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About mattropolis

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  • Birthday 01/01/1975
  1. [TR] Mt Hood - South side 6/20/2012

    What made it one of the most demanding of the 28 summits?
  2. [TR] Mt St Helens - Monitor Ridge 5/13/2012

    No, we didn't dig a pit since at 4am it so well consolidated that we could use crampons most of the way up. That was our strategy and it worked out. My advice is that if you do go, I would get up as early as you can to be at summit not much later than 9am. That's when the sun started to soften things. Stay out of any bowls, not under avy runouts, and on high ridges/rocks. I know we saw people heading up all the way till 1pm, but they looked miserable in the slop and I would have probably turned around due to the danger. Still, we didn't see or hear a single thing come down all day...
  3. [TR] Mt St Helens - Monitor Ridge 5/13/2012

    We went up Monitor ridge by ourselves - no rangers (or anyone else for that matter!) at or going up our route. Everyone else seemed to be going up from the climbers bivouac (Bald peak route?) one more ridge to the east of us. We were watching all the avy reports from NWAC and they got worse and worse over the weekend. I know I was very apprehensive on Sunday morning but our leaders felt staying on top Monitor ridge in the rocks should be safe. Starting at 4:30am also helped us get to the top while the snow was still consolidated. We summited around 9:30am and then headed back down. Speed = safety. We glissaded as much as possible and were back at the treeline by noon; but there were still people on their way up to the summit at that time. We saw the evidence of a large slide in a bowl to our east; but it must have happened before we were up there Saturday. Because we stayed on the high rocky ridgeline of Monitor ridge - I felt pretty safe overall but avy danger was high and on my mind. Still - I wouldn't have have done the climb without two excellent and very experienced leaders.
  4. Trip: Mt St Helens - Monitor Ridge Date: 5/13/2012 Trip Report: Hey guys, Despite the strong avy warnings, some of us went ahead and did the Mt St Helen's Mother's day climb via the Monitor ridge route. We opted for a very early 4:45 start for best firm snow conditions - but even then it was well above freezing. We kept as much as possible in the rocks of the ridge as possible as we went, but turned out there were no slides heard/seen all day. Still - caution was well warranted as we saw lots of overhanging snow and new fissures opening at the tops of bowls on our before-noon descent. Full trip report and pictures here: http://mattfife.net/ Approach Notes: Day 1: Cougar Snopark -> Base of Monitor ridge Day 2: Summit and return to cars
  5. Mt. Hood Conditions

    Yes, I was on my way down and took this photo from the hogsback. Most people ended up taking the old chute the day I went. A few people took the pearly gates up, but it was apparently quite icy and those people crossed over and then went down old chute. Snow was quite hard in the morning until the sun hit it. Even after an hour or so, it was still quite firm. On the way down, starting about halfway to the top of Palmer, we got lots of slush - as you might expect. I would urge you caution on your attempt. Temps appear to be bouncing a lot above the freezing point more and more - and I think most of the winter snow/ice appears to still be up there. However, it seems as if things are poised to start (and as we saw on Wed, are in fact starting to) coming down. On the way down, we took a short nap around the crater rim and both of us heard a slide somewhere but didn't see where. Be aware, and almost certainly get up there as early as you can to avoid the sun. Even then, apparently, the Wednesday slide happened around 7am - so one never knows.
  6. Mt. Hood Conditions

    It's the noob from last week - I'm still alive. We went up on Saturday morning and had a great climb. I think I got a good shot of the slide that might have been the one that the lady got hurt in. This is a picture of the old chute route with what looks like the slide outlined in red: I have a higher rez version if folks are really interested. We had fantastic conditions on Saturday morning. Temps were well below freezing all night, and a high cloud cover kept the sun off us until about 10am. You could see lots of debris on the chute though - which was disconcerting for a new guy like me. We were a little later than we'd hoped, and most people were on their way down. We got to the top of the chute and then decided to head back down right away to be safe. We didn't see any ice/snow coming down at all, but there really did feel like a lot of ice on those walls...
  7. Mt. Hood Conditions

    Any new condition reports for this weekend coming up? I'm a relative noob going with some much more experienced friends this Saturday. Am somewhat worried about the avy danger. Plan: midnight start up Old Shute. My practice climbs with all the gear have me from Timberline to the top of Palmer climb trail in about 2.5 hours. So tips would be appreciated.