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ACosta last won the day on October 26 2022

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  1. Haha no worries @mthorman! Thx for the kind words. 90% of the battle is in your mind @JasonG, just gotta unlock that shit
  2. Trip: El Cap - Mescalito- Solo Trip Date: 09/30/2022 Trip Report: I figured I'd post a bigwall trip report on here as I have not seen many and thought it would be a fun distraction as we sharpen our ice tools and crampons... Considering I could write a paragraph on the intricacies of each of the 26 pitches, I’m tried to slim things down to the more salient (read: snafu, or scary) moments. Cuz steppin' up in your Aiders and nothing happenin' is rather borin. Especially being alone, the only conversations are those weird ones bouncing around my noggin. Is drytooling really just pumpy aid climbing, or is aid climbing just lazy drytooling? Bing! Then bing! Ah my god that’s a traumatizing thing to hear. My head is spinning, my mouth dry as the Sahara. Why do these seemingly good cams keep ripping? I’ve been getting fried in the sun since sunrise and want, no need, nothing more than to make it up these last few feet to the ledge. Then I can rap down and chug. It takes a few short lifetimes for my heart rate to settle, not from the double cam ripping fall, but from impeding heatstroke. I turn on my headlamp, go back up, place bigger cams in the splitter placements, step up confidently again… only to bing! bing! and whip off again. What the fuck? Anchorage ledge isn’t giving it up easy. At least I finally got to test my lead solo system. Over it, I free climb off to the right and finally onto my bivy ledge for the night. I rap down fast as I can to my bag, dive bombing into my bag to commence the chug. I cough, half of the water comes bursting out, I wince as my wrung-out stomach struggles to accept the now-foreign juice of life. Hauling and set up finally over, I put in a Herculean effort to keep down a few bites of salami before calling it a night. It’s clear that I have barely half enough water to make it another 5 days on this wall that roasts from sunup to sundown. I guess there’s a reason it’s called the Dawn Wall. I fix my lead and haul lines the next day, then have to fix my 6mm tag line to hit terra firma. After a brief pit stop in civilization for burritos, chips, and 5 more gallons of water, I’m back staring up at my 6mm. Time to jug! There’s some slippage- unnerving- but I tie in direct periodically to prevent another, quicker trip to the deck. Back at Anchorage, I’m psyched. I’m armed with all I need for another 6 days. It’s game on. After the previous 24’s tribulations, fixing and reversing the traversing Seagull pitch, now in the shade, is a relaxing endeavor. I eat and drink well that night. One of countless lower-outs of the bags The following day is spent entirely following a single, right leaning crack system. Cleaning is a pain as I have to pull myself back in to every directional piece left in the crack. I forget the haul line and have to rap down to get it in the middle of a lead. The last pitch of the day is long and sustained. I feel strung out, exposed, and alone as the sun sets. There are free climbing chalk ticks that seem to rub in my mediocrity as a free, and aid, “climber.” I close my eyes as I step up on yet another shitty cam, trying to get that horrible bing-bing sound out of my head. A hidden bat hole and shitty heads unlock the day’s finish line. A little over an hour later and I’m sitting in my ledge, which, combined with my headlamp’s short radius, allow me to forget where I am and enjoy my warm mashed potatoes. I’m up early the next morning, arming myself for battle with the Molar traverse. In my apprehension and eagerness to get the pendulum over with, I lower off a bolt with tat and start swinging around. Many tries and many smacks into the wall later, I realize I’m missing something. I foolishly went for it too early! I jug back up, climb another ten feet, then nail the correct penji first try. Tom Evans photo of the Molar Stoked to have that over with, I carry on, only to have my spirits sink immediately as I notice some crackling sound and extra flex in my prosthetic foot. It must have gotten busted on that failed first pendulum. No big deal... if I don’t fall again. I’ve had these feet go flying right off after big whippers, and sure as shit didn’t want to have to watch as my foot sailed down to the base. The damage I carried on carefully the rest of the day, and was able to find some peace and flow while navigating old rivets, heads, and thin cracks on one of the route’s cruxes, pitch 15. Steep rivets, p16 (?) A fun one to reverse (P17) I’d planned the next day to be shorter, giving myself time to chill at the palatial Bismarck ledge, marking the end of the fully hanging bivies on the route. I get up to the ledge early in the afternoon, and quickly realize I’m going to have to fix the Bismarck pitch- a long widening C1 corner culminating in a mandatory layback once your biggest cam no longer fits- to get any semblance of rest that night. I take a deep breath, and without lingering and freaking myself out any further, dispatch it. I let out a holler; the rest of the route will be gravy. I rap back down and enjoy a rare few hours of watching the soft golden light in the valley turn to the fiery colors of sunset. Having skipped dinner the first night, I have a surplus of food, feast like a king and sleep like a baby. Big gulp Best room in the house! Bismarck ledge. More time consuming traverses the following day lead me to two easier pitches, and a surprisingly cruxy penji onto the cool, sloping Ship’s Bow ledge. Camped here for the night, within touch of the summit, I felt a weird sensation of grief. Grief for the death of this experience, a week whose intensity can never be matched on flat ground. But thoughts of pizza kept the grief from getting too strong. A wee bit tired, 3 pitches from the top A 15 foot unprotected lieback off the Ship’s Bow had a similar effect as several cups of coffee, shaking off the latencies of 6 days on the wall. The C1 pitch sounded nice until it turned into a wrestling match reaching for cams deep in the flare. I linked into the penultimate pitch, trying to remember how to climb with bare hands on the cool 5.7 flake traverse. She didn’t give it up easy; the last pitch consists of hand placed beaks and deadheads off the belay and a mega reachy inverted camhook, then finally a cruiser bolt ladder. Final morning sunrise. Mescalito's been on my radar for a while now, as a long, steep, sustained-at-the-grade line up the shining Dawn Wall, a stepping stone into the world of pants-shitting aid. Tracing the route between features back in the Meadow, I felt intensely grateful. Grateful that I'd walked right up to it on my first day in the Valley and gotten that out of my system. But more importantly, for the experience I'd been lucky enough to have up there, and for all the people who'd helped or just shared kind words along the way. Thanks for reading, keep it fun, keep it fast, and if you can, keep it safe, cheers! Gear Notes: standard wall rack, handful of beaks Approach Notes: highly strenuous
  3. 1/14: Looks like Cooper’s been hitting the gym and surprisingly isn’t fat right now… Still fun climbing, thin and brittle. NF gullies looked decent. Many shorter and fat blue WI3 ish flows between Cooper 30 and the shrund.
  4. Thanks for the negativity @Cptn_Sprayhab! Always super conducive to constructive conversation. I'm so sorry I don't update my insta-jizz to your instant standards. I am glad you had the time to check out my page though, thank you! I really don't care about this being an FA or not. I went back and worth about whether to post about it, but figured I'd do it to see (as my original disclaimer reads) if this particular line has been done before and if it had any history, as it was an intimidating and engaging crux (for my weak self at least). I think this conversation opens up a whole can of worms about FA's and grades and sharing stuff online and so on (I do try to stay away from spraying on MP, and I thought CC was a safe place). This is something I've wrestled with personally a lot. There are powerful stories to tell from up there, but at what point does sharing your story dilute the experience and open it up to analysis and judgement from folks who weren't there and don't know you? I am all for preserving sense of adventure and don't want to see everything put up online either. But climbing is not what it looked like back in the day, and at a certain point we have to simply accept that, and rethink our definition of adventure (which, news flash, is different for everybody). What makes me sad and somewhat disgusted at the climbing community is when I see ego evolved in our outdoor pursuits. It's all contrived as fuck. There are no rules. We're trying to fit square pegs (humans, grades, history) into round holes (nature). Especially when it comes to ice climbing, even grading things seems stupid, as there is so much variation from year to year, even day to day. Same with FA's. What does it really matter if someone climbed a particular piece of rock or ice before? I agree with you, it doesn't. What matters most is following your inspiration and coming up with your own adventures that challenge and excite you. Which is what we did here. I do acknowledge that I jumped the gun calling this a first ascent and posting on here and will learn from that mistake. I look forward to hearing what you consider to be a "real" FA. Are people like Steve House (or God forbid, the holy grail of IFMGA-land) the only ones with the authority to call something an FA? Do the only legit FA's involve having to travel halfway across the world to some foreign country, where the locals may not even know what climbing is and why people do it? Let's not take ourselves too seriously here, and just go have fun outside with our friends.
  5. Thanks @Cliffordsa! I agree that the variations up there are close to unlimited and start getting pretty contrived... Editing the post to retract FA claims Would love to see some of your pics!
  6. @Billy thanks for the lead! Care to elaborate?
  7. Trip: Mt Hood - Elliot Cirque- Variation Trip Date: 05/02/2021 Trip Report: A claim of a first ascent on a mountain as popular as Hood must be precluded with the fact that it’s always very possible that a line has been done by a pre-internet team, or a team not seeking interweb plaudits... So please let us know if you’ve done it or know someone who has! Edit 5/18: This line has been climbed by Cliff Agocs and Brandon Seymore in May of 2016; they may have been the first, or it may have been done even earlier. The Raven is a line that parallels the existing Ravine line. I’d spotted this line on my first trip up the Elliot Headwall this year, jaw-dropped at the amount of ice all over. The dark rock band above the ice looked menacing yet alluring. This seemed almost as obvious a line as the Ravine to me; one which points directly up in line with the initial starting ice flow. The line climbs the "Potential" between D and E in this photo: http://www.portlandrockclimbs.com/mt-hood-rock-climbs/eliot-headwall.htm I had recruited a friend to join me on this objective, but, after a long traversing pitch on bullet hard ice above the gaping bergschrund, he decided he didn’t want to continue and we climbed the established Center Cirque Direct, which was still in incredibly good shape, but I digress. I was lucky to link up with Matt @zaworotiuk who had interest in this line and in the Pencil. Matt's been climbing a ton of rad routes on Hood this season and I was stoked and confident in heading up with him. We met up at Timberline and headed out promptly into heavy winds and a piercing cold. Nearing the DK we entered the cloud. We forged on, trusting the signs of sunshine ahead, taking our time, but it was a harsh re-run of winter in May. We eventually dropped onto the glacier to the base of the Pencil. Eyeing it, it seemed very thin, very mixed, and hard to protect. We kind of regret not going for it but the wind and cold definitely made it more intimidating. I think it’d still go now, it would just be a trip. Anyways, I digress again. Traversing the upper Elliot: Matt near the base of the Pencil: Deciding against it we hugged the left side of the glacier to avoid cracks and reach the base of our route. Pitch one started with a nice WI3 flow that kicks back and weaves its way through a rock couloir with occasional bulges higher, 50m. Myself on P1: Matt wrapping up P1: Pitch two is steep snow or easy ice to a pretty short, but pretty steep pillar, WI3+/4, 45m. Matt headed off towards the pillar center of photo: Pitch three starts on easy ice to steepening mixed terrain to a 40-foot mixed crux, hooking chossy cobbles and ice blobs with a solid thin crack on the big chockstone for pro. I was also able to drill in a 10cm stubby in an ice blob. Some pictures I've seen show more ice in this section, so in fatter (hard to believe) conditions it may be a thin ice pillar. Felt about M4+. Easy ice/ steep snow straight up above to easier terrain shared with the North Face. 60m. Myself in the crux: Matt topping out the crux with Cathedral Spire below: After topping out directly onto the summit, we sat and enjoyed the first warmth we'd had all day. Matt and I, having been sneaked out of the Pencil, were hungry for more, so he showed me the Right Cirque variation on the Elliot Headwall which we simuled in two blocks. Reaching the summit ridge, it was HOT, and we made our tired, happy way down the slushy south side to be once again greeted by the viciously cold wind as we hit the parking lot. Back up the headwall: All the action this area has seen this year has been inspiring and I can't wait to hear of more! Gear Notes: Brought a lot, used cams 0.2-0.5 & lots of 10-13cm screws Approach Notes: South side
  8. @zaworotiuk nice work! the exposure had me swinging pretty hard, I'm sure you found some nice pick hooks
  9. Trip: Broken Top - Full Richardson Trip Date: 04/05/2021 Trip Report: Yesterday my partner Artem and I got up close and personal with the slog to climb ratio in the Three Sisters. Spoiler alert: it was worth it. I’d soloed the North Buttress of Broken Top the week before and had seen the Full Richardson in fat shape. The amount (for Central Oregon) of ice back there is spectacular; the potential for harder/ bolder mixed and smear lines is exciting. I knew I’d be back very soon. It’s a special thing to be able to sleep in your own warm bed before an alpine climb, and I met Artem at Dutchman Flat at a leisurely 4:30am. A long but pretty flat and beautiful approach ensued, taking us down to the Todd Lake area before heading up to Ball Butte and eventually dropping onto the benign Bend Glacier. We saw a group camped out below the glacier but they sadly didn’t echo our hoots and hollers. Sad day. The Richardson and the North Buttress couloir are obvious once on the western end of the Bend Glacier. We soloed the first optional step in the couloir, easy WI2, easily avoidable but more fun and a good warmup. Steep snow ensued, and the second WI2 step was similarly short and easy. I went ahead to slam a picket and screw to belay Artem on the money pitch. Artem wrapping up the first ice step: Artem headed up, carefully working his way up the steep and blobby ice, looking cool and poised. It was silent other than the rhythmic thuds of kick kick, swing swing that echoed through the amphitheater. He decided to belay 3/4’s of the way up the ~35-40m flow. I was glad to move again after cooling off severely in the shaded amphitheater below; fighting off the barfies proved to be the crux of the pitch! I climbed through his belay and topped out, finding another bomber screw and picket belay a few feet above the flow. I put the rope away and we headed up the snow slope to the northwest ridge. The week before, the summit eluded me as I was turned around by bottomless sugar snow on the snow ramp option on the east side of the summit block. Not wanting to down-solo the regular summer route, I called it good. But this time, armed with a rope and a partner, I was determined to get er’ done. We followed my tracks up the snow ramp. The snow hadn’t gotten better above my dead-end, so Artem put in a picket in the somewhat hardened snow in our tracks. I traversed a few feet right to where I could hook some “rock,” slung a partially detached horn of choss, and climbed a few pretty moderate mixed moves to get us on top! From there we slung a block, unable to find tat, and rapped off to the west, joining the NW ridge walk off. We down climbed some steep snow back onto the glacier and back to our packs. I finished my last sip of water (suffer mode engaged!) and we prepared for the 8-ish mile ski out. We were pretty psyched to find the Cascades Lake highway freshly groomed for us as we skinned back out. The golden hour light and the calm of the evening faded some of the fatigue as we stumbled back to the car. Overall this took us about 14hrs round trip from Dutchman’s at a pretty relaxed pace all day. The grade of WI4/4+ feels about right; the climbing is sustained on the pitch, and while not dead vertical, the blobby ice made it interesting. We are both pretty psyched on the potential of at least repeating some of the burlier looking lines back there; any additional info on other routes would be appreciated! For now though I need a bit of a break from that approach! Gear Notes: 11 screws, 1 picket, 60m half rope Approach Notes: Slog from Dutchman's
  10. Trip: Mt Hood - DKH- Elliot HW linkup Trip Date: 04/03/2021 Trip Report: Unable to secure a partner for Saturday, I opted for some soloing on Hood over the less preferable slog-to-climb ratio in the Three Sisters. Drove up from Bend at 3am and was skinning by 5 from Timberline. Ok skinning to Palmer, complete trash above that. Should've ditched the skis there, or booted the whole thing. Looking up DKH1: Looking down above the crux: DKH1 was spewing a near constant stream of little rime pebbles despite the freezing temps and there's a considerable debris field at the base. The main couloir itself was in pretty gross shape, lots of exposed rock and thin plastered ice, but not too steep. However the crux was a bit fatter and better ice than when I climbed it in late January. I climbed it carefully, anticipating being hit in the arms or head at any moment, but went off without a hitch. At the fork I headed right for a couple more fun moderate ice sections. There was a fork about 200ft below the ridge, went left, looked more fun, delicate move over a little rock and ice bulge then more easy ice and snow. I had to make a couple awkward, catwalk like moves to bust out left from the top of the couloir onto the very upper Wyeast face. Here I found the least consolidated snow of the day. Easy walk to summit from there. The weather had been looking marginal, cloudy with chance of increasing winds, but at the summit it was calm and the clouds seemed unthreatening and happy to remain pretty high. I figured I'd head over to check out the Elliot, taking a look at the exit options from the summit ridge. Looked steep! The leftmost exit in Mullee looked like very steep snow and shitty ice to gain the ridge, the rightmost exit looked nicer. Elliot from the base. I took the flow just left of the rock center of photo: I sat at the little saddle above Horseshoe rock to have a bite and look at the route. The amount of ice back there is incredible! Go get it folks, it's fat, and it's good. I traversed in and down on steep snow, above the schrund, to the base of a pretty fat WI3 ish flow that seemed like a logical way to start. From there I trended slightly left, then back right, aiming for the obvious "Wallace 5.7 chimney" exit described in Mullee. Many more WI2 ish sections followed, all on bomber ice, interspersed with some steep snow. It's truly a pick-your-own-adventure headwall! The exit looked steeper and steepr as I got closer and I could feel the adrenaline starting to pump through my veins; thankfully it was filled in with a nice little WI3/3+ ribbon. There seem to be lots of fun mixed exit options all over up there on half decent looking rock. I plugged a couple screws at the base of the last pitch and took a breather, psyching myself up. It was surprisingly steep, but was able to get good stems up it with the occasional pon-on-rock stem. The exposure was a little heady, I took my time, and soon enough was on epic easy ice and a few feet of steep snow back onto the ridge, a nice cornice-free top out. The cloud cover kept the snow above Palmer nice and rimey all day, so I had to take the walk of shame back to Palmer where I could finally ski back to the car. Pretty psyched on the linkup possibilities on Hood! It's go time in Oregon! Gear Notes: 3 screws, 3 alpines, 4 pins and 60m x 6mm tagline for bail options (not used) Approach Notes: Standard
  11. Climbed the Hotlum Bolam at the end of February with a buddy. Early season is likely easiest to avoid all glacier/ crevasse problems. There's a "shrund" below the Ramp that was totally filled in when we climbed it, and seems easily avoidable if it opens (see photos of route in summer). We camped at around 8k ft in the trees and had a pretty manageable day (be warned though that the road to TH may not be driveable, we started approx. 3 miles down). Didn't find anything technical on the route other than (again, avoidable) exposed alpine ice in patches below and above the Ramp, but only up to 40-45 degrees. Felt more like a technical hike than anything. But conditions will likely vary a lot... but I'm guessing that you'll find good spring conditions later in April. Have fun and be safe!
  12. *buyer pays shipping unless otherwise indicated!* EXPED Black Ice 30 Pack. Like-new, used only a few times, a touch dirty in spots but no holes. I added the homemade ski straps; will remove them, and clean the pack prior to shipping. $100. Patagonia Men's Fleece jacket, Size Small. $45. Patagonia Men's Medium logo t-shirt. Tiny hole in left arm cuff visible in photo. $15. Patagonia Men's Small light blue t-shirt. $15. BD Turbo 19cm ice screw, still sharp! $30. And BD lockers. $6 each, 3 for $15. I have other smaller BD lockers, PM me if interested. Thanks for looking!
  13. Hey all I am looking on heading up to the WA Pass area, North Cascades, or Stuart Enchantments to do a few quality alpine climbs before the alpine rock season wraps up. I'm free until the 18th. I lead 10a/b, can follow a touch harder, and am comfortable soloing or simuling easier terrain. I have a good amount of snow experience as well. Some ideas include Liberty Traverse at WA Pass, Mt Stuart, Prussik Peak, etc etc or even NEB on Mt Slesse if weather holds up. Text is best! 65zero four68 one328. Thanks- Adrien
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