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About dpforestry

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  • Birthday 08/16/1980
  1. Trip: Mt. Ellinor (WA Olympics) - Winter and summer routes Date: 3/15/2014 Trip Report: For those that may be curious, conditions on Ellinor were wet and soggy yesterday. We hiked up the winter route, tagged the summit, and then did a little routefinding to head down the summer route. We had a late start (345 pm at lower TH...upper TH is still unaccessible) and hit the summit around 615pm, necessitating a hasty decent. It was pretty much puking massive snow flakes and the wind was blowing hard. Visibility was fair at best but good enough to identify a line down the ridge and then into to the large bowl leading down to the summer trail. This broad steep bowl and the narrow terrain trap below it are good reasons to avoid the summer route in less than ideal avalanche conditions...much like the evening we found ourselves there. I hadnt been to Ellinor in a few years and on this route only in the summer. So, this "minor" detail had escaped me earlier in the day when i decided a loop would be a fun idea. Nevertheless, with daylight rapidly waning, we werent about to climb back up to the top, traverse, and then descend the winter gully without axes. We picked short lines down from safe zone to safe zone, one by one, until we were in the clear and picked up a faint snowshoe trailing leading back down. Made it back to the car at 830pm and had enough light to leave headlamps in our packs. Summary: -lower trailhead is accessible with zero snow on the road. - snow on road becomes impassible juat after the lower th, so the upper th is not accessible -snow was very wet and sunk down about shin deep on the -kick stepping up the winter gulley was no problem as the snow was soft/firm enough -avoid the summer route in anything but ideal avalanche conditions Gear Notes: trekking poles
  2. Trip: Colchuck Col - Colchuck Lake > Glacier Date: 1/4/2014 Trip Report: Below are some bulleted highlights, a full trip report (including more photos) can be found on TAY ( click here ): - Total net elevation gain was about 6,000ft from the car to the col, over about 9 or 10 miles one way. - Forest Service Road 7601 (Eightmile Road) is gated shut and is completely covered in ice all the way to the trailhead. This means we parked on Icicle Road and added 4 miles (8 miles RT) and 1,400ft to the trip. - In fact, the entire route is covered in ice..including the road and trail; we suffered in crampons car to car...microspikes would have been the appropriate choice. - There is no skiable snow until the Colchuck glacier, and here only in wind deposited pockets - Colchuck lake is completely frozen over, and no amount of hacking at the ice will produce water. Water is available from Mountaineer Creek, well before the lake, so plan on melting snow. - The glacier is very mellow grade, and there were no crevasses whatsoever on our route. It was not necessary to rope up. - From the col to the Colchuck peak summit, there is very litte snow and the summit can be achieved with easy scrambling. Photos: Gear Notes: Microspikes, crampons, mountaineering axe. Leave the skis at home, at least until it dumps lots more snow.
  3. [TR] Black Peak - NE Ridge 7/27/2013

    Phenomenal photos and great report, thanks for sharing. Incidentally, what lens do you use? Polarizer?
  4. Trip: Mt. Cruiser - South Corner Date: 6/14/2013 Trip Report: Talk about a fun and rewarding trip! The approach and summit of Mt. Cruiser (highest peak on the Sawtooth ridge, Skokomish-Duckabush group) was enjoyable and adventure filled, with entertaining scrambling on snow and rock, easy but exposed class 5.0 climbing, topped off with a swim in Flapjack Lakes. Useful Information The trail to Flapjack Lakes is roughly 8 miles with about a 3800 ft gain. The trail from Flapjack Lakes to Gladys Divide is a little over a mile with about a 1100 ft gain. The snow level is above the lakes at about 4400 ft. Needle pass is easy to identify and is filled with snow. The moat is large enough to traverse along the rock. Don't bother bringing two ropes. A 60m rope was sufficient for the climb and rappel of the South Corner. First Pitch: From the starting ledge up, there are a few jugs that you can sling a 30cm runner around for some scant protection. There is a shady bolt near the arete you could use. There is also pair of rock solid bolts at the top of the first pitch next to a ledge with room for two people to stand comfortably. This is about 60-70 ft (~20m) up from the starting ledge. Second "Pitch:" From the belay ledge, it's an exposed scramble along the ridge to the summit. We used opposing slings held taught with biners as back up pro for a couple of well spaced but mediocre 1/4" bolts found along the summit ridge. We gathered at the second and last ridge bolt and took turns walking the last 20 feet to the top, belayed. Bring your rock shoes. There was no need for pickets Here is a simple but useful route description with additional route photosSummit Post The Story After a busy Friday morning at work, Doc and I finally reached the Staircase trailhead around 5 pm. The trail to Flapjacks begins at around 800 ft elevation and runs parallel to the North Fork of the Skokomish River...starting off as a sunny, pleasant and gorgeous riverside walk on an old road and then narrowing amongst large diameter cedars, firs, maples, pines, trilliums, huckleberry, and an assortment of other Olympic trees, shrubs, and herbs. About 4 miles into the backcountry, the trail turns east up the hill for a stint, then traverses the mountainside until it reaches Madeline Creek at about 2100 ft. From here, it contours slightly uphill around a finger ridge until it meets Donahue creek near the Flapjack Lakes-Black and White Lakes junction at 3400 ft. Both are picturesque creeks loaded with large woody debris and cascading falls. I was glad to have my camera. A final short push up to 3880 ft put us at the foot of the lakes, just in time to catch a clear golden sunset against the Sawtooth Ridge above us and in the still reflection below. We were pretty happy campers sitting between the two Flapjacks looking at the pillow basalt above the tree line, but the sight of Mt. Lincoln and other Sawtooth spires in that warm evening glow truly lifted our sprits. We selected a flat waterfront camp bed against some lichen encrusted boulders, where we sat and ate a well earned meal accompanied by a lake chilled IPA. The night was clear and bright, illuminated by a waxing crescent moon. I, at least, was well asleep before the moon consented to the emergence of what I imagine was a blanket of stars. Saturday morning surprisingly warm. We set off early for Gladys Divide, well caffeinated and eager to see some rock. It was steady going up from the lakes to the divide. Upon arrival, we decided to have a look around before heading up Needle Pass and were rewarded with amazing views of Mt. Henderson and Skokomish to the northeast amongst other little lakes, minor peaks, and valleys. I decided then that this area is a new favorite and promised myself to return soon. Needle pass was easily identifiable and we made our way up to the ridge crest between the Castle Spires and Beta. On the summit of Beta we basked in views all around: Olympus, Anderson, the Flapjacks, Sawtooth, Mt. Gladys, etc. This was an excellent scramble, with lots of interesting rock features and easy route finding. We reached the col between Beta and Cruiser and descended into the moat for an interesting mixed snow/rock traverse to the short scramble up to the base of the chockstone. We opted for the fun crawl through cannon hole to reach the top of the chockstone then walked right to the ledge where the climb starts. The climb itself is easy 5.0 but locations for protection were sparse (and weak at best) and a fall would have been disastrous (also at best!). We were glad to reach the solid pair of bolts at the belay ledge. From here it was a simple scramble to the summit. We used opposing slings held taught with biners as back up pro for a couple of well spaced but mediocre 1/4" bolts found along the summit ridge. We gathered at the second and last ridge bolt and took turns walking the last 20 feet to the top, belayed. We returned to the belay ledge and rappelled back down the way we came. Photos Flapjack Lakes Sawtooth Ridge. Probably looking at the Cleaver, Slab Tower and Rectagon Sawtooth Ridge, including the Fin, the Horn, etc. Up at Gladys Divide and view of Needle Pass (the snowy gully in the top right of the frame) View NE of Mount Henderson from Gladys Divide Surly Olympic pillow basalt Headed up Needle Pass (shot of the Needle) Castle Spires and Flapjack Lakes Mount Olympus Some moat action (this one was taken on the return trip) Scramble from the moat up to the chockstone (we scrambled up rope free and then set a fixed line for the descent) Looking up at the chockstone. The scramble through the cannon hole is to the left of it and an easy climb to the right. Gleaming the cannon hole Mt. Cruiser. The photo shows our route (in blue) from the moat, up the left side of the chockstone, a walk to the right to a ledge where the climb starts (pink rectangle). The red dots indicate where where are some sketchy bolts and the green dot is the location of the solid pair of bolts and belay ledge. From the belay ledge to the start of the climb is about 70ft). Summit ridge scramble, photo shows the opposing slings backing up the bolt. View of Mildred Lakes, Jefferson Peak, Mt. Pershing, Mt. Washington, Mt. Ellinor Mildred Lakes "snow flakes" Rapelling down the south east face of Cruiser back to the ledge we started on. Copper Mountain in the background. Gear Notes: [*]Ice axe [*]One 60m rope [*]Four 30cm runners [*]Four 60cm runners [*]Set of nuts [*]Rappel rings (a fat Omega Pacific) and webbing (I left the only red piece on the double bolts and on another piece on a tree for a rappel down to the Beta-Castle Spires col; both are labeled DP. They are essentially brand new, should be good for a while)
  5. [TR] Mt. Adams - South Climb 6/5/2013

    thanks for the report, can you please repost your photos. thanks!
  6. Trip: The Brothers (S. Peak) - Route 1 Date: 5/29/2013 Trip Report: Sunday started nice and easy with a late morning start at the Lena Lake trailhead around 10:30am. The four of us finalized splitting up group gear and headed up the trail at a relaxing pace, arriving at Lena Lake before noon. This portion of the trail had a wide mellow grade with plenty of switchbacks. From the lake, we headed up the east fork of Lena Creek into the Valley of the Silent Men. The trail in this section remained mellow in terms of grade, but became much more interesting than the superhighway we started on. The trail traversed the hillside then crossed the creek into somewhat of a Bermuda triangle. The creek was flowing high with all the snowmelt, overcoming many portions of the trail, forcing us into the adjacent bush, through mossy boulders, and up and over much downed woody debris. It was muddy and wet and required paying attention for remnant orange ribbon someone graciously placed through the path of least resistance. This valley is very beautiful, and it glowed green with moisture; tall firs, cedars, and hemlocks as well as collage of shrubs and herbs. We reached the "climber's camp" at the next fork in the the creek around 3000 ft an hour or so later. From this point, we encountered three parties. One group from Oregon (an unofficial Mazamas group plus dog) attempted an ascent around 10am that day and got turned around above Lunch Rock after dodging a wet loose avalanche they said was about 30ft wide. The next fellow we encountered was a friend who had arrived a day earlier. He had also decided to forgo a summit attempt, citing low visibility and loose snow. Nevertheless, he informed us that a Mountaineers group has summited earlier that morning. The third set of climbers were a pair who had arrived before us and were just setting up camp. The day was young and the weather was quire warm and wet, so we decided to trudge on. With freezing levels well above the summit this weekend, we figured a high and early start the next day would give us an advantage in snow we anticipated to be poor. We reached consistent snow around 3400 ft, just below the avalanche debris field and the "minor tree covered ridge." We carefully walked up the thin, hole riddled snow gully atop a rushing creek swollen with meltwater. Popping through the snow here would have been a total disaster. We soon reached the broad snow field around 4200 ft and hurried up in an easterly direction out of the avalanche path to a ridge around 5000ft that we assumed was Lunch Rock. Continuing a little higher, we found an open patch of snow on a southern aspect that looked like a nice place to camp. After setting up camp (2 tents and a bivy), the clouds broke and revealed gorgeous views of Mt. Washington, Pershing, and Ellinor, as well as of the Hood Canal and Seattle. It was phenomenal, and we were all glad to have decided not to camp below the tree line. We built a couch to bask in the views and enjoy a nice tall Oly Beer, well deserved. We went to bed after a gorgeous sunset around 9pm. Apparently that night, conditions deteriorated, and in the morning everything was wet. Snow conditions were worse than the night before and the snow felt almost slushy at 5:30 am. We came prepared to attempt the South to North peak traverse, but quickly realized that even just a summit was questionable this under the existing conditions. We packed up and were off by 6:15am. Conditions were sketchy to say the least, so we focused on evaluating each section in turn. We avoided the narrow couloirs as much as possible, hopping from rock island to rock island and moving quickly, one by one, through and over terrain traps and potentially unstable snow. This rock scrambling proved to be a lot of fun and definitely made the ascent much more interesting. We set up a fixed line to scramble up one wet rocky section using a prussic as a failsafe, should we slip. We moved swiftly this way between sections, and after a couple minor gear issues, summited around 9:15am. Visibility was decent, about a couple hundred feet, but there were definitely no major views. The wind was blowing moderately and sleet scraped at our faces. We took a few quick photos and descended the way we came. On the way down, everything was looking very different. Small waterfalls were flowing and a lot of snow had melted where it was shallow. Fortunately, we made it back to camp safely, packed up, and glissaded our way quickly down below tree line and onto the trail. We were back in the parking lot by 5pm. Beers and burgers were thoroughly enjoyed at the Eagles Landing. Gear Notes: 60m rope, mountaineering axe, helmets Approach Notes: Lena Lake > Valley of the Silent Men > Lunch Rock Basic snow/rock scramble
  7. Trip: Mt. Matier - Anniversary Glacier Date: 8/8/2011 Trip Report: This is an old trip report I decided to finally post. It was my first ever alpine climb and it scared the crap out of me. Since then I have learned much and gained lots more experience. This one set the bar for me and I think its safe to say I've reached it and continue to push my personal limits. Here goes.... "This past weekend, some friends and I set out to summit Mt. Matier (2,783 m or 9,131 ft), one of the peaks in the Joffe Group, a concentrated group of peaks in the Pemberton, BC area. The trip entailed backpacking, glacier travel, snow climbing, and scrambling. This was the first time I have done any kind of roped climbing and even though the route is considered moderate as far as mountaineering trips go, I found it to be challenging, albeit mental rather than physical or technical. The Physical Challenge "The hike/climb consisted of 1,450 m (4,757 ft) elevation gain from the starting point at the Cerise Creek Forest Service Road to the summit. We set out at 9:45 am from the trailhead on Day 1 and reach camp at “Motel 66″ just above Anniversary Glacier around 1:30 pm. The camp boasted a stellar view of the peak, glacier, the valley, lake, and hut below. For the rest of the day we practiced some basic mountaineering skills such as self arresting, self rescue, team rescue, and roped travel.We left camp for the summit the nextday at 4 am and reached the top around 10:30 am. More experience teams would have probably made it in half that time, but we took our time and set up anchors along the way. It was tough work, but I’ve definitely experienced worse in terms of physical demands (perhaps I’m in better shape that I previously though). Once at the top, the work was only half way done, we still had to climb down! We made it back to camp at 3 pm and rest for about an hour while we broke camp. By four we were all packed up and headed down the trail and back to the car. We got back road by 6:30 pm and then drove the 3 hours home. All in all, we spent about 10+ hours either hiking or climbing that day. Surprisingly, the drive back was a breeze and I even had the energy tounpack and look at some photos before bed. The Mental Challenge "While not as bad as having to write a thesis (ugh), this trip was quite a feat for me. I’ve never done any legitimate rock climbing as a result of a more than healthy fear of heights. Nevertheless, I saw this trip as an opportunity to push my own limit in this respect, and boy did I ever!I was all good and doing fine until we reached the col (i.e. the saddle between Joffre Peak and Matier Peak). At this point the slope increased appreciably in its angle to about 40-45 degrees. If you’ve never been on a wet, slippery, icy, and snowy slope that steep, just trust me when I say its scary, especially when your perched hundreds of meters above hard rock and ice below, clinging to the mountain only by the point of an axe and the spikes on your boots. I expressed my anxiety and the boys we able to convince me it was alright, so we put on our crampons and continued. "When the slope reached about 40 degrees, I suggested we anchor up and the team cheerfully concurred. This gave me a heightened sense of security and the confidence to continue. I had to focus on the work, trust the equipment, and not think about the consequences.Step by step I continued. By the time we reached the top of the snow climb, just below the summit, my anxiety was pretty high. I sat and tried to feel it out…not talk it away, ignore it, or think about something else but analyze it and try to understand it. Unfortunately, I had very little success in getting rid of it. By not moving or working, all I had was time to think…think about what the hell I was doing up there. "The rest of the route was a simple scramble on some rocks along the ridge, and I couldn’t do it. I took off my crampons and stood on the solid rock and my legs felt like spaghetti. We were now off the rope and there was no way I was going to go any further. I found solace in my decision to stay put, as the decision itself afforded me some level of control, which at that point I felt I had very little. I wasn’t freaking out or anything, I was merely managing my anxiety. I had pushed myself plenty that day and knew we still had along way left to go down. I had to save some sanity for the rest. "My friends were understanding and went on ahead without me. They didn’t go very far to reach the summit and I could clearly see them snapping photos. When they came back, I was kicking myself for not having gone but content at the same time. I was ready to go down.The first hour of the descent was a bit hair raising, but my confidence returned upon roping in. When we made it back to the col, I felt at ease and we proceeded down the glacier. At one point, as we passed the paths of several crevasses, my anxiety kicked in, but I focused on each step and continued. Closer to the bottom, we unroped to cross an avalanche path. It was late in the day and the sun had been beating down on the mountain four hours. The chance of rock coming loose and rolling down on us was great. I hustled down and across the area of danger and relaxed again, at that point we were essentially out of danger. "So, when I say that I “sort of” did it, I think I’m cheating myself a bit. I went further than most would probably go, and I managed to face my fears head on. Granted I came 150 m short of the summit, but I did reach the top of the peak that is visible in all the photos. All in all, I’d say the trip was a success, and I can honestly say that I had a blast. I think I will try my hand at scrambling and get into rock climbing to expose myself and become even more comfortable and skilled for future pursuits." Gear Notes: Rope, pickets, mountaineering axe. Assorted Photos (in no particular order):
  8. Trip: Mt. Pershing (South Peak) - Jefferson Creek (Rte 7) Date: 4/23/2013 Trip Report: Gross elevation gain: ~5000ft One way distance: ~4 miles 5 hrs up, 2.5 hrs down Warm sunny clear day Bill85 and I crashed in our vehicle Tuesday night on the 2401 road by the Jefferson Lake trailhead. The road is clear of snow up to that point but a big ole Douglas-fir tree had fallen across it, preventing us from driving further. We woke up Wed morning and headed off on foot down the road by around 6 or 7am. We reached the Jefferson Creek intersection in about 2-3 miles, so it didn't add much to the total distance. From the bridge, we went west up the valley, staying north of the creek and working our way up the mountain as we traversed. We soon came across the orange and pink ribbon that previous climbers have so kindly left. Route finding is fairly straight forward but following (finding) ribbon proved to be somewhat entertaining. This first section of the trip, bushwhacking through the forest, was pretty time consuming, but fortunately we didn't have to deal with salmonberry, devils club or other understory vegetation...mainly just big timber and downed trees...crawling under, climbing over, etc. The ribbon leads a fairly straight forward and intuitive path west, above the creek at about 3200ft (total guess). Then it B-lines straight up the mountain (north) until around 4400ft (again, guessing) when it heads west again toward the base of the "vegetated slabs" described in the purple book "Olympic Mountains, a Climbing Guide." From the base of the slabs, it became a scramble, alternating between snow and rock. Snow conditions were decent, but deteriorating with the blazing sun (becoming slushier). We finally reached the basin below the summit block around noon (5 hours after leaving the car). From the upper basin around 5600ft we went almost due west to attain the south ridge just below the summit. This was hard work, post holing about thigh deep on the steep parts and nearly into a few moats. At about 5900 ft we couldn't make any more headway up through the near slush. So we traversed a bit south around the basin to try and get up another way, but encountered the same super soft snow. While we didn't see any wet loose avalanches that day, it was becoming apparent that we might trigger one. So we decided to turn around, nearly within an arms reach of the summit. No worries though, the trip was physically satisfying and the great weather afforded us gorgeous views all around. Maybe another day we'll try a different approach. DP Approach through the forest Vegetated slabs Scrambling up the vegetated slabs Views from the basin below the summit block Summit block Summit push above the basin. The snow in/above the moat above this climber was really slushy and proved too sketchy to continue. Gear Notes: Snow shoes (which we didn't have but would have been nice), mountaineering axe, rope and a couple pickets (rope and pickets not critical but was nice to have) Approach Notes: Terrain: Forest service road 2401 from highway 101, off trail forest with massive boulders and large diameter cedar, fir, and hemlock. Soft snow and rock. Equipment: snow shoes (which we didn't have but would have been nice), ice axe, rope and a couple pickets (rope and pickets not critical but was nice to have) Road Conditions: 2401 road is blocked just beyond Jefferson Lake trailhead.
  9. Trip: Copper Mountain - Olympic Peninsula - Wagonwheel Lake trail to NW ridge Date: 4/7/2013 Trip Report: Copper Mountain Summit via Wagonwheel lake trail (Olympic National Park). On this day it was basic snow scramble with a little rock scramble under the summit. Lots of cornices that were easy to avoid. Approx. 4400ft gain, 5 miles and 7 hrs roundtrip. Started at 9am. Snow level at about 3500ft, breaking trail the rest of the way. Note, the staircase campground is open. There were no access issues at all. Route in Google Maps Great snow conditions and weather, despite the weather report. It didn't rain on us at all and we had a few flurries with sun breaks. Views of Lake Cushman and adjacent peaks. A few inches on new snow on a slippery crust at lower elevations with deep wet snow at the higher elevations. Gear Notes: Snowshoes, shovel, ice axe. Extra gloves! Approach Notes: We started our trip at the Staircase parking lot on the Wagonwheel lake trail (Wagonwheel trail is clearly marked with a permanent sign). At about 3900ft we turned east (well before Wagonwheen lake) and attained the ridge up to Copper mtn. We followed that all the way up to the summit. Came back the same way.