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About Manacus

  • Birthday 11/26/2017

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  1. Brand new. In original packaging. Never been used. Must pick up in Seattle.
  2. I enjoyed your earlier report on this site, dorianlee, and definitely gave us some ideas as we planned our route.
  3. Olympic legend, Dave Skinner is donating his time over a multi-year period to restore the Snow Dome hut (removal of the hut is more expensive than restoration) and pack out years and years of garbage that accumulated as the result of the glacier research program. Dave welcomes help either in person or via donation. He has set up a program called "Friends of SnowDome", c/o David Skinner, 7097 Deer Park Road, Port Angeles, WA 98362 where you can mail a check, or leave a message at (360) 452-0565. This time of year you are more likely to meet him on SnowDome, where he'll put you to work if you have time and energy (in return for Kool-Aid, pancakes, and endless tales of mountain adventure).
  4. Trip: Olympus and Valhallas, Olympic National Park - via South Fork Hoh River Date: 7/27/2013 Trip Report: It took me almost a year to get to this trip report, but I'm hoping that by posting it now, some of the route information might be of value to folks heading out this summer. From July 27th to August 3rd 2013, my friend Erik and I climbed Mount Hugin in the Valhallas and the west peak of Mount Olympus, approaching from the South Fork of the Hoh. It was a brutally hot week, but we both agreed it was one of the best, most unique, and least traveled routes we've ever hiked in the northwest; and much easier terrain than I expected. There is pretty straightforward walking on the north side of the river all the way to Valkyrie Creek (gravel bars and game trails, with a couple sections requiring easy work arounds of constricted sections of the river). A logjam at the mouth of the Valkyrie Creek afforded us an easy crossing to the south side. From there, wide elk trails conveyed us easily to the Geri-Freki Creek (misnamed in other trip reports on this site) and all the way into the Geri-Freki basin below the toe of the (surprise) Geri-Freki Glacier; one of the most stunning places I've ever been. Easy access to the glaciers led to an easy scramble of Hugin (the easiest summit in the Valhallas), before we headed onwards to Mt. Olympus. Goat trails led to the ridge connecting the Valhallas to Olympus, and mostly straightforward walking in brutally hot sun (with a few very short sections requiring care), took us to another stunning camp at the toe of the Hubert Glacier. We followed to a T the line representing the path of least steepness on the topo maps, linking a pretty direct route to the Hubert. The next day, we did the same thing, taking easy snow ramps up to Snow Dome where we connected with the usual climber's route on Snow Dome, climbing the west peak by the south ledges route. Pictures and a long(-winded) story about the trip are on my blog: Approach notes: Unlike previous parties, we did not ascend to the Valhallas via the infamous Valkyrie Creek. We used easy elk trails to access the Geri-Freki Creek drainage, where more easy elk trails took us to the snout of the Geri-Freki Glacier. Addendum: On Snow Dome we spent an amusing night with Dave Skinner who is donating his time over a multi-year period to restore the Snow Dome hut (removal of the hut is more expensive than restoration) and pack out years and years of garbage that accumulated as the result of the glacier research program. Dave welcomes help either in person or via donation. He has set up a program called "Friends of SnowDome", c/o David Skinner, 7097 Deer Park Road, Port Angeles, WA 98362 where you can mail a check, or leave a message at (360) 452-0565. This time of year you are more likely to meet him on SnowDome, where he'll put you to work if you have time and energy (in return for Kool-Aid, pancakes, and endless tales of mountain adventure).
  5. Nice photos! Love the PT. After Backpacker Magazine ran an article on the traverse billing it as the backpacker's Holy Grail, it has grown in international popularity and guide companies have started leading the traverse. I hope it maintains some of its pristine character. I was dismayed the last time I did it to find that some of the traditional camps were starting to become seriously eroded and impacted, and proper disposal of human waste was a real issue. I'm curious what you found in that regard. For future reference, there is a less exposed trail around the Red Ledges. Find it by following the lower fork of the trail that leaves from Kool Aid Lake (you lose a significant amount of time on this route, however). You should also be able to avoid the steepest part of the Middle Cascade Glacier by staying climber's left before heading to the pass.
  6. A few notes on the difficulty of the climb(s): I found Illimani to be very similar to the Emmons route on Rainier. Physical difficulty of Illimani is in fact easier as the route is shorter and elevation gain is less. Altitude is obviously the bigger issue on Illimani. Depends on how well acclimatized you are, your fitness, etc. Diamox recommended. Slow and steady pace. Forcibly expel CO2 when you feel headache coming on. Temperatures and snow conditions similar to early June on Rainier, warmish during day at high camp, cold at night, but not ridiculous. I used two 3-season sleeping bags layered on top of each other and was plenty warm. During climbing season camping is on rock, but early in season it's on snow. Summit conditions very cold and windy, especially before sunrise. Have experienced similar on Rainier, but reminded me more of New Hampshire summits in winter. Again, when sun hits mountain temps get better, but climbing side of Illimani doesn't receive much sun until later in afternoon. Route is straight forward and moderate (although there are 2 crucial turns needed to get you around crevasses and up to the saddle between N and S peaks--it's a left turn to bring you to a good spot to cross a big crevasse and then turn right and straight up to the ridge--this would be tough to find in the dark without boot tracks--if climbing without a guide or previous boot tracks, might take a day to scout this before making full push on the route), save for 2 pitches of 45 degree hard snow to bring you up to a bench just below the summit ridge. Bring ice screws to belay this on the way down. We only used one tool each and that was fine. You'll need to chop down a few inches to find good ice for screws. Also carried one picket (but didn't use--might be useful in some scenarios). Summit ridge from saddle is very easy and beautiful walk (probably 15 minutes max). Ridge is broad and not dangerous (just stay away from cornices). P. Alpamayo has overall warmer conditions. More like climbing in other areas of the Cascades in early summer. Good steps kicked in on steeper sections. May want some screws and pickets for belays or running belays depending on confidence/competence. Not as steep or exposed as it looks, but not a place to fall either. Relatively short climb from base camp. Easy glacier and rock approach. One easy 3rd class rock section to get down to start of summit snow climb.
  7. Glad you were able to climb with Eduardo Mamani. He is a character, a legend, and an amazing climber/guide. He is also a very good person. He treated me like a friend, sent me tons of photos from my climbs, as well as a Christmas card. You may have seen my post last year from the same two peaks. Eduardo really came through for me and helped me get some great climbing done in a very limited amount of time. Your experience with Eduardo sounded very similar to mine (had to laugh about the bottle of coke). Thanks for bringing back some good memories. Here's a link to: my report on Illimani and P. Alpamayo Searchable under "Bolivia" but not under the names of the peaks for some reason.
  8. Illimani Summit Corrected spelling: Eduardo Mamani (not Mamami as I had earlier). Website: http://www.bolivianmountainguides.com/
  9. Trip: Bolivia - Illimani, Pequeno Alpamayo Date: 8/20/2011 Trip Report: I am in southeast Peru for work, but just got back from a 10 day window of free time to do some climbing in Bolivia. Given the short time frame and lack of partners, I hired a Bolivian guide, Eduardo Mamami, to help me get the climbs done. I can't recommend Eduardo highly enough, but I'll come back to that. I had been to 18,000 ft before, and knew that I could acclimatize fast with Diamox. My main goal was to climb Illimani. Let me explain my itinerary: Day 1, Bus from Cuzco (11,000 ft) to Puno (12,000 ft) (Lake Titicaca). Day 2, Bus to La Paz (11,000 ft), Day 3 La Paz, Day 4 to Illimani Base camp (14,500 ft). Day 5 day hike to Illimani high camp (18,000 ft) and back to base camp. Day 6, hike to Illimani high camp and camp at intermediate camp (16,500 ft) lower down on the same rock ridge as high camp. Day 7, to high camp in AM (18,000 ft). Day 8, leave for summit at 3:15 AM, on top by 7:15, back down to base camp by afternoon. Day 9, to La Paz. Day 10, day climb from La Paz of Pequeno Alpamayo. Day 11, back to Cuzco on overnight bus. Pequeno Alpamayo was not originally in the plans, and most people with more time would do this before Illimani. I didn't want to waste time driving around and in and out of La Paz, which is why I chose to acclimatize on Illimani. On Illimani, Eduardo got me to the trail head and set me up with some extra gear that I couldn't fit into my luggage. I spent the following days acclimatizing alone, although Eduardo had been hired by another group on the mountain as a lead guide during my acclimatization period, so I saw him around. We linked up for the climb and headed back to La Paz together. Given the way Illimani went, and that I had an extra day to play with, he suggested we do a quick turn around and do P. Alpamayo as a day climb from La Paz. Turned out to be an incredible suggestion. The altitudes are lower, temps are warmer, and the Condiriri Range is absolutely stunning. Here is my observation of guided groups in Bolivia. There are several options: Pay way too much for an American guiding company that will rely on Bolivian guides anyway, and will require you to bring all your own equipment from home, or pay too little for a Bolivian company that is masquerading as climbing company. I saw many of the latter, with leaders with minimal qualifications, that perhaps can get to the tops of these mountains when there is a boot-track in place and conditions are good, but otherwise often don't. Eduardo is one of the few Bolivian UIAGM certified guides. He is 50 years old, has been guiding for 25 years and putting up some of the hardest and most remote routes in Bolivia during that time, and he still climbs as hard as if he were in his 20s. As I mentioned, while I was acclimatizing, another company hired him to be the rope gun on Illimani, and he put in a new boot track where previous parties had been turned around earlier in the week. The cook for this other company managed to get Eduardo and half the group sick with some poorly cooked food. Eduardo toughed it out for me though, both of us powering to the top of Illimani in 4 hours, simul climbing through two full rope length sections of 45 degree snow and ice (with belays on the way down). On Pequeno Alpamayo, we were out at 430 AM from La Paz and back by 6PM. As is common in Bolivia, strikes had closed many of the main roads, but Eduardo knew the back way around them (whereas other guiding companies were simply not heading out). In short Eduardo Mamami has a great sense of humor, he's a great climber and guide (knowing that I had climbing experience, he was happy to talk through the pros and cons of the different techniques he chose to use with me), he loves sharing the mountains and encouraged stopping along the climb and the road for photography (and he set me up with a cd of photos he took of me during the climbs), he knows the locals and the backroads like no other. Another guide I had considered climbing with would have charged me more and was not able to find a route up Illimani before Eduardo put in a new track (I happened to see him on the mountain during my acclimatization period). It was awesome to just go and climb hard and get a lot done with someone who was willing and able to fire up these routes in the short time I had. Eduardo is also really psyched to climb harder routes in remote areas with qualified clients. His one downfall is perhaps that he doesn't speak good English, but this was not a problem for me, as I speak Spanish. You can contact Eduardo here: eduardo@bolivianmountainguides.com or illampuedu@hotmail.com or contact me with questions: timbillo@uw.edu Finally, here is a conditions report for the Cordillera Real right now: It has been a good snow year. In fact it was still too snowy on some peaks in June and July with a big avalanche on the climbing route on Illimani in June. Every day I was in the mountains, summitting was possible. It often became cloudy by 11 AM, and there was one thunderstorm during the week, but mornings were always clear. Some days were bluebird all day. Temps at campsites were freezing at night, but not much below freezing. Snow is consolidated or nice couple inches of crunchy light Andean powder. Not much glacier ice to deal with yet. Sorry, I don't have the connection speed here in Peru to put up pictures. Maybe I'll get to it at some point.
  10. Need to purchase in the next 2 weeks. Looking for cheap pair of cold weather double plastic (or other material) climbing boots. I am in Seattle area and would like to buy locally. Call me at 206-407-4056.
  11. I will be in Bolivia and southeast Peru in mid August and am hoping to climb Illimani or a more remote peak of low technical difficulty. Looking for partners with good glacier skills and preferably some experience at altitudes over 14,000 ft. Send me a PM if interested.
  12. Trip: Northern Pickets - Challenger Arm route beta Date: 7/4/2010 Trip Report: Route beta for Challenger Arm Bushwhack: My girlfriend and I made our first trip into the Pickets in early July. Snow cover was heavy, and there was still some loose slide activity on higher slopes. Bugs were characteristically bad, even when hiking on snow and glaciers! We were out for 8 days with 2 days of drizzle at low elevation. This report will just give some information on Challenger Arm, as we didn’t see much concrete beta on the route posted on this website before we left for our trip. Most prior reports complained bitterly or simply said it was not that bad, but nothing specific. In our experience it was not that bad, but we needed to do a bit of routefinding in places. The surprising challenge for us was how long it took us to get out to Challenger once on the arm. Terrain is BIG here. The snow cover and cornices on ridges prevented us from staying high in some places, forcing us to one tedious low traverse (although we did see some occasional remains of cairns, so we were not the first to go low), although overall, I'm sure the snow helped us, even if soft at times. Although Challenger Arm is one of the most beautiful high routes in the Cascades, I don’t think it is the easiest approach to Challenger (although it may be the most free of objective danger). A large slide/cornice came down across the tracks of another party on the Whatcom traverse while we were up there (Whatcom traverse would be best done in early morning in early season). Here’s the beta with map (sorry, couldn't embed it in text): http://picasaweb.google.com/timbillo/NPickets# Big Beaver to 5700 ft. on the arm: 3+ hours walking Leave the Big Beaver Trail exactly where the trail to the Big Beaver Campsite goes in to the east (so you’re traveling west off the trail). You will be about 50 yards uptrail from the shelter. Set your altimeter. Contour at 3600 ft. elevation from Big Beaver Trail through easy open forest with huckleberry understory. You’ll quickly cross a little creek enroute. About 10-15 minutes later, you’ll cross the main creek at the base of the Challenger Arm slope at about 3600 ft. This should put you near the right of the two leftmost main streams that come down that hill slope (visible on map). Look for them if you are unsure, because this is the key to the route. They should appear as brushy defiles and will be visible through the forest on either side of you as you head uphill. Start hiking uphill from here, between the two stream gullies. There are some patches of Devil’s Club down low that are easily avoidable. Forest is beautiful and open here with some old growth hemlock. You’ll wish it could be like this all the way up, and you’ll start thinking maybe it is, until you hit a mossy cliff band at 4370 ft. Here, head climber’s right towards the stream gully which is quite deep here. A faint steep climber’s trail heads up along the edge of the stream gully (on your right), with the cliffs on your left. At 4480 ft., you’ll be above the cliff band in more easy forest. This is where we first hit snow. Snow was gone when we returned 5 days later, and understory was thankfully not too brushy. At 4700 feet you’ll see another band of cliffs. Work your way diagonally up to the right, still below the cliffs, crossing the main stem of that righthand stream at 4800 ft. (which is very easy, even during snow melt, gully is very minor). You’ll hold onto a few slide alder stems here. Look for a huge old yellow cedar. It is the biggest tree in the area and sticks up above the canopy. Keep working your way diagonally up to the right across the stream from this tree (probably no big deal if you don’t find it), still below the cliffs, but clearly working into a weakness. You’ll find an easy brushy ledge/ramp system that continues up to the right and through the cliffs at 4900 ft. or so. Now you are in open montane/subalpine forest. There will be young trees and huckleberry to push through in the next section, but visibility is good and hiking not hard. From 4900 ft. at the top of the cliffs you’ll start to diagonal upwards climber’s left, back towards the stream you just crossed (now above the cliffs). You’ll see some boulders in this open subalpine area. You’ll be going up left across them as you diagonal back towards the stream. There is a very minor steep/cliff band at the top of this open area at 5200 ft. Climber’s right of the stream (now a waterfall, or series of brooks coming over this minor cliff band), there is a little treed, brushy rib that easily takes you through the minor cliffs at 5200 ft. Just to the right of the rib, there was a small log that had been carried by an avalanche and rested parallel to the cliff edge, held back by some small trees growing along the cliff edge--I used this landmark on the way down). Now above these minor cliffs, you are home free. There was a small rock wall in front of us once above the minor cliff band, but easy steepish, open subalpine walking to the left or right takes you up and around it. We chose to go left and the walking immediately became easier and more open the higher up we went. We avoided going up steep slopes to the ridge on climber’s left (which continues directly to the flat area at 5700 ft.) and in stead let the ridge funnel us up to the same 5700 ft. flat area, with the ridge to our left the whole time. Finding this route on the way down was a bit trickier. Mainly finding the entrance point at 5200 ft. was tricky (might flag it and remove flagging on your way back), and the entrance to the ramp at 4900 ft. A bit of poking around and we found it no problem, retracing our steps almost exactly, for a very pleasant (non-devil’s club, non-"tooth and nail" scrambling, with only minor schwacking in a few places) route down. The area looked very different on the way back as virtually all the snow had melted under the trees during this hot, sunny week. This next section took about 3 hours with a lunch break, but could probably be done more quickly: Once on the arm at 5700 ft., we tried to continue up the ridge until we hit a steep exposed snow and a cornice. We backtracked and headed across open steep heather, blueberry, and talus climber’s left of the main ridge (the south side of the arm). The way was fine, but hot, tedious, and buggy (you can see the bugs in all the pictures we took in this section!). We descended to a snowfield (probably talus later in summer) at 5400 ft., and then back up again traversing up and climber’s left out of this gully/bowl (some steep slick grass and blueberry here), and then contouring on a bench over to the next very deep canyon (all visible on map). Easy but steepish blueberry slopes took us quickly upslope to a point where further westward progress would not be inhibited by the aforementioned canyon. Easy subalpline walking took us out into an open bowl where we set up camp. From here on out, the walking was amazing, but took at least 4 hours to point 7300 (minus breaks). We stayed below the ridge (south side), working our way back to the ridge above Eiley lake. Above Eiley lake there is a crucial climber’s trail down to the lake. The ridge does not continue around (unless you like chossy 5th class climbing across a very deep notch that doesn’t show on the map). The trail down is marked with a cairn. Easy walking back up to the ridge and over to Wiley Lake. Awesome camp on ridge just before you get to Wiley Lake. The key to crossing Pt. 7300 seems to be a gully/notch up the southeast side of the summit block (without needing to climb to the top of the block), that leads over and down to easy slopes on the other side. This is a stunning area, and a great backpacking trip even for those who do not wish to climb anything or walk across glaciers. You can head to point 7300 and turn around, completely satisfied, having taken in some of the best views of the northern Pickets possible, and 360 degree views of the northern N. Cascades. Let me know if this route description is helpful for you, or if it ends up being impossible to follow! I'm sure there are many other ways through, but hopefully this will help you avoid some of the frustration other parties seem to have encountered! Gear Notes: Bug nets essential. Even when camped high on snow. Bugs invaded our beta mid at night. Approach Notes: That's what this report is...
  13. It looks like the impasse did not provide too much of a problem, other than perhaps being slightly longer for going low. Most reports on this site describe difficulties with the high route. Can you describe the low route a bit more? I agree with your thoughts on the Challenger Arm route, having done it twice. I will probably try one of the Whatcom Pass routes if I go in again. But then again, as you say, there is no easy way in!
  14. Heading to Little Beaver TH July 4th at 11 AM (Have reservation for that time). If you want to share the boat and split some of the cost, let me know. You can get off the boat at Big Beaver TH too if you like, or any point along the way for that matter. 206-407-4056
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