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About JebsJourneys

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  • Birthday 09/09/1984
  1. Trip: Mount Thomson - West Ridge Date: 9/27/2015 Trip Report: Colin and I have both wanted to climb Mount Thomson since before we met and we've been discussing it regularly for over 2 years now, so of course we were both stoked when the weekend we tentatively put aside arrived, promising clear skies on summit day. A leisurely start on Saturday morning got us to camp before 2 o'clock. Bumblebee Pass seemed much larger and more daunting when I first visited 3 years ago. Huckleberry Peak was picturesque as we descended into the basin, surrounded by low clouds. We set camp near a small pond on a grassy knoll high in the basin and waited for the weather around Mount Thomson to clear. When the clouds remained for several hours we started up towards the West Ridge Notch to find the start of the climb. An obvious belay station sat about 100 feet below what could only be the "bushy tree" at the top of the first pitch. After scrambling SW to a tiny peak we were lucky to get a 5-minute clearing - and even a bit of sunshine to light up the route - before the whiteout returned. Satisfied with the beta, we carefully returned to camp over some extremely loose talus. As we lounged in the tent watching weather move through the basin a deep, distant rumble slowly built to a scream and I instantly realized what we were hearing. I have read several accounts of fighter jets flying low through the Alpine Lakes and I've always hoped for a chance to witness this unnatural phenomenon. Despite the clouds that were still surrounding us in all directions, we instinctively jumped out of the tent, looking down the basin toward the only small clearing. As if on cue, the jet burst forth from the white, banking as it tore through the saddle behind Huckleberry Mountain and returned into the clouds. After a brief fit of childish excitement I was reminded of the mixed feelings I hold regarding these incredible machines. When I awoke around 2 a.m. our tent was glowing with moonlight. I emerged under the stars, immediately disappointed to find a small cloud hovering around Mount Thomson. My brain immediately drew parallels to our recent bail on Mount Stuarts West Ridge but the sky was otherwise clear so I returned to bed, optimistic that the forecast would prove to be accurate. Sure enough, when our alarm sounded we found nothing but crisp, clear air between us and our target. It was so much colder than expected, that we wore our puffys up to the notch. Colin lead the first pitch, and as I started after him the ice cold rock made me wonder if we had started too early. The sun had just crested over The Four Brothers, but our position on the West Ridge guaranteed us several more hours in the shade. I was beyond stoked upon reaching the large slabs below the false summit, finally removing my puffy to soak up some sunshine. Besides the cold start, the climbing was excellent. There were plenty of options for placing pro along the route, except for a 20' stretch just below the false summit (Pitch #4). If we were to do this one again, a second 1" and 0.75" cam would be helpful. When we reached the summit it was clear that we had not, in fact, started too early. It had taken us nearly 6 hours to climb 5 pitches, which was not surprising considering our general lack of experience trad climbing. Views from the summit were fantastic. Many years of anticipation made this a particularly significant accomplishment for both of us. We toasted with various summit treats while counting dozens of surrounding peaks from which we've gazed upon Mount Thomson with yearning desire. Most notable were the peaks surrounding and beyond Gem Lake, where Colin and I took our first, and arguably most successful peakbagging trip together. It was a bit of a struggle to open the pvc summit register. We found a few familiar names as well as an entry from a threesome from the day before, who we must have just missed on their way out. The decent was fairly simple, although we made the common mistake of taking the wrong gully, requiring a short rap and a bit of mildly sketchy downclimbing to get us back on course. A series of well-worn bootpaths brought us to the east notch, where we took a short break in the sun, watching shadows stretch across the basin toward us. We packed up quickly hoping to catch some more sunlight on the trail out, as well as some of the views we missed out on during the approach. On the hike out we passed about a dozen folks on the PCT, a few of who mentioned they were headed for Canada. So jealous... Gear Notes: Cams to 3" 9 Alpine slings 1/2 dozen small nuts
  2. Trip: Enchantment Peaks and Cannon Mountain - Date: 7/8/2015 Trip Report: Pictures and map including GPS Day 1 Three of us started early on Tuesday morning so that we could be to the top of Aasgard Pass before the sun hit us. Colin geeked out on a rubber boa we found on the Colchuck Lake Trail. We took a long break by the lake at the base of Aasgard before flying up in two pushes. About 200' below the top we climbed a fun friction slab with two small waterfalls on it. I was expecting similar snow levels to our August trip last year but it became immediately apparent that would not be the case. Our planned base camp was waiting for us when we arrived around noon. I write this as we lounge by the creek waiting for Nick to come strolling in, which he did just as the sky began turning orange and pink behind him. It feels great to be back in the core, and with a strong climbing team. Day 2 The goals for Wednesday were The Enchantment Peaks and Canon Mountain. Colin and I turned back from the Middle Peak of Enchantment Peaks in 2014 due to wet exposed rock just below the summit. This year we brought a rope and some pro as well as some good weather, it would seem. It took us about 45 minutes to cover the roughly 1/2 mile from camp and scramble up to the giant boulder. Robbie climbed the class 4 move to the summit boulder and set a fixed line for the rest of us. The East Peak was clearly higher but reaching it from our side of the ridge would require some 5th class down-climbing. I belayed nick down to a ledge 40 feet down on the north side and he traversed up and across the ridge, setting pro along the way. Robbie and Colin used prusiks for protection and I cleaned behind them. We scrambled up one more peak en route to the true summit, which was also an easy scramble. Pictures, scotch, and snacks, and we were on our way. After decending the Ridgeline towards Prusik Pass for about 1/2 mile we took a chossy gully down to the north and began or way up to Druids Plateau. After the recent drought it was no surprise to find most of the moats and rock ponds on the plateau completely dry. We stopped at a pond halfway across the plateau and pumped some water then continued north to have a look down into Coney Lake Basin. Scrambling up Cannon was even more fun than I remembered. The massive rock pile of a summit is a pleasant mix of friction slab and boulder hopping, and the final few moves are just a bit of a challenge. The view from the top stretches across The Enchantments to the Stuart Range and beyond Glacier Peak to the north. We cruised past the long shallow unnamed tarn on the way back to Prusik Pass, but thick clouds of mosquitos discouraged a lengthy visit. We stopped at a few opportune points along the way to study the West Face of Prusik Peak, and discuss the route for Thursday's climb.
  3. Trip: Whitehorse Mountain - Lone Tree Pass/So-Bahli-Ahli Glacier Date: 7/4/2015 Trip Report: Pictures soon to come, for now an update on conditions: ***There is currently no water source before the So-Bahli-Ahli Glacier*** The sporadic bushwhack up to Lone Tree Pass was very thick, however the trail was pretty easy to follow. The glacier was easily navigable to the summit block, which was completely dry. From the rappel station at the summit our 60m rope came up 10 feet short of the moat, which was 20+ feet deep in some areas. We made our second rap off some scary-small chockstones. Get it while it's hot!