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bedellympian

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Everything posted by bedellympian

  1. Trip: Wyeast (Mt. Hood) - Linkup Trip Date: 04/11/2021 Trip Report: Hood Headwalls: For a long time I've been thinking about linking a route on each of Wy'east's 6 headwalls in a day. Black Spider, North Face, Eliot Headwall, Sandy Headwall, Reid Headwall and DKH. I gave it a shot today and got 5/6. I figured I'd share to inspire others. Obviously someone needs to be fit, but this is only about 12k' of vert, not crazy in the scheme of things. The real challenge is finding conditions that leave all routes climbable and allow fast movement. I had intended to start with Center Drip but the orange avy forecast had my partner sketched out. For those concerned with doing my risk assessment for me I will say that those watching the time-heights this week will have noticed that 90% of the weather happened below 7k' (NWAC does not forecast for the upper mountain). Also worth noting: the wind loading was from the W, and even if this hadn't scoured the approach up the S Side to check the upper mountain, the S side is not steep enough to classify as avalanche terrain until well above Palmer. But I digress... With no partner for Center Drip, and a small chance of pocket slabs on that aspect anyway, I changed plans to start with Reid. @zaworotiuk was also partnerless for the same reasons and joined last minute for the start. 2:15am hiking start from T-line, had us at Illumination saddle at 4am. The Reid was the usual post hole for the first couple hundred feet and then changed to nice neve. Unfortunately high winds were still hitting the upper mountain and caused quite a bit of rime shedding. I managed to take a blob to the face mid way up but it was luckily not bad. We reached the summit ridge (could have traversed lower) and Matt took off for DKH and meeting other friends for a possible Eliot route. I turned down Cathedral and descended until I could down climb to the Sandy. I hadn't been on Cathedral or Sandy before so I had to back track and down climb some ice through a rock band to reach the glacier. Sandy itself was chill (its a ski run, not sure how the guidebook called it AI3). Once I topped out I walked over to the Queen's Chair and traversed into Eliot, climbing a middle-right line (starting a little L of Adrien's from earlier in the week and finishing with the same steep section). I traversed over the summit and took a break before down climbing Cooper Spur (very good conditions for this) and using Timmy B's beta to trend skier's L and get onto the Eliot glacier. The L hand sneaker ramp past the gaping schrund is still in and R gully went smoothly (except slowly cause I was feeling a little tired at this point). Once back on the summit I took a long water break to slurp awkwardly from my bladder (I somehow thought it would be warm enough for a hydration pack setup and it froze in the hose so at this point I'd probably had ~1/2 L in 8-9hrs of exertion). I then descended Pearly and met Matt again (he had soloed DKH and Elliot and done some PMR rescue practice during all this) and we climbed next to each other up DKH #1 for my last route. I had thought about looking at the Spider after all this, but I was too bushed to safely consider soloing Center Drip and my friends Lindsey and Riley had tried it earlier that day and bailed due to lack of ice. Wy'east could have been subbed as an alternative but, that is more of a ridge climb and just a lot of snow slogging after so much good ice, so I declined and plodded back down to our cars. Matt topping out Reid Coming up Sandy Looking down Leutholds Eliot Summit views Down Cooper R gully Summit again DKH w/ Matt Final summit Strava map Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/5111832990 Gear Notes: pointy things and a helmet Approach Notes: Palmer
  2. Helpful Training Log Adjustment

    I figured I'd share this as its helped me a fair bit as someone who trains constantly. I've told several partners about it and they have started doing the same thing. I find it very helpful for mountain athletes, especially when the local weather is not consistent (i.e. winter in the PNW). Most endurance athletes keep a weekly total of their volume and start their weeks on either Sunday or Monday, but I've started beginning my weeks on Saturday (or whatever your first free day is if your schedule is not traditional). This allows you to have more flexibility on the weekends. I used to start my training weeks on Monday and I would spend hours watching the weekend forecast, trying to move around workouts and adjust aerobic session lengths in anticipation of what I would most want to do that weekend. Obviously you want to keep your training fairly consistent, but you also want to take advantage of those occasional winter weather windows. Too often I would see next weekend looking really good and slack off on my volume a bit in the hopes of going into the alpine, only to have the forecast slowly shift and I'd be left trying to do all my vert and my long effort for the week by lapping crap snow in terrible weather. Conversely, I'd see terrible weather coming and would front load my week so I could spend a little extra time with the wife on the weekend, but then a good weather window would appear and I'd be left wondering if I should go way over my volume to try something while tired, or just sit around and watch a great opportunity pass. Now that I start my weeks on Saturday I can make last minute plans and have way less stress. If the weekend is great, I can go do an alpine day or ski tour that fits within my weekly volume, and then do shorter strength and easy aerobic as needed to meet my weekly total by Friday. If the weekend is crap I still try get a longer effort but it can be on the lower end of that range and it could be out in the desert or just around town without pressure to hit a certain mark, then I can do some medium-long efforts before/after work during the work week to make sure that I still hit my volume by Friday. For those of you tracking weekly volume and still trying to enjoy some mountain adventures with your days off I highly recommend this strategy.
  3. Liberty Ridge -- best timing

    Go the earliest there is a weather window after the road opens. Also, snowpack AROUND Rainier doesn't correlate with glacial cover/recession.
  4. WA Alpine Conditions

    Got a week off coming up and the border to Canuckistan still closed so a buddy and I are considering the "long" trek from Oregon to Washington to get all alpinistic on things we can't normally do in a weekend. Obviously I've been checking weather and avy but I'm hoping for some boots/skis on the ground conditions. Any tips on what elevations and aspects are seeing ice or neve form, vs staying snow, or just melted to bare rock would be appreciated. Especially interested in the Enchantments and 6-8k' elevation on the W side of North Cascades NP, though any location in the range is helpful for getting an idea. Thanks everyone! Edit: I'm pretty unfamiliar with access outside of the Enchantments and roadside routes this time of year. I'm assuming the gate is closed on 8 mile in the Enchantments? What about the Chiwawa River Road? Cascade River Road? I'm guessing both are gated or impassable at certain points, wondering if anyone has recent knowledge before I go calling FS or NPS on my lunch break. Thanks!
  5. WA Alpine Conditions

    Somehow that link redirects back to this page... but the address is good!
  6. Did you summit?

    Peak and summit are synonyms. Saying you climbed the peak, regardless of your thoughts, is mis-communicating what you did. Just say you "climbed the route". It's more descriptive of what you did and does not mention a peak or summit, so no confusion.
  7. Trip: Middle Sister - Emde/Ablao Trip Date: 03/06/2021 Trip Report: Probable second ascent of the Emde/Ablao with Adrien Costa. This is the ice smears and columns to the L of the Direct NE Face route from Oregon High. Perhaps some other people know of someone who has climbed it? Steep snow above the schrund (currently covered) leads to a varied and engaging 60m pitch (difficult to protect) with a couple overhanging bulges. Above this we traversed L on snow to join the E Rib. AI4/4+ R/X seems about right. Me approaching the route, NE Face Direct's couloir is to the R. Photos of me by Adrien (obvs). Me starting the crux. Approaching the crux bulge. Adrien topping out the crux pitch. Adrien leading easier terrain above between spindrift pulses. Coming up the E rib. Adrien approaching the summit. The thing you do when you top out. North Sister with sun setting. Still got a few miles back to the car. Road conditions beta. Gear Notes: screws, cams, pins, nuts Approach Notes: long skin from before Pole Creek TH (17 miles and 4k' round trip from where we got the truck stuck)
  8. Did you summit?

    I agree with Jason that if you don't touch the summit you did not climb the peak. I also agree with Gene that if you get home safe and have fun that is more important. I will add that if you're going to spray about your trips just be honest about what you did and don't try to couch it in a way that implies something other than the truth. I got within spitting distance of an unnamed summit in India a couple years ago soloing, certainly closer than the Challenger scenario you mentioned. I turned around when I got to a loose rock band just below the top. I did not summit, I did not climb the peak. I accomplished everything I wanted to by staying safe, having fun and testing my body at altitude. If you need to hide the truth to portray a certain outcome then your ego is much too involved and you should probably do some serious self-reflection.
  9. [TR] Mt Shasta - Avalanche Gulch 02/22/2021

    Spring ski is definitely the best way to go on Shasta, the mountain is made for it. Look at the Hotlum Wintun route if you enjoy some steeper angle, otherwise the west face if it ever fills in with snow this year.
  10. Volcano ski condition 'forecasting'

    I would advise checking different aspects and trying different volcanoes from Hood. Hood gets very wet/rimey storms and the South side gets side-blasted. Often the Sisters, Jefferson, or Adams will have much drier snow (as in it actually deposits snow and not ice blobs).
  11. [TR] Glacier NP - multiple 11/22/2020

    Trip: Glacier NP - multiple Trip Date: 11/22/2020 Trip Report: My buddy Lucas and I went to Glacier NP for Thanksgiving because, well, Canada is closed and we're supposed to avoid other people. We were pretty successful in avoiding other people, but the exploratory nature of climbing in Glacier, along with some heinous snow conditions, made getting to/on climbs hard. What I learned about approaches on this trip can be summed up this way... North Cascades bushwhack + maritime snow pack = no problem. Dry inland shrubbery + continental snow pack = some work, but doable. North Cascades bushwhack + continental snow pack = YER GUNNA HAVE A BAD TIME!!! (this is where we spent a lot of the week) We did get on a couple good climbs though, and I would recommend going to this area (though maybe when there are different snow conditions). The first climb we did was a gully on the NW face of Mt. Brown which rises over 5,000 ft right off the road. We climbed 3,000 ft of rolling WI2 steps interspersed with wallowing and capped by a nice 70m rope stretcher of WI4. This took us to the summit ridge and our only clear day at altitude with great views. The second climb we did was an ice flow called The Pig (1,000ft WI4+) in Avalanche Lake basin. The approach was pretty heinous despite the short distance due to the aforementioned snow over logs, boulders, slide alder, and devils club, but the climbing options are numerous and high quality up there. Both of these routes are in the Big Sky ice guide by Brunckhorst. We spent some more time hiking/skiing around but between snow pack and weather did not get on any other climbs. I would highly recommend this area to folks who are looking for an adventurous ice climbing venue. The approaches can be long but are not bad by North Cascades standards. We un-lucked out with the snow on our trip which did not come down to the road but was unconsolidated in deep wind pockets a couple thousand feet higher. This made approaches difficult whether you brought skis or chose to walk. I would look for drier early season conditions or full snow coverage in the future. That said, the booter to Avalanche Lake wall is in and the gate is open all the way to the TH until Dec 15. Let me know if you want beta! Gear Notes: Standard ice kit, plus some pins/nuts/slings if in doubt. Approach Notes: Wallow like a snow hippo.
  12. Better PNW weather forecasting

    I found out what the units for the wind vane fletchings are... They are in knots (nautical mph) cause everyone knows knots! 1 knot = 1.15 mph A half line = 5 knots A full line = 10 knots A triangle = 50 knots So a wind vane arrow pointing from L to R at 700mbar with a triangle, a line, and a half line coming off its side means wind out of the West at 10,000ft with an average speed of 50+10+5=65 knots or ~75mph (so stay the F%$# home!)
  13. Better PNW weather forecasting

    In my experience, if the Time-Height is white at summit altitude, then it will be clear. There MIGHT be a summit cloud capping it, but it won't be anything major.
  14. Better PNW weather forecasting

    This past Friday on Hood was a perfect example of how Time-Heights are better... NOAA pt called for 80% chance of snow and high winds out of the W. The Time-Height showed that while there would be clouds and precip it would be clear above 6,000ft and the winds would actually be out of the NW at that elevation. We went for it and poked out of the clouds at the top of Palmer, while there were high winds in places we were mostly sheltered by the mountain. We were the ONLY climbers or skiers on the entire upper peak that day and climbed Reid Headwall in beautiful conditions under perfect blue sky. We encountered strong winds at Illumination Saddle and on the summit ridge but otherwise it was just a little breezy. We had to start and finish skiing in the cloud layer in what looked pretty terrible from the parking lot, but persistence and confidence in the forecast paid off.
  15. Scottish Ice

    Classic... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXzVNFrLzk0 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mXzVNFrLzk0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  16. Trip: Wy'east (Mt. Hood) - Fric-Amos Trip Date: 01/23/2021 Trip Report: I went up to the Black Spider last weekend with Lindsey and Riley. We found the Fric-Amos in very nice condition but were too late on a warm day and bailed up an easy mixed pitch to the L of the main pitch. Thankfully the weather granted me another opportunity and I came back this weekend with Kyle to get it done. Noah and Matt saw my Insta story from the first weekend and jumped on the send train. They acted as true gentlemen, coordinating with us and giving us a head start. The route is currently in good condition (but don't expect a straightforward WI4). We used an approach pitch to the R of the original both times that follows an easy ice slot (the original would probably go but is discontinuous ice blobs up a vertical cliff). The crux pitch is a full 60m or could be broken up, expect tricky and sustained climbing but with good ice. Above this snow slopes take you through one more short ice step and up to the summit ridge. This may be one of the more frequently formed ice routes on the Spider given that it is in a shaded cleft, unlike most of the other routes. Though you are basically going for one mega pitch, it is very good and I would recommend it! I talked to Bill Amos the next day and he believes ours was the 3rd (and Noah and Matt the 4th) ascent of the route (2nd was Marcus and Marsha, go figure). Awesome sunrise approaching on first attempt... Lindsey and Riley below the face, clearly too late... The face... Closer view of the Fric-Amos (original approach pitch is on the L, our approach pitch was on the far R of the hanging snow field)... Riley following the approach pitch, classic slot... Our escape pitch... The crux pitch (taken during from 1st attempt)... Kyle booting up to the face on attempt 2 (much earlier)... Kyle's pic, me below the face... Kyle's pics, me on the crux... Looking down from top of crux... Kyle leading above crux... Looking down from ropes off... Summit selfiez... Gear Notes: Screws: 2xstub, 4x13, 2x16, 1x22 (used for the belay but not any good) Rock gear: nuts, cams 0.4-0.75, pins (not used), 2 med hexes (not used) Plenty of slings if you're going to do the crux as one pitch. Approach Notes: Boots from Timberline, crossed White River ~8,800ft.
  17. [TR] Wy'east (Mt. Hood) - Fric-Amos 01/23/2021

    Totally, this experience has me rethinking when and what climbable conditions look like on this face.
  18. Better PNW weather forecasting

    Green lines (I'm pretty sure) are relative humidity as a %, so yes cloud cover/precip in essence. I always use the 4km to be honest and don't understand the difference between the 12 and 4. The 4/3 looks like a shorter time frame than the 12 and 4, and the 12 looks like it has a little less detail than the 4km. I know TMG uses the 4km at Troutdale for all their guiding on Hood.
  19. Better PNW weather forecasting

    Every xx/00 to xx/12 is 12 hours, it covers 84 hrs.
  20. Better PNW weather forecasting

    x-axis starts on the R and goes back L (counter intuitive right?) and is in xx/yy format. xx is the date. yy is the hour in UTC (8 hours ahead of us in winter and 7 in summer so 00=4pm PST and 12=4am PST). basically you just look for the date and the 12 which is about when you'd be heading up with an alpine start most days. If its white (clear) above and to the L of that then its clear skies.
  21. Top 3 Climbing Food Items

    You are aware of the problems with this strategy, yes? https://www.amazon.com/review/R2JGNJ5ZPJT4YC
  22. Wy'East Gear and Experience Requirements: Should I climb it?

    Agreed, SS of Hood is definitely a step up from Adams, South Sister, Helens. If that feels comfortable and easy for you then consider Wy'east. Also, worth finding some steep snow with a big flat area of soft snow beneath it and building some anchors in that and practicing your skills. Try different things and try to make your tool placements and pickets fail. Realize that snow is super variable, but despite that this will give you a great idea of what you can/can't get away with.
  23. Trip: Broken Top - Richardson-Rocket Link-up Trip Date: 12/29/2020 Trip Report: The Routes: The Full Richardson is an ice route on the N side of Broken Top. First ascent by Clifford Agocs with Brandon Seymore. It is essentially one 35m pitch of WI4+ up the headwall of an amphitheater that you pass through on the North Buttress Route (listed in Oregon High). If this route were listed in Winter Dance it would probably be described as 150m WI4+ (pitch 1 optional WI3 30m or climb around on snow ramp, pitch 2 WI2 50m up the gully, steep snow up to the headwall, pitch 3 WI4+ 35m, rappel or climb steep snow up and right to a walk off) The amphitheater seems to be producing more ice in recent years as winter temps increase. It was attempted several times by other locals starting in the 90's but rarely found in climbable condition. Based on what I saw on this outing, it seems that there are at least 5 possible routes for the confident smear/mixed leader. Here is a picture of me leading the main pitch... The Rocket Launcher (has definitely been climbed by Pete Keane who calls it Rocket Launcher, this might also be called Cold Sweat FA by Aaron Lish, but that might be a different line, we're trying to track down more info) is a finicky ice line on the East face of Peak 9094 (Broken Top's South summit). Because it is in the Crook Cirque (the so-called crater) which is a South facing glacial bowl and East facing, it can be hard to find in good condition. It starts up some easy ice mixed ledges for ~50m (exposed WI2/3 when fat) and then climbs a beautiful gash feature which is steeper than it looks into a hanging bowl (55m WI4, probably deserves an R rating most of the time). From there the obvious course of action is to just climb the easy snow for 90m to the summit ridge (often corniced), and then either head up to your R and tag the 9094 summit or down and L until you can down climb open snow slopes to the valley below the glacial moraine. Here is a recent picture... Our day: Clifford Agocs and I used a sled to get to the wilderness boundary by Ball Butte just before dawn. We opted to boot (not recommended, but our desired linkup and Landon's success booting on the rain crust on our North Sister climb the week before convinced use it would be okay, it was just okay). We hiked around BT via No Name Lake to the Bend Glacier and transitioned to crampons etc. at the base of the North Buttress Couloir. We soloed the approach pitches to the base of the Full Richardson and I got the sharp end as Cliff had already snagged the FA. Ice was in difficult condition (brittle but sticky to get the tool out again), definitely solid 4+ in the Rockies, Cody, etc. similar to steepness to leading Cleo's at Hyalite when it's fat but without the hooks. On top anchor options were limited. I dug down, bottomed out some screws in decent ice and tied them off. We then unroped and front pointed the snow up to the summit pinnacle and followed the standard scramble to the summit. We down climbed the summit and made one short rappel, then we traverse the W face to the top of the 11 O'clock Couloir. We tried to saw the cornice with the rope but its a big ice block with the weather we've had so Cliff body belayed me down next to it to check the snow before we both committed to down climbing. Once in the crater we traversed over to the base of the Rocket Launcher and soloed the first few steps until aerated ice and snice over some steeper/exposed rock made us rope up. I lead ~15m to a belay stance just R of the the crux pitch (left a fixed pin for ya). Cliff lead the next pitch in lovely spindrift conditions which started on good WI4, involved stemming through vertical snice, and climbing easier alpine ice up to a short vertical pillar. The pillar was pretty awkward so he brought me up and I got to lead the vertical ice into overhanging rock with an awkward move left, digging through snow for a stick and hooking a blob on the overhang to skate my way through (not hard per se, but definitely some of the more awkward ice I've climbed). I made a belay in some rock 15m up and then we simuled the snow up the bowl and gully above to the ridge. We hiked back to the sled in the fading light. Luckily the increasing winds were at our back, though the variable drifts made for some frustrating post-holing at times. Roughly a 12hr car-to-car. Pictures: Leading the Richardson... Cliff topping out Richardson... BT summit shot, Rocket Launcher climbs a hidden cleft on the L face of the peak on the R (Peak 9094)... Approach ice on the Rocket Launcher. You can just see the main ice in the cleft in the upper middle of the photo... Cliff leading the main pitch on Rocket Launcher, he's just above the difficult snice section and you can see the awkward pillar poking into view at the top of the gully... Gear Notes: 1x stubby, 4x 13cm, 3x 16cm, 1x 22cm, 2x knife blades, smallish nuts, long slings, 6-8 alpine draws, 1x 60m half rope Approach Notes: Sled + slog
  24. [TR] Broken Top - Richardson-Rocket Link-up 12/29/2020

    Here is a rough approximation of our route in caltopo for those interested... https://caltopo.com/m/B36T Also, for those without a sled, this would definitely be doable with a skinning approach. I've certainly done individual routes on BT in an ~8hr car-to-car this way and you can also camp out near the peak as I've done several times.
  25. [TR] North Sister - Complete East Buttress 12/23/2020

    Here are some more pictures... The upper buttress from just before you down climb to the R on the lower buttress, you can see the double ice gullies that start the upper and the black gendarme on the ridge ahead. Landon enjoying the view S before we start the upper. Looking back at the lower, you can see the cliff you rappel, just R of the snow crest. Landon leading the ice starting the upper. Me leading the headwall on Glissan Pinnacle. Me leading the summit pinnacle pitch. Landon down climbing EMC. Ice options on the N side of the lower buttress. It could be a fun cragging mission in and of itself when its fatter later in the season. Bottom of the lower. The first pitch climbs the obvious short pillar, then you go up and right between the tower and cliffs.
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