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JonParker last won the day on September 12 2020

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About JonParker

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  • Birthday 12/14/1984
  1. Hwy 542 proposed logging, Heliotrope access

    Yeah I think NCCC’s hyperbolic style is a bit dumb but their comments and others like Sierra Club’s are worth reading https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//ReadingRoom?Project=58218 I’m certainly no expert in these matters but it’s hard to picture how cutting big trees and constructing new “temporary” roads could be good for forest health. Seems like there’s a lot to take issue with, even with the less shitty alternative 2.
  2. Awesome! This reminds me that I should try adding bad jokes into my repertoire instead of relying solely on tangled ropes.
  3. [TR] Mount Baring - Standard 12/05/2020

    Love the shadows heading back to the notch
  4. Yeah thought it was unlikely but I hadn’t seen one that color before, thanks for the info!
  5. Ooh nice one! Cool, ok it was probably the smallest variety of weasel around. Weasel shaped, but size of a squirrel, maybe smaller. Ermine is probably the winner.
  6. Thanks! Yeah it did look a bit like that. Smaller than a gray squirrel. Those are great photos!
  7. Amazing country for sure. There are two toes of rock meeting snow in your photo. I crossed snow there and gained the nice ledgy slabs somewhere between those two toes.
  8. Trip: Cascade pass - Magic, Formidable, Mix-up, Sahale Trip Date: 09/02/2020 Trip Report: First time S from Cascade pass for me. Wonder what took me so long. I guess the lack of good rock, but it’s really goddamned beautiful. At the knoll before Cache glacier it was drizzling and the strong wind was blowing wet stuff up. I crawled under the leeward side of a small tree, one of the last I could see. Waited for 4 hours, cursing forecasters and getting bitter. I didn’t know that I was in for the most beautiful day in the mountains I ever had. After those cramped 4 hours the weather was still very unsettled but improves enough that I could now see where I was going, so I headed up and over cache col. It was sunnier on the other side. Dropped camp at kool aid lake, pleasantly surprised to be alone, and headed up to magic mountain. It lived up to its name. A crazy glory followed me all along the ridge. It wasn’t a fleeting thing. My first and last photos of it are 50 minutes apart. I had only seen photos of the effect till now, so I don’t know if this is common, but it had a large diameter bright white ring far outside the inner rainbow rings. The outer white ring didn’t come through in my photos. So surreal. I was also treated to sights reminiscent of laser shows when I was on the east side of the ridge. That night moonlight gradually illuminated magic mountain but the moon itself stayed hidden behind Hurry-up peak until much later. Wow. The weather was much calmer next day as I approached Formidable. Route passed above some significant crevasses on the Middle Cascade. Easy, but no-fall terrain, especially in the morning with icier snow. Formidable has the good, bad, and the ugly. Some soul sucking steep dirt and scree, some nice smooth but low angle and ledgy slabs, a scary rotten steep 15ft section just below the summit, and fantastic exposure along a short row of incisors to the summit. Yup, pretty fun overall. Took a long break at the bottom of the glacier on my way back to watch shadows grow across the beautiful mess down below. Most of the abundant ledges here aren’t flat but there could be a spot or two for bivying. Would be very nice to do so if you can get comfortable. A group had showed up to kool aid lake but there is plenty of room to spread out there. After dinner I walked north a little to pick berries. After having my fill I sat on a rock facing west and noticed a bear feeding down the slope maybe a 1/4 mile away. It seemed large and had a light brown coat, totally different than the smaller dark black bear I saw playing in a pool not far from cascade pass the next day. I don’t know if it’s possible it was a grizzly? Then after another incredible sunset at camp in the dusk light popped up a creature I had never seen before. It had a long but tiny body, and was springy/twitchy like a pika or chipmunk. I think it was a weasel. But so much smaller than I pictured a weasel to be. It bounced around, locked eyes with me a couple times, then bounced off elsewhere. Next day I got moving back to cache col to try to get Mixup and Sahale same day. Originally I planned to do mixup on day 1 but the weather prevented that. I found out about the East face route from@bellows TR last year (thanks!). Found one small acceptable route down the moat on the upper right edge of snow. Gross steep dirt and rotten rock to gain the U notch. Wrapped around to the V notch and climbed up and left from there. It’s about 20 ft of I dunno 5.5 or so, but the rock didn’t seem very trustworthy. I only noticed one good spot for pro. It wasn’t terribly loose or rotten, but seem to be fractured into blocks that are probably not glued down all that well. So, beware. White staircase was excellent as advertised. Class 2 until near the top where vertical walls force you right into class 4. There is a very brief awkward but not difficult 5th class move to gain the ridge just north of the summit. I did rap this part on the way down, and a rap to the V notch. The rap station above the V notch was, mmm, creative. Got the job done though. Back at the U notch I chose to rap on a fixed line hanging there. Not sure if that was a great idea, but it’s so dirty there, was nice to skip some of it. Still had to down climb a little bit more precarious garbage after that rap to get back to my overnight pack. On to Sahale. Up till now I had enjoyed quite a bit of solitude. Knew that wouldn’t be the case back at the pass but I was still surprised at how many people were day hiking to sahale arm/glacier. This was less fun. Fun resumed at Sahale glacier. And I was pleased to find a nice short crack near the summit. There was one other climber summiting at the same time, after already approaching quien sabe same day, but turning around due to a sick partner. She was moving fast. Wednesday weather had been so strange and amazing, then crystal clear Thursday through Friday, but Friday afternoon smoke had blown in. Views were still pretty great. Had some nice approach shoe skiing down the glacier and then all of a sudden I was back at the car, enjoying the drive through cascade river even more than usual. Gear Notes: 60m rope for mixup, crampons, ax Approach Notes: Back and forth and back and forth
  9. Maybe a long shot buuut nice weather forecast this week has me feeling the itch for doing early morning spire SW face and the Eldorado west arete routes in the same trip to marble creek basin over 4 days. 1 day for getting there, 1 for early morning spire back to camp, 1 for up and over Eldorado via west arete, and 1 to get back out. Wednesday or Thursday through Saturday or Sunday could work for me. Lemme know!
  10. [TR] Blum - North ridge 08/15/2020

    Yeah really glad you weren’t in the wrong place at wrong time then. Thanks for the warning in your TR, it was definitely on my mind during our approach. I never saw anything concerning, but it was a different time of year and I’m not certain we started the ridge climbing in the same place as you.
  11. [TR] Twin Sisters - Obscurities Redux 08/23/2020

    Ooo this looks nice
  12. [TR] Triumph - NE Ridge 08/23/2020

    It’s easier to post here than it used to be
  13. Trip: Triumph - NE Ridge Trip Date: 08/23/2020 Trip Report: Soloed the route c2c yesterday. Driving up Saturday night I passed cars at many pullouts near the trailhead so I was shocked to roll into an EMPTY PARKING LOT. Approach was smooth and shaded until the glacier crossing. Nearing the notch I heard voices up ahead. I thought I’d try to catch up with them at the base of the 5.7 pitch and check if they’d be willing to trail my rope and give me a quick belay from above that crack. Since they didn’t sound very far up the route that gave me some time for exploration. My first diversion was trying to take the snow tongue as a short cut to the notch, but it ended up being quite tall and steep on all sides, so I descended back the way I came, carefully stepping down into the west side near the start of a granite ramp. Several years ago I had made it as far as the bivy ledge with a friend who succumbed to some minor heat stroke (very hot day). We spent the night there and headed back the next morning instead of climbing the route. I remembered the start of the route being crappy, so this granite ramp caught my eye. Maybe a better bypass route could be found along it. I traversed along it for quite a ways, passing an anchor (maybe for bailing?) until it petered out. Tried a few spots to get up towards the ridge but it just didn’t quite go, everything seemed to have 1 or 2 sketchy 5.7-5.8 face moves to get off the ledges. So I backtracked to that anchor. I tried climbing above it, initially on good low 5th knobs but again hit a dead end. I went down and East again, almost back to the start of the route. After all this wandering for an hour or so I was able to bypass the first pitch, but no more. Back on route I quickly caught up with the pair ahead just as they were nearing the 5.7 pitch, as planned. I asked about the belay but it was a guide and client and they were planning to bypass it to the right. Thin face traversing + route finding didn’t sound safer to me than a straight forward obvious crack, so I passed them there and climbed up to the crack. I hope I didn’t freak them out too much climbing it. People don’t usually mention taking a #4 on this route so I had hoped a #3 would be big enough. It wasn’t, really. You can protect this part with smaller pieces by sticking them deeper in the crack, but doing so feels a little insecure, especially while soloing (there’s was a fixed .75 that I automatically starting trying to free for 3 seconds before remembering where I was and what I was doing ). For those inclined to solo the route, plan on about 15 ft of 5.5ish to start, then another 12 ft or so of 5.7. And bumping up a #4 as you go might decrease your risk. Near the summit I spied a corner with hand and finger cracks that looked more appealing than the loose and heathery ledges surrounding it. It was probably 15 ft, 5.6. There was a loose microwave at the top of it that I took care to step over. Such good summit views there. Downclimbed what I could, with 5 raps along the way. Like many have noted, it usually takes longer to descend than ascend this ridge and that was the case for me if you don’t count the granite ramp exploring I did at the start. About 20 minutes longer, I think. Had a very nice plunge at the upper lake (2nd one, not the third one higher up). It was too cold to swim for more than a few seconds. Very refreshing though! Smooth sailing from there. Made it to the car at 830 just as it was getting dark. So it was 14.5 hours including time for exploring, enjoying the summit, and a dip at the lake. Gear Notes: #2 (unused), #3 (used) wish I had a #4 instead 60m for raps Approach Notes: Straightforward
  14. Trip: Blum - North ridge Trip Date: 08/15/2020 Trip Report: A few thoughts from our climb of Blum’s north ridge last weekend. Arrived at the ranger station around 10:30 on Friday, with a budget of about an hour for waiting for permit. I started about 30 places back in line and made it to about 24 places behind in that hour. Doing the math it was an easy call to just head out to the unpopular Blum zone sans permit rather than wait another 2+ hours. Would be nice if NCNP got their shit together with the permit situation someday. The approach hike is short on views but it’s a beautiful forest. Its shade was much appreciated this hot weekend. It’s very difficult to keep on the climbers trail. A lot of it is pretty faint but distinct enough, but it seems to abruptly disappears in several spots only to reappear later. Especially during the relatively flat traverse around 4400-4800’ I never noticed a path. At least the forest is more open in that part. Impressed by the determination and passion of those who found their way up these hills without gps or any trail. I was glad to have screenshots of tracks here for reference https://www.nps.gov/noca/blogs/mt-blum-north-glacier-july-12-2016.htm Bivy at the lake was lovely except for the voracious mosquitoes. We got an early start next morning in the hopes of avoiding groping around the bush in the dark on the way back to the cars. Headed off a little before 6am. Passed a beautiful reflection lake and what looks like a remnant of an antenna or something? This, one piton, 1 chewed up piece of tat, and the summit register were the only evidence of humanity that we saw past the bivy lake. I had assumed the start of the N ridge would be more obvious. There were actually 3 distinct ridges coming down the the glacier. The first one furthest west was clearly not the right one. We took the second one but there was more further left that we didn’t really explore. I took the first lead up and diagonally right. There was one long runout but plenty of jugs in that area. I encountered a difficult move with a wide crack roof just above and right of a finger crack. There was a piton nearby and the crack took cams well, so this crux seemed like it could be on route and was reasonably well protected. It could be 5.9, maybe harder, especially if you’re short. Anchored off a boulder up and right after nearly a full 60m. After this it was some scrambling up the ridge, ending in a dirty gully. We started to wonder if we were off route then. But this led to a really nice low 5th ridge traverse that we sailed up. We passed a nearly flat polished section of rock and arrived at a tower that seemed too tall and featureless to down climb (10-15’). So we backtracked past the flat spot and took an exposed traverse climber’s left into another gully. The traverse ended with a handrail into a low angle wide crack right facing corner. Pretty sure this wasn’t standard because it would take a #3 to protect it. We didn’t have a #3 but the crack wasn’t very long. Including it we did 2 short meandering pitches up and left to gain another ridge, which we took to its end. There was another tower that seemed to block the way and we surveyed a sketchy looking down climb left into another gully but found instead that the tower could be bypassed on its right. Cresting here we took off the rock shoes for the last ridge section leading to the summit. The summit views are . . . Real nice. We were the 4th party to sign the register this year. Always nice to descend without having to do any raps. More beautiful scrambling on the way down, passing a jade lake still holding some snow, and rusty polished granite slabs everywhere. The first gully after that lake’s outlet stream was unappealing so we continued west but found uglier options. One at a time we picked our way down a rotten sandy gully before crossing back over into a better one to get back to the bivy lake. We cooled off in the lake and hit the ‘trail’ a little before 5, which didn’t leave much time to get back before dark. Route finding was generally a little better on the way back, but my phone died at the last inscrutable section after I pocket dialed a long video of the inside of my pocket. So we no longer had a track to follow. We thrashed down and right after the trail disappeared at a flag around a little cliff and stumbled upon a faint path again. We could follow this down to Blum creek before it vanished again and we traded back and forth between boulder hopping adjacent to the creek and being forced back into the bushes. We reached the wooden bridge and gravel path that marked the end of difficulties. Well, almost. From here back to the car seemed so much longer than the day before. The last hour of hiking down the hills in fading light had sapped all my energy. It took 4 hours from the bivy to the cars. And although it wasn’t a terribly long day as far as these things go, I was truly spent. Worth it? Yes, amazing scenery and plenty of good rock. In no rush to repeat that hike though. Gear Notes: Crampons (didn’t use due to laziness but would be useful) Ice ax Cams in the .4-.75 range were most useful. Single #1, #2 was fine Approach Notes: Good luck