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Everything posted by NDrake

  1. [TR] Mount Triumph - NE Ridge 8/22/2016

    You forgot to mention the short lived bivy at Mondo Friday evening in your timeline!
  2. Site is still being buggy
  3. New gear coming in 2017

    I used a mega jul quite a bit last summer, I found it pays out ok with a 9mm rope. Not quite as smooth as an ATC. Belayer a follower in guide mode (with a full round stock biner) had too much drag for me. I'll use a gigi for followers. If there isn't much simul climbing or a lot of rappels the combo works great (not a fan of rappelling with a plate). The auto block rappel with the megajul is a joke, I've never had such a herky jerky rappel in my life. Tried it a few times, never could find a sweet spot of angle for the device. Ilia I can't remember if we talked about it before, but the alpine up would be worth checking out for your 7.5s.
  4. There is still snow quite a ways down the Cascadian. When we went last wednesday we stayed high an traversed skier left of the snow, staying on a rock rib as long as possible. We traversed skier right when the rib ran out and dropped back into the Cascadian. I found it easier than the rock on climber right and it minimized our time on the snow.
  5. Trip: Forbidden - East to West ridge traverse Date: 7/3/2016 Trip Report: [img:center]https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pIlJ35s3JQA/V3xD_8P6mlI/AAAAAAAAB8I/9C3MlEzl5xwBpviKT44oQJdW8baG-Mo0wCK4B/s640/FullSizeRender%2B%25281%2529.jpg[/img] After climbing the west face of NEWS on Friday we came back west to bivy at the trailhead (with a stop over at Mondo in Marblemount, that place is awesome). Left the car just before 5am, even at the early hour I was sweating bullets on the start due to humidity. Crossed the creeks near the first camp up high to avoid slippery slabs, the water was running decently high. We aimed directly toward the east ridge from high camp, the gully is currently snow filled. [img:center]https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-m0Y29BIPtqE/V3xGaymVPZI/AAAAAAAAB8U/Sjf_xO2Am50RJxMIFZRbnYEIumjUDB3iwCK4B/s640/IMG_6032.JPG[/img] I tried going left at the Y, but those rock slabs were a waterfall and it just wasn't going. We took the steep snow couloir on the right, it is melting out at the top. [img:center]https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-n9l55cgYq1w/V3xGq4BUqLI/AAAAAAAAB8c/RuJBIz70W9YPhpujZboyHVTQU9IeNt_zACK4B/s640/IMG_6038.JPG[/img] There was a 6-7 foot vertical section to negotiate where a moat is opening, it required stemming hands and feet between the snow and rock wall. A bit spicy with that exposure below and no pro. After this it was a short walk around the gendarme to the start of the route. [img:center]https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ZGV8Y1-7mlc/V3xHI-lKctI/AAAAAAAAB84/0ETUTTBrbZ0TsfwamQhvFbFjTwbmoow0QCK4B/s640/IMG_6039.JPG[/img] We simul climbed most of the start, at this steeper gendarme there was a hold up. [img:center]https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3K1TK85JT_s/V3xHV-RidfI/AAAAAAAAB9E/-2TW8RiP3tkHZ8dE87RFcvxNuO5g-6R7gCK4B/s640/FullSizeRender.jpg[/img] I didn't want to lead out the overhanging section because honestly I just flat out don't trust the rock on this route, I've never had so many hollow sounds when I smacked holds/placements before. So I climbed down from the belay and traversed lower on some mid 5th slab. Run out 40 feet from my last pro Ethan called out that we had 10 feet of rope left. I had finally come to a thin hands crack, but when I grabbed the flake it flexed back. I looked up, there wasn't much promising in the way of pro above me either. While the climbing was easy I want three good pieces of pro between us and that just wasn't going to happen. I came back to the belay. Ethan said he had eyed a line across the slightly overhanging north side of the gendarme and went for it. I'm happy to say that only ONE handhold moved on me when I followed! This section had cost time and we really wanted to see how parties that had come up the west ridge were descending, so we bypassed the gendarme you rap off. As we got close to summit the wind had picked up and was blasting up the south face. Audio communication was spotty even spaced out 30m. On a section of the ridge we were simul climbing the rope dropped down onto the north face. I wasn't able to get it around a horn, so I dropped onto the steeper face to get the rope off. Ethan couldn't head me yelling. Once the rope was free I went back up toward the ridge and was faced with a V2 boulder move through hairy lichen. The rope is still moving, no time to think, just don't f*cking fall, blow this and we are both taking a shitty painful ride. I quickly ripped furry lichen out of a hand size pod and made some bigger moves into the sketchiest insecure mantle I've ever done. This was not cool in the least. I really wanted to be off this damn ridge. I could really go for some solid white granite about now. And a beer. We hadn't brought a cooler for beer, had none waiting at the car and now I was really pissed off at myself. Always bring beer. [img:center]https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Uz9-NHwQMAs/V3xHjYFAY7I/AAAAAAAAB9M/_DSkBNzOS6EFCG_Nscx9OjxLcb-92ajRQCK4B/s640/IMG_6046.JPG[/img] Anyway back to the TR, we arrived at the summit in a cloud and started descending the west ridge. [img:center]https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IGmwoM0_GMo/V3xIDnjotyI/AAAAAAAAB9k/qCqUqbnUThIxo3DVtd_hVpzc1LcRLSfHwCK4B/s640/IMG_6050.JPG[/img] Saw parties taking the snow couloir and cat scratch gully descents. When we got to the notch we decided to do one rap to bypass the steepest snow section. Down climb had great stairs kick in, other than one short ice bump on a rock where the snow will not be continual soon. [img:center]https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zCbWQirHqnY/V3xIOV8wGtI/AAAAAAAAB9w/RRxowB2GmkUM_x1wo3tZdIxx12QXb28nACK4B/s640/IMG_6068.JPG[/img] As we started down toward high camp in Boston Basin a heli came in. Apparently another climber had taken a fall on the snow that they could not arrest from. No severe injuries, but bad enough that they weren't able to hike out on their own. [img:center]https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EMCPfzHWWeo/V3xH1X4cuLI/AAAAAAAAB9Y/lLiTPCu8xDE1gflBf6tBVOUmyxeGdPBdgCK4B/s640/IMG_6055.JPG[/img] Once back at the lower camp we went back up to our crossing points from the morning. There was significantly more water running. Both of us made some dynamic jumps. Both of us got the better part of one boot in the water. At least we had made it back to the easy to follow trail before darkness took over. The hike out was uneventful, other than being reminded to never forget the insoles from my mountaineering boots as my toes smashed into the front of my boots with every step. Only lost one toenail though. We made it back to the car around 11:30. Gear Notes: 8mm half rope doubled over X4 .3-.5 C4 .75-2 Set of wallnuts Pink tricam DMM torque nuts in green, red and yellow Would bring tricams to blue over hexes if I had them. Approach Notes: Approach couloir is steep snow, option on the right will be melted out with a nasty moat soon. Rocks on the left will likely be better. East ledges still had some snow, but I'm not sure exactly what height most parties traverse. You could likely find a path through without going through snow.
  6. Trip: Prusik Peak - West Ridge Date: 5/29/2016 Trip Report: Did the through hike of the enchantments on Sunday with the intention of busting out the west ridge of Prusik on the way. Weather was great all morning, firm snow on Asgard made for easy travel with pons. Got to the base of the route a bit after noon and the wind picked up heavily. After belaying my partner on the first pitch I could barely feel my hands. I was wearing a thin puffy vest and puffy belay jacket, still climbing in them. The wind was not letting up. PJ had built a belay on a wide ledge system down the north side, before you bump up to the ridge. I led out from here and through some snow from the night before. The crack system had some ice in it, I ended up placing all but two of the nuts we brought, something about cams in icy cracks doesn't inspire confidence. While I was pondering the coefficient of friction between aluminum and ice it began snowing. Lightly snowing, but sideways. I belayed PJ up to the large flat area of the ridge before that last bump to the 7 slab. We both commented on the ominous clouds coming in fast from the west, just then I could faintly hear Kirsten yelling from further back on the pitch. Something about weather is terrible and maybe not feeling her feet (it's way too damn cold for rock shoes, I was really happy to have worn approach shoes for the climb). I wasn't worried about being able to complete the route safely, but I pondered how much the rest of the through hike would be in driving snow/sleet/rain. We agreed to bail. I belayed PJ back to the slung block on P1, he brought me over, and we all did a single rope rap. The weather never did end up turning, but that didn't make the hike out snow creek any better. Gear Notes: Axe recommended for traverse back to pass after rap. Consider pons if cold. Approach Notes: Snow begins at lake level of Asgard. Expect snow to remain on North side of Prusik, plan for the steep snow traverse back to the pass after your rappels.
  7. [TR] Prusik Peak - West Ridge 5/29/2016

    That rap station likes to snag ropes when pulling. It's got a nasty constricting crack below it. I cleared another parties rope for them, knew I should *probably* just ascend back to the higher tat with the down climb. Thought I'd get lucky. Partner got to lead up/down that stupid face to get ours. *edit* I went back to Prusik a few weeks after this, did not rappel from the summit this day.
  8. I'm not sure exactly what height you traverse back, the whole east side looked like a terrace of choss and bullshit. Far down there was a bit of snow still, but I think you could make a traverse go up higher. I did not get any photos down there unfortunately.
  9. Gatekeeper pitch!? That pitch is great! Even wearing my pack and trailing my partners bag off my haul loop. Then again my mother always told me I was special.
  10. Close up of the couloir leading to the west ridge: [img:center]https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-O7J1hhP0gO4/V3xIfNXWUzI/AAAAAAAAB98/yPGdJhVFeukUnqKITROYNJSwq10RDOlFwCK4B/s1600/IMG_6031.JPG[/img]
  11. We did the route yesterday. Took a loose chossy gully instead of the 1st pitch due to snow. Fun day out, thanks for all the hard work establishing this!
  12. [TR] Mount Adams - South Spur 5/30/2016

    Thanks for the beta, very good to know for those doing an after work drive from Seattle on a Friday night for a Saturday ski. *edit* appears it will be out for some time: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/giffordpinchot/recarea/?recid=72029 5/31/2016: Road is washed out at MP 12, MP 18 and MP 23.4 This section of the road will be closed the entire Summer of 2016. Rd. 23 from Trout Lake to the West side of Mt. Adams (Takhlakh Lake area) is open , but has not been maintained and is in rough condition. Rd. 23 is currently open to Rd. 90 intersection for those wishing to access the Lewis River . View a map of inaccessible roads on the Cowlitz Valley Ranger District to determine alternative access routes. Call the Ranger District at 360-497-1100 for additional information.
  13. [TR] Prusik Peak - West Ridge 5/29/2016

    I did the west ridge last year, so it wasn't hard for me to bail. I felt sorry for Remy and PJ though, they were visiting from the bay area. We were trying to give them a good alpine climbing experience.....it's just not the same when you don't hit the summit!
  14. Low volume ice boot?

    Consider scarpa rebel pros also, it's a snugger low volume last. The upper fits more like a trail runner than a boot, still with toe wiggle room. Although if you're worried about how warm the trango ice cubes are these will be similar (same insulation and synthetic outers).
  15. I've used a montbell vest with stretch sides like this, it works well to give that little extra bump of warmth. I like a grid fleece/windshirt as the action suit and vest over the top. Note if you have the older cap 4 pataguchi they switched fabrics to the polartec "powerdry high efficiency" grid fleece recently. It's extremely breathable, but offers zero for wind.
  16. Breathable insulation?

    Haha you might have nailed it right there. I think you're going to hear a lot of varying opinions on this new type of insulation because all the manufacturers are using different shell fabrics. That rab Strata has a pertex microlight nylon shell that blocks more wind and isn't breathable, it kind of defeats the whole purpose of the idea behind the insulation. This year they came out with a new jacket that sounds like it has a much more breathable shell: http://rab.equipment/us/shop/men/softshell/paradox-pull-on-10 I did ski tour on a moderate weather day with a friend that had a polartec alpha jacket from westcomb. Unzipped on the tour up and zipped on the way down with no clothing changes he said he was comfy. Personally I just wear a poly fishnet shirt and windshell touring in colder weather, grid fleece if climbing. Haven't felt the need for another layer of insulation here.
  17. Shorter days and colder temps made for a great outing at Three O'Clock Rock. It looked like silent running and big tree areas were pretty wet damp when we arrived, but thankfully our original plan of the Kone was nice and dry. I have already led the first pitch before so I let Ethan take that it and we swapped from there (should have linked P2 and 3, that second pitch was a throw away for me). On pitch 4 there was a wet streak right at the 5.9 moves in the traverse, a tenuously wide stem between positive features to edge on got me through with a giant sigh of relief. As Ethan was about halfway through P4 it started to drizzle, when he reached the belay the wind also kicked up. He decided to take his lead of P5 anyway. The drizzle remained constant while the wind increased and by the time he reached the anchors we had to yell over it. It was downright nippley at this point, don't think I've ever followed a slab so fast. It let up while we were rappelling, but the wall was quite wet now so we decided to head home at around 3. Crux of P1, taken another day. Coming up to the P1 belay. Ethan setting out on the 5.9 start of P3. After the wetness on P4. Ethan's view back from P5, rain not visible. So that's why it says rack to 3", I only had smaller pro on me, but this section is easy.
  18. Darrington, The Kone, 10-24-15

    Thankfully I had made it through that tough part on the start on P4 before the rain came, it was hard enough with just a wet streak! That photo is out of order, it's 4th or 5th bolt on pitch 4 that has great hand size gear right above it. No need for these to be replaced, if you actually take the cams from your partner at the belay it would be really well protected
  19. No info on that route Joe's old site, just lists it as a project: http://www.cascadeimages.com/cr/tieton/tieton.htm
  20. I know Ilia doesn't believe me but you can use a #5 far back under the first "zig" of P3. It's nice to not rely on a hand size piece on that flake of the face below since it does flex a fair amount.
  21. [TR] Shuksan - Fischer Chimney 8/22/2015

    Thanks for the TR, Winnies Slide looks pretty similar to September last year. One note, you can also scramble easy rock when you first get to the upper curtis. It may be a small moat jump over to the glacier, but it's much faster than climbing the bit of steeper ice there IMO.
  22. Glad the weather lasted long enough for you guys to get on pigeon! Perfect place to use the drone, really captures the exposure of the ridge. I wasn't aware I was romantically involved though, clearly you guys didn't smell me from under that rock! Hope the knee gets better, see at SG one of these evenings!
  23. Nice work "off the couch"
  24. Since I'm too lazy to write any TR, here is a pic of the col from Thursday. A rock about the size of an oven door slid off the dirt above and came whizzing by us about 45 minutes after Ilia and Allie went up on Thursday. It spooked a climber who was descending after doing Beckey-Chounaird the day before. She fell, lost her axe, and did not arrest. Her slide went until the slope mellowed out just before exposed rocks well below, thankfully with no injury. Note the new rap route is well protected from rockfall in the couloir, but it's going to eat up time. A good option coming off Bugaboo if you decided to bring approach shoes instead of boots. This was the offending rock that stopped in a moat below:
  25. Tips for Improving Speed?

    You're advising people to run!? I thought you only did that when things were chasing you, or you were trying to beat me back to the trailhead? On that note though, I have noticed the greatest increase in speed from running more frequently and at a lower intensity. As Ilia knows I bought in to the Steve House plan, "abandoning your social life for the new Alpinism". One of the main points was to build your aerobic base going at zone 1, under 75% of your max heart rate. In years past I had been running with much higher heart rates. Over a long time period I have noticed my pace improve with less exertion, a huge bonus in the alpine when you consider this means packing less food. The other thing was starting a strength training program, which I have never done before in my life. Despite years of ski touring, climbing, and yoga I found that I had weak glutes and some core muscles weren't strong (the core program in abandoning your social life is great). After doing some specific things for glute strength I worked on box steps and progressed up to 4 reps at mid thigh height with 90lbs. Now even quite high steps on a scramble with a heavy pack are very easy. With the extra core strength I can maintain straight posture, without bending forward at the hips, and really use those glutes. It's all in the booty. All that aside, the other advice here is spot on and truly more important. Having systems dialed, gear planned, and fast to transition will do more for you. Unless you're terribly slow hiking most partners won't mind, but if you take 25 minutes to get ready for crossing a crevasse you might come up short on future partners.....