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robertm

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Everything posted by robertm

  1. Bozeman, MT or Victor/Driggs, ID

    Yes, I did climb with MVS. I know we ran into each other a couple of times. VW in Redmond and maybe the Bugs...
  2. Bozeman, MT or Victor/Driggs, ID

    Dan, I live in Bozeman (lived in Seattle for 20+ years). I agree with what others have said here... I haven't spent much time in Driggs/Victor except on my way to/from the Tetons. I would say that Victor/Driggs area is really up and coming. They (Driggs) just got a new climbing gym that looks nice. You are close to skiing at JH and GT & Tetons!. Close to Yellowstone and the weather is probably a lot more mild down there then up here in Bozeman. With BZN being a college town there is always a lot going on here - both good and bad. Lots of climbing -- ice & rock minutes from town. Skiing is great -- in general you need to like winter to live here. They are long! We get our first below zero cold snap and snow in October and snow sticks around from October usually through April. Bozeman (or BozAngeles as locals are calling it now) is getting very pricey -- even the restaurants are charging Seattle prices. not sure what is driving our popularity -- but usually a couple of winters here creates some turnover. Happy to talk specifics if you shoot me a DM.
  3. [TR] Attempt on Stuart Ridge Traverse - SRT 08/04/2020

    That descent from Sherpa to Argonaut col cost me an unplanned night out too. Very long descent with lots and lots of rock ribs that you go up, over and down. I think the best bet in hindsight is to descent down the 3rd class gully directly from the summit to the west towards Ingalls creek. Descend this until you are below the major rock ribs -- probably 1500 feet. Aim is to be about 200-500 feet BELOW the col (targeting around 7000 feet to contour). This looked like it was the best path after experiencing the alternative. I think Peter Croft stayed close to the crest from what he recollects but he did say that that traverse was one of the slowest that he encountered.
  4. Trip: Bear Mountain - DNB Date: 7/26/2007 Trip Report: Mark Pratt and I decided to venture into the N. Cascades to climb Bear Mountain after I was inspired a couple of years ago on the summit Redoubt looking at the N. Face and DNB. We wanted a long and challenging rock climb and this route served up the goods. The approach begins mellow enough on a road and after about an hour your start navigating up and over huge logs often using them as elevated passage ways across the forest floor. After reading Mike Layton's and others account of being mired in a swamp I was cautious to always try to find the trail which is very faint in some places as Devils Club and Salmon Berry are quickly reclaiming it. Between Little Chilliwack and Bear Camp it is often best to stay close to the river especially if you lose the trail at large stream slides where there is a lot of sand and rock completely covering the trail. The mile or so between Little Chilliwack and the large slide alder patch (which can be passed on a new trail forming by the river) took the longest as it was hard to keep finding the trail and going was slow through devils club and downed trees. It pays to find the trail once past the big slide alder / washout section as the trail is excellent to Bear Camp. From Bear Camp take the left branch and proceed directly uphill. It is not critical to stay on the path - there are some flags here and there - generally you stay on the ridge crest through heavy timber and enter a burn zone. Don't go too far left as you want to come out on a ridge above Ruta lake and the old fire trail will cliff out to the left. It doesn't hurt to stay right when in doubt. After about 2500 feet of fairly easy going you will enter some tough going through Mountain Azaleas. These are like going through a hound dogs hair from the rear end up. Tough going. After about 400 feet of this hell you emerge onto the ridge crest. In a little less than a mile you will will be able to look down on Ruta lake about 500 feet below. I was thirsty and out of water but we spied snow patches above and chose to keep going. It was hot at this point and we took occasional rests beneath the alpine firs. We rounded one sub-summit and ended up climbing directly up to the largest sub-summit (which you aren't supposed to do) but it wasn't a big deal and afforded great views of the N. Face in profile (although, we couldn't see our route the DNB as it was mostly blocked by the Direct West Buttress) From here it is mostly 3rd class down to the bivies at the col which are visible below. We chose a patch of trees about 100 yards from the Col as it was flatter and closer to running water. It did not spare us from the multitude of mosquitos. Out time from Car to Camp was 11 hours (7AM - 6PM). We made some Ramen, Freeze Dried Potatoes and a freeze dried entree and washed it down with Makers Mark. We awoke around 3:30 AM and ate breakfast and left camp around 4:30. The descent down the Col was no big deal (snow all the way to the top) with Aluminum crampons. We used our headlamps for the first hour of the approach finding our way through a fog that had risen from the valley floor. We were hoping this would clear as we climbed the buttress. It was a bit spicy getting across the moat but uneventful. It was now about 6:00 -- 1.5 hours from camp to base. From here I led out a couple of pitches of 5.7/8 to the base of the really cool dihedral pitch. Mark took this pitch. The next pitch went up and slightly left through some loose ground through good rock and a 5.8 roof. I ran it out to the end of the rope and set up a belay. At this point we were above the clouds. Some more great climbing and lead swaps brought us to the traverse - or at least what we thought was listed as the traverse to the "5.6 Ramp" Mark led out on this and never encountered a "5.9 move" as mentioned in the Kearney guide. We traversed almost 100 meters. I took the lead and headed down and across a chasm and up a dubious looking redish dihedral/face. Nothing really looked like a 'ramp' to this point. The next pitch was one of the scariest I have ever led in the mountains. It was steep and loose (5.8/9) with no opportunity for protection. The rock was in a state of decomposition. I was finally able to create a nest of TCUs in a horizontal crack at my feet before comitting to some very exposed moves to heave my way onto a pedastal where I could get one really good stopper for the belay. This lead took about 1 hour and our pace had slowed. It was now around 11 AM and we still had a ways to go and I was guessing we were off route. Mark took the lead up and left around a corner and shouted down that the ground eased up. So we had entered the 3rd and 4th class ground and could see wet slabs wher the snow patch above was melting. Due to choose and wetness we chose to go left up the crest on 5.7/5.8 ground. Some really good pitches on good granite but probably slower. We reached the snowpatch at around 12:30 PM and admired the views toward Redoubt. I took the rack and had to negotiate the snow patch which had created a deep moat where it layed against the rock. I could see the curving crack above and was dismayed that the upper half looked to be full of dirt and grass. I tensioned over into the crack system and climbed until just below where the crack got clogged. I was then able to reach over and climb up over right. This was steep and here is where the Alpine Select was on and Kearney was off. Take the left most of these cracks (5.9/10) do not proceed up the 5.8 dirt crack without pro. From the top of this pitch it was one more good steep 5.8 pitch to the where the Beckey-Fielding route joins and the stellar Dihedral - fist crack. Mark took the rack and charged up this crack. In my mind this is a sandbagged pitch. Some call this 5.8 and others 5.9. It is steep and probably was the most physical climbing of the climb. It would be 5.9 at Index. Although from below it looks like you need wider gear there are many protection opportunities. A couple more 5.7 pitches led up to the base of the famous offwidth and a great belay. Mark climbed up the offwidth for about 20 feet and stepped out and right to avoid most of the ugliness. The north face off to our left was awesome. From the top of this pitch we proceeded directly on the crest. There is a fixed station here where the Beckey-Fielding (North Face) route drops down into a chossy gully. The climbing on the crest has sparse protection but great rock and is mostly in the 5.9/8 range. This is about 2 pitches in length. We thought the lower part was harder than then 5.10 - cracks mentioned by Kearney. This looked like the better option than the Burdo variation off the left (overhanging 5.10 crack system). From the top of this section I grabbed the rack without bothering ot sort the gear and stayed on the crest directly... encountering great 5.6 climbing on solid rock. The summit loomed above as we topped out on the ridge 12 hours after we started climbing. It took about 20 minutes from here to the summit proper of Bear and great views of the Pickets. The descent to camp is straightforward and cush. Takes about an hour. Go skiers left as you descend and you will pick up some cairns that take you around the bowl. If it seems harder than 2nd class you are probably off route. We were back in camp around 7PM. The hike out the next morning took about 7 hours. We celebrated by taking a plunge into the lake. Gear Notes: Medium rack to 3" - doubles in TCUs 1-3 Approach Notes: Devils Club and Salmonberry
  5. Shout out to Metolius

    sweet. I need to get mine done... I heard Black Diamond will just resling and not clean / lubricate
  6. Nice! Bear is a lot of work... I can only imagine how much worse the "trail" is from when we did it back 10+ years ago!
  7. Amazing photos! Thanks for the inspiration.
  8. Trip: Inspiration Peak - West Ridge Date: 7/29/2015 Trip Report: Climbed Inspiration and McMillan both up their west ridges on Wednesday 7/29. Glaciers are in rough shape -- needed to approach Inspiration from far western (left side) of the glacier. Moat proved to be the crux getting into the gully with much loose and minimal protection. Upper three pitches are spectacular. Wanted to get on the east ridge but large bergschrund and several slots blocked the way. Access appears to be possible by a committing rappel from Mac/Inspiration col. Current view of Terror Glacier - we needed to access from far left edge of photo at 6500' straight across to west ridge. The Money Pitches Looking back at the west ridge gully and route. Crux was accessing the gully from snow finger across moat. Gear Notes: Glacier gear, small rack to 2" & some extra webbing. Approach Notes: Trail in great shape. We took 6 hours to high camp with several breaks.
  9. Anyone been up to Inspiration lately? How does the glacier look? Headed for the East Ridge -- any update would be helpful.
  10. N. Ridge Stuart conditions?

    No snow on the ridge and you won't need crampons or Axe to get to lower ridge from Goat Pass but you will have to go down the loose dirt moraine.
  11. Lane Peak in?

    Depends what you mean by "in" -- it will go. Two chockstones on the route require some mixed climbing with marginal rock pro -- 5.6 or so. Some mid-waist wallowing interspersed with firm two dagger action. Lovers Lane is mostly drytooling. Summit pitch is dry rock to corniced ridge with two raps down the SE side.
  12. Clear Creek 2060

    I was up there on March 9th and climbed The Kone -- maybe one of the few winter ascents :-) . We had to stop the low clearance car due to snow about 4 miles from the trailhead up to 3 O'clock rock. (there was about 3 feet of snow on the road) The rock was bare and dry once we got to it... it has been a few weeks so I am sure that you could drive much further in now... maybe to the TH. From what we could see of the road it looked good. There were a couple of smallish trees across the road 3 miles in that could be taken care of with a Ax. All Culverts looked good.
  13. I am leaving Seattle early Sunday -- probably ~5:00 AM and driving up to WA Pass to climb Liberty Bell. Plan is to meet up with the first ascentionist and climb the route. PM me if interested --
  14. As I was rushing out of the Kain hut I left my Ice Axe. It is a Air Tech Grivel - Silver with a 4mm perlon red/yellow cord for a leash. It should be on the Ice Axe hooks outside the hut. $50 reward and my gratitude. - Robert
  15. Thanks to Hamballs! Ice Axe Found!!
  16. Bugs chicken wire

    there was plenty of wire there last week with a full lot -- they built two newish bins and it had piles of it along with new fence posts. Thanks for snagging my Ice Axe when you are up there :-)
  17. Anyone been lately? How is the snow up there? Same as in the cascades -- which seems about a month behind (i.e. seems like late May / Early June)? Headed up there in a couple of weeks. thanks
  18. Snow Creek Wall Conditions

    Climbed OS and some towers up there on Saturday. It was good to go -- no snow on the descent. Lots of ticks and goats to keep you company.
  19. length of Prussik Peak raps?

    I have done the raps with a 30M rope with one intermediate anchor that had tat on it already. a 50 will get you to the standard anchors.
  20. Older laid back dude (pushing 40 in search of occasional weekend alpine/crag partner(s)when I get out of dad duty. I have 15+ years of experience climbing in the cascades, sierras, coast mountains, rockies etc. I lead 5.9+ trad, low 5th class choss, 5.10+ sport. I am not looking at chasing numbers -- just enjoying some good climbs and company. Send me a message if interested.
  21. [TR] Nooksack Tower - North Face 8/25/2007

    I know it "has" been done - which is different than "it gets done". In any case - it is a cool climb that is very obvious and to be honest it did surprise me that we didn't find more signs of passage. Since I am no hardman (maybe the opposite) the reasons I can come up with are: 1) poor rock (it is good where you need it to be) 2) the circumnavigation challenge (a mtn bike left at the lodge solves this) 3) the rappels into the unknown (they are there now - might need a backup) Go get it - I want to see someone tick the traverse this summer. It is one leg of the elusive "Cascade Blue collar Triple Crown", the others being the Mt. Index complete Treverse, JBerg NE Butt and the Nooksack Traverse.
  22. [TR] Nooksack Tower - North Face 8/25/2007

    Maybe... If they did it prior to 2000 they must have levitated down from the nooksack tower summit. There was only one obvious way to rappel to the col and there was not a single sling nor pin encountered. We had to leave several along with 40 ft. of webbing. There were two spots on the ridge that required a free hanging rappel - again we had to cut one of our ropes to create more anchors. It might be a trade route but I have yet to hear of (or read) of anyone else doing it. But now that the rappels are set a strong party could probably do it in a day.
  23. [TR] Nooksack Tower - North Face 8/25/2007

    That was my TR. I did that a few years ago. I would say it is pretty classic and not that hard. Nothing harder than mid 5th class and the objective hazard is fairly low due to the traverse on the ridge tops. Be sure to check every hold. Take double 60M for the raps into the col. The position is awesome - I wish I would have climbed shuksan on the traverse - but was worried about being overdue (which we ended up being anyways) - so the complete traverse all the way to Shuksan Summit still awaits the hardy adventurer. Winter would be a great time to do it - it might make it faster.
  24. Clean Break p3-4 beta for dumb dumbs?

    Yep, as others have said you should have gone right. The idea is to regain the crest of the ridge. From the tree belay you drop down about 10 feet and head out right... If this sectio feels harder than 5.7/8 you are off route. Once on the crest there are gear opportunities so don't place a piece on the traverse if you can help it since it will result in rope drag.
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