Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by sportnoob

  1. I'm always on the lookout for dawn patrol solo scramble / conditioner outings that are more interesting than just a slog. For a solo outing without skis (and sufficiently low avy risk) my go-tos are Red mountain and the north couloir on McClellan Butte. Is the east couloir on Guye worth checking out? I see here it's been skied




    which usually means the steepness is enough to be interesting but not so steep as to be out of my solo comfort zone.


    Anyone recommendations on this one (good? To be avoided? Meh?)

  2. My preferred approach for climbing steeper snow climbs is often to carry 1 piolet style tool (e.g. BD Venom) and 1 technical tool (Cobra). This is especially my preferred approach on volcanoes where I don't anticipate steep water ice, as I like the slightly longer piolet for roped glacier travel.


    How are folks who climb with this combination of tools attaching themselves to said tools in the modern age of tethers?


    So back in the day I would have one wrist-leash on each of these objects. It's nearly unambiguous now that the preferred method with modern leashless tools is tethers.


    But... I can't decide what I think is my preferred system for the "1 too, 1 axe" method. I've fashioned a single homemade tether to go on my Cobra, and still use the old-school leash (made of perlon cord) on my piolet. It's kind of annoying to me, the asymmetry.


    I don't generally trust myself to use the piolet without an attachment.


    I'm curious what others are doing who climb with one of each type of tool. Besides overthink the issue (as I am here).


    Would love to hear how skiers manage the pack and sled on the way down. Carry two sets of boots, ski and climbing boots? Climb in ski boots?


    Insisting that skis are the only reasonable mode of travel for a particular winter outing is the ultimate climber humblebrag.

  4. The cows can enjoy their grass, but I think we have enough Subsidized Toilet paper plantations, overall it's probably taking more good from the people then it's really helping them. Makes you wish that Secretary of the Interior actually created the Conservation agency, which would control all public lands, and protect them from destruction.


    Sounds like a great way for keeping climbers from putting bolts, fixed anchors, or the like on all public lands.

  5. I historically have used a Cap 4 hoody (or rough equivalent) as my next-to-skin layer for skiing, hiking, and climbing in the Cascades during the colder part of the year. I tend to run hot, and this is adequate most of the time trudging through the forest on its own.


    Occasionally I'm left wanting for more insulation while moving when it's cold out, but layering a windshirt or softshell on top traps a little more moisture / heat than I'd like. Additionally, sometimes I want a little more warmth than just the Cap 4 + shell layer when climbing (talking stuff like weekend warrior stuff, Chair Peak, Triple Couloirs, and the like).


    The internet blogosphere wants me to buy some Polartec Alpha insulation for this exact situation, claiming the stuff breathes well. That or just pony up for the R1 hoody as an alternative.


    I'm thinking something simple like a fleece vest that is made of that grid stuff to layer over the Cap 4 hoody I currently have - something like an r1 vest (which doesn't exist, but BD Coefficient looks similar).


    I've never tried actual climbing climbing with a vest. Does it suck? I don't see a ton of options on the market. Perhaps the designers know something I don't? Any perspectives from folks who do this or have tried it, and whether it sucks or not? I'm trying to save a little scratch relative to just buying the heavier R1 or the Polartec Alpha stuff since I only feel like this need arises on a handful of days.



  6. Assuming you live in the Puget Sound area, your best bet for good ice climbing is a solid cold snap with a bunch of moisture on the front end of it. This will bring things into condition that don't always form; that's your best bet for "easy access" stuff beyond the typical things in western / central WA (Pan Dome area, Hubba Hubba, etc).


    I think it's hard to trace a mapping between the broader seasonal forecast and ice conditions, since they are so weather front - dependent.


    I like to say that the best ice climbing in WA is in BC. Engineering a weeklong road trip to the Icefields Parkway or Lillooet areas provides the highest ROI.

  7. The folks I know who have OK experiences on the downhills (even moderates) with Silvrettas and mountaineering boots tend to be people who are lifelong skiers with skiing ability that is well above average.


    I tried it out and felt like I was one tiny mistake away from a tib / fib fracture the whole time I was going slightly downihll.

  8. I Both produced to entertain and make money.


    Kind of sick, when we make a family tragedy and death into entertainment. WTF is wrong with you?


    So for intellectual consistency and the right to cast stones, you must never consume any drama that is based on true events that happened to actual people, right?

  9. Reading your post made me feel really old, since my reaction was a kneejerk in the curmudgeonly direction - the oft repeated "...if you have to ask, then you're not ready..". Especially since the "...looking to get on genuine alpine routes..." implicitly suggests you think that a lot of climbing around here isn't "the real deal".


    I usually only see that attitude with newer climbers - folks who thumb through the Nelson guides and think to themselves "meh, that one is only a grade III" (I know - I remember thinking that way when I was starting out and didn't know shit about shit).


    OK so now that I'm done denigrating your post and reading into it way too much, here's some real suggestions.


    August in North America is basically alpine rock season only. It's primetime for the Cascades, so I would just stay local and bang out a ton of routes and get honed / fit. If you have itchy feet to take a road trip, then I'd put the Bugaboos and the Wind River range near the top of the list. The eastern Sierra would be close behind.


    A trip in June that is geared towards preparing you for all-around climbing in the greater ranges is probably big volcano routes (such as the oh-so-pedestrian Mt Rainier) or lower elevation stuff in AK (e.g. Ruth Gorge or near Kahiltna basecamp), though I think of that as being more of a May objective. Check out Joe Puryear's Supertopo Alaska guide for ideas. I have no advice to offer for Canadian snow / glacier routes that time of year though I'm sure there's good stuff.


    Please don't die, and consider the paradigm that alpine climbing rewards humility and focus on process. Savor the stepping stones as worthy and rewarding objectives in their own right (rather than just a springboard to the next big thing), and you're more likely to have memorable experiences and stay outta trouble.

  10. I was taught that a single deadmanned picket or ice axe with the snow compacted around it is sufficient to be an anchor for crevasse rescue in firm summer snow conditions on Mt R or Baker (e.g. no other pieces in the anchor system). I've always felt somewhat uncomfortable with this (kinda like an anchor of a single bolt on a rock climb), especially because shit's already hit the fan if you're hoisting someone out of a crack and I don't want things to go from bad to worse.


    In conversation with various folk I hear a wide variety of opinions - ranging on a spectrum from bomber anchors that take time with a cordelette, to quick and dirty stuff to get your injured partner out as fast as possible. There's much writing out there on these systems, yet they tend to gloss over the anchor part (likely because it is so condition-dependent). The best writing I've seen on the issue is the NZ article from a few years back.


    I know snow conditions are everything when it comes to anchors. But for firm summertime stuff on the big local volcanoes, what's your game plan for such an anchor?

    Is it different for firm morning snow vs afternoon mashed potatoes? Am I kidding myself that such conditions in a specific season can even be generalized? Is anyone using a hammered picket top-clipped or two (presumably one of the fastest options) anymore?


    Those of you who like something more substantial than a single deadmanned hunk of metal, have you tested out how long it takes to construct?


    I'm trying to decide where I come down on the speed / safety continuum on this one. Crowd sourcing maybe isn't the best way, but it is a data point.


    For clarity - I'm assuming a single rope team where a mechanical advantage system is necessary to hoist someone out of the crack.

  11. I dunno anything about those Alps Mountaineering tents, but they look like something you'd see on the shelf at Fred Meyer and could be cheaply made. A famous member of this boards used to advocate for Wal Mart pup tents, though, so I shouldn't discriminate based purely on looks.


    "Cascades in summer" is a broad category. Many would argue a 4-season tent isn't necessary for climbing applications, and I generally agree with them. If the weather is truly puking and bad, you're likely turning around and going home (or not heading out on your trip in the first place). This assertion may not be true for longer trips (or more generic backpacking trips where rain wouldn't necessarily cancel), but holds for most of us weekend warriors doing outings of three or fewer nights.


    I think of tent sites in the Cascades as lumping into roughly three categories:


    1. High camps on volcanoes (Rainier, Baker). High winds are a fact of life. This is the one place where I'd want something a little more robust. 4-season tents are nice here due to their sturdiness in the wind. That said, you don't need a MH Trango or some such stuff here. You could suck it up and rent a tent from REI for this since it'll be overkill for just about anything else in the area.


    2. Exposed camps in the rest of the range - Eldorado, below Shuksan's north face, in general cols wherever. Wind can be an issue, but generally going out in stable weather and careful site selection keeps you out of the worst of it. Any 3-season shelter is generally fine here. You'll find TR's of folks camping under tarps, tarptents, lightweight single-walls, and the venerable classic REI Half Dome at these places. Nothing special necessary.


    3. Anything else lower elevation and moderately sheltered. Examples include campsites below treeline, in valleys, or basins. Again, anything purporting to be a 3-season shelter is fine here.


    If your goal was a tent for use solely in climbing applications around here, a lightweight single wall (e.g. BD Firstlight, old BD Lighthouse if you can find it, Mountain Hardwear Direkt2) is likely to be the most common recommendations from experienced folks. Sorry they're not cheap.


    The budget option for anything short of the big volcanoes is a Black Diamond Beta Light or some other flat tarp, and some practice. It's spartan, and unforgiving of laziness (poor site selection or pitch technique), but a good option.

  12. Approach shoes that can climb are hot for climbs with short approaches. Also hot if you climb hard as fuck and can get up 5.moderate in anything and are also hyper concerned about weight to the point where foregone climbing performance is worth the weight savings of leaving behind rock shoes. Either way a niche item of limited applicability around here for most alpine approaches that are 5+ miles each way (and most mortal weekend warrior types).


    Ditto the trail running shoe recommendation to complement your rock shoes.

  13. I tend to wear lightweight softshell gloves the most commonly (like the OR Vert or OR Stormtracker) around here when it's cooler out. I also tend to wear a windshirt that has stretchy cuffs that are narrow (BD Alpine Start). The junction of the 'velcro - closure' of these style gloves is annoying vis-a-vis the tapered stretchy cuff. Skin is always exposed, it pushes the stretchy cuff up, I find it annoying to stretch the cuff out over the wrist closure, in general it's just sand in my vag.


    What I think I want is a glove of a similar weight as the OR Vert or Stormtracker, but with a gauntlet instead of an 'undercuff' design. I have come up short looking around.


    Maybe there's a good reason why such a design isn't popular (and that reason just escapes me)? Any suggestions? Maybe I just need to HTFU?

  14. I'm looking at one of the Mountain Athlete off-the-shelf training plans for general training for summer alpine climbing locally - either the "Big Mountain" plan or the "Guide Pre-season" plan.


    I am willing to trade off some degree of sport-specific performance in moving uphill in exchange for "well-roundedness" that has long-term health benefits (like promoting muscular balance, strength, and injury prevention).


    I've read TFNTA, and understand that Mountain Athlete is going to have a strength bias and have far less recommended aerobic volume. I feel like I come to the table a better aerobic athlete than strength or "work capacity", hence the appeal of the Mountain Athlete plans (training my weaknesses, perhaps improving "durability").


    I'm concerned that the Mountain Athlete plans will make me more fit "all around" but leave me with an inadequate amount of aerobic fitness.


    At the same time, I'm concerned at the nearly complete lack of emphasis in TFNTA of "conditioning" / higher - intensity efforts; these seem to be a staple of most other endurance training recommendations one sees (marathons, triathlon, etc usually once the target / peak period approaches).


    Anyway - there's a lotta ways to skin the cat. I'd feel better plunking down the $$$ at Mountain Athlete finding out if people have had good experiences.


    I realize that the ideal thing is to design my own program based on my own needs, but am interested in others' experiences as a reference point. Have folks had success "blending" these sorts of approaches?

  15. I carry a prussic in my pocket, tie the prussic on top to take weight off of your preferred device (don't take the device off yet) and put your rappel device on the bottom of everything. Take off solo device and rap.


    How do you unload the prusik to weight your rappel device? If you're not in a position where you can easily unweight (like you're not on a ledge or something)? I was thinking of situation where you're basically hanging.


    Assuming I'm using two devices in series on the single strand, I'm starting to think the best thing would be to put a sling in the second one to stand in, then just jug up the rope to the anchors and then switch to rappel there. Sounds easier.

  16. So what's everyone's preferred way of escaping the system and descending (rappeling) when you're using a single strand setup (long pitch, anchoring off of trees far back, etc)?


    I've only done it with two strands (where anchor is at rope midpoint and the pitch is shorter than half the rope lengtH), and it's not too complicated. Seems like one strand is a bit more involved..




  17. So it's official that this is a low snow year. One nuanced claim I've read is that while it's severely low at lower elevations, that it may be closer to normal up high. My firsthand experience below 10k (e.g. a tour up to Muir) suggests that it's pretty thin at least up to that level. Anyone care to opine on the coverage way up high?


    I'm thinking of a couple of runs at the big R - one on a dog route (likely Emmons), and another at one of the more technical undertakings (Liberty Ridge or Ptarmigan) and looking at planning / permit issues. My gut tells me that the dog routes will be 'out' earlier than usual, and that the north side tech routes may be tough because they'll be in prime condition well in advance of the road openings.


    I'd appreciate any opinions on this issue.


  18. Friends and I are thinking of heading up Sahale Arm this weekend maybe, and wondering about what the final summit scramble is like. Anyone have beta? Is it all snow? Mostly snow? Snow covered 4th? Fixed rap anchors buried or exposed (having never been there, not sure where to look anyway)?

  19. His point is that everyone else who is more obviously financially successful than him is a privileged piece of shit. He probably believes that everyone else less financial successful than him is a lazy freeloading piece of shit. This belief system is a common affliction.


    When you're super self-centered and can't shrug off people who rub you the wrong way, it's a tough world out there.

  • Create New...