Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About HHinkkala

  • Birthday 09/12/1985

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

HHinkkala's Achievements

  1. This is quite the trip, and the epic! I thoroughly enjoyed reading the report. It is a very difficult balance trying to decide whether or not you have bitten off more then you can chew on a long winter route/new route. Looks like you made it out ok on this one, but boy did it sound like it tested you guys good. Glad you were both successful and made it down safely. If I could make one comment/feedback (assuming I read the TR correctly) is regarding making rapps on multiple single point/anchors (referring to gear, not v thread). Doing rapps off single pieces is required at times but as you know this does place you at a significant greater risk of a failure/release. I realize it is difficult to comment on this in hindsight, and for many reasons why it was still likely better to descend the route, but I would argue if a route requires a descent of this nature it might not be worth the risk (granted everyone has a different risk tolerance.) As an fyi I have found the DMM bulldog and/or even the large pecker pitons are indispensable on winter routes that need pro. When you can find nothing else for placements, you will find something for these. I have seen my share of pieces coming loose when you least suspect it....It is my hope that you guys can continue this pursuit for years to come.
  2. Nice work! Was curious about your rap line. So you just went direct down from summit, were there existing stations or did you just make your own/rapp horns, etc?
  3. Trip: West Lion - Winter - North Couloir to NW Ridge Trip Date: 02/09/2020 Trip Report: This trip report is 2 months late but wanted to post this for folks in the future looking for info on this route/or the West Lion in general. On Feb 9 Richard, David and I Climbed the the West Lion via the N couloir and then the NW ridge. We were around 14hrs car to car which seems pretty average for winter routes up on the lions. Some faster groups do achieve 8-12hr range c to c. Nevertheless winter routes up here are always a longer day. For general info I'm aware of the following winter routes on the West Lion, there could be more... SE Gully - WI4- - 140m NE Buttress - AI3/M4 - 400m NE Buttress with East Face Approach - Difficulty Unknown North Face - Hard (Line below is approx) North Couloir to West Ridge - AI4- - 400m North Couloir to West Ridge Direct (no rappel) - M4/M5 addition? Photo topo of the North side routes and approach on West Lion Photo posted by Don Serl on Westcoastice Facebook group, outlining the East side routes on the West lion including a variation entrance onto the NE buttress in orange. I climbed the SE gully via the Red line, although I notice the original line in yellow goes out left. North Couloir to NW Ridge. Upper part of the route as viewed from the approach basin. Descent gully noted on the right. Looking up the North side of the West Lion while approach the North Couloir. Richard soloing up the lower portion of the North Couloir. Photo of me leaving the comfortable cave on Pitch 2 in the Couloir Dave coming up pitch 2 in the Couloir. Richard on pitch 3 in the Couloir. Photo of me on the 4rth pitch just after rapping from the notch Richard leading the last section of ice on pitch 6. Dave and Richard walking up the last portion to the summit with epic views that evening toward Howe sound/Strait of Georgia. Descending the gully back to the approach basin in fading light. On Feb 9 no flotation was needed on the approach, although the north side had much deeper penetration (crotch deep coming into gully). After being up to the lions area well over a dozen times in the winter I have concluded it is more likely then not, that flotation will be needed/helpful on the approach to the basin. FYI I have found that the approach trail up is too steep to skin up efficiently, and offers a very short (not worthwhile) ski descent. Conditions are very fickle for north shore alpine ice. When routes come in shape they seem to last only a couple weeks per season. I feel this line is similar in overall difficulty/ exertion as the winter NW buttress but this has more full length ice pitches then the NW buttress. I don't recall reading the route grade for the N Coulior/West Ridge but these are my thoughts on the difficulty (certainly conditions dependent): Pitch 1 - AI2+ - 70m P2 - AI3 out of cave - 60m P3 - AI3 step with vertical snow just below the notch - 30m (40m Rappel from notch on shrub to next continuous ice flow) P4 - AI4-/3+ - 50m P5 - Steep snow to base of last ice pitch - 70m P6 - AI3 - 60m Walk to summit 14hr car to car Cheers, Henrik Hinkkala Gear Notes: x2-60m half ropes, 10 extendable slings/runners (used all), 4 nuts (didn't use), 9 screws most 13-17cm (Used 7, many got rocked), 3 pitons + spectre (used all), 5 cams (blue/ yellow/ orange metolious, red ultralight, red link cam- used all but blue/ yellow), 1 picket (used twice) Approach Notes: Follow Lions Trail up to Lions Basin
  4. Wow, epic TR and glad you were not injured. Regarding snow pro, totally agree it can be very difficult to place solid snow pro. I have rapped off T-slot pickets but nowadays I will opt to carry both a msr snow fluke and a picket on steep snow routes for this reason of snow variability. I have bounce tested snow flukes (run/slid full speed while roped in) and been pleasantly surprised how well they hold in different snow conditions since they dig deeper into the snow, particularly the newer ones....It took a fair amount of digging/effort to retrieve them after loading...
  5. Holy sh*t !!! lol.... 4 days + 2 days waiting on weather + helicopter resupply....That is certainly commitment to see it through....
  6. Nice work on the route! Can you copy/past link to the other epic TR? Sounds like it would be a good read...
  7. Nice work on climbing both those routes over the weekend! I'm curious how you approached capricorn, did you have to climbed any of the millar pillar routes (unsure if they are in?), or were you able to go around them? I tried to go left up another drainage and got totally lost last year so any info would be much appreciated! Cheers!
  8. Ya wow, that would have been one a hell of an approach. I do think folks were generally hardier back in the day...
  9. Struggling to get my copy paste from word to work, even with using the article formatter, and html to ubb convertor. Any tips?
  10. Winter Ascent NE Buttress of the West Lion - AI3 / M3-4, 450m Graham Rowbotham and I climbed the NE Buttress of the West Lion on Feb 25, 2017. Another party had posted that they climbed it about a week prior and I knew we had to get on it asap before conditions changed. I have wanted to write a TR on this route for a quite a while now since I'm not aware that there is any information available for this route in winter. I have done the summer version of this route which is a bushy alpine 5.6 but in the winter it is not the same route and is significantly more technical. Jesse and I had tried this line a few years back, conditions were much different on that trip and a rocky headwall near the top of the 3rd pitch, which was easy to overcome this past Saturday, was on my previous attempt rimed up with unconsolidated sugar snow to the point that no pro or line of ascent was evident. We bailed. This weekend however was a different story and it became evident to me that the conditions on this route, and alpine routes on the north shore generally speaking, can be very temperamental. This can certainly effect the difficulty so please take my attempt at grading the route with a grain of salt. Overall this is a very unique and fun line that is not necessarily hard but it is also not trivial. It requires careful considering for climbing over thinly ice covered rock, it has some low grade dry tooling sections, lots of run-outs and requires contending with less than secure snow over very steep and exposed terrain. It does also have some wonderful frozen sections and some bushiness in places. Bailing off this route is also complex and in most places requires you to rapp the entire buttress to the bottom, (except if you bail East from the lowest tree between pitches 2-3, then you barely reach the NE gully with barely a meter to spare with 60m ropes, like me and Jesse found out by mere chance in fading light...), this is because there is no certainty you will find intermediate ice/trees/pro on the vertical cliffs that surround this ridge route. Nevertheless, I would still recommend this route to others in the Lower Mainland looking for worthy winter alpine objectives close to home. Our times for the route were as follows: -Left the car at 6:15am -Started soloing the North Face bypass at 10:15am -Summited at 3:45pm -Finished x3 raps back into North Bowl at 4:45pm -Back at car at 7:15pm Our approach for the route was up the standard 4.5km (600m gain) logging road uphill from Lions bay to the Lions trail turnoff. From there it's about another km or so uphill for another 500m vertical, then you reach the first main North snow bowl/basin. The descent gully from the notch between the summit and the ridge is obvious from this location. We stashed our poles and snowshoes here and traversed across the basin to another notch, from there we down climbed the gully on the backside and continued across to the start off the route. We opted to go up the North Face bypass, which is about 200m long of steep snow and a short section of grade 2ish ice at the bottom. We followed this up and leftward to where we set up our first belay at an obvious tree high on the ridge crest. The rest of the belayed pitches are broken down below: Pitch 1 - 40m, AI2 / easy mixed The first section takes you mostly straight up the ridge proper over steep snow and thinly ice cover rock steps. There were a few sections where I climbed with my hands over jugs. Gear is slim, mainly a slung bush or two. At one point near the top you travel a bit left prior to getting up to the next obvious stand of trees. Pass these trees and head to one higher up near/below a triangular shaped rock that gives a comfortable, sheltered, flat belay perch. Pitch 2 - 65m AI3 / M4 To me this felt like the most technical section on the route. From the belay you head right and around the triangular rock and then straight up and leftward. from up here it is possible to just traverse 10-15m left straight into the gully but we opted to go up over a steep rock step that lead you onto a higher leftward leaning ramp below the face (seen better in topo photo), small cams were used primarily up to here. Then follow the gully that typically provides great styrofoam ice up to a bushy area where the angle begins to ease. This will bring you to a junction where you can either go left or right around a small buttress. The last portion either provides protection for screws, or slung bushes, and the belay is from a slung tree/bush below the junction. Pitch 3 - 40m, AI2+ / M3-4 From the belay head right at the junction and up a gully that then puts you above the exposed North face. After about 20m you come to a 10m headwall. There is a large body size rock on the left side that you have to squirm up and stand on top of. From here there is a few decent cam placements above your left shoulder. The angle above begins to ease a bit and provides thinly ice covered rocky bulge that you mantle over. Thereafter you front point another 10-15m to a large tree for a belay. Pitch 4 - 40, AI2+ / M3-4 Climb immediately up to the left hand side of the ridge crest for about 15m. Here you arrive at a few cruxy moves, about a body length or two, that gains access back onto the ridge, which requires mantling onto the crest from a bouldery stance with insane exposure. Below this Graham slung a horn and he found cam slot after brushing away snow from a crack. The moves onto the ridge requiring some drytooling as well as gingerly climbing up a smear of ice less than an inch thick at the bottom. After this you follow up 30m along a knife shaped ridge that drops precipitously on both sides so travel with care. Continue along the ridge and into/through an obvious large stand of trees that provides a belay. Pitch 5 - 25m to 35m Steep Snow The last section of the route climbs up very steep snow to top out onto the summit. For the descent we did two rapps down the regular scramblers route. At the bottom we climbed back up to a notch. Previous times I have simply down climbed the gully on the other side of that notch but this time there was a huge cornice over it so we rapped from a tree a little ways back from the cornice. Gear we brought: - 70m twin/half ropes - Small set of cams #2C4, #.5C4, #1-3 TCU, #2 link cam (used them all except the #2C4) - x6 nuts (did not use) - x8 short screws (used a couple) - small set of pins (did not use) - Snow fluke (used on most sections) should have brought an extra fluke or picket. - 12 draws/extendables, probably only needed 8-10, definitely leaned more on extendables. Route top viewed from the North Route topo as seen from the ridge just East. View of the first North basin with descent gully visible View of the North face bypass Me soloing up the North face bypass Graham coming up the 1st pitch Graham heading up the 2nd pitch Me heading up and right on the 3rd pitch Graham heading up the 4rth pitch Looking back down just below the summit, the clouds came in and out that day Graham and I on the summit Rapping the cornice This route seemed to provide a little bit of everything, from great one stick styrofoam ice to manky snow that seemed to barely hold your body weight to fairly significant runouts and thinly covered rock. The conditions for this route can also be quite fickle, last time I tried it we were able to use mostly screws but this time the styrofoam ice, which placed tools beautifully,did not really take any screws they basically pulled straight out. I would definitely recommend others to check this route out if they are looking for a challenging nearby winter alpine adventure. The longish approach tends to make this, or other routes on the Lions, a fairly long day. Cheers, Henrik
  11. Selling my baturas size 44.5, they are too narrow for my feet, otherwise i love these boots. They have been used on only a few outings, they are in excellent condition. I'm willing to meet in BC or Washington. Email hhinkkala@gmail.com for photos, contact info. Cheers, Henrik
  12. Shhhhhhhhhhh..... Exactly...lol Few climbers could or would adhere to that requirement anyways, I think many Rangers realize this (the ones that climb), not all though. Running into a grizzly is one your least hazards when climbing a peak...unless your that ice climber in the Rockies from last winter...son of a gun!
  13. Since we showed up so late both times, bivyed in parking area behind car, and leave so early we have never confronted a ranger. If you come during the day when a ranger is at the post near the trail head you will probably be questioned...
  14. Thanks and yes there are many stories of nasty descents! But I can certainly see how it could be easy to get yourself in scary terrain. The descent did feel a bit counter-intuitive in that you want to head over to the dike but you have to keep telling yourself not yet, and continue downward. We were very glad it was snow free. Hopefully other folks are able to find the easy path down similar to what we did...
  • Create New...