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adventure43

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  1. Trip: Mt Adams - NW Ridge Trip Date: 06/19/2020 Trip Report: Images: https://imgur.com/gallery/xtuhf6H Started from a turnout near Takhlakh Lake and headed up the Divide Camp Trail. Probably could have driven to the Divide Camp Trail but there was a bit of snow – a Lexus 4x4 was at the trail head. Crossed over the PCT intersection and just followed a route that seemed reasonable. I went up a couple of the moraines that didn’t have snow cover. It probably would have been better to have stayed lower in the valleys and then climbed up the moraines at the very ends. Some of the tops of the valleys had deep moats at their ends. Gained the ridge around 8000 feet. Didn’t see any bergschrund lower down as mentioned on summitpost. I was on a rock ridge for a bit and then stayed to the left to keep on the snow. Conditions weren’t ideal, since very little was firmly consolidated. It was nice to have two tools when heading left towards the North Face of the ridge (40 degrees?). Down climbing the steep parts was a chore given the slushiness of the snow. It was at most just freezing on the summit that night and morning. Saw a few people on the summit but none while I was there. There were three boot tracks that appeared to come from the North Ridge / Cleaver route but I didn’t see them. The big chunks separating at the top of the Adams glacier were a spectacular sight and well worth the climb. Definitely will come up the north side again. Attached GPX file is not a recorded route, just a best guess. Gear Notes: Helmet, crampons, axe, two tools Approach Notes: Divide Camp Trail - a walk through the woods
  2. Trip: Middle Sister - East Face Trip Date: 06/05/2020 Trip Report: Images: https://imgur.com/a/2r8kVaa Anyone else do this route, #14 from Jeff Thomas's Oregon High, or #15a East Arete? Seems there are no modern TRs. 9:15 PM start 10:15 PM Camp and Green Lakes trails intersection Midnight above normal camping area just out of the woods 2 AM Above final moraine 4:30 AM Above the East Face on SE Ridge 5 AM Summit A couple of weeks ago I got a good image of the East side of Middle Sister and the #14 East Face, green line, and #15a East Arete, blue line, routes looked good, https://i.imgur.com/7lj8kNl.png. Figured it was best to have a go before the next storm cycle this weekend. This, https://i.imgur.com/toFrlVF.jpg, gives the best (though still crummy) shot of the actual route, see the center left snow ramp. This was the first time for me on the Diller Glacier. It sure is nice to have such an easy approach, no steep moraines to navigate. Unfortunately, the moon was obscured in the little bowl that is the East Face and all the pictures I took didn’t turn out. Oh well, I’ll try to describe things. After getting up the lower ramp, I looked for a way to get past the bergschrund. In the darkness I thought I saw a way to get up on the far left but that was a no go. Traversed to the center and there was a super crappy ramp that had next to no support in the middle – nope. Tried to traverse a bit more to the right and found gaping holes in the snow and the rock under my feet like there were multiple bergschrunds. I think the snow and rock was debris from the bergschrund and or crap from previous avy events. I down climbed a bit to keep out of danger and then finally went all the way to the right and found a decent ramp right next to the cliff. I hadn’t seen or heard any rockfall from the cliffs but still, not the greatest place to be. Stayed close to the cliff, and I think there was another bergschrund but it was to the left of the cliff. Got in a moat-ish depression and followed it up probably less than 50 feet until it ended in crap snow and 3-foot hole next the cliff. Traversed left and got into a multiple foot wide runnel. Another 50-ish feet up, this ended too. With more leftward traversing, finally got somewhere near the middle of the face and away from the cliff – big relief. The snow up to that point was fairly firm and even required swinging the tools to get penetration. This didn’t last too long and soon I was just pushing the tools in. The crampons previously weren’t penetrating too deep but now, if I kicked a bit, the 1 – 1.5-inch crust broke. There was probably 3 – 4 inches of not complete fluff underneath but definitely not well consolidated either, bleck. The crust never sounded hollow but breaking through it seemed to cause some sort of vibration, or at least, it didn’t sound great to me. I climbed as gingerly as I could to stay on the crust and not cause a slide. The rest of the climb was fairly easy. The slope was probably 30 – 40 degrees. There were some open holes in the snow further up but they were easy to navigate around. I angled to the left a bit and got up to the SE Ridge, happy to be out of harm’s way. Had the summit to myself and watched the sunrise from further down the standard route. The wind was non-existent except on the very edge of the SE Ridge and the summit, maybe up to 25 MPH. Ran in to the climber that camped the previous night and chatted a bit on the ridge above the Hayden Glacier. This route might be fun when in condition but that probably won’t happen until next season. Gear Notes: Helmet, crampons, axe (didn't use), 2 tools Approach Notes: Normal Middle / North Sister approach except stay to climbers left coming up the final moraines and then veer left to get to the route - see attached GPX.
  3. Trip: South Sister - Silver Couloir Trip Date: 05/25/2020 Trip Report: Images: https://imgur.com/a/5vQUocK 9 PM start 11 PM pass North / Middle sister climbers trail on Camp Lake trail 12:45 AM Camp Lake 5 AM base of the climb 7 AM heading down from North Face Couloir 8 AM top of Silver Couloir 8:45 AM Summit Thanks ScaredSilly, Drocka, et al. for your trip reports on South Sister. Maybe you could name the route you took The Fin for the rock near the bottom of the route. https://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/topic/101689-tr-south-sister-north-face-05222018/ https://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/topic/101726-tr-south-sister-north-face-of-northwest-ridge-nfnwr-06262011 My intention was to climb the North Face Couloir. https://imgur.com/a/aPEHYwd showed good snow coverage over the rock bands. I’d watched the radar in the middle of the week for South Sister when it was forecast to get 7.5 inches of snow and it seemed like it rarely got any. My brother’s old skiing and climbing friend skied Mt Bachelor on Friday and said there was 1 – 1.5 feet of new snow on top of a solid base. One day of sun, Friday, was surely not going to consolidate that. Brother skied Mt Hood on Saturday and said there was decent climbing conditions. Hmm, well, it was forecast to warm up on South Sister in the next week so I figured I may has well try now as it probably wasn’t going to get any better the rest of the season. Drove down Saturday afternoon and was on the trail by 9 PM. Started out in a sun hoody, warm gloves and an ear band, added a hat an hour in, fleece top three hours in and then finally a thin wind jacket after getting out of the trees. It was cool with little wind. The approach from Pole Creek was the normal dusty trail for the first few hours with lots of logs and a few downed trees giving way to snow and non-dead trees later. The lower snow was compact and easy to walk on, the new snow, higher up was, as expected, not consolidated. Most of the way over this was fine, nice to have some cushioning when walking in mountaineering boots. As I climbed out of Camp Lake the unconsolidated snow got deeper, maybe six inches and I put on crampon. It was still very dark, new moon that morning, when I checked Gaia to find I’d slightly overshot the turn to start climbing up to the route but was able to go up a bit and traverse left to get there. Heading up the canyon, the snow just got deeper and was still not consolidated. I stabbed the axe down to the hilt with my right hand, pushed the blade of the tool as deeply as I could with the left, kicked in hard and pretended things were going to be fine even though nothing was solid but the snow was holding my weight. Getting up the first rock band was no problem and to the bottom of the second, not much more than traversing right and left to take the best route. The start of the second band required getting over a couple of, not too large, rocks. To my surprise I was able to get a solid tool placement above the rocks and hoisted myself up while pushing off another rock. The upper part of the second band was a different story. The rocks were bigger, steeper and partially covered in ice. I swung the tool hard twice into the exact same spot on a rock covered in ice and got nothing more than an inch-wide divot, no penetration at all. I tried a couple of other spots and reaching around the rock to see if I could hook something but it was too large. Looking up at the final rock band, I resigned that even if I could get above the immediate rocks, there is no way I’d be able to climb to the top this way. My original hope was that the snow just to the right of the final rock band face wouldn’t be too steep and I’d find a way up. Not a chance, there was hardly any snow on the rocks, just a wall of rock and boulders covered in ice. After down climbing a bit, I traversed left, staying close to the rock cliff, and went up the Silver Couloir. This was as advertised, a straightforward steep snow climb. The last 10 feet were very steep and kicking in was more like kicking in my entire lower leg. The lower angle slope to the summit ring had a bunch of unconsolidated snow too but there were areas that were actually firm. After talking to the only group on the summit, I headed southward along the rim and started heading down. The snow was now sticking to my boots and gaiters making massive clown shoes. Not too long later I see a guy on the summit ridge in a Grivel helmet. He says he just climbed the Silver Couloir too. He thanked me for making steps and asks to exchange info so we could do the N Face Couloir next year. Any other time I would be like, heck yeah, that sounds great but I’m completely defeated and want nothing to do with that thing and think no one should climb it without a top rope or years of ice climbing experience. Shoot, I was way too literal in my thinking and missed the chance of finding a great climbing partner. He even offered to makes steps down the North Ridge which he did and I followed but he was long gone by the time I got over there. The walk back to Pole Creek TR was like experiencing a dream where all my movements were slow and painful. I just tried to keep moving and think I’ll get back eventually. The thought of chocolate covered almonds made the idea of driving 3+ hours home bearable. I’ll remember this one for a while. Maybe do a route on the Prouty side next? Gear Notes: Helmet, crampons, axe, 2 tools (only used one) Approach Notes: The normal dusty trail for the first few hours with lots of logs and a few downed trees giving way to snow and non-dead trees later
  4. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see it much at all, it must have been around 3:45 AM that I passed that area.
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