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Everything posted by mark

  1. Bad rock? Good rock?

    I‘ve seen a couple of postings here lately that refer to the rock quality on a route as really bad, when in my opinion its just average. What’s up with that? Are people’s perceptions being scewed by too much cragging or is it because we’re mostly doing heavy traffic rock routes, like the Becky route on L.B . Specifically, a recent post referred to the rock on Torment as being shitty, I found it average for the Cascades. A couple of three weeks ago P. Pusher, referred to the west ridge of Sherpa as looser than a cheap hooker, I thought the rock on that route was typical of the granite in the Stuart range, quite good actually. Not all the rock measures up to Prussik peak or the North ridge of Stuart, but those are 10’s on a ten point scale. Most routes have some loose rock that makes them average, for example Torment, Black peak or even Goode. I wouldn’t say the rock on these routes is bad, just average, and rock quality would be no reason to forgo climbing these routes. Are our expectations too high? Why do you think that is? On a related note. What route has the worse rock in the Cascades? My vote would be for the 150 ft of class three in the U notch on the way from Glacier basin to the Pride galcier on Kyes peak. Not vertical, but also not a solid piece of rock on the whole thing. Rgds
  2. Bad rock? Good rock?

    Yeah, I'm sure the volcanos have the worst. Lucky for us their covered with snow and ice. Well I don't know if I'd go so far as to say I like chossy rock, but its there regardless and is just one more part of climbing that keeps it interesting. Ironically, my closest call with loose rock happened on the west ridge of Forbidden famous for its high quality rock. We were trying to hurry while down climbing and I reached up and pulled down a 200 lb block that was balanced in place. I got my leg/foot out of the way just in time. That was eye opening and changed the way I climbed.
  3. S. Ridge of Torment

    I did the South ridge route a couple of weeks ago (Sat 7/7) We approached from Boston Basin which took about 2 hours from the car to the top of the Taboo glacier. It was short enough and straight forward enough, that I don't see why you would risk taking the Torment basin approach. The gully that leads from the glacier to the notch in the ridge was part snow, part rock, but was not a problem. I thought the rock was reasonalbly good for the cascades, but not as good as Forbidden. The route moves along the left side of the ridge probably 200 ft or so below the crest for about 5 pitches before an easy gully takes you up and over the ridge, then you finish on third class ground. Because your climbing on the side of the ridge instead of the crest, the route isn't as good as some other ridge routes (imho). To descend, we down climbed the S.E. face most of the way and then made a couple of single rope raps to clear the moat and some steep snow/partial shrund. Round trip took us 9.5 hours from the car. Although it won't make my top ten list, I still thought it was a fun route and good enough to recommend. Have a great time. Regards [This message has been edited by mark (edited 07-18-2001).]
  4. Spousal Abuse

    Baker and Shuksan are good pics but you don't need 4 days for either of them, you can do them in 2. So why waste your long break on something that can be done on a weekend. How about one of the 9,000 footers that are more suited for a 3/4 day trip. How about the northeast butress of Goode and if things go right on a 4 day trip you can tag Logan or Storm King as well. Whatever you decide, enjoy your climbing. Rgds
  5. What is the best beer on Earth

    The best beer on earth use to be Schmidt, now it is Schmidt Ice. When I first started climbing, my partner and I would drive up to index after work, climb routes until dusk, then polish off a half rack of Schmidt Ice in the parking lot before driving home to our wives. Now, I'm divorced and he's in AA. Still at the end of along day of climbing nothing beats a schmitty. [This message has been edited by mark (edited 06-28-2001).]
  6. Baker, North Ridge

    We did the route on Wednesday (6/20). It was warm that day (freezing level 12,000 ft) so the snow was a little soft crossing the glacier and climbing up to just below the ice pitch. The ice on the ice pitch was hard and dinner plated a lot. Above the ice pitch, the snow was firmer all the way to the summit. Then on descent, once we got below the roman wall it was soft and post hole city.
  7. Anybody out there with any beta on the descent of the south face. Is down climbing the ridge an option? How about the approach, any tricks, or is it straightforward? Thanks in advance for the help. Rgds
  8. Approach to Sherpa Peak?

    Yes, it can be done in a long day, and I think it is probably best to do it that way (why hump all that overnight gear up and over Longs Pass-twice). Below is a copy of my TR from my trip last fall on a cold October day. The day we did it the route featured an ample peppering of verglas in the shady sections. If your interested email me and I'll send you the whole trip report including pictures. CLIMB: SHERPA - WEST RIDGE DATE: 10/01/00 THE PARTICULARS: The approach – Up and over Longs pass and then east to the junction with the Beverly Turnpike trail. Find the way trail on the left margin of the meadow there and follow it up through the meadow. Towards the top of the meadow the way trail takes a left into the woods. Continue through the woods on the way trail until things open up and the way trail drops into a gully towards the right with a stream bed. Ascend the gully to approx. 6’200 feet, then climb up and over the rib to your right and find a descent into the boulder field basin. 2000 feet of boulder hopping will get you to the Stuart/Sherpa col and the start of the route. The bivy - We bivied in the parking lot. You would be a fool to bivy any higher than the bottom of the Ingalls creek valley. You should be able to do the route in a day from there. But if you don’t mind humping your gear higher and you just like a good bivy experience, I did notice a bivy site right in the Stuart/ Sherpa col that looked like a cool place to spend the night. The route - From the col, climb up steep 4th/low 5th class terrain on the N. side of the ridge, for about 2 rope lengths, to end up on the ridge. Scramble a fairly easy ledge system from there over to the bottom of the crux pitch, which is actually on a subsidiary ridge that runs north/south and intersects with the west ridge. The belay for the crux pitch is over a small cave like thing. Climb the crux pitch to the top of the subsidiary ridge and a nest of old slings where you can belay. The crux is a pair of cracks that transition rightward into a chimney move. The last pitch leads back to the west ridge and then over 2 step across moves and up a slab with a shallow ledge on it to the summit. The descent – Climb back across one of the step across moves to a nest of old slings, from here rap down the chimney (be careful of stuck ropes, better to rap toward the west and not directly down chimney). Scramble along the north side of the ridge until well past the obelisk (the obelisk will not be visible), then look to cut to the south side of the ridge. We protected one rope length here, there is some exposure (it was icy the day we did it). Continue to the south gully, where a “Cascadian couloir” like section can be descended back to the boulder basin. The alternative is to down climb and rap the route. The rack – One 50 meter rope is sufficient. Light rack, we took 5 cams from 2 inches down to the blue tcu, #8 and #7 hexes and 5 medium to small size stoppers. The time: Approach 5 hours from parking lot to Stuart Sherpa col. 3 hours on route. 2 hours rappeling and down climbing the south face route. Another 3.5 hours from top of S. face gully to the car [This message has been edited by mark (edited 06-21-2001).]
  9. Boston Basin current conditions?

    I would also recommend 2 ropes, leave one at the top of the couloir and use it just for rapping the couloir. You don’t need it on the ridge. We climbed it in August and had an almost identical experience to Mr. D. P. Smith. As we rapped the couloir late in the afternoon a party of two climbers were just coming up it unroped in soft slushy snow. The lead guy asked how we had climbed it that morning and when we told him that we had belayed up it and placed some rock pro in the sides, he snotted off with something like “Why would you do that, wasn’t that painfully slow”. No sooner were the words out of his mouth, when his bad karma caught up to him, he lost his footing in the sloppy snow and was off on an uncontrollable ride. He gathered speed so quickly that he sailed over the first small ‘shrund’ that was a third of the way up the couloir and bounced off the down hill edge of it with such force that he probably would have broken his back if he hadn’t been wearing a pack. He then continued to accelerate down the couloir till he finally smacked off the side and ended up landing face first in the moat only 25 feet uphill from the bigger 70 foot deep shrund at the bottom of the couloir, where he surely would have met an untimely end. He lay in the moat for about 15 minutes, moaning over and over, “my face …oohhhhh my face”. Eventually, he was able to climb out of the moat under his own power and continue his climb, but you could tell by looking at him he was in considerable pain. It was the closest call I’ve witnessed in the mountains. 2 ropes is probably the best option for descending the couloir.
  10. SilverStar

    We did it on Saturday of Memorial day weekend. The climbers trail was snow free up to the bench area just below burgundy col. From the bench up to burgundy col there was a mix of snow and scree. We didn't rope up for the glacier, it appeared in good shape, and we couldn't see any holes. The 3rd class scramble to the summit block is hard to find, but any alternative harder scrambling section is short and I would doubt you'd need a rope for that either, depending on your comfort level. Awesome north cascade views, enjoy yourself. Hope this helps
  11. Here's a test

    I heard a story that it was called library ledge because a porno magazine was left there stashed behind a flake. True?
  12. Top 10 Glissades in the state

    Too funny.. by mere seconds. I'm glad someone else agrees with me. I've done some of the other glisades mentioned here, and they aren't even close. But there is no such thing as a bad glissade. Rgds [This message has been edited by mark (edited 05-15-2001).]
  13. Top 10 Glissades in the state

    From Camp Hazard all the way down to the Nisqually glacier. It has to be close to 4,000 vertical feet of glissading. I did it 12 seasons ago and I'm still waiting to find a better glissade. South spur of Adams is a distant second choice. Rgds
  14. Spickard

    I did this route early season (memorial day weekend) a couple of years back. When we did it the ridge was mostly snow with scarry cornices. A few rocks stuck out that we slung for pro (take some doubles). We tread a fine line along the ridge between the cornices and the steep snow face above the bergshrund, until we were able to cross over to the south(?) side and finish via an easy one rope length scramble to the top. You may find similar conditions given the time of year you are climbing it. Hope this helps.
  15. Chiwawa & Cloudy Peak

    Below is my trip report from climbing Chiwawa a couple of years ago. We climbed the icefall, but that can be easily avoided by passing it on the right. Otherwise you'd follow the same route we did. Hope this helps. CLIMB: CHIWAWA - LYMAN GLACIER DATE: 8/22/99-8/23/99 PARTY: ME & PHIL CLARK This climb proved to be an easy straight forward climb and approach. We drove to the Phelps creek trailhead and made the 5 mile hike up to spider meadows without incident. After a short break we headed up toward some bivy spots on the upper edge of the valley about 500-700 feet below spider col. It probably took about 5 hours for the approach. I carried my boots in which slowed me down somewhat. The next morning we got up at 5:00 and were at spider col by about 7:00. A short trip down the other side got us to the edge of the Lyman glacier where we roped up with the entire route in view. From there the climbing is really straight forward. We walked across to the ice fall where we got about 2 and a half pitches of ice. Not real steep but with a couple of bumps and bulges to make it fun. Then a relatively flat section, followed by a steeper upper headwall of hard snow probably about 40 degreees. I made the mistake of taking off my crampons for the upper headwall and got surprised when we hit a stretch of hard ice part way up. Phil drove in a picket for me while I, totally sketched out and hating life, got my crampons on in mid slope. We finished climbing the headwall and got to a small col. We drop our packs there and made a a short 10 minute scramble up easy rock to the summit arriving about 1:00. DESCENT The descent was easy though it was steep in places. You can skirt the ice fall on the left (on the left as you descend). SUMMARY Easy alpine ice climb, almost a little to easy. It was a good first alpine ice climb for Phil and I. We moved a little slow. There were too many people hiking in this area, it detracted from the experience. RACK - Standard glacier gear, two tools, 6 screws, 3 pickets. More than we needed. TIME - Trailhead to camp at just 700 ft below spider col 5 hours. Camp to Summit left at 6:00 arrive at summit 12:30 - 6.5 hours. Left summit about 1:00 back to Camp by 4:00 3 hours. Camp to Cars left at 4:00 arrived at 7:30 3.5 hours.
  16. What route for first time up Rainier?

    I've only done the Kautz, it offers: 1) The steep chute just out of camp hazard that makes the climb interesting. 2) A great continuous glissade from camp hazard all of the way down to the nisqually glacier. 3) A less crowded route in comparison to alternative. Rgds Rgds
  17. Snow Pants???

    Fishsticks makes his point very well and based on my experiences I would heartily agree with him. When faced with the prospects of replacing my “snow pants” I opted for a pair of insulated Scholler pants for my winter outings and I have not been dissapointed. I was so impressed with their peformance, that I bought a second uninsulated pair for 3 season use. I ended up getting an insulated pair of the Mammut Pollock/Pollux(name?) made of scholler fabric for winter/ice climbing use. I’ve had them for 2 seasons now and they are great. They are plenty water resistant so that I’ve not used shell gear since I bought them. I’ve never been cold in them. They fit closer, stretch more than shell gear and are lighter, so movement is easier and you can see your feet better. They simply make climbing more fun and I would highly recommend them. Pro Mountain Sports sells these pants. Since shell gear does spend most of its time in your pack, especially if you are wearing scholler pants, I went for a super light, very cheap pair of lowe adrenalin pants (10 oz, $80) for back up. Not very durable, but since I’ve had my scholler pants I haven’t had to wear them. When conditions are bad enough where it warrants shell gear over scholler pants (i.e. puking wet snow), most likely I’m going to be heading home, if I’m not there already. Rgds
  18. Colchuck Lake Trail

    My advice would be to take snowshoes and then ditch them if you find they aren’t necessary. Last year on the weekend of 4/15, we went into the lake with out them based on some beta that they weren’t necessary (I think the beta was posted on Rock and Ice) we ended up post holing for 8-9 miles. The approach was so hard and took so long that it ruined our climbing plans. I think the need for them can vary from day to day. I hope you don't mind a response that isn't related to current conditions, but I think our experience is relevant to your question. Rgds
  19. Approach Shoes

    I bought a pair of 5.10 guide almighties last year, I also have a pair of Garmont Sticky Weekends and just aquired a pair of lowa-triolets. Here are my comments: Rock Climbing- Guide almighties rule. They climb rock like a pair of loose fitting rock shoes. They have a sticky rubber sole and are flexible so they don't edge, but they smear well. The lowa triolets are next best, they are stiff enough to edge well. Sticky weekends, not good , even though I fit them tight they just don't edge that well or smear well. Trails- the guide almighties have a smoothdot sole limiting traction. They are really comfortable, but lightweight, like a tennis shoe, and not real good tracton if things are wet or muddy. The Triolets are more like a light hiking boot so they're fine. The sticky weekends have a good vibram sole, but like I said, I fit mine tight, so when I hike in them they are uncomfortable. Off trail/snow- I use a pair of light aluminum crampons with all of these boots for limited snow travel. The guide almighties don't work well at all on snow with or with out the crampons. They are so lighweight that the crampons cuts into my foot when traversing and sometimes they even slide out of the straps because they're not rgid enough. The sticky weekends have been okay and the lowa triolets are probably the best even though I haven't used them that way yet (second hand info - my friend wore a pair of the lowa triolets on the ptarmigan traverse last year and said they worked great). Weight-Guide almighties are the lightest, so I've used them on long alpine rock climbs, when they spent a lot of time in my pack. Best time I had in an approach shoe - I did one route last year where the approach had some big granite boulders for quite aways. Boulder hopping in the guide almighties was a total kick in the pants. They were so sticky, I could jump from boulder to boulder, and regardless of the angle of the landing, I'd stick it everytime. I felt like spider man. Hope this helps. Rgds
  20. helmy becky

    Does anybody out there no whatever happened to Helmy Becky? He did so much early on with Fred and then his name just disappears from the climbing scene. Is there a story there?
  21. helmy becky

    Thanks Dru, I'll keep my eye out for that. Erik, I had read most of Fred's book The Challenge of the North Cascades before and I thumbed through it again after your post. I found lots of stories of his adventures with Fred, but no story regarding why he faded out of sight. Can you tell me where in the book that is,if it is in there? I agree with you, the book sure makes you want to go climbing. Rgds [This message has been edited by mark (edited 02-08-2001).]
  22. Endurance vs Power

    Both fit and smart.. hey thanks Jon. If I only had some natural ability, I wouldn't have to resort to such low life practices as, training and using my partner as a porter. At least I never made you carry bike shoes. Rgds [This message has been edited by mark (edited 02-08-2001).]
  23. Endurance vs Power

    Dan’s specific question is: What I don't understand, and is not made clear in the articles and books I have read, is does this refer to muscle endurance only, or cardiovascular endurance as well. If I train carido (ie long, slow distance running, etc), am I losing muscle power? Are muscle endurance and cardio endurance the same? Based on my experience as an exercise junkie the answer, with examples based on my experience is a follows: 1) It does refer to muscle endurance, and it sounds like you already know that. If you focus on training muscle endurance over strength training in any group of muscles you will lose some of strength in that muscle group. Example: When training to increase the numbers of pull-ups I could do, I alternated between 8 week session of training pure power by doing 3 to 5 pull-ups with a 35-50lb weight belt, and 8 week sessions of training pure endurance by doing unweighted pull-ups to failure followed by lat pulldowns at 70% of my weight until failure. I pursued this regimen for a little short of one year. My observation was that after each 8 week endurance session I had lost some strength. If I had been doing 5 reps with a 50 lb weight belt at the end of my last strength session, I could only do 2 or 3 reps with that weight following an 8 week endurance session. I would quickly get that strength back though and this program worked well for me in trying to maximize the number of pull-ups I could do. 2) It DOES NOT refer to cardio endurance. Training cardio-endurance has absolutely no impact on strength training gains. Example: I have been an avid runner for the past 22 years, averaging between 20 to 40 miles per week during different times of the year. 7 years ago I started weight training and over that 7 years made regular strength gains (at first big gains and later more modest ones). During that time I continued to train cardio just as I always had. I would boost my mileage at times to prepare for various races and never once noticed an impact on my weight training, even when training for a marathon and running big mileage weeks. In fact, I find that by alternating strength training days with running/cardio days I actually feel more loose and fully recovered after my run . The pattern I follow is to climb and lift on the same day ( climb on my lunch hour, weights after work) and then run the next day, taking full rest days whenever they naturally occur. A 5 to 8 mile run at a comfortable pace seems to be the best for promoting recovery. 3) Muscle endurance and cardio endurance is not the same. They require different training methods to improve one or the other and the training of either one or the other has different effects on your ability to maintain strength gains. I hope this helps answer your question, these are my personal observations, not based on any reading or scientifically supported therories. My experiences are similar to those noted by Dave Reid, cardio training does not effect strength gains. Regards
  24. Endurance vs Power

    I'm privledged to say that Jon is one of my regular climbing partners. I've often found myself waitng for him to catch up on the approach and can vouch for the fact that he does no cardio training whatsoever.
  25. I’m withdrawing my stupid comments from this thread just like Dan did. I think Dan’s comments were unintentionally inflamatory, but so were many of our responses, including mine. I apologize. I don’t mind arguing an issue, but somehow this thread has gotten out of hand. Now even the typically good humored Mike Adamson is telling everybody who thinks that they can disagree with Dan to #$$% off. That’s no fun. (… by the way Mike I sure enjoy your website. Good job.) Peace everybody. I need a cleansing experience, where’s the guy who climbed Granite mountain last week and loved every minute of it, now that’s cool. Regards