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About ChrisAbajian

  • Rank
  • Birthday 11/30/1999


  • Occupation
    Software Engineer
  • Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
  1. Trip: Snow Conditions Denny Creek/Melakwa/Kaleetan - Denny Creek Trail to Melakwa Lake Date: 5/13/2010 Trip Report: Intending to climb Kaleetan via the normal (ridge) route, we left the trailhead at 8:30 (way late, it turns out). Weather was stunning. Turned round at Melakwa, mostly cause of time but also cause the S aspects above 5K looked bad. Snow starts in earnest after you cross the creek at "Denny slide" (water high, crappy log crossing) with the first section of talus being pretty nasty (punching through into cavities constantly). The valley up to Hemlock Pass was freaky. Wish I had a photo worth posting. Every inch of both walls had released recently, surface slides, big chunks, my guess is within less than a week and possibly more than once. Heavy, wet snow on top of a rotten layer (you could feel it with a ski pole). Happily, there's good lines all the way to the pass. With one or two tiny exceptions we managed to avoid anything that looked steep or exposed enough to worry about (honestly I think Denny Creek is done puking for this year ;-) But it took us 4 hours of post holing to get to the pass at 4200' (yikes, I've done it in better conditions in half that). The other side of Hemlock pass has a more northerly aspect and looked stable, so the lake is quite accessible. The ridge and E face routes on Kaleetan however both have very large slopes above 5K that have not released yet and looked loaded. IMHO they're going to go soon as the freezing level rises. We ate lunch while listening to stuff come crashing down constantly. Might want to wait a few more days or time it to do them at a night / early morning. Found the handle to someone's shovel on the way up to the pass... looked recent. Gear Notes: Snowshoes made the trip out a lot easier. Really mushy by afternoon. Approach Notes: Road clear & reasonably good condition.
  2. i.e. forest road 232. Anybody get a car in there & how far up can you get (in a 4wd car)? Thinking about trailhead for Esmeralda/Ingalls etc.
  3. Where to stay in Squamish and Vancouver?

    Alternative to chief campground?
  4. Planning to head up from Seattle this weekend. Wondering Chief campground: crowded, full? Other, better place nearby? Border crossing issues: is driver's license enough? Going to spend a couple nights in Vancouver. Inexpensive places to stay downtown? Smoke bluffs: nice place to go with semi-novice or am I tripping? Any beta greatly appreciated.
  5. Have gear, working car. Out 'o shape but I can at least make it up the Mt. Washington trail & I'm a decent belayer. I have got to get the hell out of Seattle for a few hours. Will check late fri night. bzzt5@frobule.net
  6. Weekend warrior dad at it again, trying to tear myself away from work and get out into the mountains. Looking for partner(s) to do moderate sport (low 10's) or easy alpine. Local (i.e. day) trips like exit 38 will be easier for me to schedule, but the occaisional road trip would do wonders for my sanity. I have a reliable car and too much gear. I do this for fun. I don't claim to be good at it but I have a good sense of humor and don't mind climbing with a competent belayer who's above or below my skill level. I just want to get out, know what I mean? Send a private message if you're heading out & looking for a parner.
  7. Death at the Coulee

    quote: Originally posted by Paul detrick: Sometime there are no answers and things just happen out of our control. Man, that is not the answer I wanted. It may be the one I have to accept. Damn.
  8. Death at the Coulee

    quote: Originally posted by kevin: While I generally agree that slings are better than qd's for trad, air guitar is so straight that no quick draw at all would probably have been fine. I disagree. The only time I have ever had (multiple!) cams walk out of a crack was the one I mentioned earlier when I had slung them with (stiff, presewn) draws. It was pretty vertical as well. I believe it was Midnight Dihedral at Smith. Given the relatively smooth surface the vibration generated by simply pulling up the rope can be sufficient to dislodge the gear. Trust me, I was stupid enough to try it, you don't need to reproduce the experiment. Unfortunately, in this case it may be moot. I now read that the first three pieces were all damaged. Assuming that happened in this fall, walking is probably not the issue. I too find it hard to believe that an experienced climber would mistake a static for a dynamic rope, but the physical evidence of huge loads on the pro would support this. Distressing as it may be I think it's worth eliminating this possiblilty. Does the Sherriff's office still have the rope? Someone should go down there and positively ID the brand and type.
  9. Death at the Coulee

    I've been wondering about this too. That's a hell of a lot of gear to pull from the crack. I took a pretty good fall myself on this rock (either this route or George and Martha, I can't remember which) onto a #1 camelot. It held just fine. The placements are excellent, it's clean basalt in the crack. It strikes me as significant that by some accounts he was slinging the gear on sewn, stiff runners i.e. the Camp draws. If this is the case (and I may be mistaken) that could definitely be a contributing factor. The crack is flaring for the most part, and the additional vibration transmitted from the rope to the cams could have caused them to walk. In fact they may already have walked to the edge of the crack and fallen out prior to the fall. I've had that happen to me in very similar circumstances at Smith. I was too lazy too re-rack my quickdraws using slings and left them on the (REI) sewn 6" runners to lead a .9 crack on gear. My partner seconded the climb and at the summit handed me the pieces saying "Every single one of these fell out. Use slings next time." Again, I don't have any data other than what I've seen posted, but this could explain the otherwise striking fact of multiple cams failing in a clean basalt crack.
  10. Used 4wd truck, superb cragmobile

    Truck sold. Yeesh, shoulda asked more for it
  11. Used 4wd truck, superb cragmobile

    '88 Toyota 4WD standard bed pickup with cap. $2,300 cash. I'm posting it here first 'cause I suspect a lot of people on the list will be interested. It's a superb rig for backcountry spring skiing trips. And with the cap on it's a "second best western," heh heh... Full details on the web page: http://abajian.net/chris/truck/
  12. Seattle Cragging Partners Sought

    Wow, didn't expect to start all this. Why can't everybody just be nice and just go climbing? Come to think of it, I've always suspected that Kermit arrived at his equanimity with the help of controlled substances...
  13. Weekend warrior dad, leading mid 10s, seeks partner(s) for day trips to the local crags (or out to the mountains if I can get away). Have reliable car, gear, experience, yadda yadda. I'll follow harder than I lead or just belay my partner if they want to work something really hard. I have no problem with doing really easy routes for less experienced partners, I'm in it for fun & stress reduction.