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scottwesh

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About scottwesh

  • Rank
    stranger
  • Birthday 07/17/1961

Converted

  • Occupation
    Art and Photography Teacher
  • Location
    Olympia, WA
  1. Rainier ascent record attempt

    I have friends who went up last week...july 7. And they said the route was a circuitous mess. Traversing back and forth nearly to the Eamons Route with 7 ladders and counting. He said it was the longest route he has ever done on the DC and the worst trail conditions and he has climbed it at least 10 times. I do not think this is the year?
  2. Solid report. The pickets always have a way of humbling the traveler. Thanks for the beta on the access creek easier way. I have yet to go in/out that way. We have done easy ridge, and Wiley/Eiley and Goodell. I know the feeling of your last image well. The last day out can be a bruiser. I hope you got beer or milkshakes on the way out!
  3. Good to hear the schrund was crossable. We were in the first week of last August and it was an 30 ft overhanging slush gap. climbing around with a 35 m rope, one picket and a 100 lb 14 year old to belay me did not seem like a good idea. We came in from Wylie-Eylie. I have also done the 1000 ft impass variation. I wonder if you could have done the impass with better visibility? I only learned of it after my giant detour 20 years ago. I thought is was just a rock step and traverse and not in the snow? more beta needed before I try that way again. We also had an old climbers trail all the way up the Easy ridge. Not really any bush wacking just steep NC terrain. Good report and wise of you to go early. Cheers
  4. [TR] El Capitan- Yosemite - Zodiac- June 2014

    I teach Commercial Photography and AP Studio Art
  5. Trip: El Capitan- Yosemite - Zodiac Father & Son Climb Date: 11/4/2014 Trip Report: El Capitan: Zodiac Climb, 5 days in June 2014 My Father and Son Collage “Dad, you’re going to climb El Cap with me this summer,” stated my son Keenan on a grey, rainy, January day. I hesitated, and thought about my own pronouncement, “I am too old to climb El Cap!” to a friend a few months earlier when talking about my son's exploits climbing big walls. Thirty years earlier I visualized climbing the big faces of Yosemite after reading about the exploits of the valley pioneers. In those days, I had a photo of Lynn Hill hanging on a “big jug” from an early Patagonia catalog on my wall. I first started climbing in 1981 on the 40-foot cliffs of Taylors Falls, Minn., gaining skills and managing to finally get up 5.9. I climbed west in the Needles, South Dakota, and in Eldorado Canyon, Colorado where, amazed, I watched Lynn Hill, in person, fly up a 5.11. I always figured I would make it to Yosemite and get on the big stone. However, my other passion, whitewater paddling, took more priority in my adventures. My climbing focus shifted to mountaineering. I moved to the Northwest to be near the Cascades peaks and rivers, and Yosemite big walls didn't seem so important. Fast forward to spring 2014: I'm a regular at the climbing gym in Olympia, Wash., practicing climbing, jugging ropes and setting up systems for the big wall. Keenan sends me climbing technique links and urges me to get in shape and to practice. The last day of my teaching job in June I drove to Yosemite. On the way, I reflected that this would be a different adventure for me and mark a shift in my relationship with Keenan. I introduced my children to climbing, paddle sports and wilderness travel. Keenan, my eldest, now 21, surpassed my skills and is far more accomplished in climbing than I. He was the lead on this climb and I put all my trust in his skills and judgment. This was an adjustment for me. I remember when this shift happened for me with my father on a paddle trip in northern Ontario, and it felt like a significant passage for me as the son. Now, as the dad, I wanted to handle this transition with intention and grace. A time lapse moonrise at Mono Lake before entering Yosemite. I met Keenan at the El Cap Meadows Bridge. We hugged, checked in with Tom Evans, photographer and author of the online elcapreport.com. and Piton Pete Zabrok, the Canadian wall rat with 50+ routes under his belt who was going to join us. Within an hour I was jugging a 300-foot fixed line and passing a knot to Pete’s stashed gear up the Wall of Early Morning Light. My previous jugging was in a gym and once on lower angled rock for 100 ft. “How do I pass a knot again?” I asked Keenan. I thought it would be good to get it right because I was going first on the free hanging rope. Pete had stashed 12 days of water, food and gear on a ledge when partners on an earlier climb cut their trip short. He agreed to come with us up Zodiac in order to get a climb in. He had tons of stuff to lower and sort. I know how to carry big loads from emulating the Voyageurs on many canoe expeditions across Canada. One of my goals in life was to raise a couple of my children to become my personal Sherpas to ensure my continued adventures in the wilds through my old age. Keenan, at 6’6’’, stepped into the role grandly and offered to carry the heaviest packs up to the start of our route. Fortunately the water fairies left enough H2O at the base of Zodiac for us and we left Pete’s water at the base of the giant Swing, lightening the loads. The Start Pitch 1 In the morning, Keenan and I climbed the first 2 pitches and fixed lines so we could launch the next day. Pete reorganized his load. At the base of the cliff we tiptoed through bags of feces thrown off Zodiac from a large group of seven led by an experienced guide and Valley rat who should know low impact techniques by now. We built a large fire and burned it all. Later that night a giant incoming missile startled us, landing 40 feet away. The group tossed all its trash off the top to explode on the talus. Other climbers reported them to rangers, who met the group on the descent. We heard later from Tom Evans that they agreed to clean up the mess in lieu of fines. The next night, from our bivy at the top of the 4th pitch, we heard one offender declare, ”Someone has already burned our shit.” “Yes, that would be us you *@#%&*! What were you thinking?” we yelled from our ledge. Waiting to dodge the garbage bag My 1st Aid Lead 4th Pitch Camp-Thanks Tom Evans I was thankful to be climbing with folks who have been up the wall before. I would not have made it far on my own. Realistically, I would not have left Olympia. As we began the climb I gained a huge appreciation for Keenan’s gumption and skills. He climbed El Cap’s Tangerine Trip solo for his first wall climb one year prior. He practiced systems on walls at Index, Wash., and near Bozeman, Mont., and was mentored by seasoned climbers my age. He made a plan and carried it out. When Keenan texted me that he had taken a 50 ft. whipper on the 5th pitch of the Trip and was still climbing, I felt anxious for his safety. At the same time I admired him for continuing. I learned to climb in the era when lead falls were avoided. My son learned to fall in the gym and was comfortable relying on his protection. I would have lowered off after a 10 ft. fall. A Korean four-man team on their first El Cap climb was ahead of us. Keenan helped the last man figure out how to clip in the haul bags for their launch. He was confused and did not want to make a mistake. The last man and I both learned how to set the bags up so one haul loop could be quickly released to gain access to the bags and still be clipped in. That night we listened while the Korean men played their ledge poles like wind chimes until they gave up trying to get a platform assembled. When we woke at first light they were bailing. Keenan and Pete taught the Koreans some system organization techniques for their next attempt, while I took notes. Generously the Korean team helped to haul our huge load up the first 2 pitches in one big pull. I realized how heavy our load was to haul up the cliff. Even with a mechanical advantage it was going to be difficult. I led my first ever aid pitch to our stance for the first night while Keenan and Pete sipped a warm beer. I just focused on my climbing. I was not going to fall and so put all my attention on each move up the rock in front of me. I got to practice the old adage that I used to say to my students: get my butterflies to fly in formation. What a relief to clip into the bolt anchor and begin setting up camp. I learned how to anchor the bags and stay out of Keenan’s way, following directions. I was relaxed and ready to eat my first Tasty Bite when Pete pulled out a glass bottle of Petit Syrah from his cavernous haul bag. “This wine is quite tasty and I got quite a good price on it.” Pete exclaimed. The cause of our heavy load was getting clearer. Pete was true to his reputation of being the slowest climber on El Capitan. He enjoys big wall camping and likes to go in style. Pete completed his 584th night on El Cap on our climb together. Keenan wanted to dispatch the route in three nights. Pete wanted to take his time. I was along for the ride. I realized a compromise would need to be reached and I might be able to ease the tension between my partners. Day 2 on the wall was a slow start. We took our time drinking coffee and packing up. Pete spent time on his phone chatting up a girlfriend. This became his evening and morning office routine on the wall. Keenan was frustrated when it was clear we would only make 2 pitches that day. Pete was smiling and telling tales and I was content to use my energy to stay focused and not make a mistake. Pete starts right in on refreshments on the first pitch of the day Camp 2 just into the white circle Thanks TOM I had one of the frights of my life the next morning when I heard the rushing sound of another incoming missile like the trash bag from the other night. I opened my eyes as a human body flew past my line of sight. Horrified, I lifted my head to see a yellow parachute open and a BASE jumper float gently down to the sandy river bed, land, and quickly disappear into the trees. Keenan woke up and dealt with the slower pace by making a plan to get started earlier. He and I got up, made coffee, packed and started climbing. We were able to get a full pitch in while Pete organized his stuff and checked in with his girlfriend. On this third day on the wall I watched with appreciation for my son’s skill and focus while he smoothly and calmly leapfrogged cam hook placements out the horizontal Nipple Pitch. I was relieved when he passed the nipple and clipped a bolt, ensuring he would not take a massive pendulum fall should a hook blow. We set up a fantastic camp below the giant overhang at the start of the Mark of Zorro pitch. Nipple Pitch- Thanks Captain Tom Keenan at the Nipple Short Video Clips aid P4,Black Tower, overhangMOZ jug, white circle swing After dark I heard loud voices in the meadow and saw a glow of bright headlamps working toward the base of the Nose. Amazed, I watched two lights begin to climb up the cliff to a rousing cheer from the meadow. The progress up was so quick it was hard to believe it was climbers. A short while later the cheers hit a crescendo when we supposed the climbers had begun their king swing and moved off the boot flake. I went back to sleep after they went around the corner and out of sight. When we got back to the meadow a few days later we ran into Cheyne Lempe and Dave Allfrey who told us about their climb. They were on the first leg of an El Cap /Half Dome/ Mt Watkins Triple Crown that they completed in 22:59. Aliens visited that night Our fourth morning on the wall went smoothly. Keenan and I had our system dialed in; coffee, pack, climb while Pete got some extra sleep. I did not realize until Keenan launched over the roof that I would be jugging the most overhung pitch on the climb. Pete was now enjoying his coffee and my concern over how far out I was going to fly when I cut loose from the ledge to climb the rope. He reassured me that he would hang on to the end of the rope and let me out slowly to prevent me from spinning on the free hanging end like I had experienced the day before as I rode out the line like a twisted amusement park ride. Pete took footage of me hanging 1500 feet of the deck and 40 feet out from the wall. I focused on my technique and began to gently climb the rope and remembered to breathe. I tried to not think about the possibility of the rope rubbing against an edge of the cliff. When I reached the belay I assumed my usual counterweight role and helped pull the gear load up the wall. The pigs were still fat. The MOZ Jug Lots of Air The day progressed smoothly until it seemed Keenan grew impatient with our pace. He barked at me to release the small haul kit so he could set up a system at the anchor. I was not sure which carabineer to unclip and was careful (slow) so as not to make a mistake. I tried to intentionally channel my wife’s calm energy that she calls upon at such moments of challenge. I slowly and methodically checked the system, unclipped the proper rope and calmly said, “I am doing the best I can and I need some patience, please.” The tension passed and we worked our way up to Peanut Ledge for our final night on the wall. I thoroughly enjoyed the 18-inch ledge of rock at camp, the widest horizontal surface we encountered the whole trip. I spent a good part of the evening leaning against the wall, gazing out at the valley. Pete mixed us each a Gatorita (Gatorade, lime juice, Tequila no ice). His pig was heavy and was full of pleasant surprises. Gaitoritas! Coffee at Peanut Ledge On the fifth morning the climb to the top gave me another new challenge when I cleaned the last zigzag pitch. I was nervous about the big left lower out just above the belay stance. We did not want to leave a piece so I held onto a finger jam while Pete again held the end of my rope on tension from below. When I let go, I ran, scampered and rolled across the face until I was hanging below a directional piece and could resume jugging and cleaning. On reflection, it might have been worth leaving the $60 cam. When I finally reached the top edge of El Capitan, Keenan was there, hauling up the pigs. He paused a moment as I jugged to the lip and reached a hand out to me. In that quick, casual handshake, he tugged and I stepped over the top. I was relieved to complete the route, and felt a sense of accomplishment for my long-ago wish. And I was gratified to have graciously made the shift in my relationship with Keenan, without whom I couldn't have climbed the wall. An El Cap Summit half dome view starry night time lapse. Dad pretty happy about the climb
  6. WE were up there two weeks later in August and could not get around the schrund. We saw what looked like a feint line of tracks where your route went but it was open around the schrund where it gets steep and you crossed and it was steeper than what your photo shows. We only had a short skinny rope and one picket. It was my 3rd time in to climb that beast. next time we will go in June or early July so we can get across the schrund. It was 20 ft high and wide. 4 years ago it was a walk across in early August but a storm blew in and we turned around. Glad to here you made it up. We came up Wylie- Eylie ridge. Cheers Scott
  7. [TR] Yosemite - Sunkist 9/18/2013

    So that is where my socks went? I hope I get my headlamp back before you head to France. Do you need a few bucks to cover your dogs...I can spot you. dad
  8. Washington Climber Weather Forecast Weather Matrix

    Perfect observation for today Off. It is pouring as I read this and my first glance at the forecast for all of WA using this new tool (THANKS STEF)is the weather will be crap all over WA this weekend. Perhaps we should all go to the sierra. It is Sunny all week!
  9. Chris Greyell

    I use this picture every year of Chris Greyell climbing super crack with Dave Whitelaw from 1985 in my opening slide show. I teach high school Photography. The image has more meaning to me now than ever. This year it was with sadness I shared a few stories of my youthful passions to inspire my students. I spoke to my students about Chris's life long passion for climbing and my trouble imagining him gone. Here is too you Chris...CHEERS I raise my PBR to you in the sky. Scott Waeschle
  10. Chris Greyell

    This is bad news indeed. I have not seen or climbed with Chris in years, but I am still shocked. Dave Whitelaw and I called him Captain 10b from trips to the Black hills, Devils Tower and Canyon Lands in 1985-86. Chris could be counted on to lead any pitch 10.b and harder. My heart goes out to his family. It is a hard loss. I am sorry. scott waeschle
  11. Trip: Olympic Mountains, Washington - Bailey Traverse from Mt Olympus Date: 8/10/2013 Trip Report: Bailey Traverse from Mt Olympus by Scott Waeschle, Aug 10-18, 2013. After 25 years of climbing in the cascades I spent a week traversing the Olympics from the Hoh River to Mt Olympus to Queets Basin and the Bailey Range hiking out the Sol Duc River trail head to a glorious soak in the hot springs. I had climbed Mt Olympus in a 3 day slog 15 years ago so I was not that keen on all the trail time to do this route, however, times change. This spring I had an invitation from Alex Carlson (a teacher from Port Angeles) to do the route with my 13 yr old son Jack. Alex had spent a week last summer working on the Snow Dome shelter and had hiked out the route we would complete. He persistently praised his previous experiences in the Olympics. The route is mostly off trail and includes bushwhacking up steep slide paths so I agreed to join him. I have spent weeks in the Cascades shoe horned into Alex’s Bibler playing gin while our arms fell asleep. This trip I would gladly have to provide my own light weight tent to keep dry and the bugs at bay. We dropped a car at the Sol Duc trail head and got a ride around to the Hoh trail head with Gail Hall and Steve Czelogic, avid hikers who joined us for the journey. I later learned that Gail and Steve had recently completed a retirement goal of hiking all the marked trails in Olympic National Park. They have been busy perfecting their light weight trekking systems including using a homemade tarp and eating only peanut butter and raisins for breakfast and lunch (the highest calories /weight food). Their packs for 7 nights weighed less than 30 lbs including ice axe, crampons and rope and bear canister (park rules). I was traveling lighter as well, but that meant leaving the rope and crampons behind and buying a new Tarp Tent at 2lbs 5oz that worked beautifully. We ate granola, bagels, cream cheese, dried fruit and jerky. I also carried a full tripod, Nikon DSLR, flash, remote triggers, filters, and extra batteries. My goal for the trip was to get images of the Persied meteor showers and work on my night photography. My pack was over 40 pounds. Glacier Meadows Camp Persied Meteor Shower composite Jack skipping down the Hoh Glacier Persid meteor showers at Camp Pan. A composite of 22 images selected from 500 shot that night. The route is well published and documented on custom correct maps. You can go to the Olympic Climbers guide or internet and get GPS way points if you need them. http://www.climbersguideolympics.com/traverses I found the route straight forward. 20 miles of Hoh trail right on to the Blue glacier where we found ice covered with rock that was easily traveled to the neve line and could kick steps. However, at mile 10 my faithful boots that had never given me a blister began flapping at the left toe. The sole had peeled back to the ball of my foot. It is a good thing I put new gorilla tape on my trekking pole. I had just enough tape to stick the toe back together and hope I could make it the whole trip shod in my size 15’s. It might be a long trip? The crevasses were easily avoided as we hopped over glacier gap to the Hoh glacier and camped at Camp Pan an 800 ft high exposed rock outcrop that thrusts steeply over the Hoh glacier. The off trail route from the Blue glacier to the end of the cat walk and the unmaintained trail might be 30 miles? It is about 15 miles of trail to the Sol Duc trail head, so approx. 65 miles total. The next morning I waited until the sun softened the steep slope above Camp Pan and kicked steps up to Blizzard Pass leading to the Humes Glacier. The snow was soft and easily descended until we hit hard glacial ice on the lower glacier toe where we were more careful where we stepped. The rocky gullies below the Humes glacier are littered with the remains of 2 fighter jets that crashed in mid air in 1957. Three aviators were able to eject and survived. One was trapped in his plane and died on impact. Here is a link to more about the crash and some climbers who came in 1958 and found the remains. http://www.windsox.us/VISITOR/HISTORY_BUILDINGS/PLANE_CRASHES.html Plane debris below the Humes Glacier We descended to and crossed a fork of a creek flowing to the Queets River and climbed a very steep bear trail pulling on clumps of grass, small trees and pine needle compacted duff to gain a bench which traversed up into Queets Basin. We found a lovely camp on the edge of a small tarn and flowered meadow where the creek flowed through a deep pool perfect to bathe in. We now were on the Bailey Traverse. Scott and Jack in Queets Basin this time-lapse video is a 5 hour night of meteors and stars condensed to 50 sec. the bright streak near the beginning is the space station going by Our route gained the ridge top and follows a climbers trail through the broken shale and snow fields to Faerie Basin. This section really cements the adage “If you find a good hold in the Olympics take it home.” The sharp uplifted shale is broken and scattered in out crops everywhere. It creates amazing patterns and designs as the small flat rocks line themselves up with the forces of water, wind and gravity. Be careful where you place your hand or knee. A slip can cause damage. My son banged his knee painfully in this section. Lone Tree an obvious landmark on the Traverse The weather the entire trip had been comfortable and dry until late in the afternoon dropping into Faerie Basin. The rain cut loose as we set up our shelters and kept up all night. We all put on rain gear for the next day’s travels, a descending bushwhack through wet brush into Cream lake, a buggy boggy flat and then a steep climb/bushwhack up an avalanche slide path to gain an elk trail traversing at about the 5200-5400 ft contour. The way is a bit tricky and you have to watch your path to get through the well traveled route which hits some key notches and descents around cliff bands. There are some exposed gullies and water courses to traverse and climb that make this section approach 4th class climbing. We camped in 11 Bull basin a beautiful terrace in the otherwise steep sloped traverse around Stephen Peak. I spent the evening taking some wonderful shots as the light was delightful. The next day took us across the Cat Walk (quite exposed) and down into Heart Lake and the way out to Sol Duc hot springs. 11 Bull Basin Camp Lenticular Clouds over Mt Olympus Moon rise over Olympus The travel on this route is not technically difficult, but it is not easy either. Folks should have experience on glaciers and steep snow, they should be able to deal with exposure and steep traverses on a beat down elk trail. Bushwhacking and route finding skills, reading a map and compass and perhaps a GPS (cheating) are very important. I met my goals to enjoy a week out in some of the most rugged terrain of the Olympics with my son and a good old friend and some new friends. We took our time. And my boots lasted until I reached the dumpster at the hot springs! We had 4 clear nights to do celestial photography and I have included some of the best images here. Enjoy! The Space Station and one meteor in a star trails shot at Queets Basin... A composite of 300 -30 sec shots On a humbling note a few days after my return my other son Keenan ran with 2 buddies to summit Mt Olympus from the Hoh trail head in 17.5 hours (43 miles RT) Gear Notes: I used trekking poles and never took my ice axe off my pack. the others used their axes. Three of us did not have crampons and did not need them. Two in our party used their crampons and felt more secure on the steeper slopes.
  12. Size 14-15 Intuition Liners

    I can pick them up at 3 today or next Tuesday PM let me know 360 556 5922
  13. High on Mt. Waddington, BC looking down at Bravo Col and the Tiedemann Glacier
  14. December Sun Wonderland of Rocks, Joshua Tree
  15. Shadow Dancing on Gunsmoke, Joshua Tree
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