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About nutsandbolts

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  1. Nice work homies! Filling in that blank space on the topo nicely
  2. [TR] Mount Slesse - N.(D)E. Butt 7/17/2017

    Holy moly dude! I'm sure it felt real at the time, but it sounds like you handled it with humor and poise. Hilarious about the flat tire and your hurried keys! When it rains...
  3. Trip: Rainier - DC in a day Date: 7/3/2016 Trip Report: Over a month late! Better late than never I suppose... After our stifled attempt on the Fuhrer Finger in late May, we deliberated on whether or not to attempt Rainier again and if so, what route to try. We considered the Kautz, but our feeble ice climbing skills left us feeling hesitant after reading a variety of trip reports. Climbing the Disappointment Cleaver route in two days was not very palpable to us, primarily because it felt so tame. Do not mistake this for elitism; we knew we could fully get shut down on the DC. Rather, because many guided parties took this tactic to climb the mountain, we would be surrounded by many people and adopting a casual pace over two days. These elements seemed to steal the sense of adventure from the accent. Success was almost too guaranteed. We thrive on the unknown, the maybe possible, the likelihood of things going awry, and attempting the DC in a day seemed to bring some of these elements back into play. We launched at 11pm from Paradise in a dense fog. The snow had greatly retreated compared to our previous attempt and we found ourselves walking more often than not for the first 2 miles. We prematurely donned skis several times in the patchy snow and missed several switchbacks which cost us valuable time. Regardless, we hit Muir about 3am and took a short break to re-fuel, stash our skis and watch the horizon begin to glow. We roped up here not because we necessarily needed to, but more to capitalize on having our packs off and already being stopped. Traversing the upper Cowlitz to gain Cathedral Gap went quickly and the crevasses were benign. Up to, across, and a little ways after Cathedral Gap was exposed rubble and scree which is never fun (or fast) in ski boots. The sun crested the eastern skyline as we topped the Gap and gave us beautiful morning views of Little Tahoma. The route from here up to Ingraham Flats and across to the base of the Cleaver was relatively casual with a few larger crevasses that needed skirting or a careful walk across a snow bridge. Upon reaching the Cleaver we resumed our scree walking and scrambling. The path up the Cleaver was fairly well marked with flags, but rock fall is almost inevitable given the very loose terrain. From the top of the Cleaver to the summit was nothing more than a few crevasse crossings and a few steeper (35-40ish degree) slopes, but a very well-used path made the terrain very easy to move through. We encountered a few pickets used as running belays before and after some spicy sections which were very convenient. Although the climbing was technically easy, the altitude and fatigue began to catch up to us around 13,000'. We persevered and finally stood on the Columbia Crest at 12:30am. We didn't stay for long because the winds were bitterly fierce, and we quickly initiated our descent. We reversed our path the entire way, ecstatic to be done crossing very soft snow bridges and finally clicking back into our skis at Muir. We reached the parking lot at Paradise around 8pm, 21 hours after we started. It was a long, beautiful and challenging day - exactly what we were looking for. For more pictures, beta and details, click here. Gear Notes: Cravasse rescue gear and a 40m 9mm line. Approach Notes: None needed. Mankind has taken the liberty to pave a road up to 5,400'.
  4. Mount Hood

    Ha! Trolled me. But great post. This echos my thoughts exactly and needs to be communicated to new climbers (and leaders) everywhere. In this scenario, a rope presents a hazard much greater than simply a false sense of security.
  5. [TR] Mt Baker - Boulder Cleaver 5/7/2016

    Thanks! Long day for sure, but super fun. Shuksan does look incredible - hoping to get up that one later this year!
  6. Trip: Mt Baker - Boulder Cleaver Date: 5/7/2016 Trip Report: It's a little late now, but hopefully the info is useful for folks. We set the alarm for 3:30am and started up the trail 20 minutes later after a quick cup of tea and some oatmeal. As expected, we found a generous supply of winter blow-down and large puddles on trail. I'd highly recommend GORE-TEX-fortified trail runners or boots. I wore my non-waterproof trail running shoes and got wet quickly, which made for soggy feet all day. Many descriptions of this route state that after 2 miles, the trail ends in a meadow or bog, depending on the season. I read many stories of epic bushwacks from here to the toe of the glacier. There is a trail on the other side of the bog and although it is not distinct (think 'climbers trail' not 'hiking trail') it does provide good access through the forest and up to Boulder Ridge. The trail starts directly behind a campsite on the far side of the meadow. After 3 miles we were able to skin for a while before hitting the 3rd class scramble to gain the ridge. We found the fixed rope, which appeared solid, and used it. Once on top of Boulder Ridge, we began the long skin up the snow slopes. We traded skis for crampons and a rope near the top of the cleaver and carefully picked our way around some of the crevasses on the upper Boulder Glacier. Most of this route is south-facing and warms quickly, which meant soft snow and we post-holed up to our knees routinely. Many of the snow bridges were still intact and substantial, but soft. We reached the summit around 3:30pm, appalled at our slow progress but relieved. After a few summit selfies we descended to our skis only to find that the upper slopes held a horrid icy crust with wet snow below. The conditions improved greatly as we descended and we managed to get some in some good turns farther down. We switched back into our shoes shortly before dark but struggled to find the little trail that led back into the woods. Finding an incredibly faint trail, covered in fallen trees and patches of snow, at dusk, is hard. We knew where we were, but without that little trail, getting out was going to be a major pain. The GPS had died so we broke out the map and compass and headed off into the darkness. A hour or so later, we found the bog and the trail back to the car. After navigating all the downed trees for second time we returned to the car, totally exhausted, but totally stoked. More beta, GPS tracks, and pictures here
  7. Trip: Three Sisters Traverse - Date: 10/24/2015 Trip Report: We rolled into Pole Creek close to midnight on Friday night, electing to do the push on Saturday so it would be easier to negotiate a ride from Devil's Lake back to Pole Creek. The main issue was that if we left at our proposed time of 330am, we would be operating on a dangerously little amount of sleep that could likely prevent our success. So, we elected to awake at 445am, and left at 515am, hitting the talus field below the Middle/North saddle by daylight after running the first few miles. We made sure to optimize our breaks (if and when they were needed), fueled ourselves with bars when needed, and made sure we had warmed our bodies with a cup of tea before leaving the truck in the morning. Starting a little later also allowed us to scope out the route off of North and over Prouty Point a little better. We stayed much closer to the line of ascent, instead of dropping off to the west like our previous attempt. This allowed us to make a direct line up through a rock band, traverse back to the west to avoid unnecessary elevation gain, and line up for Middle. If we had some extra traction (Yaktrax, or screwed soles), it seems possible to drop off to the west more quickly and traverse the edge of the Collier glacier. This would be a less direct line, but would prevent a 300' climb back up the side of Prouty. Something to consider for future traverses... From there, it was a cruise up to the summit of Middle, and back down and over to the section leading up to South. We grabbed water off the remnants of the lower Irving glacier. Coming up the north side of South Sister was mostly a scree walk with no trail - slow going. The ridge becomes more prominent higher up and we found staying on the top allowed the easiest travel. Once we reached the large buttress of choss, we stayed to the climber's right. For the next 500' feet, the angle steepens and the rock gets incredibly chossy. It would be best not to fall up here. At the top of the choss chute, we topped out on a more solid, grey band of rock. Although it looked like a teetering pile of refrigerator-sized plates, we scrambled up it without much trouble onto the final summit field. The way down was straightforward, in the dark, and beautiful. Ecstasy abounded, even with energy stores nearly depleted, and we were able to slowly jog sections on the descent. Beers at the car, brought to us by our amazing friends, were the icing on the cake. Approach Notes: Lots more detail, GPS links, gear lists, etc are at: http://www.mountainrefugees.com/
  8. Trip: Jefferson - South Ridge Date: 9/20/2015 Trip Report: A little late posting this, but better late than never I guess... The guidebook indicated that the only hazards on this route were "dehydration and boredom." We laughed about that on our way up but... well, it's kind of true. The ridge literally goes on for miles and with only a few sections of terrain that allowed for fast movement, hours and hours went by as we slowly, deliberately gained elevation. I read another reference to this route being similar to the south side of South Sister, just longer and without a trail. The bonus for this trip was that we were climbing in the season's first snow so there were a few fun little snow fields to navigate through and when we reached the traverse, our psych was elevated when we realized that we would be traversing below the summit pinnacle on fresh, fairly consolidated snow, rather than on the sea of scree that was likely present prior to this week's precipitation. We originally started from the Pamelia Lake TH, not being aware that the Limited Entry permits applied to people hiking through the area as well. Five miles up the trail and out of the Limited Entry area, we were stopped by a disgruntled ranger who threatened to fine us if we did not cooperate, turn around, and return to the trail head. We turned around, warned the climbers coming up the trail below us (who also had interpreted the rules like we did), and came up with a plan to ditch our packs in the woods, return to Pamelia Lake, drive to Woodpecker Ridge, and hike back in as far as we could that night. Suffice to say, starting the trek in over was an annoying addition to the day and ended up adding extra 10 miles to the day. We had a photo of a short cut (part of the SW ridge?) up a drainage that avoided going all the way to Shale Lake that we were planning on taking, but after 30 minutes of bushwacking in the dark, we elected to continue hiking on the PCT. We hiked about 7 miles up the PCT from Woodpecker Ridge TH before finding a place to camp. The next morning, we woke at 545am, sorted out our packs, left one heavy pack and our camping equipment stashed in the woods, and set off up the trail. When we reached Shale Lake, the route to the climber's path became fairly unclear (review our track for the full extent to which we went meandering). We struggled a bit to find and stay on the trail, often losing it through grassy meadows and scree fields only to rediscover it later on. Once we reached the treeline, the objective was fairly obvious. Its basically just a long slog up the south ridge to the Red Saddle. The snow on the traverse was in excellent condition and offered relatively stable and safe passage despite some steep sections. The summit pinnacle itself was just plain fun- a variety of rock, snow, and ice that yielded interesting mixed climbing and some fun, relatively mild exposure. We roped up for only a brief section of the climb. Gear Notes: For those interested, more details and pictures are at: http://www.mountainrefugees.com/ Approach Notes: Here's the GPS track from Woodpecker ridge to our camp Here's the GPS track from our camp to the summit
  9. Trip: Tetons - The Grand Traverse Date: 8/31/2015 Trip Report: Over the course of 3 days, starting on 31 August, Dustin, Alex and I completed the Grand Traverse. This was certainly the biggest alpine rock objective I’ve ever tackled and definitely the hardest. It was quite the journey, emotionally and physically. There were times when I thought we would never make it, and moments where the stoke meter was off the charts. It’s worth mentioning that we completed the traverse onsight. Dustin and I had climbed the Full Exum two years ago, so the descent down the Owen-Spalding was familiar but it was our first time on all the other peaks. Below is a logistical trip report, primarily focusing on the traverses between the major peaks. Lots of beta is available for climbing the actual peaks, but we found the least amount of information (and consequently most of the cruxes) for the terrain in between. Day 1. The hike from Lupine Meadows to the top of Teewinot contains the single largest amount of elevation gain, to the tune of about 5,000’ in 2 miles. We found the path well marked and primarily 3rd class with some minor 4th class. The descent from Teewinot takes you through an obvious notch about 75’ below and to the south of the summit. After dropping through this notch, we scrambled further to the south over into a second gully that leads very obviously to a football field sized landing. This gully is straightforward and it’s possible to see right where you’re going from a little ways down. We traversed this field and climbed slightly up to the top of Peak 11,840. We found rap anchors off the north side of this peak and made 2 raps to a ridge. Scrambling up Teewinot. Looking down the descent for Teewinot towards the "football field". Following this ridge, we passed a small spire/gendarme to the north, traversing steep terrain. From here, we climbed more 2nd/3rd class to the top of the East Prong then made 3 raps off the west side to the saddle between Mt Owen and the East Prong. This is where the route meets up with the top of the Koven Couloir. The Koven description directs the climber towards a 4th class chimney to access the upper snow bank. This chimney was a waterfall with all the snow melt so we opted for 4th class slabs to the left of the chimney. These looked sketchy from far away, but became much more doable from close up. From here, we continued climbing up and around to the south and west sides of Owen to access the tunnel/chimney that leads to the summit. We made 2 raps down to the upper snow bank, and traversed south, somewhat farther than we expected to find 3 raps down to the west slopes of Owen, where we bivied for the night. There aren’t too many bivi spots between the upper snow bank of Owen and about pitch 6 of the North Face of the Grand. There is a small, possible bivi at the Second Ledge. If we to do it again, I’ve bivi on the upper snow bank of Owen, however it comes into the shade more quickly. Starting up Owen, looking back at the East Prong and the top of the Koven Couloir. Looking up Owen at the 4th class chimney and the upper snow bank. Day 2. Following the scree slopes south (stay high) towards the gunsight, we found 3 more raps down to the notch. From the notch we climbed directly up for 30 feet, then traversed and downclimbed the obvious ramp, moving towards the east, to access the broad ledges on the east side of the Grandstand. Scrambling to the top of the Grandstand provided some of the worst rock. Super loose, 4th class choss. Be extra careful and tread lightly if parties are following or below you on the Teton Glacier. Once we accessed the top of the Grandstand, we proceeded to climb the North Face via the Italian Cracks variation (5.8). Hoping to climb the Middle Teton that day as well, we made the decision to traverse to the OS from the Second Ledge, thinking this would save us some time over the direct finish (3 more pitches up to 5.7). Not so much… the traverse was way longer than we anticipated and cost us at least 3 hours. I’d highly recommend doing the direct finish. After a few summit selfies, we descended to the lower saddle via the OS in desperate need of water. We were so cooked after all day on the Grand and frustrated at our slow pace that we decided to bivi at the lower saddle, get a good night’s sleep, and try for a humungous effort the next day. Looking out from the bottom of the gunsight notch. Starting the initial downclimb/traverse of the Grandstand to access the east face and move up. Some of the terrain we crossed traversing from the Second Ledge off the North Ridge of the Grand, over to the OS. Day 3. We awoke at 3am and started up Middle. Route finding was a little slow and mysterious in the dark, and lots of scary 4th class scrambling occurred, hoping we were still on route. We reached the top of the black dike (which is more of a corridor full of loose black rock) around 5:30am just as the sky started to lighten. The 5.6 pitch near the top of the black dike put us on 4th class slabs that lead to the summit just in time for sunrise. Sunrise from near the summit of Middle Teton. The descent off Middle Teton is straightforward off the south end of the summit and leads to a large saddle with South Teton on the other end. Only gaining 1,000 feet to the summit of South was appreciated and we found it all to be snow free and 3rd class at most. Descending South involved some steep 3rd class downclimbing (possibly 4th depending on the route chosen). We found 1 rap close to the end which brought us to the low point on the west side of the Ice Cream Cone. Taken from the South Teton, starting the descent, looking at the Ice Cream Cone, Gilkey, and Spalding. Cloudveil and Nez Perce can be seen in the background. One ~40m 5.7 pitch leads to the summit and 3rd/4th class scrambling allows for descent on the other side. We traversed the north side of the saddle, above a snowfield towards Gilkey Tower. This is where our experience differs from Rolo’s description. We confirmed with the climbing rangers at Jenny Lake afterwards (with much help from Google Earth) to make sure our memories weren’t faulty. We scrambled up (3rd/4th class) and traversed towards the east side of Gilkey to gain the summit, then descended towards Spalding Tower. Spalding itself has 3 different summits, the highest being farthest east, and a memorial plaque near the base of the west side. Gaining the west ridge of Spalding involved 2-3 extraordinarily exposed 5.4 moves. Moving along the summit ridge towards the true summit involved some super scary downclimb/hopping that I don’t wish to repeat. We descended off the east end of Spalding with mostly 3rd class downclimbing and on rap close to the bottom. We dropped below the ridgeline to the north, to cross a snowfield through a small partially melted chute, then regained the ridge. This was taken from the top of the Ice Cream Cone. Gilkey is the next tower and Spalding's 3 humps (although it kind of looks like two from this angle) stands behind. Scrambling up Gilkey. Much of our confusion came from an unnamed fin that is partially joined to the west ridge of Cloudveil. Although unnamed and probably rarely climbed, the summit is super cool. It is a true one-at-a-time summit with awesome exposure on all sides, accessed either through a tunnel or chimneying above and over a large block. Downclimbing from the unnamed summit towards Cloudveil involved a few 3rd class moves, but the west ridge and north side of Cloudveil are easily attained and we quickly climbed to the summit. Working up Cloudveil. Downclimbing from Cloudveil towards Nez Perce involves more 3rd and 4th class and eventually leads to some mini-cirques which are skirted at mid to upper height on the north side of the ridge. This leads to the top of a gully or notch on the west side of Nez Perce. From here, a long traverse around the north side of Nez Perce leads to easier ground, which we found to be mostly well marked with cairns. The route zig-zags a bit, following ledge systems over some 4th class terrain to the summit. There are two raps that facilitate the descent of Nez Perce. The first involves retracing the accent a short ways to skier’s left, then turning a corner to the right to find a rap station above a small chute. The second follows farther to skier’s left down some slabs. The final descent down to the south fork of Garnet Canyon primarily follows a gully behind the prominent curving north ridge of Nez Perce, avoiding the steepest cliffs to skier’s left on some switchbacks. Hopefully some of this info will be useful for others wishing to complete the Grand Traverse. The library at the AAC Climber’s Ranch has many useful pictures and topos that aren’t available elsewhere for further research. No matter how much research is done, it’s still a wonderful adventure and incredible experience! Gear Notes: 50m rope. This was just enough to handle all the raps without much downclimbing. Rack: 5 medium sized nuts, Master Cams 0-3, Camalots 0.5(x2), 0.75(x2), 1(x2), 2. Ten alpine draws and two anchors. We climbed the entire traverse in 5.Ten guide tennies. Rock in the Tetons is so sticky that we were comfortable even on the 5.8 pitch of the N Ridge on the Grand. Approach Notes: Lupine TH. Take the unmarked trail about 100 yards north of the bathrooms, straight towards Teewinot.
  10. Trip: Broken Top - NW Ridge Date: 7/12/2015 Trip Report: Broken Top is my nemesis mountain. Maybe 1 out of 2 isn’t quite into the nemesis category yet, but I have floundered on this thing more than once. My punting has only been due to stupid mistakes and poor planning so I have no one to blame but myself. It’s just frustrating, because B-Top isn’t even hard. Whatever. It did seem validating to summit this peak in our 12th month of this project. 1 mountain, each month, for 1 year. It feels incredible to accomplish this - primarily because I didn’t know how feasible it would even be. It seemed kind of impossible at first, but we made it happen with very little floundering. The struggles on Broken Top arose basically because the climbers trail was TOO well-marked. Go figure. This was not some game trail marked with a three-pebble cairn that you can only see in broad daylight after moving a couple of branches. It was a freaking 3’ wide gravel path! Apparently climbing is getting popular. Damn. After our scenic detour, we scrambled up the NW ridge, rock hopped up the summit block, had some glamour shots taken (thanks Matt!), and high-fived the crap out of each other. GPS data is here on View Ranger . More pictures and words are here on Tumblr. Approach Notes: We started at the Green Lakes TH and path is extremely well marked and worn due to the massive amounts of day hikers it sees. However, looking at the topo and our GPS, it appeared that we would need to head around the west side of Broken Top and meet the base of the Northwest Ridge after passing the largest of the lakes. We hiked all the way to the saddle between S Sister and Broken Top before admitting we had missed the climbers trail. We elected to hike cross country and bisect the ridge to find the trail. Once we finally hit the ridgeline, we found ourselves ambling along on mixed, second/third class terrain until connecting with the proper climbers trail. Whoops.
  11. [TR] Shasta / Shastina - 5/22/2015

    Trip: Shasta / Shastina - Date: 5/22/2015 Trip Report: May 22nd - Shastina Four miles after leaving the trail head at Bunny Flat, we reached Hidden Valley which offered spectacular views of the mountain landscape and far more privacy than we would have received elsewhere. With psych building, we quickly ditched our overnight gear near a large rock in the center of the valley, and began our trek toward Shastina - objective #1 for the weekend. We opted for The Lightning Couloir which was basically straight up the south face. The top of the couloir was a false summit that leads to an extra 1000 feet of climbing. The summit of Shastina is actually a rad, crumbly little boulder, the pieces of which are held in place by ice and snowpack. The ski descent was one of the best runs of my life - dropping turns into the Lightening Couloir, and carving lines all the way to the door of the tent 3000′ below. It doesn’t get much better than that. May 23rd - Shasta The first pitch of climbing out of Hidden Valley was fairly steep- likely the steepest section of the entire day. There are several options, but we opted for a ~200′ tall shoot between two rock outcroppings. Luckily, once again, we were blessed with beautiful weather and the snow was primo for crampon’ing. The angle was too steep and snow too hard for efficient skinning without ski crampons so I packed my skis up to the top of the West Face and left them there for the final summit push. The slog up to the top of the West Face of Shasta is nothing more than a steep, steep hike. From the top of the West Face (~13,000′), we traversed east, to meet the Avalanche Gully and Casaval Ridge routes for the climb up Misery Hill (500′ of gain). Once atop Misery, its another quarter mile and a few hundred feet of gain to the summit pinnacle. We reversed the route for descent. Due to our trip up Shastina the day prior, we got a late start and didn’t end up on the summit until mid-afternoon. We celebrated with a few other folks, took the requisite selfies, and headed down. I skied from about 13,000’ down to our tent at 9,000’. Exhaustion and bliss blurred together as I collapsed every 1,000’ or so. I’d sit in the snow panting like a dog and wait for Corie to catch up. So tired, so happy. This was a milestone for us, as our first 14er, but also capped our tenth month of this project with our eleventh summit. Life is sweet. More stories and pictures, along with GPS links are here: http://mountainrefugees.tumblr.com. We've also got 10 other TRs from mountains in the Cascades up there as well. Gear Notes: Crampons and an axe.
  12. [TR] Middle Sister - North Ridge 6/7/2015

    We did! Unfortunately it was kind of in between seasons when we were up there. There was enough snow/ice on the terrible traverse to use tools but with the warm weather it wasn't freezing solid at night. Slushy snow on 70* feels sketchy to me so we decided against it on this round. But it's on the list!
  13. Trip: Middle Sister - North Ridge Date: 6/7/2015 Trip Report: It's a little late now, but we did Middle Sister two weekends ago. We took two days and approached from Pole Creek TH, spending the evening at the toe of the Hayden Glacier. Super warm conditions - we were hiking in shirts and shorts the entire approach. The mosquitoes are starting to fill the woods so remember to bring your repellant of choice! The climb was pretty casual, a mile or so up the glacier, then a short climb up the north ridge. The steepest sections of the ridge might have reached 40* but only briefly. The snow is going quick! There were several folks skiing that weekend, but the 5 mile approach deterred me from bringing along the sticks. More pics/stories/GPS links here: http://mountainrefugees.tumblr.com Gear Notes: Ice axe and 'pons. Approach Notes: ~5.5 miles from Pole Creek TH to the toe of the Hayden Glacier.
  14. Trip: Mt Thielsen - West Ridge Date: 4/18/2015 Trip Report: We drove to the trail head on Friday night after work and pitched our tent next to the car in the parking lot. We took advantage of the short approach and slept in until 5:30, heading up the trail at 6:00. The approach was relatively easy with little to no snow until about 2 miles in. From there it came in patches and was consistent after crossing the PCT around 4 miles in. The upper spire was generally free of snow with only a few patches and a little ice. The summit was a tad windy but otherwise perfect. Just too much damn fun... With above freezing temps at night and lots of roller balls down low we weren't too surprised to see that a slab had cut loose from the upper west face. Looking down on this avalanche from the summit was a cool perspective. More words and pictures here: http://mountainrefugees.tumblr.com/post/116835736708/mountain-9-mt-thielsen Gear Notes: 60m rope, 0.5, 0.75, 1 camalots, a few slings and cord. Approach Notes: From the Mt Thielsen TH, ~4 miles to a junction with the PCT, then another mile to the summit. Patchy snow starting around 6500' and continuous from 7000'.