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Everything posted by mgetlin

  1. I saw those right before I got plucked off by a heli!
  2. Nice work! That looks a whole lot more involved than the August version!
  3. We were there the night of the 30th and climbed the route on the 1st (I think). That little bit at the start of the second runnels pitch was the business! I was pretty stoked when it was Jacob's turn on that one
  4. Trip: Dragontail - TC Trip Date: 05/01/2018 Trip Report: Quick conditions update for anyone looking to snag some last minute ice...there isn’t any! Jacob and i climbed TC yesterday and the runnels were mostly dry with small bits of delaminating ice and rotten snow. It was pretty heady and took a while. Theres Gear Notes: We used a stubby twice. Lots of pins and cams. Approach Notes: Open the stinking road already!
  5. Anybody been up to the lake in the last week? Flotation? Snow on the road? Lake still solid? Thanks
  6. As a general rule, Hood doesn't set up to be "in" or "out" for long periods of time. It changes daily up there through mid summer. I was on lower Yokum the day of the accident and those were very unique conditions caused by a lot of direct sun followed by a very hard freeze and two consecutive clear nights. Two days later, it was a different mountain. A good general guideline is to avoid the upper slopes during changes in weather just as you would be wary of a snowpack undergoing rapid changes. For example, I'm very cautious about going up on the first sunny day after a large storm cycle. That's when the mountain will be changing the most, and shedding a lot of accumulated rime. So I try and wait until there has been at least one full day with the same conditions in which I plan to climb. For example, the freezing level is forecast to go from 7k tonight to almost 12k by Tuesday morning and it is supposed to stay high through Thursday. So for me, I would be worried about going on Tuesday in particular, seeing as it's the first day of a new set of parameters up there. That's not to say climbing Wednesday when it's 40 degrees on the summit is advisable, but it's probably going to be a lot less hairy than tomorrow and Tuesday. Anyway...them's my two cents.
  7. Trip: Mt. Hood - Three Little Monkeys - New Route on The Black Spider Trip Date: 03/31/2018 Trip Report: “Three Little Monkeys” New Route on the Black Spider, Mt. Hood OR WI4+ M5R Michael Getlin and Walter Burkhardt I was chatting with Wayne a few months back and he mentioned that there was some unclimbed potential on the left side of the Spider. A quick scouting mission showed a beautiful and long ice line between the existing Fric-Amos route and the Elder-Russel summer line. A fat long ice line it was not, but it seemed to have smears in all the right places so we gave it a go. We left Timberline at 5am with perfect high cloud cover that promised to keep the sun off the east-facing, concave wall. We crossed the bergschrund at 8:15 and started right in on what we thought would be the crux pitch. A few vertical mixed moves brought me to the hanging, detached ice dagger which proved fragile and delaminated. It was a type of fragile water ice climbing that I have never seen on Mt. Hood. It was strikingly similar to the first pitch of "Mean Streak" in Cody (we bailed). WI4+ (Not Mt. Hood grading) I brought Walter up and then set off to try and connect to another hanging dagger directly above but huge unsupported snow mushrooms guarded it. After sending one down on Walter I decided to try right. This proved to be the crux pitch of the route as rotten snow over near vertical mud lead to two distinct vertical mud chimneys. The second one was protectable, the first was not. It turns out though that in a pinch, the rock/mud takes decent sticks. Several times when I thought I was getting in trouble, I just wailed away at the rock face and my picks stuck like magic! Gotta love volcanoes. M5 R For the third pitch I jogged left again, trying to get back on the plumb line which proved a good guess as we found sound rock with interesting mixed moves and wonderful water ice that took good screws. WI3 M3 After bringing Walter up, I climbed up a narrow ice gully hoping to veer left and drop into the upper bowl through which the Fric-Amos route finishes. At this point it was getting late and we were looking for a quick exit. But to my surprise the bowl was guarded by a vertical snow fin that would have involved about 50 feet of unprotectable down climbing, so I veered right and then straight up, finding a path through wild gold-colored gendarmes that rose like turrets over the upper face. We popped into the sun and knew we were home free. WI3 In all we climbed five full length pitches, the last of which was mostly steep snow. I was lucky to share this experience with Walter. He was a great mentor to me when I first started going to the mountains and I owe him a good deal of credit for keeping me safe and motivated over the years. Note: In retrospect, it’s worth mentioning that the face was pretty dry when we climbed it. The start or Arachnophobia and the visible parts of the center drip looked more like rotten snow than solid alpine ice. I think when the face is fat, the line would be a very reasonable outing. I was surprised at how direct, steep, and sustained it was. I would love someone to give her a go in better ice conditions and see if that little kink in the second pitch could be ironed out. Our line in yellow Looking at the start from below - the face seemed dry to me but it was my first time up there so I don't really know. Approaching the line (Straight ahead) Mid way up the first pitch Walter Following P3 Looking up at the start of P4 Gear Notes: We brought a single 60m, 2 Pickets, 5 screws, 4 pins, and 4 cams (.5-2). We could have used a few smaller cams and a rack of nuts would have been nice Approach Notes: Timberline to top of palmer. Dropped our skis and crossed the white river at about 8800ft. 3:15 car to schrund in good conditions.
  8. Well luckily we left the snowshoes in the car, so we didn't have to carry the extra weight while we wallowed, chest-deep, for hours on end.
  9. Trip: Snoqualmie Mountain - New York Gully Trip Date: 03/16/2018 Trip Report: Jacob and I scratched our way up New York Gully yesterday. With visions of grandeur, i carried a full aid rack and bivy gear up there to try the upper head wall. With no prior knowledge of the rock type, this seemed totally reasonable. In reality, it was not! No wonder there's a beautiful unclimbed wall less than two miles from a 12 month parking lot. Anyway, the route is one of my favorites I've done in the range. We even placed an ice screw! Gear Notes: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much. A run of cams, a few pins and a screw would have been plenty. Approach Notes: Armpit deep
  10. Trip: Mt Hood - Not Yocum Ridge (New Variation) Trip Date: 02/10/2018 Trip Report: I had to share this one for entertainment value.... Jacob and I have been poking at Yocum for a couple years now with very little (read none) success. After a very thorough study of weather patterns that lead to climbable conditions in the past, and a close look at my own weather notes over the years etc, I had determined that yesterday (Saturday) was the perfect day. We set out at a leisurely pace from the parking lot a bit after midnight and dropped our skis at the top of Palmer. The entire mountain was covered in a thick sheet of ice. It was PERFECT conditions for the more eccentric Mt Hood routes and we thought we finally had it in the bag. The slope going down from Illumination Saddle to the Reid would have taken bomber ice screws. It was nuts! As we crossed the glacier and looked up at the ridge, Jacob pointed out what he thought were the first, second and third gendarmes barely outlined against the few visible stars on a moonless night with intermittent cloud bands whipping through. I very confidently corrected him and showed him the first gendarme a little lower down the ridge. We soloed up to the base of what I thought was the first gendarme, hacked our a little belay ledge, and racked up. Ready to head-lock this beast, I confidently cruised straight up the gut of the feature in a steep mixed gully. The climbing was moderate and I had run out about 70 feet to a vertical mixed step above which I had spotted what looked like a good cam placement. Just as I was testing a pick placement (that of course failed and pulled a large chunk of rime off), my fancy, fully-charged Petzl smart headlamp died out of nowhere. Dark doesn't even do justice as a description. After about 3 minutes of positive self talk (read "calm the f*&^ down Mike") I blindly grabbed a sawed off 18" picket off my harness and started alternating between hitting it and my thumb. With unsettling ease, I placed it, clipped it, and started down climbing. Back at the belay, after a robust bout of barfies and armed with a working headlamp, I headed back up into the maelstrom. The pitch ended up being superb. Were it on a route, it would be a classic. It was complex and technical climbing on good rock with a wide variety of required skills and decent gear if one is a bit creative. The crux was an overhanging mixed sequence onto fragile thin ice but was reasonably well protected. After about an hour and a half and 65 meters, I set up a belay and brought Jacob up. Thinking we were near the top of the first gendarme, Jacob lead through around a corner to find a 500 foot low angle snow slope...leading up to the bottom of the first gendarme. In my haste, I had charged up the head wall on the south side of the ridge thinking it was the first gendarme. How I did this after years of studying this route is completely beyond me. I pride myself in good route-finding and in being well researched and prepared. But I made a rookie mistake by charging straight up when had I peeked around a corner 30 feet to my left I would have seen the whole route clearly, even in the dark. By the time we got up there the sun was out and the rime was falling. We new we were too far being schedule to send, so we soloed down the easy slope back to our start point. Before you head up, ALWAYS LOOK AROUND THE CORNER! Lucky for me Jacob has a sense of humor and headed back to Seattle satisfied to have done some interesting climbing while wasting a perfect weather window for a coveted objective. Good times! Anyway, I would like to add this new route variation to the annals of Mt. Hood climbing history. It goes at roughly 65M, 100 Degrees, WI-Silly, M-Notpayingattention. We'd like to call it the "Not Yocum Ridge" variation to the start of Yocum Ridge. Gear Notes: Pickets, Pins, Cams, Screws Approach Notes: Across the Reid
  11. I always planned to call it "Pencil full of Lead" in honor of my aging but respectable libido. But alas, the honor was not mine
  12. If I go again, I'm probably bringing a damn tent.
  13. We ran into a police officer heading up the road toward the memorial trailhead. He told us there was a rescue underway up there. We had just been saying the day before what a nightmare it would be to try and longline off of that thing. I am amazed and impressed with those SAR folks. Angels on our shoulders.
  14. Trip: Mount Slesse - N.(D)E. Butt Date: 7/17/2017 Trip Report: Considering my ongoing battle with small arms and big legs, I tend to choose lines that look pretty over those that contain great climbing. Fortunately for me, the NE Buttress of Slesse has both the looks and the charm, so it's been on the list a long while now. Timmy and I decided on a light and fast mission, opting for the carryover descent, a liter and a half each, no bivy gear, no real insulation, a single 60m, and a shamefully thin rack. We nailed the "light" part; it was the "fast" that could use some improvement. Driving up from Portland, we used Steph's beta (huge thanks to the Queen of the Cascades for this...and about a dozen other routes she's got us up), cashed a mountain bike and some bivy gear at Slesse creek, and got an hour or so of sleep before heading out nice and early. We were at the propeller cairn in 1:35 and across to the bypass ramp in just over 2 hours from the car. Pleased with our progress and full of naive exuberance, I proceeded to make a sharp left up some runout slab with a healthy covering of vegetables and grime. Had I looked around a bush and seen the class three ramp continuing for another several hundred feet, I might have saved us two hours, a brand new sling, and our position in front of the three other groups on the Saturday Slesse Send Train. Assuming this would (of course) be the only thing that went wrong all day, we charged ahead with some mild apprehension at the late hour. The climbing was varied, interesting, and spectacularly exposed. It climbs a bit like the north ridge of Stuart, on steroids. With the exception of the usual route finding shenanigans, the climbing went well. We simuled most of the route, stopping to pitch out roughly the same stuff Blake references, using a combination of his beta and the old Becky topo. On the way, we ended up congenially tangled with a competent and strong four pack from Seattle, with whom we'd soon become quite well acquainted. We topped out a few minutes after 7, and were off the rappels from the summit pinnacle by dark with our new friends hot on our heals. Having planned for a long day, we intended to take the easier descent down to Slesse Creek and our mountain bike. They had planned to do the crossover descent, but given the late hour, decided to join us on the "easy" descent. Just as we found the descent trail the weather moved in, and within minutes we were in a less-than-ideal situation, climbing blind on 45 degree wet heather with less than 15 ft of visibility and a nice breeze to boot. It got bad enough that we could hardly see headlamps pointed straight at us from less than 100 feet away...it was creepy being able to hear each other in normal speaking voices over the whistling wind, while being totally unable to see the headlamps that accompanied the sound. After some colorful language and some close calls, we were able to gather each other up to a cave we had passed at the base of the summit pinnacle. It didn't take much discussion to come to the conclusion that we were going nowhere until the morning. So we all made do with our little cave and shivered the night away. As these things go, it wasn't so bad. We had a nice cave and great company, even if we were ill prepared and, of course, out of water. With the sun we rose, moaning and creaking our way down to the crossover descent, which we decided to take given that we were now going down during the day (God help anyone who tries to figure that thing our for the first time at night). The descent felt like a grade IV climb in itself. It was complex, technical, scary, and spectacular. Not the lease unnerving was the significant amount of steep snow climbing in approach shoes with no crampons or axes! A huge thanks is also due to the Seattle boys for the beta on getting down. After all this, we limped back to the car to find that (1.) We had a flat tire, and (2.) Somebody had parked their car ON TOP of the small rock under which I had hid my key. It took about 20 minutes of frantic digging with a nut tool to pry it loose. God I love the Cascades. Gear Notes: Not enough Approach Notes: No problem. It't the descent that sucks.
  15. Trip: Rainier - Ptarmigan Ridge Date: 6/29/2017 Trip Report: Hey folks! There has been some good action on the north side of Rainier lately, and we are especially grateful to whomever put in the fantastic boot pack on Ptarmigan! The recent report (last month?) is very thorough, but there have been some notable conditions changes...that said, conditions are near perfect so if you're looking at her, go for it! We left the car at 5:15 am on Tuesday and had a very leisurely day getting up to high camp where we arrived a little after 2. The glacier travel was very straight forward and we almost walked a straight line across the entire ice-scape of the north side. We dropped down at 4:15 am and crossed the ice cliff runout at a jog before dropping the rope to solo the first 1500 ft, which we did in an hour. Two simul pitches with bomber ice screws got us to the mixed pitch, which consisted of about 40 feet of low 5th scrambling leading to a cruxy little boulder problem which was made even more interesting by a half centimeter thick coating of verglas. It was reasonable but certainly not trivial in the conditions we found it, with the only passable line being noticeably overhung. We shuffled and wheezed up and over and floppy-legged our way down the Emmons. All in all we were 5 hours on route and about 14 hours camp to car. It's a long couple days, but one of the truly great routes in the PNW. It's big, complicated, and interesting. We just loved it. The experience was made all the better by the fact that between crossing the Winthrop glacier and when we got down to Camp Sherman, we did not see a single soul. When does that happen on a nice day in June????!!!!???? Gear Notes: 5 Screws 2 Pickets 3 Pins 40m 7.6 Approach Notes: White River to High Camp
  16. Yeah that was me. How was the Reid? I was tempted to do it. Looked fantastic!
  17. That would be a super proud ski! And this is the year to do it. Bring the big sticks up the south side and send the step!
  18. Oh nice! I was looking over at the spire and the Eliot thinking the gully must be fat! How was it? The sandy looks like a great ski once it corns out. It's very similar to Leutholds IMO...just wider. The surface was nice and uniform without much in the way of chicken heads etc.
  19. Trip: Mt Hood - Sandy Glacier Headwall Date: 5/6/2017 Trip Report: Took a spin up the Sandy Headwall this morning. It was my first time on that side of Yocum and definitely worth the trip. There is nothing too exciting on the route itself...it's a bit like a safer (less ice fall) version of Leutholds but it's in a wonderful location and has cool exposure. Left the parking lot at 5 sharp, got to Illumination at 6:35, skied across the Reid to the upper Yocum crossing (maybe 8500 ft) and did some wandering before figuring out the best way to cross the Sandy. Crossed the shrund at 8:25, summit at 10:10, back at the car just before 11 for 5:58 c2c. It's really a pretty quick jaunt but you get the feel of isolation unlike most of the easier Hood routes. Go give it a shot! If you haven't done it, it's a fun alternative when the south side is mobbed. There are some cracks appearing on both the Reid and Sandy. I skied across since I was solo but a bit of glacier floss wouldn't be the worst idea.
  20. Thanks guys! It really isn't that bad. It's intimidating and time consuming but we really felt like it protected reasonably well. (Or at least that's how I remember it a couple weeks later.) That was definitely the first good spectre I have ever placed! But seriously, go give it a shot. There was decent water ice buried beneath the rime and all it takes is a little patience and creativity. And it's very rewarding to climb it in true winter conditions. Not something everyone gets to see!
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