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Everything posted by maurop

  1. Viennese Clarke traverse

    I'll second that.
  2. Whistler back country recommendations?

    The b/c passes don't get advertised, my guess is so that people don't abuse them and potentially for liability? Anyways, they'll do a safety check (beacon/probe/shovel/skins) to make sure you have the gear to go into the backcountry. You can pick one up at guest services usually. Whatever you do, please don't abuse the privileges that come with the pass
  3. Whistler back country recommendations?

    JasonG has pointed out the issue. You'll spend most of the day slogging into the alpine in the whistler area. The backcountry pass is worth it. Try the Singing Pass Trail for access to the Musical Bumps are if you do want to go human powered. The backcountry pass enables you to get up to the top of the highest chairs, and then ski into the backcountry from there. Also check out Rainbow Mountain (Callaghan Valley) or drive an extra hour to the Duffey. You'll start at 1300m which makes getting a few laps in that much easier. Tends to be drier and colder than whistler, making for less but better snow. Have fun!
  4. I figure if you're going to start later than 8am, you might as well wait for the gondola. It definitely makes the approach easy. Awesome you made the best of the conditions. PM me next time you're thinking about squamish. I climb there often, although I'm not the hardest climber around.
  5. I'm looking for someone to team up with this winter to do remote but easy/moderate winter climbing. I don't own a snowmobile, so access would be on skis. If you're willing to engage in cold sufferfests, slogs, etc, please pm me. It would be nice to team up for some cragging and late summer alpine to get to know each other. I don't promise anything but adventure.
  6. Slesse Conditions 2015

    Was up there on an attempt a week ago.The road is in decent shape if you have a 4x4 and decent skills. HC isn't necessary, but it's nice. There's been more rain recently, but the last water we found on the slabs below the bypass ramps. A small chunk of ice is slowly melting, giving just enough water to fill a bottle in some spots. You'll need other input for water on the descent.
  7. With a free day this weekend and itching to do something bold, I sent out various emails/text messages to find anyone willing for adventure. The forecast was casting some doubt. Not really too sure what would happen, Don M, Jack, and I boldly set off out to Chilliwack for some fun alpine rambling. We set out from Burnaby in the dark at 4am with light rain. We stopped for a quick Timmy's visit in Chilliwack, and then continued up towards Chilliwack Lake. The clouds were thick, and a bit off-putting. We boldly continued driving up the Nesakwatch Creek FSR to the Mt Rexford trailhead, arriving at 6.30. I was a bit reluctant to commit to the hike, as it was socked in, and I felt it was threatening rain. Boldy, we headed up the trail. http://forums.clubtread.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=78041 Classic view of Slesse We reached the alpine basin in just over two and a half hours, where we scrambled to the base of the N ridge of the N Nesakwatch Spire. The morning was a bit chilly but the clouds we starting to lift. It was a nice change from the heat as of late, and at this point, we donned our layers. At this point, I could see the Nesakwatch Crack (???) with the massive chockstone. It was pretty cool to see it coming through the fog. First objective Getting ready We boldy set off up the ridge without being roped up. Within minutes, I was boldly looking for a rope. Don quickly threw one up to me, I tied in, then continued up the ridge. Jack was off in the distance, pulling through 5.2 moves. Within a short time, we found ourselves on the warm sunny summit of the North Nesakwatch Spire. 1 down, 2 to go. The climbing was easy (max low 5th, mostly 3rd and 4th) with some exposure thrown in for measure. We chilled for a bit, then boldly continued down the S Ridge towards the South Nesakwatch Spire. We continued up and began traversing the along climber's left, staying well left of the ridge, venturing onto the face. The exposure increased until we found a good bench, looking up at a 20m pitch of what looked like fun climbing. Jack had boldly ventured off on easier ground, but this pitch looked too fun to pass up. It was very similar to Diedre or the 2nd pitch of skywalker if you've climbed that, not too hard, but a lot of the same moves over and over. In approach shoes it felt like 5.8. Don boldly met up with me up top, where I was sure we were off route. I could see Jack on the summit above, having soloed the offwidth. A short wandering pitch found us on easy, but very exposed terrain. One more bold pitch and we were at the base of the summit block, staring at the 5.7 offwidth. Jack had soloed his way up there, but wasn't in the mood for bold downclimbing. I thought, 5.7 offwidth, no big deal. I'd even brought my largest piece of protection along. Sadly, I found midpitch it did not fit. In fact, I only had a slung chockstone for protection. While the pitch was short (5-7m), I'm no offwidth climber. Burling my way up, I managed a few offwidth moves. With a final grunt and holding on for dear life, I managed to reach to top. In the process I had stupidly dropped a cam (didn't take the climbing gear off), tore holes in my shirt, and donated some skin to the route. Don wisely declined the top rope. 2 down, 1 to go. Jack and I quickly rappelled down. A few minutes later, and we had rehydrated, eaten, and were off down the south ridge of the south spire. We found the rappel station, and made a 15 or so meter rappel into the notch below, between the S Nesakwatch Spire and Mt Rexford. We were all starting to feel a bit tired, the afternoon was wearing on, and hoping to avoid a late night, we boldly opted to descend a loose gully and head back to the truck. We were back at the truck at 6pm, where Don surpised us with some stashed Red Racer IPA. A scholar and gentleman. Not to mention organized. Mt Baker False summit of Rexford To summarize - despite everything working against us, we boldly ventured into the alpine, and boldly traversed the Nesakwatch Spires, where we boldly decided to retreat to the vehicle as we were starting to tire. I'd highly recommend this trip, even though we didn't do the full traverse. We made it car to car in just under 12 hours, and Rexford would likely have made it 14-15 hours. It's a fun outing, not too technically hard, and covers a lot of moderate alpine terrain. It also has options to bail after each spire. With good route finding, you can keep the grades to mid 5th I think (offwidth excepted). We didn't get up Rexford due to our concerns of a late night, but traffic on the way home had us second guessing ourselves. The only thing I would change is a bivy at the trailhead either prior to or just after this traverse to make it a bit easier on yourself. The only other note would be to watch for loose blocks on the descent of the south ridges on the spires. Credit to Jack for all the photos, he had my camera for the day.
  8. What Rad said. The "bold" will fade into forgotten... It's all good. It wasn't a FA or anything, if it gets forgotten it's not the end of the world. Otto, I think you're looking at the South Nesakwatch Spire.
  9. Sorry guys, I can't be bothered.... Here's a link to my photos on flickr for easier viewing https://flic.kr/s/aHskignPBm thanks for the suggestions though! It's a great trip, and can easily be done as a day trip with good route finding, an early start, and efficient movement.
  10. hmmmm.... it appears I'm not being bold enough. Any tips? the FAQ post isn't helping.
  11. http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/OneFire.asp?ID=567 Closed from O km, see pdf map below for more details. I think Chehalis FSR is still open to Chehalis Lake.
  12. Trip: Welcome to the Chehalis - June 6/7 - Date: 6/6/2015 Trip Report: Ever since I'd learned about it, the Chehalis had a reputation in my mind of being remote, bushy, rugged and wild. Since first seeing the photos of the peaks in this area, I knew I had to check it out. It was only a matter of time…. After learning that an extended trip into Garibaldi wasn't in the cards for my week off, Lauren and I exchanged a series of text messages: M: "Adventure time this weekend?" L: "Sure. What do you have in mind?" M: "It's the Viennese-Clarke Traverse, in the Chehalis" L: "Sounds adventurous, I'm keen!" Not verbatim, but that's more or less how it went down. So we set off Friday night, our first Chehalis trip. We camped at the truck, not really sleeping much due to the bugs and not having a tent….The night was long. At the first hint of sunrise, I stirred Lauren and we took off for the alpine bowl above Statlu Lake. We meandered our way up to Statlu Lake and then to Upper Statlu. Many switchbacks made me happy, since our packs were feeling a little heavy.... It’s probably just the rope…. We got to Upper Statlu at around 10am, where we had a snooze on the beach to avoid midday heat. Which was a poor idea, since it was even hotter when we left Upper Statlu at 3pm. From the lake, we bashed our way to debris flows which would lead us into the alpine. In the cold stream that ran through the debris, the coolest wildlife I saw all weekend were coastal tailed frogs and their tadpoles. Some scrambling next to a waterfall got us above the impressive headwall above Upper Statlu, and from there some more rambling up slabs led us to a flat spot among boulders, trees, and creeks. We soon realized that the VC Traverse would likely not be the best idea, given the amount of terrain to cover, the amount of snow on the ridges, and the low likelihood of an overnight refreeze. We decided to climb the E Ridge of Viennese, and traverse across to the Redoubt/Viennese col, and descend from there. We would leave our gear at our bivy, and pick it up on the way down. Settling in for sleep at 7pm, we quickly realized that sleep would not come to us this night. Too hot to cover up from the bugs, and no breeze to blow them away, the bugs were destroying us. We opted to hike up to the ridge leading to Viennese, bivy there, carrying all our gear up and over. We clambered up, settling in for one of the best bivies I've had in a long time. Bug free, cool breezes, and impressive views of the ranges around us, Mt Baker, Slesse, and the Cheam Range to the south, along with bits of the Fraser Valley. Nursery Peak and Grainger to the north, and views of the Old Settler, Breakenridge, and a few other spires to the east. The sun quickly set, and we both had a good night of sleep. We had a leisurely morning at sunup, talking about the pub, and how quickly we'd climb the ridge, descend the far side, and have some delicious burgers at the Sasquatch Inn. 'Twas not to be. The epic begins. Our packs were now starting to feel very heavy. We geared up, and packed our belongings and started scrambling up the E Ridge. The exposure increases dramatically the higher you get. It was mostly 3rd/4th class, until the last pitch below the summit. While the climbing was never hard, we were wearing heavy packs, and the climbing was airy enough to give you pause. Exposed climbing brought us to the summit, where we quickly descended to the other side. We found rap tat, and made a 40m rappel down to a ledge system, and pulled the rope. The knot passed easily enough cracks, but on the pull, got our ropes stuck in a crack. As I pulled, a block the size of a person moved. Spooked, and realizing we didn’t have any alternatives but to pull, we untied one of the ropes, sheltered behind a boulder and yanked the rope hard. Down came the block, and my hopes for an intact rope were low. As we fished in the rope, amazingly enough not only was it not cut, but there wasn’t any substantial damage to it. A bit razzled, we started some exposed 4th class scrambling, our packs starting to slow our progress. More exposed traversing along the ridge brought us to the Viennese/Recourse col. We found more rap tat, and made another 40m rappel down to the snow. We made a few more raps over short cliff bands separated by snow, as the alternatives would be downclimbing snow with moats below. Once clear of all major difficulties, we made it down quickly on low angle, but sloppy snow. The next part of the descent was getting down from the upper bowl. According to McLane’s guidebook, a flagged, bushy descent close to the waterfall was our best way down. Following cairns, we found our way into the trees near the waterfall. Bushy, yes, but the last part was full on B5 bushwhacking with some 5th class downclimbing! I’m assuming we were offroute here as we didn’t see any flagging. The guidebook is getting a bit dated though, so I’m not too sure. We made it down nevertheless. We made quick work of the descent to Statlu Lake, where the bush seemed thicker than on the way up. Our bare legs were getting slapped and scraped, our bags heavy, and legs tired. The warm air offered no chance of reprieve. Soaked to the bone in sweat and exhausted, we finally made it back to the truck at midnight, where a fresh change of clothes, water, and food were waiting. We were at home by 3.30 after a late night/early morning visit to Timmy’s. What an epic. Thick bush, bad bugs, big rugged terrain: Welcome to the Chehalis. a few photos: https://flic.kr/s/aHskaaNg1b Gear Notes: Light rack of nuts/tricams, slings, 2x60m half ropes
  13. Thanks! Yep, left it right below the chockstone, it should have red tape on it. My partner plugged it a little too deep, and without a nut tool I couldn't get it out. Put it to good use! Did you guys get heat exhaustion? Sure was hot out. Did the fire on Harrison West FSR give you any issues?
  14. Definitely a worthwhile place to visit! Access isn't too bad, mostly 2WD accessible, although 4x4 is nice. You can't go up the Chehalis Lake FSR (at least as far as I know, rumour has it they may be clearing that road soon). Access is from the Harrison West FSR, and then up the Mystery Creek - Chehalis FSR at km 28 (ish).
  15. There was actually another party that was coming down off the S Face of Viennese as we were heading up! There was also quite a bit of wear in the trail at least halfway up to Upper Statlu, so I think people are still heading that way. Would love to read some old Chehalis stories. Such a sweet area.
  16. Slesse Conditions 2015

    and with the warm weather, that thing must have just slipped right off.
  17. Hi everyone, I have a week off from June 8-12, looking for a partner to do something either at the crags, multipitch, or in the alpine. Ideally I'd like to spend a day doing something low-key first. I'm in Vancouver, and I'm looking to stay closeby (nesakwatch area, harrison, squamish, etc etc). If you're interested, please PM me, and we can talk about some ideas.
  18. Hey everyone, my partner and I had to leave 2 lockers at the top of Talking Holds (10a) at the smoke bluffs (boulder gully) with the ensuing thunderstorm last night. If anyone is out there, let me know if you grab them. A pint of beer at the brew pub is on offer.
  19. Garibaldi Lake?

    Not melted out completely, but bring your pfd: http://www.backcountrytalk.earnyourturns.com/vb/showthread.php?1398-2014-15-Coast-Mountain-Conditions/page6
  20. Compelled to Climb- Have a few Questions

    my two cents regarding down: a lot of it is treated now, in theory it should perform well even when moderately wet. For me so far, it's been fine on short multiday, but relatively dry (by PNW standards) trips. Keep it going man, don't overdo it, and work towards your goals in bite-sized, manageable chunks.
  21. Trip: Wedge Mountain - NE Arete - Date: 5/4/2015 Trip Report: With recent snow in the alpine, a group of us decided to bail on Mt Bardean, with a lot of unknowns, and about a 95% chance of an epic. We settled on Wedge Mountain via the NE Arete. With a great forecast, our hopes were high. 3 of us lugged our skis up the mountain, and at the treeline were able to hop into them. It saved much postholing, and speeded up our progress considerably. It was a bluebird day with great corn snow. After establishing our camp (one cave and a bivy platform) on the glacier, myself and another went off to scope out a descent. All couloirs were blocked by massive cornices, and the Wedge Couloir descent meant a mandatory hike/skin to get back onto the Wedge Glacier. A few quick turns and we headed back to camp for bed. We woke up at 3am and were off by 4. We approached the arete where we changed into our crampons for the fun part. A year ago I was soiling my pants with the exposure. With a bit of mileage in the alpine recently, I didn't find this section a problem, despite the sugary snow. We dropped our skis at 2600m for the final run to the summit. The snow, while sugary, was never so bad as to turn around, but it was a bit of a slog. We tagged the summit, had a scotch and a couple photos, and then headed back down to make room for the other group. We got back to the skis, and made quick work of the descent, despite the solid crust and my boots not locking in ski mode. By the time we waited for the climbers to get back to the camp and things got packed up, the crust had turned to corn, and we had some amazing turns back down to the treeline. All in all, a great weekend in the alpine, and happy to put this route behind me. Follow the link for photos.