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About howiecrusher

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  • Birthday 11/04/1982
  1. [TR] Black Peak - North East Ridge 7/7/2012

    Oops. I corrected the post. I mean Heather Pass... I blame the lack of sleep. 15Hrs climb followed by a sleepless night followed by a long drive home... Thanks for catching that Luke.
  2. Trip: Black Peak - North East Ridge Date: 7/7/2012 Trip Report: BOEALPS ICC Alpine 3 Outting: North East Ridge of Black Peak July 7-8, 2012 Quick Stuff: - Rainy Lake/Lake Ann trail head parking lot still completely snow covered. - Lake Ann TH is behind the trail info board closest to SR20. - Trail to Heather pass is melting out quickly. No real issues following it, but there are some longer sections of snow coverage. - Snow all the way up to the NE ridge. - Ridge is snow free. Time Line: Saturday: 8:20am Leave TH 11:30am @ Wing Lake 12:30pm, leave wing lake after dropping overnight gear and getting water 2:00pm @ start of NE ridge route 9:00pm @ summit (yeah, we were sloooooow) 11:51pm back at Wing Lake camp (still a day trip!) Sunday: 9:10am Leave Camp 11:30am Back at cars! Longer Version: This past weekend Micha, Niki, Emily, and myself (Mike) did the NE ridge of Black Peak for our ICC Alpine III outting. We planned on completing the route on Saturday and camping at Wing Lake to avoid a super long day. The Lake Ann TH was completely snow covered and, unless you already know where the trail starts, it can be very hard to find. (It starts behind the notice board at the entrance to the parking lot and the trail climbs up and to the right). The trail was originally snow covered and hard to follow. It was melted out about 20ft above the parking lot so a quick bushwack can let you avoid a switchback. After this point the trail is pretty easy to follow all the way to Heather pass. The traverse and climb from Heather pass to Wing Lake is a wonderful traverse for multiple miles and is a great way to get your left leg into shape...It's completely snow covered. Smart route is to actually veer closer to Lewis lake than to try and to maintain elevation. Your legs will thank you later. Looking back at the Pass and Lewis Lake: We found a nice, snow free bivy spot by some larch trees and dumped our gear here. Wing lake had a nice melted puddle of water for us to filter from for the rest of our journey. The route from Wing lake up to the ridge was easy and snowy. Looking at the route from Wing Lake to the ridge: The start of the route had a large snow mound on it, but there was still enough melted away that it was a pretty easy walk. We roped up before this (with some goat company) and started off. Micha and i were on a 60m half rope that we doubled up and shortened even more to 25m. Niki and Emily were on a 60m single rope that they shorted to about 25-30m. Rope drag was a problem from the entire route!!! The start of the route: Emily has a new friend looking down to her. Too bad it's a goat! There's not much to say about the route. Stay left then at some point stay right. I'm not sure if we were lucky and made the transition correctly or if we were forced to do this by what looked "easier". Both teams simul-climbed the ridge and pitched the 5.2-ish section. Swapped leads when appropriate. Best and only route picture I have at some unknown location on the ridge. It's not even focused well! Proof of summit. At least for Niki: The down climb of the standard route sucks with headlamps. We weren't really sure how it approaches the summit so we did some awkward down climbing from the summit down to the sandy ledges below and followed carins intermittently. At some point we were in the wrong decent gully and headed down the wrong side of the mountain. Niki luckily realized this and we corrected our route and quickly found a great marked 'trail' down. Hit snow around 7900ft and ran all the way back to camp! Sorry no pictures of this...camera doesn't work at night. I also don't have much to say as to why we took 7hrs on the ridge when it normally should be 4hrs. Some of it is my fault for leading slowly and being cautious to find the correct and best route on the ridge at first. Something that comes with experience I guess... Overall this is a good trip/climb and we had great weather for it. I'm sure I'll be doing it again sometime in the future. Gear Notes: ice axe, helmet, harness, etc. 8.2mm, 60m half rope....a 25-30m rope is best. Set of nuts, a few hexes and tri-cams, 2 link cams, LOTS of slings. Rock seemed to take smaller pro better than larger stuff. Had crampons, but left them at the lake. We needed training weight. Approach Notes: Trail to Heather pass is about 30% snow covered. Continuous snow from the pass.
  3. Trip: Bonanza Peak - Mary Green Glacier Date: 6/28/2012 Trip Report: Trip Dates: 6/27/12 - 6/30/12 People: Matt, Sasha, Greg, Cal, and myself (Mike) Summary: Wednesday 6/27 - Slow Ferry from Chelan to Lucern, bus to Holden - Hiked to Holden Pass (~4hrs) Thursday 6/28 - 5am Moving from Pass - 11:45am on Summit - 7:10pm back at Pass Friday 6/29 - 7am 4 out of 5 climbed Martin (i wussed out) - ~3pm all climbers returned from Martin - 4pm Left Holden Pass - 6pm hit Holden Campsite. Setup and walked to Holden for water/toilets by 7pm. Saturday 6/30 - Was able to switch from a sunday ferry to saturday ferry and get out a day early! Details: There was a lot of snow on route. We hit snow a little below Holden Lake. The lake was mostly snow covered on Wednesday and was mostly thawed by Friday. Alder and rock up to Holden pass was no issue since it was all under snow. Lake and it's surroundings will probably be snow free in the next couple weeks. We were able to find a snow route from Holden Pass all the way up to the Mary Green Glacier. I doubt this will be possible for any weekend after our trip. The waterfalls are melting away fast and there were some moats starting to show. The first moat up the last 1000' was easily crossed on the far climber's right on some snow/rock. We then were able to ascend steep snow up a few more hundred feet. About 2/3 of the way we had to leave snow and scramble some easy-ish rock with crampons (crampons on slabs suck!). We hit the ridge and setup a fix line to the summit for safety. We were roped up the entire way and used rappel slings for running belays. Some fixed belays were done mid-route in questionable areas. 5 double rope rappels were performed to get us to about 100' above the first moat. We down climbed from there, setting two pickets for a running belay on steep stuff. Overall the route was in great shape for us. I can't say it'll be great next weekend. It was melting pretty fast and some new difficulties looked to be forming (moats were opening up). We were also the first group of the year! Boo Ya! Holden Lake and route up to Pass on Wednesday: Roping up for the start of glacier: On glacier. It was pretty filled in: Best picture of the technical route I got...follow the snow blobs: The only area were we really had to climb rock: Steep and soft snow finger after rock. Leads to ridge: Sasha nailing his summit pose. Cal oblivious to it: One of our raps: Holden Lake and pass on Friday when we left...lots of melt!:
  4. Trip: Sherpa Peak - Northeast Couloir + East Ridge Date: 6/16/2012 Trip Report: Aaron, Evelyne, Sasha, and myself headed over to Sherpa Peak for Boealps intermediate class Alpine 2 outing. We settled on the Northeast Couloir to the East Ridge route due to questionable weather. We hit intermediate snow around the 5k ft level. We made the mistake of starting to head up a tad too soon and did more boulder hopping/alder thrashing/huge snow hole avoiding than we needed to. Best approach is to try and follow the Mountaineers creek as closely as possible and try not to get suckered in by another stream. Ascend on the left of the creek towards the Sherpa/Argonaut col. Camp was at 5600' on some large boulders with plenty of liquid water around. We enjoyed plenty of dinner time rain and high winds. Luckily the winds died down after the rain stopped by 7pm and we were able to tucker into our bivies without getting soaked. Camp Site: There's a few really good TR's on cascadeclimbers and nwhikers that go into a lot of detail about this route (most notably on nwhikers. look for an East Ridge report). So I'll try and be brief... The couloir was in excellent shape and we made quick work of it. We did rope up and were prepared to set snow pro, but never felt like we needed to. Crampons were used in the morning (probably didnt need them, but there was a firm layer under some soft stuff). Couloir Beta: Once on the ridge there's a few hundred feet of class 2/3 sandy benches and a dirty gully with a chock stone, we came to the typical rock wall and easily found the class 4/low 5th pitch up (less than 30m). From here the typical route traverses on the North side of Sherpa ~100ft beneath the balance rock. Instead we did a "variation" and followed another pitch (class 4/low 5) to a visible rap sling that takes you to the base of the balanced rock. Pitch to the base of balance rock: From here Sasha and Evelyne simul'ed the ridge into oblivion and I wuss'ed out and pitched the ridge with Aaron with him leading most of it...It's very airy and requires a few moves of faith. Overall it was easy-ish climbing, but I wouldn't want to fall...Made worse with strong wind gusts. We completed the traverse in 2 30m pitches. Came to a rock buttress than required us to descend a couple steps down to the typical route, traverse some soft snow, and then we found ourselves at the base of the class 4 dirty gully. From here to the summit was snow free. Summit slabs offer nice exposure. We left the summit just as a large cloud surrounded us and started making things wet. Not sure if that decent can be made when the snow melts out. North side traverse. Easier than it looks. Aaron is just setting an anchor: Summit slabs with Sasha on top with his Upward Full Foot Plant summit pose. Approach back to the couloir was still more fun. With 2 ropes we were able to set fixed lines all the way to the rap station at the balance rock. This helped us speed things up and to protect us from a lot of pendulum. Typical class 2 terrain before the gully with chock stone. We Plunge stepped down the couloir and enjoyed a fun glissade most of the way back to camp. Then we slogged out as fast as possible. Below our our times: Saturday: 7am Monroe PnR 9:40 am Trailhead (3400) 11am Stuart Trail Junc (4500) 11:30 am off trail (4630) 3:30 pm Camp (5600) 6 pm Dinner 7 pm Bed Sunday: 3:45 am Alarm 4:30 am Hiking 5:30 am Rope up (6600) 6:40 am Ridge Crest (8050) 10:30 am Summit! (8605) 10:45 am All on summit 11 am All off summit 2:45 pm Back at Col (8050) 3:30 pm Back at Camp (5600) 6 pm Back at trail 7:20 pm Trailhead Gear Notes: between 2 teams of 2: 2 60m 7.7mm twin ropes (we half roped it. made 2 30m ropes with double strands) 2 smallish racks (set of nuts, 2 link cams, 1 medium size cam (#1 C4), and a tri-cam or two for the heck of it, 4 singles, 8 doubles) 5 pickets. Didn't need any... 1 ice tool for couloir leads ... again, training weight... Approach Notes: Follow Mountaineer's Creek closely. Don't get suckered into the boulders. There's an intermediate trail on the S side of the creek. If you find it than travel is much nicer. Bushwhack wasn't bad, but will be horrible in a couple weeks when things bloom.