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Kyle M

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Kyle M last won the day on December 30 2020

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About Kyle M

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    Software Engineer
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    Seattle Metro
  1. 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/
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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/
  11. Thanks @kukuzka1 and @Carbonj for your input! I'll add these to the list on my blog.
  12. Trip: Mt. Goode - NE Buttress Trip Date: 07/18/2020 Trip Report: Climbed the NE Buttress with Steve July 18-20. The trail from Highway 20 was largely brush free until Grizzly Creek, which we crossed easily on a log. From there, it was a brushy caterpillar orgy. The direct approach, climbing just right of the leftmost waterfall, was easy and fast. Glacier navigation was simple, although we did cross some blue ice and bridges. We were able to gain the buttress just below the red ledges via a collapsed snow moat. Climb was great! Plenty of snow patches on the route to fill our bottles with. From the summit we scrambled NW to the next notch and found a huge patch of snow which we melted for abundant water. Descent was a long day but not too bad. Once down at the 7400 ft heather benches, keep traversing skier's right until reaching the burned ridge that divides the drainages between Storm King and Goode, take that down to the Park Creek Trail. https://climberkyle.com/2020/07/18/mt-goode-ne-buttress-5-5/ On a side note, it appears from the summit logs that quite a few parties have climbed Megalodon Ridge. Most mentioned that they never found the 5.10 pitches, so perhaps it is easier than 5.10 or these difficulties are simple to circumvent. Goode Glacier and NE Buttress. On lower route. Le Conte and Sloan. Forbidden, Eldo, and the Twin Sisters. Sahale and the sound. Silver Star. Douglas Glacier on Logan. Rapping down. Gear Notes: Trail runners, aluminum crampons, and ice ax for the approach. Climbing/approach shoes on route. 60 m 8mm rope. Cams .4-2, 9 slings, tricams, nuts. Oh, and 10 lbs of camera gear (including a full sized tripod) for Steve. Approach Notes: When you reach the open valley beneath Goode, ford the river, ascend up easy boulders/snow. Climb the 4th class slabs just right of the leftmost waterfall. Continue upwards through the magical alder tunnel. Eventually you'll emerge into wildflower meadows and then the camps atop the lateral moraines.
  13. @kukuzka1 nice climb! Beckey lists some mega long routes on the right side of that face I think. I'm tempted to go back and try the gully route in the summer just to familiarize myself with it but it also looks kind of slimy in the summer.
  14. Trip: Pasayten Wilderness - Tatoosh Buttes - Ptarmigan Peak - Lago Trip Date: 07/08/2020 Trip Report: Last week, Anthony Marra Danny Bradley and I ran an incredible 42 mile, 11k gain loop in the Pasayten Wilderness. Took us 14 hours. We started at Slate Pass, ran down the Middle Fork for a long ways, traversed the ridge from Tatoosh Buttes over Ptarmigan Peak to Mt. Lago, then back out. The ridge between Dot and Lago has some class 3, and is very aesthetic and fun. It was the quintessential Pasayten experience, with broad valleys, wildflower meadows, epic ridges, tundra, and a helluva lot of blowdowns. To me, this was one of the most wild and stunning routes I have ever done. Bless that Pasayten magic. The Middle Fork Pasayten trail has a ton of blowdowns past the Fred's Lake turnoff. Tatoosh Butte trail is fine, once you get above the burn. Descent down Lago sucked. https://climberkyle.com/2020/07/08/hart-of-the-pasayten/ Middle Fork Pasayten from Tatoosh Buttes. Cruising along the buttes. Magical trail. Running down Ptarmigan Peak. Dropping off Dot Mountain. Epic tarn on south side of Ptarmigan. Dot Lakes. Final ridge to Lago. Lago summit. Sunset near Slate Pass. Gear Notes: Trail running gear. Approach Notes: 20 ft up to Slate Pass, and then down down down!
  15. @Zackw7 good call. Definitely some rotten gullies to be aware of.