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Posts posted by NikiY

  1. It was not open as of last weekend and I heard it's probably not going to open this summer. I took a mountain bike up the road (and a friend took a touring bike which managed okay) and honestly the road seems to be mostly repaired. There were a couple of rocky sections but nothing a sedan couldn't handle. I went as far as the Boston Basin trailhead. It was closed about 4.5 miles from Boston Basin btw.

  2. I planned on climbing the West Ridge of Forbidden on Saturday 07-03. I ended up bailing at the third stream crossing before Boston Basin. There were some people ahead of us who presumably made it across, but we didn't want to risk it - the water levels were really high at 7am, it would have been dangerous to cross it then and I can't imagine how bad it would have been on the way down in the afternoon. For reference, the first stream crossing was noticeably worse on the way out than the way in (only about 2 hours later).

    Conditions may have improved since then - one big problem was that further upstream the stream was surrounded by collapsed snow bridges and downstream it got wider. There might be a better crossing now as more snow has melted out.

    Also Cascade River Road is closed about 4.5 miles from the trailhead, so I would recommend bringing a bike.

  3. I visited Seattle in 2013 to climb Rainier with a friend. During the climb my friend's face got pretty sunburnt and he ended up with some serious racoon-face. When we got back to Seattle we stopped in at Second Ascent and the guy behind the counter also had a pretty serious goggle tan. They made eye contact and silently nodded at each other.

    Since then I have moved to Seattle and spent an obscene amount of money at Second Ascent. I'll really miss having a gear shop just a short bike ride away staffed by people who really live climbing and skiing.

  4. Sorry, should have been more specific. They may teach you stuff, but that is not their *goal*. This is probably true of most guides taking people up the DC though.

    Again, this is hearsay. I don't have any personal experience.

    Edit: Put another way, there are people who hire guides because they want to become more competent climbers, and there are people who hire guides because they want to get to the top. From what I have heard, RMI caters to the latter. I don't think there is anything wrong with that, but it's something to keep in mind depending on what your expectations are.

    • Thanks 1

  5. On 3/26/2019 at 1:27 PM, Loco Raindrops said:

    Is there ever a need for a traction aid in Muir snowfield? I have a pair of HS Trail crampons (which are not crampons imo) but again, dont want to tote them just for the sake of carrying them.

    I was aware of the fact that "melted snow water" is provided but would there still be need to treat it with UV?

    I mean do they heat it to the point where they just melt it or do they actually boil which would alleviate the need to treat?


    Probably not, especially July/August. There is only one steep section (pan face) and it will almost certainly be melted out by then.

    If they are going to be providing you with water I would assume that it has been treated in some form or another. Additionally their equipment list on their website does not include a filter.

    No personal experience with RMI, but I've heard that their groups are very large and that their goal is just to get you up and down the mountain, not to teach you anything.

  6. 1 hour ago, JasonG said:

    Wow, that doesn't sound fun.  Do you have to cut it when that happens? 

    As a balding middle aged man, this is not a problem I've ever experienced!

    Fortunately I noticed it immediately and was able to just pull it out with minimal damage to my hair! I try to tuck my hair into my shirt these days...

  7. I'd ditch the water filter. Once you get above snowline the only source of water is melting snow, at that point you may as well just boil it. Also the guides will likely take care of that for you.

    The guides also typically take care of tents/shelters and will likely discourage you from bringing your own tent.

    In mid to late summer the snowline could be as high as 8000ft (parking lot is at 5400ft) so depending on how comfortable your mountaineering boots are for hiking on trails you might want to consider some lightweight approach shoes.

    Don't under-estimate how hot and sunny it will get. I'd recommend a sunshirt, sunhat, thin gloves and good sunscreen. Cover up as much skin as possible and apply sunscreen to the rest frequently. A sunhat that you can fit under a helmet (I have an OR sun runner hat) is a huge plus.

    • Thanks 1

  8. 1 hour ago, genepires said:

    for example, I would not extend a rappel for a lightweight someone who had long flowing hair.   For a pre rig rappel, makes total sense.


    I am a lightweight someone with long flowing hair* and I extend my rappel because of that. My hair dangles down close to my waist, and well past a belay device clipped to the belay loop, especially when rappelling (due to change in posture).

    When I extend it, my rappel device is about eye level and further away from my body. My hair is actually further away from the device this way.


    * I typically braid my hair which helps, but the end of the braid can (and has) gotten stuck in a belay device before.

  9. I can't comment on Gold Bar, but I climbed at Index last weekend and it was mostly dry. Climbed at GNS and the Inner walls. There was a good amount of snow on the ground at the Inner walls and the top of toxic shock was wet (but then again, when isn't it wet). Otherwise everything I climbed was dry.

  10. I'll be there this weekend with my partner. I'm a solid WI3 leader so you'll likely see me on the easier stuff. Probably going to go to the devil's punch bowl on Saturday. I'm usually in a green jacket or blue puffy, the old orange Petzl Sirocco helmet and I have long braids. If you see me feel free to say hi!

  11. Trip: Chair Peak - NE Buttress

    Trip Date: 01/27/2019

    Trip Report:

    After four failed attempts I finally managed to climb the NE Buttress of Chair Peak with @JonParker.

    Jon posted in the climbing partners forum looking for someone to do Chair Peak with on Sunday January 27th. I have been trying (and failing) to climb this mountain since I moved to Seattle 3.5 years ago so I messaged him immediate.

    With the low-moderate avy forecast and good weather predicted we left Seattle fairly early in the hopes of being the first group at the trailhead. Our plan worked and after about 2.5 hours of snowshoeing we made it to the base of Chair Peak.IMG_20190127_073543.thumb.jpg.0d7b95b2df1cfce50afeddf46220e35b.jpg


    We noticed what looked like some wind loaded snow on the left above the ice pitch, but we reasoned that it would be avoidable as long as we stayed climbers right.

    We partially geared up and Jon suggested that we solo up the start of the S-couloir to this anchor maybe about a 1/3 of the way up. It looked like a decent spot to start the route so I agreed and headed up. The climbing up to it was easy snow - except for the very last move which was a fairly airy step on unconsolidated snow and made getting to the anchor a bit thought-provoking.

    Of course that nice flat looking spot with the anchor was anything but flat, so we faffed about with tangled ropes as Jon got ready to lead the first pitch. The rest of the S-couloir was a mix of snow and ice, with one or two mixed moves. Jon managed to get in a nut and two screws (one of which I pulled straight out, the other one felt more solid however).

    I took the next pitch which was pure snow climbing. I headed up to a group of trees and slung two of them for pro and then continued up to a fixed anchor on rock and belayed Jon up.


    We still had about 60 meters before the ice pitch so Jon again took the lead, placing a couple of nuts and belaying me off a picket just below the ice pitch. I headed up the ice which was very soft and sun baked. It made for really easy sticks but I had to dig 6-8 inches to get to ice solid enough to hold a screw. Above the ice it was just a straight-forward wallow up moderately steep snow until I ran out of rope and built an anchor out of a picket and my ice ax.

    At this point the party that started after us caught up and I got to chat with Scott while belaying Jon up.


    Jon led up the final stretch of snow until he got to a nice flat spot to belay from.


    We unroped here and soloed up to the true summit.


    Gear Notes:
    Pickets, ice screws, nuts

    Approach Notes:
    Source lake winter trail, floatation recommended.

  12. I've been using a combo of Grivel Tech Machines and a Light Machine. For waterfall climbing I use two tech machines, for alpine climbing I use one tech machine with the light machine. It feels like the best compromise to me - the light machine isn't great at climbing nor is it great for the approach/decent, but it climbs a lot better than most mountaineering axes and plunges/self-arrests better than most technical tools. Plus the tech and light machines use the same pick.

    A similar combo would be Petzl nomics and a sum'tec.

  13. While I do believe that individuals should do what they can to reduce their carbon footprint, it's worth remembering that 100 corporations are responsible for over 70% of global emissions: https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/jul/10/100-fossil-fuel-companies-investors-responsible-71-global-emissions-cdp-study-climate-change

    Of course those corporations mostly exist because individuals buy products from them so it's not as simple as that pithy statement sounds, but the idea that climate change, etc. is a moral failing on the part of individuals is pretty laughable.