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PorterM last won the day on May 23

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About PorterM

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  1. Awesome TR! fun to read and great pictures!
  2. Trip: Mt Rainier - Liberty Ridge Trip Date: 05/27/2018 Trip Report: Finally ticked off a climb that Peter and I had been eyeing all winter. On Thursday we were trying to decide between Liberty Ridge and the Tantalus traverse in BC. Given the good forecast and knowing the route was doable we opted for Rainier. After a late arrival Friday night, we leave the car around 4 in the morning from the White River Campground (4200ft). Three miles later we are post holing so we opt for skis and start skinning up toward St. Elmo Pass as the sun rises. We crest the pass (7,500ft) and can see the Winthrop Glacier below us. After a fun slide down with skins still on we rope up and skin across and down the glacier. Skinning downhill while tied together and surrounded by crevasses is very difficult... Eventually we get off the Winthrop and skin up Curtis ridge to where we can see the Carbon Glacier. It is brown cracked up mass, we also can see Liberty Ridge and it looks to have less snow that we hoped. The bergschrund on the west side of the ridge is also open meaning we will have to gain the ridge at its toe. We drop all the way down to the Carbon Glacier and began skinning toward the toe of the ridge. After some tense hops over open crevasses and nervous glances at the seracs above us we reach the place where it appears people have been gaining the ridge. The rock is a loose combination of glacial till and basalt blocks. As we debate where the best place to gain the ridge is, about 400lbs of rock pour off the ridge and on to the snow a ways up ridge from us. With the cliffs around us looking like jenga towers we decided it would be best to get on the ridge line asap. After 30ft of steep loose scrabbling we are on the ridge and relieved. We progress up hill through thousands of feet of loose rock, finally reaching thumb rock around 3pm (10,800ft). It feels like a longer day than it really was. We dig out a snow bivy pad and put down our pads and sleeping bags and crawl in. We sleep from about 4 till 7:30 before getting up, restless. We realize that the snow in the bottles in our sleeping bag are melting slower than we had hoped. We bum some water off the other group camped at thumb rock, which saves us from snuggling with quite so much snow (thanks!) After a spectacular avalanche rips down the Willis Headwall next to us we crawl into our sleeping bags with soft bottles full of snow to melt for the following day. We sleep soundly until at 12:40 I awake to crashing rocks. Moments later I hear a whirring of something flying through the air and a slam as something hits my sleeping pad, inches from my head. Peter and I are immediately awake and looking around. We find a baseball sized rock, wedged under Peters backpack, between our heads. Hearts pounding, sleep does not return. We lay there, tense, until 1:30 as we hear the other party starting to move. Already awake and knowing we move faster than them we pack up camp and head uphill by 2am. Cold temps brought solid snow and we move efficiently unroped through a firm bootpack on 45-55 degree snow. This continues through the hours of dawn and as the sun rises we pass under the black pyramid and find a spectacular sheet of ice ahead of us. We get the rope (30m) out for the first time of the day and tie into each end. My hand are cold and Peter takes the first block. As the rope runs out we start to simul climb. We simul for a few hundred feet before Peter uses his last two screws the belay me up. From there I lead out the next few hundred feet until I am down to 2 screws and belay him up. He leads from there to where the angle is so low we feel good soloing again(12,600ft). Rope back in the pack we start up toward Liberty Cap, thinking we still have as far to go as we have already gone. I still feel good but Peter, normally faster than me, is not moving like his normal self. We take a break at a safe spot and finish the last of our water, Peter is out of food so we share some gorp that was nibbled by a mouse at the trailhead and I was saving for last. He complains of some headache and nausea, I learn here that he hasn't been over 11,000ft. With no way down except up, we moved slowly upward. Over the top of Liberty Cap (14,100) we skin down to the col between Columbia Crest and Liberty Cap. Having no interest in more ascent we decide to boot across the Emmons to meet up with the standard route there. Once on the standard route, we unrope and switch back to skis to ski perfect corn down to Camp Schurman(9440ft). A little boot up to the top of the Inter Glacier and we ski through calf deep slush (ACL snow) to the bottom of Glacier Basin (6,000ft). Shoes back on our feet and Peter feeling better, we walk/jog the last 4mi to the car (4200ft). Together we consumed almost a gallon of water from the car, next time we know a stove is worth the weight. Route from Curtis Ridge Really fun volcanic junk... More fun low on the ridge Aesthetic bivy Some time between 2am and sunrise Sunrise a few hundred feet form the ice Perfect stairs as we approach the ice Easy, fun, solid ice Peter feeling like a champ on the descent Gear Notes: 6 Ice screws, 2 pickets, quick reaction time Approach Notes: Road open to White River CG, gained ridge near toe on the east side.
  3. [TR] Mt Baker - North Ridge 05/20/2018

    Sure did, much to our surprise. Would have thought the snow pack had become isothermic enough to only have to worry about loose wet and wet slab but apparently not. Be careful out there.
  4. Trip: Mt Baker - North Ridge Trip Date: 05/20/2018 Trip Report: Quick conditions update for Mt Bakers North ridge for anyone interested. Peter, Lael, and I left Bellingham, skimo gear in hand, at 4:15 Sunday morning. We left the car (.5 mi from trail head) in running shoes at 6:00am and cruised up to heliotrope, past a big group of guided skiers. We continued in our comfy shoes (in the rain) up the snow to the last flat before the steep face leading to heliotrope ridge. Here we left the shoes and booted up to the start of the Coleman glacier. With light skis on our feet and rain only getting harder, we zipped across the Coleman, motivated to stay moving quick by crashing in the fog above as seracs fell from the Coleman headwall. After crossing by an unnervingly fresh debris field we were at the base of the north ridge and threw the skis back on the packs. It was decision time and with a few sucker holes in the clouds (and a knowledge of the forecast) we decided to continue moving upward. Our choice proved fruitful (despite post-holing in the deep slush with no boot pack) and we began to feel ourselves nearing the top of the clouds as we approached the ice step. Peter led a full 30 meters and made an ice screw belay at the top of the ice step, he then dropped the rope so I could lead it too. From the belay I pushed upward in the first firm snow of the day (more on this later) as Lael followed up the ice. We gained the ridge proper and were living large as the sun came out. We the saw what appeared to be another ice step which was confusing because Peter soloed the route the week before and saw no such thing. Upon closer inspection the 5ft high vertical face that stretched across the North West face of the ridge was clearly an avalanche crown (probably several days old). With no where to go but up we chopped a step and bouldered up this small face onto snow we now knew was somewhat unstable so we stuck to the ridge proper from then on. Again post holing we pushed for the summit, anxious that we would be too late for firm snow to ski. We arrived at the summit around 1pm and wasted no time skinning over to the top of the roman headwall. Skins ripped. Boots locked. Dropping in! Slushy mank... The skiing sucked but it sure beat walking. We skied back into the clouds and cruised down as fast as our quads could to heliotrope ridge then back down to the trail. Skis back on the pack and running shoes on, we jogged down the trail to the car. Whole ordeal took just a bit under 10hrs. Lael hauls up the Coleman Post Holing up the Ridge Cruising up... Ice pitch near the top of the clouds Ice Pitch Ridge Selfie! Steep ridge after the ice pitch Spicy crown proved to be a V3 boulder move Clouds Breaking Sunshine on top! Back in the fog after the ski Thanks for reading, hope this helps someone! Gear Notes: 5 ice screws, glacier stuff, 2 tools each Approach Notes: Road is open almost to the parking lot
  5. Trip: Mt. Hood - Devils Kitchen Headwall Trip Date: 04/22/2018 Trip Report: Peter and I took advantage of brilliant weather this past weekend to go climb Devils Kitchen Headwall on Mt Hood. I'd been eyeing this route all winter, waiting for the conditions and weather to align and allow an attempt. After Peter and I ran a 1500m time trial on Friday (4:03 and 4:05 respectively) we decided that due to lots of snow forecasted in the North Cascades and none in the South, we would head South to Mt. Hood. We left Bellingham Saturday afternoon and spent a surprisingly chilly night near the timberline parking lot. Following our 3:30 alarm we were skinning up hill by 4:15 in some bitter cold temperatures. Icy snow slowed our skinning progress a little (think drunk figure skater) and we opted to boot starting not far after the resort ends. We were in the crater around sun rise (~6:15) and then traversed around and got our gear sorted at the base of the route. We soloed steep snow to the first ice pitch where Peter took the sharp end and took us over the first two ice steps, which were in beautiful condition. The day was starting to warm and I finally got the blood flowing to my fingers so I took the next pitch, a full 60m with one ice screw to a picket belay. Peter got to my belay and continued up climbers right (planning on doing the right hand variation) but deemed that way to be entirely unprotectable and the climbing over the top looked difficult (rime in the sun is hard to climb....) He down climbed back to my belay and I started to lead out climbers left but found a steep drop of rime, leading me to realize that we had already stared up the right variation gully. Peter belayed me as a down climbed the rime face and started up the correct gully to another picket belay. Once Peter arrived, we un roped and soloed the steep snow and rime to the top, revealing a hot, beautiful summit. After some snackage and packing up we traversed toward our planned ski descent of Leuthold couloir. As we walked the highly exposed ridge we eyed a fun looking line that dropped down to our left, back into the crater. Seeing how far down the planned descent was, and not wanting to lose vertical feet on foot when we could ski, we opted to drop in here (not sure what it was, but it was a few hundred yards west of old chute). Skiing was extremely steep and hard (for our limited ability and 700 gram skis...) We survived and skied to the car by about 1:30. Hope everyone had a great weekend! Route is the obvious gully of the center, we branched left when we got near the top. We should have gone left earlier. Looking up the first, pitch, lots of good ice. I should have taken pictures but it was cold! Gear Notes: Small ice rack, pickets, standard stuff. Approach Notes: Follow highway of people...
  6. Donate/Reuse/Recycle Ropes/Slings in PDX?

    Ropes don't degrade with age. See this article from BD... http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/en/experience-story?cid=qc-lab-old-vs-new-gear-testing
  7. [TR] Chair Peak - North Face 03/03/2018

    Alisse, we repelled off the red 'biner the silver one is a locking 'biner and is my personal anchor to attach me to the anchor while I set up the next repel. Great question!
  8. .recorded-1520112370.mp4Trip: Chair Peak - North Face Trip Date: 03/03/2018 Trip Report: Had a great trip to the North Face of Chair Peak on Saturday, March 3rd. Brilliant sun and warm weather kept us off our planned climb of the NE Buttress but we found conditions of the North Face to be fantastic. We did not summit due to fear of running out of daylight after skiing some powder laps before getting the courage to venture up the North Face route and having 1 headlight for us two. Both majors errors that, if avoided, may have led to a summit. Next time! There were two other parties on the route ahead of us and I believe 1 of them summited then descended the route. There was a large cornice over the typical rappel station and deep snow (travel back to gear/skis not taken on route) would both prove troublesome if one attempted the typical descent. Fun was had by all. Gear Notes: Pickets, small rock rack, 4 screws, 70m single and 50m tag line. Approach Notes: Skis