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Found 256 results

  1. On Saturday November 8th JayB and I climbed a 5 pitch mainly ice line on Mt. Shuksan between the Upper Curtis Glacier and the Sulphide Glacier. The route is approximately 200 meters left of Hells Highway. P1: Climb corners and ramps on rock left of the overhanging ice for 60m to access the ice above. 5.?? P2: Traverse right 5m onto the ice and then climb for 60m. WI3+ P3-P4: Climb ice for two 60m pitches. WI2 P5: Climb glacial ice and neve for 60m to top out on the Sulphide. AI2 I have not found any information about this line from talking to people, or from Fred’s guide, or from Alex and Jason’s new ice guide. Does anyone have any information about the line that JayB and I climbed (i.e. name, rating, previous ascents)? If it doesn’t already have a name, I propose calling it “Satan’s Sidewalk.” Satan’s Sidewalk WI3+ 5.?? 250m Notes: - If the bottom pitch comes in it would probably be an awesome WI4 or 5 pitch. - The views from the climb are absolutely beautiful. The whole time you have Mt. Baker behind you and a very crevassed Upper Curtis Glacier below you. Go get it boys. Whack ‘em tools. You want ice; get this before the snow comes. Someone else climb it and tell me what you would rate the first pitch. I haven’t climbed much rock in crampons so I don’t have a feel for the rating. The first pitch was the crux of the route, though. Pictures are posted in the gallery. Picture 1: The Route Picture 2: Traverse Picture 3: Scary belay Picture 4: JayB climbing ice. Picture 5: Another pic of JayB climbing ice. A Trip Report might follow, as there were some good moments like climbing the last pitches in the dark by headlamp and topping out to a beautiful moon and clear sky.
  2. Jordop and I went up to the Vasiliki Ridge last night and today to do a new route. I'd been up before and did Clean Break, and remembered what a shitload of rock was up there. So we headed up with no particular objective, just scope something out and climb it. The best line we saw was to the the left of Never Enough (don't bother), on the East Face below the snowpatch of a spire unnamed and unlisted in the Beckey Guide. The problem with a lot of the crack systems in the Valiski Ridge and Wine Spire/SilverStar area is that the cracks tend to end in nowhere, or start above nowhere if you know what I mean. We were very tempted by many splitters that would require bolts to get to, or bolts to finish so we didn't bother with the E.face of this mtn. We did bother with the East Ridge, however, after a night of drinking, eating spicy thai vomit, a bonfire, UFO gazing, and wildfire spotting. (I must point outt there there was hardly any snow up here, so in a heavy snow year, some cracks may be attainable). Anyway! Feeling rather shitty and lethargic from the night debauchery(sp?) we slogged to the E.Ridge and headed on up. Jordop got the 1st pitch. A super FUN 5.8 open book with cool gymnastic roof moves. A full 60m. Then I got the rope and we simuled anywhere from 4-7 pitches (I don't frigging know?) of belay killer block, awesome jams, cool chimneys, flakes, horns, dirt, and trees up to around 5.8 straight up the crest of the ridge to a very large ledge that winds all the way around to below the rest of the Valisiki spires (Vasilike tower, the Acropolis, and Charon Spire). Once again the cracks were awesome but either ended abruptly, or started way the fuck off the deck. So we walked over to the South Face and finished the route. Jordan got a sweet 10a chimney, to hands, to layback, to double crack stemming. The dude was cool and clean. Da man. My turn..... ...this is where things get hazy... All I know is that I was still screaming at my belay. Jordop can comment on this if he wants. 10d X. The rock turned to unbelievable shit, none of my cams would've held a fall (even the #4 stacked in moss/mung), and it was a leaning offwidth with one foot stemming on verticle gravel. Anyway, we all calmed down a did the final pitch to the top. The top was really quite amazing. The was a plank of rock bridging the gap of about a 1,000" drop, and a huge figging cave outta nowhere, and a tiny ass summit that we had to sling to rap off of. No trace of passage. So we think we went the best way, maybe not the last few pitches, but it would've been desperate anyway but the lame-o semi-walk up, aka, descent route (even more desperate due to the epic gravel slog). We rapped the last few pitches, then traversed sketchy sand ramps toward Burgandy Col, the back down to the base on the loosest talus this side of the Mississippi (3 shoe emptyings). Back at camp we scoped some more, and we agreed that the E.faces had pretty much been tapped out as far as asthetic free climbs are concered. Grap yer aiders and get ready to reach some awesome jam cracks if you got the time on the other faces. Also, THERE ARE A SHIT LOAD*10^10 OF NEW ROUTES, EVEN MOUNTAINS, just waiting to be climbed at the areas of WA pass (even a grade VI). Some big routes right of the fucking road! I won't give em away, but go find em! Oh, what the hell did we climb? It's the obvious buttress just right of the arrow pointing to "The Acropolis" and the left most summit of "Ares Tower" on pp290 Red Fred 2000 edition. Our tower is not on the topo map on pp.292 but would be on a perpendicular line between Ares and Acropolis, as we traversed beneath them on the descent. "Carlos Rossi Memorial Tower" Fist Ascent Jordan Peters, Mike Layton 9/13/2003. III, 5.10d X. Around 10pitches or 1000' I think. Max Blow Factor: 8.0 Avg Blow Factor: 3.0 Quality Rating: 3 shoe emptyings outta 4 Long live Carlos Rossi, damnit.
  3. On July 30th Martin Volken from North Bend and Kurt Buchwald from Snoqualmie completed the ridge crest traverse from Spider-Formidable Col to the summit of Mount Formidable. The ridge is about 2 km long, involves a lot of exposed 4th and easy fifth class climbing and some pitches of 5.6 to 5.7 climbing in the center section. We spent 11 hours moving from the Col to the summit of Formidable and approximately 13 hours from camp to camp. It can be said that the ambiance is of classic North Cascades grandeur and the ridge has a wild and exposed feel in many places. It resembles the Torment-Forbidden traverse in many ways. The rock quality ranges from very good to poor. In most places it is ok. In the many notches along the way one finds deteriorating iron laden rock (hence the notch), and shortly above the notches the rock quality generally improves. When the climbing is "hard", the rock seems reliable. The route features more complicated ups and downs than the T-F traverse, but it is more reasonable to bail off the route in two or three places. All in all the route can be split in three sections. Section one goes from the Spider-Formidable col to a distinct summit that we called the 2-county summit (Chelan and Skagit). Section two goes from the 2-county summit to the first reaches of the Formidable Glacier. Section three goes from the Formidable Glacier to the summit. The second section is certainly the most complex and most time consuming, even though the "hardest climbing" occurs on the first section on the way to the 2 county summit. We could not find any info on previous attempts in the summit register, the Beckey guide, the AAJ or by talking to local cascade climbing veterans. The route seemed virgin in terms of impact. We would like to claim this as a first ascent, but would certainly not want to take undeserved claim. If you have any info, feel free to let us know. We ended up rating the route at Grade 4, 5.7 Here is a basic route description: Reach the Spider-Formidable Col via the Ptarmigan traverse route. From Spider-Formidable col at 7350 feet start moving NW and go around rotten tower on the left into the first notch. Get onto better rock and climb generally near the crest to a big flat and easy ridge. From here climb a blocky ridge on good rock generally staying a bit north of the crest to the top of a first distinct tower. From here rappel into the next notch or down climb on the north side of the ridge. This is a distinct spot. You are at the base of a two pitch headwall that leads up towards the "2 county summit". Climb the 2 pitch headwall at 5.6 - 5.7 slightly north of the ridge. Rock is good. Ambiance is awesome. An easy but exposed block ridge will bring you to the "2 county summit" from there. From here climb over small towers or go around on the south side and gain a horizontal section of walkable terrain but stunning exposure. Continue down on easy terrain to the next notch. (Here is an ideal first bail spot to the south) From here continue up a steep and very narrow tower. Exposure is great and rock is good. Now follows a series of lofty gendarmes that involve steep rappels. Be prepared for slower going and harder bail-outs here. Eventually you will gain the notch that leads to a distinct summit just east of the Formidable Glacier. Here is another bail out opportunity to the south. One can also scoot around this summit on the north and reach a small lobe of the Formidable Glacier quite easily. The crossing of the described summit does not present any new challenges, but the rock is not that good. From the Formidable Glacier col we stayed on the crest. It takes a little longer than the described southern ledges in the Beckey guide, but the scenery is wild and the rock is good... From the summit go back down the ridge a short way and then start descending a distinct couloir heading south. At the bottom of the couloir follow easy 3rd class terrain generally trending left a bit until you reach the upper snow fields. Equipment: Good alpine rock boots (Garmont Tower Gtx, La Sportiva Trango S etc), medium size alpine rack, hard hats, light crampons and ice axe for descent ,bivy gear, maybe a light stove (there is snow on the way). There is a good photo of the ridge in the Beckey guide and there will be a photo summary of the traverse on the Pro Guiding Service website in about a week or so. (proguiding.com)
  4. This past weekend Mark Bunker (Marko), Wayne Wallace (Wayne1112), and I finished off a long standing project of ours. Our goal was to enchain all of the peaks in the Southern Pickets East-to-West (the East ridges are generally steeper than the West ridges). Mark and I made our first attempt last summer, and got to the Terror-Blob col before being thwarted by weather. Wayne and Jens Klubberud made an attempt earlier this summer, and were defeated by weather after making it to the Inspiration-Pyramid col. The first day we hiked in, and climbed Little Mac, East McMillan, and West McMillan, to a bivy at the col between West McMillan and the gendarmes to its West. The second day we climbed Inspiration, Pyramid, Degenhardt, Terror, and the Blob, to a bivy on the West (lower) summit of the Blob. The third day we climbed East Twin Needle, West Twin Needle, the Himmelhorn, the Ottohorn, and the Frenzelspitz, and then descended to a bivy in Crescent Creek Basin. Along the way we also climbed the named but less significant Blip and Dusseldorfspitz. Today we climbed the Chopping Block as a bonus, descended the Barrier, and hiked out. We believe that the East ridges of the Blob, East Twin Needle, and Himmelhorn are all new routes. The Blob went at 5.9 and the East Twin Needle (on which we actually climbed more of a SE rib) at 5.9+. The East ridge of the Himmelhorn comprised the crux of the entire traverse, with a steep, exposed pitch of 5.10+ (bold lead by Wayne the ropegun). We all agree that it is one of the best climbs we have ever done, and highly reccomend it to those seeking a fantastic alpine adventure!
  5. Here is a link to the trip report. Click here for chestbeating. [ 10-21-2002, 01:17 PM: Message edited by: Dru ]
  6. "Back of Beyond Buttress" -North Face/Buttress of Unnamed Peak. First Ascent Sept 14th, 2002. Jordan Peters and Mike Layton. III+ (or D+) 10b. 9p. Apporox 1500' (maybe less). Approach time 1.5 hours. Climbing time 5-9 hours? Descent time 30-40 min. Suggested Rack (not our rack though):small set medium nuts, camsn to 3" plus double or tripples on the hand size cams(red alien to yellow camalot), one 50-60m rope. Tired after a long day at WA pass, I drove to Abbotsford to meet "Jordop" for the 1st time. We were planning on doing the route Dru was hidding in the chehalis range. We saw it and turned it down, and drove to another place to look at another mtn. It looked neat, but far and not so steep. We had one more option that was feasible so we drove into Kookipi creek to look at the mountain Dru was teasing Jordop with. It looked ok, but we turned that one down too. Kookipi creek is a "new" area that just recently opened due to logging. I can't tell you how to get there yet, becuase I don't know myself. Jordop will surely provide us w/driving direction. It is 3 hours from Vancouver, however on a 2wd road out of Boston Bar. My only problem was a flat tire from the previous drive, and I barely got it inflated w/a can of old tire sealant. Anyway, we turned the mtn down after turning our heads to the left. We both nearly shit ourselves. ACross the valley lay an unnamed, unclimbed, and beautiful granite peak! Granite flanks came down on all sides as it swept around a cirque headwall into another higher summit. It's unglaciated north side has a razor ridge coming down (looks like a Mohawk) to an unbelievably steep perfectly clean blank granite headwall slab. I'm talking super clean, and super blank looking. We quickly packed for a 2-day adventure and headed straight down from across the mountain for 300 feet to the river, and straight up open timer w/a couple dense sections (w/wild raspberries and blueberries!) for an hour to a bivy sport. A nice little stream ran along the base of the talus at a high meadow, where we ditched our packs and grabbed our ropes and gear. I need to mention that this is GRIZZLEY bear country and you MUST be careful! Blinded by the magnificance of this north buttress, I kept my head down (to keep the puke in) and charged up the talus to the base of a 4-500" near vertical apron of perfect, flawless granite. When I looked up, my heart sank. It was almost blank. Almost. On the very left hand of the wall were 4 thin crack that ran parallel up the entirety of the face. They seemed to peter out just as one started up again, but there looked to be a few scary blank sections. We started up! Jordan took the first pitch. The first part was a fist size perfect splitter of lengandary beauty. Then awesome moves over a small roof to a PERFECT handcrack. I cheered him on as he struggled and sweated up this imposing crack. Off belay! Shit, I guess I had to do the next pitch. I followed up and couldn't believe this crack. Perfect! Amazing! I was laughing while climbing. Damn nice lead! My turn. The crack continued straight out of the belay but looked like it ended. The crack to the left looked like it started thin and continued higher where the belay crack ended. Okay, so I travered over 15' w/no pro nearly shitting my self to the crack and it bottomed out and turned into a seam, so I travered back to the belay already pumped and scared. I was excited to continue up the original crack becuase it look like something right out of a 4 star squamish pitch. It was! It was soooo sweeet and fuckin' hard. It petered out and I did a traverse left to another crack and belay Jordan over. He seemed equally impressed and was pretty pumped (especially after one section). He lead up another perfect perfect hand crack that lead straight up until he too ran out of gear (why I belayed there). My turn again, another perfect crack, to a traverse right to another crack that got kinda weird at the very end, right unde a huge undercling block. Luckily it was only 10 or 20' of not perfect, but pretty good rock to the top of what were are calling the "Endurance Slab" since I wanted to name the climb the Endurance Buttreess, but that seemed a bit much for the whole climb. Anyway it was 4 pitches of absolutely amazing 10b climbing on every pitch. It could be done in 3 pitches, but you'd need a lot more pieces and have to be really good. The exposure is unbelievable, I was petrified on my hanging belays, and while leading. IT's just straight down 400 or more feet! Gulp! We topped out on the Endurance Slab and were now on the main ridge crest. I looked like it was gonna be easy going on low fifth to the summit, but we thought wrong! It turned out to be challenging and tons of fun. Lots of little 10-40' cruxes. Jordop will post a topo and I suggest you follow our line. We did a lot of scoping around and this should be the best way to go. Jordan's fist pitch on the ridge was an super-awesome 5.7 groove jam to a 5.9 corner on totally solid granite (n.ridge of stuart solid). My pitch was some fun moves to a 20-30 foot 10b corner that was soooo hard! No feet for every other move. It may be harder if it was any longer. I continued pulling a fun and easy roof block (I almost tunneled under it!). The next pitches got easier and easier on super solid rock. Near the top the rock was still very solid, but loose rock was on some ledges. The 2nd to last pitch sported a wide, vertical crack easily avioded on the left. We thought it sporting to do it anyways, and I totally flailed up it. 10c/d, but contrived and not part of the route. It took us 9 pitches to get to the unclimbed summit. We made a cairn and enjoyed to view of unclimbed peaks and walls an few hours drive from Vancouver. And as if we didn't have all the luck that day, the desent only took 30 minutes to the bivy site. Walk down from the summit towards the car, make a right into a grove of trees, and walk down a low angle talus gully. You'll see it going up. Very easy and no routefinding. We packed up our useless packs full of food and camping gear and got back to the car. The hike out is very quick, and the slog uphill at the end is much easier than say, the one at the Wine Spires at WA pass. What a fantastic route, day, and a partner! This route has the makings of a classic, and it's easily done car to car (or house to house) from Vancouver or Bellingham. I'm sure Jordop will post our topo and photos once we get them developed and you'll understand that I'm not overexaggerating just b/c we were the ones who did it that this route really is this good. One more thing. Should we write to the CAJ and how, and same goes for McLane if he updates his guide? Can we name the peak? If not, is it unethical to give it an un-official name? [ 09-15-2002, 03:40 PM: Message edited by: michael_layton ]