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Albuquerque Fred

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Albuquerque Fred last won the day on May 7 2019

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About Albuquerque Fred

  • Birthday 12/24/1973


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  1. Trip: Lincoln Peak - X Couloir Trip Date: 05/05/2019 Trip Report: Enticed by the prospect of some relentless steep snow climbing, I had been eyeing Lincoln for some time. Given the short season I was really hoping for a good weather window and it was delivered this weekend. Max and I made a leisurely 4 pm departure from the car just a couple of switchbacks up the road from the Ridley Creek TH. After the road ended we endured about 5 minutes of slightly brushy trail before I lost patience and took us up into steep open forest and eventually to a crappy gully. We reached the end of the marked trail and discovered walking downhill 200' to the bend would be better than dealing with half a mile of dense new growth on the ridge. We eventually gained the ridge around 4800' and slogged up to find a decent patch of flat snow at 6200' where we set up camp around 7:30. Alarms went off at 3 and we were moving a little after 4. Although warmer than the preceding week, clear skies overnight had firmed the snow up pretty well. We made our way north around the buttress to the open basin SW of the peak. I switched from walking to front-daggers around 7600'. The lower bergschrund was easy to cross, and after that it was a rising leftward traverse to a spot above a rock outcrop next to a wind lip separating this entry slope from the one immediately below the 1st couloir. Key points of the route from here up to the summit are visible in a straight line. With foreshortening the location of the summit is not exactly obvious, which had me second guessing my dim recollection of the beta I had seen. It is easy to understand why one might pick a gnarly spot on the ridge as the summit rather than choosing the one it was, which from our perspective was a relatively benign appearing white lump. We roped up here and simuled 2 long pitches, swinging leads at the top of the 1st couloir on a steep wind lip. The crack below the 1st couloir was barely open. Snow was essentially perfect for this kind of climb. There was a thick supportable crust that took points and front daggers excellently. Most places whenever a rest was needed it was easy to kick in a few times to make a bomber step pocket. Runnels had not yet formed so we were able to move efficiently either vertically or laterally. Each couloir had a firmer streak near the middle, but still not ice or anything that would take a screw. I never measured a slope angle, but it never felt too steep. We reached the top a little after 9 and took some time to enjoy the views and not be on front points. We belayed the downclimb from the summit block to the saddle at the top of the couloir. Max rapped the first rope length, then we simuled down the way we came up. We were below the bergschrund by noon or so. Every now and then a little rock would roll downhill nearby, reminding us to keep moving. The descent went smoothly, this time we just followed the trail to the road. I discovered that my impatience with the trail on the uphill trek originated with insecurity wearing trail runners and carrying a heavy pack. Going down still wearing boots it went so quickly that I didn't even recognize the spot we had left the trail the day before. Gear Notes: 6 pickets (used all), 3 screws (did not use) Approach Notes: Parked at 2nd switchback ~2700'. Snow started at 3800' where the trail turns north. In this area we found attempts to use open forest instead of brushy trail were not worth the effort. The trail has actually been tended in the not too distant past, and not too bad by Cascades standards. Accept the trail.
  2. Argonaut and Sherpa viewed from Lake Stuart Trail. It was about a million degrees. View from base camp, which is in the low notch in the previous photo Sean heading up to Sherpa Argonaut at sunrise. The gully we used tops out at the notch, though as Sean mentioned the ridgeline is a bit more complicated than the photo suggests. There's another good photo of the upper approach from top of Sherpa. Scrambling to the 1st pitch Watering up Sean right before the countertop catwalk. First pitch is at the left-hand notch. Sean on the first pitch leading of the summit proper. He has already placed both #5 and #6 cams ;^) Sean with some rocks Nonstandard approach to NW Arete of Argonaut Stuart and Sherpa with stuff on the top of Argonaut Colchuck and rainbow 4th rap to Colchuck-Argonaut col Sean defeats the wind with rocks and all the old tat he harvested Emerging from fog at Dragontail col Yet another obligatory Core Enchantments Zone photo. The technicolor clouds heralded the arrival of accursed haze, thick and smoky by the time we left town that afternoon. Snow was soft and bootpacked. We carried crampons just to look rad.
  3. The ones I saw seemed newer than that, plus someone signed the Horseshoe log on the 16th. I saw your TR, it was the source of the stoke! Thanks for that!
  4. Trip: Boston - Buckner - Horseshoe - Boston - Buckner - Horseshoe Trip Date: 06/17/2018 Trip Report: Sean is always bitching at me to write up one of my adventures. So here it is, two day trip to tag Boston, Buckner, and Horseshoe. Happy?? I got a leisurely 930 am start at Eldo TH at MP 20 on Cascade River Road, up the Boston Basin climber's trail. Snow mostly melted out in the trees, almost complete snow coverage by 5800'. Brush on the old road grade at 3-4k made me glad I wasn't carrying skis. Continued up the Quien Sabe Glacier to reach the Boston-Sahale Col around 5 pm. From that vantage the S face of Boston looks improbable. I ended up ascending the ridge towards the false summit until the end of the snow and east-hanging cornices. Traversed around the east side but was continually nonplussed with descending or contouring. I opted to scramble back to the ridge crest near the saddle between the southern false summits which led me to a decent and short ledge system which deposited me on the upper reaches of the Boston Glacier. From this vantage the contours of the route on Boston became more apparent, and as I got closer I saw all the rap slings among the ledges. Dropped my pack and gave it a go, reaching the top a little before 7 pm. The exposure is unmistakable and thought provoking, especially with mountaineering boots. Due to all the choss reports on this peak I tested foot and hand holds extra deliberately. Fought my way past the plastic unicorn guarding the posh log and signed the first entry of this year. Whoever it was on CC or Peakbagger who said they downclimbed this route has balls of steel and the patience of a Thomas Pynchon reader. Rapped 3 pitches and headed down and across the Boston Glacier to bivy at 7300' below the N Face of Buckner, finally dropping my pack around 9 and dug in for the night. Up at 4:30 am and eventually moving at 5:40. There were a few cracks opening up, but as observed from Boston a clear route up the N Face. The snow had hardened overnight though was still a little punchy from where I started. When the slope steepened over 7800' it became more firm. It was quite secure on front points, with rest spots easy to kick in every now and then. Nothing like the bullet proof holy shit don't slip bowling alley lane that Sean and I encountered on the Nohokomeen Headwall 3 weeks prior. It was mostly straight up to about 8400' where I began a leftward ascending traverse along a snow finger to the main slope beneath the peaks. Then more straight up to the summit near the SW peak. Front dagger and front points almost the whole way. Glorious. Topped out around 745, fiddled around finding the ledge on the south side around the gendarme blocking access to the NE peak. Took a break at the top of both summits, both crawling with ladybugs. Oh my God am I glad I am here. If they had put these mountains in Texas it would be cockroaches instead. Following a boot track I believe may have been from 6-16 I started heading down to Horseshoe Basin around 10 am. I immediately regretted not leaving my crampons on since that aspect having only seen sun for a short while was still uncomfortably firm. More about persistence than safety I persisted, occasionally swallowing my pride and front pointing down the reasonably mellow slope. Eventually I reached more mellow terrain, contoured around 8200' over to the base of Horseshoe, dropped my pack, found the starting gully and ledge, and was quickly at the top. A rap got me back to the gully. Back across the Horseshoe Basin following the boot track to 6600' which again began ascending to a notch at the top of a steep snow finger. From here it is a quick ascending traverse along the rest of the big gully SE of the Sahale Glacier. This area is starting to melt out and there is some hang fire, so I was encouraged to move quickly. I found myself at the Sahale bivy sites around 3 facing a decision. Tag Sahale for extra credit, or reach my car 2 hours earlier to be reunited with my ice cold ciders? Down I went. I cut down across the Arm to around 6800', then continued down SW over continuous snow to find the sadistic Cascade Pass Trail. Back to the car by 6:30 pm where my love was waiting. Buckner (R) from top of Boston. Black center and Logan left. Buckner from Boston Glacier Forbidden Sunset Horseshoe Basin exit, crosses the rockfall streak to the wide snow finder at the base of the ridge, then crosses the bowling alley and up the steep snow left of the broken area. Gear Notes: Axe, ice tool, crampons, and rope for use. 2 pickets and a set of stoppers for character. Approach Notes: Trailrunners for the road and the trails below ~5k. Worth the weight.
  5. Here are a few shots to round out Sean's great writeup. The most sun we saw since reaching the glacier. The headwall at night. Sean bringing it home. The wall steepened another few degrees for the last ~25' and required some extra care kicking steps.
  6. Nice TR, thanks for the beta. If you're looking for a partner for Gib Ledges this spring let me know! -A Fred
  7. Hi All, I would love to jump on Rainier in this coming weather window and am looking either for a group who needs an extra member or for a person in a situation similar to mine. I've been eyeing the Fuhrer Finger or Kautz Cleaver, but plans and weather have not lined up yet this season. I would also be open to alternatives of similar or even more ambitious scope! About me: I've climbed the Kautz 3 times and have been on a number of other glaciers and plenty of mountains over a period >10 yrs. I am fit, move quickly on snow (e.g. Comet Falls TH to Turtle bivy through some spring slush with a couple breaks in 6 hrs), am good with altitude, and have experience with other roped activities such as multipitch trad and alpine climbing. I am in Seattle and have all gear and transportation. If this weekend doesn't work for you but all the rest of that sounds good send then me a message anyway :^) Cheers Fred 505 450 4447
  8. I went up Worm Flows on 3-29-15, partly cloudy day with some scattered snow having fallen in the prior several days. It was fairly warm in the valley (~ 4 am), cold and windy at summit (~9:30). Fresh snow was not too deep and mostly wind stabilized by then. The route is straightforward through the trees on a big, obvious trail. Watch for a tricky spot about 3-4 miles in where the trees thin out (4000'?) where you cross a gully to get to the main ridge which will be on your left. My partners and I missed it in the dark, as did 2 or 3 parties in front of us, and as a result spent some extra time boulder hopping and picking our way back to the ridge once we figured it out. It is cairned and much easier to see in daylight. The rest of the way is along a ridge. If you go early take something for traction. Later in the morning it may get sloppy. Snow was more or less continuous above 5500'. Good luck and have fun! Fred
  9. Greetings All, I am looking for climbing partners for the upcoming spring and summer. I'm 41, good shape, located in Seattle. After the first weekend in April I'll be available to climb any day of the week or weekend. We can meet or carpool, whichever works. I'm interested mostly in glacier mountaineering and moderate ice & trad. Always up for some cragging or conditioning hiking/scrambling too. I've been in the PNW for a year and have climbed Rainer 3x (Kautz), Hood 2x (Hogback & Cooper), Shasta 2x (AG & Casaval), Adams 1x (Adams Glacier), Baker 1x (CD), Eldorado, Sahale, etc. Spent a lot of time in Colorado on 14ers and am good on steep snow and good with altitude. I do have a full trad rack, some rusty experience on lead (5.7-5.8), and can follow 5.9-5.10. I have not done mixed alpine, but am interested to try before it all melts away. I want to get better at climbing stuff by climbing more stuff, and it so happens I had my schedule open up... My goal is to get on some more challenging routes this year, say like N Ridge of Baker and less crowded ones like Awesome Route Dude Doesn't Know About Yet. PM me if interested! Cheers Fred
  10. Anyone interested to go on N Ridge of Baker the week of Aug 25? I have climbed Kautz Glacier on Rainier several times, Adams Glacier, std route and Cooper Spur on Hood. Live in Seattle, have car, gear, and flexible schedule. Email is best: fancy_melonballer at hotmail.com Fred
  11. I'm passing thru CA June 15 - 17 (or so), was thinking about doing the Casaval Ridge route, preferably Wed/Thurs. Comfortable soloing but would prefer to have a partner. I have done Avy Gulch, looking for something a little more interesting. If anyone out there has been looking at something else I'd probably be game. I have a lot of Colorado 14er experience, some glacier, trad, and ice climbing experience as well. Think it might go, give me a jingle: 505 450 4447, or fancy_melonballer@hotmail.com Cheers Fred
  12. unfortunately no - that's the week we're driving out there from ABQ, wanted to get some turns in on some peaks on the way.
  13. yeah missing some of the classics like north maroon. now i'm more focused on repeating the ones with good technical routes. no more of that sawatch range choss!
  14. We are a party of 3 looking for a couple climbing partners for Rainier on June 28-30. I have reservations for the Kautz alpine zone for those days. We’re in Seattle for a conference the preceding week. So far one of us (my wife) has only committed to climbing up to the high camp, wasn't planning on a summit attempt. So that makes 2 of us who are looking to summit via the Kautz glacier. I have a fair amount of experience at 4000m altitude. I have climbed 54 of the Colorado 14ers, more than half of them in spring snow conditions. Love them couloirs. I've also done some multipitch trad (both as lead and second) and solo roped climbing so am familiar with basic mountaineering, knots, safety, etc. My friend and I are 37 and 41, very good shape. We have both climbed Rainier before and have some experience with glacier travel and crevasse rescue. We are looking to increase the team size for safety. Obviously being from NM it would be nice for us to find someone more familiar than we are with the local weather and snow conditions this time of year. But the main thing is for us to find a good solid rope partner or two who want to have a good time on the mountain. If you think you'd be interested, drop me a line: Fred Newman fancy_melonballer at hotmail.com 505 450 4447
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