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Everything posted by landoclimb

  1. Trip: Mt. Hood - Infinity Loop Trip Date: 06/21/2019 Trip Report: After a hard day and a half in the mountains, I'm stoked to report the Mt. Hood infinity loop goes! The past few weeks I was busy with graduation stuff and couldn't get on the mountain. Finally, on the 20th, the weather looked alright and I decided to head up to attempt the loop. My plan was to climb up Cooper Spur, run half of the Timberline trail, climb Cooper Spur again, and then run the other half of the Timberline trail. Knowing how much gear I needed, I cached some food, water, and clothes by Timberline Lodge before I started up. The rest of the supplies I would hike up with and stash at Cloud Cap Campground. At around 4 or so I arrived at the trail head to go to Cloud Cap Campground. The gate was still closed so I hiked up the trail to camp in about an hour and half. The weather was pretty nice despite some wind and clouds surrounding the summit of the mountain. I was all alone at camp which is always welcome. After eating some dehydrated pad thai, I was asleep before the sun set. The beautiful approach hike 4 am rolls around and my alarm goes off. I throw some food in my small pack and head up trail. Everything is going pretty good until I start the switchbacking up to the route. Visibility could have been better, the wind was howling, and I was pretty cold. The tee shirt plus R1 was probably not the best clothing choice for the conditions that day. When I got to tie in rock, I hid behind it and warmed up for a few minutes. Having never been on Cooper Spur before, I was surprised at the type of climbing. The first few thousand feet were basically a moderately steep snow slope, however, the last 600 or so involved thin ice climbing, mixed moves, and lots of exposed rock. I was glad I decided to bring 2 tools. After about 3 and a half hours I was on the summit. There still wasn't any visibility but the wind was gone. I cruised down the old chute and was at Timberline by the early afternoon. Part of the trail up Summit selfie When I got to my cache, I put on running shorts, ditched the boots, crampons, and stocked up on more GU and water. I decided to take the west side of the Timberline Trail first, the west side was longer and would provide less down time before the second summit. The first few miles of the trail were pretty snowy but after Paradise Park it was largely dry. It was pretty wet and fog obscured any scenic view. I think I made it to camp around 7 pm that night, the first climb slowed down my pace on the trail significantly. At camp, I was no longer alone. Apparently the gate opened that day! I was stoked because I could hitch a ride down after my trip instead of hiking back out. After eating some apples and changing into climbing stuff again, I was off on the second lap. This time conditions were absolutely perfect. Clear skies and no wind allowed me to enjoy the stars and see the lights of the city. That view will never get old. This time it took me about 6 hours to reach the summit. I took liberal breaks because I didn't want to be tired for the mixed section. At 2:30, I was on the summit for the second time in 24 hours. It was quiet, clear, and very enjoyable. This time, the descent was harder. The hard snow put a number on my knees during the descent. At this point, the lack of sleep was catching up to me. Cool rock I saw The stunning, but haunted Ramona Falls Creek crossing with huge carin Enjoying better conditions later in the day When I made it back down to Timberline, I had 16 more miles to go. My legs felt surprisingly fresh when I headed out. The first 6 miles or so were cruiser, however, intermittent snow slowed me down on the last little bit. I made it back to the parking lot after 32 hours, 28 minutes, and 8 seconds. This trip was one of my favorites in recent memory. I hope the infinity loop catches on on Mt. Hood. I would love to see some hardmen knock down the time. In total it was 56.65 miles and 20,445 feet of elevation gain. Get after it Gear Notes: Tee shirt and R1 Approach Notes: Road to Cloud Cap is now open
  2. Most REAL experiences climbing

    We all have epics and do shit on the mountain that's changed us for the better or worse. What's the most real experience you have had while climbing? By real I mean something that made you come to terms with your own existence or completely ground you in the moment. Ticking the summit is cool and sexy but pants-shitting pitches while your hands feel like wood are more real to me.
  3. question New winter boot recommendations

    I have only heard good things about the new Scarpa Phantom Techs. From what I understand, they are lighter and more sensitive than the comparable Sportiva models. The new Phantom Tech also has a more durable sole than the previous generation. I've been using the Sportiva Baturas for a few seasons and I find them to be somewhat clumsy but warm. Some of my friends also use the Arcteryx Arcrux to pretty good success. I have seen the Acrux climb techy M8 and funky WI6 on a strong climber. I would go with the new Phantom Techs, just make sure the sizing is correct because I think they changed that a little bit too. The Scarpas are going to climb better than Sportiva and are still plenty warm for Canadian winters.
  4. Amazing climb. Good to hear that it went safely despite the difficult and consequential climbing. You guys are going to have a hell of a lot of stories to tell your grandkids.
  5. Trip: Mt. Hood - Yocum Ridge Solo Trip Date: 03/21/2020 Trip Report: "It's not my imagination, I've got a gun at my back!" -Revenge, Black Flag Yocum Ridge is the first route I ever thought about climbing. I remember looking at the striking line from the bus stop in my elementary school. Even though I knew nothing about climbing at the time, the sheer beauty of the route captivated me. As I have accumulated some knowledge about climbing, I learned the route wouldn't go down so easy. Something about the jagged ridgeline dulled by rime gives Yocum a special sense of beauty. Today I set out to realize a childhood fantasy of mine. 3:00 and I'm starting the slog up the mountain. My morale is already low because I forgot my headphones. This damn climb is going to make me absorb the sounds of nature! Two hours or so of walking takes me up to Illumination Saddle. Here I lay eyes on the silhouette of Yocum ridge by headlamp. Nerves turn to excitement as the clock strikes 5:00. The glacier crossing was easier than I expected thanks to all the action the route has seen over the past few weeks. The footprints take me to a headwall a little to the right of where the guidebook says to go. The squeaking and ringing of my ice tools puts me into a trance. After about 150 feet of steep-ish climbing, I gain the ridge. Yocum starts off with a tease. An easy and welcoming rime stepped staircase obscures the rest of the ridge from view. I'll play your game. When the first gendarme comes into view, I have to fight thoughts of doubt coming into my head. At first sight, the rime covered sentinel looks steep and unforgiving at every point. The closer I get however, the clearer the line becomes. My cold helmet feels like a gun against the back of my head. I know it's time. I start to the right of a cave and quickly cut left. The ice feels solid and I flow through a steeper gully. 30 meters or so in, I arrive at the crux. Solid snow and ice turn to dead vertical swiss cheese. Through delicate movement and prayer, I fire through the crux. Each stick felt like a weak handshake. The section required commitment to tools placed in an unknown mixture of snow/ice with dubious feet. Finally, I reach the top of the first gendarme. My blood pressure drops slightly as I soak in the beauty of the bladed ridge that lies in front. Here I am extremely grateful for the groups before me who did the heavy rime clearing and bollard building. From the bollard at the end of the gendarme, I downclimb while on rappel to traverse across an exposed section to a big ledge. This beta worked well for me and seemed to alleviate problems some other groups were having. As I started the traverse pitch to the second gendarme, I felt something fall out of my pocket. I turn my head just in time to see my phone fly down the snow slopes and disappear into the glacier below. Perhaps my phone was the sacrifice the route required. Better phone than blood. Then, like clockwork, a raven swoops by me and perches itself on the tip of the first gendarme. We stare at each other for a minute and I thank him for allowing me to experience this route today. I know that I'm just a guest in the mountains. From here on I felt as if I had permission to continue my journey, hopefully my dues were already paid. The ridge widened the further I traversed down it. Passing the second gendarme was the most secure I felt since getting on route. More slogging took me to another bollard (this time with tat!) off of the third gendarme. I chose to rap north to avoid more thin ridge fuckery. Walking along the steep snow slopes took more energy than I thought. My calves burned and cursed me for bringing two single ropes to rap with. More training I guess. Even though some exposure was still present, I began to meditate with the route. Every swing, foot placement, and movement just felt right. As crawled back over to west side, the sun reared its ugly face, and I began to sweat my ass off. I followed more good tracks around to the right of the final buttress. The last buttress is like a fortress full of impassible walls and sneaky gullies. The first gully I started up took me about 150 feet and ended with impassible rime towers. I downclimbed and again, moved right. Here I could see tracks going to Leuthold from Yocum Ridge. Now I knew I was no longer under the gun. One of the rightmost gullies brought success. I tormented my calves up a few hundred more feet until I topped out the buttress at around 12:30. From the top of the buttress, one final ridge traverse took me to the Queen's Chair. 6 year old Landon would be proud. Looking down the ridge I could see all the minute details that made this route special. Negotiating the route was digging into the alpine bag of tricks and executing. I chose not to tag the summit because I wanted to search the base of the route for my phone (spoiler alert: the phone disappeared into a different dimension). Hiking down Leuthold gave me time to absorb the mountain more. Striking blue accents on rime towers, weird ice formations on the glacier, and the forest just miles away all presented themselves. Days like this make me question the future. I'm sure one day I'll find something that will bring me peace. I often think about Mark Twight saying that climbing can be "too much but never enough." Yocum Ridge was one of, if not the best alpine routes I have experienced. Although it wasn't technically difficult, the sheer volume of spectacular movement truly makes this one of a kind. On the way down I wept. For some reason this route had a different impact on me. Maybe it was the feeling of complete peace and isolation, maybe it was the sheer beauty of it all. Maybe I'm just emotional. I stumbled into the Timberline at around 4:00 and unlocked my car. With the clicking of the lock, my reality had become just a memory. Gear Notes: Basically a sport climb Approach Notes: Attack the ridge at about 8800ft
  6. [TR] Mt. Hood - Yocum Ridge Solo 03/21/2020

    Too much hate in this world. As the Circle Jerks said, "Put a little love in your heart".
  7. [TR] Mt. Hood - Yocum Ridge Solo 03/21/2020

    What better to do in quarantine then argue on the internet?
  8. [TR] Mt. Hood - Yocum Ridge Solo 03/21/2020

    There was a good bit of wind that morning on the approach but it stopped when I got to the saddle. I didn't find a breeze on the approach to be significant compared to the rest of my day out. Going down Leuthold I didn't experience any significant icefall. Both of the bollards were solid and I thoroughly inspected them beforehand. I brought a picket and some bags to make deadmans if the bollards were shit. My tracks going to Yocum were there, along with a bunch of other parties. I went to an elementary school in Gresham with a great view of Hood. I have some sick tan lines and a new iPhone if you doubt those too. If you want more details you can message me. I don't lie about my climbs and am as open as I can be. The sunrise that morning was beautiful!
  9. [TR] Mt. Hood - Yocum Ridge Solo 03/21/2020

    What Kyle is saying isn’t wrong. Being worried about climbers making dangerous climbs is completely understandable. At the end of the day I don’t think this discussion is productive. Speaking for myself, I didn’t climb this route because I thought it would be safer than with a partner, and I’m also not going to stop climbing in this style because of an online forum. We all know how personal the experience of climbing is to us. Its fine to have a different opinion about how someone climbs a route but people will be climbing dangerous routes and soloing until the end of time. Neither Kyle nor I left any impact on the route that would detract from the experience of future parties so as far as the mountain is concerned, we had the same style. In 100 years from now everyone in this thread will be dead one way or another. We’re all just trying to stay as safe as we can.
  10. [TR] Mt. Hood - Yocum Ridge Solo 03/21/2020

    The social media game is shitty for sure. Unfortunately in this era, social media opens up opportunities. I would have to be a sad human to risk my life for a heart on the bottom of a post. You can come climbing with me if you want to know why I do these things. We both live in Portland.
  11. [TR] Mt Hood - Yocum Ridge 03/12/2020

    The podcast was good! It was great to hear how you guys experienced that route.
  12. [TR] Mt. Hood - Yocum Ridge Solo 03/21/2020

    The enormity of soloing and the consequences are not lost on me. I've not in the game for the kudos and I live with my actions. What I do gives me contrast against the sanitized existence we are all plagued with. I'm sure as hell no where near as good or as experienced as Jim Wickwire but I imagine we have different motivations. Living under the gun gives me the experience necessary to justify my existence, and nothing is as powerful as the dance.
  13. [TR] Mt. Hood - Yocum Ridge Solo 03/21/2020

    I tried calling my phone too but all I heard was an angry raven
  14. [TR] Mt. Hood - Yocum Ridge Solo 03/21/2020

    Thanks for putting up the route this season! You guys had it a lot harder than I did.
  15. [TR] Mt Hood - Yocum Ridge 03/08/2020

    Looks complex and rad! Way to snag that route
  16. Thank you! I have seen the Alpine Mentors videos and they are very useful. The one that particularly stood out to me was Pay Attention. I find it helpful to tell myself to focus every now and then to stay with it.
  17. I’m starting a new guide service on the mountain. I’ll carry you on my back for the following rates: $100 per 1000 feet of elevation and an additional $50 per pitch of technical climbing. Complimentary food and drink will be provided.
  18. Never even thought of that. That’s a really good idea! I think it would also be sick to do a variation which goes up the Black Spider too. However, soloing the Black Spider is above my pay grade for the near future. If things got too late on the Sandy I could bivy in the Timberline climbers room.
  19. Thank you. I try to keep things safe. I’ve still got a long journey ahead of me and am learning as much as I can. Some lessons come cheaper than others.
  20. Ptarmigan Ridge 5/12

    I'm looking for a strong partner to climb Ptarmigan Ridge this Sunday. I want to do it in single push style, taking no bivies if possible. I haven't been up Rainier but am very solid on crevasse rescue and moving in alpine terrain. Let me know if you have any interest.
  21. Ptarmigan Ridge 5/12

    You’re right. I didn’t realize the road was closed that far. I’d still like to do the route, just a longer trip.
  22. Banff ice

    It was great meeting you on the Eliot, Peter. That trip sounds amazing. Have fun and good luck with partners!
  23. Suunto recommendations?

    The Ambit3 Peak works great. Its proven to be pretty durable so far. For running it's great and also pairs with the Suunto heart rate monitor. Without GPS the battery lasts for a little over a week it seems. Its got a bunch of different modes to track activities like skiing, climbing, hiking, etc.