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About kerwinl

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  • Birthday 11/30/1999
  1. Trip: Colchuck Balanced Rock - Let it Burn and West Face Date: 6/6/2015 Trip Report: With the low snowpack and high temps I was eager to get back up into the alpine after climbing up at prusik the previous week. My buddy Craig had yet to climb on Colchuck Balanced Rock and was psyched to check it out. We hiked in Friday night, and setup camp below the talus field below CBR. First up 'Let It Burn', shown as the left line here: Mellow climbing leads to a big ledge before the first hard pitch of the day, and maybe the crux of the route, P2 5.12-. Moderate fingercracks lead up and ever steepening headwall before the crescendo boulder problem leading to a improbable jug rest. Me very happy to have avoided the flash pump and onsighted the first lead of the day, photo taken by some friends on the 'West Face'. Craig took P3 a fun 5.11 flake and crack system up moderate angled face with a thin crux 3/4 of the way up. Easiest pitch on the route? Pitch 4 was a return to the steepness from P2, thuggy and powerful climbing leads to a nice slab belay. Me in the middle of the battle. Rated 11c by the FA party, Craig and I both found this to be as hard if not harder then P2. Maybe with some beta refinement it may feel easier. Pitch 5, a delicate traverse to another steep overhanging crack capped by a powerful reachy boulder problem. Craig dug deep and put the rope up after a few falls. Truly committing climbing with big air if you blow it. Craig leads the pitch off with the incredible juggy flake traverse, dont fall! Pitch 6 delicate slab climbing followed by easy 5.7 Pitch 7-9, 5.9->5.7 run it to the top. Me on top, a little tired and dehydrated, but psyched to have pulled the onsight on one of the coolest routes in the region. A quick downclimb back to the base of the cirque (easy right now with soft snow), proceeds to dinner and a few hours of chilling before sleep. Day 2, our original plan of climbing 'The Scoop' was tossed after another party reported significant wetness on the crux pitch. Craig had not done the west face yet, so with a mellow alpine start of 7AM we made our way up to the wall again. I brought us up to the base of the large corner in two quick pitches before handing over the lead to Craig for his onsight attempt on one of the coolest pitches around. Craig sent in fine style, battling through the wet slime that guarded the belay ledge. I took the awkward roof traverse, which was also wet, classic. Craig followed with some swearing and grunting, which brought us to the base of the crux pitch. It maybe the hardest graded pitch of the route, but it was dry and craig fired it in style. Pulling into the roof Sent! Craig cruised the squeeze chimney (maybe the only person to ever make it look 5.8?) and we ambled to the top, before cruising back down to camp, psyched to have pulled off two routes in perfect alpine conditions. Proud effort by Craig to onsight the West Face after battling up Let It Burn the previous day, in new shoes no less!! Gear Notes: The bugs are coming out, bring a tent. Tons of water flowing at the base of the cirque. Doubles from green alien->#1, single purple c3/#2/#3, plus nuts for Let it Burn. Extra #2 for the west face. Special nut tool, aka fork. If you want to save some weight for the approach (or if you forget to bring a nut tool like us) turns out a fork works almost as well. Approach Notes: Cross at colchuck damn, snow free the whole way.
  2. Logging at Index Lower Town Wall

    There is no standard approach to get to the top of the LTW. If you do decide to come in from above use caution as there are loose rocks, vegetation etc, that can be easily kicked down onto unsuspecting climbers on the LTW.
  3. Hyperspace Rockfall Incident Saturday

    There are few more blocks on that route that could come out pretty easily. Hard place to trundle given the popularity.
  4. Major rockfall on Zodiac Wall

    Wonder if it was related to the first really warm weather of the year? Also via another photo noticed that the chunk of rock that peeled off was topped by a tree covered ledge, I wonder if those root systems worked there way down creating some wedging? I have seen this in a few places at Index, in particular some of the upper sections of the country.
  5. rotary hammer drills...

    Make sure you get a rotary hammer and not a hammer drill, 36V will give you a lot more energy stored per battery pack then 18V. People love the bosch hammers, but Dewalt, Hilti and others all have good options now. Beware of how much the batteries cost if you buy a bare drill.
  6. That is a big day out, nice one!
  7. Unknown Leavenworth Climb

    Could be this: http://www.mountainproject.com/v/the-visor/106600243
  8. Unknown Leavenworth Climb

    Just past the snow creek parking lot, a few hundred yards up hill?
  9. Unknown Leavenworth Climb

    Which canyon? Which side of the road?
  10. Rainier DC Conditions

  11. colchuck balance rock descent?

    I can confirm that the walk off is essentially snow free, one small patch to get back into the basin proper as of last week. The Mosqiuto' on the other hand are thick, 100% deet barely kept them at bay last week. Bring your bug gear!
  12. Index multi car break-in,

    I wonder if parking in town at the school and walking down the tracks would prevent the break ins. I know that there is not enough parking to make this a viable option for everyone, but maybe is a solution for low traffic days.
  13. Jake, REI has the new Marc Bourdon guidebook for much cheaper, I think I picked it up for about $35 about a month ago.
  14. Welcome Leavenworth Climbing Rangers

    Not even close. Agreed, I think the vast expanse of the canyon spreads people out enough. There is a new bouldering guidebook to be released next year, it may increase traffic a small amount, but will also spread out the activity.
  15. Accident at Index Yesterday (8/18)

    He was about 25-30 feet up Sagittarius just starting the flake (below the fixed sling I think), when the fall happened.