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Artem Vasilyev

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About Artem Vasilyev

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  1. [TR] Mt. Hood - Yocum Ridge Solo 03/21/2020

    I hope that this wasn't your actual takeaway from my post. Please don't build strawmen. I was pointing out the fact that we cannot say with certainty how safe any particular ascent was or is. Risk is difficult to quantify from a computer chair. We can only guess. I did acknowledge that you had climbed the route, so your opinion holds some weight. I was certainly not making any comments on how a route should be climbed. It is clear that with all else held equal, solo climbing is inherently more risky. That being said, the gear on Yocum is bad and falls while alpine climbing commonly result in fatal outcomes. So the moral question is: Should we not also publicly criticize people for climbing the Yocum in the first place? My answer is probably not. But each person has their own reaction to things like this, so I respect your perspective. Let's rope up someday and put whatever assumptions we have of each other to rest that way.
  2. [TR] Mt. Hood - Yocum Ridge Solo 03/21/2020

    Signing in to cash in my .02 I respect Kyle's POV and think that his perspective has it's place in this discussion - but I wanted to counter and speak in favor of Landon. 1) Marc Andre Leclerc died while rappelling (likely swept). Guy Lacelle was swept by an avvie. So were Hansjorg Auer and David Lama. So was Ueli Steck. It is rare that a soloist dies on a technically challenging solo. It happens (Austin Howell, Jean-Chirstophe Laifelle, Ryan Jennings) but isn't the leading cause of death in the mountains for high end soloists, and it isn't clear if they would have survived (with the exception of Howell) had they been partnered. The greatest general risk factor in climbing is simply mileage in the mountains, the terrain traveled, and its associated cumulative probability. It stands to reason that we should shame people who get out and climb constantly, but we don't, because that isn't quite as scary to imagine as being on the Yocum ridge without a rope - the gear+roped risks are more familiar to us and are less obvious. It would also force us to question if we should be climbing at all in the first place - which is something that we are reluctant to do. 2) The amount of risk taken on a solo is generally most obvious to the soloist themselves (assuming that the soloist is prepared and lucid). The rest of us can only assume, given that we do not know how solid the soloist is and how favorable conditions were at the time of the solo. I know Kyle climbed the Yocum ridge this season as well, so he has an idea of the risk that was taken by Landon (which is likely why he made his post) - however, it is entirely possible that Kyle took on more with the rope (given the poor nature of the gear on Yocum, Kyle's specific skillset + experience relative to Landon's and the mental blanket that gear can offer in otherwise fatal fall scenarios). That being said, it is impossible to know - we can only assume since we do not know the minutiae of both ascents and both climbers. 3) Generally speaking, if you make a habit of soloing, your risk of dying while climbing is much higher than that of a casual climber. This has likely more to do with your threshold of acceptable risk + mileage in high consequence terrain than it does with the specific act of soloing. Our willingness to take on risk correlates greatly with what we have to lose, our cumulative experience, and our personalities. Our relationship with risk changes with age, and I have to say that I there are risks that I personally took as a younger person that I would not take today. I have also gotten in over my head before and survived - how much of that I can attribute to luck rather than innate skill, I will never know. If you make a habit of soloing, it is less likely you will survive to learn a lesson from your mistakes due to the thin margin of error that is allowed. I think Landon's accomplishment is incredible given that he has survived it. It is certainly an experience he will never forget. I also think that it is best to solo rarely and to have 99% of your climbing experience be with a rope, so that your odds of surviving a marginal scenario and learning from it are greater. Ultimately though, soloing is a very personal activity and is something that I would only criticize if I honestly believe that the ascent was sketchy. I have not climbed with Landon (or the Yocum ridge) so I cannot form an opinion about his judgement or skill. Landon is young, so he will inherently get more flak from the community - such is the nature of talking about your solo ascents. Consider it a rite of passage, every public soloist has gotten this reaction in the face of their accomplishments. The fear of this kind of reaction is also the chief reason there are also many mind bending solos that do not get reported first hand. That being said, I think that the spirit of his post is to share something that was deeply personal with a community that he admires (rather than spray to us) and I respect it for that reason. I would also lie if I said that I do not feel a chill to my core when hearing of other's solo ascents. We inherently struggle with accepting the certainty that comes with many solos (i.e. "you send or you die"). Anyway, also getting off of my soapbox - congrats if you made it through this wall of text. Good job Landon - this is a first class achievement.
  3. [TR] Mt Hood - Yocum Ridge 03/08/2020

    Impressive ascent!
  4. Mt Hood

    This late season photo is the one that I am referencing - it seems that there is a large schrund underneath the old chute which is typically filled in but could be exposed late season. I was worried about taking a fall into it on the descent if a shallow snow bridge were to form over it
  5. Mt Hood

    Was the schrund exposed under the old chute on the South side? If so, how exposed was it - and would you expect a snow bridge over it with the incoming snow? I am planning to use it as a descent from either Cooper Spur or Reid Headwall next week, and wanted to get an idea as to the risk involved (or if I should descend Cooper Spur instead).
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