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Kyle M

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Kyle M last won the day on July 1

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About Kyle M

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    Software Engineer
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    Seattle Metro
  1. Trip: Darrington - Squire Creek Wall -> Buckeye -> Whitehorse Trip Date: 06/19/2021 Trip Report: @jenny.abegg and I did a linkup of Skeena26 on Squire Creek Wall, Buckeye Peak, and Whitehorse. It was a full value 16 hour day, even with nearly everything going "right". Super fun, if you don't mind some jungling and adventure climbing. The MP approach beta for Skeena26 is spot on. We did not find the bolts until the top of P3, and from there on it was still hard to follow the route as the bolts hide in the shade. The upper section of the buttress above the route is pretty blue collar, as is the top of Squire Creek Wall. We were happy to be on snow climbing up to Buckeye Peak. The ridge heading north from Buckeye was very aesthetic, featuring mid fifth class climbing over steep gendarmes with wild exposure. We did a few pitches and a few rappels and then ended up at the SE Ridge of Whitehorse. The SE Ridge definitely felt a bit fifth class to us for a few hundred feet, but we were definitely pretty tired. It is "Beckey 4th class" after all. The rock is ok. Rappel over the bergschrund, then long hike out. https://climberkyle.com/2021/06/19/the-darrington-rodeo/ D-Town is cool! Skeena26 is definitely worth checking out! Gear Notes: Single 60 m rope was enough. A few moderate sized cams, lots of long runners. Approach Notes: About 6-8 minutes after the official Squire Creek Trail sign, there is a white rock cairn. This marks the trail, which leads down to Squire Creek. Found a log crossing just downstream. Then hike up the trail on the other side.
  2. WA Ice Conditions 2020-21

    Whitepine Ice delivers! Josh's route "Doctor's Orders" was truly a gem, definitely worth checking out. He put up the routes on mountain project: https://www.mountainproject.com/area/120310945/whitepine-ice-mixed. He fully realizes there might be established names for these often-climbed routes, but he just figured he would give them some names for the MP page. And here are some more photos from my blog: https://climberkyle.com/2021/02/20/whitepine-ice/ Not sure if these pillars will survive the rain the next day or so, but if they do, I bet they'll be solid next weekend with more cold temps.
  3. [TR] Sperry Peak - East Gully 01/23/2021

    Sick! I cannot wait to get back on this one! I wonder if it was also good conditions for the incredible north face of Sperry.
  4. [TR] Chair Peak - NE Buttress 01/17/2021

    Great work! So much snow that the usual anchors are buried - incredible!
  5. I remember in January 2019 when Jacob and I reached the top of the Melakwa Flows and turned around and laid eyes on the beauty. We remarked how it could be "the Winter Dance of Snoqualminix!". But it was far above our pay grade at the time. So psyched someone could finally go send it. Some more enticing photos of it, from a scouting trip around Christmas 2020. Top of the flow is visible in the bottom right. Visible once again upper left of the image.
  6. WA Ice Conditions 2020-21

    @Doug_Hutchinson and I checked out the Roosevelt Flows yesterday. Most of the ice was rotten and aerated with snow clinging to it, just like most everything else we've seen in the snoqualmie area recently. We climbed the thin gully feature, which went at WI2+/3- for 60m. There's a lot of potential here, but none of the climbs are really in. Definitely worth the trek when it's in! https://climberkyle.com/2020/12/28/roosevelt-ice-exploration/
  7. WA Ice Conditions 2020-21

    Checked out the Melakwa Valley today. There's lots of ice forming, and maybe some is climbable, but definitely not protectable. Very thin and lots of snow sitting on the ice so I presume it's aerated. Hot Tubbs. Melakwa Flows. Also, Source Lake Line not in. Other random ice around Snow Lake - same status. For more details, see our ice observations page! https://cascade-ice.com/observations/28
  8. Ice Observations Page

    @Doug_Hutchinson in all seriousness, I wanted to include historical weather data that led up to a particular observation and compare it with current weather patterns, but the data costs anywhere from $10-$50 per month, so I wasn't about to do that on my own money.
  9. Ice Observations Page

    So for this winter, as @Doug_Hutchinson alluded to, I present to the ice community a new observations page: https://cascade-ice.com/observations. I think that we could record observations of ice in the field in a more organized, easy to search manner, with location pins. Over many years, I believe that this format could have a lot of value because of its clarity and searchability. My dream would be to display historical weather patterns that led to certain observations and awesome insight like that. Facebook posts get buried after a few days. CC Threads are great, but can be tricky to search through and it can be challenging to describe exact locations. This isn't meant to replace CC or anything, more augment it. It's an experiment. I welcome feedback. This observations page I will maintain with submissions from the community. To make development easier, there's no form for user submissions, just send us an email at cascadeiceguide@gmail.com and I'll get it up as quickly as possible. There are instructions on the page of what information to include in submissions. Think cold thoughts and hopefully it'll be a good season!
  10. WA Ice Conditions 2020-21

    Toured around Snoqualmie on Saturday. Multiple parties gunning for NEB Chair, one party reported a successful climb later. The ice step seemed to be in pretty good condition actually. Source Lake Line, all the other stuff, not in. Made it out to the summit of Wright to scope the surprisingly impressive north summit of north Roosevelt (north^2 roosevelt). This area is often loaded, with 6-7 single pitch lines right next to each other and multipitch potential. Only really one of the single pitches looked good currently, but it's still very early in the season. Maybe someday I'll have the motivation to stop sliding down couloirs and climb some of these guys, but I've been by them a few times now and it's a pretty cool spot.
  11. WA Ice Conditions 2020-21

    North Face lundin looks like it has some potential. There's also some vertical ice most definitely formed on the cliffs below the Lundin/Red saddle on the north side. You can see the ice lower right in the above photo. Commonwealth Falls is running water, obviously, with a little ice on the sides.
  12. Trip: Heliotrope Ridge - Various Heliotrope Water Ice Trip Date: 11/08/2020 Trip Report: Just an update from the Heliotrope Water Ice "Playground". Over the last few years, I've had a great time getting back into the flow of ice by cragging at the various water ice flows above the Heliotrope Ridge Trail in the fall. The combination of Fraser outflow events, northern aspect, and superfluous water supply from the glacier above seems to create the most consistent water ice opportunities in Western Washington from late October until the trailhead is inaccessible. The climbs are easy and short, yes, but it's pretty easy to get in 10 reps of a 50 foot pitch and then, bam, you have 500 ft. of ice climbing just a short walk from the car. Not bad IMO. To help explain some of these climbs, I created this map. https://caltopo.com/m/06CB. I'm by no means claiming FAs or anything, but there is limited information about these climbs so I thought it was helpful to name a few so I can give my recollections. In 2019, on Nov 1st, I climbed a ton of climbs, starting with "hidden in plainsight" and working my way through the "heliotrope headwall". All the "misc curtains" were fat, lots of other climbs like "Cauliflower Curtains" were manageable. We had an early dump of snow (late september) that started the freeze thaw early. Some of the climbs are fed by glacial runoff and streams, but others need seepage from early snowfall and freeze/thaw. In 2020, I headed up there October 24th during a cold spell (overnight around freezing in BHAM). It was evident the ground was still too warm and almost none of the climbs were in. We did however find "Femoral Bleed" a bit higher up than I had ever explored before. It was in great shape on the 24th, but when we returned on the 25th, after a very cold night, it somehow had become very wet and was spurting water out of a hole in the middle, nowhere near where we had climbed the day before. Bizzare. I returned on Nov 8th (today). Temps were very warm (freezing level 7k) just a few days ago, so I wasn't too hopeful. Friends had walked up there on the 6th and found running water everywhere and no real ice. But as we started hiking up, the ground was very frozen and signs were good. We found "Cauliflower Curtains" to be in good shape, not protectable on lead, but good fun on TR. It was possibly in better shape than the year before even. This had gone from a full waterfall to climbable in less than 48 hours. Impressive. We continued up to Femoral Bleed. It was very thin and wet compared to last time, not in good shape at all. Perhaps it does not form as well under fast-freeze conditions? Maybe it will bulk out in the coming days. But just to the right we found a beautiful line "Supermarket Shrimp", with wonderful tentacles and striking ice formations. This was a fun TR. Two weeks before, when Femoral was fat, this climb was running water. Go figure. It looks like serious snow is coming soon, but maybe some people will find this useful in future years. It's a primo spot: 1-2 hr approaches to relatively reliable water ice, at least by WA standards. Happy hunting! A few more details can be found in my trip reports: * https://climberkyle.com/2019/11/01/heliotrope-ridge-ice-playground/ * https://climberkyle.com/2020/10/24/heliotrope-ice-hunt-2020/ Oh and if you were wondering, CH is looking quite a bit better than a few weeks ago. Probably good to go. Gear Notes: microspikes very helpful for the trail, as always. screws, tools, and slinging boulders all used for top rope anchors. Approach Notes: Road can be treacherous, take caution in the fall. It's usually worst a few days after a low snow event and freeze thaw on the road.
  13. review Footwear in the Cascades

    @genepires on descents the hard, rigid sole just kinda wears down on the forefoot until my feet are quite sore. It's not that I cannot wear them at all, it's just I'm soft and complain if my feet are not in cushy trail runners.
  14. review Footwear in the Cascades

    @kmfoerster I personally just cannot hike in approach shoes. I know some people can. I wish I could! Then approach shoes would be great for me. I also think that you're a little more technical climber and thus can tackle most alpine rock routes in them, whereas I know I have to bring rock shoes anyways for anything 5.6 and harder. Also, I try to run more, and you definitely cannot run in them. Our styles are different, so approach shoes are more valuable to you.
  15. Footwear is the most important of gear, no question. I've taken some time to think about all kinds of different footwear in the Cascades, from trail running to ice climbing and skiing. Here are my thoughts and strategies. I welcome diverse opinions! https://climberkyle.com/2020/09/15/footwear-in-the-cascades/