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About mtep

  • Birthday 11/30/1999


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    Eugene, OR

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  1. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1uneiXwidv-11EPqK1d-FZ7KJGV-NAf0O4VA4ZOt9i5k/edit?usp=sharingThis is an effort to create a tool where folks can submit observations of dangerous conditions in the park to a centralized database that others who mitigate said conditions can monitor and use to better direct their efforts. Simply put, if you see sketchy hardware in the park or a loose block on a high traffic route/in a popular zone, you can click through to the spreadsheet and let someone else deal with it.To submit an observation, find the 'insert comment' button and enter the relevant information. (it's in the upper left and looks like a grey flag with a '+' symbol in it. Alternatively you can press command+option+M)
  2. The infamous red c3 placement is where you slotted a blue. (a foot or two above the beak?) It for sure takes a variety of gear, but most folks I know that did early repeats (Blake, et al) hyped up the red c3 and it seems to have stuck/evolved into lore at this point. I never tried anything else because I already owned c3s and was up there with Blake on my first trip up there. Sounds like it's not all that specific, (many cams work) but for sure crucial!
  3. Update: After discussion with the BLM, Alchemy, Pan Handlin' and Midas Touch are closed. Please do not climb them! We (the climbers in contact with the BLM) recognize that this is nonsensical and a weird place to draw the line, but that's what happens when we lose the ability to self-police as climbers. Realize that there's a good chance that you're on camera when you're up there and if you climb a route that is currently closed, you're endangering access for all of us!
  4. Word came in from the BLM today that Trout Creek is now partially open for the season. The south (original) approach trail is closed as is all climbing and hiking south (climber's right) of the Gold Rush area. (Gold Rush is open, Alchemy, Pan Handlin' and Midas Touch are not) In short the vast majority of climbing is good to go and we should only walk up there via the steeper trail that climbs directly to the northern end. The BLM also confirmed today that the eagles have two nestlings. It can't be emphasized enough how critical it is that we obey the closure and stay out of the closed area. If the young birds successfully fledge this season then it's a huge win for everyone in that it demonstrates that climbers and eagles can coexist with this amount of buffer. (not something that's been well established to date-many other golden closures are more restrictive in buffer size)
  5. It's a bug in the site. If you copy and paste text, it shows up blank for some reason. I remember there being some workaround, but forget where in the site I found it.
  6. mtep

    Mount Hood

    Wow. I'm pleasantly surprised by the civil tone and reasoned discourse above! Score one for online forums. (surprised not because of any preconceptions about the Mountaineers. More because this is the internet after all) Anyway, a couple notes to add: A coworker of mine told me that he expressed his opinion of the technique being employed to the leader of the front team. (likely in an abrasive and mildly offensive manner, knowing my coworker) The response he got was "this is how we always do it." This is, however, second hand information and there's a slim possibility that my coworker is making this up. Lastly, for those that see the solution to long-roping sans anchors as long roping with anchors (aka simulclimbing) I'd suggest that it's still not much better of an alternative. The eyes of MSR Coyotes pull through at about 6kn. That load is pretty easily attained in the event of a full rope team of four people whipping onto a single picket. (assuming the picket was placed well, in good snow, which in my experience of people simul-climbing in these situations, it probably isn't) A far better strategy (and one that most of the Mazama programs seem to be employing the past couple years) is to solo as far as group comfort allows (with everything ready to transition to pitched climbing: harness on, rope stacked in pack, tools/pickets easily accessible w/o pack removal, etc...) Pitch what needs to be pitched, and then fix a rope for people to hand-line down on the descent.
  7. Sorry. The name and grade is just a troll to get you to read my PSA. I actually did climb Hood yesterday, but it was by walking up the Old Chute. When I first started working on Hood as a climbing guide, it was horrifyingly common to see people roped up long without pro in both the Old Chute and Pearly Gates. Our trips would typically be up there an hour or so ahead of the long-roping hordes and descending into the spaghetti was always the scariest moment in my day. In the past year or two, people have moved away from this technique. (thank you!!!) I suspect that this is largely due to a generational shift in the Mazama's membership who has recognized the misapplication of this technique on this mountain for the dangerous and short-sighted choice that it is. I bring this up to preface my rant with the fact that things are better than they were and the emotional reaction behind my whining below is likely due to a reduction in tolerance for long ropers brought on by not having to deal with them on a daily basis. So yesterday as I was descending with my team, two teams of five are working their way up the Chute below us. I asked where they were from and if they were with any sort of organization. They replied and told me that they're from Seattle and are with the Mountaineers. The man leading the charge had a Seattle Mountain Rescue (or some such) patch on his shoulder. I didn't want to get into it then in the heart of the terrain with my team standing by, so I headed back down. Rant: Climbing has inherent risk. How individuals choose to manage risk for themselves is a personal choice and form of self expression. This is one of the coolest elements of climbing and the sport is richer for it. Organizations however, have a responsibility to their members and to the public to manage risk well and to not increase risk exposure for other users through their mere presence on the mountain. Yesterday morning myself, my guests, my coworkers, my friends, and everyone in the Old Chute was put at significantly greater risk through the institutional ignorance of ten people making poor choices. Choosing to rope up long on steep, firm, unglaciated snow without any anchors simultaneously made everyone's day that much more hazardous and ignored decades of historical data highlighting how dangerous it is to misapply this technique in this specific piece of terrain. The Mountaineers seems like a really cool organization. It's great that they can bring together so many people and create a large and diverse mountaineering community. That being said, they have a responsibility to all of us to operate at a higher standard than the average joe and yesterday morning they most certainly were not. (in fact they were operating well below that standard) If you're unclear on why this is an example of misapplication: When you're tied together without anchors on steep snow, it's unrealistic to expect your partners to be able to self arrest/hold the team if you fall. Then, when someone does fall, you have a 30-60m clothesline that will floss everybody below you off the slope. The rope isn't keeping you safe/reducing the falling hazard and is dramatically compounding the risk by multiplying the effects of a fall. In short, you're better off soloing. On this exact slope, this has been the cause of countless accidents, injuries, deaths, and one helicopter crash.
  8. I keep trying to make it happen. I don't understand why it's not working/what I'm doing wrong. I keep putting the text in and clicking 'submit' and then this happens... Unless anyone has any advice, I've kind of given up. I can get it to load about three paragraphs and a photo. If I try and add any more content than that, it goes blank. Super frustrating.
  9. After a full fall and winter of not really rock climbing/rehabbing a shoulder post surgery, I needed a fix before starting this year's work season. Earlier in the winter, I made loose plans to head to the valley for the first two weeks of May. At that point, I'd barely started climbing again after 5 months off and was very unsure of what types of routes we'd try and how I'd do on them. As the winter progressed, I was tentatively happy with the increasing amounts of climbing my shoulder could handle. That being said, my partner was talking about freeing El Cap and I was psyched to be sending 5.11 in the gym... Despite that massive disconnect, I continued deluding myself that it wouldn't be that big a deal to just french free behind a stronger parter and carried on with PT, strengthening, and training. A few weeks beforehand, things were feeling surprisingly good. I have no idea how I should feel in order to free El Cap, but my fitness was feeling ~90% of where I was pre-surgury. This was immensely satisfying. Still, the contrast between taking a few burns per day on a tips crack at Smith vs. trying to climb and haul pitch after pitch of steep granite cracks had me a little nervous for how things would play out. Fast forward to two weeks ago and myself and two strong, motivated partners are dropping off food in bear bins for two days of camping and top roping on the upper 1000' of Golden Gate. A friend of a friend was trying to do it in a push and had fixed the top for a photographer. He kindly offered to let us play on his ropes. There was also a team from the Northeast who were on the same plan and hauled up 300m of static ropes. It was going to be festive up there. Lastly, there were two guys we encountered sorting gear in the parking lot who shall henceforth be known as 'Team Entitlement' for the asshat way they handled themselves. Upon hearing our plans, T.E. instantly started grilling my Spanish friend in a rude and condescending manner about why we wanted to climb that route and what made us think we were ready for such a lofty goal? They were planning on previewing it too and to say that they were upset by the rumors of crowds would be a massive understatement. To top it off, they told us that since a rockfall event over the winter, the East Ledges trail had changed and sent us off on what turned out to be a bushwhack to nowhere. In sharing this beta, they made it crystal clear that they were Yosemite mega-locals who were the keepers of the keys to the mystical treasures hidden way up high on the Captain, so we foolishly listened to them. Thankfully, what's considered bushwhacking in California is basically just walking through the woods in Washington, so we still beat them to the fixed lines. After a sweaty walk uphill and a short detour for water, we were racking up to rap the ropes that the guys from Maine had set up the night before, when our 'friends' the locals sauntered up. The alpha-local sat down uncomfortably close to us and resumed his interrogation. He was convinced that we were bumblies intent on getting ourselves in trouble while using and abusing other people's personal property. Personal property that we surely couldn't have permission to use. After insisting that it was all going to be okay and that we did, in fact, know who's ropes we were about to rappel, what route they were on, and that we had their permission, we started loading ropes in grigris. At the first click of a carabiner, he instantly told us that the ropes were actually in the wrong place and that we should be rapping our friend's ropes 20m away on a different tree. "Because it's the better finish." Turns out Golden Gate has two possible finishes and he made it abundantly clear that the one we were about to descend was unworthy and should be avoided at all cost. Even on rappel. Why he waited until we were about to start rappelling is unfathomable. Long story short, he was completely wrong again and as we dealt with steep, overhanging rappels and passing tied off core shots, we realized we'd once again been fed a line of terrible beta. "Fool me once, shame on you..." Rapping in. Rant over. What unfolded for the next two days was amazing. While it's far from the best style, top roping pitch after pitch of perfect granite crack climbing in one of the most spectacular settings on the planet is quite fun. The three of us ended up teaming with the guys from Maine and shared burns and beta on the three crux pitches. Team Entitlement went off to go stroke their egos on some other route and our only other interaction with them was later that night. My partner had just finished jugging back out in the dark when he stumbled across their bivy. Alpha-local told him that there were some good bivy sites over near the top of the Muir and pointed directly off the edge of the abyss. Whether or not he was actually telling my friend to go look for a site off the edge of El Cap remains unclear, but the fact that he didn't point him in the direction of ten other excellent sites in the opposite direction is baffling. Working on the 'move.' A busy day on Golden Gate After returning to the valley floor, we waited out a storm and obsessed over what day it would stop raining/when we should start climbing. My friend Pedro had done Freeblast more times than he cared to admit, so we elected to jug and haul the fixed ropes to Heart Ledges and start climbing from there. Our goal was to reach the Alcove on day one and take each pitch as they came after that. We were prepared to spend 5 days on the wall. Day 1: The forecast was very accurate. There wasn't any precip, but there were plenty of clouds. We were in and out of them all day and watching them interact with the features around the Valley was incredible. The climbing was fun and the hauling sucked. (not really surprising) Climbing pitch after pitch of high quality granite cracks made wrestling 5 days of food and water completely worth it. In the last light of the evening, (brought on more suddenly by the cloud layer we'd climbed into) we were at the base of the Monster. In the interest of time we chose to aid around it on the Salathe's crux pitch to reach the alcove with minimal headlamping. Pedro boldly questing forward. (or, more accurately, taking a selfie while belaying) Finishing the day in the clouds. Day 2: The morning started with a TR lap on the Monster. It completely lives up to its reputation. While no section is particularly desperate, it feels endless and the sustained nature of the climbing is a little soul-crushing. After that it was a short bit of climbing through some wetness up to the downclimb pitch. This was the one hard pitch that we hadn't been on yet and it is nails! It's pretty mellow getting established on the two holds, but magicking them from footholds to handholds was beyond me. Pedro figured it out and came close to linking, but the sun was on by the time he was in go mode and he ultimately chose to move on. Our objective for the day was to reach the base of the move pitch and camp there that night. Pedro on the downclimb. Four traversing pitches and more wetness put us there right as the sun set. Unfortunately there was a seep above the anchor causing a light rain exactly where we were intending to set up the ledge. No problem. I figured I could just headlamp up, go bolt to bolt up the move pitch, (which we'd TR'd the week prior) A0 the crux, and we'd have nice dry camping. All was going well. Despite the dark, I was remembering sequences and by resting at each piece, (first a stopper, then a pin, then a bolt) the fatigue of the day's climbing and hauling was manageable. After casting off from a hang at the bolt, I worked my way up until I was maybe half a meter from being able to grab some tat hanging from the first of the two crux bolts. (the pitch is basically 12a to V7) I was maybe 2 meters out from the previous bolt and just had to do a powerful rockover off a good crimp and I'd be there. As I started committing to the move, my fatigue caught up with me and I felt my core loosen as I started to sag backwards off the high foot. I quickly reversed back to a stance to shake out. Looking down, it was going to be a fall, but a totally reasonable one, so I figured 'nothing ventured, nothing gained' and recommitted to the sequence. Needless to say, I punted with my fingers inches from the tat and took the ride. As the rope started to tighten, the bolt (that had raised zero red flags up to this point) exploded out of the rock and sent me on a 20 meter ride onto the old pin. My belayer told me 'when you fell, you were 10 meters above me. When you stopped, you were 10 meters below me.' (the pitch starts with a traverse) The fall ripped my headlamp from my head and sent it into the void. (that must have been interesting to watch!) Thankfully I only got some minor scrapes and a nice new Petzl hanger decorating my rearview mirror in return. I beat a hasty retreat back up to the belay and after the awkward experience of pitching the ledge with one headlamp at a dripping, hanging stance, (comprised of two bolts of the same vintage) we suffered through a soggy night's sleep. Day 3: Things started off with a decision. Do we try and battle up the pitch despite the missing bolt or do we try to reverse the four pitches of traversing ramps we'd done the previous afternoon and rap to the ground? The ramps were unappealing and I'm kind of stubborn, so I ended up casting off with all of our smallest gear and the tent pole for the fly on our ledge. I was able to find a few tcu placements to gain ground past the pin, but they didn't really get us any higher. The cheater stick was still 10-20cms shy of the tat. Pushing it higher, I managed to slot a purple tcu behind a thin, grainy flake and top-stepped a sling. With the tent pole bending like a fly rod under the weight of our 6mm tag line, I was barely able to coax the taped open carabiner into the faded tat 20' above. I then was faced with the unappealing prospect of gingerly jugging our 6mm spectra tag line hanging from an open carabiner in a ratty old sling. While I'm sure this is no big deal to a seasoned aid climber, I'm the opposite of that and was properly gripped. Long story short, we got up the pitch and by later that night had made it to within five pitches of the top. Prerigging out secret weapon. Fishing for tat on the move pitch. Another late night. Day 4: Early in the previous day, Pedro had begun to suffer from a mysterious shoulder injury. Both jugging and climbing were super painful for him, so I took over from the move pitch on. Watching him battle through what looked like random jolts of excruciating pain was inspiring. Which was a good thing, because leading and hauling every pitch worked me over pretty good. What was originally intended to be a mostly free romp up a beautiful free climb turned into something of a battle that left me physically and mentally exhausted. The 'better' finish that our alpha-local had recommended was in fact really, really good, but the pitches were hard to enjoy after everything it took to get us there. The route finishes up these beautiful hanging flakes and hand cracks on a steep headwall that feels like it's on top of the world. In addition to being beautiful, the flakes were also super thin, somewhat hollow and forced me to punch it between good cam placements. (they're not called the 'razor flakes' for nothing!) The last pitch has a mandatory move of 11b slab-funkery that took me forever to work through in my depleted state. It was immensely satisfying to finally wrap the rope around the tree at the top, feeling like I had spent all of my mental and physical stamina in reaching that point. Worked! (but happy!) A footnote to my earlier rant: Most of us are locals somewhere. We all have crags that we spend a lot of time at and know better than many of the people climbing there on any given day. This gives us a sort of power over the other visitors to these areas. Despite everything T.E. did to piss me off, they have a point. The top of El Cap is an amazing crag with little or no regulation in an area fraught with red tape and over-regulation. People leave personal property up there and despite the contentious nature of that concept, it sucks when your stuff gets damaged or taken. It would be a shame if the NPS started regulating the scene up there. Every crag has a similar set of issues endemic to it that all users need to know when visiting it. To me, the whole interaction was a valuable reminder to not be a dick when people who I don't know show up to my favorite crag. If we need to respectfully educate visitors, being open and welcoming from the get-go gets us way further to being heard and engaged on the important issues than interrogating and belittling ever will.
  10. Last year, this thread (http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1117652/Re_Your_Best_of_2013#Post1117652) was a lot of fun to read and it's about that time of the year again, so here goes: 2014 started as most years do these days (sadly) with a last gasp of climbing at Trout Creek. On literally the last day of the season, I scoped a line on the right side of the crag that turned out to be the perfect project for me this year. The next day I had to resign myself to waiting four months to try it again... The line. In March I headed to various areas of the desert with friends for a short, but sweet blast of sunshine. Emma psyched to be back on Moonlight Buttress. It's not everyday that your climbing highlight is someone else's send, but in May I got belay a good friend and constant partner as he put down a multi-year project at Trout. Wally oh so close at the end of the 13/14 season. June and July were full work mode and once again my highlights were other people's sends: Cool clouds on Jeff Park Glacier. Sneaking up Cooper Spur in a brief weather window. In August, I did manage to sneak in a few play days and was fortunate enough to help Blake and Colin put up a direct start to their new route on the M&M Wall. September was glorious and filled with the amazing granite of the Sierra Nevada: Don Juan Wall might be my favorite 5.11 period. Emma following Atlantis in the fog. Romantic Warrior. Definitely coming back for this one! In October, after months of mini-trac work, lead burns, and one-hangs, I was super psyched to finally send the proj at Trout and add my first line to the crag. http://mountainproject.com/v/the-compleat-angler/109570951 I also made a quick trip back to Moonlight and, despite hot(!) conditions, managed to barely squeak up it without weighting the rope. November/December's highlights were a week and half in this incredible place: and marrying this amazing girl:
  11. Shoot me an email: mtepfer at gmail if they're yours.
  12. Tell me what it is/where it was and I'll get it back to you.
  13. Second to last photo is the top of the crux pitch on Sheer Lunacy. (the Sharp or Sharper Crack-I don't remember...) Stern Farmer looks like good fun! I can't wait for the day that I'm lucky enough to spend day after day at Index.
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