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The Real Nick Sweeney

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The Real Nick Sweeney last won the day on March 23

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About The Real Nick Sweeney

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  1. [TR] Mt Hood - Yocum Ridge 03/12/2020

    I recorded a podcast trip report for this climb. For those interested: http://thefirnline.com/episodes/fast-times-at-yokum-ridge/
  2. [TR] Mt. Hood - Yocum Ridge Solo 03/21/2020

    Nice one. Glad my tat was still in place for you! The part about the tool placements feeling "like a weak handshake" is giving me flashbacks.
  3. [TR] Mt Hood - Yocum Ridge 03/12/2020

    Trip: Mt Hood - Yocum Ridge Trip Date: 03/12/2020 Trip Report: Got on Yocum Ridge with one of my most solid partners on Thursday, March 12 2020. You can read my full trip report and blog post on my site, Spokalpine. Here's some additional notes for potential suitors: This is a wild climb! Sustained moderate technical difficulties from bottom to top with a few cruxy sections means that you need calves of steel. Nerves of steel certainly help too, because protection is very limited on the hard pitches. Being able to comfortably solo AI3/WI3 is a huge asset and probably necessary to get up this thing. I'm not talking about what gets passed for WI3 in the PNW, either... think legit WI3 with bulges and vertical sections. I've talked to a few people who think the route could earn an AI4 rating but I don't think there was anything sustained enough to earn that grade. Not that it matters, because it seems impossible to grade rime ice on the typical waterfall/alpine ice scale. It's so unstable and difficult to protect... this isn't the place to use your perfect A-frame technique that works so well on waterfall ice. Distributing weight between your tools and foot placements is required. If you swing more than once or twice into a placement, the whole placement likely disintegrates and you're left trying to find somewhere else to swing. As I was placing a screw on the first crux, the tool I was hanging off of pulled 4 inches through the shitty ice before it hit a blob of blue ice that would support me. This was especially hair-raising considering the massive exposure on either side of the first gendarme. My experience on Yocum Ridge was intense and satisfying. After the climb, Kyle hit the road back to Portland and I drove to Hood River to stay the night. After a good dinner and some galavanting with new friends from the local bar, I sat alone in a park along the river. 24 hours earlier, Kyle and I had left Timberline for our climb. The famous Nietzsche quote "...if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you" bounced around my mind. After staring into the very literal abyss on either side of Yocum Ridge, I was more focused on the figurative. Yocum Ridge took most of what I had to give - and in return, it gave back to me. The mark of a truly challenging and worthwhile climb. Gear Notes: Three pickets, six screws (3x 10cm, 2x 13cm, 1x 17cm), pitons, small cams (used up to .75), nuts (tiny to medium sizes). I would not get on this route without a rope system that enables long rappels. We did one rappel that was 55 meters. Approach Notes: Easy as it gets
  4. [TR] Mt Hood - Yocum Ridge 03/08/2020

    Great job guys and thanks for the conditions beta. That is a wild route! My partner and I climbed it on 3/12/20. I'll post up our TR in another thread.
  5. [TR] North Cascades - NW Face of Forbidden Peak 08/04/2019

    Awesome climb, photos and report!! I want to do this one!
  6. Trip: Boston Basin - Torment-Forbidden Traverse in a day Trip Date: 08/03/2019 Trip Report: This was a big day for us! My legs are still aching and I've been sleeping like a dead man. I love the North Cascades. Check out the full trip report on my site: Spokalpine Gear Notes: Single rack .2-2, a few nuts, 60m twin rope Approach Notes: It's not bad, really
  7. I will go back to the Cordillera Blanca again. Maybe not for my big trip next year, but in the next 5 years for sure. The ease of access is amazing for such huge, dramatic peaks. Feel free to contact me with questions on climbing and logistics there, I learned a lot over the last couple of trips!
  8. Trip: Cordillera Blanca, Peru - Tocllaraju - NW Ridge (D) (and others) Trip Date: 07/09/2019 Trip Report: I've posted a few trip reports on my site for my second trip to Peru's Cordillera Blanca. This range has many incredible objectives, relatively easy logistics, and is CHEAP compared to high altitude climbing areas elsewhere. Here's my report from Tocllaraju: https://spokalpine.com/2019/07/26/tocllaraju-6034m-northwest-ridge-d-ai4/ Gear Notes: Some screws, two ropes, pickets can be bought in Huaraz. Approach Notes: Make the donkey carry the good stuff
  9. [TR] Eldorado Peak and Dorado Needle - E Ridge and NW Ridge 06/16/2019

    That was our original goal. It looks awesome and I'd like to do it, but I'm not totally sure that I can convince myself to do that approach again for a while...
  10. Trip: Eldorado Peak and Dorado Needle - E Ridge and NW Ridge Trip Date: 06/16/2019 Trip Report: Conditions are quite good in the Eldorado area right now. We made a casual ascent of Eldorado on our approach day and climbed the NW Ridge of Dorado Needle on Sunday. The climbing was easy but damn... that descent to the car was pretty punishing. Full trip report and photos: Spokalpine Gear Notes: Crampons/Axe for Eldorado. Light rock rack for Dorado Needle. Approach Notes: Wear a knee brace
  11. [TR] North Early Winters Spire - Early Winter Couloir (III AI3 M4+) 04/20/2019

    Thanks Jason, seems like C-W is best done very early on a cloudy day. DPS, sounds sporty! I was very relieved when I saw we’d be able to sneak past the cornice.
  12. [TR] North Early Winters Spire - Early Winter Couloir (III AI3 M4+) 04/20/2019

    We also attempted Cauthorn-Wilson on Cutthroat Peak the next day.
  13. Trip: North Early Winters Spire - Early Winter Couloir (III AI3 M4+) Trip Date: 04/20/2019 Trip Report: I've been dreaming about this route for years, ever since I saw it in the Supertopo guidebook for Washington Pass. It seemed so rad, but also hard, so I kind of wrote it off. With a last minute partner and plan, we got the thing done. Thanks Dane! This was a really good route, one of the best couloirs I've done. Go get it! You can view the full TR and photos on my site: Spokalpine Strategy Notes Start early to maximize your time on firm snow, but not too early because sleep is important. Be prepared to aid climb the cornice pitch, but hopefully you’ll be able to bypass it with moderate mixed or AI3 ice. The descent follows the standard summer descent on bolted anchors until you reach the chockstone in the West Couloir. There is a piton and nut anchor in the skier’s right hand wall that gets you down past the chockstone with a single rope. Gear Notes: One 60m rope is sufficient. There are no fixed anchors on route, but it seems that a descent could easily be done with a single 60m rope by leaving rock gear if bailing. We brought cams .2-3 (small sizes most useful), nuts (small sizes most useful), 5 ice screws (useless), two pickets (one would be ideal), and 5 pitons (angles and lost arrows). Approach Notes: Walk straight toward it
  14. [TR] Colchuck Lake area - conditions 03/16/2019

    Thank you!
  15. Trip: Selkirks - High Traverse (III 5.4) + Harrison Peak Trip Date: 08/18/2018 Trip Report: This was a super-fun day of playing in the mountains. We kept it casual and still did the route in 10 hours, including a stop at Harrison Lake for a swim. If you're in the area and have a day to spare, this is a fun objective! For more info and photos, check out the full trip report. Gear Notes: Nuts, cams .3-2, 60m rope (but any length will work) Approach Notes: Wet bushwhack to Beehive Dome from Pack River road, but it's impossible to get lost.