Jump to content

Kyle M

Members
  • Content count

    41
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    20

Everything posted by Kyle M

  1. What do we need during quarantine? More lists! So I recently did a mind dump and listed a bunch of high routes, technical traverse, peak linkups, and ski traverses. Many of these are just unearthed from the grave of CC itself. Here's the content copied from my website: For the purpose of this article, I have color coded routes by four different categories: High Route: These routes are non-technical, meaning no 5th class climbing. However, they may have glacial travel. The purpose is to cover great distance over rugged terrain, not necessarily to summit. Linkup: These routes combine peakbagging, scrambling, and high routing (is that even a verb?). Technical Traverse: These routes have 5th class travel. A rope and protection is commonly used. Ski Traverse: These routes are most commonly done as a ski traverse during winter or spring. Categories can overlap. For example, the Ptarmigan Traverse is both a fantastic ski traverse and high route, but I refer to it as a high route simply because more parties complete it on foot. Additionally, there are many peaks to bag along the way so it could be a linkup. Preface: I apologize for my superfluous use of “classic”. Update: Sam put in an incredible effort to convert the list into a caltopo map! I90 P3 to Defiance Traverse: A ridgewalk, close to Seattle, that involves more bushwhacking than scrambling. Can be extended all the way to Granite. TR. Roosevelt Kaleetan Traverse: An aesthetic ridge, possibly the best low-5th terrain in the Snoqualmie Backcountry, as people say. TR. Chair Bryant Traverse: Begin with the north ridge of Chair, continue all the way to the Tooth or even Denny for bonus fun. TR. Commonwealth Ultimate Ridge Linkup: Incredible bang for you buck with literally miles of 3rd to 5th class terrain. TR. Melakwa Pass Loop: In the winter it would be known as the Chair Peak Circumnavigation. The summer form is a little longer, starting and ending traditionally at the Denny Creek trailhead. TR. Snoqualmie Haute Route: This creative multi day ski traverse wraps around the major peaks of the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River. TR. Alpine Lakes Crest Traverse: Similar to the Haute Route in terrain, but more similar to the Ptarmigan Traverse in character, this route crosses the heart of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness from Snoqualmie Pass to Mt. Daniel. TR. Mt. Daniel Circumnavigation: Mt. Daniel is a deceptively large mountain, holding many glaciers and lakes. TR. Bears Breast Traverse: This remote peak is also home to the “mythical mega slabs”, 3000 ft of sustained 4th and low 5th. TR. Paddy-go-easy High Route: This route covers some beautiful terrain between Paddy-go-easy pass and the Robin Lakes, visiting many tarns along the way. TR. Teanaway Ten: Peakbagger’s delight! The main idea is to bag some amount of peaks (10 is nice and tidy) around the Beverly and Bean Creek basins. TR. Stunning exposure on the Commonwealth Ultimate Ridge Linkup. US2 Persindex Traverse: This was the very first traverse I attempted long ago. It travels through surprisingly alpine terrain between two of the steepest peaks in Washington. TR. Index Traverse: The three summits of Mt. Index compose this huge, committing undertaking, a classic. TR. Alpine Lakes High Route: Perhaps the most classic high route in Washington, with stunning lakes and vistas. TR. Thunder Robin High Route: The logical extension of the Alpine Lakes Crest Traverse to US2 covers some beautiful, forgotten terrain near some very overpopulated terrain. TR. Rock Howard Mastiff Traverse: Three high peaks just east of Stevens Pass. Good access, good skiing. TR. Chiwaukum Traverse: A “new-age” classic ski traverse. The Chiwaukum Range has some huge, open, non-glaciated alpine terrain and is perfect for a ski traverse. TR. Icicle Ridge Traverse: Lots of opportunities along Icicle Ridge and Big Jim and Big Lou to run broad, open ridges. TR. Stuart Range Traverse: The steep couloirs of this range lend themselves to a ski traverse of more ups and downs than sideways. TR. Enchantment Enchainment: Some variation of 9 or 10 Bulgers in the Stuart Range. Many ways to skin this cat. TR. Carne High Route: This popular route is basically a trail, or a good introductory high route. TR. The Entiat 9ers: Maude, 7 Fingered Jack, and Fernow all lie on a ridge together. All are above 9000 ft and in one of the most beautiful settings in the Cascades. All have terrible rock. You get the idea. TR. Little Giant High Pass Loop: 90% of this route is on a trail of some sort, but it’s simply too beautiful to leave out. Add in the Louie Creek High Route to Buck Mountain for a bonus. Great peak bagging opportunities near High Pass. TR. Dakobed Range Circumnavigation: Stunning, remote scenery in the heart of the Glacier Peak Wilderness. If you can tolerate the brush, this is solitude well spent. TR. Dakobed Range Traverse: It also works on skis! Or a splitboard… TR. An Alaskan glacial cirque on the Dakobed Range Circumnavigation. Mountain Loop Highway Three Fingers Traverse: Visible from the Seattle/Everett area, this simply makes sense. TR. Pilchuck Loop: An accessible, introductory high route with some nice lakes along the way. TR. Monte Cristo Linkup: Another underrated area of the Cascades with high alpine peaks and glaciers. TR. Painted Traverse: One of those classic steep-heather sidehilling traverses in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. TR. It also makes for a fantastic ski traverse. Suiattle River Road Bath Lakes High Route: Perhaps THE KING OF STEEP HEATHER high routes. Stretch out your ankles. Get ready. TR. Gunrunner Traverse: Some of the best and most remote alpine rock in the state. Can it be matched? TR. Lime Ridge High Route: Beautiful lake after lake on this lovely high route just north of Glacier Peak. TR. Green Buckindy High Route: The quiet little brother of the Ptarmigan Traverse, this one might be more rugged actually. TR. Dominatrix Traverse: This route travels between Snowking and Chaval, very obscure. TR. The Bath Lakes Peaks in alpenglow. Highway 542 Twin Sisters Traverse: Fun fact – the peaks in the logo of Kulshan Brewing are not Kulshan, but rather the Twin Sisters. TR. Green Creek Circuit: This linkup might be the king of all scramble / low 5th routes in all of Washington. TR. Watson Traverse: Cody Townsend really doesn’t like this one, but others say it’s pretty good. TR. Nooksack Traverse: From Shuksan to Ruth, this traverse crosses some of the most rugged terrain in all of the North Cascades. When will someone link it up with the Watson? TR. Cascade River Road Ptarmigan Traverse: The granddaddy of all Cascade high routes. Keep going over Dome for the best terrain. TR. Torment Forbidden Traverse: Ultra classic traverse in one of the wildest settings in the lower 48. TR. Boston Basin Marathon: An incredible “true ridge traverse” of the Triad, Eldo, Tormet, Forbidden, Boston, and Sahale. TR. Isolation Traverse: An incredible ski traverse. Not sure what else to say. I really want to do this one. TR. Inspiration Traverse: This can be combined with the Isolation Traverse for an incredible loop across some massive glaciers and lofty peaks. TR. Forbidden Tour: Arguably the classic ski loop in the North Cascades. TR. Magic S Loop: While not as well known as the Forbidden Tour, this is also an excellent ski loop. TR. Buckindy Traverse: An incredibly rugged loop on the quiet side of the Cascade River. TR. Teebone Traverse: Another beautiful ridge line in the North Cascades. The descent into Newhalem is legendary… for bad reasons. TR. Morning at the White Rock Lakes on the Ptarmigan Traverse. Highway 20 Watson Blum Traverse: A beautiful traverse across surprisingly glaciated peaks in a remote area. Bring your bacon. TR. Pickets Traverse: Well, we could write a whole article on this alone. There are so many variations: technical, non-technical, north, south, skis. To start, I’d recommend Steph Abegg’s excellent Picket’s page. Try Wayne Wallace’s complete Southern Picket’s Traverse or Dr. Dirtbag bagging the Northern Pickets in a little over 24 hours! Or even a COMPLETE PICKETS TRAVERSE (VII 5.10+)!!! Mystery Ridge – Northern Pickets Traverse: Legends Steph Abegg and Tom Sjolseth say this is the greatest high route they have ever completed, and I don’t doubt them. TR. The Grand Tour: an incredible linkup of the Whatcom High Route, the Pickets Traverse, the Isolation Traverse, and the Ptarmigan Traverse. TR. Ragged Ridge Traverse: Bagging the Bulgers on this high Cascade ridge. TR. Fisher Outpost High Route: A unique route through some very seldom-visited terrain. TR. Logan Goode Buckner Traverse: Everyone knows about the Thunder Slam (Goode Logan Stormking) so here is a fun variation. TR. Logan NW Ridge: Wayne calls this the single longest ridgeline in the lower 48. He soloed it, of course. TR. Goode Megaladon Ridge: NE Buttress isn’t long enough for your tastes? Try this massive ridge traverse on the highest peak in NCNP. TR. Triple Rainbow High Route: Best done as a larch march, this route will make you forget you are in the North Cascades entirely. TR. Liberty Bell Traverse: Likely the shortest approach of any of these. Classic. TR. The Washington Pass Traverse: This incredible route (VI, 5.9+) might be the longest unbroken technical traverse in the state. TR. The Birthday Tour: It might be stretch to call this a ski traverse considering it only takes a few hours. TR. Yearning larches on the Triple Rainbow High Route. Chelan / Methow Pasayten Peakbagging: 8 Bulgers all relatively close together, only separated by miles of choss. TR. Raven Ridge Hoodoo Traverse: A very fun little traverse on surprisingly good rock. Best done during larch season. TR. Switcback – Bigelow Traverse: More larch madness! This can actually be combined with Raven Ridge and Hoodoo for a massive day and 5 Bulgers. TR. Dark Bonanza Traverse: It’s a long ways out there, but it looks really good. Blake says it’s really good. I believe him. TR. 3 Peaks of Bonanza Traverse: This overlaps some with the Dark Bonanaza Traverse, but is huge in its own right. TR. Larch Madness on Raven Ridge from Hoodoo Peak. Southern WA Tatoosh Traverse: A fine adventure that will look particularly impressive when you’re skiing the Muir Snowfield with friends next time. TR. Rainier Ski Circumnavigation: Does it count as a ski traverse if it ends back where it started? TR. Goat Rocks Peakbagging: It would be incomplete to not acknowledge this beautiful wilderness area. TR. Adams Traverse: Up over, and around. More of a trail run than anything. A fun way to experience a volcano. TR. Olympics Tyler – Grey Wolf – Needles Traverse: A huge ridgewalk followed by some decent Olympic alpine rock? Very cool route. TR. Bailey Range Traverse: The classic Olympic high route ending with Olympus itself. TR. Tour of the Gods: An awesome ski trip nailing all the glaciers in the Olympus massif. TR. Brothers Traverse: The classic skyline peak from Seattle, done right. TR. Sawtooth Ridge Traverse: Another massive, obscure ridge traverse from Wayne. TR. The Olympic Ski Traverse: Another rad Jason Hummel ski traverse through the center of the Olympics, north to south. TR. Ellinor Washington Traverse: Classic beginner traverse in the SE corner of the Olympics. Don’t get attacked by a goat. TR. Bonus: Oregon Three Sisters Traverse (plus Broken Top): Looks like a super fun ski traverse with lots of corn and even a little bit of ice climbing! TR. Hurwal Divide Traverse: A high ridgewalk between 9000 ft peaks in Oregon’s greatest mountain range, the Wallowas (not trying to stir any controversy here – I’ve admit I’ve never even been to the Wallowas, but really want to visit). TR. Bonus: British Columbia Spearhead Traverse: Possibly the most famous ski traverse in North America. It’s been done in something like 4 hours, but also has some big new fancy hotels – I mean huts – along the way. TR. Garibladi Neve Traverse: A long, lower elevation, less crowded alternative to the Spearhead. TR. Tantalus Traverse: This athletic, rugged traverse crosses the famous range clearly visible from Squamish. Eric Carter did it in an incredible 18 hours. TR. Bonnington Traverse: Fluffy powder, cozy cabins, this one is a real treat. TR. Jon catches some sunset pow on the Bonnington Traverse. If you read this far, you are obviously interested in exploring and passionate about the mountains of Washington. I hope you found this article informative and can use it as a launching pad for your own explorations!
  2. 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.
  3. With some time on my hands with the quarantine and all, I decided to compile some research. Here's a list of "forgotten" Cascade alpine testpieces (ice focused) or FACTs. Feel free to add some others I left out! Who's gonna be the first to tick the entire list? I apologize for all the weird formatting. I just copied this post from my blog https://climberkyle.com/2020/03/22/forgotten-cascade-alpine-ice-routes/. I90 I90 climbs offer the best access and easiest conditions to predict. There are undoubtedly many more climbs to be discovered in this area with easy access, generally good rock, and surprisingly rugged little mountains. Mt. Kent, North Face (multiple variations): the greatest north face in the Snoqualmie region with many long 1000 ft lines. Bonus: you can see conditions from I90 near exit 42 while driving west! This has been super high on my list to explore. Snoqualmie Mt, North Face (multiple variations): an abundance of mixed ice lines like the classic New York Gully and the lesser known Pineapple Express and Blue Moon. Abiel Peak, North Face (multiple variations): the “Ben Nevis” of the PNW has many shorter alpine ice and mixed lines. Bryant Peak, Hot Tubbs: Maybe this route hasn’t been around long enough since Jacob and I published it, but it reportedly hasn’t seen much action, so I think it’ll be forgotten soon enough… Summit Chief Mountain, North Face: Colin Haley said this line had “more ice climbing than any other Cascade ice climb” he had ever done at the time. Big compliment. The North Face is much like Dragontail, just fatter. Peak 3964, False Idol: An incredible 10 pitch ice route off the Middle Fork Snoqualmie that needs very cold temps to form. I believe this is just scratching the surface of the ice potential in the Middle Fork. US2 US2 offers some hotspots like the Stuart Range, with its steep granite peaks, and a sprinkling of other incredible routes in the Lake Wenatchee area. Weather is generally colder and drier on the east side, which is good for ice. Chiwawa Mountain, Intravenous: Cutting edge Colin Haley mixed route deep in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Buck Mountain, Buckshot: Another bold line in a wilderness setting. One of the great underrated north faces in Washington. Mt. Index, North Face: Steepest peak in Washington, visible from the highway. Always an involved matter for a sub-6000 ft peak. Another huge route is Murphy's Law. Dragontail Peak, NE Couloir: This route feels much more full on than Triple Couloirs next door, and seems to be difficult to get in proper (fall) conditions. Colchuck Peak, NE Buttress Couloir: Often overlooked with Triple Couloirs and the North Buttress Couloir next door. Ends with a cornice-tunnel! Argonaut Peak, NE Couloir: Also a rock/snow route in early summer, this can be a fantastic mixed/ice route in late fall. Mt. Stuart, Ice Cliff Glacier: a technically easy but deceptively committing and full-on climb in a wild setting. Argonaut Peak, Chad Kellog Memorial Route: Challenging new age mixed route in the heart of the Stuart Range. Mt. Stuart, Lara Kellog Memorial Route: Climbs the incredible NE Face of Stuart above the Ice Cliff Glacier. Looks directly across to the Chad Kellog Memorial Route. Mt. Stuart, Stuart Glacier Couloir: A classic route where the crux is arguable climbing the west ridge in mixed winter conditions. Nason Ridge, Alpine Dropout: A fantastic looking ice route that sits just above Lake Wenatchee. Mountain Loop Close to Seattle but tragically overlooked, the peaks of the Mountain Loop are as rugged as anywhere in the North Cascades but with surprisingly decent winter access. The myriad of big climbs in this little region speaks volume to the incredible terrain. Big Four Mt, North Face (multiple variations): multiple routes, including the famous Spindrift Couloir. This is a mighty north face, and routes often take multiple days. Hall Peak, North Face: little brother to Big Four supposedly has some ice routes. Three Fingers, NE Face: This is a big route on a surprisingly big mountain. I believe there’s much more potential on the east side of Three Fingers. Whitechuck Mt, E Face Couloir: A very aesthetic couloir ice/mixed route. Access can be challenging unless it is a very low snow year. Whitehorse Mt, E Couloir: This steep route splits the Squire Creek Headwall for a fantastic line. I think it might even be visible from Darrington?! Sperry Peak, E Face Gully: Another beautiful, long, moderate ice/mixed route that likely varies in technicality from fall to spring. Sloan Peak, Full Moon Fever: This route climbs the weakness on the NW Face of Sloan. Having been at the base, I can say there is HUGE potential all over the place near the route. Sloan Peak, Superalpine: I certainly hope this climb isn’t forgotten, as Porter and I believe it is truly the best moderate alpine ice route we have climbed in the Cascades (better than Cosley Houston or the NW Couloir of Eldorado), but I know how things go around here… Lake 22 Headwall: who would think that one of the greatest alpine walls in the Cascades was just a short hour drive and hike from Seattle? There are so many unclimbed 2000 ft lines up this face, and you can get conditions updates by searching Instagram! Highway 20 Highway 20 undoubtedly has many huge ice lines, but difficult winter access has limited exploration. During lower snow years, the Cascade River Road could be a great area for exploration and development. Eldorado Peak, NW Ice Couloir: This route was sort of “remembered” in Fall 2019 when probably 20 parties climbed it (me included), but it’s a fantastic easier route, so I’ll leave it here. Colonial Peak, North Face (multiple routes): The mega line Watusi Rodeo offers 4000 ft of front point terrain and is “easily” accessible all winter. First Date is another attractive route. Pyramid Peak, NE Face (multiple routes): Home to some challenging mixed/ice routes on a wonderfully aesthetic peak. Graybeard, North Face: Everyone seems to report this deceptively big route deepened their sense of mortality. Davis Peak, No Milkshakes: the north face of Davis Peak is supposedly the steepest vertical mile drop in Washington. Silver Star, West Face Couloir: Originally planned as a ski descent, it actually turned out to be a huge ice climb! Visible from the highway, but you probably need a sled to get up there. Cutthroat Peak, Cauthorn Wilson: Gaining popularity lately, can be climbed right before the highway closes or after it opens. Early Winters Couloir: This one is sort of a classic and can be climbed in both fall and spring. Highway 542 The areas around Baker and Shuksan are generally well explored, but still offer great adventure. The Black Buttes are one of the centerpieces for hard alpine ice climbing. Lincoln Peak, Wilkes-Booth: A huge, challenging route on one of the hardest peaks in Washington. Assassin Spire, NW Face: Considered by many to be the toughest summit in Washington, this was also the first peak where the first ascent was made in winter. Colfax Peak, Ford’s Theater: The “forgotten” next door neighbor of the ultra classic Cosley Houston. Mt. Rainier / Tatoosh This area is dominated by the mountain, but I’m guessing the Tattosh have good stuff and certainly easy access. Rainier, Mowich Face: A long moderate route on the “quiet” (NW) side of the big hunk-a-hunk. Rainier, Ptarmigan Ridge: A steeper, more sustained route than its next door neighbor, the world-renowned Liberty Ridge. Mt. Hood I don’t know much about Hood, but I’m sure there are some great routes that are infrequently climbed, so I’ll take suggestions here!
  4. 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...
  5. 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/
  6. @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!
  7. 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?
  8. @PorterM and Tavish went back and finished the step where I fell and got a few hundred feet higher onto the upper snowfields. Check it out:
  9. [TR] Sloan Peak - Superalpine 03/15/2020

    Way to go boys!!!! It's cool you guys found a different start variation this time, since I know the pitch we climbed the first time probably isn't in most of the time. Hopefully others get on this route, it's a true gem of the Cascades. Best moderate alpine ice route in the Cascades IMHO (I'm not biased, right?).
  10. @Ryan Hoover which line did you attempt?
  11. @Michael Telstad exactly, that's why we waited until the face had not seen fresh snow in 4-5 days before going up. Hard to get sometimes. We waited all winter for it. There was still a lot of spindrift. The other (ideal) condition would be a high rain event, then hard freeze to lock everything up. Then you'd be able to boot everything.
  12. @Michael Telstad glad you gave it a shot! Definitely snowed more than was forecasted. I hope you can give it another shot since the weather is staying cool. Next weekend looks good! I think it'd be a FCA (first complete ascent) since our FA is debatable...
  13. Thank you to everyone for their support! It was a wild adventure, that's for sure.
  14. [TR] Sloan Peak - West Face 12/10/2011

    Here it is boys:
  15. @Alex789 was that late winter / early spring when you climbed it?
  16. @OlympicMtnBoy no! Now I'm really bummed.
  17. @rat crazy! If only we had known this and driven further up the road... kickin myself for not researching more. Alas, seems like that was a bit greater of a cold spell and maybe those routes were not in. At least that's what I'll tell myself...
  18. Thanks for crushing it Porter! If anyone wanted more photos and the story from a follower's perspective: https://climberkyle.com/2019/11/23/dragontail-peak-ne-couloir-wi2-m5-r/.
  19. Nice work! I remember running by that ridge 2 years ago and wondering if the rock was any good and how the climbing would be. Props for going out there to check it out! I was on the east ridge of Berge in the rain the weekend before...
  20. Hugely impressive! I've pondered doing this trip in two days, but never one before!
  21. [TR] Humpback Mountain - Humpback Flows 02/07/2019

    Great job everyone! We're starting the renaissance of ice climbing here in the Seattle area! (okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration) But regardless, this is an awesome crag and it will be fun to watch conditions on it and see other lines go down! It just proves that there's ice in almost any winter here, but it might move around.
  22. Good to hear some multiyear perspective! Skinning by the look interesting, but I did not realize how big and awesome they were until I got underneath them. They make the ice routes in the Alpental Valley look short and thin by comparison (although the Alpental climbs are coming in well this week). They're definitely worth the approach in my mind.
  23. Thanks! Although I do not have multi year evidence, I think the Melakwa Flows will come in regularly each winter, unless it is super cold or ridiculously warm. The large snowfield above it to feed meltwater, its direct solar aspect, and its relatively high elevation of 5000 ft mean that it will likely experience extensive freeze thaw cycles at some point during the winter or spring and form. They might not be as fat many years, but I would expect them to be there. They were already forming in mid November this year when I first saw them. The line on Bryant Peak I see to be more ephemeral and probably a result of the warmer temps we have had this winter. It needs probably many weeks of good freeze thaw to form, but it does always have that snowfield above to feed it. The routes on Lennox that Alpine Dave discovered look very cool and hopefully I will get out to them in time. I believe they are just as good as when he climbed them, but people are conservative and generally like to follow where there are recent trip reports and where others are going. The climbs on Lennox have a few things not going for them: significant approach (compared to say, Alpental ice), significant avalanche hazard, and you cannot see them from a major road or trail. That last point is maybe the biggest factor. Almost all popular ice climbing in WA (and maybe elsewhere, but cannot really say) is easily visible from a road or trail. People don't want to potentially "waste" a whole day carrying their tools and rack around and not get to climb anything. If we assume that ice forms in the same density elsewhere in the Cascades as it does in the established areas, then there's hundreds of lines waiting to be climbed out there, even without snowmobile access. Part of our goal with these climbs was to show what potential is out there in our backyard and inspire others to explore. We are not by any means good or even experienced ice climbers, but we are young and naive, and that naivety led us to think that there was more ice out there than just the Alpental Valley, even on a 50 degree weekend. And it was only one valley over...
×