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johndonee

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Everything posted by johndonee

  1. Trip: Sherpa Glacier-Cascadian Couloir through trip Date: 5/27/2017 Trip Report: 5/27: Departed Stuart Lake TH at 1:30AM to eat up a few miles, took a nap and got rolling again at 6 with the hope of being early enough to be able to climb the Sherpa glacier that day for an epic bivy on or near the summit of Stuart. Hiked the first couple of miles in shoes then switched to ski boots to more comfortably deal with the patches of snow. Started skinning at ~4500' once we were hiking up Mountaineer Creek; attempted skinning lower on the Stuart Lake Trail but it didn't go well. Crossed to the south side of Mountaineer creek at 4800' when the snow ran out, which got us a little higher but we eventually had to pack the skis again to clear the final climb into the upper basin at the foot of the glacier. Upon arrival we could see there were significant hazards (large snow patches on rock slabs and one remaining cornice) that would make climbing the glacier excessively dangerous so we opted to camp in the basin. Enjoyed an insanely beautiful and fun ski on an easterly aspect beneath the Stuart, Ice Cliff and Sherpa glaciers. So many more incredible ski objectives in this zone, it would be highly worth coming back to stay for multiple days. We observed the mountains not shedding excessively throughout the afternoon and evening, which gave us optimism for safe passage the next day. Open bivy for a stunningly beautiful night. 5/28: Started climbing at 5AM and made it up the Sherpa Glacier in 4h 40m. Sun was on it before we could top out and I had to scramble a couple times to avoid a rock and small loose-wet slide. My parter who led the entire climb did not face any hazards. We roped up to skin the glacier but traveled solo for the couloir climb. Snow was soft but supportive making both skinning and booting straightforward. There was an old boot pack that went to the climbers right side of the bergschrund, which my partner was unable to follow due to the steep slope angle and rotting snow in that particular zone. He traversed it to the left and found a good line of ascent albeit in more hazardous location. There was rockfall hazard from above (this is where I encountered the rock) and put us traversing back to the right directly above the schrund. However, as we climbed further we realized that there would be no avoiding a path into the schrund in the event of a fall for the duration of the climb despite how it appeared from below; Mitigation plan was to not attempt to arrest a fall and use momentum to clear the gap. Reached a high point at 8400' and stopped down to eat and make water. Traversed/climbed a bit further to gain the top of the Cascadian Couloir and transitioned to skiing. Skied the Cascadian down to 5500' where continuous snow stopped. Hiked down to Ingalls creek where there was once again continuous snow, back to skis over to the log crossing and a bit up towards Long's...but alas the snow disappeared again so back to boots! The snow returned around 5400' allowing us to skin to the base of the bowl beneath Long's to find a whole bunch of big nasty cornices covering the whole thing! We found safe passage on a North facing aspect to the climbers left of Long's and had an easy time gaining the ridge and traversing back to (mostly) ski down to the Esmerelda trail. All in all: -15 miles -8452' of ascent -8026' of descent -3 big downhill ski descents Gear Notes: -Both carried crevasse rescue kits (cordalette, 2x slings, lockers, ATC, screws) - didn't use any of it -30m 7mm rope used once -I lost a shoe so if you happen to head out this way and find my sole mate I'll buy you a healthy dose of your beverage of choice for bringing it back to me!! Or stick it somewhere I can find it and send me GPS coordinates or something. Appreciate any help. It's somewhere in this stretch (circled in blue): -My partner lost a pole at the log crossing over Ingalls (bamboo pole with black grip). We both struggled with vertigo at that point due to the rushing water, fatigue and overheating. He almost lost that pole in Bean creek a couple weeks ago but got it back; Guess the Teanaway really didn't want him to keep it! But if anyone happens to find that one also let me know. Approach Notes: -Substantial snow shows up on the trail around the Colchuck lake trail but fades in and out so is not worth skinning but is worth putting on ski boots to help keep feet dry -We were unable to location the climbers trail up Mountaineer creek; There were signs on previous parties but due to conditions and being on skis we had to find our own way -Crossing to the SE side of the creek where it forks and the terrain opens up was helpful for ski ascent
  2. Lost 5/27 along the track segment circled in blue: Appreciate any help in recovering it! Will reward the heroic party with a hearty dose of their favorite treat.
  3. In search of an objective that's a little more thrilling than say skinning up the Interglacier and at least pull out an axe and rope. Available for a day trip only this time, prefer Sunday but could do Saturday as well, coming from Fall City (N, S, Central all fine by me), glad to do the driving! No ice climbing gear yet (otherwise I'd love to try that North Ridge Danger!)
  4. Trip: Snoqualmie - The Tooth Date: 5/13/2014 Trip Report: This was my first alpine climb of what I hope to be many to come! Many thanks to my far more experienced partner for helping me along. -Departed Alpental upper lot at noon and skinned up to Pineapple Pass on very wet heavy snow. -We climbed the standard route up The Tooth in 2 pitches with a bonus 2 pitch traverse from Pineapple Pass to the start of the route. Could have hiked around the back through the snow but didn't want to get into that. -Rock was bare and dry except for two snowy patches at the start of the usual third pitch: (note the bare feet - ouch) -Rappelled down in 4 pitches. Ran into the largest snowy patch again, which had me struggling a bit to navigate across while on rappel. -Found the last rappel station having only a single small ring so added a big ring and replaced some cord: -Times: 1.5 hours to Pineapple Pass, 1 hr climbing 2 pitch traverse, 2 hrs climbing 2 vertical pitches, 1hr 40 mins rappel down and ski back to car. Gear Notes: Ha! A significant portion of the pro was left behind at home sooooo we bought 2 new cams (2" and .75") from the Pro Ski shop in North Bend, which is the start of my rack! So that wasn't so bad. Besides that we had a .25" cam, 3 tricams and 5 nuts and got by just fine, utilizing a couple anchors along the way. Never used the new .75" cam. Approach Notes: -Winter trail was still fully in tact. -We did not observe any slab avalanches, only numerous point releases and wet sluff.
  5. [TR] Snoqualmie - The Tooth 5/13/2014

    We knew that going around the back of that crag was the usual way and maybe we were somewhat unusual with how high we did it, but not knowing the route better and the snow level led us to do what we did. We definitely ended up going down some at the end of our second pitch on that traverse to get to the base of the main climb. If I did this again I would want to try starting from the base of the "start of the 3 pitch climb" area. It would definitely save some time/hassle on the approach as the last 50' or so the way we went was not easy in the deep wet sludge. Since we'd left our skis at what I have labeled as "Pineapple Pass" in my picture we had to go back there when we finished our rappel down The Tooth, and I wasn't feeling up for climbing and rappelling that crag. So we scrambled around the back through the snow in our climbing shoes, which was really cold and unpleasant and we were super glad we didn't do that at the start! I'm with ya about the misunderstanding over what Pineapple Pass really is - I'd always understood it to be at the top of Great Scott Bowl, which is probably what any skier would tell you it is. But the climbers seem to think of it as one of the next two notches. This was definitely a new perspective on Pineapple Pass/Great Scott Bowl for this long-time skier
  6. [TR] Snoqualmie - The Tooth 5/13/2014

    Thanks! My partner (nor I obviously) had not climbed The Tooth before and in hindsight we may have taken a different approach and not gone up to Pineapple Pass. But there we were looking at a crag between us and the start of the route up The Tooth. Our options appeared to be around the back or up and over. We didn't want to take the time to climb up and rappel down this choss pile but around the back was covered in still fairly (deep and very wet) snow that would not have been fun to walk through even in ski boots (although that probably would have been faster). So we opted to traverse around staying as low as possible but still high enough that we placed pro and belayed (most likely in consideration my experience level). (view from start) (second pitch)
  7. I've been on skis since I could walk and grew up in ski school at Crystal Mountain. I'm also an avid cross country/eduro mountain biker, which actually was my gateway into proper backcountry travel (not counting all the side country trips at Crystal). I never saw myself getting into alpine or rock climbing because A) I had this notion that it was all walking and B) I thought I had a fear of heights. But a few years back I got into ski touring after being totally fed up with resort skiing and so began the journey. FF to April of this year and I'm ready to learn basic climbing skills so I can go out with a guide and get some training in "ski mountaineering" (i.e., I want to ski down what I climb up and nothing more - no interest in rock climbing at this point). After my first lesson at Vertical World I could feel the change. After my second lesson I was excited about rock climbing and have been rapidly accelerating in it. I've probably spent a dozen or more hours climbing at the gym and have done 3 climbs in the field: Vantage (top roping), Index (all rock, seconding), and The Tooth (alpine, seconding). I've definitely been bitten by the rock climbing bug and will do more of that, but my real passion is for alpine climbs with a ski decent. I'm heading out for 3 days later this month 1:1 with a guide to do just that and learn as much as I possibly can from him about climbing in snow and ice, crevasse rescue, mult-day trips, etc. From there I'll be looking to join up with you guys and start slaying objectives!! You can find my on TAY under the same username (johndonee). Huge thanks and mad props to another member of this community who has been immensely generous and taken me on a number of trips this season and imparted a MASSIVE amount of knowledge on me. I definitely would not be nearly this this far along today if it weren't for him.
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