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About matiasfrancis

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  • Birthday 12/13/1997
  1. Trip: Alaska - West Ridge of Mt. Hunter (Begguya) Trip Date: 06/07/2019 Trip Report: It wasn't apart of the plan, it wasn't necessarily on our radar. My partner and I were coming off of a total failure. We had spent time and energy to attempt to climb the Cassin Ridge. We spent 2 and a half weeks acclimatizing and waiting for a proper window at 14,000’ camp. Including reaching the summit from 14’ camp round trip in less than 12 hours. We were feeling good and were poised to send. All the work was going to pay off, all the time, energy and money were going to come to fruition. After descending down the Seattle Ramp to close to the base of the Japanese Couloir, my partner started displaying signs of HAPE. He wasn't exactly a rockstar at altitude while we were acclimatizing, but this came out of absolutely nowhere. It was out of the blue and I didn't know how to react. It wasn't setting in yet, the fact that we had to keep walking downhill, right past the base of the route we had been planning on for months. It wasn't until we were walking out the Valley of Death in the middle of the day, sweating and scared. Chance (my partner) was feeling better as we descended and our plan was to head to 7800’ camp. Eventually making it to the safety of camp we contemplated what to do. It had finally sunk in, that we bailed on our main objective. I was pissed and mad. Not at Chance, but at the circumstances. Chance wanted to head back up since he was feeling better. I was adamant was that I wasn't going to go through all of that again. Knowing that there was no way he was going to be 100 percent. I told him to stay at 7800’ camp, while I go up and retrieve all of our gear from 14,000' camp. And boy did we have a lot of stuff at that camp. I ran up to the camp in less than 6 hours and slept the night at 14,000’. Planning on descending the next day. I packed up my 100-liter pack and 2 sleds full of gear. With so much gear I shuttled loads up and down Windy corner and Squirrel Hill. Against my wishes, Chance met me up at 11,000' camp to help the gear shuttling shitshow. We then made it down to 7800’ camp and discussed our options. We settled on heading down to the Airstrip where we had friends and booze. With maybe having a chance at the West Ridge. A few days go by and we get a solid 2-day weather window to try something. Chance and I settle on the West Ridge of Hunter, where we will be accompanied by our friends Ryan and Chris. Just coming off a successful ski descent of Denali via the Messner Couloir and were looking for some more exciting “climbing”, or so we thought. We leave at 6 pm the day before the weather window, skinning down to the base of the route at 6500’. The first section is snow and has some considerable overhead hazard. We are able to move quickly and make our way up to the Cats Ears, where we rappeled 2 60 meter rappels to the base of ice face. We kept trucking along the beautiful ridgeline until we got to the rock steps. Where the 5.8 Beckey Chimney proved to be more demanding than expected, a few more simul pitches of some easy mixed terrain brought us to a nice bivy at around 4 am. We then slept until 10 am and continued on the ridge. Some more rambling ridge terrain moved slowly on, as we were tunneling through cornices and were dealing with some deep snow. We finally got to the base of the “Ice face” which didn't have any ice on it. Just before hitting the saddle, Chance was downclimbing a snow face and he took a crevasse fall, fully overhead. After pulling him out, the 4 of us were a bit shaken. We still had lots of ridge to go and were unsure of the weather in the future. Ryan and Chris made the decision to bail back down from there. Leaving Chance and I a bit more out there than we were planning. We were sad to see those 2 go but knew that we were going to be able to move a bit faster and focus more on the climbing. We continued moving up, passing another easy mixed pitch and passing an overhanging ice serac feature that required legit WI5 ice climbing, even for just a body length. We made it to the top of the famed Ramen Couloir and got caught in a whiteout, with no ability to see where we were going, we decided to bivy again. Splitting one mountain house between us and taking rations for food. We had planned on a single push effort, but with the weather, we had decided to wait until the morning. After sending out messages for weather info, we had received confirmation that we would have a full day of climbable weather the following day. We slept and woke to beautiful clear skies and the ability to see the route in front of us. A bit of new snow, made trail breaking slightly more difficult but after some chest deep postholing, we ventured onto the Summit Plateau. The Plateau seemed safe and smooth, and we couldn't see any cracks. Honestly, we both got complacent (mostly Chance) and he walked up on me while I was trying to route find. The new snow had blanketed a massive crevasse and I popped in 25 feet. Dropping my trekking pole and a picket. I was fortunate to be ok and was able to climb out. We learned from our mistakes and kept going to the summit. The final 50-degree snow pitch turned out to be blue ice covered in 3 inches of snow. It made for slower progress than anticipated, but we were on the summit of Mt. Hunter after a short ridge traverse. We saw wonderful views of the South Face of Denali and all other parts of the range. Now we just had to get down. We descended back to the camp above the Ramen Couloir and finished our food, besides one single Gu. We made 5 or 6 V-thread rappels down the top of the Ramen Couloir and decided to unrope and start downclimbing. The conditions were great besides the final 1000 feet, where it turned into 3-inch breakable crust to bottomless facets. Eventually making our way to the base of the Ramen somewhere around midnight. Out of food and wasted we were unsure where the sneak around was. The Supertopo beta we had said to climb 700 feet up an “easy snow slope” We blindly started rappelling into a couloir and had to climb back out. Chance and I are great friends, but in this instant, we were mad at each other and tempers were flaring. We took a pause at 2 am and brewed up, realizing being mad wasn't going to solve any of our problems. We had a description, but couldn't pick the correct gully. Finally choosing one. Knowing that we could see the bottom of the couloir but not the middle. We choose to descend as any more time up there could turn out poorly. We left gear all of the places, using all of the slings we had, even expending my prusik cord. 1 nut anchors and shitty chossy cam placements led us down to more steep snow. Similar to the conditions in the Ramen but worse we made slow progress. This was where I had started to hallucinate. The snow was so variable that the mini slide paths in the couloir proved firm enough to front point down, whereas the rest of the snow surface proved slow and postholey. The trick of the slide gullies was to get out of them when the barrage of rocks and ice funneled down the 5 foot deep paths. It was a risk, but I wanted to get off this thing so bad, the safety of the Kahiltna was right in front of us. The whole ordeal from the bottom of the Ramen to the Safety of the Kahiltna lasted around 10 hours. We then walked back to our skis at the base of the route. While walking on the Kahiltna a heavy cloud layer moved in and started dumping snow on us. We just really didn't care. We were off and thankful to be alive. With no food, fuel and very little water left we continued the journey back to the Airstrip. Our GPS’s on our phones had died and were “walking blind”. Chance took us into the wrong basin mistaking it for the Airstrip, realizing just short of some extremely crevassed area. We finally make it back to our camp at the Airstrip and stuff our faces of bacon and sausages and chocolate. It's now 5 pm and we had been awake and on the move for the past 36 hours. Those 36 hours didn't contain the hardest climbing I have ever done, but they pushed Chance and I the farthest we have ever gone. Those 36 hours gave me the most intense time period my young adult life has had so far. And the best part was I fucking liked it. As of the time of writing, we were the only party to have climbed Mt Hunter in the 2019 climbing season. The only team to have climbed the full West Ridge in at least 2 years. And both at the age of 21, we believe we were the youngest team ascent of the West Ridge and possibly the summit of Mt. Hunter via any route. Not that any of that matters, but I like to feed my ego sometimes. Please reach out if you know of anything different. Gear Notes: 5 Screws, 2 pickets, a small selection of cams. Approach Notes: K2 Aviation
  2. Trip: Forbidden Peak - West Ridge - Car to Car Date: 6/26/2016 Trip Report: I work at a climbing gym. At said climbing gym there are lots of potential partners. A new hire provided new partner. We both had saturday and sunday off. We both had long weeks at work dealing with screaming kids. We planned to do the West Ridge of Forbidden over the weekend. Camping in the Boston Basin on saturday night. Our foolishness lead us to believe we could easily obtain a overnight camping permit from the ranger station. Our 10:30am arrival proved us wrong. One of the rangers said the 6 available permits sold out only minutes after they opened at 7am. We debated changing objectives but settled on doing it in a one day push on Sunday. This means we had a couple hours to kill before going to bed. We turned to Newhalem sport crag. We could only find one route that we could do in approach shoes and lapped it numerous times. Grabbed lunch at the Buffalo Run burger place in marblemount and drove off to the TH. The ranger told us to take the farthest TH we could find. Meaning to drive the farthest down cascade pass road was our understanding. So we did. We arrived at what we thought was the trailhead to the boston basin and chilled out, ate and talked to other parties. None of which had been on Forbidden, all on Sahale. We put down the seats in the car and tried to fall asleep around 6:30-7:00ish. We tossed and turned, heard and saw climbers/hikers getting back to their cars and witnessed a couple deers going at it in the parking lot. Our 12:30 alarms go off and we get ready for what is definitely going to be a long day. We leave the TH at 12:54am. We had read that the boston basin trail was steep, in rough shape, totally overgrown, and with tricky stream crossings. The trail we were on was amazingly defined, not very steep and the streams were more like puddles. It wasn't until we got to what we found out to be the Sahale arm and looked up and couldn't find the sharp knife edge ridge line in which we thought we would be graced by their presence. Nope. We found Sahale Peak. We were on the Sahale Arm. Our motivation dropped like a meteor. If someone dropped a bowling ball from the top of the Space Needle. Our motivation would beat it to the ground. But alas we debated our next moves. We can make out the Forbidden Peak ridge line. But holy shit did it look far away. Do we do something up Sahale? do we turn around and call it a day? Or do we try to traverse these snowfields below Sahale and the Quien Sabe, which at the time we didn't know if there were rock bands or impassable sections. We decided to just go for it. It was only 4:30 am and we had plenty of day left. We traversed over. Crossing a tricky rock 4th class downclimb section. "Are we on a glacier?" was asked multiple times. 2 hours later we are at the bottom of the boston basin, at least that's what we thought. We had committed to coming down the boston basin trail after the tricky rock section. We could see one party already approaching the couloir as we were gaining more and more snow. There were nice steps but it was almost easier just to make our own. We finally got the couloir and ran up it pretty quick. It looks like the couloir will be in for at least a bit longer. We got to the end of the couloir. Finally on some rock. I brought my approach shoes, thinking I was going to be able to sport them after the notch. No. I was wrong. There is still a decent amount of snow on the route. We kept our boots and crampons on for the first couple pitches that we simul climbed. We were done with the majority of the snow. We had a tendency to stay low on the north side rather than follow the ridge. Which lead to some exposed climbing. Really fun. On the first actually belayed pitch I took my crampons off and just used my boots. After 2 pitches we gained the actual ridgeline where I took my boots off (which felt damn good) and donned my approach shoes. Cruised up the "5.6 move" and through the rest of the climb. My partner kept his stiff boots on and was fine. We gained the west summit and celebrated. Then we saw that the east ridge looked a tad taller. We gained the actual summit, (around 12) took some pictures, became very tired. Coming down was almost as long as going up. Lots of down climbing, lots of "fuck this shit" and "I want a burger, big double cheeseburger". Descending the ridge took 2 hours. We rapped as much of the couloir as we could but eventually the rap stations got to high and we couldn't access them. Time for some downclimbing in super soft snow. we got to the bottom after some major postholing and one legit self-arrest move. Running very low on water we headed for the recently exposed slabs. THE BEST WATER I'VE EVER HAD. We had the plan of descending the boston basin trail and either walking the road to the Sahale TH or bumming a ride. We heel plunged as much as we could and pretty much ran down the trail. Rolled my ankle a couple times. The trail was incredibly steep. By the end of the trail everything was sore. I was very tired. Spirits high through. Back to the car at 7:48pm. 18 hours 54 minutes car to car West Ridge Forbidden Peak June 26 2016 Pictures (in no order): https://docs.google.com/document/d/10-iUiSRxTa0OrPZKxVavy6fB7954CYGQlGgbVbvfMY4/edit?usp=sharing Gear Notes: 5 cams starting from .3-2 and a set of nuts. Lots of slings. Double lengths. Crampons and an ice axe Approach Notes: Maybe take the right trail? but really wasn't that bad
  3. [TR] Mt. Baker - North Ridge 4/9/2016

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MhbWUlprzuZxQgewtSVEXjMZJS4B4tBffZaRadYD6EQ/edit?usp=sharing here is the google doc hope you like it Edit: man topic text is now shareable link
  4. [TR] Mt. Baker - North Ridge 4/9/2016

    No blog. Wrote it on a google drive as the first time I wrote it in CC it got deleted. Will continue trying to post. Cheers
  5. [TR] Mt. Baker - North Ridge 4/9/2016

    Still no luck. Hoepfully servers will recuperate.
  6. [TR] Mt. Baker - North Ridge 4/9/2016

    I apologize. Currently trying to figure out how to post it. My bad.
  7. TR here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MhbWUlprzuZxQgewtSVEXjMZJS4B4tBffZaRadYD6EQ/edit?usp=sharing