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Everything posted by Kameron

  1. Hi folks, I've done a good amount of digging into the recommended summer route to the base of the north face of Shuksan. It seems like most people recommend descending into White Salmon creek in big timber where possible, crossing the creek, then sticking in big timber on the other side and climb up the slope N of the creek until it opens up. The upper part is near and above treeline terrain that looks like easy travel. I'm curious what folks recommend as the starting point. I'm deciding between the lower but farther downstream White Salmon logging road (red) or the higher but more upstream cat track road to the clearcut below chair 8 (purple). I'm familiar with the winter route and would like to minimize pain of approach if I head up there soon. Thanks for any advice you can offer. Happy schwacking
  2. Better PNW weather forecasting

    The timeheights seem easier to use, but you can also get an estimate of where the cloud deck will be from the soundings. For example, with the following forecast for Wednesday: Because the blue & red lines touch around 860 mbar, that tells you that there will be a cloud layer there. I forget exactly what the lines represent.. I think one is temperature by height and the other is some kind of "ideal" temperature by height curve. Ok, I looked it up and it has to do with dewpoints. Read this if you care to know more: https://www.weatherwatch.net.au/weather/atmospheric-soundings-an-introduction/
  3. [TR] Anderson - Eel Glacier 05/30/2021

    Looks like an awesome trip! There was still a lot of snow eh. More than when I was in there significantly earlier season a few years back for skiing. Really suprising that 3 groups were up there together.
  4. [TR] Kulshan - Boulder 05/16/2021

    Later in the season when the snow melts the scramble gets a lot longer, nearly a full 30 m. I need to get up there and camp on that ridge again, when it isn't raining!
  5. [TR] Kulshan - Boulder 05/16/2021

    Well I've skied with Ingmar and he's certainly a crusher/sandbagger. Don't go with him if you want to feel "in your prime" ;-) Rope scramble shenanigans look ok. Nice and short. Anybody got an old static line for me to hike in there and replace the deteriorating fixed line with? From your photo of the lower glacier, conditions actually look good for the direct approach up the valley, gaining the ridge higher up. Nice one!
  6. Price Avalanche + Rescue

    Definitely lucky, although it seems the decision to bail was the correct one. Thanks for the share
  7. Rainier ski early June

    Current pictures I've seen show really bad conditions on the upper part of Rainier. Maybe it's "skiable", but I doubt it's very fun skiing. Maybe better to plan a walk-up.
  8. Cool! If you have any pics towards Primus/Klawatti zone, I'd love to see those.
  9. Spring Access - White River

    At the moment, 410 is closed at the Crystal mountain road. Once the road is driveable, the bike approach becomes worthwhile. https://wsdot.wa.gov/travel/highways-bridges/passes/chinook-and-cayuse/home
  10. Liberty Ridge -- best timing

    Yes, definitely ensure a good multi-day weather window for that one. Bike approach from hwy 410 (once it's open) to White River is a great way to do it. You will have that side of the mountain to yourselves.
  11. Copying from Facebook TAY group, posted by Andrew McDavid: "The MB-Snoqualmie NF just posted an update to a logging project along 542 that seems like it will impact access to Heliotrope ridge. I wasn't able to get a clear idea about road/trail closures from the draft impact statement, but they will be logging around the Heliotrope trailhead right up to the Wilderness boundary. Comments on it are accepted until April 3." Here's the main project page: www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=58218 Here's the pdf about recreation impacts (note highlighting on Heliotrope ridge): www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/113769_FSPLT3_5599267.pdf Here's the link for comments: cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//Co...bIscf877t14dI0sIy8v4 Please let the FS know your concerns. They should be hearing from backcountry skiers, hikers, and climbers. What the North Cascades Conservation Council thinks: http://www.northcascades.org/wordpress/north-fork-nooksack-threatened
  12. [TR] Mount Shuksan - NW Couloir 03/10/2021

    That shit is steep! Nice
  13. Awesome, Jim! Would be cool to see drone shots of the "extreme snowboard" route on the NE face somewhere put up a few years ago.
  14. WA Alpine Conditions

    Lots of powder snow.
  15. Hwy 542 proposed logging, Heliotrope access

    I read just a portion of the FS documents (which are many, many pages) and commented that I'm not necessarily against it, but would appreciate the road access being maintained throughout the process. So I let them know that and told them what months I most enjoy being up there. Also, I'm not sure what "selective harvesting" means. I haven't seen much logging around here that isn't full on clear cuts.
  16. [TR] Mount Baring - Standard 12/05/2020

    Sounds like you are maybe wishing you'd gone on a ski-carrying schwack instead ;-) Looks lovely
  17. No it's not okay. Maybe for someone else though :-)
  18. Wow this is incredible! Dare I say your line to K6 west looks potentially skiable? Although I don't think so at 70 degrees.
  19. [TR] Little Tahoma - Lawless 03/03/2020

    Wow, wild to go anywhere non-standard on that crumbling choss-pile. Please post pics!
  20. Shuksan North Face

    Went for a hike to Hannegan peak Sunday. Not a lot of new snow up there, so there are a number of rockbands. This is from the morning, and much of that white was gone in the afternoon.
  21. Trip: Valle Aconcagua 2010: Gloria & Parva del Inca - normales Trip Date: 09/01/2010 Trip Report: Figured I'd share some other climbs I did when I lived in Chile. These were less exciting/dangerous than Licancabur, but that's probably a good thing! Valle Aconcagua is the canyon leading into the mountains from the town of Los Andes, the same valley that takes you to Portillo and Mendoza, Argentina. Both of these peaks are north of the highway and a valley apart. Cerro Gloria (Sept 2010) The best reference for Chilean climbs is the online guidebook Andeshandbook. Here's their description of the ruta normal: https://www.andeshandbook.org/montanismo/ruta/140/Normal It's a chill walk-up. We approached in 1 day and climbed and retreated the next. Good ice climbing possibilities down low. The route heads right and around the back of the peak. Felipe and Ramiro taking a break Ramiro higher up. The big, glaciated peak on the left is Nevado Juncal, and the fortress-like peak just right of it in the foreground is Alto Los Leones. Tilted summit shot with Aconcagua on the left Walking down the choss. To the right is the big cliff on the S face of Gloria Parva del Inca (November 2010) This was the most technical mountain climb I did that year. There's a scramble section that we rappelled, and we had to climb some thinly covered low-angle ice past a hidden bergschrund. It's a fucking rad peak. The summit is perched above a monstrous cliff. According to Drew Tabke it's maybe been skied by someone? To get to this one you go one valley deeper towards Mendoza and head north up Estero Ojos de Agua. We did this over 3 or 4 days, with 2 to approach high camp. https://www.andeshandbook.org/montanismo/ruta/253/Ruta_de_Hielo The tip of the peak visible from the parking lot Better views higher. Like everything in the Andes, the scale is hard to comprehend. Sick views of Juncal and los Leones, camp 1! Jagged ridgeline above camp My best shot of the route, next morning. We would gain the glacier plateau on the shadowy left side, then pass through the rock choke and gain the left of the summit ridge, which we'd take to the summit. We moved camp close to the base of the peak and started on the morning of the 3rd day. Brewing up in the tent with Victor. I only this year got rid of this sweet BD Mirage tent. Good tent but too cold for the Andes. Looking down on Ramiro and Victor after the scramble We threw a rope down for Daniel, who wasn't psyched on the scramble as much. The crux bergshcrund crossing, pretty hard ice underneath the powdery snow. We didn't rope up mostly from ignorance about the proper techniques. I remember being pretty comfortable on the ice, probably from having hiked around in snow and in ski boots for a long time. Above the choke we climbed straight up until we encountered more ice, then backtracked and traversed off climber's left to the rocky ridge. Summit! Aconcagua dominating behind. The valley with Portillo is the next over, but Laguna del Inca is out of sight. Big cliff right underneath the summit. You can see the highway and border facility in the distance, and of course Juncal and a bunch of other big peaks. My guess is the big one in the middle is Marmolejo, the furthest S 6000m+ peak, but I'm not sure about that. It doesn't come out in my photos, but we could barely make out the sea to the W. Summit register was a big book with entries going back to the 50's Heading back down with the homies. It was fairly steep cramponing in the choke I stepped into a crevasse and my leg went in up to my waist! Luckily it was only 6" wide or so. I was so clueless! Not roped up of course. After this find, I headed back to our uptrack. Now, I recognize it was pretty damn dangerous conditions to travel unroped... powdery 6-12" on top of some old snow just perfect for hiding the crevasses. It might have had some avy danger, too, although it hadn't snowed in a while and the powdery snow up top I think was just weak, faceted old snow. Wish I had a picture of another axe I borrowed. It was hand-welded out of steel, with a square shaft! I think I left that at home and just brought my massive 80 cm traditional CAMP axe. Rappelling the rock step Not much I remember about the trip except that we were so late getting back to the truck that Daniel was pissed! He had a wife and kids to get to and a real job to work the next day. Here's Daniel, Victor, and Carlos at my going-away party a month later Gear Notes: axe, crampons, friends Approach Notes: use Andeshandbook
  22. S6302701.AVI video from the summit Ojos de Agua panorama
  23. Thanks! I had a Chilean rock climbing trip where our car was actually stolen. We got back to where the car was parked on the highway, at the climbing spot Las Chilcas, and all that was left was some broken glass. They must have been pros because it's a busy road and was a new car with all the anti-theft features. My acquaintance who owned the car luckily had insurance for theft. Humorously, just as we realized the car was gone, a police car was driving down the road. We flagged them down and they gave us a ride to the local station where we reported the theft. From there we caught a bus home. Good memories....
  24. I was digging through my old photos and remembering an epic and formative trip. Thought it would be worth a share. I lived in Valparaíso, Chile for most of 2010. That's where I started doing mountaineering and rock climbing, with a group of chilenos of questionable safety standards. Most of them were part of the Club Universitario Andinista, which was a club formed by former students of the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa Maria. The university club was disbanded after a very public tragedy on one of the Patagonian icefields where, after being pinned in tents by a storm for some number of days, a bunch of students perished from exposure after getting separated into two groups. One of the survivors became my friend and mentor Carlos, although he didn't talk much about that experience. I had climbed a couple times at Las Chilcas, an area in the central region known for sweet but hard sport climbs and easy bus ride from Valpo or Santiago, and tasted the oceanic rock around Valpo. My friends Jose-Luis and Pato Chico made money doing ropework odd jobs all over, and their big paychecks were often working for the mining companies. They got a job doing some work for a mining company around Antofagasta or Calama and invited me to meet them there for some climbing. I was soooooo stoked and I think I flew up there to meet them. Jose-Luis' sister put me up in Calama, I think, the I went to San Pedro de Atacama. SAN PEDRO San Pedro is a popular tourist town in the desert and very beautiful. There aren't many other places in the Atacama that foreign people visit. I spent a few days exploring around town and stayed with friends of friends. (I'm kind of embarrassed about how cheap I was back then, given that I was getting paid pretty well for a person living in Chile.) Licancabur, a beautiful symmetric volcano on the border with Bolivia, as seen from town. Checking out the geysers is a popular tourist activity It was cold at night. This is June, and the water is frozen. Wild camelids, either guanacos or vicuñas, I'm not sure which. I tried eating barbecued llama meat on this geyser tour and ended up getting really sick for nearly the rest of the trip. Pueblo atacameño típico I scrambled up and over some of these giant piles of dirt and salt and almost couldn't get myself out. Kind of scared myself and was an omen of more near-disastrous experiences to come. Below me was a dark sarlacc pit of doom. SOCAIRE Anyway, at some point Pato and Jose showed up and we went to Socaire, which has a beautiful canyon with sport and trad climbing. They had been there before. We took a bus and paid the driver extra to bring us a few miles closer to camp. I don't remember much of the details, but I think most of the climbs we did were in the 5.9-5.10 range with cool pockets and eroded features. Steep, bolted, although the other guys TR'd some cracks. I didn't know how to crack climb yet. Pato belaying with me up top. Jose belaying Pato ' The scenery is amazing { During our couple of days climbing, we slept in a bivy cave in the canyon and drank water from a trickling stream that ran through it. None of my chilean friends ever treated or filtered their water in the Andes, so I didn't either. I was pretty dehydrated all the time at this point in the trip from diarrhea I got from the llama meat. I think the second day of climbing, I gave a try at leading a short, 3 or 4-bolt route that was pretty much vertical. I was new to climbing but had learned to lead on day 1 at las Chilcas because... that's what they had me do! So it wasn't my first lead but I was pretty green. I clipped all bolts and was at the chains, totally pumped and trying to clip. I remember being so pumped I grabbed the chains and clipped my draw, but couldn't make the clip. My hands got greasier and greasier until I fell. Jose was belaying me but not really paying attention and had out too much slack. I basically fell right onto his head, but the rope came taught. Although I tweaked his neck, scared the shit out of myself, and scratched my glasses when they fell off, we were more or less okay. I took the next day off climbing and hiked around the canyon taking pictures. I think this is a picture of the route I ate shit on: The crew: a couple strong chilenos and one weak gringo! We walked into the town of Socaire then spent all day bumming around the plaza and trying to get a ride to San Pedro. Eventually, we found someone who was heading that way that we paid for a ride. LICANCABUR Licancabur (5916 m according to wikipedia) is the volcano that just calls to you from San Pedro. It's amazingly symmetrical and is sacred to the Aymara people of the region. Like a lot of high, dry peaks, there are ancient ruins at the summit. We decided to try and climb the thing from the Chilean side, because of course that way we'd be doing it the Chilean way and could bring any sort of smoking kit needed. Typically, people climb from a beautiful green lagoon on the Bolivian side. There is a marked trail there and that's the way guides will take you. But it's just a walk-up, so no big deal, right? Well, the other reason people climb from that side is that the Chilean dictatorship mined a lot of border areas to prevent a feared Bolivian invasion. (The Chileans took a huge chunk of land from Bolivia and Peru during the war of the Pacific in the late 1800s, which both other countries still complain about, with good reason.) So to get to the Chilean route, which climbs the N rib of the volcano, one needs to travel through an area which is known to have land mines. I was young and dumb, so was content to trust my (experienced yet crazy) Chilean friends and go that way. We found some other fools to join us, friends of Jose and Pato, mostly tourist/mountain guides from San Pedro, and a guy who worked in mining who crucially had a 4x4, plus a Spanish dude who was stoked. We piled into the car and drove towards the border on the paved highway, then turned north on the dirt road that would take us towards the climbing route. Like most remote land in Chile, it's privately owned. We called the landowner who said it would be okay for us to use it and that the road had been de-mined and was safe. As we drove down the road, we passed a fenced-off minefield that was signed. Eventually the road became too rough to drive, so we left the car and walked. There is absolutely no water in this area, so we carried I think two large soda bottles each (maybe 4 L?). I remember having to take a crap (still diarrhea) and digging a hole in the road because I didn't want to leave the road. I got behind my friends but kept walking along. Then the weirdest sight. A dude on a bicycle coming from Bolivia! He came by and I said hello. He was friendly enough, and I asked him if he was coming from Bolivia. He said something like "no, I'm just out for a spin". But it didn't make any sense. He looked Bolivian and had a Bolivian accent. He was also riding a bright red beach cruiser style bike and carried only a tiny daypack. It was weird, but I was pretty zonked from dehydration, etc., so I just kind of accepted it and walked on. We regrouped and my friends said they were pretty sure he was a smuggler. It made sense. We decided to not worry about it and keep going. As we walked, the road turned into more of a path. At one point we saw a small, metal sign on the ground with only one word: "minas". It wasn't clear where they would be. We continued and camped at a tongue of lava, on the border, where the route was described to begin. From there, it was just a chossy hike to the top of the volcano, but the altitude was brutal even though I'd been at 4000 m for a week. I was also still really dehydrated, but amazingly got over my diarrhea mid-climb. I don't think everyone made it to the summit, but Pato, Jose, and I did. Early light looking into Bolivia One of the homies (Marcelo I think?) feeling smoked, Spanish dude we called "Super Tío" behind On the summit. One of the highest "lakes" in the world. You can see a trail going down on the other side of the cone. Pato delirious Crew: I remember being so tired I wanted to just sleep on the summit. I probably was in the early stages of some kind of edema. We decided to descend by foot-glissading down this incredible chossfield that went on for ages. It was one of the craziest boot-skis I've done. We CRUISED down that thing. Somehow it didn't start a rockslide. After descending this, we made it back to our camp without exploding. This was stressful... we crossed a big flat area, on the Chilean side, that we weren't sure if it was mined or not. You can see the boot-ski big gulley with the choss "runnel" in it here, and the flat expanse we crossed below: Well, we'd been successful so far, so we felt pretty stoked. But then we got back to our car to find it had been broken into. Likely the smuggler and his friends decided to try and sweeten the deal (he likely had a pack full of cocaine) by grabbing a newer SUV as well. Luckily the anti-theft system worked. One guy had left a laptop in the car, though, and it was stolen. Marcelo tried to hotwire the car himself and actually got it running for a second before the anti-theft kicked in and shut off the engine. At this point the stoke was wearing off as we realized we probably had to walk back to the highway and were out of water. We didn't even have any in the car---although there was a bottle of red wine that the smugglers had left us. We managed to get a cell phone call to town and ask for a tow truck, but they told us it would be a while. We started walking. We met the tow truck on the road. They gave us a little water but said the road was too rough and were going to turn around. So we ended up having to call a different truck to come later. Not really a good scene when you're walking on a "safe" road and spot this (edit: probably just a bit of junk that scared the crap out of me!) But we made it.
  25. I feel like my memory fails me a bit on the details of that day... now that I mull it over more... I think I might have realized that object wasn't a mine eventually, although it definitely scared the shit out of me at first. But I'd definitely forgotten that when I first posted this. I saw that picture and my files yesterday and was like "whoah!" I found a website from the Chilean de-mining commission that shows the types of landmines used in Chile: http://www.cnad.cl/?page_id=83 as well as maps of affected areas http://www.cnad.cl/?page_id=171 Antofagasta: Zoomed into the area around Licancabur. The peak is located south of MF-E1-22, which was the area we passed through. This map is dated from January 2018, and the yellow color means "campo minado depeje en proceso" or minefield partially cleared. This area did not have anything more than that one small sign on the ground marking it. Best I remember our route and camp