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Everything posted by NikiY


    I had some great skiing on the Muir snowfield last October, and by the looks of it this October should be good too!

    We went to Pinnacle "Glacier". I'll let this photo do the talking:

    Hell yeah! Heading out tomorrow in search of some!
  4. Which Dan Smith? Not the Dan Smith? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Smith_Will_Teach_You_Guitar
  5. Expired security certificate

    You guys probably already know this, but your security certificate expired.
  6. not secure

    I posted in the cc.news forum and JasonG reached out to the site admins. Hopefully they will updated their cert soon
  7. Trip: The Tooth and Pineapple pass - South face Trip Date: 07/14/2018 Trip Report: My friend Summer texted me asking if I wanted to ski over the weekend. She's been trying to get turns all year and I've been going along for the ride. She has also spent the last few months talking about climbing the Tooth and skiing Pineapple pass and suggested that as an objective. I was pretty skeptical there would be snow but figured "why not?" Arriving at the trailhead we prepared ourselves mentally for the onslaught of "are you really going skiing?" but mercifully we seemed to arrive after the early morning crowd but before the late morning crowd and the gasps of disbelief upon seeing a couple of people with skis were pretty minimal. Are you really going skiing? The hike and approach were fairly straight forward - there was minimal snow until we reached the bench ~700-800 feet below Pineapple pass. We put on skis and managed to skin most of the way up to the Tooth. Eventually we needed to traverse over some talus and took the skis off. I ended up falling into a hole in the snow. Unfortunately I didn't think to take a photo while I was underneath the snow, but managed to get a photo of the hole once I extracted myself: The snow ended at the notch and the approach gully to the Tooth was completely snow free: We swapped leads and made it to the summit fairly quickly. On the way down we met John (from Alaska) and Hank who were also descending. We ended up tying our ropes together so we could get down in two raps. I'm a Disney Princess It was time to ski! This was ~650 vertical feet later we reached the end of the snow. This was the most work I have ever done for the least amount of skiing I've ever done. But Summer was super stoked to finally climb and ski the Tooth and honestly it was a very enjoyable day in the mountains! Gear Notes: Single rack from .3 to 3, nuts, tricams, skis Approach Notes: Continuous snow started ~700 feet below the notch. It's almost certainly no longer continuous.
  8. Looking for a Mentor!

    Just got off Denali and spent 45 days in Patagonia? Sounds like you should be looking for a mentee.
  9. Trip: East Wilmans Spire - Standard Trip Date: 06/24/2018 Trip Report: My friend Jean was looking for a partner to climb East Wilmans Spire. I had never heard of it so of course I was in. We left Seattle at 6am and arrived at the TH around 7:30 and we were off. The trail to Monte Cristo is pretty flat and the four miles flew by in a little over an hour. A little less than two hours after leaving Monte Cristo we could finally see our objective. The snow field is split by a rocky ridge. The left of the ridge looked like it might have continuous snow all the way to the notch, the right would definitely involve some talus. We opted to go right since we weren't sure if we could actually get over that ridge and didn't want to get cliffed out. Jean headed up first and decided to ascend straight to the talus/scree and hike up. However the scree proved to be extremely loose so we traversed left and ascended a thin sliver of snow as far as we could. Once we were back on the snow the slope angle gradually increased and it was at this point I started to regret my gear choices. I had brought soft hiking boots and Petzl Irvis hybrid crampons (the kind with the dyneema cord). This combo proved to be too flexy for the snow conditions. Fortunately Jean had some real mountaineering boots and graciously led up the snow kicking pretty solid steps that I could follow. The snow just barely continued up to the notch. The notch itself was completely snow free and comprised of the same extremely loose talus we had encountered earlier. Once at the base of the climb we geared up and Jean took the first lead. This involved first climbing up some low fifth-class terrain, traversing, and then down climbing about 15 feet of loose 5.5, finally followed by another traverse over loose rock at which point rope drag dictated a belay. While following I was very thankful that Jean somehow managed to get 4 pieces of pro in that short section of down climbing (more gear than the rest of the climb combined!) which made the crumbly down climb feel really safe. I took the next lead which zig-zagged left then right. The topo said "follow the obvious route" which of course was not obvious at all. I stopped at a decent stance which looked like it could have been the start of the third pitch and contemplated setting up an anchor. However further right looked much more promising so I committed to a thin traverse (probably only around 5.3, but felt significantly harder with all the rope drag) and found a comfortable belay spot beneath a splitter (relatively speaking) hand crack. We swapped leads again and Jean got the privilege of leading the only real section of rock climbing on the entire route. Three hand jams, one cam and a 50 foot run out later and she was on the summit. On the way down I cut away at least six slings from one of the rappel anchor (and added one) and it was still a complete rats nest. PSA: if you are going to add a new sling to a rap anchor, cut at least one old sling away. The descent was mostly uneventful other than slicing my leg open with my ice ax. Total gumby move. In total it took us about 11:30 hours car-to-car. Was it worth it? Yeah I guess so. It's an extremely cool feature that just begs to be climbed. Gear Notes: Cams to #2, nuts Approach Notes: The snow field is split by a rocky ridge/cliff. From the base you can't see if the left side is continuous or not, however from above you can see that it is possible to get through the cliff band (at least when there is enough snow).
  10. question Petzl Leopard Crampons

    I've used the semi-steel version of these (Irvis Hybrid) on Wy'east with ski boots (set up as step-in) and on East Wilmans Spire with hiking boots (set up as strap-on). They performed really well with the ski boots and were less than ideal with hiking boots. That has more to do with the hiking boots, though a stiffer crampon probably would have been better. With a rigid boot you'll probably be okay, but if it's icy the AL won't grip as well and if it's too mushy you'll have balling issues (although you mentioned you're planning on getting the anti-balling plates).
  11. [TR] Half Moon - North Ridge 06/23/2018

    Nice report! And thanks for removing the old rap tat instead of just adding to it. I cut away about 6 slings from a rap anchor this weekend and it was still a complete mess (I would have cut away more but I was eager to get down).
  12. Technical Mountaineering Partner

    Off-topic, but is that Bonnie's Roof in your profile photo?
  13. Vesper approach conditions?

    Thanks for the beta! Didn't end up going out this weekend (injured my toe on Kulshan and I'm trying to take it easy), unfortunately. And with the heat wave later this week I expect it might be done for the season.
  14. Vesper approach conditions?

    Is Vesper/Headlee pass still skiable?
  15. [TR] Kulshan - North Ridge 06/07/2018

    Nice photo! I'm a bit bummed we did the right variation as overall the quality was lacking, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. When we were on the ice cliff we saw some people who looked like they were heading to the start of the north ridge. I was pretty surprised as that would be a very late start! We never saw them on the route however.
  16. Trip: Kulshan - North Ridge Trip Date: 06/07/2018 Trip Report: Ever since I moved to Seattle three years ago it's been a dream of mine to climb the North Ridge of Kulshan. Last year I climbed the Coleman-Deming route and stared longingly at the north ridge on the way up. Finally this year I felt ready - physically, technically and mentally. Unfortunately all my usual partners have either already climbed it and were not interested in going back, or did not have the requisite skills, so I turned to cascade climbers to search for a partner. After some back and forth with a few people I was able to make plans with Casey - we were going to attempt the north ridge on Thursday and Friday June 7th and 8th. However the weather didn't cooperate with our plans - the forecast called for snow/rain starting on Thursday night. We decided that we would just attempt it car-to-car on Thursday instead. As the day approached I started having more and more anxiety. I had yet to even meet Casey much less climb with him. I considered calling it off or changing our plans but instead suggested we meet up to discuss the climb. We met up in Seattle on Tuesday and discussed our goals, abilities, gear and strategy for the climb. With my anxiety [mostly] allayed we decided to leave Wednesday night, sleep at the trailhead and start heading up around 3am. I estimated that it would take us around 15 hours car-to-car, giving us 5 hours to approach the north ridge, 5 to climb it and 5 to descend. Casey more or less agreed estimating that we would take between 12 and 16 hours. I picked up Casey after work on Wednesday and started driving north around 6pm. Somehow we managed to not hit any traffic and got to the trailhead around 8:45pm giving us plenty of time to eat dinner and get to sleep at a reasonable hour with a 2:30am wake up time. After a quick breakfast we were on our way. While signing the register we noticed that there was at least one other party heading up the north ridge. After about 2 hours and a little bit of faffing (I had forgotten my avy beacon in the car and ran back to get it, fortunately that was after only 5-10 minutes of hiking) we got to the hogsback where we stopped to take some pictures of the mountain and get roped up for glacier travel. Casey took the lead and we followed the bootpack across the Coleman glacier. The glacier was pretty mellow and there were minimal route finding issues so we pretty quickly found ourselves at the north ridge. We saw a party of two heading up the shortcut but it looked pretty steep to us and I don't think either of us were quite ready/awake enough for that level of commitment. We decided to continue around to the toe of the ridge and take the easier way up. Here I took the lead up the first steep section which consisted of soft but consolidated snow. It was pretty phsyical work as it was a bit too soft for easy front pointing and required a couple of kicks per step to get a solid stance. Maybe halfway up the toe we swapped leads so I could get a break. Eventually the angle eased off and we found ourselves on a relatively flat slope. Looking up we couldn't see any crevasses and decided it would be a good time to unrope. From here it was mostly just a slog until the ice cliff appeared in our sights. We could see two parties of two at the base of the ice cliff - one on the left side variation and the other on the right. Access to the ice cliff was guarded by a couple of long crevasses that ended just before the right side variation. We discussed which variation we wanted to do - the right looked a bit easier and quicker to approach, but the left promised more ice. We decided we would get closer and make our final decision when we could get a better look. In the mean time we headed towards the right side variation as that provided the only path around the crevasses. As we got closer the angle gradual steepened. Casey ended up climbing up some crumbly rock while I ended up a bit to his left on some steep snow. We were both starting to get sketched out as the angle kept getting steeper with no respite in sight. Eventually I made it to the base of the right side variation where I was able to put in an ice screw and get the rope out. I tied in and tossed down the other end to Casey. The mountain had made a decision for us and that was to climb the right side variation. After racking up I took the first lead. The right variation started with some thin ice climbing which quickly turned into traversing on crumbly rock with poor to non-existent tool placements. Fortunately the protection was good and I was able to get in three screws in the seracs we were climbing beneath. After the traverse was another short section of ice ending in a flat, sunny belay stance. Casey took the following lead which was mostly steep neve with a little bit of ice. I think he managed to place one screw and one picket in a full 60m pitch, building the final anchor using two pickets. When I got to the belay we discussed how we wanted to proceed. I was feeling pretty tired and didn't want to switch to soloing just yet so we settled on simul-climbing the next portion. We left one picket at the belay and I took the lead. I placed two pickets and one very marginal screw before reaching the avalanche crown mentioned in a previous trip report. I found some steps cut into the crown and continued up a bit before building an anchor out of the remaining picket and my ice axe. At this point it became clear that we did not have the time to continue protecting the route so we switched to soloing. Casey took the lead, navigating the remaining crevasses and seracs until we reached the summit plateau. Casey had never summited Kulshan before so we traversed the plateau to the true summit where we spent all of ten seconds enjoying the top. It was 3:30pm, we had spent over 12 hours ascending the north ridge and we were exhausted. This is when we made our biggest mistake of the day. Casey started heading down and asked me where to go, as I was familiar with the descent route. I said "head across the plateau and go left." We followed the bootpack that trended left and began our descent. As we were descending I remember thinking to myself "the route sure is different this year, there must be more snow." After maybe 1500 feet of descent I looked over to Sherman peak and thought to myself "Wow, Colfax looks really different...". I took out my phone and looked at the map. "Casey - we royally fucked up. We are descending the wrong side of the mountain! We have three options - we can climb back up, we can descend and try to hitch a ride or we can try to traverse the Deming glacier to the col between Colfax and Grant peak." We decided to traverse. Fortunately we were able to more or less follow the 9200ft contour line across the Deming glacier, neither gaining nor losing much altitude, and arrive at a notch in the ridge between the Coleman and the Deming glaciers. From here it was a pretty standard descent. We made our way down to the hogsback where we unroped, refilled our water and packed our bags. We made it back to the car a little before 9:30pm, for a total time of around 18 hours and 10 minutes. We had underestimated the route, but survived. Gear Notes: 7 screws, 4 pickets Approach Notes: Standard approach from the heliotrope ridge TH.
  17. Selling a BD Raven 70cm ice axe (with pick protector) in excellent condition and a pair of BD Sabertooth pro step-in (automatic) crampons, also in excellent condition. Used a handful of times. The ice axe is $40 OBO and the crampons are $90 OBO. Pick up in Seattle. Ice axe: https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/spo/d/black-diamond-raven-ice-axe/6537987851.html Crampons: https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/spo/d/black-diamond-sabertooth-pro/6537989536.html
  18. Hey Kevin, I'm planning on doing the North Ridge of Kulshan (Baker) in June and I'm looking for partners. I generally prefer do such routes with people I've already climbed with, but we can discuss it. I also will likely be in the NY area in late May so it's possible we could climb something on the east coast.
  19. Franklin Falls conditions?

    Trip report from WTA from two days ago: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2018-02-20.4461276289 Doesn't look climbable to me, things probably have improved since the TR but I doubt by much.
  20. 2017/18 Oregon Washington ice

    On Saturday I went to Alpental to check on Practice Gully. It is not in.
  21. Trip: Vesper Peak - True Grit Date: 9/28/2017 Trip Report: My friend Sudha called me to let me know that she was driving from Squamish to Smith Rock, and asked if I wanted to climb anything on Thursday while she was passing through Washington. I immediately suggested Ragged Edge on Vesper Peak. We left Seattle around 6:15am and made it to the trailhead a little before 8am and started our hike. After an hour or so we reached the talus and began the slow slog up to headlee pass. Finally at the pass we could see our objective and made quick progress across the basin and up the slabs. According to the guidebook there is a bench at 5,800ft that traverses climbers right around to the north face so we kept going up the slabs until my altimeter said 5,800 and we reached a bench. we started traversing and hit a cliff. Looking down the cliff we could clearly see the ledge we were supposed to be traversing on about 200ft below us. A quick recalibration of my altimeter revealed we were almost 150ft too high and we back tracked until we found the approach trail. By the time we made it to the original start of the ragged edge there was a party of climbers starting the route. AND another party climbing it via the newer start. At this point we decided to do True Grit instead to avoid the traffic jam. As I hadn't climbed in almost a year due to an elbow injury, Sudha took the first lead. In retrospect I probably should have offered to lead it as it was by far the easiest pitch of the climb and would have been a nice, gentle reintroduction to climbing. While I had no trouble following this pitch the easy nature of the pitch didn't led itself to building up my confidence. As such Sudha led the next pitch as well. Some fun chimney moves lead to a well-bolted slab. The moves never felt hard and I arrived at the anchor eager to lead the next pitch. Sudha finishing the chimney on pitch two. Me belaying Sudha on the chimney. The third pitch starts out with some slab/thin face climbing. Overall the edges were fairly positive and the whole pitch felt very secure for a slab climb. I don't recall making any pure friction moves. Climbing pitch three. Sudha at the belay. Sudha got back on lead for pitch 4 to tackle the finger/hand crack. I found this pitch to be much more difficult than I expected. The crack is uneven and shallow in most places, and even when it widened to perfect hands I found I could rarely get my hand deep enough in the crack to get a solid hand jam. Perhaps with more traffic the dirt in the crack will get cleaned out and the climbing will get a little bit easier. It was once again my turn to lead, and I made quick progress up the slabby and overall unmemorable fifth pitch to the summit. The summit! After a short break to each lunch on the summit, we started the descent, and after a seemingly endless amount of time hiking down on talus we made it back to the car. Total time was just shy of 8 hours and 45 minutes. Overall I must say this was a fantastic route - especially pitches 2 - 5.
  22. I'm itching to do some ice or mixed climbing this weekend and I need a partner. I'd prefer an objective that is day-trip-able from Seattle but otherwise I don't have anything particular in mind. Some possible objectives could be: practice gully, rap wall, or Chair peak. I'm pretty new to the area and this is my first winter here. I really don't know where the good ice climbs are and would prefer to climb with someone who knows their way around. Back on the East Coast I was consistently leading WI4 and maybe M5ish (on bolts).
  23. Thanks for the info, I've been keeping my eye on the avy forecast and I am trying to remain optimistic (though realistically it probably won't improve by the weekend). I'd also be down for drytooling at exit 38, cougar mountain, etc.
  24. I want to do Spontenaeity arete on Le Petit Cheval tomorrow. I would prefer to leave Seattle tonight and sleep in the car in order to get an early start tomorrow. I have a rope, a rack and a car, all I need is a partner. Leaving early tomorrow morning is also an option. If you are available PM me and we can start planning.
  25. On Saturday I climbed the west ridge of Paisano Pinnacle. Somewhere between the start of pitch 5 and halfway up pitch 5 my #7 Trango cam vanished. I know it's a long shot but if anyone recovered it and feels like giving it back please PM me. I'll reward you with root beer/beer/coffee/pick your poison.