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About w21irving

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  • Birthday 02/21/1986
  1. Trip: Mt Hood - Sunshine Route [slight Eastern Variation] Date: 5/17/2014 Trip Report: Hi-dee ho everybody! Had the excellent opportunity to do a new personal route on Hood, and double bonus for it being my first adventure on the north side. I know how many of you guys come here for some photo beta; so I decided to deliver first and then details of the actual trip below. The Sunshine Route as we did it, with a bit of a direct-line cut-over above the bergschrund step. Here's a photo of the upper part of the mountain from below the Snow Dome after the Elliot Glacier crossing. Here's a photo of what Cooper Spur / North Routes currently look like. [As of May 17th, 2014 around 9am] Here's a pan over to the Elliot Headwall[As of May 17th, 2014 around 9am] Here's a glimpse of upper Elliot Glacier. So, what I've been told and read about so far about the Sunshine Route before actually doing it, is that it's barely any more difficult than the south side / old chute route... except with a glacier crossing and just a bergschrund step, no big deal. We decided to cover it in a single push, up and over, and was looking forward to a big long but easy day. So, we[team of 4 total] packed appropriately: harness, helmet, crampons, 5 pickets, ice axe, ice tool[you know, just in case, and mostly for looks ], 60m rope, some cordalette, and a hand-full of alpine draws each. We left the car at midnight from the Tilly Jane Parking Lot / Cooper Spur Ski Resort [Cloud Cap Road still closed] and began our hike up. Made it to Tilly Jane campground in no time, and navigated through the forest and darkness without a single hitch up and out of timberline. [if in doubt, look for the tallest ridges to the east of the stream and keep going UP]. Made it out past the shelter[couldn't see it since it was dark and possibly buried in snow, but I knew it was nearby from earlier adventures] and did a long traverse down to the Elliot Glacier. The snow was ultra firm, and went ahead and put on crampons there as we made our way down to the glacier around 7300 feet. We roped up, and crossed the Elliot directly over towards the opposite area between rocks, with only two visible crevasses to cross, both of which were only 2 inches wide, but ran several visible feet. Finished the crossing by 4am. Then hiked UP towards the snow dome for what felt like a really long time. No trouble there, until we got above snow dome and hit one or two extra-icy sections; we simply did quick prussik belays since we still had them on our 4-person rope team. Guess now might be a good time to get that extra tool out....[good thing we brought them!!!] We were mostly aiming for the bergschrund to the right of the icefall and directly upwards from snow dome, since we thought our best success for crossing would be somewhere there from our vantage point. Well, when we got up there, we couldn't find any stable bridges, but we got a good look of the inside of the 'schrund. Approximately 10' to the back wall, and anywhere from 20' deep[shallow side] to way way more. This was significantly more of a danger we anticipated. However, being prepared, we decided to go with the narrowest step we can find[and see below and around], and were able to protect a potential 'schrund fall with a picket dead-man anchor directed uphill before the crossing. Our buddy stepped up and over without any issues, and we belayed him out until he built another anchor on the other side [sierra / mid-clips were working great in these conditions], and we started running belays as we crossed up. We ended going directly upwards between those 3 massive rock piles, it was fairly high-angle for what we were used to, 45 / 50 degree with the 'schrund opened up below, and so we kept to a running belay; prussik-belaying-in the rope completely whenever we ran out of pickets. Made it above the rock piles, and decided that we had enough of the belayed pitches [on our 4th and counting] and made the decision to try to traverse directly to the right to the Queen's Chair ridge. This was especially affirmed to be the right idea once we realized that the snow here was fairly facetted at 10k since there hasn't been any thaw/freeze cycles this high up, and any anchors above this point would just be a joke.[super fluff non-consolidatable snow] After a few cycles of white-out to blue openings in weather, we made the traverse over the ridge, and had bluebird sky for the rest of the day. We ended up summitting at 1:15pm, and went down the south side where we had our other car parked. Super soft post-hole city and at the car by 4pm, a nice 16 hour adventure all and all. This route was significantly more technical than anticipated...but we made due with zero issues, some good on-the-fly decision making, and generally extremely happy we all had similar good training up to this point. If you guys have any questions about conditions or looking for any other photos, let me know. Thanks for reading and see you out there!! Gear Notes: Used: Harness Helmet Crampons 5 Pickets 60m Rope Ice Axe Ice Tool Didn't Use Ice Screws
  2. [TR] Mt Hood - Old Chute [Mazamas Chute] 1/26/2014

    Ohhhh right! What I was addressing was that the road was closed to clean-up the debris from the Gnarl Ridge fire at the start of July 2013, and subsequently didn't realize it must've just ran right into the winter-closure time frame.
  3. [TR] Mt Hood - Old Chute [Mazamas Chute] 1/26/2014

    Also, forgot to mention, while up on top, I took a look at Cooper Spur, and realized that it might actually be the safer/easier climb in these conditions. The snowpack looked very consolidated and had perfect coverage of snow all the way down from what I could tell. I believe the only issue is that the road up to Tilly Jane is closed, but have not verified it.
  4. Trip: Mt Hood - Old Chute [Mazamas Chute] Date: 1/26/2014 Trip Report: It's been a while since we've put one of these together, and first time for this site, but seeing that I've been using it heavily for my own decisions, I've decided to give back. Went up on hood yesterday, with the plan and gear to go up the Pearly Gates. Left the car around 1:30 in the morning, we had an inkling about a possibility of clouds rolling in around 9am, so, we wanted to be quick about it. Also, seeing that the temperatures have been fluctuating right at freezing all week long, we figured we'd want to get out of dodge before things start falling. We brought some skis with us, in hopes to go down a bit of hood at the end of the climb. We found that they were too cumbersome and weighed us down; so we ditched them right at the top of Palmer; Good decision since everything was basically an ice field from there on up. Crampons for sure on. Ran into some friends at the Devils Kitchen, Both teams were focused on doing the pearly gates [separate coincidental agendas], but after review, everyone agreed that there simply wasn't enough snow to go into the gates and to adequately protect. Sorry I didn't take any photos, but the left approach looked like a scree gully with most likely a very bare and very tall rock step, and the right pearly gate was very thin snow and a LARGE step that looked also thin. Instead, we had the full platoon-attack on the Old Chute. However, it was pretty icy and definitely required us to be on all-fours with a second tool on the way up. Also, after receiving beta from previous climbers, we realized that the catwalk was going to be a little tight, barely a foot wide, and mostly rock, sorry no pix... Well, no biggie, since we're all using second tools anyway, we figured we'd hit the Mazamas chute [at least, that's what I think it's called] just to the right of the old chute. Conditions looked solid and displayed no signs of ice/rock fall while I was heading up. At that point, one by one, the team made their way up through the chute, summit-ed together around 9am, sunbathed in the beautiful sun with perfect weather, and there was much rejoicing.....until we realized that we had to go back down the way we came... Had to downclimbing on the tools all the way back to the hogsback, too icy to even consider plunging. And even with waiting on top for the sun to heat things up, it was still simply just to icy. It was a pain, taking a lot of time and concentration. Be wary of the movements you do to ensure you don't slip. As far as stability, the only icefall we suffered was from the jerk spraying ice down on everybody else with his kicks into the ice[namely: me ], but there was one solid 100lb rock that went wizzing past my buddy; beyond that, stable. Once we got back to the hogsback, we hung out, stripped down all our layers since it was soooo nice outside, and got back to the cars with no incident. [Well, I might have managed to ski into a boulder at timberline on the way down from Palmer, but I merely bounced off with just a strawberry boo-boo on my knee] Skyway for celebratory dinner or lunch or whatever meal it was, and headed home. Alls well that ends well. Trip took just under 12 hours, prolonging my last run by an additional 3 hours But we can probably attribute that time lost to the following: -Ski gear that we carried up; lesson learned: If you're not skinning, or have uber-light-weight gear it's not worth it. -Two tools to climb the old chute takes time -Two tools to downclimb the old chute takes A LOT of time. Gear Notes: Used: two tools, crampons; Had: ropes, harnesses, pickets, and screws for Pearly, but didn't end up using any of it.