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Everything posted by mthorman

  1. Liberty ridge has a TON of TR's and good beta so won't elaborate. Here are a couple of links to some Curtis Ridge Beta. Also as DPS said Curtis Ridge really is in an entirely different league than Liberty Ridge. http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1125705/TR_Mount_Rainier_Curtis_Ridge_#Post1125705 http://www.markpthomas.com/mountaineering/trip-reports/washington/curtis-ridge-attempt
  2. Great photos...especially the night ones! Any chance you could email me a copy of the 6th picture? The one of my partner and I starting up toward the Reid Headwall. Thanks for the boot track across the Reid Glacier! Marlin westbnsf@gmail.com
  3. Great job man!! We met you near the top as we were coming up from the Reid Headwall and you were heading down the Sunshine. Looks like we should have gone down to the Elliot to find ice since the Reid didn't have any!
  4. I am looking for a fit and motivated partner who is interested in climbing the Reid Headwall on Mt. Hood Saturday morning (4/16). Ideally would like to leave Timberline around 2am and be back by noon or slightly after. Plan to skin up/ski down from Illumination Saddle. Email (westbnsf@gmail.com), PM, or reply to this thread if interested. Marlin
  5. +1 to everything Jason said. I have descended the "east ledges" twice and it wasn't too bad if you are comfortable in 3rd and 4th class terrain unroped. However it isn't quite a cakewalk either. When I climbed the East Ridge itself there were several sections I would not have wanted to down climb and there weren't any rappels to reverse the ridge itself. More from my trip can be seen in the following link. Note there is a picture my partner took of the east ledges descent. Gives you an idea of what it is like after the rappelling stops. http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1140853/TR_Forbidden_Peak_East_Ridge_7#Post1140853
  6. I feel like a lot of avy decisions are based in the field depending on what you find. But I would recommend looking at the Northwest Avalanche Center's avy forecast to get a better idea of the overall snowpack. When I was up there it was hard and icy above 7,500 or 8,000 feet. No wind slabs (except small drifts), and certainly no powder. My bet is the biggest avy issue to look for this weekend would be wet/loose slides between 5,000 and 8,000 feet. But then again conditions can change from day to day. I have heard from at least 2 other parties that want to get up there this weekend so you might not be the only ones. Have fun if you go!
  7. I was up on Adams on Saturday and everything above 7500 feet was wind blown and hard (no powder). There were a few pockets of wind slab but they were small and easily avoidable. I would assume that Rainier would be very similar. There was a lot of wind with the last storm system that came through and scoured the mountain clean. Have fun up there...I have always wanted to get on Gib ledges.
  8. Trip: Mt. Adams - South Route Date: 3/26/2016 Trip Report: Had a long day up Mount Adams yesterday. There is still a lot of snow down low so I had to park at Pineside Snopark. From there I skinned up FS 8225 to FS 150. Then took a line up through the trees towards Cold Springs Campground. Once up high I went up by South Butte to Lunch Counter, and then on over Piker's Peak to the summit. All in all it was 26.5 miles round trip from the car with just a hair under 10,000 feet of elevation gain. Snow conditions were very wind blown up high. Summit hut is completely buried. I took my splitboard but had to stash it at 7,500 feet and switch to crampons. I did get to ride it for about 3 miles or so from 7,500 feet down to 4,500 feet which was nice. Then switched back over to skins for the rest of the way out. There are a few wind slabs but nothing bigger than a small drift. The snow line is roughly 3500 feet in the trees. The FS roads are all covered higher than about 2800 ft. Here is a link to the GPS file for those interested. http://caltopo.com/m/20N5 Gear Notes: Splitboard or skis to get you in. Crampons for the upper mountain. Approach Notes: 8 miles just to get to the Cold Springs Trailhead.
  9. Just got back today from a trip up there. There will still be plenty of ice to climb in a couple weeks.....you will just have to be more careful in your selection. Anything north facing should still be in and fat. We climbed Professors, Spray River, Guinness Gully (plus Stout and High Test). If you drive up the Parkway there is plenty that is in as well. Just watch your avy danger and sun aspects. As for guides the 2 you have to chose from are Brent Peters' "Ice Lines" and Joe Josephson's "Waterfall Ice, Climbs in the Canadian Rockies". Search instagram or grav sports for a specific route to see recent conditions.
  10. Sorry about the snowshoes, that is a big bummer. Did you by chance get a look at Dragontail Peak or Stuart Peak? Would love to know what the spring alpine routes are looking like.
  11. Glad you found a partner Peter! And it looks like you guys killed it!! Awesome!
  12. Well I am not an expert but here is what I found when doing the same research. The short answer is June has the most summits (but that isn't really a percentage gauge because June also has the most people on the mountain). The weather can vary from year to year and many people say there aren't trends. However, from reading through several books and reading reports I think the following is mostly true. May tends to be colder and windier, but usually better snow conditions particularly lower on the mountain. June is warmer with more stable days which can lead to crevasse issues (also LOTS more people). I personally landed on the glacier May 10th and felt that we picked a good time to be on the mountain. We were before most of the crowds (14K camp was only 10 tents when we arrived, but over 100 when we left). However there were a lot of other people who came at similar times to us and didn't make it. The key to our success was nobody in our group had a time deadline. We could have stayed on the mountain 28-30 days if we needed to. We didn't take that much food and fuel but nobody had flights that early (and you can collect about as much food and fuel at 14K as you want). We were stuck at 14K camp for 8 days due to weather and there were a LOT of other teams that went down. In fact when we checked out at the ranger station the summit percentage was only 9% for the first 180 people!! One other tip I will say regarding weather at 14K camp. Try to have a person at home that can forecast your weather (and knows what to look for). This was definitely the biggest reason for our success. The NPS weather report was pretty much like this every day at 14K camp: Day 1: High winds with chance of snow (2-4 inches, winds to 35-40mph) Day 2: Windy with snow (1-3 inches, winds to 30-35mph) Day 3: Windy but starting to clear. Day 4: Clear weather with low winds. Unfortunately that Day 4 forecast always stayed Day 4. Everyday it was tantalizing you with a predicted stable weather coming up in 4 days. We had somebody back home who was a climber and knew weather, and he spent time everyday to look through all the models and read reports. Then he would either text or call us to give us an update. We summited based on a 48hr weather window he told us about and very few people did the same as the NPS weather board didn't forecast that at all. Good luck with the climb!! Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions, I would be happy to share what I can.
  13. Climbing on larger mountains like Mount Hood require multiple hours of sustained effort. Running is a good aerobic activity but it doesn't mimic the effort of the climb. I would definitely recommend doing some longer hikes at a moderate pace. Try to keep going at a consistent pace for several hours. Start out with smaller distances and maybe 10% to 15% of your body weight in a pack. Work your way up in distance and weight and always try to include elevation gain. If there is a trail nearby where you can get a couple thousand feet of elevation gain in a few miles that is best. Also wear the boots you will climb in when you hike. It will help break them in and you will find out if/where you get hot spots. It also helps if you have done a longer day, more elevation, or farther distance than you plan to do on the climb. That way you know what it is like, and that you can do it. For example, if you are doing Hood in a day from the lot that is a little over 5000 feet of elevation gain to the summit. So sometime before the climb do a training hike that contains 5000-6000 feet of elevation gain. If you want to get deep into the specifics of training for climbing get the book "Training for the New Alpinism" by Steve House and Scott Johnson. Lots of really good information in there. One of the biggest things I learned was don't underestimate the value of training in a Zone 1 Heart Rate (which is fairly low....ie 55% to 75% of max HR). Well hopefully that helps a little. Good luck with your training and climb, enjoy it!
  14. This information is based on my limited ice experience over the last couple years. I am sure there are guys here that have many more years to draw from and could give you better advice. Banks Lake usually needs a couple of weeks of cold weather in order to form up enough to climb. And it needs a lot more than that to be really good climbing. It was close to climbable at the beginning of the month but then things warmed up. Check out this page http://www.weather.com/weather/monthly/l/USWA0097:1:US. You can see that it has only been 10 days since the lows were below freezing. And really hasn't been very cold except for the last 5 days. Personally I would be surprised if much was climbable for another 5-7 days, but I haven't heard anything about it for about 2 weeks so it might be worth a look. Vantage is usually warmer than Banks so it would probably be even more unlikely to have climbable ice. And I don't know much about Soap Lake so hopefully somebody else will comment. Good luck and let us know what things look like if you get out.
  15. I have Brent Peter's book and like it, but it sticks to mostly classic waterfalls. There are a few mixed routes but mostly just a small mention of single pitch stuff right near a classic waterfall line. If you want to do alpine mixed climbs definitely look for Joe's book. It is WAY more comprehensive! Good luck finding a copy!
  16. Pretty close to what I do as well. I have found that mountain-forecast is usually pretty close with temps and major events, but very off with amount of precip or with marginal days (basically if it is iffy it could be nasty or sunny). I have repeatedly found that the snowfall amounts forecasted are drastically lower than actual amounts. For me I double whatever their snowfall amounts are and it seems pretty close. The other tool I like is the forecast discussion on NOAA. For example here is the forecast discussion for tstory's link (there is a link right under the map called "Forecast Discussion"). It is a much wider focus and talks about a whole region rather than local/specific location, but there is so much more information in there. It can seem a bit confusing to read but it really isn't that bad once you start to understand the basics. http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=SEW&issuedby=SEW&product=AFD&format=CI&version=1&glossary=1 Also I would recommend reading this book. Anybody who spends a lot of time in the outdoors will benefit from being able to better understand weather. I learned a lot from this book and feel like it helps me understand forecasts as well as look at current conditions for changes. http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Weather-Backcountry-Snowboarders-Mountaineers/dp/089886819X
  17. jfs1978 is right. If you look at the way they attach, the clip model has two extra posts at the front that are vertical to allow for the clip to rivet in place. So unless you are handy at welding those 2 posts on the front or change the location of where the clip attaches you are out of luck. You might be able to rivet the clip strap into the same holes you use for the wire bail, but I wouldn't recommend it. I think that would make it too low and far back from the toe. Just sell your Pro versions and buy a clip version. With a little patience looking through MP and CCC for used versions you probably won't even lose that much money on the deal.
  18. Cool thread! I'll add.. Titties & Beer - 5.8 at Looking Glass, NC (even the guidebook calls it "World's Hardest 5.8")
  19. Way to get it done in a day! It looks very clear over there....I guess I just figured it would look more like the east side which is VERY smokey.
  20. I went up the SW Couloir last year. We summited on July 30, 2014. We brought 1 pair of crampons between 2 of us and an ice ax a piece. There was a section about 50 feet long in the couloir that had snow but I scrambled around it without much trouble. On the way down we came down the snow because we felt it would be easier than down-climbing the steep 4th class rock to the sides. This year is drier (from what I have heard) and you will be a couple weeks later than we were last year. If you are pretty comfortable scrambling rock I would leave the ice ax and microspikes at home. Good luck, it is a beautiful area!
  21. I have had this route on my list for several years. Finally I scheduled some time, found a willing partner, and hoped the weather would be good. I met Duncan at the trailhead the night before and we made some last minute gear decisions before getting a few hours of sleep. By 5am we were hiking up through the mist towards Boston Basin. We past the bivy sites and this is where it started to get interesting. Neither of us had been over on the Taboo Glacier or Torment before and with the thick clouds we couldn't see more than a couple hundred feet max. We made a few ups, downs, and arounds, but finally managed to get onto the Taboo glacier on the far left side. It wasn't too broken up right near the cliff and after a little while longer of hiking through the clouds we found the gully to the notch in the South Ridge. Duncan on the approach during a brief clearing in the clouds where you could actually see a little. From the notch we roped up and climbed 2 simul pitches to the upper notch where we crossed over to the SE Face. A quick scramble later and we reached the summit of Torment. It was about 11:30am and the clouds were starting to break up. Also we found that the north side valleys had no low clouds. The view from the summit of Torment looking north. After a short break we climbed back down the SE face then contoured over to the notch. The rappel looked pretty straight forward although the glacier below looked to be pretty broken up. Duncan getting ready for the rappel onto the glacier. Once on the glacier we studied our options. There were faint tracks that went down and over the lip of a large crevasse then came out the other side. The only problem was we only had 1 60m rope and it wouldn't be long enough. We looked at trying to avoid the glacier all together and traverse the rock but that didn't look enjoyable. Finally we decided to extend the anchor that was already there by 20 feet of cord which would give us just enough rope with our 60M to rap into the crevasse. Duncan rappelling into the crevasse on the glacier. Getting off the glacier also proved a touch tricky. Where we thought the "normal" spot was there was a moat that was 15 feet wide and 40 feet deep. So we crossed over to the rock much higher and had a short pitch of mid 5th class traversing above the moat/glacier and below a snowfield to get to the easy ledges. Looking back to the glacier and Torment. We rapped through the upper large crevasse, and then exited the glacier where the snow touches the rock in the center of the photo. Taking a short break after exiting the glacier. After some easy simul climbing we reached the snow and ice traverse. It looked pretty melted out but we could see faint footsteps so we gave it a try. Our first look at the snow/ice traverse. The first section of the traverse wasn't too bad. We soloed across a couple of cracks and then headed straight up the snowfield. The plan was to traverse across near the top (following tracks ahead of us). There was some softer snow over hard stuff and it made for decent although careful frontpointing. Crossing over a rock band we attempted to gain the snow again. The consistency was much worse however. We hadn't brought any pickets and didn't trust the quality for screw placement. Or maybe it was the thought of traversing another 200 feet with only 1 ice ax. At any rate we wimped out and just continued straight up for the ridge where we found loose but easy climbing. Duncan at the beginning of the traverse. We made 2 raps off the ridge to the south side and then followed ledges passed the next large gendarme. 1 pitch of easy climbing brought us to a prominent notch and a nice bivy spot. It was about 6pm so we decided this would make a great location for the night. Unfortunately the clouds came back in and sun down was less than dramatic. The sun piercing through the cloud layer later in the afternoon. After some dinner we watched the clouds for awhile and then turned in. The next morning we woke to a cold wind but a spectacular view. We were between cloud layers. Morning views from our bivy looking south. We got packed up and scrambled over to the base of the next gendarme. I led out up and left around it. On the other side I found a rap station and we made 1 rappel back down to the ridge crest. Duncan leaving our bivy spot. From here we stuck right on the ridge crest and enjoyed the exposure and quality of the rock. It was 3 simul blocks to the end of the "sidewalk" where we made 1 short rappel to the south to ledges below. Duncan just about to cross over the "sidewalk". A short walk and we reached the notch at the base of the West Ridge of Forbidden. We opted to continue carrying our packs and descend the East Ledges. We made the decision partly because neither of us and been up or down the gullies leading to the west ridge and also partly because we wanted to avoid the congestion that everyone talks about on the West Ridge. From the notch we climbed the west ridge in 2 simul blocks. It was great climbing with good exposure and definitely the highlight of the traverse for me. Overall on the traverse the rock quality seemed to just get better the closer you got to Forbidden Peak. Duncan on the West Ridge of Forbidden with the traverse in the background. The descent down the east ledges was straight forward and easier than its reputation. I had done it before (after climbing the east ridge) so it helped to know the way. We made 6 raps with our 60m rope then walked ledges over to the gully. A quick scramble and we stopped to put away all the climbing gear. From here it was a nice scramble back down to the bivy ledges. The weather just kept getting better and we were treated to amazing views from Boston basin. We made quick work of the trail and reached the cars and biting flies around 3pm. Johannesburg as seen from Boston Basin. Gear Notes 6 cams, 10 nuts, lots of slings (singles and doubles). Didn't need that many nuts, and needed more slings for the simul blocks. I had one ice ax, and Duncan had two. He definitely felt more secure on the portion of the ice traverse that we did. Had a couple screws but never had the opportunity to place them. Could have protected the traverse with pickets if we had brought any.
  22. Really awesome trip report!! The Pickets are such an awesome mountain range that sees so little traffic. I definitely would love to get on a traverse like this. Good work and great photos!
  23. The rap station on the ridge was in good condition. There were several cords, and most looked newer. All of the rappel stations for the East Ledges descent were also in good condition. We actually rappelled 6 times instead of the 5 in the guidebook (all with a single 60M rope). But the ledges that we followed were fairly easy and straight forward. There wasn't a lot of times where you needed to scramble or use your hands. It was mostly just walking carefully along ledges being aware of solid foot placement. It definitely went a lot faster than I thought. Maybe 1.5hrs from summit to notch at base of east ridge.
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