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Nick Sweeney

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Everything posted by Nick Sweeney

  1. The guidebook is by Thaddeus Laird. Can’t recall the name right now but it’s worth picking up.
  2. Trip: Cabinets Mountains/Ojibway Peak - SW Face Standard Route (III 5.7) Trip Date: 09/04/2021 Trip Report: Listen up nerds, climbing in the Cascades is just too easy. Good trails, tons of beta, and the routefinding decisions typically come down to "follow the clean rock" or "ascend the obvious gully." Western Montana has some REAL adventure climbing. Alright, I'm being somewhat facetious, but the Cabinets are RAD. It's incredibly rugged up there and the vertical relief is impressive. Even a scramble route in this area is going to feel like a massive adventure. Not that these peaks are super tall (the giants of the range are around 8000 feet) but the valleys are so deep that the scale is similar to that of larger, higher ranges. I finally made the trip and in case you haven't noticed, I'm PSYCHED and the trailheads for this range are only three hours from my front door. Anyone want to get back there for a big adventure in the next couple of weeks before the season closes? I have my eyes on a few things. Check out my TR for Ojibway on my site: SPOKALPINE Gear Notes: A single rack .2-3 works great for the standard route. 70m rope recommended but a 60m will do you just fine. Approach Notes: Easy, until it's not. But still easy...
  3. No reference, I just love calling people nerds ironically. Nerd.
  4. [TR] Lower Doublet - Line of Constant Sorrow 7/1/2017

    This is really really cool!
  5. Trip: Dragtontail Peak - Backbone Ridge Trip Date: 08/28/2021 Trip Report: Had a great time on Backbone last weekend! Quality aventure route. We did the rappel descent - not much beta out there for this, but they are easy to find following Blake's beta in Cascades Rock. Full report with photos: SPOKALPINE Gear Notes: Doubles to 2, single 3, 4, 6 Approach Notes: Pooper at the South shore of the lake!!
  6. [TR] Forbidden - Northwest Face 07/18/2021

    That makes sense. Good job sticking it out and getting down safely.
  7. [TR] Forbidden - Northwest Face 07/18/2021

    Oooooof. I’ve been there…. Shiver bivies aren’t fun, but you know you’re trying hard when they happen! What do you think went wrong for you on this one? Hard to imagine that upper face taking more than a couple of hours.
  8. [TR] Lion's Head - East Buttress 07/17/2021

    Trip: Lion's Head - East Buttress Trip Date: 07/17/2021 Trip Report: Idaho is amazing! You can have legit mountain adventures in the Selkirks on impeccable stone. I recently returned to Chimney Rock and thought I'd share my trip report here: SPOKALPINE Gear Notes: Singles .3-3, doubles .5-1 Approach Notes: Bushwhack for your life!!!!
  9. [TR] Chimney Rock - Free Friends 07/06/2021

    Right on Marlin, that’s some fantastic beta about that approach.
  10. [TR] Chimney Rock - Free Friends 07/06/2021

    Trip: Chimney Rock - Free Friends Trip Date: 07/06/2021 Trip Report: God damn! This route is incredibly high quality and STOUT at the supposed pitch ratings of 5.9+, 5.10c, and 5.8+. It was a real pleasure getting up to Chimney again... better than I remembered. Full report with photos: SPOKALPINE Gear Notes: Doubles .2-4, triples .75-2. We used it all. Approach Notes: Sounds like the Western approach is the fastest option, and I've heard tales of being able to cross over to the East Face on the south of chimney rather than hiking around the North side. For this trip, we took the Eastern (Pack River) approach to enjoy the scenic hiking and try something new,
  11. Trip: Mt Drum (Wrangell Mountains) - Southwest / Hurricane Ridge Trip Date: 05/03/2021 Trip Report: Benny Lieber and I attempted Mt Drum from May 3-8, 2021. While we didn't summit, this was still an amazing trip. It was really memorable to be visiting the Wrangells on my first trip to Alaska - a range which is pretty far off the beaten path to say the least. TR with photos: SPOKALPINE Gear Notes: Screws, pickets Approach Notes: It's hard to get flights in here. Finding a friendly private pilot is your best bet.
  12. [TR] Mt Hood - Cathedral Ramp - FA 04/17/2021

    For those interested, I posted up a trip report with lots of photos here: Spokalpine
  13. Wow. Nice send! Thanks for the great blog post too.
  14. Thanks for posting, I appreciated that you reflected on your decision making in the blog post. Rad photos too!
  15. Nice work! That's an incredible looking route.
  16. [TR] Pickets - Northern Pickets Traverse 8/7/2017

    So impressed by this. Nice work!
  17. Trip: Bugaboo Spire - Northeast Ridge Date: 7/31/2017 Trip Report: This was a big aventure climb that involved a close call with lightning and a miserable shiver bivy. You can read the full report at Spokalpine.com Gear Notes: An extra Gu for the morning Approach Notes: Short from Applebee
  18. [TR] Bugaboo Spire - Northeast Ridge 7/31/2017

    Chuck, thanks for the compliments. It's pretty hard to take a bad picture up there! In regard to the cave, we only had bad options to choose from. Here's a little more detail: I had just made the first rappel off of the North summit and was scrambling a somewhat exposed ridge to find the next set of bolts. I approached the gendarme, and noted that the entire rock pinnacle was buzzing. Not just the bolts, but the gendarme itself! My partner began screaming has he was rappelling - he was receiving shocks while he descended. He later said it felt like bees stinging him. I ran back up the ridge and gave him a fireman's belay while telling him to keep rappelling as calmly as I could. By the time he got off rappel, our ice axes were buzzing, the wind gusts had reached 60mph, and things were looking pretty grim. Our choices were to continue descending, stay where we were on the exposed ridge, or scramble up to an alcove. I was not willing to make the next rappel off of the Gendarme AKA lightning rod, especially considering how loudly it was buzzing. Staying where we were wasn't especially attractive since it was starting to rain - if I was going to die, I didn't want to be cold while it happened. We scrambled into the alcove where we were sheltered from precipitation (it was hailing now), somewhat out of the wind, and clipped into a good anchor. Once we got all situated in our perch, the storm cleared and we started rapping again. In retrospect, the ridge may have been safer, with both the gendarme and the summit being higher than I was. But in the moment, it felt like a pretty scary place to be!
  19. [TR] Bugaboo Spire - Northeast Ridge 7/31/2017

    No problem my man! You had an awesome trip, I am really jealous you guys knocked off the Snowpatch Route. Let me know if you want to do some climbing sometime.
  20. Trip: Pigeon Spire - West Ridge Date: 7/29/2017 Trip Report: The best 5.4 in the world was pretty damn good. Full TR: Spokalpine Gear Notes: Skip the climbing shoes, just use approach shoes! Approach Notes: Follow the cattle trail from Applebee.
  21. [TR] Bugaboo Spire - Northeast Ridge 7/31/2017

    That's what I thought - very poor form, especially on such a popular route, and especially with other teams standing there, ready to climb. Thankfully the team of 4 split into two teams after the first pitch.
  22. Trip: Dragontail Peak - Serpentine Arete Date: 7/8/2017 Trip Report: John and I climbed Dragontail's Serpentine Arete in 24 hours car to car on July 8th. We should have brought crampons, which would have made things safer and saved time. I expected the descent to take 4 hours from the summit to the car, based on my experiences on this peak in early Spring conditions. It actually took us 8 hours! A painful learning experience. You can see my full trip report and photos on my site: Spokalpine
  23. [TR] Dragontail Peak - Serpentine Arete 7/8/2017

    Hey Daphne, I would recommend bringing ice axes and crampons right now. We got away without crampons, but if the snow was much harder we would have been forced to bail. We used approach shoes, which should be fine for you. Boots are unnecessary unless you want to keep your feet dry on the descent. Have an awesome time!
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