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Posts posted by bedellympian

  1. Trip: 3 Sisters Wilderness - 4 Sisters Traverse RT from Tumalo Falls w/ bike approach

    Trip Date: 06/26/2020

    Trip Report:

    Normally I wouldn't bother to share a linkup like this, but I think this loop is very aesthetic (both in the areas you move through, and the logical line it draws on a map) and thought others out there might find use in the description...

    Ever since my first summer in Oregon when I went up several volcanoes I swore that I would never deal with the choss again unless it was coated in snow or ice (this trip fully confirmed that and now that I've done it I have no desire to repeat it, but some of you might be crazy/stupid enough to follow my footsteps). Because of this I had absolutely zero interest in the Sisters Traverse as a summer outing (skiing it in spring I was fine with and found enjoyable). Then, this past winter my friend Miles suggested I could do it as a human powered outing from my house in Bend. I believe he was envisioning something efficient like biking to Green Lakes or Pole Creek trailheads to shorten the distance on foot. However, I immediately thought of biking to Tumalo Falls and doing the traverse as a loop from there. This was for several reasons... 1. the road to Tumalo Falls draws a direct line toward the mountains from town (instead of going way out and around to other trailheads) 2. this road is less busy and more enjoyable to bike 3. the areas you would get to pass through on the approach/depproach are some of my favorite in the area (Farewell Bend trail, Tam Rim, Broken Top trail, Happy Valley and North Fork trail) which favorably skews the scenic hiking to scree slogging ratio 4. the bike and loop made for a logical line when drawn on a map and made it easy to do as a self-supported outing with no bike shuttling.

    While I thought it was a cool idea, I had other plans this summer. Unfortunately the solstice came and went without a favorable weather window in the less-chossy ranges that I prefer. So, with no other big objectives on the horizon and clear skies locally I ended a 3 day streak of sitting on the couch watching weather models and Netflix to take advantage of the long daylight hours.

    The nice thing about short trips from your home is the packing is minimal. I woke up, ate a big breakfast, packed and was out the door. 

    Itinerary: bike to Tumalo Falls, hike Farewell Bend trail to FS road 370 N, W on Tam Rim Horse Trail to Tam Rim Trail and the far W end of Tam Rim, drop down cross-country and traverse high eventually picking up the Green Lakes Trail N, take a L on Camp Lake Trail and follow the climbers trail up to the Hayden Glacier and the saddle between North and Middle Sisters (I shiver bivied part way up the ridge above the saddle for a few hours), climb/descend North via the standard S Ridge to Bowling Alley, climb Middle via the N Ridge and descend the S Ridge to Chambers lakes, climb South via the NW Ridge (less steep than the N Ridge but lots of loose scree), and descend the standard climbers trail on the S side to just below the glacier, cut down to Green Lakes (careful not to get cliffed out here) and follow the trail around the S side of the main lake to the climbers trail for Broken Top, climb BT by the standard NW Ridge, scree ski down the W face and traverse L on flatter ground to pop over the SW ridge and connect to the Broken Top Trail, follow this E (lots of snow fields) over the ridge just S of Ball Butte (I cut cross country quite a bit here as everything was under snow), eventually connect with FS road 370 (S of where you had it the first time) headed N and then connect to the Metolius-Windigo Trail, this takes you to Happy Valley where it is only 4 miles of easy and slightly downhill trail to the bike at Tumalo Falls, from here I had a mere 14.5 mile net downhill ride back to my house, arriving home just before I needed to break out the headlamp.


    I could tell you all the little stories but they are a little hazy and seem rather irrelevant now. I'd love to see someone else do this loop fast. I bet there is someone out there who could destroy it, as supposed to be destroyed like I was. There is a fair amount of off-trail travel and the early summer timing after a wet spring meant there was still lots of snow and some fairly large river crossings, however I would rather have that than endless scree. 

    Gear Notes:
    road bike, small pack, sun protection, blister kit, trail running shoes with gaiters, spare socks to switch out when your shoes get soaked, light pons/axe, emergency reflective bivy bag and micropuff for the shivering, lots of water to be found early season, GPS w/ topo map were helpful in optimizing the cross-country travel

    Approach Notes:
    ride yo bi-cycle!
    • Rawk on! 3

  2. Have not been but I would check the forecast. It is not clearing anytime soon...

    Also, if it does clear, consider checking caltopo's daily satellite imagery to get an idea of snow. location.

    A friend of mine skied Black Peak a couple days ago and had snow to the car, but the forecasted rain will change that quick.

    • Like 1

  3. Thanks for putting my bull-kaka in perspective folks (and not ripping me too hard in the process).

    To be fair, I really enjoy TRs about "easy" routes and people learning. I especially enjoyed MA and Collin's early TRs, but they were also on routes that had (and mostly still have) few TRs. I hope people continue to post TRs on a variety of routes, easy or otherwise. I just hope people get a little more adventurous and go do something other than the second most popular volcano route on the whole planet. Especially given the many great options we have here in the PNW.

    • Like 1

  4. So this probably makes me sound like an elitist prick, but can we just ban S Side of Hood TRs?

    I mean, seriously, I think there are enough now. If someone sees conditions that are irregular or parties dumb enough to still be long-lining they could just post a picture on the Climbers board or Ice Conditions thread? 

    I get that people are proud of their first alpine climb, or whatever (and this is where I'm an elitist !#*%) but I think that maybe we could stop over-sharing and just text our close friends and family a summit-selfie. I bet they'd be proud...

    *cringing in the fetal position under my work desk, awaiting the backlash* :crash:

    • Smells bad 1

  5. Most water ice will be melted out by now, or if still in it will be sketchy to climb. That includes things like Triple Coulouirs and North Face R Gully. Things that climb year-round ice features such as Baker's N Ridge will be the go to. 

  6. 1. Down soloing the W Ridge of Inspiration in the Pickets after a day of soloing choss. I got off route and cut feet climbing down an overhanging prow. Luckily all the holds held my weight. Then I dislodged several large blocks just above the schrund and pinned my foot. I was able to shove them off and simultaneously lunge out of the way as they came down. I was pretty f*#%ing done with sketch ball shit for a while after that, but surprisingly still hung it out more than I should have for a few years.

    2. Rapping off Waddington with a core shot rope that we had to cut and having to build some not-inspiring additional rap anchors, including one on a scary detached flake with no other options that we used to rap a full 30 m free hanging section to get over the schrund onto the upper Bravo Glacier.

    3. Final hard aid pitch on RNWF of Half Dome by headlamp and taking an upside down whipper when a small cam blew out of a pin scar. Then having to go up there again, re-place the cam, put a foot in the cam's sling and stand on that one foot balanced against the blank rock to clip the next piece with that cam at mid-shin.

    4. Taking my wife up a 5.7 R route called Amphetamine Grip at Smith which I had never done (thought it would be fun for her on TR) and ended up having my last piece (crap nut) pop out leaving me a full 30m above my last piece on blank slab for the crux top-out moves. At the time I was only on-sighting about 5.9 consistently so it felt pretty heady.

    5. Gerber-Sink after a 6" dump with crazy spindrift as one of my first technical winter routes was full-on.

    6. Climbing Cali Ice in the Beartooths with skis on the pack this past winter with gnarly spindrift conditions felt real. So did climbing Twisted in 60mph winds in the Canadian Rockies this past season. 

    7. Climbing Rime Dog on I-Rock on a day that ended up being unexpectedly warm and heavily rimed conditions. I think we placed two pieces in 4 pitches. Belays were just standing on rime mushrooms and the belayer was supposed to jump off the other side if the leader fell. 

    I could think of others but that's the initial few that come to mind...

  7. Nothing I've heard of. Lots of good options out there. Be smart, triple check everything. 

    The only thing I'd add to your synopsis is that a non-toothed top device is typically cheaper and reduces chance of sheath damage.

    If you're using Micro-traxs conider shaving off the little tooth the locks the device open so it can't accidentally happen while you're climbing.

    Old head lamp band around the neck works great for keeping the top device high and away from the lower one.

  8. Since we're mostly stuck at home and lots of us have installed climbing walls or training apparatus of some sort I thought it would be fun to share what we have going on... maybe give each other some ideas for what we can do to stay fit during this time.

    Here's what I'm currently using:

    My wife and I got a squat rack a few years ago, which may not be reasonable purchase for some right now, but how we improvised to hang various rings and straps off it may be helpful. I also duct-taped some foam around the pull-up bar so I had a slide-able pad to hook ice tools on and there is a carabiner through the gymnast rings' webbing so you can clip the head of an ice tool to that for incline pull-ups and such.


    We use an old coffee table that is quite sturdy as a step-up box.


    Obviously the hangboard is key, with motivational picture cut out of old climbing rags and a hardware store screw-in hook in the top of the door frame to allow weight reduction on things like one arm hangs.


    Since my hangboard is very simple, but I also wanted to train pinches, I used some scrap wood and attached an old hook to it so I could add weight. IMG-9428.thumb.JPG.7014bc698d588b52b919305d0232432b.JPGIMG-9429.thumb.JPG.be4ec80281530a6325fbd34a2df0602d.JPG

    Finally, I built a plice board ala Will Gadd https://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en_US/experience-story?cid=will-gadd-how-to-build-plice which also has wood slats that are smooth enough to crimp on without getting splinters and attached it to a (bigger and stronger than it looks) tree in the backyard with just a slight overhang. Cost about $75 for materials. Attachment to the tree is the crux, I went with 6" lag screws through pressure treated 2x6 and built off of that. 


    Curious to see what others have done. Looking forward to getting more ideas!


  9. Looking at new boots for lower 48 winter climbing (Cascades alpine routes and Rockies ice/mixed). I've used Nepals for years and am finally thinking I should get something lighter that also climbs better. I have a relatively wide forefoot but otherwise a low volume foot with a high arch. This would ideally be used for everything from dry tool sport cragging to long waterfall ice routes in the Rockies to alpine routes in the Cascades. I know nothing is perfect but a light, dry, war, durable boot that climbs and hikes well would be ideal.

    I'm currently considering Arc'teryx Acrux but concerned about how well it climbs (at least well enough to crank WI5 M7 without being a disadvantage?).

    Also, the Scarpa Phantom Tech but concerned about durability of the sole and zipper (yes this thing needs to be able to hike on dirt, scramble rocks, and get put through the wringer).

    Was looking at the LaSportiva G5 but that thing seems to be crap in water resistance so I'm probably ruling it out? Unless there is a good mod to fix that? 


  10. Trying to fit all the gear for two people into my tiny Hyundai Accent for a week on the Parkway. I don't have a roof rack, and am strongly considering just ratcheting kayak straps through the car and strapping the skis to those with some cardboard to protect the paint job. I'm sure I can make it work but I'm concerned about the border (they like to give young bearded guys the shakedown and I like that beard when its cold and snowy) and wonder if they can/will deny entry due to this sort of thing.

    Anyone have experience with this?

  11. I have a Thule roof rack (bars/towers) for an Isuzu Trooper. They are not supposed to fit on a Hyundai Accent but the dimensions seem similar. Anyone tried to put a roof rack on a car its not meant for? What was your experience?

  12. Found some ice on the East side of the Steens this past weekend. Approaches are fairly difficult but any cliff bands higher than 6500' with feeder snow slopes will probably yield something until the next major warm cycle. The couloir skiing was quite nice too.

    Anyone been in here before?



  13. Anyone climbed here? Who did you use for logistics/porters/transport? Permit situation?

    Safety/security? Access to some peaks is along the Afghan border. Seems like its been done by westerners but not often.

    Looks like major peaks have all had multiple names as the political situation has changed (one peak I'm interested in seems to have been called at least 4 things at different times). Any resources for figuring out what is what? What has been done? Etc. (AAJ is pretty scarce on this topic and I can't read Russian).

    Thanks, Sam

  14. Trip: North Sister - E Buttress

    Trip Date: 12/28/2019

    Trip Report:

    Pole Creek TH is currently accessible with a high clearance/4wd, some rutted snow and slick spots, but pretty easy.

    Good skin tracks from the TH to Middle and North with minimal snow pack (2 hrs to the base of North's E Butt). Some icy spots but mostly nice wind packed snow.

    Lower E Butt has some ice and neve on it. The upper is dry and has unconsolidated snow. Enough to slow you down but not enough of it to be a wallow. We traversed off and descended Early Morning Couloir due to time. Some split boarders were playing around on the NE aspect while we climbed but I would not recommend the lower portion of that aspect due to exposed rocks and icy patches.

    Take home: In general people should stop repeating the same routes on Hood and explore a bit... :wink:

    Gear Notes:
    Some pitons, a couple screws, some rock gear.

    Approach Notes:
    Skis FTW