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About Rodion

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  • Birthday 04/28/1987
  1. [TR] Lane Peak - The Zipper 4/2/2017

    This is the best route in the current conditions. Photo from 4/3/17.
  2. Trip: Lane Peak - The Zipper Date: 4/3/2017 Trip Report: My wife Amanda and I climbed the Zipper this morning. The gate at Longmire opened up just before 9 and we were the first/only car in the Narada Falls parking lot. After spending a few minutes getting our s*** together, we started hiking at about 9:25. We booted up to Stevens Canyon Road and walked along it until it turned East. At the bend we dropped down into the trees. I had considered using skis, but this descent made me glad I didn't - skiing that lumpy slope in firm conditions would have been miserable. Once I reached the valley, I put on my snow shoes (Amanda had already put hers on) and we hiked West-ish down the valley, mostly following some faint snowshoe tracks. These tracks led us to a snow (log?) bridge across the stream and then to the base of Lane. We left our poles and snowshoes here, just beyond a large amount of old avy debris. We put on harnesses and crampons and at around 10:45 we headed up the debris cone aiming for the base of the zipper. At the base of the couloir we each pulled out a second tool. The snow in the couloir was mostly firm neve, sometimes a bit more like ice, sometimes covered in a thin layer of powdery snow. There was no boot pack and it was not generally possible to kick steps. We spent almost the entire climb daggering with our tools and front pointing with our feet. We hit the col around noon and ate/drank/fiddled for a bit before following a boot path up the face. This turned out to be the wrong (or at least more risky) way to go. The snow on this side of the mountain was extremely soft, and gaining the ridge required a couple moves on very loose rock followed by a little more steep, very loose snow. Once on the ridge I recognized that there was another chute a couple hundred feet to climber's left that would have ascended almost directly to the summit. I shouted down this info to Amanda before walking along the ridge to access the slope I should have been on. The boot pack I had been following mysteriously stopped a little before I reached this slope...not sure if the other party decided to call it a day or what. Amanda traversed around below the rock buttress to access the slope the way I should have, and we topped out around 12:40. We descended via the col between Denman and Lane, mostly hugging the side of Lane to avoid the steep terrain in the center of the slope. the snow shoe out went without incident and we were back at the car a little after 3. Overall, a pretty awesome day. Neither of us had done this climb before and we didn't know quite what to expect in terms of conditions. This was also my wife's first sustained steep snow climb and she totally rocked it! Gear: I used a light weight ice axe (Ride) and a quark. Amanda used a Sum'Tec and a Quark. All of these axes have a bent shaft which makes daggering pretty comfortable and efficient. We brought a 60m double rope and a picket but didn't use either. Entrance to the couloir Amanda ascending the middle of the couloir: Exiting the couloir:
  3. Lightly used Batura 2.0 in size 42.5 (~9.5). Used ~5 days. Essentially no wear on the tread, uppers, or crampon welts. $500 Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Poles. Approximately 110 cm / 43 in length. Light scratching near the tips. Essentially no wear on the straps or grips. Both poles together weigh 9.4 oz. These work well for spring/summer/fall hiking and backpacking but the baskets are too small for winter use. Retail is $160, selling for $70. Salomon S-Lab X-Alp 20 Pack. New w/ tags. Features dedicated crampon pocket, two ice axe loops, lasso type diagonal ski cary system (removable), and innovative zipper access to the main compartment. Probably best for people with a smaller build / slender torso. The ski carry system is really only appropriate for a light weight AT set up. $100
  4. Trip: Little Tahoma - Frying Pan Glacier / East Shoulder Date: 5/30/2016 Trip Report: I started at the Frying Pan Creek TH around 4:30 am. The Frying Pan Creek trail has many snow patches but they were firm enough that walking was easy. After the final log bridge (the one noted on USGS topo) the snow is more or less continuous and the bootpack ascends directly up the slope toward the Summerland shelter rather than following the summer switchbacks. I foolishly kept my running shoes on for the first half of this bootpack despite the fact that the snow was frozen solid (around 5:30 am). It started to feel rather dangerous about half way up and I swapped out my running shoes for ski boots - the bootpack is about as steep as the steepest of the slopes on the glaciers above. Once I reached the Summerland shelter area I put skis on and began the rising travers e onto the Frying Pan Glacier. This turned out to be another mistake. The snow was still hard enough and steep enough that I had trouble skinning up, even with ski crampons. About 500 vertical ft above 'camp' I transitioned from skis to crampons on a firm slope with no platform - PITA. Side note: Others have pointed this out before but Dynafit (and many other brands) ski crampons have a significant design flaw. When you using risers (i.e. going up hill) your boot doesn't fully push the crampon into the slope. I really wish they just came with some spacer installed on top to resolve this issue. Fryingpan Traverse: The rest of the ascent went pretty smoothly. There a very few open crevasses on the Frying Pan Glacier (at least the part that you ascend). When the grade mellowed I put skis back on until I reached the saddle between the Frying Pan and the Whitman. The surface was starting to warm (~8:30 am) but the snow wasn't soft enough to make skinning a steep slope very fun or efficient. So, I put crampons back on and wore them all the way up to the rocks. There are a couple large, partially open crevasses on the Whitman that are best passed toward climber's right. The last ~150 vertical ft of the Whitman had several small open crevasses, mostly toward climber's left. This area was also full of partially thawed penitentes. I wasn't interested in skiing them so I left the planks at the bottom of this section. From the Saddle: At the top of the snow, you exit onto rock on the left. This is followed by a little more snow and then a pretty natural scree walk / easy scramble that trends climber's left, taking you to the summit which I reached around 10:30. The exposure is very minimal and no move harder than easy 3rd. There are several rap anchors set up but using them would be silly. Rapping with all the loose rock around is going to cause more problems than it would solve. I de-booted for 10' (see gear notes), ate some delicious sandwiches and then headed down. The skiing on he Whitman was awesome. The Frying Pan was a little sticky. Being an hour faster on the up would have improved things but so it goes. The route traverses quite a bit which makes the ski down a little less fun than something like St. Helens. Overall, an awesome day. From the Summit: Approximate times: TH 4:30 am Summerland shelter 6:30 am Saddle 8:30 am Summit 10:30 am TH 2:00 pm GPS Track https://www.strava.com/activities/593542034 Gear Notes: My boots are too tight. Crampons, Axe, Helmet, Ski Gear Approach Notes: About 3 mi before continuous snow and probably 4 mi before you might put on skis.
  5. Trip: Colchuck Peak - North Buttress Couloir Date: 5/16/2015 Trip Report: I drove over to Leavenworth after work Friday and hiked in to Colchuck Lake where I set up camp around sunset. I didn't set an alarm but awoke with the rising sun the next morning. I packed and left the lake around 6 am and reached the summit just before 8:30. The route was in good condition with a single steep snow step near the beginning of the couloir and no ice to be found. The snow was mostly crust on mush and there were a few sections postholing. The couloir gets morning sun and the crust softens really quickly - if I could go back in time I would have tried to start around 5 instead of 6. I was a little worried about finding the route after crossing on to the NW face but it ended up being obvious (even without tracks). There is no need to touch rock until the last 5-10 feet before the summit and even there it is very easy 3rd class. All in all this was an awesome route and I look forward to getting back up there sometime. There really isn't any reason to rope up with the route's current condition but if you are planning to use a rope just know that the snow is way too soft for vertical pickets and there is no ice to put screws in. Beginning of the traverse into the NBC. Beginning of the rising traverse onto the NW face. Midway up the NW face. Gear Notes: I used ice tools (quarks) which made for pleasant daggering but I think you could get away with using a single traditional axe if you are comfortable with steep snow.