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Everything posted by Devin27

  1. Any snow along the west ridge of Stuart before the summit? Heading there this weekend along the normal route and would love to ditch the axe
  2. Missing hiker/climber

    FYI, he was found safe. Car got stuck in the snow according to the news report
  3. Bit of a long shot because the season is coming to an end, but we ended up rappelling back down from the bivy above pitch 6 over the weekend and left some gear behind on the mountain. If anyone should climb it and find any of my stuff, most of it has identifying marks. List - .5 BD C4 near pitch 3/4 - 3 BD nuts at different points - Several slings and biners
  4. I'll post a full TR when I have time, but we headed up to do Slesse's NE Buttress over the weekend. There were small amounts of snow on many of the ledges starting around pitch 3 which got more frequent the higher we went. The bypass around Pitch 3-5 was very wet and muddy. It rained all night Sunday and thoroughly drenched the whole mountain. We stayed at the bivy ledge above pitch 6 and found a good inch of snow covering most of the ledge. We ended up rappelling back down after getting rained on all night. If we get some dry weather, the route is still in, but it is a muddy mess at the moment.
  5. Trip: Dorado Needle - SW Buttress Date: 8/21/2016 Trip Report: Over August 20-21, myself and Nick climbed the SW Buttress of Dorado Needle. Great climb in a fantastic setting provided the full alpine experience with rock, steep snow, technical glacier, heat, cold, wind and a whiteout. We picked up permits Friday night for Kliwatti zone and grabbed food in Marblemount before crashing at the Eldorado TH. Moving at 5:40am, we made good time hitting the Eldorado camp at 1:00pm. We each carried 3L of water from the TH which turned out to not be needed as there was plenty of water available all the way until getting on the Eldorado Glacier. Once we got on the glacier, we were melting snow until we got to camp. With forecasts for record heat in Seattle, I only carried a light softshell which worked well for the warm temps and light wind on Saturday, but would regret on Sunday. Tagged Eldo under bluebird skies and continued through the McCallister-Insipration Col to the col between Tepeh and Dorado Needle where we made camp for the night. There was no dry ground at the McCallister- Inspiration col, only snow. The camp at the Tepeh-Dorado Col was very nice, with multiple spots big enough for a small tent or a pair of bivies. There was very small stream of glacier runoff at the col which provided water. Alarms set for 4, we used our bivies for ground cloth and slept under the stars with a steady breeze coming up the col. Morning came a little colder than I was expecting but we got moving by 4:40am and headed down the col to find the base of the route. We tried to follow a path I thought I saw the day prior through the rocks to avoid some of the descent and renascent to the route, don't do this, it didn't work. Just follow the snow all the way down and around, it is pretty obvious. The gulley was not completely snow, despite being called in our beta "the gully filled with snow year round". There was a small section about halfway up that was rock and a stream along with another section that only had about a three foot wide ramp left. It is likely gone by now. The approach will still be doable through the summer and fall, but the moats did make things a little tricky and slowed us down. We lost some time too finding the start of the route. Even with several beta pictures, we still ended up too high and looking at a Dihedral that did not match the description or photos. The easiest way to find the right start is to look for the whiter rock, because all of the wrong upper areas are darker rock and looked very thin on protection. With all the delays, we started up the route at 7:40am. The route is in shade until midday and we had clouds come in just as the sun rose which kept us pretty cold the whole day. This route really is a choose your own adventure. As long as you don't climb anything over 5.8 and stay generally close to the Buttress crest you will not get too far off route, but this climb definitely requires some basic route finding skills. We followed the guidebook and some friend's beta and found all the general checkpoints were pretty obvious. In total, we did the route in seven pitches instead of the 10 talked about in the guidebook. I linked the 3/4th class simul block with the low 5th pitch 3. The only pitch we had trouble initially figuring out was the summit block, which was less obvious with the beta. In retrospect, all of the routes we looked at would likely go, but we ended up moving the belay from the knife edge pitch about 20 feet to the left and going straight up the big face. While it looks heady, it actually goes well up and slightly left. The clouds lowered and we hit a white out just as we started the last pitch, so no summit views. The descent was the crux of this route, as the late season McCallister Glacier was in pretty bad shape. We downclimbed the NE Ridge knife edge, did a 10M rap away from the glacier and then a 30m rap straight down towards the glacier. There are good rap stations for both. The 30m rap deposited us in the moat between Dorado Needle and the McCalister Glacier. The moat was at least 30 ft wide and left the options of descending down the moat or climbing up a 10 ft tall snow finger to get back onto the glacier. We went up the snow finger and while sketchy (steep with moat above and crevasse below), it went. Unfortunately, this meant Nick got to enjoy the experience of pulling the rope while standing above the moat with another crevasse just below him on a fairly steep slope. I'd recommend future parties use the moat, it looked like it went easily. Navigating down the McCallister in a whiteout was an experience I won't soon forget. Definitely the most broken up glacier I've been on before and no visibility to boot. Luckily I had taken a photo the day prior on our hike in and was able to use that to find the best route down the glacier, as the previous day parties steps had melted away. Basically, you are going to need to go pretty far skiers left before winding your way back around the shrund to the right. We got back to camp around 4pm and started the long hike out. The whiteout never lifted and we guessed/weaved our way through the broken up Inspiration to get back to Eldo camp. We finally lost the clouds when we descended off the Eldorado Glacier and finished the death march through the boulder field and trail to reach the car at 9:30pm. All in all, this is a full value Cascade alpine climb. We saw one party the day before and only had one other party on route with us on Sunday. It is nice to find places to climb near Cascade pass that aren't a zoo. Highly recommended. Photos Klawatti Beta Photo if anyone is heading that way. Looks like there was some debris falling off the normal ascent route recently Route up Eldorado is pretty melted out but still very easy Checking out the SW Buttress for tomorrow. Dont get suckered onto the rocks below to try and cut off the down and up, it doesnt go Some big cracks on the Inspiration Descent beta photo for the NE ridge of Dorado Needle. This photo saved our bacon when the whiteout hit. We went far skiers left and then worked our way back gently right. Going too close to the Col up high gets very steep and very broken up Looking down the Col for the next morning This is not pitch 1. In some beta photos it looks like the arrows point you here, they dont. Limited pro and mossy rock. Note the dark color of the rock This is pitch 1. Note the light rock color and ample pro. This is about 50 ft lower than the pitch shown above Nick coming up after the simul block of pitch 2 Party of 4 on the knife edge of Eldorado Nick coming up Pitch 3 I believe I went up to the Buttress crest a little early and so we couldn't make it all the way to the correct belay on pitch 4 identified by a "light colored alcove followed by traversing left around a gendarme" In this photo Nick is at the alcove and about to go around the Gendarme The only other party we saw all day Belay above the 5.7 lieback pitch. Our Pitch 5 One of many sketchy snow bridges and crevasse navigations in the whiteout. Definitely pushed the limit of my comfort zone at times Marmots are basically majestic pigs PSA, dont forget to keep your marmot inflated for top performance Gear Notes: Gear- 0.2-2 BD with double of .5,.75 and 1, set of nuts, 7 doubles and 2 singles. Gear felt about spot on. I used about everything on the 5.7 lieback pitch and only had to runout the easier ground. Crampons were needed for the ascent to the base of the climb and descent from the NE Ridge. Approach Notes: Plenty of water all the way to the Eldorado Glacier. Tiny glacier stream at Tepeh-Needle Col camp.
  6. [TR] Dorado Needle - SW Buttress 8/21/2016

    We did climb in rock shoes and carried boots. There was enough real climbing on the route that I was happy to have them. I don't own aluminum crampons but this route made me really want to buy some. I brought my steel. I brought 2.5L from camp to the climb and had about 1L left when we got back to camp. It was a very cold day though so I wasnt drinking much.
  7. [TR] Dorado Needle - SW Buttress 8/21/2016

    Never leave home without it
  8. That sounds equal parts awesome and awful. Nice work guys
  9. colfax ice

    Any new reports on conditions on Colfax?
  10. Trip: The Craggies - Choss, Choss and Choss Date: 9/27/2015 Trip Report: Random piles of choss way far away from civilization never seem to get much love. The primary draw of the Craggies is they are tall and on the top 100 list, but honestly this was a really fun and easy weekend trip. Beautiful views, larches and did I mention the choss? We wanted an easier weekend to get back to climbing after mostly having our hands full all summer since this little guy came into our lives. We left the Newcastle park and ride at 6am (more on this later) and arrived in Winthrop around 10 after stopping for 2 of the remaining 3 cinnamon rolls in Marblemount and the sugar high was still going strong. Trailhead at 11 and off we went up the Copper Glance trail. The hike in was very pleasant with nice view of the Methow valley and an actual mine to check out. I really wanted to go explore, but the group decided that is how most horror movies start so we kept moving. We broke off the trail near the hump after crossing Copper Glance creek and shwacked our way to the rocky cliff and up the valley. On the way back, we stayed on the rock wall until we reached the small unnamed lake and found a trail there connecting back which avoided much of the shwack. Go that way. We arrived at our planned camp site to discover that my fears were justified and all the tarns were dry from the long dry year we have had. We decided to pitch camp and use the ample remaining daylight to go up Big Craggy and deal with water later. The climb up Big Craggy was not the worst choss I’ve ever dealt with but then I have sampled a fair amount of what the Cascades have to offer. We all definitely agreed this climb would be much more enjoyable as a spring ski or climb. A chossy two hours had us standing on the summit of Big Craggy, followed immediately by a discussion on whether the point 200 ft away was actually higher, a hike over to that point and more disagreement on which was actually higher. We tagged them both, so whatever. The “Mostly Sunny” weather never did actually materialize and we started getting very slight snow flurries and rapidly approaching clouds as we hit the summit. Scree skiing had us back to camp in an hour and we found water about a half mile back the way we came in from a stream near the cliffs we hiked by. Despite chilly temps and the supermoon waking me up thinking someone had a headlamp pointed at us, we were up and moving again towards West Craggy first thing in the morning. Again, a nice ramp of snow to hike up and slide back down on would have been amazing, but two hours had us at the summit of West Craggy. We found a register here, though there was not one we could find on Big Craggy. We didn’t see anyone else on the peaks or at camp all weekend, though there was a summit register entry on West Craggy for the previous day. The temps were great, Larches were perfect and the views were fantastic. This made 39/100 for me and 40/100 for Danika Photos Copper Glance Mine Geology lecture As far as I could tell, it just kept going Methow Valley Love Larch season totally dry tarn Summit of Big Craggy Interesting what I assume were Aspens seem to congregate around the slide paths. Now we got them both Love this lady Backside of Silverstar. The glacier is totally melted out West Craggy Summit Gear Notes: gaiters would have been nice to keep sand and rocks out of my shoes Approach Notes: Follow the trail to the small unnamed lake on the map, then follow the rocks up the valley
  11. Ha, almost forgot about that. On the drive home Aaron shared that he had not been able to find his keys when we got back to our car (his was back in the park and ride). He had no memory of them after he got out of his truck the day previous. He strongly suspected they were in fact sitting in the ignition of his truck at the park and ride. So we spent the entire drive home wondering if his truck would still be there. When we got to the par and ride we discovered his truck was still there, keys in the ignition and doors unlocked. Thankfully Newcastle residents and the transit folks seem to be good people.
  12. This is fantastic. Loved the Ragged Edge, cant wait to try this one. Thank you
  13. Trip: Vesper Peak - Ragged Edge Date: 7/3/2015 Trip Report: Having Friday off for July 4th weekend, Sarah, Laura, Jim and I climbed the Ragged Edge (5.7 6p Grade II) route on Vesper Peak. This route was just put up in 2013 and it was well worth the effort they put into it. The result is one of the finest moderate grade multipitch alpine climbs near Seattle. The 5.7 rating felt spot on to me and the exposure is amazing. After a quick stop in Granite Falls for Jim’s Sandwich, we hit the trail at 8am and moved well until we lost the trees and found the sun. Even in the mountains, the heat was brutal and slowed us down considerably. Two years ago I attempted the North Face route on Vesper only to find deep snow still on route in late June. With the lack of snow and heat from this year, the entire approach and climb was completely snow free except for a small and avoidable patch near the Vesper-Sperry Col. We made it to the Sperry-Vesper Col in decent time (about 4 hours) but with the hot weather we were taking it pretty easy. One note on the approach, we were drawn down from the lower col between Vesper and Sperry on an obvious looking class 3 heather ledge only to find we were in the wrong place and climbing out onto an unnamed bump on the ridge between the peaks rather than on Vesper’s North face. From the lower col, continue uphill until you find the upper col which has an excellent view of the dramatic North Face of Vesper before starting to traverse. The correct ledge The traverse was easy but exposed as advertised. We decided to climb the variation start which features more technical climbing but requires a very exposed step down on the heather ledges to reach the base of the route. Jim and Sarah racked up first and took off on the 5.6 lieback start on pitch 1. The climbing is stellar on great rock and very good protection. There are a few slab pitches but bolts/pins are well spaced and protection is always there to be found. Pitch 2 was a slab pitch with a small amount of runout to rejoin the standard route. Pitch 3 and 4 featured fun low-mid 5th climbing with a spectacular view up the North Face of Vesper. Pitch 5 and 6 is where the action is. I have no doubt these pitches inspired the name “Ragged Edge” as you first traverse out onto the face and over to the summit ridgeline on 5.7 climbing. The rock ends just below your traverse with stellar exposure but the protection is solid. Then on the main ridgeline, you complete the climb with the huge North Face to your left and a drop long drop to the slabs of the old North Face climbing route to your left. I drew the traverse and found the pitch a ton of fun. I felt like the technical crux of the route was the move to the first bolt, but there was a cam placement just prior and it was more mental than anything since you needed to step out onto the edge of the rock for an easy foothold. Made the summit after five hours of unrushed climbing since we were the only ones on route. Snacks on the summit and an only slightly cooler hike out followed but was uneventful. All in all this is a fantastic route. Get on it before the crowds find it. Some notes for future climbers. There are still a few loose rocks on the route but that is to be expected since this is a new route and it is still being cleaned up. We chucked off a few loose rocks we found that posed a danger to future climbers. Fortunately the route largely climbs a slightly rightward traverse, so the fall line for rocks usually doesn’t mirror the route. Caution is still advised. We did not find the heather on route to be an issue as all, it never got in the way or proved a hindrance if we stayed on route. Pitch 1 of the variation start Looking up at pitch 3 Looking down at pitch 3 from the belay Laura following on the pitch 5 traverse Looking up at pitch 6 Check out this majestic thing Gear Notes: We brought full rack of nuts, X4's and C4's from .1-3 with doubles of .3-1. This was way overkill as most pitches are short and protected with pins and bolts. I think I only used the big gear on pitch 1 and mostly used small gear for the rest of the climb. Most of the belays are bolted, so bring extra slings. Approach Notes: Totally snow free. Blueberries are coming into bloom
  14. Mt Stuart West Ridge question

    On July 11 there was only a small field of snow left near the false summit on the descent. I would be surprised if any is left at this point.
  15. Trip: Mount Stuart - Upper North Ridge W/Gendarme Date: 7/10/2015 Trip Report: On July 10th, Ian, Ryan and I set off for the North Ridge of Mount Start as part of the Boealps ICC. We had originally planned on completing the full North Ridge, but had to change plans to the Upper Ridge when our 4th had to pull out the morning of due to an injury. We left the cars at 3:30 on Friday and started the long hike to Goat Pass. No trip to ingalls is complete without some goats Hiking around the lake Last scree field to Goat Pass The trail was hot and featured more ups and downs than my tired legs want to remember. We refilled water at Ingalls Lake and continued around towards Stuart’s West side. After skirting the lake, we dropped a little too far into the next basin and had to climb back up to the ridgeline to Stuart Pass. The entire approach was snow free but certainly wasn’t goat free, they are everywhere as always around Ingalls area. We reached Goat Pass (no goats to be found here) at 8pm and decided to stop there for the night and refill water. We could see movement at the notch of the upper North Ridge and knew we would have company on the route. We melted snow to refill and hit the hay quick as the bugs were pretty relentless. Beta photo for those doing the full ridge, you can easily get down without an ax or crampons Stars over Stuart Cool purple glow coming from either cities to the west or perhaps distant glow of the sun. Alarms at 5am and walking by 5:30, we descended to the rock glacier and crossed over to the Stuart Glacier. Crossing the Stuart Glacier was straight forward, though a little sketchier than I expected. It did not freeze overnight and so our aluminum crampons on approach shoes; while completely sufficient; required some careful steps on the steep start and end of the glacier. In those snow conditions, falling was not an option. The step across to the gully is melting out fast, we found an easy snow bridge to step across but you could see where it was starting to get undercut. You can leave the axes at home if you are doing the complete ridge, there are clear rock paths leading down to the base. Sunrise Alpenglow on the approach and North Ridge Bugs were pretty bad, make sure to bring them a sacrifice Stuart Glacier A little steep getting into the gully, but not hard The gulley to the notch has a little snow in places, but it is easily avoided. We reached to notch and the base of the route at 6:30 and were simulclimbing up the ridge by 7. About 3 pitches up, we caught up with a group of Mazamas out of Portland that had climbed the lower ridge the day before and bivy’d at the notch. We slowed our pace so as not to crowd them as we couldn’t see a good way to pass. We pitched out the 5.7 at the start of the route, one short section of mid-5th in the middle and the famous slab with a crack but simulclimbed everything else. Leading out Clouds being held at bay by the ridgeline Simulclimbing The views did not disappoint Not much left of the ICG The famous slab with a crack, but here comes the clouds We reached the base of the Gendarme at 11am just as a cloud layer encompassed the peak and the temps dropped, so much for the view. At about 2pm, the Mazamas had finished hauling their packs and left the ledge between pitch 1 and 2 and we sent Ian up the 5.9 lieback. Ryan and I followed with our packs on to save time. I personally found the lieback harder than the offwidth but that might have been due to the weight and my preference for crack climbing. There is a fixed #1 on the traverse of the 2nd pitch and the fixed #4 is still in place. Our leader actually finished the 2nd pitch without placing our #4. Base of the Gendarme looking at pitch 1 Mazamas on route Friendly Mazamas pack haulin Ryan is a little cold Now cold and sad At the belay ledge between the Gendarme pitches Offwidth Coming to the belay alcove of pitch 2 Breaking back out of the clouds Short rap to get to what we assume was the 5.8 pitch 5.8 pitch???? Simulclimbing near the summit After the Gendarme pitches, I led out above the belay alcove just as the clouds lifted and our view returned but ended up possibly going too high and had to downclimb maybe 20 ft to a sandy ledge and then back up to find a rappel station to get to what we assume was the short 5.8 described in the beta. The area was mostly free of lichen, so if we weren’t on-route, we definitely weren’t the first going that way. There was a fixed #3 at the wide part of the crack of what we assume is the short 5.8 but it is an old style C4 and the sling has seen better days. From there we wandered through the 4th and low 5th to the summit, topping out at 6pm. Summits Looking back at Ingalls Lake So much for getting down in the light Clouds cresting the ridge the next morning At this point we were all just about out of water and there was no flowing water to be found between the start of the route and the bottom of the Cascadian. There are a few snow patches still between the summit and the start of the Cascadian, but we were out of fuel to melt snow and decided to just book it for the creek. We were descending by 6:30 and hit Ingalls creek at 10pm. For those new to heading down the Cascadian, yes it sucks, not it is not the living hell that some describe, but yes it is bad. For those that claim this is the worst descent ever imagined, go descend the Boston Ledges and then talk to me. About 3/4th of the ways down the Cascadian, when it starts to get really gnarly, look for a trailing heading west into the trees to cut off a little bit of time and avoid some of the real bad choss at the outwash of the couloir. After refilling on water, we decided to just crash for the night instead of trying to hike out and drive home at 3am. The hike out the next morning was pleasant and easy. Gear Notes: We carried was too much gear. Set of nuts. BD cams .2-4 with doubles of .5-3. We did not actually use our #4 on the offwidth pitch as the stuck one is still there. Approach Notes: Snow free to Goat Pass. Those climbing the Lower North Ridge can likely do so without axes or crampons. Axes and crampons are needed for the Stuart Glacier for the Upper North Ridge. We used aluminum crampons on approach shoes which worked fine
  16. The snow in the approach gully was down below the chockstone (about half way up) but it should still be there this weekend. There was no snow at the notch, but the Mazamas mentioned finding snow by descending on the opposite side from the approach gully into the basin to the east. I did not observe this though.
  17. You had another chance to tag the North summit and skipped again? and this time you didnt even have quickly impending darkness as an excuse.
  18. N. Ridge Stuart conditions?

    I was wondering the same and wondering if anyone has approached the lower ridge from goat pass and if they needed crampons and axes?
  19. [TR] Vesper Peak - Ragged Edge - 5.7 6/29/2015

    Was it mosquito doom on the hike below the pass?
  20. Mr. Sir Donald

    Plenty of room to bivy in the bear box at the col
  21. [TR] Black Peak - NE Ridge 6/13/2015

    Those furry monsters stole one of my trekking poles and ate the strap off the other when we did the route 2 years ago
  22. [TR] WA Pass - Assorted Ice 4/4/2015

    Didn't anyone tell you there is no ice climbing in Washington Nice find guys
  23. Removed

    There is also a big difference though between a drone and a plane in terms of frequency of occurrence in the wilderness going into the future. Airplanes cost a lot and require training and certifications to operate. That's the reason we don't have 100 airplanes circling every volcano every weekend. Drones are only going to get cheaper and easier to use over the next 10 years and with the newer versions that can automatically track a person without manual control, they will only get more and more common in the outdoors I love watching the videos and this one is great, but don't think I would like a drone buzzing around my head while i'm climbing in the North Cascades.