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Dhruv Garg

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About Dhruv Garg

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  1. [TR] Arrowhead Mountain - East Ridge 03/25/2018

    @Off_White Thanks. Yeah the Seattle sunshine does lend itself to unique color schemes! Lot more freedom to experiment with things.
  2. Trip: Arrowhead Mountain - East Ridge Trip Date: 03/25/2018 Trip Report: With everybody headed to Stevens to get some good powder time in, we headed a little off route towards Arrowhead Mountain. The avy danger was moderate and Arrowhead seemed like a nice jaunt for the weekend. We parked a little past the overpass on the same side of the train tracks in a small snowed-in pullout. The long walk on the railway tracks started around 8 AM and half way to our fork, we even saw a freight train go by. Our fork was about 1.5 mi from the car and noticing the crusty snow conditions, we cramponed up to start climbing up around 8.45 AM. The steep yet uneventful climb to the east ridge was uneventful. However, one of our teammates did decide to put on snowshoes after we came across powdery snow. The others still stayed with the crampons to keep the torture going . Following the snowshoe tracks as much as we could, we got to the last part of the climb (5000’) around 11.45 AM. The snow only got powderier, but it did have a solid layer underneath if you were kicking good steps. After all the huffing and puffing, we were standing on tall on the summit having smoked Gouda and admiring the views all around along with the imposing and ominous clouds overhead at 1.15 PM. There were some recent ski tracks clearly visible too. When it started getting a little too cold, we left the mountaintop and made good time plunge-stepping all the way down to the railway tracks by 3.15 PM. If we hadn’t summitted, the slow and monotonous walk along the tracks would’ve been unbearable. The car first came into view around 4 and we knew we were home bound. Overcast but fun nonetheless! Trip times: Car to summit - 5 hours Summit to car - 2 hours For Arrowhead Mountain GPX, Arrowhead Mountain Peakbagger TR. For more visuals on the route, Flickr/Arrowhead Mountain. just keep on grinding views from the 6 on the way down what happened to public transport? Gear Notes: Crampons, snowshoes and a penchant for kicking steps in knee deep snow! Approach Notes: The pullout is snow free to park.
  3. Trip: Silver Peak - Northwest Ridge Trip Date: 03/17/2018 Trip Report: This was the second week in a row when the avalanche risk was comparatively low according to NWAC. After going through the options, we decided to tackle Silver Peak via the Northwest Ridge. The mountain tingled our curiosity since it was ranked in the list of most unsuccessful attempts (along with Mt. Si, which dampens the list’s credibility somewhat). The road to the trailhead was snowed in and forced us to park a little way off on the forest road (1850’). We started our jaunt up the road at 7.30 and met up with the Annette Lake trail. At 9 AM and 3300’, we decided to get off the trail and start our climb up to the ridgeline. The steep section up the hill required us to put on snowshoes and we decided to take a short break. After some GUs and granola bars, we put our legs to work and got to the foot of the ridgeline around 4600’. Eventually, the team got onto the ridge but was forced to reassess the route due to the precarious cornices and knife edges. Eventually, it was decided to downclimb to the bowl to our left (4850’) and find a safer spot somewhere ahead to regain the ridge. At 5100’ in the ski bowl, we found a feasible way on to the ridge with a climbable route to the summit. However, the downclimb in snowshoes had pushed back our timeline and it was already noon when we began our climb from the bowl. It was the last 300 feet up the mountain that gave us an idea of why the mountain ranks high in the list of unsuccessful attempts, especially in the winter. A teammate of ours decided to stay back a little above 5300’ as he wasn’t comfortable with an exposed traverse in snowshoes. Beyond that, we had to downclimb a couple of exposed slopes to keep away from cornices and try to find a route amongst the trees. The fact that we had snowshoes made it that much harder as sections with consolidated and fluffy snow were equally abundant. After some precarious moves, we finally found a straight-shot up the last 50 feet on the mountain and were happily snapping summit pictures around 1.30. Granite (with its avalanche chutes in full glory), Chair and Kaleetan peak were clearly visible amongst the clouds. Our way down was via the standard west slope all the way to Annette Lake and take the trail all the way down. We had texted our teammate to downclimb and meet us at the lake. Until the tree line, the crampons let us make good time. Like the way up, the last 300 feet down to the lake were just painful and slow as we postholed and made excruciatingly slow progress. Despite that, we met up with our teammate at the lake at 3.45. With the hard part of the climb all behind us, we took a long break and put on our snowshoes again for the long trudge back. The struggle ended a little after 6 and we were on our way back to civilization. Like most other climbs, it was a good day in the mountains regardless of the struggle. Trip times: Annette Lake TH to toe of the ridgeline (~4600') - 3 hours Toe of ridgeline to atop the ridge (~5300') - 1.30 hours 5300' to summit (5607') - 1.15 hours Summit to car - 4.45 hours For Silver Peak GPX, Silver Peak Peakbagger TR. This GPX is filtered to the show the straight-forward route. For the unscrubbed version, SIlver Peak GPX. For more visuals on the route, Flickr/Silver Peak. downclimbing the ridgeline in to the ski bowl navigating the last few hundred feet to the summit atop the ridgeline making our way down the west slope Gear Notes: Snowshoes, crampons Approach Notes: The road is snowed in and might require a short walk to the TH. The Annette Lake trail is nicely consolidated.
  4. [TR] Sahale Mountain - Quien Sabe glacier 8/7/2017

    Sounds like you guys had fun. But yeah the smog did fudge it up a bit. I was up on Mt. Daniel and the pictures taken through out the day came out so washed out that no amount of Photoshop is gonna make them better, ugh !
  5. Trip: Sahale Mountain - Quien Sabe glacier Date: 7/29/2017 Trip Report: A couple of other folks were planning on doing Sahale over the weekend and since I didn't have any fixed plans, I decided to tag along. We decided to drive in the night before and sleep at the TH. And BTW, the TH doesn't really have a parking lot; just a very small pullout. We woke up and left the TH at 6.30. The hike in was uneventful with one of the many streams assisting us to fill up on our water. After arriving to the trailhead, since we had planned to take the direct route up the Quiene Sabe glacier, the approach to the bottom of the glacier took some trivial route-finding (and we tried to put up and put back quite a few cairns on the way up).With the sun toasting us, we made it to the bottom of the glacier (~7000') around 10. The glacier around this time had some big crevasses opening up and our route was going to go somewhere around them. We took our time roping and cramponing up and started up the glacier around 11. A Mounties team that had started before us had taken the traditional route up the left side of the glacier and had been seen heading up to the saddle earlier. So we knew where our route would eventually meet up with theirs on the upper glacier. The climb up to the merge definitely required some hairy crevasse crossings and end runs since there are some pretty big crevasses on the Quien Sabe. Morever, any fall after ~7600' will take you down a crevasse unless you have some mad-boy arrest skills. making our way up the upper Quien Sabe glacier Anyways, we got to the saddle between Boston and Sahale a little before 1. After unroping, we started the scramble (which I thought was a class 3 and nothing more) and made it to the summit around 1.30. the final scramble to the summit The plan from here on out was to descend via the Sahale arm. Since there was a large team learning how to rappel for the first time on the summit, a friend of mine just decided to down climb the summit block on the other side. A couple of us just waited there (until a little after 3) since I didn't feel comfortable downclimbing it, and rappelled down. Sahale glacier didn't have any crevasses on the climb down and we glissaded a part way through. To be honest, Sahale arm is one of the most beautiful camping spots I've ever seen. Since the other people in my climbing party are slow at making their way back via the long approaches, I decided to get down before them so that I could get the car from the Quien Sabe TH. All im all, it was a good (and uneventful) day to be in the mountains. makes it all worth it Trip times - Quien Sabe glacier TH to bottom of glacier - 4 hours Bottom of glacier to Boston-Sahale saddle - 2 hours Saddle to Sahale summit - 30 mins Summit to Sahale glacier TH - 3 hours For Sahale Mountain GPX, Sahale Mountain PeakBagger TR. For more visuals on the route, Flickr/Sahale Mountain. Gear Notes: 1x 30m rope, a picket each (unused)
  6. [TR] Bonanza Peak - Mary Green Glacier 7/1/2017

    That's one crazy schedule! Props to you to bag one of the hardest peaks in WA solo.
  7. [TR] Mt. Rainier - Emmons Glacier 7/24/2017

    Yeah it gives me the impression that you're high up somewhere in Asia looking at an ancient monastery!
  8. Trip: Mt. Rainier - Emmons Glacier Date: 7/24/2017 Trip Report: We had been planning on doing a trip up Rainier for a while. A couple of first-timers along with the 3 of us who had done Rainier before picked this weekend to attempt Emmons after looking at the recent beta posted by the rangers. Since we had people who had never been at such an elevation, we decided to take it as a slow and relaxed 3-day trip. Most of the trip-report centric activity happened during our summit bid, so let's just get the 1st two days out of the way - 1st day - White River campground to Camp Curtis (8,900') 2nd day - Camp Curtis to Camp Schurman (9,400') (a rest day basically) baby brother with crevasses on the Lower Emmons settling in for the night at Schurman Summit bid - For our summit bid, we decided to start at 11 PM with a summit time window of 8-9 AM. The rangers had told us that the route was still in pretty good shape. A snow bridge on the highly visible crevasse at 12.2k had collapsed earlier in the day but was quickly rerouted via another snow bridge. Moreover, the DC route was meeting up with Emmons near the 'schrund that was prone to bottlenecks/crowds later in the day. Someone had suffered a crevasse fall on the 1st crossing on their way to Emmons Flats from Schurman and the rangers were begging people to, "end run a crevasse rather than jump it, especially if the end run is 10 ft away!!" After the ranger gave us all the good juju he could muster, we crawled into our sleeping bags to try to sleep until the 10 PM ding-dong. Our start from Schurman was rather ominous since we hadn't climbed more than 700 ft that someone suffered a nosebleed along with shortness of breath. Even though it was a sad beginning, we had to safely drop the team member off at camp before our second climb from camp around 12.30 AM. Despite the gloomy start, we made good time up the corridor, along the diagonal traverse beyond the 12.2k crevasse and things were starting to look up. With our speed, it looked like we might make it to the top as early as 8 AM. However, a team member (had summitted via DC a year ago) who had been feeling sluggish since the latter half of the corridor had been asking for more frequent breaks along the traverse and finally reached a breaking point around 12.3k and threw up. We could clearly see the slopes leading up to the summit but at that point, the summit bid was pretty much over. We quickly descended down to camp at 7 AM to let the AMS-afflicted team member some much needed rest. we'll be back In the picture above, we're on the way down the corridor with the tracks (and people) on the diagonal traverse clearly visible in the upper right reaches of the slope. Despite the failed attempt, it was a beautiful 3 days spent in the mountains and some of the best weather I've seen on Big Tahoma. You had the last say this time, but don't you worry, we'll be back! For more visuals on the route, flickr/Mt. Rainier 2017 Gear Notes: 1 60m rope, a picket each Approach Notes: Interglacier has some sketchy crevasses that might not be visible on the way down. Don't blindly follow the glissade tracks if unroped.
  9. [TR] Mt. Shuksan - Fisher Chimneys 7/16/2017

    Thanks for the feedback everyone! Yeah in retrospect, the trip did teach a lot. Funny thing is that we met quite a few people doing the north face that weekend and I've been wanting to do that for a while. And the most popular descent route for that is Fisher Chimneys though you could just as easily take Sulphide on your way out. Oh well!
  10. [TR] Mt. Shuksan - Fisher Chimneys 7/16/2017

    I'm assuming that since it was our first time, it felt harder than it truly is. Plus, rappelling it in the dark and other mini-epics along the way didn't help to sway our opinions .
  11. Trip: Mt. Shuksan - Fisher Chimneys Date: 7/16/2017 Trip Report: Seeing a nice weather window, we decided to do Fisher Chimneys over the weekend. The ranger told us that there weren't any permits left and the only available option for us was Lake Anne. That should have been our first sign to rethink things (You'll know in a bit). Resigned to a long summit day on Sunday, we left for Lake Anne around 9.30 AM and made camp around 12.30 PM. Our scheduled wake up time was 2 AM for an early summit but rain until 3 forced us to start around 3.30. The chimneys took about 3 hours. Until the snow traverse (~5800 ft), the only sketchy portion we encountered was the first chimney at the entrance (~5300 ft). After the traverse, there's a rock 'wall' that one has to climb alongwith a couple of snow sections to top off the Chimneys. Navigating 'the Wall' in the Chimneys Despite it being close to a whiteout, we made good time all the way from Winnie's slide to Hell's Highway and got to the bottom of the summit pyramid (~8500 ft) around 10.30. Whilst on the pyramid, we decided to go for the gully which had a steep snow field for 300 ft and a class 3-4 scramble after that. Alongwith another party of 8-10 people, we summited around 12.15. Starting up the steep snow section on the summit pyramid Scrambling up the summit pyramid in ideal conditions However, that's when things started to go wrong. On our way down, after our first rappel, we got stuck behind the other party at a rappel station which started a chain reaction (since there were 4 rappels involved) that delayed our descent down the pyramid until 5 PM! Downclimbing was an option but not a favorable one because of the degraded weather conditions. It was just a bad day altogether with cosmic forces just working against you. On our way down, we overshot Hells' Highway and had to navigate back to it and whilst roped up, someone slipped on it which required a quick arrest. Winnie's Slide looked a bit too steep for some people with us and we had to set up a rappel which took a while. All in all, we got to the top of the Chimneys (~6600 ft) around 7.30 PM. After navigating the snow section with a couple of rappels, we downclimbed all the way to 'the Wall' just as it was getting dark. After this, we had to navigate the Chimneys entirely in the dark. This hairy descent consisted of a couple of rappels including the 'Wall' until the snow traverse and another rappel to exit the first Chimney that marks the entrance of the route. This wasn't until 12.30 AM and we didn't get back to camp until 1.30 AM!! Ackowledging the death march to the parking lot ahead of us (since we all had work in the morning), we decided to sleep a couple of hours and break camp then. Our scheduled time to the parking lot was 6 PM Sunday but we didn't make it back until 7 AM Monday. So you could say that we were a bit off script. The descent back to camp was just another kink in the day after another. Fisher Chimneys is a rather fun and popular route but our trip was anything but. Some key notes - Rappels on summit pyramid - 4 (to navigate a part of the gully) Rappels on Fisher Chimneys - 5 (4 pre- and 1 post-snow traverse) We didn't need to make any new anchors. Just used the existing ones. Keep an eye out for them to make your descent easier. For Mt. Shuksan GPX, Mt. Shuksan PeakBagger TR For more visuals on the route, flickr/Mt. Shuksan 2017 Gear Notes: 1 60m rope, ice tool, 1 picket each Approach Notes: Nothing special. Only sad thing is that you start at 4700 ft and you descend more than 800 ft to climb them back up to get to Lake Anne at 4800 ft.
  12. [TR] Mt. Baker - Coleman Deming 5/21/2017

    Saw a couple of people on Saturday at the base of the ridge. So I'm pretty sure it was climbed (or at least tried) over the weekend.
  13. Trip: Mt. Baker - Coleman Deming Date: 5/21/2017 Trip Report: We had been planning on doing Mt. Baker last weekend for a while. For some, it was their first Cascadian volcano and/or glaciar climb. PNW had gifted us with an absolute gem of a weather window and it seemed like the perfect way to kick off the climbing season. Since we weren't the only ones who had honed in on the weather window, the road to the TH was already packed with a ton of cars when we got there Saturday morning around 9AM. The road was still snow covered about 2 mi out which delayed our departure from the TH. We had eyed the base of the Black Buttes as our campsite and made it there by mid afternoon. While making camp and getting ready to melt water, some ominous clouds rolled in which made us think that we might be facing a whiteout for our summit bid the next day. But they cleared up soon enough to clear skies and order was restored. After setting up and laying down the ropes, we went to sleep at 7PM (or at least tried to). clouds lurking The next morning, we left camp around 1AM. The route had a solid boottrack which eased our workload. After the saddle (9000'), it got a bit congested. Avoiding any epics, be they major or minor, we made it to the top a little after 7. The skies were clear throughtout our climb with not a hint of anything sketchy. On our way down the Roman Wall, some people were uncomfortable with the exposure and the snow conditions. We took it very slow to the saddle just to be extra careful. From the saddle, the descent to camp was pretty quick. A lot of tiny creatures on the Roman Wall You can see our entire route trust me, behind us, it's very crowded After napping and melting water, the group tore down the camp and left around 2. Some supreme glissades helped us get to the treeline (5000') in no time. The walk back to the cars from then on, like any other approach, was annoying and brutal. The ~2 mi from the TH to the car didn't help the situation either. However, a successful summit more than made up for it. Key stats - TH (3800') to Camp (7000') - 5.30 hrs Camp to Summit - 6 hrs Summit to Camp - 3.30 hrs Camp to TH - 2.45 hrs Since the road was snow-covered, it added 30-45 mins to our approach. For the GPX, Mt. Baker (Coleman Deming) PeakBagger TR. Gear Notes: 3x 60m rope (4 person rope-team), picket per person, shovel, snowshoes, crampons Approach Notes: The road is snow covered but it should clear up soon.
  14. [TR] Mt. St. Helens - Worm Flows 3/18/2017

    Not sure how to describe it but the final climb to the ridge line which takes you to the crater was overloaded with snow so much so that it made it impossible to get past it. A few people even tried but the excess snow was pretty steep. After several tries, people eventually figured out that they could skirt this 'excess' and get to the ridge line. By then, we were, of course, headed down.
  15. [TR] Mt. St. Helens - Worm Flows 3/18/2017

    Amen to that. I don't want to do this in the summer.