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Posts posted by Autoxfil

  1. It was pretty much all step-across and end-runs. There were a couple "saggers" that were not obvious. I would solo it personally, but you would just need to be real heads-up. In general, the guide services really do a killer job of setting a safe route.


    I'm also very inexperienced on glaciers. Maybe dont trust my take on conditons.

  2. Trip: Mt. Rainier - Disappointment Cleaver


    Date: 6/12/2016


    Trip Report:

    In 2009, my sister got married to a climber (Bill). My other brother-in-law (Jesse) and I went climbing at the Gunks with him, and immediately signed up to go to Rainier. We trained and bought gear, and booked flights for July 2010. Then Bill got hit by a car while cycling, and Jesse broke hit foot playing Racquetball, so I ended up hiking Adams myself, and bailing on Glacier Peak.


    For the last six years, we've been climbing ice and rock and alpine routes on the east coast, and got in some trips to the Grand, Mt. Meeker, and Squamish. But never Rainier. I work with a Boeing supplier and end up out here a decent bit, and every time I see Rainier from the plane, I think about getting up there again.


    So, when work wanted to send me out in early June, and and I happened to have the weekend before free - I called up Jesse and asked if he could fly out to Seattle for a couple days. He could, and we made plans. We got out the pulleys and pickets and practiced up glacier travel, and decided on the Fuhrer Finger or maybe Kautz glacier.


    Cascade weather rarely cooperates. Being from the East, we are familiar with this phenomenon, and had backup plans on backup plans. when we took off from Philly, I thought it was stupid that we'd packed the heavy boots, because clearly we were going to Stuart. When we landed at 10:30 on Saturday, I checked the forecast again: Sunday looked perfect, and the current conditions were just cloudy and a little rain, and some fresh snow from the night before.


    We grabbed our crap and quickly drove to Paradise. Looking up into the mist confirmed that I didn't want to try and navigate to the Fuhrer Bivy in this soup and fresh snow. But, getting to Muir would be easy. We shouldered our packs at 3pm, and headed up into the fog:




    Sometimes it was pea-soup, sometimes it cleared enough to get a photo, at least of us. Then the wind came up and pounded sleet into my ear for an hour.




    But, around 10,000 feet, we popped out above it, which is my favorite thing about climbing the volcanoes.




    Someone hiking down was nice enough to drop a big Gala apple on the bootpack, which I munched down.




    We got to Muir around 6:30, kicked out a flat spot (shovels are heavy and I'm lazy), set up the tent, and were in bed by 8. Having woken up at 2am EST that morning, we were beat. The fact that I can wake up in my own bed in rural NE PA and go to sleep at high camp on a mountain thousands of miles away is pretty wild. The next morning, we got the forecast bluebird conditions.




    After a leisurely morning around Muir, we got rolling around 5:30am. We made good time to Ingraham, and roped up. (My pack is only hanging off me like a dufus because I tossed the rope in there to get through the gap).




    We made it across the Ingraham, got onto the DC, and shortened up. A party passed us, which doesn't happen to me much, so I was unhappy until I saw they were Rangers.




    We got onto the upper mountain and stopped to take some selfies... of each other taking selfies.






    It was pretty cool to see Adams, after staring out at Rainier from over there 6 years ago.




    Another party who understood "Alpine Start" better than us was on the way down when one of their party slipped into a crevasse. It was a short drop and they handled it quickly and calmly. We stopped by to heckle them a bit.




    Jesse is completely impervious to altitude. I am very much not. I am really fit, and lead the charge up to about 13,500, and then got hit with an AMS sledgehammer. Jesse took over the lead around there, and by 14,000 he was practically short-roping me. It had been less than 24 hours since I landed at SEATAC, so I guess I was asking for it.


    I shuffled across the crater behind Jesse, topped out at about 11am, and did all the summit stuff that people do:








    Then we crossed back over the crater and started down... just dropping a hundred feet had me feeling better, and I took the lead and literally ran down the upper slopes to thicker air.




    We passed most of the other parties on the mountain in our hurry to get me down - I felt shortness of breath and fluid in my lungs, which I've never gotten before. Even with the Diamox and hydration, it seemed I pushed myself close to HAPE, which isn't to be toyed with.


    We laid around at Muir for a bit, and then packed up and bombed down to the car, just about 24 hours after starting. As we drove off, we could see the weather window was already starting to close:




    Overall it was a good trip. The DC is certainly a bit of a grind, but it's still pretty aesthetic for a walk-up (way better than Adams), and any bluebird day on a big icy peak is cool! I'm glad to have gotten to finally tick that box, and I'm sure I'll look back fondly every time I fly in and out now.


    Thanks to everyone here for the advice over the years, and for sharing your cool mountains!



    Gear Notes:

    Rope, pickets and screws, beef jerky.


    Approach Notes:

    Hike up hill. Find apple. Consume.

  3. Yeah, it's not looking good. We can decide Saturday when things firm up, since it's really just warmer boots that are needed on top of our lower-altitude gear.


    Up north looks like total crap, so no Shuksan.


    Stuart looks great, weather is probably going to be OK. I think I have all the beta I need there.


    Hood's weather looks like it might be good. Eliot/Sunshine look pretty chill. NF looks like more fun.


    I am kind of assuming that the bivy and general alpine feel on Stuart is cooler than Hood. True? I've done Adams by hiking up the S. Side, and it was kinda lame, even as my first real climbing experience (6 years ago).




  4. It looks like cold weather, which should be good for Stuart.


    As far as deciding if Rainier is a go... I am keeping an eye on these links, and will make the final decision on Saturday when we arrive in Seattle. Are there any other good resources to watch?









  5. I did my own research to be sure:


    The permit zone boundary excludes climber bivouac sites immediately below Mount Stuart, Sherpa Peak, and Argonaut Peak, such as those near Goat Pass, where a permit is therefore not needed to camp.




    Stuart looks awesome, and the weather promises to be stable over there. I'm making one of those Glacier routes plan B.


    Thanks again, all.

  6. My brother-in-law and I have a pretty short window in Seattle - Saturday afternoon, and all day Sunday and Monday. Rainier is the goal, via Fuhrer, Kautz, or maybe DC/Emmons. But, if weather makes that a bad choice, I am going to have some backup plans.


    The general thought would be that we might not get 2+ days of clear weather to do Ranier, but we are pretty fast on moderate terrain, and could do many other objectives in one day, which hopefully weather will allow. We are OK with a little harder climbing than the Rainier routes - ice up to AI3 and rock up to 5.5 are super-comfy for us, and we can move fast. But, the goal is a really cool, aesthetic summit, more than climbing difficulty.


    Mostly Type I fun desired. No terrifying choss or sketchy descents, please (aka, not Forbidden Peak). This is a climbing vacation, not a vision quest. :-)


    Shuksan - Fisher or Sulphide?

    Adams - Mazama direct (headwall)

    Hood - Wy'East


  7. I'd say softshell, but only if they're totally waterproof. MH Conduit keeps me dry.


    MH Conduit is a whole lineup of membranes. Most are totally waterproof, even the one they call "Softshell". My Conduit Softshell jacket is sitting right here on my desk at work - because I will never take it climbing again. Miserable. It seems to breathe even worse than the regular Gore-Tex/HyVent/H2No lineup of trash bags many people climb in.


    Softshell - true softshell - is totally the way to go for cold-weather climbing.


    On a kinda related note I'm looking for a new ice climbing shell jacket. Things I want include a windproof, light, water resistant shell fabric with some type of microfleece or brushed polyester lining and a good helmet compatible hood. I want it to be cut long enough, so I won't ride up over my harness when I'm climbing. Think like a Arcteryx Squamish with fleece lining - or a Marmot Driclime that is actually cut for climbing. Bonuses would be if it had no pockets (or only one chest pocket) and half zip. I tried the Marmot ROM and really liked the concept but the fit sucked and it seemed on the heavy side. Something like this has to exist, but the selection at the local stores sucks and I don't trust anything sold on line.


    Check out Patagonia - I find the Ascentionist to be perfect. It's nearly 100% windproof, very water-repellent, and covers an enormous temp range. It's cut plenty long, and while it does have pockets they are low-profile and I just tuck them into my harness and don't use them. There's a third pocket in the chest that I use for small stuff. The hood is among the best I've used, with really simple volume adjustment.


    The Guide Hoody is much warmer, but I find it too warm for almost everything I do (and I live in the Northeast).

  8. Hey y'all - my climbing partner got whacked by a car last year while cycling (texting driver, super-lame), and still isn't up to lib ridge like we'd planned. But, he can climb rock like a mofo, so we're keeping our plane tickets and going to Squamish for a week in the middle of June!


    I've read the other threads and know what I'm going to climb - all those sweet granite cracks! But I had a few other questions.


    First, is the Chief campground the place to be? We're tenting it, so it's not like we can't move around if we hear about something better while we are there.


    We will be climbing Sun-Thurs. Should mid-week crowds be light, or will good weather get the locals and other vacationers out enough that we'll have to be up and moving early to get on the classics? I don't wait in line for climbs, that blows and I'd go to the Gunks if I wanted queues.


    What quality big-mountain routes are nearby? If my partner's leg acts up and he needs a rest day I plan to slip out my ice axe and get my alpine fix.


    Finally - if the weather looks too moist in Squish all that week, we're going to be in Seattle looking for other destinations. What should be on our short list that might be dry when it's sloppy wet up North? Leavenworth, Smith Rocks, Index?


    FYI, I cross-posted on ST. Sorry for those that visit both, but they seem to be rather exclusive.

  9. I use the hardware store version for rappels all the time. It's de rigueur on the east coast.


    I'm also paranoid, so I buy batches from two different stores, then use one of each per anchor. That's so close to 100% safe that it's ludicrous.


    Really, just one beefy link per station is plenty, and failing to mix and match is fine too. Rappels don't put much force on the gear, and those links are very strong and reliable, and more importantly - easy to inspect.

  10. Sold.






    Used twice, current model (<2 years old) totally perfect condition with stuff sack and cotton storage bag. Amazing loft, more than the 8.5" claimed. The footbox in particular is massive.


    $605 bag, will sell for $450 plus actual shipping.


    email filmaynard AT gmail D0T com

  11. 195cm Karhu 10th Mountain (now renamed Madshus Epoch after the K2 buyout, but the only change was the graphics). Waxless base, nice sidecut, excellent touring. I have a pair too, and ski these on pretty steep stuff (resort blacks, 25-30 degree BC bowls, no problem), but they still tour like an XC ski.


    Silvretta 500 bindings, size Large. Depending on boots these will fit from about a 9 up to Sasquatch. If you measure the sole I can tell you for sure if they will fit.


    Black Diamond full-length skins included.


    I'm selling these for my climbing partner because he's already hooked wants to upgrade to a Dynafit ski setup. He just bought the bindings (used, but in very good shape), skis (used twice), and skins (used twice). These are the hot ticket for approaching ice climbs, Alaskan peaks, or winter ascents in the lower 48 in your climbing boots.


    $500 firm, plus ship - probably $25-40.











    Sorry, he's got the skins in his pack still, so no photos of them. They look new, though.


    Best way to get me is filmaynard at gmail d0t c0m