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BruceKaufman

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BruceKaufman last won the day on April 30

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About BruceKaufman

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  1. Alpine Dads wanted

    Nice thread. 36 with a toddler. Looking to climb anything from crags near Seattle to two day trips on bigger peaks. I'm a big fan of the long single day trips as well. Rock and alpine climbing. Lead 5.8-5.9 and can follow into the mid 10s. Looking to do more alpine climbing as well. Hope to meet y'all this year. Bruce
  2. Trip: South Early Wintet Spire - Southwest Coulior Trip Date: 04/24/2019 Trip Report: I soloed the coulior on 4/24 this year. As mentioned in a response to @sredgar on this forum, snow cover is very thin already with a couple mandatory sections of choss. Probably three sections by now. Be careful if climbing below other parties. After daycare dropoff in Seattle at 7:30, I drove straight to trailhead and started hiking around 11:00. It was a sunny day, and I hiked up on snow shoes in a thin long sleeve shirt, sweating profusely. Evidence of significant post holing from other parties the entire way up. Take snow shoes or skis. I started up the coulior at 12:30 just as another pair was finishing. Snow was very firm in the shade still. Climbing was straight forward until the first constriction which had no snow cover. Mandatory rock moves in crampons for about 10 feet. Some thin water ice in places that I didn't trust made it interesting. Another long section of firm, steep snow above that. Near the top the snow disappeared again. This time it was in the sun and loose. Lots of talus to navigate. I stuck to the left wall, which offered some decent hand holds and (more) stable rock. Finished the last 40 feet on rocky blocks to the summit. The view was, incredible. I downclimbed the summit blocks and upper section of choss, then rapelled the lower section of rock (Crux, at least of down climb) from fixed anchors on right hand wall. Lower section of route was very soft by the time I finished. Had to kick in steps to prevent sliding. Overhaul a great solo on an incredible sunny spring day. Very surprised how little snow there was at the pass. Rock conditions are dry and warm for those looking for an early season climb. Gear Notes: Steel crampons, axe. Rope and gear for decent. Approach Notes: Snow shoes or skis to avoid post holing
  3. South Early Winter Spire - Southwest Couloir

    Hey Steve. I climbed it last Wednesday, 4/24. The route is pretty thin already, with two sections of mandatory rock (choss) for about 10 feet each. By 5/3, expect significant rock and very soft snow by early afternoon. I wouldn't want to be below parties on these sections, especially if they're climbing with ropes. It took significant precision for me to keep talus in place. If you're up for a rock route, those are definitely "in" during the midday sun. Rock was pretty dry and warm already. I'll post a trip report here in a few minutes with pictures. Best of luck if you go. Bruce
  4. Trip: McMillan Spire - South Face to West Ridge Trip Date: 09/28/2018 Trip Report: The idea first occurred to me last spring, during a casual jog around Green Lake. Solo trip to the Pickets. I’d been in Terror Basin once before, in 2014, but our packs were too heavy (camera equipment and booze), our route finding skills abysmal (lost the trail, twice), and our timing wrong (hiked into a storm front). Now, with a toddler at home and a heavy work load, light and fast was paramount. But my summer was full of other adventures and commitments. By the first heavy rains of mid-September, I’d almost given up on the idea. Then a one-day weather window opened on Friday 9/28. I was in need of a raw experience, and decided to act. After a long day at work, I pulled into the Goodell trailhead at 10pm on Thursday night and started hiking. I forgot to check the batteries in my headlight, and suffered under a dim bulb for the first 4.5 miles of overgrown trail. The number of spiders at this time of night was truly frightening. I took hundreds of webs to the face, finally calling it around 1am at the base of the great big hill. The upwards slog began at 7am. Unlike my previous trip, I was rewarded with increasingly spectacular views as dawn broke over the North Cascades. After the first 4000 feet, I “took my time” traversing the heather bench, occasionally stopping to pick the last ripe blueberries and photograph mountain goats. Dropping into Terror Basin from the notch is an exhilarating experience -- the abrupt face of the range in your face, glacial rivers pouring down polished slabs, big talus fields erasing any hope for a trail. It’s even more spectacular you’re the only one there. With no other cars at the trailhead, and a storm scheduled to arrive Saturday, I was blissfully alone. I dropped my pack at Terror Creek, directly below the southern face of Inspiration. When I climbed that peak in September of 2014, the glacier was significantly more established. Anecdotal evidence of a trend that is sure to worsen in the coming years. This trip I headed for McMillan spire. The typical approach takes a snow tongue that traverses under an unstable looking cliff. It was littered with rockfall. Without a helmet, I made the decision to take a different route up the lower part of the south face. It appeared that a few fifth class moves would be required, but I’ll trust my climbing ability over objective hazards any day. The route turned out to be relatively straightforward, and I gained the west ridge 1/3 of the way up. The west ridge itself is more of a hike than a climb, besides a few interesting moves over the final 100’ of summit blocks. But the views couldn’t disappoint even the most cynical. In fall, the lower valleys are filled with bursts of red and orange. The north side of the southern pickets were already covered with a thin layer of snow. There was an eerie calm floating in the air: the last strained grip of summer before winter’s relentless blast of snow and ice. Truly incredible. I spent the night atop a rock perch in the middle of Terror Basin. After a peaceful sunset, the weather rapidly deteriorated. Without a tent, I was blasted by wind the entire night and hardly slept. I began the hike out at 5am amid dark clouds. The rain hit at 7am, and I was soaked and cold by the time I reached my car at 11:30am. Gear Notes: Approach shoes, aluminum crampons, axe Approach Notes: Strong legs and a desire to suffer
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