Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by manninjo

  1. Trip: Mt. Rainier - Ptarmigan Ridge Date: 5/28/2017 Trip Report: Climbed Ptarmigan Ridge on Rainier over the Memorial Day weekend. It was the kind of trip that gets you reinvigorated on being out in wilderness, in the alpine, not too far by car but far enough away from an increasingly urban Puget Sound region (while keeping the urban agglomeration in sight at the same time). There is some beta in this report to add to the very useful stuff that already exists online. We left Seattle early Friday afternoon and the trailhead by 4:20pm (after running into two well-known speed ski-mountaineers from Utah in the parking lot), camped at St. Elmo's Pass (where a Ptarmigan was sighted, Chili-Mac was spilled, the International Space Station flew overhead, and two skiers passed by at 4am) and the 10,300ft Ptarmigan Ridge high bivy Saturday. With Alisse in the lead crossing the Carbon on the second day we saw no less than 13 people climbing towards Liberty Ridge. The sun on the glacier was merciless and the slopes to gain Ptarmigan Ridge felt endless. We had passed some wet slides on the way up and so Andy led a chossy downclimb in the vicinity of a rap station to avoid some solar slopes, after which we belayed a snowy traverse to access the high camp. We spent the balmy afternoon and evening hydrating, listening to rockfall clatter down the route, eyeing the ice cliff for signs of instability, looking over at the climbers camped at Thumb Rock, wondering about a helicopter that buzzed the mountain on the way to the Emmons (we later learned of a relatively positive outcome), and conjecturing about conditions on the ridge. Alarms set for 2:30am, we went to sleep around 8pm. The ice cliff woke us up at 10:30pm when it randomly calved. Later the wind whipped up and made for a fitful night. A groggy start and we were out of camp by 4:15am or so. We jogged under the ice cliff and started climbing the well bridged bergschrund by 4:40. At this point it was light enough to see without a headlamp and arguably a bit late to be starting up the route. We climbed slowly and steadily up the first chute, finding excellent crisp snow. At the minor rib we completely stretched the rope and did a long running belay, keeping at least one picket, ice screw, cam, pin, or nut between us, across the horizontal traverse and up another chute to the where the variations diverge. Gorgeous pink light illuminated the cliffs above the traverse and also brought down a few small stones. It was a relief to reach and climb in the shade. We had seen some perverse-looking ice towers on the left variation which looked quite unstable and that simplified our decision making. Right was right. An unintentionally long break was had before continuing up another chute filled with 60 degree windslab. After burrowing through the overlaps, we reached a small saddle with a bivy site. Another steep snow chute led to a fun and easy mixed pitch below the rock step. Unable to locate a fixed pin to belay from, I set a two nut and picket anchor 20 feet below the step. There is still a fixed pin at the crux as well as other options for gear. I'd seen this rated anywhere from low-fifth to 5.6 to 5.8, and in the condition I found it, there is at least a move or two of what I would call Joshua Tree 5.7. The feet are small initially and the good holds are a very long reach with an ice tool. I stemmed out left to a rocky smear, tapped my right front points into the centimeter thick ice smear on the right, and committed to a lock-off on my tool to reach high to a good hold with my bare left hand. This was not before some cursing about the apparent unexpected difficulty. Immediately easier terrain followed, with excellent snow to bring up my partners off a deadmanned picket and rock I chopped behind to create a hybrid rock/snow bollard. As others have written, the steep climbing is effectively over after the rock pitch. The day was flying by for us, it was already nearly 1pm and we still had 2000 feet to gain to the Liberty Cap summit. An uneventful slog on tired legs led us to the top by 4pm. The weather was still holding out, the slight chance of convective showers never materialized. A nice bootpack led down to the col with Columbia Crest and down the Emmons. A few shortcuts were taken, one of which involved jumping a crevasse. We elected to stay at Camp Sherman for our third night. Some nice skiers gave us water and interesting conversations were had and overheard as the sun set over Puget Sound City and the water and Olympics. Disaster was avoided in the morning after an errant blue bag was located in the snow after being partially buried. A few long glissades on horribly gloppy wet snow got us down from Steamboat Prow. We encountered a mama bear and young cub on the hike out to round out what had been an excellent time in the mountains. To cap it all off, we went to the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet at the Muckleshoot casino and gorged on a strange and wonderful variety of foods including crawfish, steak, pizza, sushi, clam chowder, pasta, bread pudding, chocolate mousse, and big mugs of coffee. And there was no traffic getting back to town. Thanks to Alisse and Andy for the great trip and thanks to Joseph who generously and selflessly loaned us his megamid and who would have been there if not for the recent knee surgery to enable a return to climbing later this year. The route is in excellent condition and seems set to stay that way for some time. Most of the blue ice I've seen photos of on the route is still buried and the route will undoubtedly get sportier as the season progresses. Gear Notes: 60m 7.8mm twin/half rope 6 alpine draws 1 blue dmm offset stopper 1 medium HB nut 1 small lost arrow 1 thin knifeblade 1 small blue metolius cam 3 pickets 5 ice screws of varying lengths - too many this early 1 ice axe 1 ice tool crevasse gear megamid Approach Notes: Pay for climbing pass online, print permit form beforehand to impress Ranger with your organizational skills. White River Campground > St. Elmo's Pass > Curtis Ridge > Ptarmigan Ridge
  2. [TR] Mt. Rainier - Ptarmigan Ridge 5/28/2017

    Thanks! Yes, much of Ptarmigan is/was especially skiable with the conditions we had. I also forgot to mention the skiers who passed us at St. Elmo's were later seen skiing Liberty Ridge. I consolidated some condition-type photos, looks like a couple have partial views to that part of the mountain. https://goo.gl/photos/a6fzbN53TLh14vkw7
  3. Sweet, looks like that will help clean things up. I would add, at the top of the magic alder tunnel approach thing, you will eventually be forced to go left or right. Both ways look like they could get you to the start. Make sure you go right, otherwise you will end up fourth/low fifth class traversing back over to get to the starting pitches.
  4. Trip: Snoqualmie Pass - Guye Peak lower southwest flank - Ice Flows Date: 2/11/2017 Trip Report: A couple weekends back I noticed some wild looking ice on the lower cliff bands on Guye Peak's SW aspect. It is just visible on the right as you are driving up to Alpental. Saturday came around and we went to have a look (aka gawk at the gnarly stuff and find some more moderate lines to lead). The ice had held up reasonably well after the rain this week, and the approach slopes were stable, with a few inches of windblown on top of the recent rain's ice crust. The ice crust was partially boot supportive, with the inevitable lurking random post-hole. These icicles had been a bit fatter earlier in the month - gully on left of icicles looks like it goes too? I'm curious to know if they ever completely connect. We climbed a nice, somewhat crusty and relatively steep 15m flow below this photo - the left of two parallel columns hidden in the trees (no photos). Belayed in trees 30m above the base. Above, a brief snowfield led to a curtain with a belay cave on the right. From the cave, this nearly 60m meter pitch climbed the curtain, steep snow, and more lower angle ice to a prominent tree right of a protruding dead snag. This aspect could be tricky with conditions (and may not even form very often) and we were fortunate to have cloud cover and snow flurries most of the day. There appears to be a number of lines in shape right now, from steep snow to moderate ice to some pretty extreme looking stuff. And its hard to beat leaving and returning home in the daylight in winter while having time to get a beer in North Bend on the way back. Gear Notes: Two 60m ropes, ice screws, smaller rock gear, slings. Approach Notes: From the primary Alpental parking lot, head across the road to the summer trail and turn east, walking past the beacon search practice area; about 1/2 mile. The lines are located at approximately 3400 ft. 20-50 minutes depending on conditions.
  5. CL post for rope with photos - asking $30. http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/spo/5990120231.html - Sold to man with canoe Also have BD First Shot V thread tool - like new condition. 50% off retail, $10 local pickup, $15 shipped, obo. http://www.alpinist.com/doc/web10f/ms-kl-bd-exp-first-shot I can be pretty slow at checking messages here so best to email me - email address is username here at gmail.com.
  6. 2016/17 Ice Conditions

    Climbed at Kiddie Cliff on Wednesday night. Thankfully didn't get car towed from Lot 4 at Alpental. There is a really nice track all the way into the falls for skis or snowshoes, and a newly excavated trail to a tree anchor at the top (there are a few different ones). Snow was stable on approach and around falls. Use two 60m ropes to rappel or TR. No photos but with the full moon it was pretty nice. The upper tier has a good 30 ft steep section with relatively thick ice of varying degrees of plasticity. The bottom tier is mostly buried.
  7. 2016/17 Ice Conditions

    In re Alpental ice climbs and avalanche hazard - definitely worth repeating that many lines are subject to persistent avalanche hazard. We were glad to carry avy gear on Saturday. I wasn't keen on hanging out under phantom slide, thankfully alpental falls is climbers right of the main slide path. In certain snow conditions it wouldn't be safe at all. What is the consensus on avalanche concern for chockstone falls and kiddie cliff? Both have approach slopes that are just big enough to slide, perhaps kiddie cliff approach more so. Looking at satellite its hard to determine the overhead hazard for those climbs. Certainly source lake line, flow reversal, bryant buttress etc all have significant approach and overhead hazard.
  8. 2016/17 Ice Conditions

    Climbed Alpental Falls yesterday. Pretty deep wallowing even with snowshoes to get to the base. Track may be filled in now with 9 inches of new snow overnight. Practice gully looked to be completely buried. The flow is shaping up nicely, although the lower angle lower half was pretty thin and wet, with some snow over rock in places. We climbed the far right side and traversed left under rock, which helped avoid the hanging snow above the climb that could threaten the middle and left side of the flow. The upper steep portion was slushy and we rappelled from a station a few feet below the top on the right side. Based on the amount of ice on road the cuts at Snoqualmie Pass, there should be a lot of stuff coming in soon or already in. My phone camera is pretty blurry but this shows snow depth, and the big blob of ice at the top of the falls.
  9. gone

    Delete, thanks
  10. Renting harness and rope

    Hopefully not possible. I guess gyms rent harnesses for use in the gym. Seems like a 30m glacier rope would cost as much to buy outright as to rent (if that was a thing, thankfully it is not).
  11. Have some gear still for sale on MP - local pickup/meetup definitely available in Seattle and surrounding environs. Email me at my username at gmail.com as that is faster than messaging me here. https://www.mountainproject.com/v/fs-metolius-tcus-la-sportiva-testarossa-510-anasazi-vcs-and-more/111860918 #1, #2, #3 TCUs, prefer to sell as a set, $79, or $29 each sold Camp #4 ball nut, never placed or used, racked only. $19 #3 Piton - $5 Locking biner and ATC - $7 Grivel g12 - $45, or sell me one, or trade to make matched pair Testarossa, size 42.5. Tons of original rubber, less than 30 pitches over a couple years, too small and painful for me - $65 5.10 Anasazi, size 9.5, Tons of original rubber, also less than 30 pitches over a couple years, also too small and painful for me - $50 Pair of 6 step BD Etriers, lots of life left, $39
  12. [TR] Chair Peak - NE Buttress 3/19/2016

    It was 32 degrees in the parking lot at about 4am. Highs were forecast to be in the low-mid 40s but it was really windy with some intermittent cloud cover which helped things from warming up too much. As an aside, we went back last Saturday to do the North Face route, but the steep snow slope below the face was extremely loaded with windslab/snow that had sluffed off the face and piled up. There was a slab that had released in the vicinity of where you would belay the first pitch (the first pitch did look super fat, thick blue ice). Also, the cornice over the N.Face route was huge and really overhanging last weekend. We repeated the first pitch (S-gulley) of the NE Buttress and rapped off in two 30m rappels. Two other parties of two were ahead of us and continued up the route. The ice/snice was a bit worse for the wear compared with the week before and I think you'd want some lower freezing levels for the route to be in good shape.
  13. Please check your pm's.
  14. Hot off the press: http://www.seattletimes.com/life/outdoors/hoping-to-camp-at-the-enchantments-it-just-got-harder/ Forest Service: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=fsbdev3_053607 "The permit season, formerly June 15-Oct. 15, will now be May 15-Oct. 31."
  15. For sale: set of 185 length 95 waist BD Kilowatts with Fritschi Freeride bindings and skins I would part with for a reasonable offer. Skis/bindings are like 2010/2011 model, above average condition. Also comes with full length zippered ski bag. Can provide photos upon request.
  16. WTB Alpine Touring/Fritschi Ski Set Up

    I have a set of 185 length 95 waist BD Kilowatts with Fritschi Freeride bindings and skins I would part with for a reasonable offer. Skis/bindings are like 2010/2011 model, above average condition.
  17. http://www.climate.washington.edu/outlook.html I've been climbing waterfall ice in Washington the last two or three seasons. It seems like we get a solid week or two here and there at alpental and leavenworth and in the desert. For those that have been doing this a little longer, what's your take on our chances of having a viable season this winter, given the strong el nino forecast? Hope for easy alpine access again because we won't have snow at the heliotrope or stuart lake trailheads? Plan for a week in the rockies, hyalite or canmore? Looking forward to climbing this winter but I'd love some quick hits at the more roadside spots.
  18. PNW ice in an el Nino winter

    What do you mean by more persistent blocking, is that longer or more frequent periods of high pressure, as we saw last winter?
  19. PNW ice in an el Nino winter

    Thanks for all the responses and photos! Yes, it seems like conditions have come in when a cold front follows a moisture system. My concern is with higher average temperatures, we won't have as much ice forming, at least at lower elevations in washington and the gorge. But that is good to know about 2003/4 in the fraser valley. I hadn't really considered strobach before, looks like some great lines there. If I could combine cragging at tieton with some access maintenance, that would be a solid weekend. I'm all for the alpine but limited approaches are definitely nice, especially on short winter days. Here's hoping for some colder weather in the near future!
  20. My partner dropped one of our screws down the face on Sunday October 4th and I think/hope your group of four was able to snag it on your way up the face. Sorry we did not get a chance to connect after climbing the route. We left a crude note using knife and cardboard on what I believe was one of your cars, phone number may or may not have been legible. I'd love to get the screw back and would love to buy your group some beer for the trouble. Feel free to send me a pm for my phone number or email me at manninjo at gmail . com. Thank you!
  21. [TR] X38 - New routes at Gun Show 9/12/2015

    Great addition of new routes on the far side of gunshow, lots of work went into the area for sure, thanks Sam! There's a bit of dirt and some rock you need to be a little careful with, but the climbing movement is fun and belay spots are comfortable. Anyone looking for some climbs longer than one pitch at exit 38 would enjoy a visit to the area.
  22. [TR] Spontaneous WA Pass and Leavenworth 9/11-9/13

    That is some serious dedication to rock climbing, awesome that worked out with a last minute flight across the country. Can't beat the west coast for climbing!
  23. Hwy 20 Closure/Goodell Fire

    In case anyone was planning on heading up there soon: "Date: August 19, 2015 Contact: Fire Information , 360-854-7361 Marblemount, WA – Goodell Fire burned down to and crossed State Route 20 this afternoon causing a rockslide. The Department of Transportation has closed the highway while firefighters and helicopters work to slow the fire’s spread, remove the debris and make the popular scenic route safe for travelers again. The North Cascades Visitor Center, the Upper and Lower Goodell group camps, and Newhalem Creek Campground are closed due to the fire and concern for visitor safety. State Route 20, the North Cascades Scenic Byway, is closed from Newhalem to Rainy Pass until further notice. Evacuations are in place for the town Diablo, Gorge Campground, North Cascades Environmental Learning Center, and Ross Lake Resort. The Goodell Fire has been backing down the ridge towards Newhalem: firefighters have an engine, a water tank and water lines in place at the southern toe of the slope to protect the town and Seattle City Light’s power infrastructure. Today’s weather and winds pushed the fire both east and west and downslope to the highway. The Goodell Fire was detected on August 10 and was estimated approximately eighty acres yesterday." http://www.nps.gov/noca/learn/news/goodell-fire-state-route-20-closure-and-evacuation.htm
  24. Really not a lot of snow up there, thanks for the photos! That scree in the south chute is definitely some fun stuff. I think driving across the narrows bridge to Tacoma is a tad quicker if you are in the Seattle area, for people who don't want to pay for or miss the Kingston ferry.