Jump to content

dberdinka

Members
  • Content count

    2231
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    10

dberdinka last won the day on September 11

dberdinka had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

66 Excellent

1 Follower

About dberdinka

  • Rank
    Pooh-Bah
  • Birthday 11/30/1999

Converted

  • Occupation
    Cubicle Monkey
  • Location
    Bellingham
  1. Buckhorn Lake

    Felt like pointing out some of the odder contour lines I've ever seen on a USGS map due south of the Lake. Thrash back in there an tell us what's up!?
  2. Awesome looking. Sounds like a great trip.
  3. Glad you’re all humored. You should get on this rig I swear it’s really, really good!
  4. Trip: Porcupine Creek Wall - Salad Days III 900' 5.10+ Trip Date: 08/20/2022 Trip Report: It did not go unnoted when Eric Wehrly moved to town. While our more noteworthy first ascents may be of a…umm…slightly different style, in my mind’s eye I generally enjoy any adventure far from the road particularly if it involves unclimbed terrain. Finding like-minded folks at a similar point in life, that is old, is not easy. So I assumed at some point we’d tie in together. It did not happen quickly. While phone numbers were exchanged and talk of getting out occurred, the years passed by. Maybe I came on too strong. During Covid there may have been a day at Mount Erie where I loudly berated Eric to be my “New Best Friend!” as he TR-soloed nearby. Clearly, I needed a better incentive than that. Halfway up the Pacific Crest Trail between Rainy and Cutthroat Passes a large wall of granite stands proudly above the trail. I first walked by it eighteen years ago with my then girlfriend. From a distance it had the obvious geometry and tone of good rock. A friend and I almost went to check it out but we made other plans and the idea was largely forgotten. This summer I strolled by it again, with my now wife and our two teenage children. Still there, still grey, still splitter. A week later I spent a solitary day circumnavigating Porcupine Peak. The summit was eventually attained, and, on the descent I found myself beneath this wall I had considered for decades. Carefully glassing it I became discouraged. As I walked away I thought “almost but not quite, the start may not go and the rest is just a bit too dirty and discontinuous.” However, it’s amazing what some grainy iPhone photos and a bit of selective memory can do. Furthermore I finally had the sort of incentive Eric might respond to. On Saturday August 20th we stood below “the start that may not go” and sure enough it didn’t. As this had been my idea, I felt obligated to get us rolling so I began a long circuitous pitch climbing easy terrain off to the side before a long downward traverse led to a committing mantle onto a vegetated slab above. Struggling with massive rope drag from the severely Z-shaped pitch, I encountered a recurring theme of frantically hacking away a clump of heather to find a small cam placement. Eric quickly downrated my estimated grade and then scrambled up more heather covered corners to the base of a steep, relatively clean layback flake. Perfect edges made the otherwise intimidating flake go quickly. Unfortunately, the intended route up a long “hand crack” above the flake turned out to be 100 feet of 4”-6” offwidth. The scale of the wall was turning out to be a bit larger than anticipated. Instead, Eric made a delicate leftward traverse before committing to a steep, broken crack formed in part by some precariously hollow fridge-sized blocks. Easy terrain led to the base of what had appeared to be a splitter from the base of the wall. Above I could only see a slammed shut seam covered in a thick crust of lichen, moss, and dirt. Eric proclaimed it to be a finger crack. I was highly skeptical. But on new ground there’s nothing worse than being the person who forfeits your partner's last proud lead by bailing off into indirect, unappealing terrain. I spent several minutes pawing at the start, muttering random negativities. After a few minutes I finally committed to the initial moves into the corner then rapidly hung on a nut. But it was started and despite my deep pessimism about there actually being a climbable crack under the filth I found myself inching upwards. Sand and pulverized lichen poured into my eyes, my nose, my ears, and my shirt. Aiding up in 8mm dyneema slings progress was dispiritingly slow as I cleaned out every single placement. Time oozed on and hours later I finally pulled the singular hand jam at the very top of the 150-foot crack and flopped onto a good ledge. Now relatively cleaned out, Eric rapidly followed the crack free proclaiming it 5.10+. Having climbed three pitches in five hours and 45 minutes, simple math suggested that our rate of ascent was significantly slower than the sun's rate of descent. While I did not yet suggest bailing, I did point out this obvious observation. Yet Eric confidently proclaimed that the “walk off” would in fact be a walk and that we would only need headlamps once we were within spitting distance of our packs. Regardless of attitude at this point, the wall kicked back a bit and the next pitch looked easier. No reason to bail yet so Eric headed out, moving quickly across a thankfully clean hand crack before moving out of sight into the corners above. Progress slowed, the rope stopped moving, I almost nodded off. The clouds continued to build as the rope made halting progress. A random inquiry on my part was met with a stern “Not Now”. Eventually Eric reappeared above having navigated some sketchy 5.10 face climbing to avoid an impossibly munge-filled corner. Moving left and right, up and down he eventually retreated to a blocky alcove from which we could reappraise the options above. With the rack refreshed the obvious direction was through an overhanging V-shaped corner. Chimney moves, flared jams, wide stemming and possibly some tension left me once again above my gear, hanging off a sloping rail, feet stemmed out on small dishes, surrounded by thick mats of grass and heather pasted in corners. With my ancient Chouinard north wall hammer wedged into a hummock, a brief struggle ensued between which would be pried off first, the hummock or myself. Thankfully the hummock released, revealing a perfect hand crack. The climbing relented and the rate of progress discernibly increased. As I neared the end of a lead the sky finally cracked open with a brief squall and a lovely rainbow filling the valley. Despite the weather I finally felt committed to the climb. Going over the top was now the path of least resistance. Almost every challenging climb you undertake has that beautiful inflection point, when hours, days or even years of uncertainty just melt away leaving you relaxed and in the moment. Eric climbed another beautiful corner with sustained finger cracks under the hummocks and dirt. The final pitch was a perfect finale. Shockingly clean granite with delightful climbing up to and around a large roof followed by easy, clean slabs to the top of the wall. The Cascades were bathed in a beautiful soft glow and views extended from Dome in the far distance to the sun setting off the shoulder of Mesachie Peak. The walk off was anything but, and had it been dark we would have been in for a genuine epic. Yet much as predicted headlamps only came out as we finally exited the talus onto delightful heather meadows not far from our packs. If you're familiar with Eric’s and Rolf’s first ascents on massive walls of less than stellar rock I’m sure you’ve wondered what makes them tick. My simple observation would be an extremely positive mental attitude with a surprisingly conservative aversion to potential loose rock. My successes have largely been built off an ability to separate the negativity of my dumb brain from the mechanical motions of moving upwards. It’s worked but doesn’t seem nearly as efficient as Eric's approach. I’d like to think I might adopt some of his positive mindset in the future. That said I’m pretty sure we influenced each other, as we headed out down wet talus with heavy packs Eric could be heard muttering “If you added a few bolts...”. Hour and twenty minutes from parking Lot Enter the Drag-On (forever) In my happy place (after the rain) Exiting the wall Views South and North Old Dirty Bastard and Mr. Clean Topo - buffed out (red) vs original line (blue) Postscript After Eric graciously spent another day of his life reclimbing and fixing the first four pitches with me I went back for the Labor Day weekend and put in thirty hours of cleaning, creating fixed anchors and adding several variations to avoid indirect, loose or excessively dirty terrain. Rock is excellent and clean throughout. Rappelling is quick and efficient vs. the unsavory walk off. There is a pile of good climbing up there. Topo/Gear/Approach Notes: MtnProject - Salad Days
  5. Well you probably now know more than anyone else alive. Les McDonald was a god. Wonder if any of his climbs around Shuksan have ever been repeated? I had always thought starting at your same spot and then heading straight up the left side of those slabs looked good? But only eyed it once in winter and was probably dreaming. Thanks for resurrecting a 15! Year old Tr. How was the Arayete?
  6. Great photos and trip. Solid work by the whole team. Not sure that coffee should be considered an “accessory” though.
  7. Juan I was pretty much referring to everyone but Sam and Kyle. Who do see when you look in the mirror? the use of Tacos and spending a couple days up there is a pretty cool level of commitment to a new jungly line. Was there water on route? I assume not, so how much did you bring for 3 days? Seems like that follower pack would have been heavy!? Edit to add the Moljinar is a nice touch. Nothing in 40 years has improved on the utility of an old school north wall hammer for Cascade FAs.
  8. [TR] Mount Triumph - Memento Mori 08/29/2022

    A solid retort Rat. As good as Bear, a stout claim, but sounds way to terrifying for me at least.
  9. [TR] Mount Triumph - Memento Mori 08/29/2022

    I like this. That looked like the only route those guys ever put up that was worth repeating. (I won’t delete it but my attempt pithy humor was lame. More accurately “looks like the only route those guys put up that I would be capable of repeating”. I’d add their route on Tower looks pretty sick as well. And I do recall feeling like my secret project had been stolen when they climbed Tilley Towers BITD. apologies to Rat & Lunger as welll as Michael for slightly detailing your excellent TR. carry on….)
  10. Looks like a nice climb. If you invested a couple days cleaning out the munge and adding decent anchors you might have a nice moderate classic on your hands. nice to see all the old timers coming out to comment.
  11. This is a solid TR. Thanks for sharing. Though it may seem otherwise, maybe the golden age of CC.com shall bloom anew.
  12. Read it in your blog. Sounds so casual!
  13. [TR] Glacier Peak - Frostbite Ridge 08/07/2022

    Cool area. Approach via lost creek ridge would add some beauty, effort and if things haven’t changed that much, a big dose of solitude.
  14. There Was Shrinkage!

    Thinning greater than surface area reduction? Less noticeable but seems like one year they’re just going to all suddenly disappear.
  15. Trip: Joffre Creek - Mighty Mouse Trip Date: 07/25/2022 Trip Report: A brief TR for old times sake. Mighty Mouse fully lives up to the hype. The loveliest splitters you’ll ever climb, in a scenic alpine setting with a straightforward approach. the logging road, while getting a bit grown in, is in great shape and mercifully short. The approach trail, though frequently obscured by lush undergrowth, is a wonder. Could use some brushing and flagging but in amazing good shape. Approximately 2 hrs car to base at middle aged pace. the climb is stout. The first pitch is in your face and felt as challenging as the remainder of the climb. 10d/11a pitches all had short, hard cruxes with amazing crack climbing throughout. Excellent ledges for almost every belay with bolted rap anchors. The hand crack eats #2/#3 Camalots. Never climbed a better granite splitter. bring very small rps. We bailed off pitch 8 when partner took a fall and ripped gear. 11 hrs car-to-car. Something to go back for. was 98 degrees in Pemberton and tolerable on the climb in the sun thanks to a breeze. Shade after ~ 2 pm. Gear Notes: Very Small nuts and micro cams. Double rack with at least 3 #3s. Approach Notes: See Mtn project. Would be hard to follow in dark and you’ll get soaked in the am if temps hit the dew point.
×