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The Real Nick Sweeney

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The Real Nick Sweeney last won the day on August 23 2018

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About The Real Nick Sweeney

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  1. 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.
  2. Lion's Head trail work

    Scott, you're the man. Thanks to all of you for your hard work. I'd like to go back for the Great White Corner before this season is done!
  3. [TR] Forbidden Peak - West Ridge 08/04/2018

    He simply slipped off of the slabs while he was walking near the cliff edge, where all the waterfalls are at. 90 foot fall. It was bad.
  4. [TR] Forbidden Peak - West Ridge 08/04/2018

    Trip: Forbidden Peak - West Ridge Trip Date: 08/04/2018 Trip Report: I had a great climb of Forbidden Peak before being involved in an attempted rescue. The climber fell on the slabs below Forbidden while descending. It was a tough day, and I understand that there had been two accidents in the two days prior to this one. Be safe out there, and make sure that you have some form of communications available. Here's a link to my TR: Spokalpine Gear Notes: 60m rope (we used a 60m twin folded in half – perfect system for this route!), single rack .3-2, nuts, 6 alpine draws and four double length slings. Neither of us brought boots or climbing shoes, opting to do everything in approach shoes. Aluminum crampons worked well for the short snow section and my superlight CAMP Corsa Nanotch axe was great, as always. I was really happy with our gear choices. You never really need to carry more than a liter of water in Boston Basin because water is so easily available from the multitude of streams and snowfields. Make sure that you have some form of communications device in case of emergency – I believe that an Inreach is the best option given its capabilities. Approach Notes: Easy
  5. [TR] Cutthroat Peak - North Ridge 07/27/2018

    Trip: Cutthroat Peak - North Ridge Trip Date: 07/27/2018 Trip Report: This was a great day out! Although this route is shorter and easier than the South Buttress, it is a worthy climb and feels much more remote. A couple of runout pitches must be overcome before getting onto the awesome granite of the ridge. Full trip report: Spokalpine Gear Notes: Single rack .4-3, nuts, one 60m rope Approach Notes: We came from Washington Pass.
  6. So awesome!! Nice work team!
  7. Trip: Cordillera Blanca - Various Trip Date: 07/10/2018 Trip Report: I had a great two week trip to the Cordillera Blanca from 6/29-7/13. I planned this trip intending to use it as a recon to aid in planning future trips. I was able to take detailed notes on logistics and make many great contacts in the area. We spent time in the Ishinca Valley climbing Urus Este and Ishinca, and attempting Tocllaraju. This trip was supported by the American Alpine Club's Live Your Dream Grant - thanks. I wrote up a few short trip reports, linked below: Urus Este Ishinca Tocllaraju attempt Gear Notes: Cheap pickets are available in Huaraz. Bring everything else. There are some rentals of old-school gear available if you forget anything. Approach Notes: Burros are cheap - make them haul your shit!
  8. [TR] Cutthroat Peak - South Buttress 06/17/2018

    Trip: Cutthroat Peak - South Buttress Trip Date: 06/17/2018 Trip Report: I had a nice day out on Cutthroat Peak on Sunday. I’d recommend crampons and an ice axe for now. Check out the full report at Spokalpine. Gear Notes: Medium rack, many slings Approach Notes: Easy to follow, except the creek crossing
  9. [TR] Mt. Torment - Torment-Forbidden Traverse 06/02/2018

    Great job!!
  10. [TR] Moose's Tooth - Shaken, Not Stirred 04/15/2018

    Sweet climb, sweet itinerary.
  11. [TR] Mount Rainier - Ptarmigan Ridge 05/28/2018

    Congrats! That route looks great! It's amazing how melted out things are. We were on Liberty two weeks ago and I felt that it matched up with typical July conditions for the most part.
  12. [TR] Mt Rainier - Liberty Ridge 05/28/2018

    Trip: Mt Rainier - Liberty Ridge Trip Date: 05/28/2018 Trip Report: Below is the text of my trip report for Liberty Ridge. To see the full trip report with photos and strategy/gear notes, please visit my site: Spokalpine. Kyle, Zach and I climbed Liberty Ridge on May 26th-29th, 2018. Together, we achieved a collective dream - a dream that felt too intimidating for me to imagine just years ago. Liberty Ridge is an exceptional line in an absolutely wild setting, splitting the North Face of Mt Rainier between Willis Wall and Liberty Wall, two of the most dangerous alpine walls in the lower 48. According to the National Parks Service, the route sees around 100 climbers making attempts each year, with a 30-60% success rate depending on the year. We found varied conditions on consistently steep, varied and technical terrain. After getting our permits at the White River Ranger Station on Saturday morning, we casually started hiking toward the mountain. Today was going to be a easy day, and conserving energy was a key part of our strategy. We lollygagged up the trail, through snowfields, and over St. Elmo's Pass. Once we dropped onto the Winthrop Glacier, we roped up. Crossing the glacier was straightforward and we did not need crampons in the soft snow. Soon we found our way onto Curtis Ridge, where we caught our first view of the route. All three of us sat down on Curtis ridge and gawked at the climb. It is huge, steep and scary looking! The first thing I noticed, however, was how broken up the Carbon Glacier looked. There appeared to be no access to the right side of the ridge - where the route normally goes, given that the right side of the ridge is lower angle than the left. We could tell that the Liberty Ridge itself was already in mid-late season conditions, with significant rock melted out low on the route and blue ice glaring in the afternoon sun above the Black Pyramid. This was not going to be a snow slog. After a nap, we set up camp and watched a team start up the Carbon Glacier alarmingly late in the day. The terrifying seracs (ice cliffs) that cap Willis Wall threaten the Carbon Glacier with significant avalanche hazard, and the wall itself is constantly shedding rock. The team placed their tent on the Carbon Glacier, directly in the path of anything that came off the wall, but at least they weren't right underneath it. At one point, I poked my head out of the tent to watch a D3 (massive) avalanche rip off of the Willis Wall - the debris cloud came very close to the bivy site that the team chose. That seemed akin to playing Russian Roulette, but I guess that everything is a matter of degrees. There were two smaller avalanches later in the evening. In the morning, we dropped onto the Carbon Glacier at about 7200' and started moving toward the ridge. This was a gnarly glacier! I could see hundreds of crevasses, and you never know what's lurking under the surface. There's always a moment when you step or jump over a crack when you can see into its depths - many of these crevasses simply faded to black because they were so deep. Thankfully, there was a good boot pack from previous teams, which we followed in a circuitous path to the toe of the ridge. Here, we scrambled up a "boulder problem" that felt spicy given that we were wearing crampons, had 30 pound backpacks, and still were roped up for glacier travel. What really made this exciting was the extremely poor nature of the rock on Mt Rainier - I don't think any of the holds we used were actually attached to the mountain. A high right foot was key. Finally, we were on Liberty Ridge! Once we gained the ridge proper, I coiled up the rope and stuffed it in my pack. We cruised upward on alternating snow and rock. Normally, climbers take snow slopes on the right side of the ridge, but we stayed on or near the ridge crest. There was another exciting boulder problem before we reached Thumb Rock on snow slopes. We arrived at Thumb Rock around 9:15am - it had been a short morning of climbing, but we knew the next day would be massive. We ate, drank water, and napped like it was our job. Eventually, we had dinner and went to bed early. Unfortunately, my inflatable sleeping pad popped and no longer held air - so I slept on the rope, which I coiled onto the floor of the tent. To add insult to injury, the winds picked up and kept me awake all night. When the alarm went off at 2am, I was ready to get up. We packed our bags and started soloing upward on the steep, hard snow. The wind was absolutely blasting but the skies were clear. After passing through the constriction above and to the left of Thumb Rock, we encountered more easy mixed climbing. The sun was starting to rise and we realized just how high (and exposed) we were. Soon, we had covered 2000 vertical feet and climbed around the Black Pyramid. We roped up here, agreeing to simulclimb the consistent 55-60 degree ice. Kyle did a fantastic job leading 800+ feet of ice in two simul blocks with one ice tool and one ultralight mountaineering axe - beastly! As we were nearing the top of the ice, we heard a massive rumble. We glanced over to the Willis Wall and watched an absolutely massive avalanche rip. Zach actually saw the serac collapse that started the event - he estimated that the ice block that released from the serac was 300 feet by 100 feet in size. This was without a doubt one of the most impressive things I'd ever seen. Kyle, Zach and I could hardly believe that we had a front row seat to such massive natural destruction. We spoke with an avalanche trainer on another climbing team who called it a D4 avalanche - huuuuge. Humbling. We stayed roped up after the ice pitches, climbing steep snow and névé through the bergschrund which offered no technical challenge. The wind was getting especially brutal at this point, making it even more difficult to breathe than normal at 14,000 feet. Several times, I was knocked off balance by a gust of wind - classic Mt Rainier conditions! Finally, we reached Liberty Cap (14,112') which is the logical end of the Liberty Ridge climbing route. We discussed going to the true summit at 14,401', but we'd already done what we came to do. I led us down the Emmons Glacier to camp Schurman with only a few helpful suggestions from my partners on route finding and glacier safety - thanks guys. They both have experience on the Emmons glacier, but it seemed like a good opportunity for me to practice glacier travel and navigation. I feel like a pretty knowledgeable climber, but there is always more to learn. This was a worthy outing for my first climb on Mt Rainier - an undisputed classic. Gear Notes: Extreme Alpinism Approach Notes: Don't fall in a hole
  13. Trip: Silver Star Mountain - Silver Star Glacier Trip Date: 05/19/2018 Trip Report: Current conditions on Silver Star Mountain are pretty good for Skiing. Unfortunately, I booted my way up SS Glacier on 5/19 via Silver Star Creek! It was a lot of work in bad conditions. Snow coverage became consistent around 5000 feet. Full trip report: Spokalpine Gear Notes: No crampons needed Approach Notes: Silver Star Creek
  14. [TR] Mt Hood - Reid Glacier Headwall 05/05/2018

    Hey diepj, thanks for the compliments. I read that while perusing online information about the route - can't recall where - maybe summitpost? I'm honestly not familiar with the peak and assumed it to be true. I agree that the approach was very straightforward and relatively easy! I'd like to come back some day for The North Face. We definitely did not follow the line of least resistance, my partner said that we climbed 8A to 8B in the guidebook, whatever that means!
  15. [TR] Mt Hood - Reid Glacier Headwall 05/05/2018

    Trip: Mt Hood - Reid Glacier Headwall Trip Date: 05/05/2018 Trip Report: This was a fun alpine solo alongside my buddy Kyle. Conditions were really good. Here's a link to my full report: Spokalpine.com Gear Notes: 2 tools, crampons Approach Notes: 2 hours to illumination saddle.