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About BrandonU

  • Birthday 06/28/1984


  • Occupation
    Chemical Engineer
  • Location
    Sandy, Oregon

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  1. Fuck! Really hoping Marc is ok, he is such a massive inspiration to me - and us all
  2. I think the route should generally be in until Spring, the amount/conditions of ice you encounter might vary though with new storms and snow dumps. I didn't see any open crevasses high on the Reid, but I was weary of them so stayed as high as I possibly could to avoid them. Also the bergschrund was partly open and visible, but there were a couple great spots to safely cross over it.
  3. Trip: Mt Hood - Reid Headwall - Iced up solo Trip Date: 12/09/2017 Trip Report: Went for a solo outing on the Reid Headwall last Saturday and found AMAZING ice conditions! Got lucky with great weather, no wind, and sick ice. By far my favorite route, and the best conditions I have found. I could tell you about it...but seeing is way more fun! Check out the climb in 4K! Gear Notes: Petzl Quarks, Petzl Lynx crampons Approach Notes: Timberline to I-Saddle
  4. Good job and nice TR! Looks like a very fun outing, nice pics!
  5. Awesome TR and sweet pics! Looks like a really cool climb and lots of fun, plus mountain safety research always enhances a trip
  6. The Neoair Xtherm is a kick ass pad for sure. Comparing the specs between the Xtherm and the Exped Downmat UL 7, for virtually the same exact length/width dimensions and R-Values, the Xtherm saves you over 7 oz on the regular 6 foot size, and 5 oz on a small tosro-length size. Another nice thing is you can just blow it up with your lungs and not worry about moisture vs. having to use a pump-bag to keep the internal down dry. The exped pads do offer a bit more in comfort however, altough I still find the Xtherm mighty comfy. Both are awesome pads and you can't go wrong with either choice.
  7. I picked up the Thermarest Neoair XTherm pad at the beginning of this winter and I absolutely love it. Best pad I have used. Definitely the warmest pad I have used. A little "slippery" but that I can deal with for what it offers in weight, warmth, and volume savings. I got the small version, it weighs 11 oz, packs down to the size of a small soup can, and has an R-value of 5.7. Better warmth/weight ratio and smaller packed volume than the exped pads I believe....may be wrong though. Thing takes up no space in my pack, sweet for such a warm winter pad. I have a whole bin at home of WAY to many different pads, both inflatable and closed cell foam. This is the last one I will ever buy for winter use (hopefully). Of course being inflatable the disadvantage is it can pop, but i also carry a repair kit and have never popped a pad yet with many many uses of them. http://cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-rest/mattresses/fast-and-light/neoair-xtherm/product
  8. The difference between the 'regular' and 'headwall' route is only a small section of the route, otherwise they are mostly the same. The 'normal' route veers left on milder terrain to meet up at the false summit, while the 'headwall' version heads right to tackle a short but steep section to the false summit. This pic was originally posted by CraigA. 'Regular' route in blue, 'Headwall' variation in red: This is my pic from the upper glacier, showing the approximate route I took (red) and the regular mazama glacier route in blue: denalijacob, thats too bad about the impassable conditions on the glacier. Sounds like a crazy trip though with a forest fire evac!! Bet you have a cool story and pics.
  9. Thanks all! Who would wanna go to Cancun for spring break when we have this?! Well maybe it would be nice afterward. Thanks for the sweet pics Tom, I added a couple in here, love that sunrise pic of me on the traverse.
  10. Trip: Mt Hood - North Face - right gully Date: 3/25/2013 Trip Report: The north face has been at the top of my list of routes to do on Hood since I started climbing, one I have been dreaming of for a while now. To kick off my spring break, I figured it was time to give it a go and headed up for a solo climb of the right gully. Left from the Tilly Jane TH late Sunday afternoon and reached my bivy spot behind a large rock at about 7400 ft on Cooper Spur just before dark. The mountain was entirely engulfed in clouds on the approach, and I was really hoping it would clear out before morning. As I sat eating dinner, the wind began to slowly blow out all the clouds and the mountain came into full view. The bivy was beautiful laying under the bright moon and stars and watching the north face, with only moderate wind. Left the bivy at 5 am, and I was a bit unsure of where to drop down onto the Eliot glacier. Visibility wasn't that great in the dark while it was lightly snowing, and I missed the best spot to drop down. I kept climbing higher on the spur and eventually realized that I was much too high up. Oh well, I figured I could just traverse across the face above the glacier to the right gully. I saw tracks in the snow on the spur and came across a tent. As I began the traverse at sunrise, I met up with Spencer and Tom from Eugene, who were also climbing the north face. We reached the left gully just above its ice step and originally wanted to downclimb it and traverse to below the 1st ice step of the right gully. It had a very steep and hairy looking portion that would have been fun to climb but not downclimb. We decided to just traverse over the ridge into the right gully instead, and ended up popping into the upper portion of the 1st ice step in the right gully. Spencer & Tom traversing into the right gully: I was a little bummed to have missed out on the first ice step of the route, but next time around I won't miss the drop onto the Eliot and I will climb it then! The gully was steep and filled with powder snow, and after kicking steps up it for a while we reached the 2nd ice step, with loads of spindrift pouring down it. It looked awesome. Looking down the gully below the 2nd step, Spencer below: Nearing the 2nd ice step: We stopped to fuel up before heading up the step. I wanted to solo it and started up the right side. I immediately started getting showered with buckets of spindrift that didn't seem to stop. It froze on my glasses and I couldn't see through them at all! In between spindrift showers I would look up between the thin slot between my glasses and forehead to locate my next tool placement. The ice was very hard, and my dullish horizontal frontpoints would not bite into the ice worth a shit--fucking sucked not being able to trust my foot placements. When I started the pitch my gloves were pretty wet, and shortly into it my gloves froze into an icy/spindrifty block. My hands were completely frozen like I have never felt before-very numb, extremely painful, and I couldn't move them. All this made for a very gripping climb up the step to say the least. I was very relieved to be at the top! I frantically tried to get blood and warmth into my hands, which felt completely fucked up. I sat at the top of the step for a bit just cussing as the blood rushed to my hands along with intense pain. Then I melted some snow and hydrated while Spencer and Tom climbed the step. Me climbing the 2nd step: We regouped and headed up together, encountering a mix of powder snow and ice. Upper mountain above cathedral spire: Me pullin onto the summit: Spencer & Tom on top: Myself on top: I descended the south side while Spencer & Tom descended Cooper Spur back to their tent. Great guys to climb alongside and cool as hell. An awesome climb and adventure--one that I will always cherish. Pre-climb at the Tilly Jane TH -- fresh and ready to go: Post-climb at the T-Line parking lot -- completely knackered: Gear Notes: Ice tools, crampons w/ dull front points, helmet, snowshoes.
  11. Hahahaha yeah I took/shared a lot o pics. I like to take a lot of pictures, I took 300 on this climb! Definitely an amazing route, the ice was so much fun. I'm pretty sure I did the left variation, I tended to head left/up for the most part.
  12. Trip: Mt Hood - Reid Glacier Headwall Date: 1/20/2013 Trip Report: Went for a solo climb up the Reid Headwall on Sunday, what an outstanding route! Amazing ice for most of the route, just incredible. The ice was bullet hard in many places, with some bulges and ice steps of 70-80 degrees Got showered with smallish ice particles a few times and took a chunk of ice to the knee, which occured while I was shooting a video Left Timberline at 2:15 am, got to the Illumination rock saddle at 5:00. Virtually no wind, crystal clear sky with amazing stars, and very firm snow made for great conditions on the approach. I attempted to approach this route a few weeks ago and spent 3 hours trenching through waist deep powder snow just to get from the top of Palmer to I-saddle! So much better now Melted snow at I-saddle and hydrated for a couple hours. My friend Daniel and two of his friends showed up at the saddle before daylight as well, and were climbing Leuthold couloir. We all waited for daylight and descended down onto the Reid glacier. We parted ways and I started up toward the Reid headwall at about 7:30. Looking up Reid Headwall Daniel and crew heading toward Leuthold, Yocum behind Approaching the first gully Entering the first gully Climbing ice in the 1st gully Looking down 1st gully On the snow ridge above the 1st gully Yocum ridge in early light Traversing to 2nd gully Entering 2nd gully Starting the ice in the 2nd gully First steep ice step Climbing the steep ice step Beautiful Here is a video I took after the first ice step. Hard to climb and take a video with a point and shoot! Climbing up towards an ice fin. I went right to find the best pitch of ice on the route! Fun ice approaching the fin Nearing the fin Starting the beatiful pitch right of the fin Stuff i've been dreaming of, pure fun! Looking down Icy goodness Having a blast but feeling the intensity at the same time Emerging from the long 2nd gully system First snow in a while! Traversing to a 3rd gully on the upper Reid Headwall More ice in a 3rd short gully. A couple very spicy moves transitioning into this one! Looking down 3rd gully Another snow traverse Last bit towards the summit ridge Almost to the summit ridge! Summit ridge, with Daniel and crew exploring the summit area Me on the summit! Reached the top at 11:30 and met up with Daniel and his friends who had summited a bit earlier from Leuthold. We all descended together, and it was very hot in the sun! Climbers descending the south side Crater rock Gear Notes: Ice tools, crampons, helmet
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