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Everything posted by Jason_Martin

  1. Ice climb practice area before 8/5/06 (Seattle)

    The ice caves are nowhere near as good as baker. In addition to that, I belive that they can be a little dangerous... Jason
  2. Homicides on the trail?!?!

    I grew up two houses away from the two women who were murdered. They have been family friends since I was 13. This is an utterly terrible loss...there really is nothing more senseless than taking a person´s life... Jason
  3. Ice climb practice area before 8/5/06 (Seattle)

    The lower Coleman Glacier on Mount Baker is an excellent place to ice climb during the summer months. The approach is short and there is a lot to choose from. See the Washington Ice Guide for approach directions. Jason
  4. Global Warming is Bad... I'm currently in Bolivia but haven't been here for a couple years. The bottom of the glacier in the condoriri region has melted back twenty to thirty feet in two years. Numerous routes have changed significantly or don't exist anymore. Some have become more difficult, while others especially waterfall routes don't seem to come in as often anymore. If you want to climb in South America, do it soon. I don't think the highest mountains will ever totally melt out, but the route selections are going to diminish a lot in the next ten to twenty years... Jason
  5. Kangaroo Temple conditions?

    Mornings are still cold with firm conditions. An ice axe would be nice. Jason
  6. Ice in Stehekin?

    Here's a tough question for Washington Ice Climbers... Has anyone ever climbed ice in the Stehekin area? In particular has anyone sent Rainbow Falls? I'm interested in anything that people might have done that was accessed via Lake Chelan. As most of you know I'm one of the two guidebook authors working on a Washington State Ice Guide. We are hoping to have this project finished at the end of the ice season this year. So if anyone has any info at all it would be greatly appreciated. Email beta to wastateice@yahoo.com or directly to me at j_dougie@yahoo.com. Thanks to everyone who has helped with this project thus far. Jason
  7. City Park History

    I'm currently working on an article about Index for a Seattle newspaper and I want to try to get a few facts straight. I'm interested in knowing if anybody is aware of any free ascents of City Park in Index since Todd Skinner and Hugh Herr in 1986? If you are aware of a free ascent, who was involved? Jason
  8. Bitten at Tieton

    I had the very same experience there. And honestly, it's the main reason I haven't gone back there to climb again. Jason
  9. I climbed the yellow line on Pequena Alpamyo, but we didn't traverse right. Instead we went straight up. The line traversing to the right was primarily composed of ice that was semi-detached from the rock and kind of scary. I'd agree with Dalius, Bolivia is super fun and not very crowded. I'm going back next month! Jason
  10. Rappel Etiquette

    There is a trick that may be useful when rappelling a popular route. Recently a tech tip in Climbing magazine dubbed this technique "saddlebags" for lack of a better term. The idea is to thread the rope (or ropes) and then to butterfly coil the remainder of the rope. After you are finished coiling, clip it through a sling to your harness. I often lay the rope in the center of the sling and then clip one biner to my harness and then clip the other biner to the biner that is already clipped. If you do this correctly, the rope will feed out of the sling through your rappel device. You will not have to throw the rope down the cliff at all. This is an especially good technique when it is difficult to hear or see parties below you. Jason
  11. Colfax Peak

    The Cosley-Houston route on Colfax Peak is in! Get it while it's hot...or cold as it may be! Jason
  12. The line Gene and I attempted was the red line in the center of your topo. We really only climbed a pitch because at the time the ice was absolutely terrible. I'm psyched to hear that so many people are getting after that peak. It really is a little hidden gem. Jason
  13. The Bible says...

    This system works very well...however, I've found that butterfly knots work much better than overhand knots. If you practice your crevasse rescue techniques, passing the knot through the system is not that big a deal. Where there is a problem sometimes is in the knot cutting deeply into the lip of the crevasse. Sometimes the knot entrenches itself so deeply that it is incredibly difficult to pull out of the lip. I've created a 9 to 1 and even a 12 to 1 pulley system to fix this. On a two man team, I usually put a few knots in the rope between myself and my partner. I'd rather have to deal with the problems that the knots cause following a crevasse fall than the problems caused by being at the bottom of a crevasse. Jason
  14. big four

    Bull and shit. As a climber you well know mountain weather can change quickly. There is a difference surviving an extra 24 hours in the summer and during a blizzard. This all depends on the peak. The history of Big Four is full of forced bivys. The bigger the peak, the longer the window is before you should call out the rescue. On Chair Peak, I might wait 12 hours and feel like there's probably something wrong, but on Big Four or on J-Berg or other peaks of that type...climbers attempting those mountains in winter conditions should be able to deal with a blizzard and if they can't, then they shouldn't be up there. Based on the banter here, most people don't know how big Big Four really is. If you look at the notes in the Washington Ice Guide, you'll see that a large percentage of those on first ascents on the mountain were forced to bivy. I think that anyone attempting a route of such size in a day should get at least a 24 hour window before calling out the troops. Jason
  15. I've submitted a bit to climbingredrocks.com...and I have to say that the new format lacks soul. The design of the old page, the way it looked and the rough edges gave it character. The new thing looks very professional and as such lacks that special something that made it an enjoyable site prior to the revamping... Jason
  16. Nalgene Danger

    Have you guys heard about this? web page Sketchy! Jason
  17. Red Rocks in January: Suggestions

    It is true that people climb routes in the shade throughout the winter. However, Red Rock has extremely varied temperatures throughout the cold season. Three weeks ago, there were three ice climbs on the North facing walls at the back of Oak Creek Canyon. These come in and go out throughout the winter. There is ice and streaks of ice in each of the canyons when it is cold. Obviously climbing a route like Epinephrine which is completely shaded in these conditions is less than ideal. The low winter sun also puts routes that are in the sun in the fall and spring in the sun for a much shorter period of time. The lower half of Cat in the Hat -- and even the upper half for an hour or so -- is in the shade much of the winter day. Geronimo is only in the sun for a couple hours in the morning. Stuff on the lower part of the Solar Slab Wall gets a great deal of shade by ten or eleven in the morning. If it is cloudy or windy, it doesn't matter too much if your in the shade or the sun. You'll be cold. On the other hand, yesterday it was 65 degrees or warmer on Solar Slab. Jason
  18. RMI Guide Try-out 2006 questions...

    I don't disagree with anything you said... But just my luck...Two thirds of the time I work with return clients who want to climb 5.7... Jason
  19. Las Vegas ice climbing

    Russ, Where did you find that route? I soloed Little Falls last week as it was falling apart...fun for awhile anyway. Jason
  20. Ice Climbing Ethics

    I do agree with this, but unfortunately not everyone understands this. But I also agree with the "Redneck Rule" that states that as soon as you put yourself underneath someone you are ultimately responsible for the consequences. In a previous post, you asked if I would climb under someone else. The answer is no, not unless I felt that I could mitigate the danger somehow. The same for if I were to rappel into a position where I would then be underneath someone. Now back to the first part about the etiquette of climbing beneath someone. In some cases it may be unintentionally rude to put this burden on another team. However, there are numerous long routes wherein one may not even be aware that there is another team on the route because they are so high. This brings us back to the idea that whoever is beneath must be aware of the potential consequences. The bottom team -- whether rappelling or climbing -- must be responsible for themselves. Making a comment to a leader who has put his team into a compromising position might be worthwhile. Unfortunately though, very few climbers are willing to listen to constructive criticism from other climbers while on a route. Jason
  21. Ice Climbing Ethics

    Ryland, I have mixed feelings about your story. The guy put himself and his less knowledgable partner into harms way by climbing beneath you. I wonder if you guys had a conversation about this when the guy showed up? I also wonder if you could read the inexperience below from above...? I think its clear that you guys were more experienced climbers, yet you made a choice to rappel into a situation where you'd be below the other guys. It is my feeling that though the inexperienced party may have been a danger to themselves, you guys made a choice which made them a danger to you. I understand that it would have sucked to wait for them to top out before rappelling, but perhaps that would have been the better choice. I think your partner's wish to "kick the guy's ass" is a little over the top. Unfortunately, on ice sometimes other parties must be thought of as objective danger...especially inexperienced parties... Jason
  22. Mazama ice

    Sorry, I'm in Las Vegas rock climbing in the sun. I haven't had my finger on the pulse of what's going on over there recently. Jason
  23. Mazama ice

    Here's some new beta Mark Allen sent me. This information should be used in conjunction with the "Washington Ice" guidebook. This is still raw data, so use it as you will. Liberty Ice – WI 4 Length: 80 Feet Avalanche Danger: Moderate to Serious First Ascent: Mark Allen and Brenden, 2004 Approach: This route can be found one hundred feet to the right of the Inspiration Route on Liberty Bell, but it cannot be seen from the road. Approach as for the East Face. There is a large arch on the right wall with a northwest aspect. Under the arch there is a gully that the route is tucked back inside. Go past the a boulder/chalkstone to the base of the route. Route: Climb the beautiful blue Canadian style ice. Beware, this route tends to be an early phenomenon possibly the result of heavy rains. It tends to get covered by mid-season. Descent: Rappel the route using V-Threads. LB 2 – WI 4 The name of this route stands for Liberty Bell 2, the Department of Transportations identification for the avalanche gully coming down from the Liberty Bell Massif. Length: 800 Feet Avalanche Danger: Serious First Ascent: Mark Allen and Brenden, November 2004 Approach: This route can be found in the massive avalanche gully near the hairpin. This is the gully that usually closes the highway. Route: Pitch One: Climb a thin ramble, passing a large boulder. (100 Feet, WI 3) Pitch Two: Ascend easy snow to the next flow. Build an anchor at the fork. (200 Feet) Pitch Three – Left Gully: Ascend a nice variation. This can be continued beyond the obvious end through mixed conditions up loose blocks. Most finish at the top of the easy climbing and lower or rappel back down to the anchor. (WI 3, 80 Feet) Pitch Three – Right Gully: Ascend a short pitch up a curtain. (WI 4) Pitch Four – Right Gully: Continue up the second curtain to a good tree belay. (100 Feet, WI 4) Descent: Go south into the LB 1 Gully. Downscramble LB 1 to the road. Goat Wall Area: Gate Creek needs to be divided into Upper and Lower Gate Creek. Cinnamon Stick – WI 5? Length: ? Avalanche Danger: ? First Ascent: Sean McCabe and Steve House, January 2004 Approach: This route can be found in lower Gate Creek. The entrance gully is climber’s right of the Gate Creek classic, Gate Creek Falls. Rumors of Ice: • There is a second climb in the area of Cinnamon Stick that has yet to be climbed. Indeed there may be up to three or four 100 foot mixed routes in this vicinity that could be put up. • There is a 100 foot unnamed WI 3+ at the top of the lower Gate Creek Area. It is possible to rap this route. It was first climbed by Steve House and Ottis Buzzard in 2003. Descents for Lower Gate Creek – Walk back through forest and rappel down into Gate Creek. Gate Creek Falls has bolt anchors for a rappel descent. Southern Comfort – WI 3+ Length: 100 Feet Avalanche Danger: ? First Ascent: Mark Allen and Gram Zimmerman, 2004 Approach: This route can be found on the opposite side of Gate Creek from the second pitch of Gate Creek Falls. This is the southeast side. Route: Climb a beautiful pitch of amber colored ice. Descent: Traverse 100 feet up creek into a major cleft/chimney system. Rappel off a tree into the creek. In Upper Gate Creek there is a small cirque. This area has a number of mixed climbs that are not bolted but have been climbed by Steve, Larry, and Scott Johnson. Double Tree – WI 4, M4, III+ Consider this an all day route. Length: ? Avalanche Danger: ? First Ascent: Anne Keller and Steve House Approach: This route can be found beyond “The Bear.” To approach, pass the Goat Wall Creek drainage. The route rambles down Goat Wall and the second pitch – a WI 4 curtain – can be seen from the road. Cut straight through the forest from the road. Route: Pitch One: Climb a 120 foot pitch at WI 3+, M4. The pitch is scary to top out on. At approximately 90 feet, begin to drytool on snow-covered rock. Build a belay with cams 30 feet above the ice. Pitch Two: Ascend the WI 4 curtain. The curtain itself is about 50 feet long. After topping out on this feature, trend left up rambles and blocks to an alcove where a belay can be made in a small curtain. Pitch Three: Ascend a short pitch up the curtain and snowy rambles to a snow covered ledge system. (WI 3) Pitch Four: Ascend thin ice and snow covered rock for fifty feet. Beware there is no gear on this M2 pitch. Trend left through a small chimney. Top out on slope on top of the wall. Improvise anchors with shrubs and boulders. Descent: Walk skiers left and rappel off good trees. Make a 200 foot rappel to a nice ledge. Make a second rappel toward the tree that looks like it has a giant afro, “the afro tree.” Rappel off the afro tree. Reportedly there are four rappels on this descent. Between Gate Creek and Double Tree – Climber’s left of Double Tree, there are two mixed lines. First Mixed Line – 5.9+ Length: Two Pitches Avalanche Danger: ? First Ascent: Steve House? Approach: The first mixed line has a small goatee of ice that forms above. Below the Goatee there is a weakness of discontinuous cracks and blocks. Route: Ascend the first 100 foot pitch at 5.9+. This is full mixed climbing with pins and trad gear. Some pins may still be there after the first ascent. Belay at 100 feet at a small ledge and “chalkblock.” Ascend the second pitch of serious mixed climbing. Ascend into ice, then complete a 25 foot mixed traverse across a ramp. Continue up through thin ice and more mixed climbing to an overhang and a nut anchor. Beware the top-out is on a slopey ledge. Descent: A single double rope rappel will bring you to the ground. Second Mixed Line – M4 Length: ? Avalanche Danger: ? First Ascent: Steve House, Mark Allen and Scott Johnson Approach: This second line can be found climbers right of the first mixed line. Walk up the gulley to a landing. This route starts at a flow that comes out of a chimney system. Route: Ascend the chimney system for half of a pitch. This will spit you out onto the face. Ascend mixed ground for fifty more feet. Descent: Walk off to skiers left down a ramp. This will deposit you in the gully you started in. Sword of Damocles – WI 5? This route is considered by many to be the most aesthetic line in the Methow Valley. On the first ascent, the climbers were stemming between the Dagger and the rock, with a great deal of air under their feet. Length: ? Avalanche Danger: ? First Ascent: ? Approach: Approach as for Rapier and belay in the same area as for the first pitch of Rapier. Do not climb the route unless the Dagger has touched down. Route: Ascend a full pitch of WI 2-3 rambles climber’s right of Rapier and build a belay. For the second pitch, ascend the “Dagger of God.” This pitch is WI 5 or harder. It may be possible to continue up for more pitches. Descent: Unknown – it may be possible to ascend via the Standard.
  24. Washington Crack Workshop

    Perhaps the better way to do this would be to keep routes in a given area together. That way a person will be able to work on a number of routes in their grade. I actually tried to do the J-Tree workshop for awhile. In theory it brings you up to 5.12 trad. The problem with it is that things are so spread out. You go and do a route on the list and then just hang out where that route was for the rest of the day. Jason
  25. EDK rappells

    I was refferring to the second picture in Matt's post as an Overhand Flat Knot or an EDK. I tie my cordellettes together with this knot in order to untie them quickly and easily. I untie them a lot. There are a couple of reasons I do this. First, I untie them in order to tie figure-eight knots in the ends. I can then clip the ends into side pieces of an anchor and use the cordellete as a webolette by pulling down the strands in between the pieces and tying it off with an eight. Second, I climb in areas where there are not always a lot of slings left behind. Or I don't trust the webbing that has been left. For example, I climb in Red Rock most of the winter season. When I get here much of the webbing on the classic routes has serious sun damage from the summer heat. I will cut up my cordelletes to replace what needs to be replaced. Third, as a climbing guide I often short rope clients with an open cordellete. Fourth, there are a number of rock rescue techniques wherein I need more cordage than a closed cordellete will allow. Lastly, I primarily use seven millimeter cord for my cordelletes. Nothing seems to move within the knot when I use my double overhand flat knots. I think that covers it... Jason