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Kyle M

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Kyle M last won the day on September 15

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About Kyle M

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    journeyman

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  • Homepage
    climberkyle.com
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    Software Engineer
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    Seattle Metro
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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/
  4. Thanks @kukuzka1 and @Carbonj for your input! I'll add these to the list on my blog.
  5. 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.
  6. @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.
  7. 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!
  8. @Zackw7 good call. Definitely some rotten gullies to be aware of.
  9. Trip: Teanaway - Iron, Teanaway, Bills, Marys, Bean, Earl, Navaho, Freedom, and Miller Trip Date: 06/21/2020 Trip Report: Peter, Matt, Steven and I climbed nine peaks in the Teanaway on the solstice, starting at the Iron Peak trailhead and ending at the Miller/Bear trailhead. We stayed true to the ridgeline the entire way, with the exception of Earl to Navaho. Snow conditions were primo, supplying water and excellent boot skiing. The technical crux was definitely the ridge between Marys and Bean, which yielded some class 4-5 on excellent rock. The SW ridge of Bills also had some steep, exposed class 3. It came out to 20 miles and 10k gain and took us 9:20. So much great bang for your buck in this area. Nice way to kick off summer! https://climberkyle.com/2020/06/21/the-teanaway-traverse/ Iron Peak. On the ridge between Marys and Bean. Looking back on the Marys Bean traverse. Navaho from Earl. Great boot skiing down Navaho towards Freedom. Gear Notes: Running shoes. 1L water. Approach Notes: All pretty straightfoward.
  10. Initial release of the new Cascade Ice Climbing guidebook!!! https://cascade-ice.com/. A few weeks ago, I shared a list of obscure alpine ice climbs in Washington. It was met with a surprising amount of enthusiasm. @DPS, who has climbed many of these routes himself, reached out to me about turning the list into a true online guidebook. So I went out (more like hunkered in my room) and built us a website. It includes detailed route descriptions, caltopo approach maps, and tons of great photos. Currently, we only have 8 awesome routes up, mostly just routes I've done, but we hope to have 20+ routes by next winter! We're still early on in the development of this site, so I welcome feedback / advice. If you have info/pictures for a specific route you'd like to see here, we might be able to work together to get it up! To follow along with updates, new routes added, follow our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Cascade-Ice-106832897688029/. And for the computer nerds out there, yes, our code is open source and you can check it out here: https://github.com/Washington-Ice-Climbing/ice-conditions-map.
  11. I took some more time to reflect on the whole experience with Sloan: the mistakes, the aftermath, the criticisms, and ultimately, what this climb means to me. If you want to get real deep: https://climberkyle.com/2020/03/25/life-after-sloan/
  12. Trip: Sperry Peak - East Face Gully Attempt Trip Date: 11/29/2019 Trip Report: Sorry I didn't post this for a few months, but basically I was scared of others going up there, turning around and seeing the massive ice flows on Sloan, and poaching our prize. But what's done is done so now I want to share what I learned from an attempt of the East Face Gully of Sperry over Thanksgiving 2019. This trip report (http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7980139) caught my attention and Sperry became the focus of my fall alpine efforts. The east face is a beautiful 3000 ft wall with just an hour approach! This gully looked absolutely sweet, like some moderate mixed/snow/ice route. This was the only report I could ever find, so it was hard to know what to expect. Fall 2019 was very dry for us. At elevations below 5000 ft, there was no snow come mid November. Then, right before Thanksgiving, it dumped about a foot down to 3000 ft and got extremely cold (highs in the 30s in the lowlands). Good for ice right? Sperry. Approach slabs on the left. Gully obvious in the middle. Daniel and I drove up to the trailhead and hiked into Wirtz Basin around sunrise. We could immediately tell we were in trouble. The 3rd to 4th class approach slabs looked like they were covered in thin verglass and fresh powder. We started up them, but decided we wouldn't be soloing them (Daniel was pretty new to ice climbing at this point) so we tried going through the dense trees to the right. This was impossible, running into steep cliffs and powder on no base. We bailed back to the slabs. Typical climbing in the approach slabs. We broke out the rope and I led up the right side of the slabs on WI1-2 R where sometimes your crampons would bust through to the rock. It was very insecure, albeit easy. Just not what Hyalite prepares you for. I belayed Daniel off a small bush and then we scrambled up higher. Then to the right there was a little WI3 near vertical step for 20-30 ft that might have taken 6 cm screws. I now realize this was the "little icy step" Jim referred to in his trip report. Damn, those guys were tough. Another veggie belay brought Daniel up. The next section involved climbing atop branches while getting soaked in powder. Then we traversed across more 3rd class slabs covered in fresh powder in crampons. My crampons were brand new and suffered dearly. Finally, we were staring up the gut at the gully, around 4000 ft. It was near noon and the strong sun was causing snow to constantly cascade down the gully. It looked absolutely icy and beautiful! Certainly one of the most beautiful gullies I've ever seen, but we were too late to continue. The powder would have been heinious. We stopped here. But the ice looked so good! Sloan, with the lines already forming. We rapped off trees back down to the valley floor. We took a walk further up Wirtz Basin and admired the incredible geometric features of Sperry. It is truly one of the underrated great mountains of the North Cascades. There were all of these cutting edge mixed ice routes that went 1000 ft up the SE face in the deep chimneys and cuts, but then they just petered out into nothing. There were even some chimneys like hundreds of feet deep and perfectly angular. I could just imagine Colin Haley deep in the darkness, climbing some great new route. I'd love to come back in the summer and climb one of the huge 2000 ft rock routes Beckey mentions that never get climbed anymore. I think the east face gully could be a great summer scramble, 3000 ft of scrambling with basically no approach. This is an incredible mountain. This looks like an incredible route. We'll be back! Inspiring SE side of Sperry. I've seen another mountain like it. Serious ice potential further up the valley. Cool easier ice potential up on Morning Star. Great north face of Sperry. Wonder if that route has seen a repeat? North face Big Four. Lessons learned: * this is a tricky route to nail in proper conditions. If that low snow hadn't fallen, the approach slabs would've been dry (like they were for Jim), but would the gully had been filled in? Probably not this year. We needed more snowfall above 4000 ft. Or if just a bunch of snow falls to 3000 ft and consolidates, but you can still drive to the trailhead, that'd work also. Or just climb this route in mid winter consolidated conditions with a sled access. * The approach slabs are really the only way to go. Don't try to go around. * those old timers are tough mothertruckers. Gear Notes: A few screws, some rock gear. Approach Notes: Short, probably one hour if you can drive to the trailhead. But the slabs can be cruxy...
  13. @DPS a new guidebook will be awesome! I sent you an email. If anyone else is interested in contributing or being in on this discussion, let us know!
  14. I decided to rename it to FACTs (Forgotten Alpine ice Cascade Testpieces) to give the list a little more oomph. @PorterM has suggested we make tiers in the list (easy, middle, hard) and let people tick it off! Because who doesn't love lists?
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