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rocketparrotlet

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Posts posted by rocketparrotlet


  1. I'm looking for a partner to climb with at Index on Friday. A few possibilities would be Centerfold, Heaven's Gate, Mid Wall, or Heart of the Country. PM me if you'd like to go climbing!

     

    I'm also free this Saturday and would consider spending a day in Leavenworth since it's probably going to rain elsewhere.


  2. Personally, I am not fond of trigger finger rests. They make my index finger colder, like you said, and stress my hand in a way I don't like.

     

    However, a pinky rest on ice tools is super helpful for me- it allows my weight to be where I want it. Keep in mind that I have (essentially) the exact same tools as you (Thanks again, Curt! They've gone a long way!)

     

    It really varies from person to person. Find what works for you and stick to it.


  3. I'd like to travel up to Squamish for a few days. I'm thinking of leaving Thursday night or Friday morning to catch the good weather. I'll probably stay for about 5 days. Anyone wanting to come along or meet me up there, let me know! I would really like to climb the Grand Wall, but there are tons of other climbs I'd be psyched on.

     

    Shoot me a PM if you want to come along, need a rideshare up north, or just meet me for a day up there.

     

    Mark


  4. Trying to get rid of gear I don't need and use the money to replace my destroyed backpack and shoes. I'm in Everett and can do local pickup or ship anything.

     

    sF1HZ5th.jpg

     

    BD Turbo Express ice screws, used a couple seasons. 13cm- $30 each

     

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    BD Camalot #0.5, only used a couple times, no falls. $30

     

    Tech Friend #2.5, used for a seasons but works great. Between a BD 1 and 2. $28

     

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    Tricams- $10 each (pink sold)

     

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    Patagonia Guide pants, mens, 28 waist. $50


  5. Trip: Johannesburger and Fried - C-J Couloir to East Buttress

     

    Date: 8/5/2013

     

    Trip Report:

    “I would rather be dipped in shit than climb this mountain again.”

     

    These were the words that stared out of the page at me regarding Johannesburg Mountain, that steep massif which throws its shadow over the Cascade River Road. Josh and I had hatched a plan to climb “the mighty J-burg” and maybe toss Cascade Peak in as well while we were up there. After reading numerous trip reports and researching the route, I felt I would be prepared for what the mountain would throw at us. Oh, how wrong I had been.

     

    I picked Josh up in Lynnwood at 5am and we arrived at the Cascade Pass trailhead by 8. We crossed the river to the base of the Sill Glacier, grabbed crampons and ice axes, and began to head up the route. As soon as we started up the glacier, a boulder careened down the gully, casting an ominous shadow over my enthusiasm for this route. We continued to the base of a rock buttress and made plans to attack the thin gully in short, quick bursts, taking rests behind buttresses where possible, to minimize our exposure time in the bowling alley.

     

    EUdDT8yh.jpg

     

    Start of the route

     

    Ursmhh0h.jpg

     

    Waterfall on Cascade Peak

     

    Eventually we reached a tough decision: a snow bridge across a giant moat was cracked and broken, and we had to find a way around. To the left was a terrifying moat which made Josh’s face turn 3 shades paler as he tried to cross, then reversed. I looked right, and we built a belay then I started up a class 3 rock ramp with water flowing over it. I traversed back onto the gully and up, and we began simulclimbing. Soon, however, the rope came taut and did not move for minutes. The pull increased, and I dropped into arrest position, fearing the worst. I was on top of another broken section of snow, holding on for what I felt could be both our lives with only one picket between us.

     

    rXmfqxLh.jpg

     

    Broken part of the snow gully ahead

     

    After a few minutes, the tension released. I found a good spot to belay and brought Josh up. He told me that he had climbed too high initially and could not make the traverse to the rock ramp, so he was forced to carefully climb over the broken snow bridge. Sheesh! We unroped and continued up the suncupped snowfield to a short snowy headwall and then to the col at 12:30. Josh and I flopped our packs at the unusually serene spot and decided to head up Johannesburg first and Cascade the next day, a reversal of our original plan. We also decided to not descend that couloir at any cost, because the price was likely to be our lives. Doug’s Direct it was. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? At least, we didn’t think so at the time.

     

    0HPmp7Jh.jpg

     

    Suncupped snowfield

     

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    Mount Formidable from camp

     

    We headed to the “White Staircase”, an interesting feature of 5.2 climbing and the most solid rock on the route. Protection would have been very limited in effectiveness, so we didn’t bother roping up. This was to be a trend for the rest of the route. As we soon found, bringing rock pro on the East Ridge of J-burg is much like using birth control with a pregnant woman; sure, it might help you feel safer, but it won’t really do you much good in the end.

     

    vPQwynUh.jpg

     

    Looking up J-burg

     

    3rd class heather slopes led to a small plateau and then to a 4th class gully which continues up and around the false summit to the left. This led to what felt like endless ridge traversing past gendarmes and some of the loosest rock I have ever had the misfortune to stand on. If you do not feel comfortable soloing constant loose class 4, stay away from this peak.

     

    Finally we arrived at the true summit. Standing on the peak of the imposing mountain which I had always looked at and feared was quite the moment, for both of us I am sure. After signing the register and taking a break for some food and photos, we headed back along the ridge. Reversing the ridge was quicker than going across it for the first time because we had some idea where we were headed with fewer false leads than we had encountered on the way over. We eventually arrived at the gully and the first rap station and set off.

     

    7PO6mRoh.jpg

     

    Looking down on the snow arete of the NE Buttress

     

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    Machu Picchu?

     

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    Looking down the East Ridge

     

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    Mr. Cool himself

     

    A mix of rappelling and downclimbing sent us down the gullies along the face until we arrived at the heather benches. The sun had just dipped behind the ridge, and we scrambled down quite quickly until downclimbing class 4 ledges straight back to camp as dark began to hit. We began to cook and congratulated ourselves on a successful ascent.

     

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    Alpenglow on Sahale

     

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    More alpenglow

     

    The stars were beautiful in our serene campsite, and the experience was marred only by what Josh described as “the biggest rat he has ever seen” eating our stuff. Josh roaring at the rat would wake me up from time to time and we brought all our stuff into the tent with plans to sleep in and melt water in the morning.

     

    We woke up and, running out of fuel, decided to melt rather than boil our ice worm-infested water. Despite tasting reminiscent of dead sea creatures, we both remained miraculously unaffected over the next few days. After a lazy morning, we packed up camp and traversed down to the base of Cascade Peak at 12:30. Just a quick class 3 gully, right? That’s what Beckey said, anyway.

     

    edr3y3Mh.jpg

     

    Mount Formidable again

     

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    Torment-Forbidden traverse across the valley

     

    Loose low-5th terrain up mixed rock and plants to an even looser gully convinced me once more that Beckey’s ratings are a pile of choss. This felt like doing Johannesburg again, only it was shorter and more straightforward. The rock quality was abysmal. After a couple hours, we arrived on the summit of Cascade and looked across the valley to our route up J-burg, took some pictures, and looked through the ancient register. Dallas Kloke sure loved this peak, as his name was on more than half of the listed ascents! I, on the other hand, will never climb this loose shitpile again. To each his own, I guess, and Dallas Kloke has far larger balls that I by the number of entries in that register.

     

    mzFTDoYh.jpg

     

    Our route on J-burg from Cascade

     

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    This is what tries to kill you in the C-J couloir.

     

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    Basking in success

     

    Descending Cascade was not too great either. I accidentally started a rockslide down the gully when a 100-pound rock I stepped on gave way underneath my feet. The cascade of death below me provided a hint to the naming of the mountain. After another couple of hours from summit, we had returned to our packs and began the Doug’s “Direct” descent.

     

    G9iVgp5h.jpg

     

    Route up and down Cascade

     

    To those who do not know, the Doug’s Direct involves traversing the base of not one, not two, but THREE separate mountains and then back again. And the only trail you get the misery that will trail behind you as you sidehill endless heather, go up and down like an amusement park ride, and (in our case) get lost and cliff out. After arriving on the complex terrain below MessedUp peak, we could see Gunsight Notch gazing down at us, and constant loose cliffs and buttresses above and below and on both sides. My thin veneer of “this is okay” began to fade as I set up a rappel from a tree down a loose gully (seeing a trend here?).

     

    I began on rappel, nervous about making it to the notch before dark. Suddenly, my rope knocked down a football-sized rock from about 15 feet above, which slammed into my shoulder. Pain exploded across my vision and I began to feel panic, but luckily my shoulder was not broken. I traversed to a ledge and came off rappel. With my vision swimming, the entire 200-pound ledge gave way underneath my feet as I moved left with as much care as I could produce. “I’m not dead. I’m not dead. I’m not dead.” I repeated this mantra in my head over and over. Some more downclimbing to a small bench followed by some class 3 traversing took us to a place to refill our water and for me to refill my confidence.

     

    Josh found a gully to bring us to the heather slope which would take us to the notch with about 80 minutes of light left. Success! We blasted up the slope and to the notch, then quickly descended the Cache Glacier, refilled our water one last time, and found ourselves on the climber’s trail for MessedUp Peak. No more fear, just hiking. The Doug’s Direct is miserable, but I feel like we would have escaped death even more narrowly (or worse, not at all) in the couloir. We arrived at Cascade Pass right at dark and breathed a huge sigh of relief.

     

    An hour of hiking down the Cascade Pass trail brought us back to the car and all the comforts within. I vowed to never return to these two mountains, which are scarily like playing Russian roulette (at least in this season). Having reached two summits in two days via rock looser than a Las Vegas hooker, crossing snow bridges thinner than my confidence, and nearly dying in a rockslide on the descent, I had made up my mind about Johannesburg:

     

    I would rather be dipped in shit than climb this mountain again.

     

     

    Gear Notes:

    Light rock rack (didn't use), 2 ice screws (didn't use), 2 pickets, excess of confidence and lack of intelligence

     

    Approach Notes:

    Park at the Cascade Pass trailhead, cross the river to the base of the Sill Glacier, then turn around and climb Forbidden Peak instead.


  6. Damn I wish I had checked back to see this sooner. Thunderstorms tomorrow anyway. Was hoping to head out Tuesday, maybe do Total Soul and The Kone or Jacob's Ladder. Index would also be terrific, I'd like to get on Heaven's Gate or just do some LTW cragging.


  7. This Monday and Tuesday are my last couple days in WA until December, and it would be cool to get in some rock climbing on one or both days. I haven't been climbing in Darrington in 2 years, and that's my top objective, but I'd be up for some Index action as well. (I could also probably take work off on Sunday too if slab daddy is an option...)


  8. I did this last week and actually brought 3 (!) pairs of shoes at my buddy's suggestion: running shoes which we stashed at Boston basin, mountaineering boots and rock shoes for the traverse. I'd say the rock shoes were not really necessary, but it sure was nice having a comfy pair of runners instead of stiff mountaineering boots for the way out.


  9. I've been meaning to hop on Slab Daddy for a while now. I'm planning on starting on Monday, bivying at the ledge halfway up the route, and finishing up Tuesday. I'm located in Everett, PM me if you're interested in meeting up for this.

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