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geosean

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Everything posted by geosean

  1. I'm looking for partners for climbing in general but this time of year mostly looking for alpine rock. Most of my partners are busy with kids, houses, girls. I'm looking at doing: Cutthroat S Buttress Black Peak NE Ridge Triumph NE Ridge Blues Buttress Spontaneity Arete Twin Sisters Green Creek Circuit If you want to do any of these or anything else I'm free weekends (particularly this coming weekend Aug 20-21). PM me and lets work something out. I have lots of experience and would be comfortable leading any of these routes. My climbing objectives are: 1. Come home safe. 2. Have fun. 3. Get to the top.
  2. Very interested to hear about it.
  3. Excellent job, and nice write up as well. The snow traverse is commonly noted to be the crux of the route. Everyone says that the ridge proper looks doable but has anyone actually done it? It would be cool to hear about someone sticking to the rock ridge the entire way, I've not heard of anyone who actually did so.
  4. I will try to keep this quick since we didnt summit. We camped at St. Elmo Pass, the Gendarme, Lower Curtis Ridge. Snow and glacier conditions down low were pretty good, a little unstable late in the day; no flotation needed. Up high snow was crusty over sugar which made for very exhausting travel. We thought day two from St. Elmo to the Gendarme would be easy but it was mostly whiteout so we took a little bit of a circuitous route up the ridge. Then there were three rappels going up and over every hump on the ridge. I think this is probably easier than dropping way low to bypass them though, depending on your snow conditions. We were very disappointed after 10.5 hours to find no real tent platform just before the Gendarme. Everybody calls it a nice flat spot, well we had to look around to determine that yes we were indeed there. It took about an hour and a half of digging to make it so our tent only hung off the edge about 8 inches. After the longer day than anticipated on day two we didnt get a very early start on summit day. We rapped off the hump after the gendarme. The first rock step HAS to have broken off or something (we are blaming global warming), because it was very vertical and extremely loose. We did the long rightward bypass and climbed up to the very upper snowfield just below the top part of the first rock band bypass. Only about 15 feet of very exposed 4th class climbing separated us from the first snowfield, however it was already 1130 and not wanting to make it into an epic and given our already slow progress we bailed. Our high point was about 11,200 I think. We walked alllll the way down to the Carbon Glacier. We had to rap over and into the bergschrund, then got crevassed out, back onto the ridge slopes, rapped over and into the bergschrund again, then down the glacier and safely to the ridge and camp. I would say that the bail was only slightly easier than continuing on would have been, though we would have had to go up and over Columbia Crest from the look of the top of the Emmons on the way out. The Emmons didnt look like it would have been easy to find our way onto either, not having gone up it first. Overall it is a very long, tough route; much more so than the grade indicates. The approach along the ridge is an alpine route in itself on most mountains. Only as much as we did would be a long and complicated route on most cascade peaks. We felt good with our decision, I think; two of the three requirements for a trip were met. We got home safe, we had fun, we didnt make the top but thats third anyway.
  5. [TR] Mt. Rainier - Curtis Ridge 5/23/2016

    ScaredSilly, thanks for the beta, yeah that snow sliver looks clutch. We were concerned with the unknown of the exit chutes, and later, on the descent we wondered if we could have done them. We thought we had pretty good conditions, but more snow definitely looks better. There seems to be quite a bit less melt at the bivy in your photo; we also had a pretty wide tent. We wondered a bit if a bigger snow year, later in the year with more consolidation would be best. Thus we are blaming global warming for out bail, and everything else.
  6. [TR] Mt. Rainier - Curtis Ridge 5/23/2016

    As for continuing up, we were moving really slowly and it was pretty hot; rockfall was a moderate concern, but also we didn't want to be just topping out the route in the late evening and camp at 12,500' on the slopes (avy danger there was a concern). I guess it was mostly a morale issue, now I wish we had pushed on regardless... "who cares if it is dark, you have headlamps right?!" But it is easy to think that way from down here. We rapped from the slings upslope, lots of rope drag, I had to climb back up a bit to free them. It was about 80' I think, but there is an intermediate bench at about 65' that wasn't too bad to downclimb.
  7. [TR] Mt. Rainier - Curtis Ridge 5/23/2016

    Here is an annotated photo with the descent route. We had to rap twice, once at the bergschrund at the bottom of the slope in the photo, and once off the left behind the rock prow in the foreground. One could go skiers left once you hit the glacier and avoid the second rap.
  8. [TR] Mt. Rainier - Curtis Ridge 5/23/2016

    From our high point looking down at the ridge. Gendarme camp. We camped on the east side just before the gendarme. The ridge from our lower ridge camp just on the edge of the Carbon Glacier after the bail. We descended the ridge on the west side basically straight down the snow slope to the right of the gendarme in the photo. There is a rap point on the rock at the very bottom of the snow slope where you can rap into the bergschrund and walk out.
  9. [TR] Mt. Rainier - Curtis Ridge 5/23/2016

    Any help getting photos to post would be appreciated. Ive already loaded them to my gallery, they just wont show up. Incidentally I have found out that if you type with no special characters it seems to work better, unfortunately this makes it look like you just have bad grammar. I think it is some kind of conspiracy of the semi-literate climber.
  10. [TR] Mt. Rainier - Curtis Ridge 5/23/2016

    I would say that the bail was only slightly easier than continuing on would have been, though we would have had to go up and over Columbia Crest from the look of the top of the Emmons on the way out. The Emmons didnt look like it would have been easy to find our way onto either, not having gone up it first. Overall it is a very long, tough route, much more so than the grade indicates. The approach along the ridge is an alpine route in itself on most mountains. Only as much as we did would be a long and complicated route on most cascade peaks. We felt good with our decision, I think. Two of the three requirements for a trip were met, we got home safe, we had fun, we didnt make the top but thats third anyway.
  11. [TR] Mt. Rainier - Curtis Ridge 5/23/2016

    Ill try to keep this quick since we didn't summit. We camped at St. Elmo Pass, the Gendarme, Lower Curtis Ridge. Snow and glacier conditions down low were pretty good, a little unstable late in the day; no flotation needed. Up high snow was crusty over sugar which made for very exhausting travel. We thought day two from St. Elmo to the Gendarme would be easy but it was mostly whiteout so we took a little bit of a circuitous route up the ridge. Then there were three rappels going up and over every hump on the ridge. I think this is probably easier than dropping way low to bypass them though, depending on your snow conditions. We were very disappointed after 10.5 hours to find no real tent platform just before the Gendarme. Everybody calls it a nice flat spot, well we had to look around to determine that yes we were indeed there. It took about an hour and a half of digging to make it so our tent only hung off the edge about 8 inches.
  12. Hey, I'm looking to do long day or day and a half ski trips near Bellingham some (any) weekend. I'm thinking Baker, Shuksan, or Ruth and Icy. I've done all these peaks before except Icy, just lacking partners for the weekend. I have plenty of experience to take care of myself, love to have fun in the mountains and meet new people. Hit me up if you are interested. I'm up do really any peak if you want, just trying to get out there.
  13. Price Glacier In Shape?

    Me and a couple of buddies are thinking about climbing the Price Glacier on Shuksan this May but we are wondering if the last couple of dry winters have made the route too out of shape. Has anyone done it the last couple of years? There seems to be no evidence online. Any input is appreciated. Thanks.
  14. Current Shannon Ridge/Shuksan access

    Thanks for the beta! Good to know.
  15. Hey there, Is anyone interested in doing the Nooksack Traverse (on skis) the first weekend in April plus Monday? I have had it planned for a while but partners are starting to back out even though it looks like perfect weather. I'm an experienced mountaineer though an intermediate skier. I've done Shuksan twice and a few failures and have done Ruth Mtn tons. The terrain in between is a bit unknown; I have done tons of research though. I'm super safe and fun in the mountains, just need some committed partners. PM me if you are interested; maybe we could meet in Bellingham to talk about the trip.
  16. Trip: Colchuck Peak - NBC Date: 3/27/2016 Trip Report: We were planning to do the NBC but the weather forecast for Sunday wasn't great so we lost some motivation on the approach. A logistical issue with our stove fuel also ruled out doing the route, so we skinned up the Colchuck Glacier to the col instead. We parked at the Icicle gate full of hope that we could begin skinning right at the car, this we at least attempted. The snow cover on the road was patchy for the first mile but we skinned some of it and shouldered our skis for the rest. After about a mile it was continuous skinning to the lake. Although I'm convinced that snowshoes (or just traction devices) would actually be better for the approach due to the boot-pack. At the headwall after the last creek crossing the trail kind of petered out, so floatation would be useful here, though it was ridiculously step for skinning. We skinned across the lake and set up camp near the west shore to guard against the predicted NW wind the next day. It snowed about 2" in the night and we woke to what seemed moderate winds up high and high patchy cloud cover; the weather would have been decent for the climb but we ran out of fuel which put water on semi-short rations. So we decided to skin to the col and save some face at least. The previous day a skier had told us the upper 2/3 of the glacier was pretty bad skiing, but the new snow made it quite nice. The whole decent from the col to the lake was pretty good snow if you picked your route between the wind packed areas. By next weekend it will probably be all sun crust and wind pack though, unless it gets really warm and softens up. There was some slight wind slab formation along the east margin of the glacier slope close to the cliffs of Dragontail. We had a great ski down to the lake, packed up our gear and headed down. My partner decided to boot pack it down the headwall but me, being sleight and my pack already weighing almost 1/3 my body weight, I side-slipped it down to the creek crossing. We both carried our skis down the trail from there until we hit the road, then skied it out to within about a mile of the trailhead. Al told it was 6000 foot of vertical over 18.6 miles round trip. Gear Notes: Ski crampons useful for the glacier due to wind packing and scouring. Approach Notes: Snowshoes recommended if not planning to ski for the sake of skiing.
  17. [TR] Colchuck Peak - NBC 3/27/2016

    Nice additions Bryce! Thanks!
  18. Trip: North Twin Sister - West Ridge Date: 2/27/2016 Trip Report: Just a conditions update: me and a buddy climbed the west ridge of North Twin last Saturday. It was in great wintery conditions. Someone had skied the North Face a few days earlier. There was a new-ish sign on the gate that said something about no access or something but I couldn't really make it out, better be circumspect if you are planning to go. We found challenging rime ice towards the top but made it OK with a short section of roped climbing. Descent down the north side was easy, lousy crust on the north side though from all the warm weather last week. Gear Notes: Rope, axe. Approach Notes: Biked up the road to 3000', snowshoed and hiked to where the scrambling started.
  19. I think the general consensus of an early season climb is a good idea. I wrote the trip report on summitpost that you referenced; we climbed on June 8 of a dry year and it was about the last good week. May would be a good time probably, given good avy conditions naturally. We found the gully to be very pleasant and fast, basically all the way to the ridge was good fast travel except for the short bit at the waterfall. Your picture of the rap where you speculate on the section we climbed was exactly right. The falls melt out first. Also in early season the creek is covered in snow.
  20. Trip: The Pleiades - Traverse (almost) Date: 10/24/2015 Trip Report: Five of us decided it was time to FINALLY go and climb the Pleiades. A few of us had gone the previous winter when the lack of snow made cramponing up the second peak from the west (and the easiest one to bag) made it super accessible. We left the TH at Twin Lakes at 9am (I had a party the night before or something). The hike to the shoulder of Larrabee went really fast and before we knew it we were looking into the basin east of High Pass. From there we had to make our own trail through some hard packed dirt, which was harder than I would have thought; a trekking pole would have been sweet. The rock was indeed loose going up the gully between the first and second peaks but we stayed far apart and it wasn't particularly dangerous. At the notch we quickly decided to skip the first summit and head to the goat ledge. Over the second and down the far side to the rappel we had read about. We were looking around for the rap area and found an easy gully to down-climb instead. (I really just carried the rope for training anyway). The down-climb gully was just to the lookers right of the notch after walking down the heather slopes from peak 2. Here is a crappy photo: The rock is solid-ish and looks black with lichen. From the bottom: Climbing up from the notch between peaks 2 and 3 looked impossible from straight on but it was just foreshortening; we headed up and hit the goat ledge, a rusty red and yellow dike cutting all the way through the mountain. This made route finding easy, plus some Internet research, thanks "Matt" from NWHikers which helped us find the correct summit gully on the first try. Climbing down from the summit of #3: Back to the goat ledge and over to #4 was easy, then all the way back and home. We looked into climbing peak #1 but the weather was looking wet and we didn't have any beta on it other than a vague memory of Beckey saying something like "go up" or "follow your nose". We did scout it and hope to go back. Let me know if you have done it! The route: Gear Notes: Hands and feet... plus extra weight for training (or a rope and webbing if you don't like down-climbing). Approach Notes: Easy trail from Twin Lakes. No snow. 7.5 miles total 3400' vertical cumulative 8 hours total
  21. [TR] Mt Rainier - Liberty Ridge 5/9/2015

    How did you approach the base of the ridge? I'm headed up there this weekend and I'm assuming it will be mostly in a whiteout so I was wondering if there was an easy route across the Carbon.
  22. Trip: Mt Baker - N Ridge Date: 5/3/2015 Trip Report: Me and my buddy Pete climbed the North Ridge of Baker over a day and a half the weekend of May 2-3. Snow conditions were perfect for booting it (we didn't think we were strong enough to carry skis up the route), ice crust on the glacier in the morning and still firm by afternoon. We didn't post hole at all on the descent. We followed the boot pack and camped at 7000' on the Coleman. We woke at 1:30 and were on the road at 2:30 am Sunday. We had decided the night before to climb up to about 8000' then traverse left to get to the base of the ridge. This worked well as we gained ground on a team that left camp after us and took the low route (~7400' ?). To get on the ridge we took the "right option" but a left variant of that to get to the ridge lower down. Snow was great for crampon-ing all the way to the ice step. Here we made an interesting choice... a couple hundred feet right of the ice ridge there was a snow and ice gully at the top of a rock outcrop, we thought this looked like a fun and easy way up so we went for it. The gully turned out to be a crevasse that splits the ice cliff and was only thinly bridged with snow. About half way up I began punching through, most of the snow gave way so easily didn't allow me to climb upward on the floor of the gully. We made it up with some creative stemming utilizing a lot of bare hands on ice ridges. It was like an acrobatic M3 route, but all ice. We topped out the ice eventually and simul-soloed up easy slopes to the "secret passage" from what I can tell this is so secret that it doesn't even exist. All we found were a lot of crevassed-out dead ends. We should have gone right up the snow slope but took the longer and more dangerous left option (hidden crevasses, punched through once). Sorry, I'm not smart enough to figure out how to get the image to show up. We traversed more or less straight from the right base of the ice cliff. Anyone have good beta on the passage that would be good to know for next time.. Gear Notes: 6 screws 3 pickets ice tools Approach Notes: Easy walking, no flotation even late afternoon. Patchy snow on trail until Canadian Couloir.
  23. Hey, I’m Sean, I'm 30 (male) & I've lived in Bellingham since '02 except for 3 years in Colorado, and I need some mountaineering / rock climbing partners! I know a few people but it can be hard to get people and timing to work out. I love moderate trad. and alpine climbs and more challenging snow/ice stuff too. I've done Fisher Chimneys, N-S Twin Sisters Traverse, Sefrit, E & W Summits of Goat Mountain, Rainier, Colchuck-Dragontail, SEWS, NEB on Chair among others. I'm a solid climber and have tons of gear but I need people to get excited about climbing so we can get up some cool mountains! I've done a little ice climbing in Colorado and really want to do more of that! Baker North Ridge looks awesome and within my range. Aside from climbing I like trail running, sailing, casual drinking & intelligent (occasionally) conversation. I backcountry ski also and I’m hoping to do more ski mountaineering when we have winter. Things I'm looking to climb soon would be: Baker N Ridge, Forbidden W. Ridge, Black Peak, anything in the Pickets, Icy Peak, N Face of Shuksan. I’m looking for someone who already has mountaineering skills & needs a partner to go with, I can teach a little also but I’m not exactly looking for beginner partners. Drop me a message if you want to hang out and talk climbing. -Sean
  24. Baker skin trip Sunday?

    Short notice I know but I'm looking to skin Baker or Sherman Peak on Sunday the 19th if anyone else is interested. Figure on an early start and a one day go of it. I'm an intermediate skier and have glacier experience. Let me know if you are down, I'll do any route but I'm looking at the Squak for some variation.
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