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emilio taiveaho pelaez

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  1. Really love this area! Very stoked to read this TR. I went up Cruiser a couple times in July, both times approaching via Flapjack (such a good place to camp! Would definitely recommend if you're not doing it in a day). There was more snow on my first summit (June16), which made the approach to gain the ridge through Needle Pass feel easy and secure. Ten days later, Needle Pass was a bit more exposed, so Sawtooth Pass (next to the Horn) felt like the more comfortable option to gain the ridge (it was also quicker; getting to Needle Pass required a little bushwhacking, but that's probably because it was early season and the trail wasn't defined). Both times I was amazed at the amazing opportunities along the ridge--I hope to see more reports on the sawtooths! To share some stoke, here's a photo of Cruiser peeping out through the fog: & an image of the Horn (someone really oughtta climb the beautiful NE line along the ridge....):
  2. Damn! Others have been saying it but I gotta join the choir: really incredible pictures! Thanks for sharing them!!
  3. Jason - I am sorry for your losses, it's absolutely not my intention to disrespect the seriousness and gravity of the mountains. Most of my childhood heroes have died in the mountains, and our sport is populated with too many examples very real, unspeakable loss. I don't take this lightly. In the last year alone, I was deeply affected by Korra Pesce's tragic passing, despite never having met him personally. There are plenty (too many) painful examples like this. I don't mean to belittle risk, or to promote a naive view of the dangers of alpinism. Within the context of the trip report, the quote comes from Kerouac's The Dharma Bums: "Then suddenly everything was just like jazz: it happened in one insane second or so: I looked up and saw Japhy running down the mountain in huge twenty-foot leaps, running, leaping, landing with a great drive of his booted heels, bouncing five feet or so, running, then taking another long crazy yelling yodelaying sail down the sides of the world and in that flash I realized it's impossible to fall off mountains you fool and with a yodel of my own I suddenly got up and began running down the mountain after him doing exactly the same huge leaps, the same fantastic runs and jumps, and in the space of about five minutes I'd guess Japhy Ryder and I (in my sneakers, driving the heels of my sneakers right into sand, rock, boulders, I didn't care any more I was so anxious to get down out of there) came leaping and yelling like mountain goats or I'd say like Chinese lunatics of a thousand years ago, enough to raise the hair on the head of the meditating Morally by the lake, who said he looked up and saw us flying down and couldn't believe it. In fact with one of my greatest leaps and loudest screams of joy I came flying right down to the edge of the lake and dug my sneakered heels into the mud and just fell sitting there, glad. Japhy was already taking his shoes off and pouring sand and pebbles out. It was great. I took off my sneakers and poured out a couple of buckets of lava dust and said "Ah Japhy you taught me the final lesson of them all, you can't fall off a mountain." "And that's what they mean by the saying, When you get to the top of a mountain keep climbing, Smith."" Personally, I've experienced moments of debilitating fear (particularly on descents), where I feel like i'm stuck on the mountain. This happened to me at the beginning of my climbing pursuits while attempting to summit Black Tooth in the Bighorns of Wyoming in an event that has shaped me ever since. Seeing my friends dance down the mountain gave me a feeling of ecstatic joy that allowed me to recognize that many of the fears I experienced were actually self-imposed. I believe this is what Kerouac is describing in this passage, it resonates. Something similar happened to Greg on this trip, where he realized he was afraid but by allowing the mountain to seep into his psyche, he could overcome his fears and gleefully move through difficult terrain. He got to the top of his own mountain and kept climbing, which really is what I was trying to express. Thank goodness for the mountains! They are true teachers and they are sacred I hope they always stay wild.
  4. Trip: Olympic National Park - Mt. Olympus in a day Trip Date: 06/23/2022 Trip Report: Mt. Olympus in a day On Thursday, June 23rd, Adam “Mo” Moline, Monica Moline, and myself ran Mount Olympus, car to car, in 14 hours 43 minutes and 38 seconds. I firmly believe that with this run Monica holds the women's record for fastest known time for Mt. Olympus (If i'm wrong, please reach out to me with additional information!). Time, however, wasn’t so much what we were seeking as was having a blissful experience communing with the mountain under blue skies. Mo and Monica are notoriously humble, so this trip report comes as a way of celebrating both of their achievements since I know they would probably not be making much of what is, to most, truly a wild and exceptional thing to do. Splits as recorded in our voice memos: 0:33 mins Mt Tom 1 hour Five Mile Island 2:06 Ranger’s Station 2:17 Lewis Meadows 3:17 Elk Lake/High Bridge 4:53 Glacier Meadows 8:17 SUMMIT Joyful Delusional Blur 6:27 down For a little more verifiability, here is a screenshot from Monica’s Garmin, shared with her consent: You can also find Adam Moline on Strava, if you’re interested in his detailed splits, etc. A few images from the trip: Early Morning Start up on the snow dome Summit Block with Mo and Monica! A delirious return Trip Report: With the end of the school-year and the summer solstice comes the season to worship the choss. Since choss is alive, choss worship changes from year to year depending on the moods, the weather, of the mountains. Following the same migratory patterns I’ve established for the last decade, I flew to the west coast to visit my kin, this time with sights set on climbing the Kautz Glacier with my mentor, eternal friend, and climbing partner, Mo Moline. In the restless pursuit of choss, it becomes easy to grasp the truth of what the song says when it says “you can’t always get what you want/ but if you try sometimes you find you get what need.” We had another climbing partner who dropped out the day before the climb, and aside from that it was a late spring (the mountains of Washington have been thick with winter well into June), there was far too much avalanche danger. We didn’t make it up the route. We both agreed we were here to listen to, rather than fight, the mountain. In lieu of this summit, during a conversation a few days prior to our departure to Rainier, Mo’s wife, Monica, had somehow proposed and ignited the idea of us spontaneously running Mt. Olympus in a day. Monica’s idea had sent energy and dread through my stomach because I knew we would do it, especially if we didn’t get far on the Kautz. We had a perfect team for it. Both Monica and Mo are stellar athletes with brains to match, they’re two of the strongest people I’ve ever met. Even then though, it was still a crazy idea… Monica had never done something like this, and neither had Mo (though Mo had climbed Olympus before, twice, and has sharpened his mountaineering skills climbing in the Picket range). Keeping the possibility of the run in mind, while on Rainier we enjoyed the solstice, spending time listening to the birds and thanking the mountain for its lessons, fingering lichen and getting ready for what was ahead. While it was a spontaneous decision to commit to running the mountain with a few days notice, the idea for this trip didn’t come out of nowhere. Mo and I had spoken about running Mount Olympus a little under a year ago (while moving under Olympus herself in fact), as the two of us, along with Seattle-based mountain goat Gregorio Brosi, were traversing the East, Middle, and West Peaks. For me, this traverse almost immediately followed a run/walk up Gannet Peak in Wyoming that I completed in 22 and a half-ish hours, an experience that led me to realize you can climb big, remote mountains (i.e. Olympus), in a day. [A little parenthetical here, running Gannet was a heady, grueling experience, but more importantly, it was an incredible time mountaineering and communing with a remote peak… Any opportunity to get into backcountry choss with my best friends is too good to pass up, so when Jake Johnson—by far the best climber and the strongest mountaineer I know—proposed the idea, there was no way I was going to let him do something like that without me.] While this idea of climbing Olympus in a push had been in the air, a big part of me didn’t think we’d actually do it. I was scared, so I didn't bring it up. As a climbing team, we hadn’t spoken about it since last summer, I live far away, the logistics seemed too complicated with the other climbs we have lined up… but somehow everything for Olympus lined up, and making the push now made sense. I’ll say that while I’m no longer a distance runner, I try to stay in shape for my climbs in the the North Cascades, so I knew I would be able to pull it off despite a lack of ultra-marathon-specific training: any trip to the Pickets matches an ultra marathon in my book. On Wednesday, June 22, Mo and I woke up on Rainier, drove back to Olympia where Monica got off work at around three thirty, and we drove to the Hoh Rainforest. Fueled by burritos and sandwiches on the way, we stopped outside the park entrance and I laid down my bivy by the side of the road as the two of them slept in the car. After three hours of sleep I was up at 12:19, a minute before my alarm. Monica and Mo were awake, too, we ate some bananas and drank some coffee and drove to the trailhead. We entered the Hoh River Trail at 1:17 in the morning and were off. While the running started off smooth, the darkness led us to lose the trail a couple of times. It’s funny because the previous day we had read a trip report from someone climbing the mountain in 16 hours who wrote about “technical roots” slowing the approach and had laughed; being lost on a well marked trail at two thirty in the morning, those technical roots were real (but could be avoided in the future—these mainly happened at stream/creek crossings). Once back on the trail, everything was fairly smooth and we cruised through the morning hours at a 12-ish/hour mile pace, with very enjoyable moving up through Lewis Meadows. It continued to be slow, easy miles up to the high bridge, around the section where the elevation begins to increase up to Glacier Meadows. Once on the incline, our pace settled to a fast walk, and we pushed up, rising in altitude alongside the rising sun. The varied thrush was the first to sing. Moving upwards, we didn’t stop until Glacier Meadows for our first real break. Eating some bars, filling up on water, and using the outhouse kept our spirits warm despite the increasingly cold weather. We were surprised to find so much snow up there (we encountered snow before we ran into the campsite). After twenty minutes, we had lost our morning’s heat and kept moving upward through the snow, eager to get into the sun’s beams. It was curious to go from being warm at 2 am to feeling cold at glacier meadows. Putting on yak trax we moved quickly as we took a snow ramp with bootpack leading up to the moraine. Once at the moraine we looked out at the glacier: it looked very heaven, healthy even. There was a group of three moving slowly across the blue glacier who seemed to be turning around, though we were unsure why. As we crossed paths, a father’s stern face indicated discontent with the two on the other side of the rope. We waved and made good time pushing up through the snow dome on hard but purchasable and delicious snow. Overall, the glacier system seemed to be thriving in comparison with some of my previous visits—the mountain made it clear it was a welcome winter. Unlike in previous summits, we saw very few exposed crevasses (though therefore recognize that there are plenty of crevasses all around). A firmly established bootpack carried us up through crystal pass and next to the false summit and we felt calculatedly confident on the terrain. At this point of the morning, climbing came as a delightful break. It was restorative to touch rock, to move some choss out of the way of great holds. Moving with confidence and glee upwards, fingers flowing with the rock, all three of us were up in no time, and spent a few eternal moments on the summit block. On the way down, we cleaned some cams left behind on the fourth class (this is starting to become a yearly activity). Getting back on the snow and ice led us to the profound bliss of running down the glacier and the opportunity of taking long glissades. The euphoria of the morning had us feeling deeply good, deeply grateful, deeply humbled, this is the life!!!! Above Glacier Meadows we found a deep pool of water and had a brief respite, knowing, with a a wink and a nod, that the run was really just about to start. And start it did. From here, it seems like we were running downhill and then running downhill and then running downhill. It felt like we were just shy of running up the rope ladder as we remembered what quads are. True fun. At this point, I felt so happy it was as if the mountain was running me rather than the other way around. The wild raw beauty brought tears to my face! It felt great to move quickly knowing we had just paid a visit to the sage mountain Mount Olympus, now we could feel like we were part of the wildlife. Going down under old growth we were eating minutes and making up trail just as much as eating up trail and making up minutes. As we approached Lewis Meadows, our water strategy changed. Thinking we would be near water the whole time and wanting to save on weight, we thought to stop at convenient creek crossings and simply filter what we needed to drink at the moment. While this strategy led to non-ordinary states of consciousness, it proved to be to our detriment as we would later battle heat exhaustion and dehydration. For anyone doing this in the future: consider the last five miles, that is the crux. Water is your friend and will only help you get through it. A combination of delirium and my body’s desire to keep going meant that after our first of these new “quick breaks,” I didn’t stop again until a few miles out, when my pace really slowed down. Running through the flat terrain was overwhelming, the foliage was too beautiful and kept going, as did the miles. I didn’t look back to Mo and Monica because of a desire to be on the move, not to make good time but to make time good, and in my mind this would only happen in by moving so that I wouldn’t collapse on myself. Later, the two would tell me that they tried to maintain 10-12 min miles with frequent water and small breaks, but eventually also ran without stopping for the same fears. Mo says the battle against the self started at five mile island and Monica agreed that at that point the grit to finish was the crux of the run. Really, walking or stopping would have led to a strange kind of exhaustion, running was the only option for all of us at that point. As I was ahead, I began to face a strange mental crux of continuing and my legs shifted between walking and quasi-running, I kept repeating to myself that I must study the walking of blue mountains and not slander the mountains by saying they are not walking, but maybe this was just a way of justifying my suffering. Luckily, with about a mile to go I sensed Monica and Mo behind me and the joy of their steps brought me back to a painful trot. I followed the two of them and we ran the last mile together, it felt like they were graciously carrying me and we finished at the same time having given it all we had. Getting back to the car, we drove out of the rainforest, parked the car alongside the road and soaked our feet in the Hoh. Dreaming of burgers, we drove the Hard Rain Café and ordered three Mount Olympus Burgers, few things have ever tasted so delicious. All thank yous to the mountain and to the choss! Gear Notes: Ice Axe, Yak Trax, Running backpack, Camelback, electrolytes. Approach Notes: Hoh River Trail, up through the Blue Glacier/Crystal Pass
  5. Thank you for solving this mystery for us, Ryan. We were impressed and wickedly surprised that someone else had also opted for that Perry Creek BDSM approach, seeing that others were around was humbling. That TR is great, really appreciate your sharing it--the photos of that Chilliwack choss in particular are delicious! The snowpack was really melting fast as we were coming down, so I can imagine what it was like for y'all. also, happy to hear that someone read our summit registers and it wasnt just a delirious summer haze dream haha.
  6. Trip: Olympic National Park - Mt. Olympus Traverse: East Peak, Middle Peak, West Peak Trip Date: 08/01/2021 Trip Report: Mt. Olympus Traverse: East Peak, Middle Peak, West Peak Climbers: Adam “Mo” Moline - Sacramento, CA Emilio Taiveaho - Saxapahaw, NC Gregorio “Brosi” Scott – Minneapolis, MN Summary: Day 1 – Hike to Lewis Meadows Day 2 – Hike to Glacier Pass Day 3 – Summit Push: East, Middle, and West Peaks Day 4 – Restorative climbing/Choss worship at Glacier Pass Day 5 – Hike out Seeking sweet sweet choss, a return to the Olympic Peninsula was in order. In 2020, Adam and I (emilio) climbed the West Peak in a three-day push—an adventure that left us hungry to explore more remote areas of the park and spend some time on the dense and complicated glacier system skirting Mt. Olympus. As this trip marked Gregg’s first backcountry experience, we pursued a comfortable line full of loose rock and crevasses, giving him a delightful taste of the proverbial “freedom of the hills.” Day 1: Our pilgrimage to Sunh-a-do began at the airport, as Adam and Greg picked me up from Seattle on Monday morning. Running low on sleep, I was full of nervous anticipation having just completed a run up Gannet Peak a couple days prior, climbing the South-East Couloir in a twenty-two-hour push. Although my legs were tired, my spirits were at all time high and I was eager to rest my legs by walking alongside the mossy delights of the Hoh River. We made good walking and camped at Lewis Meadows, this being the only site with open campsites along the developed trail. We had a leisurely afternoon spent reading Deleuze and Guattari by the river and beginning to contemplate how to make ourselves bodies without organs. Day 2: After a full night of rest, we began our hike up to Glacier Pass. Soaking in the sights and feeling healed by the forest we had no trouble getting up to Glacier Meadows. Auspiciously, on our way up a smiling mustached old-time climber yelped: “The Ice is great! You won’t even need a rope!” Once at the Blue Glacier, the leisurely walking continued. Crevasses were easy to spot and the ice was solid, so there was no need for crampons. After a good day of walking, arriving at our camp felt like a true treat—we were welcomed with open arms by the mountain. The afternoon was spent staring at Hermes and the Hoh Glacier, basking like lizards under the Washington sun. Day 3: On our third day, we woke up early with our objectives in mind. Descending class 3 rock to the glacier, we put on our crampons and headed up the Hoh towards the East Peak. The Hoh Glacier was in lovely form and we heeded the old climber’s advice, seeing no need for ropes, and made good time negotiating crevasses. Once at the rock, climbing was straightforward, class 3 and 4 to the top. We all took slightly different routes to the top, but found no summit log there. We descended the way we approached, getting back on to the Hoh Glacier in order to approach Middle Peak. The route up Middle Peak was marked by solid snow and heavenly sights. Getting onto the rock was straightforward. The route up was chossy class 3, maybe 4, with a couple cerebral moves. Here, we found a true summit register with a handful of entries—mainly from groups traversing the Bailey Range, which will be an objective in the future. Looking over at the West Peak and getting hungry for more climbing, we decided it was a good idea to rap from the top in order to make good time, traversing onto the Blue Glacier. We were moving fast now, downclimbing class 4 choss after a 30 m rap, when I was frozen by the sound of falling rock and the sudden mushrooming of a cloud of pure dust. This was Gregg’s first time climbing in the Alpine and he had expressed some fear, so my mind immediately rushed to the worst: he had fallen and broken a limb… or worse. Rushing to see what happened, both Adam and I found Gregg suspended by his fingers and toes, having caught himself on a solid jug after a bloody, chossy, bruising rock slide. Seeing he was okay—just a little shook up—made me think of Jean Afanassieff’s legendary words “This is the fucking life! No?” Thanking our lucky stars and bowing to the greatness of Mount Olympus, who humbled us yet kept us going, we made quick time across the Blue Glacier and arrived at the West Peak, troubled only by our own internal agitations and “what if” scenarios. Needing a respite, Gregg waited for Adam and I at the base of the climb as we scampered up the back. It was easy, class 4 climbing with a couple class 5 moves for good taste. At the top, we came across some mountaineers who had spent the last hour watching us cross the glacier. After some good conversation about the beauty of the Picket Range and this summer’s adventures, Adam and I headed down to Gregg, whose nerves were calmed and mood once again elevated. We followed our tracks on the way back and found climbing Middle Peak from the west a welcome breeze. A single rap brought us back to the Hoh Glacier and with soulful bounding leaps, we navigated our way back to Glacier Pass. It’s true what Japhy Ryder says in The Dharma Bums, “You can’t fall off a mountain!” There are times when this adage is felt and its truth shines through—this is something that can only be experienced, description lacks what only the body relates. Food tasted particularly tasty back at camp, where we were greeted by water and the sight of a fleeting hummingbird, attracted to our prayer flags and the vibrant colors of our jackets. That night was filled with a spilling milky way, stars as choss populating my deep sleep. Day 4: The next day we awoke to make coffee and stretch, having carved out a day to rest and recover. Soaking in Glacier Pass without determinate plans we ate a meal of morels and other dried mushrooms, and decided to have a day full of turmeric, ginger, and meditative bouldering. Devotees of the lazy lizard school of hedonism, we worshipped the choss and spent a day on the rocks, singling out Hermes just across the glacier, and living on Big Rock Candy Mountain. That evening, a small black bear crested Glacier Pass not realizing we were there. Upon hearing and seeing us, the Bear raccoonned down the Blue Glacier, moving quickly and lightly back down the glacier. The night was filled with signs of inclement weather—it was clear we were going to be greeted by rain in the morning. Day 5: After another night of deep sleep, we woke up to morning rain and shifting clouds at our Glacier Pass Eden. We packed our gear and a steady glacier walk brought us back to the trail. Our boots guided us back to the trailhead, adorned by a couple water breaks. Near the end of our hike we came across a beautiful flush of Chicken of the Woods, and Adam gathered some for dinner. We are thankful, and will be back for you, Hermes. Gear Notes: Light rack, some cams and nuts. Approach Notes: Smooth Big Rock Candy Mountain Walkin'
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