach or tennis shoes if you don’t mind slightly soggy feet at the end of the day. We made Stuart Pass at 7:30 and dropped down to the snowfield where our line was immediately visible. We scrambled up to the small ledge that marks the base of the route and flaked the rope and racked up. I took P1, the crux, up the splitter hand crack. The climbing was pretty cruiser until the last couple of awkward moves pulling on to the first big ledge. I set up the belay on a large ledge to the right of the “hanging corners” at the base of P2 and Scott quickly followed. From then on we switched leads, chatting about how fun and varied the climbing was when we met at each belay station. Blake provided some beta in the days prior that made route finding easy. This wall is highly featured and complex and having a route overlay with pitch descriptions was very helpful (thanks again Blake). By P8 the wall was in full sun and it began to get uncomfortably warm. Had we been a bit quicker we would have been rapping just as the sun hit. We hit the West Ridge and poked around looking signs of a rappel station with no luck so we built our own directly in line with where I thought the route began. On the second to last rap I slightly miscalculated where the ends would touch down and I was forced to hike the rope to where I could kick off the wall and swing over to a small tree I slung and redirected the ropes so Scott wouldn’t end up in the same position. Ascending the rope was the last thing I wanted to do after a long day. That said, ***DO NOT FOLLOW THE RAP LINE THAT STARTS WITH BLUE 6MM Cord!!!*** I promise it will ruin your day. The route description below is not mine – it’s copied directly from Mountain Project. It’s tits accurate.


    P1 - 5.10+ or 5.11- Locate obvious hand and finger crack/splitter. A small ledge exists, maybe 15-25 feet above the snow or talus. Follow splitter to ledge, mantle, move right up yellow corner/chimney, and belay.

    P2 - 5.9 Move left, up hanging corner, around an arete, up another hanging corner, left around another arete, and hand traverse left to bolted belay ledge.

    p3 - 5.10+ Climb face holds up and left to 4" crack and slung flake/horn near large orange roofs. Follow diagonal cracks up and right to the continuation of the big corner. Might be easier in 2 pitches.

    P4 - 5.10- Head up and slightly left, past Yosemite-style V-slot and finger cracks/stemming features.

    p5 - 5.10 Up and Right on obvious features, past small tree, to belay on long, narrow ledge.

    p6 - 5th - Move the belay rightward, well past a large detached flake. It may give the impression that the W. Ridge or top of the wall are very near. It's not.

    p7 - climb up and right, mostly easy, with one 5.8ish spot 25' off the ledge. You want to get into a clean, grey, v-slot, chimney/gulley/groove.

    p8 -5.8 Step right in the top of the V-groove, and follow the long corner for 60m of awesome 5.8 cracks and corners, even a small roof. Ends on finger cracks on a slab.

    p9 - A short thin-hands splitter leads to lower angle ground, and one can keep climbing endless low 5th class to the summit, rappel the wall, or descend the West Ridge/West Ridge Gully.


    Here’s a link to a few photos -https://picasaweb.google.com/Zickler1981/StuartWestWallGorillasInTheMist?feat=email


    Gear Notes:

    #1, 2 & 3 Mastercams, .5 to 2 C4s X2, 1 - #3 C4, yellow and purple Link Cams, set of nuts.


    Approach Notes:

    Tennis shoes

  2. My wife an I are expecting and I'm looking into life insurance options. I'm begining to realize that insurance co. don't offer affordable rates for climbers. I'm sure some of you have been through this before - any beta?


    Many thanks,



  3. Looking to head to banks from seattle sometime during Sunday Monday Tuesday this week. Been warmish getting cooler, any up to the day condition comments? Been in hyalite and Cody for a couple weeks and back in Seattle for a few weeks and banks seems the best bet for local (sorta...) ice. I'd appriciate any input. Never been. Thanks a bunch!



    Troskys Folly & Revenge are in good condition. For the first time this season the upper portion of T’s Revenge was not wet and we were able and willing to climb the entire route. The deathcicles at DP are sketchy as always especially with the warming temps - if you go tomorrow I would skip it and head down the road to Peewee’s. The route is Vern’s 3rd photo is climbable, fun and strenuous!

  4. I was shooting. Kinda hard to miss blasting 2 3/4 00 buck. Would have been shooting 3 1/2" but the bullet store was fresh out. Even after "cleaning" we were unable to muster the courage to climb the thing after seeing the path of devastation below. There were several other flows to keep us occupied for the rest of the day - climbing not shooting.

  5. I can't believe I'm saying this but...

    I'm going to buy a bouldering pad and I'm having a difficult time mustering the motivation to conduct the usual research when considering new gear. Is there a paticular mat that stands above the rest? Come on CC help me out! I have an aversion to RC.com and would rather settle this with yous.


    Many thanks!


  6. Arden,


    Psyched to hear you climbed and enjoyed the route! I agree the route would benefit from lots-o-traffic. Brice, Ben and I pulled several poorly chocked boulders off the route. More to appease my need to throw large shit from high places than anything. Spencer and Ray keep telling me to get ahold of you to discuss objectives - 5.13 sport climbers are a dime a dozen and 5.11 trad climbers are a rare few in these parts...

  7. Trip: Bugaboos - A few Classics


    Date: 7/30/2011


    Trip Report:

    Brice Portwood (GoingUp?) and I spent a week in the Bugs from 7/23 to 7/29 climbing classic lines up perfect granite! We experienced precipitation in some form every day and many of the larger objectives like Snowpatch and the Howser Group were wet and still holding significant amounts of snow. Our main objective was the Becky-Chouinard route up S. Howser but conditions forced us to climb shorter routes on south facing aspects.


    Day 1: Snowing. Hiked the approach to S. Howser. Visibility was zero at the Pigeon/Howser Col.


    Day 2: Sunshine. Attempted "The Beach" on Snowpatch. The second pitch was wet and running so we bailed. Went back to camp and sipped on Pendelton.


    Day 3: Sunshine. Climbed the NE Ridge of Bugaboo Spire. Significant snow in the upper chimney pitches and on the summit ridge.


    Day 4: Blowing Snow. All the walls were rimed up and wet so we went to Golden for Beer and Food.


    Day 5: AM Drizzle. Simul-climbed "Lyons Way" then climbed "McTech Arete" on Crescent Spire.


    Day 6: Sunshine. Climbed "Paddle Flake Direct" and simul-soloed "Lyons Way" for good measure.


    Day 7: Overcast. Climbed "Edwards-Neufeld" on Crescent Towers. Hiked out that afternoon.


    I was telling Brice about my recent trip up the north face of the Lion's Head and since his flight back to WY wasn't until Sunday, we stopped in and climbed the "Lion Tamer" Saturday.


    The Kain Hut custodian told us that the snow load is about 3 weeks behind in the Bug group. I suspect that by mid August everything with the exception of Howser will be in.


    A link to photos:







    Gear Notes:

    Rack, Rope, axe, reading material, whiskey. We brought but didn't use crampons.


    Approach Notes:

    Follow the trail up.

  8. I've wanted to get up there for a long time, but it's a 11 hour drive from Boise. Laird's book mentions the oldest entry in the cairn is from two guys from Bonners Ferry in 1938 or 39, and I figure one was my dad. Did you happen to read that entry?


    Yes the original summit record is still there in a small metal cylinder. I don't recall the names but I do believe they were from Bonners Ferry and it was dated 1930 something in old world cursive. Cool stuff!