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Everything posted by JasonG

  1. Trip: Mount Torment - North Ridge Trip Date: 08/09/2020 Trip Report: If anyone's noticed, I am not so regular at posting TRs any longer. New job, older kids, a lack of anything new to say.....the list of excuses is long. But, to be honest, this is still my favorite place in cyber-land to post vignettes of my life in the hills. So here I am, slowly plugging away at catching you all up on the riveting adventures of an aging alpine "lifer". In this installment, we pick back up in August of 2020 and on an adventure close to home for both @dberdinka and myself. Jokingly, we said that we would go on a trip wherever arcs drawn in a 60 mile radius from our homes converged. This was not absolutely true for Torment, but pretty darn close. We have an embarrassment of riches right in our own backyards! We typically only ski a few times a year together and had been talking of an alpine climb for far too long. This may have been our first time summer climbing together? But first we had to get a permit! We weren't worried about the Torment Basin zone being full, but we WERE worried about the line at the ranger station. As you all surely must know by now, a August Saturday morning at the ranger station is only slightly less crowded than Mecca during the Hajj. Since it was misting, and we only had to hike to camp, we didn't get there early, probably about 0830. We pulled number 114(??!!) and settled in for the wait. There really must be a better system than what is currently being used. I'll let you tell me exactly what in the comments below. Permit in hand we struck out in the increasingly heavy "mist" for the TH. This is the first hurdle. It isn't marked, and there isn't a lot of traffic up it to make where the trail leaves from the Cascade River Road obvious. Look for it on the right, just after the 2nd bridge over the Cascade River, past the Eldo TH. Space for one car on the right and the trail takes off steeply just across the road. It starts out vague and gets better as you get higher. Decades ago this sounds like it was a major thoroughfare, but it has fallen into obscurity. Yes, you heard me. This is a route in the Cascade River corridor where solitude on an August weekend is possible! I'll let you figure out where the trail is and where it goes, however. Good things come to those who investigate. So I'll skip ahead to arriving a few hours later in the basin. It had stopped raining but was still damp, cool, and cloudy. We wandered for a decent amount of time, looking for established camps. Finding none (obscurity!), we found a flatish slab of rock and cleared the loose stones for an OK night. It didn't help I forgot my pad at the car. D'oh! Nevermind that, I certainly couldn't complain. I was with the one and only @dberdinka on an honest to goodness climb! I was also nervous. You all know how fast, competent, and technically savvy Mr. Berdinka is- I had to buck up and look tough. The alarm went off quite early (did I expect anything else?) and @dberdinka was immediately ready, or so it seemed. I fumbled around the tent for a bit but eventually got it together and we set off in the dim mists for the col that would take us around to the North side of Torment. Be warned that you will need to do one 30m rap to get past an imposing gully of doom along the way. There is a horn for an anchor, but I'll let you find it. Obscurity! And then, you'll need to expeditiously move under and away from a non-daddy friendly ice cliff. Channel your inner Ueli: But don't worry, alpine glory aspirants, at this point you've reached the promised land! Firm rock (4th and easy 5th), outrageous position, and no other parties to ruin your wilderness experience. It really is worth the price of admission. It is an Ed Cooper climb, after all. The only downside to climbs like this, of course, is that they are over too soon. But, we have wives and kids that want us to come home at a reasonable hour, so all good things in moderation. @dberdinka looking fashionable on the summit: As with most North Cascadian summits, there was then the question of which way down? We hemmed and hawed, ultimately eschewing the standard SE face descent (how would the moat be? Would we end up like Craig Luebben?) for the wandering South Ridge (standard approach to TFT). While this isn't a terrible way up, it isn't a great way down. Lots of insecure scrambling between raps where a fall would most likely be fatal. Again, not exactly daddy friendly. But, we survived to reach our camp and the delightful meadows of Torment Basin a couple hours later. And you probably will too. So, next August, don't complain that there are crowds on "all" the classic climbs in NCNP. Go do some exploring! Gear Notes: 60m half rope, light rack, helmet, axe, crampons, etc. We used rock shoes, but you probably don't need them (we didn't know what to expect). The full alpine kit! Approach Notes: The "excellent" Torment Basin route. Green Fred details it nicely. It needs some traffic, however!
  2. I really miss the insane reports he used to regularly post around these parts. I hope he is alive and well! This page goes dark after 2013: http://www.summitpost.org/dan-helmstadter-ski-resume/434097
  3. Whatever happened to Dan Helmstadter?

    When the days get shorter and the snow starts to appear on the hills, I think of Dan. I hope is is doing well, wherever he is, and whatever he is doing. I really appreciate all the inspiration he gave us over the years, and hope to see more TRs from him in the future. This was the last one I could find: https://turns-all-year.com/trip-reports/june-7-2017-north-face-northwest-couloir-mt-shuksan
  4. So great! This has been on my fall list....thanks for the details on an efficient link-up and the great images!
  5. for sale Misc rock ice and alpine gear

    iPhone photos don't work on the site @ferson206, unless you convert them....sorry.
  6. Price Avalanche + Rescue

    $900pp. But it was only $300pp before all these supply chain disruptions.
  7. This week's installment of Slurpee Death, brought to you by Mount Shuksan..... tune in next Monday for the main event on the Coleman Headwall!
  8. Trip: Beebe Mountain - NE ridge Trip Date: 05/02/2021 Trip Report: A few weeks ago, @Trent and I missed the Seattle memo that everyone was to leave town with their bikes and convene at the Ross Dam TH to bike the highway before it opened. Because of that we started early enough to be quite surprised upon our return to see a steady line of bikes on the highway, going both ways! We also missed the dude backing his Sprinter over a carbon fiber road bike in the parking lot (his bike, thankfully). Apparently they make quite the pop when they explode. But I digress. BEEBE! BEEEEEEBEEEEEEEEE! Why isn't this peak more popular, given the views and access? There isn't any brush to speak of and you are pretty much guaranteed solitude in the increasingly slammed North Cascades. Is everyone on the Birthday tour? Maybe the lines will form when the snow melts and people are stuck in traffic on 20. May as well pull over and grab a summit! Just be warned that there isn't flagging any longer. We pulled a ridiculous amount down on our way up, filling our pockets. C'mon people, it isn't a hard mountain to find! Oh, and just make sure you wax your snowshoes if you go early in the season. We saw what my wildlife biologist friends called wolverine tracks Gear Notes: Bikes and .....sigh....snowshoes Approach Notes: From Hwy 20 follow timbered ridge just south of Beebe Creek
  9. [TR] Beebe Mountain - NE ridge 05/02/2021

    Ah! Was wondering if anyone was going to take a look at that....and yes, I think you are right about the season that it would be the most "fun". Here is another view to whet your appetite: Access in the winter would be "reasonable" with a sled, if you are into that sort of thing.
  10. North Fork Crag (((renaissance&revolt)))

    I would think the NF Snoqualmie would be tough to cross in the rainy season? Not to rain on your parade....
  11. Bush pilots to coast range

    We should go to the Franklin or Dais Glaciers ski touring next year!
  12. Kid carrying packs

    It might not block pee, but this one looks quite nice: https://www.deuter.com/us-en/shop/backpacks/p226112-child-carrier-kid-comfort
  13. Cool! This has been on the list for a long time.....looks like I need to make it happen. Did you bump into a couple of friends of mine coming in via Cougar Divide?
  14. Looking for private climbing training

    "Let's go skiing!"
  15. Looking for private climbing training

    No, mostly due to the fact that alpine/ice/mountaineering is far more enjoyable to teach (and be taught) during these months. You'll soon see why, but hiking during the Nov-April time frame should help with your appreciation for what the winter months bring to the mountains around here.
  16. Excellent! I really should go back there as it looks beautiful and I haven't been on Cashmere since around 1995. I've forgotten pretty much all of it! Thanks for the great pictures....
  17. Thanks to @olyclimber for creating a safe space for a photo nerd like me..... If you're here, you probably care about your photos. Or maybe you are just here to make fun of people that carry too much weight! But, regardless, what is your photo system and why? For me, it is a full frame dSLR (nikon D750), mostly because the mirrorless options weren't quite there yet when I bought my latest camera. Why full frame?? That is a very good question....but I am just a sucker for a nice image and a 35mm sensor seems to to that and still be something you can carry up a mountain. My main lens is a Nikon 24-120mm f4 that is OK, but not great. I sometimes lug a 70-300mm tele that is f3.5-5.6ish. Nothing fancy since the finance minister (and my kids) won't let be spring for f2.8 glass or better. My one splurge is a 20mm f1.8 that I bought used for astrophotraphy. I hang a Lowepro case on my chest to carry the camera, supported by p-cord and biners off the pack straps. For more technical routes (~>5.5ish) I have a Canon S120 on my shoulder strap. Now, I would probably spring for a Canon R5 or Nikon Z7 for a dSLR and a Sony RX100 for a P&S.... Maybe in a few years..... The nerd on the summit of Mt. Anderson earlier this summer....
  18. Incredible! What a climb, what a pain, glad it all worked out for both of you. That looks like an impressive adventure that you'll remember as long as you have memories.
  19. What is your photo system and why?

    @Otto.....if you don't care about shooting RAW, I think you could go with something much cheaper than the RX100. I've always had good luck with Canon P&S cameras, and have never broken one, actually. My sons still use my older ones for messing around and they haven't killed one either! You may check this one out, it would likely fit the bill: https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/products/details/cameras/point-and-shoot-digital-cameras/long-zoom-cameras/powershot-sx620-hs
  20. mountain/outdoor photography forum

    I will advise on what not to do!
  21. Thanks for the reminder to return!
  22. So amazing!!! I'm glad you made it out OK, fingers doing well?
  23. ONP permit system questions

    Ain't that the truth! My experience at ONP definitely jives with yours. Best of the bunch (on average), by far. Some of the ranger interaction stories I have personally collected over the years from the other two parks boggle the mind. I mean I understand that they work with the public and all, but..... ONP shows that you can thread that needle with the right leadership!
  24. Current NCNP smoke conditions

    Forecast: https://firesmoke.ca/forecasts/current/ Current conditions, including Marblemount and Newhalem: https://aqicn.org/map/washington/ Beware the Pincer fire if you are headed to Boston Basin, it makes for a long walk (road closed MP 16): https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7797/
  25. The Dynamic Duo returns yet again to harvest from the orchard! Thanks for sharing the meal- we all look forward to the next installment! And, I must say, an exit down the Baker River??!! That conveys the apparent seriousness of what that plume must have looked like.....to one of you.