Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About ManAmongstRuins

  • Birthday 06/07/1984


  • Occupation
  • Location

ManAmongstRuins's Achievements


Gumby (1/14)



  1. Thanks. I was looking at that site the other day. Great info. Where can I order the 7.5-minute quads? I’m looking at www.mytopo.com.
  2. You guys are A-W-E-S-O-M-E. I didn't think I would generate enough responses after initially introducing my "crazy" idea. Anyway, I apologize for the delayed response. Been very busy lately with my societal responsibilities. But I still hear the PICKETS calling! Can’t wait to spend what will seem like eternity in the mountains. What's it like going to Luna Peak by descending from the Challenger to Luna Cirque then up to the col? Thanks for your concern. I'll be back with glorious mountain stories! I'll also even throw in some video footage. And no, you won't see them on the 10 olock news! Dude, can you somehow attach an avy beacon or a gps transmitter to the camera? Recovering it will be beneficial to the filmmakers when they make the documentary. And oh by the way, Jon Krakauer called and wants to interview you BEFORE your trip. HAH! I almost died choking on my food when I read this. Well, the next time Jon Krakauer calls, tell him not to worry he'll get the interview AFTER the trip. I thought my personality type was evident when I mentioned this as my only concern. Naturally, I am more or less socially withdrawn. I prefer doing things alone, especially something that is very personal and sacred to me like being in the mountains. That's just me. But it's not that i'm terribly uncomfortable with the idea of hitchhiking/partnering with a fellow human. If I really had to, I'll do it. At the risk of sounding ridiculous I'll answer your questions: 1) Negative. I've studied all I can about glacier travel thru videos and books. It's time to put on the crampons, take out the ice axe and start trekking my ass on one myself. 2) No, but I'm prepared to meet my maker. Chances of surviving a fall into a crevasse are next to nil. If I am roped and dangling free in a crevasse I'll refer to what I've studied about self-rescue. I'm not going to pay $$$ to have a professional put me in a crevasse and show me how it's done. 4) If God forbid I break a leg or suffer some other severe injury where walking would be impossible, the only thing I can do is S.T.O.P. (stop, think, observe, and plan). In a survival situation, self-control, the will to survive, and prayer are essentially what you’ll need if you want to live to see another day. I obviously know how to use my survival kit and have basic survival skills. I wouldn’t be wandering in the wilderness alone if I did not. 5) Never really technically rock climbed so no. Self-control and the ability to make keen observations, good judgment, and decisions are my greatest tools. Without this, I might as well be dead before leading a rock climb. I won't climb anything I feel even the slightest bit out of my comfort zone. 6) Unzipped gear? I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean by this. And if this is technical jargon used in mountaineering, please don't bash me for my ignorance. 7) I own a 150' parachord. obviously not a climbing rope but a rope nonetheless... used for emergency situations, lowering my pack from cliffs/steep descents, that sort of thing. I do plan on buying a climbing rope after I've talked to the trainers at my gym, of course. 8) I'll worry about that once i've studied my route thoroughly. The only concern I have at this point is whether or not I should bring my bear canister which is the bulk of my pack. I proudly own a copy of the Freedom of the Hills, and have been reading and studying it since i bought it one year ago. I'm joining a gym solely to get a hands-on feel for the gear (self-belaying and rappelling devices, the harness, carabiners, quickdraws, knots used when tying in, etc). I doubt Ill be needing any of this stuff on my journey in the Pickets really. The climbing aspect of the class is of little importance to me, since naturally, (I believe at least) I'm a good climber. Not to boast or anything. Just saying that my FREE SOLO climbing techniques have worked efficiently for me thus far. None taken. I may have come across to most of the people here as just another crazy, ambitious dude from New York who daydreams about escaping the mundane city life and seeks the thrill of being on a mountaintop yelling 'I'm the King of the world". The truth of the matter is I'm not a thrill-seeker nor am I as ambitious as the professional alpinist who tries desperately to climb the biggest and baddest mountains only to get his/her name in the books. I respect all mountains as if they were the thrones of the gods. They are not there for our amusement, our pleasure, or our sport. They are there for our self-sacrifice. They are there for us to ultimately liberate ourselves from worldly attachments, desires, and passions; “finding our true self” is the only real purpose when we venture off into the wild and unpredictable nature of the unknown. I believe, and no offense to you or anyone who disagrees with me, that those who pursue mountaineering purely out of pleasure or passion have missed the point. These are the people that have no business being in the mountains in the first place regardless of how technically experienced they are in alpinism. Yeah, I know, call me a Cynic but mountaineering seems like it's become more about thrill-seeking and personal achievement than the spiritual and contemplative journey to inner liberation. I could go on and on about what the mountains mean to me, but I don't want ruin the main focus of the thread. And I hope I didn't ruin people's perception of me. The Mountains humble me immensely. Cowards beware! haha. Sounds more fascinating than frightening. Well, I hope you're wrong . But to me, it's not about being fit or ambitious. My spirit drives me to reach a level that would otherwise be unattainable by the fittest and most ambitious. It's not a burden for those who choose to risk their own lives to save others whether or not the incident is caused by the victim's "ignorance", "lack of experience" or "naivety." And if it is, they're in the wrong profession. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful that there are people out there who save lives for a living but I can't think that I'd be responsible for all the effort and time spent (not to mention risks involved) in a SAR mission to haul my ass out if something were to happen to me. Mountains will be climbed and many will die trying. Lives will be saved and many will die trying. And these stories will all be forgotten by the media and the masses. Cynicalwoodsman, thank you for taking the time out to share some of your thoughts. Same here! Thanks, Alex! Hahhaahahah! That's good stuff, man. Thank you! Wastral, this has been very helpful. That photo at Luna Pass is awesome. Seems like you had quite an adventure. Thanks for sharing. And if you have the time can you send me the link to Aiden/Micheal/Theron trip report? Ive printed several reports but don't know which one exactly you're referring to. thanks again. Wastral is right. I'm climbing within my comfort zone. Everyone's got one. But my comfort zone could be another man's "death zone." I'm perfectly comfortable 'scrambling' up low 5th class. Approaching a 5.8 would be the threshold of imminent death. We'll see though! Wastral, you sound like my kind of guy! I couldn't agree more. The mountains today are fast becoming commercialized. Mt. Rainier is a perfect example. Only those with the most expensive climbing gear, the most technical experiences, graduates of the top mountaineering schools, etc are welcomed. Mountain climbing has become mechanical, technical, and materialistic, all driven by bourgeois sentimentalism. It's the ultimate dumbing down of alpinism! He's high on life. Your point is that East Coast mountain lovers would have not the slightest inkling of what they're getting into when they come out to the mountains of the Northwest for the very 1st time. My point is the Pickets are calling and I must go.
  3. Whoa. Okay. I think I may have underestimated the Pickets. This has been quite a setback..:\ or rather an eyeopener. Honestly though, gentlemen, I cannot see myself NOT going this summer. After hours upon hours of delving into the myriad of photos, I am inextricably attracted to these majestic mountains. There is something about them. Regardless of my meager level of mountaineering experience in alpine environment of the Northwest, I have to go. I can, of course, set aside my foolish ambition to complete the entire traverse and settle for something that is more reasonable as most, if not, all of you have seriously suggested. Short answer is that you don't. Crossing Picket Pass and climbing out the headwaters of MacMillan creek up Outrigger is the crux of a Picket traverse. Take a look at http://www.mountainwerks.org/cma/2004/pickets/index.html to see exactly that that might entail, or just look at a map. Looks unlikely, because it is. Far easier to 1) approach Luna via Big Beaver/Access Creek or 2) Whatcom Pass/Challenger Glacier/Luna cirque/Luna Col, and these are still not easy options! I did 1) this summer and found it to be the most taxing approach I've done, anywhere, and I've climbed a bit in the Sierra and Andes besides a lot of the usual suspects in the Cascades. I would recommend the #2 as a much more reasonable itinerary, and it's still a burly-ass traverse. But at least with easier bailing options. Just don't try to escape via Luna Creek. Have you looked into the Ptarmigan traverse? Just as scenic as the Pickets and much friendlier traveling. You could easily spend 10 days back there, between the traverse and all the peaks you could bag. The car shuttle issue is much more acute, though. The main attraction view-wise of the N pickets is the view onto the N faces of the south pickets, which are freakin' gnarly looking. But you also have view of other N cascade mastiffs--eldorado, Kangaroo Ridge, Snowfield, et al, and MacMillan creek really does look like it might have dinosaurs living in it still. Andyrew, approach #2 sounds ideal. I’m writing this down as one my itineraries! As far as the Ptarmigan traverse, how would I get back to my car? Do I hike out-and-back? How many miles am I looking at here? ok now im starting to worry For good reason. This is not usually a place to learn as you go. It can be a 3 dimensional hell if you dont put in your homework and/or consider joining in with a partner or team with some experience in the area. Again, I am hoping you have a great experience, i just want you to go in sober and prepared. Gps doesnt always work in the valleys , route-finding is very difficult, the terrain is very punishing. Your gear will have to be very light to race against you own capacity for exertion. These are some of the toughest mountains around, but savvy travelers have great trips here quite often. I 'll send you a pm and we chat over it if you want. Of course, you must post a tr here in return, Steph Abeggs site has some great beta as does Summitpost (again Steph the Amazing Beta Queen) and I have some helpful hints in my website too. I imagine it to be menacingly tortuous but as I said, I am drawn to these mountains despite its wild and rugged nature. Rest assure, for the months leading up to this trip I will be doing my homework. No partners though. I’m a lone wolf even after 26 years of living in an overpopulated metropolis like the Big Apple. Heh. Thank you, Wayne! It’s always a blessing to have people who are willing to help a young fellow. Your website is AWESOME! I haven’t looked at everything yet b/c of the workload I have here at the office. I’m in the process of printing out everything I can about my trip (ie. Trip reports, maps, etc). Also, thought I should mention – I came across Steph Abegg’s trip reports and photos on summitpost and her very own site a few months ago by happenstance and it was then when I began to hear the Pickets calling. I will shoot you an email some time this week. Thanks. Thanks, Alex. I will look into the Bailey Range. Yes, sir! And I appreciate everyone here who has taken the time out to contribute! Ptarmigan Traverse sounds like a great 2nd option. I definitely won’t try an entire pickets traverse now that I’ve carefully listened to everyone’s advice on here, but I do want to attempt one of the “easier” approaches to the pickets, preferably the Northern Pickets (ie. Whatcom, Challenger, Luna Peak). There’s a panoramic photo of the entire Picket range that was taken from Luna (I believe by Steph Abegg) and boy is it divine. Only God knows how much I’d love to be there right now. Thank you all!
  4. Andyrew, thanks! You’re right. it should be the least of my worries. I’ll probably try to catch a ride from the visitor center. But then again, after reviewing photos, maps, topo, trip reports, etc for the past couple of days traversing the entire range is incredibly ambitious for a first-time visit to the pickets. I might have to reconsider…but I really want to do this. I have 8-10 days to explore and conquer the mountains. I’d like to make the most of those days. Spending more than a week in one section doesn’t sit well with me, you know. Thanks, andyrew! Awesome! Just placed an order. Advice worth listening to – if anything, this is an understatement! You might consider hiking one of the Beaver valleys to Whatcom Pass and bag Whatcom Peak and maybe Luna on the way. If that goes well, the views will give you a decent idea of what the step up to a full traverse might be like for next time. And no, your mom didn’t pay me to say this, just trying to point you toward a successful trip. Hah! You know my mother thinks I’ve lost my mind after my first solo trip to the mountains a couple of years ago. She says thrill-seekers live a short life. I tell her it’s not about thrill seeking but rather soul searching. And then she tells me to go to church. I keep hearing great things about Luna, how do you get to the peak from the south (Goodell creek)? Thanks, will do! So the Northern Pickets offer the best scenic views? Can I see Mt Baker, Rainier, or the Olympics from here?
  5. Thank you all very much for your input. I’d like to do a North to South traverse b/c I hear the boat ride to the trailhead is a great way to start a long and arduous adventure; and also, I plan on documenting my journey on film so to start it off with a pleasant and peaceful ride along the lake with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and thick forest, unaware of the rugged and wild nature of my journey that lies ahead, would look good “cinematically”. But I’m a bit confused. If I park my car in the lot at Ross Lake and exit via Goodell Creek, how would I get back to the car? Walk along the road? I believe it’s a little over 10 miles between Goodell and Ross Lake. Is there a shuttle bus I can take or do I just stick my thumb out and hitch a ride with a stranger? I’m not entirely comfortable with the latter. But what are your thoughts? How do I solve this car dilemma? Regarding the obstacles involved at certain points along the range (ie. Otto-himmel col etc), I have not familiarized myself with a detailed map of the area so I can’t comment on some of the routes you guys mentioned/suggested. As far as my level of experience is concerned, I wouldn’t quite say that I am an “experienced climber” in the technical sense but I wouldn’t say that I’m just a beginner either. I’ve free solo climbed the Kaweah Peaks in the Sierra, rock walls in the Grand Canyon, other peaks here in the Northeast – Adirondacks in NY and White Mountains in NH that I believe, few will ever dare trying without a rope. I know the Picket Range will be unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, so knowledge on technical mountaineering is a must, which is why I’ve joined a rock gym here in NYC and have signed up for classes, etc. Keenwesh, you mentioned Fred Beckey. Which of his alpine guides would I need to pick up for this trip? Thanks!
  6. Thanks for the tip, Wayne! Anyone else care to chime in?
  7. Hello, folks. I am planning for a 10-day solo excursion to the mountains in August and would really love to hear your thoughts on how to make the most of it. I would really love to see both the Northern and Southern Pickets. For now I just have a few questions: What would be the best route/approach for someone who plans on traversing thru the entire Picket Range? I realized that i would need to do a 'loop' in order to get back to my car unless there's another alternative. Maybe if i leave my car at Ross Lake, entering thru Big Beaver via water taxi ride then exiting the Pickets at Goodell Creek, would it be wise to troop it back to Ross Lake, in other words, walk along the highway "x" number of miles to where I parked the car? (I'm not sure what the distance is between Gooddell Creek and Ross Lake.) Do I need a backcountry permit/to make reservations with the park? What's the weather like mid-end Aug thru early Sept? What are some recommended peaks to bag? Mt. Fury, Terror, Challenger,etc.? Do I absolutely need a bear canister? Lastly, are there any good maps/books out there? Please! Any help/advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
  • Create New...