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Jens

first ascent [TR] TR- Johannesburg Mt. - CK route F.A. Grade V, 5.10b, AI 3+ 8/27/2005

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That is a ballsy route dudes underneath those calving seracs.

 

Next up, why don't you try The Traverse of Angels (underneath the seracs right at the top of the Willis Wall).

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I can't say I really understand JoshK's motherly criticism. The route is obviously dangerous. Loren and Jens obviously know that. Whether someone climbs this route (in the first ascent, or in the future) is between themselves, their kin, and the arbitrary deathcicles of the glaciers--not JoshK. This reminds me of reading about the olden days when the tweedy Alpine Club sat around and chastised bold climbers for being too dangerous.

 

Nice job, guys. No effin' way I'd climb that thing.

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But on the other hand, Josh does have a point in the following foresight kind of way:

 

If Loren and Jens had been clobbered by a falling serac we'd instead all be saying how stupid and idiotic they were to be climbing in such a place.

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Wow, ballsy route, but I have to say I kind of agree with Josh.

To each his own, but even if I was capable of climbing at that level, I don't think I would try that route.

A few years ago in early fall, I saw what appeared to be a glacial outburst on that glacier. An incredible amount of water and debris came down, and that "little" waterfall at the bottom turned into Niagara Falls for a minute or two. Amazing sight.

 

Anyway, here's to you for pulling off a sick line and getting down safely. bigdrink.gif

I gotta add, it must have been really cool to be in such a dramatic spot that so few travel in... up close and personal with the evilness that is Johannesburg. I often look up at a mountain and wonder "what would it like to be up there?".

Edited by philfort
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If Loren and Jens had been clobbered by a falling serac we'd instead all be saying how stupid and idiotic they were to be climbing in such a place.

 

DIdn't even think of that Paul, but that is pretty much right on. I think had tragedy occured (thank god it didn't) - we would have been very critical, and rightly so.

 

Slothrop, I am not trying to mother anybody. My point is that I think the risk to reward ratio was greatly skewed and the "glory factor" really clouds people's minds. Think of it this way - what if we didn't think of FAs any differently. If somebody asked you to do a climb that required a wandering line that kept you underneath a *very* dangerous glacier for an extended period of time would you really be intersted? It isn't like the danger of walking underneath that particular glacier isn't BLATENTLY obvious. It wasn't a matter of being able to get through that section safely with the proper climbing skill - it was a matter of flat out rolling the dice.

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If the line is "prized" enough, there are always interested parties. Slipstream is a perfect example.

 

Acceptable risk is a personal threshhold. And mountains have their way with us regardless of whether the dangers are obvious, in this case, or inobvious, such as the eariler accident this year on Sharkfin (a well travelled and oft-thought-of-as-safe place).

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I don't disagree with those who say this looks like a dangerous line. However, lots of us have taken risks in pursuit of some goal that we thought was worthy and equally significant here is the fact that, safe or sensible or supercool or not, most cc.com posters automatically scan anything you post to see if there may be some aspect they disagree or disapprove of and many of them can't resist offering comments based on the results of that scan -- regardless of whatever else they may think.

 

As has already been said: way to go, gents; you can count me out for a second ascent, though! JoBurg is one of the coolest things around, and doubly cool because you can drive right up to the base of it. Yes, the more remote N. Cascade peaks offer their own appeal, but the fact that you can get out of your car and stare that thing in the face is unique. It is the "real thing," right here in our back yard and you don't have to play Daniel Boone to get to it.

 

Congrats on a cool climb.

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All I know is that there is someting strangely sweet and alluring when you look up at those ribs from the Cascade River Road.

 

Gotta Go. Gotta See

 

My fantasy has been to ski the C-J Couloir. Not a healthy inclination I'm sure... tongue.gif

 

bigdrink.gif

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Are Dean Potter and Peter Croft and John Bachar crazy for soloing hard rock routes onsight? cantfocus.gif

 

Was Chris Landry crazy to ski the Liberty Ridge? hellno3d.gif

 

Are Jens and Loren crazy to have climbed their line on Jberg? wazzup.gif

 

Was I crazy to solo Del Campo this morning? wink.gif

 

We all find our own acceptable level of risk.

 

If you think a route is too dangerous don't climb it. To lure others onto a route without making them aware of its dangers would be irresponsible IMHO, but it would be acceptable in the time-worn tradition of sandbagging.

 

Jens and Loren, I find it inspiring to see people push themselves beyond their own perceived limits and succeed, regardless of what the difficulty is or whether I will ever do the same climb. Great job and thanks for the post! bigdrink.gif

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Jens and Loren, I find it inspiring to see people push themselves beyond their own perceived limits and succeed, regardless of what the difficulty is or whether I will ever do the same climb.

 

Certainly pushing beyond PERCEIVED limits of difficulty is inspiring, but pushing beyond completely REAL levels of objective hazard is folly.

 

I don't know either of you but I'm of the impressive one of you might have children? If so then both folly and very selfish.

 

Congratulations none the less.

 

Darin

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Recently I soloed 20 feet of 5.6 grippy granite, and got seriously chided because I've got kids. I can only imagine the holy hell for this one! tongue.gif

 

What does CK route mean? Certainly Killt? yelrotflmao.gif

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Whatever...soloing on ground where your technical skills are tested is a lot different than taking an extremely high amount of objective risk that isn't necessary. People don't seem to get that I am not talking about one's decision to take on a challenge and test themselves...I am talking about a deliberate decision to walk directly up the death path of a seriously fucking unstable glacier. They knew it, they did it, it was less than smart, IMHO. There, I said it, I'm a dick, whatever... rolleyes.giftongue.gif

 

To compare pushing against one's personal boundary of "technical" risk and pushing against a completely obvious objective risk is silly - they are two completely seperate things.

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Good job Loren and Jens. rockband.gif

 

Why is everyone so quick to judge? These guys just shared information and JoshK had to come out moaning about danger. What is the problem? Are Jens and Loren stealing all the attention from his FA´s? I don´t see either of the two looking for fame and glory with their FA. They just posted information about their climb. And the innformation they posted did not seem to be chestbeating orr spraying.

 

Ascents that are objectively risky happen all the time. This time it was just shared on CC. To me its not a judgement call about the climbers. If they want to risk their neck then fine. I would not do this line. Its between them, their families and the powers that be. I don´t understand what the fuss is all about. They are experienced climbers that had the ability and knowledge to get the job done with a litle bit of luck, everything turned out fine. TThe same story has happened with all of us to one extent or the other. One could moan about the dangerious nature of their route, but they did it in fine style. If something happened and they were killed, well they put themselves in the situation so it would be no surprise.

 

This discussion might be best moved to a forum about objective risk and how much you are willing to put on the line.

Edited by TimL

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If your worried about thatlittle route don't ever go to the Alps and climb. You have to put yourself in danger all the

time.

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dang it, what would the kids at stone gardens think of this???!!! a travesty! get back up there with your tooth brush and start SCRUBBIN!

 

DSC01774.JPG

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it's time for everyone to take their medication bigdrink.gif everyone congragulates these two hardmen on their accomplishment. some additionallly wish to have a conversation about levels of acceptable risk - what the fuck else are we gonna do, we're at work and it's a bulletin board?

 

doing it in the other thread's a good idea though...

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Maybe someone like Lowell Skoog could scan in the picture of the N. Face of J-Berg which is on page 58 of Tom Miller's Book. miller-1964.jpg THAT IS THE BOOK'S COVER, NOT J-BERG, WHICH IS ON PAGE 58

The picture is from 52 years ago, and It'd be great to see the comparison and what Jens and Loren's line would have covered then.

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Note to those who may not be paying attention, the picture above is not of J-berg but of Nooksack Cirque with Seahpo on the left. {Some people out there know I'm an idiot.}

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holy shit! why did global warming have to fuck everything up so much? that area used to look way cooler! wish i'd been born a long time ago...but camelots had already been invented too.

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I want to clear up some things here, or at least provide my perspective.

 

First of all, this is not a death-route or any such thing. None of the people spraying about how dangerous it is have been on the route. Yes, I understand that you've seen ice-fall (and a jökulhlaups, in one case). But you have not been on the slabs and seen the protection offered by the terrain. With dramatic flair, Jens may have inadvertently induced some of this misconception. Yes, it is exposed to icefall in places. Yes, those places are dangerous. But there was very little debris anywhere, and what there was was in the water course that we (quickly) crossed below the left-hand icefall, and on the small snowfield immediately below the right-hand icefall, which we didn't go near. The amount of debris was significantly less than what I've always seen below the Ingraham ice fall on the DC route, and certainly much less than I've seen nearly filling the moraine below the Ice Cliff glacier. Icefall from the left cliff may have hit us on the slabs. But it would have had to been very large, of the type Phil saw, or have happened in the few seconds while we crossed the water course.

 

Perhaps the most dangerous place on the route was where we climbed between the two waterfalls below the right ice cliff. This is where I was most afraid on the route, but from the fall exposure and total dearth of gear. I made a mistake by wearing rigid-soled mountain boots, rather than rock shoes. Time is of the essence here, but having said that, this section is not exposed to large blocks of falling ice. Terrain undulations above pulverized the one serac fall that I saw later in the day. Had we been climbing below it, we may well have been okay, as the remains of the pulverized serac would have tended to stay in the water courses, which we avoided except to make quick crossings. A change of underwear would have been in order though, without a doubt. Had I been in rock shoes, I believe I could have covered this, the most dangerous terrain, in 15-20 minutes, which is not dissimilar to the amount of time many parties, in the dark, spend blissfully unaware of their position under the Ingraham icefall. I in no way mean to say this section is safe. But I also don't think we defied the odds by not getting the chop here, either.

 

Above this fall line we scrambled for a while, soloed two (+/-) easy pitches,and belayed one traversing rock pitch with decent gear.

 

The glacier was technical, but not difficult, even for a person of moderate ice climbing skill, like me.

 

The rock climbing below the slabs is runout in places, but, with one exception (where we got shut down on our first attempt several years ago), there is gear where there needs to be. Jens made a brilliant lead of the crux pitch, which does have gear. I would have had to aid it. The other belayed pitches were generally in the 5.7-5.9 range.

 

The route is in a north-facing cleft that is shaded much of the day.

 

I felt much less afraid on this route that I did climbing up and down the C-J Couloir some years ago: This route offers much more protected climbing and more opportunities for safe rest.

 

Secondly, I believe that this is a good line, with a nice mix of fun, relatively unbrushy rock climbing, slab walking, and sporty glacier climbing. I would repeat this route before I would thrash up the near-vertical forest on the NE Buttress, certainly. I don't want conjecture portrayed as fact by people who've not climbed the route to cause it to be labeled a death-route: It deserves to be repeated.

 

Lastly, I have no death wish, nor do I think of myself as having 'huge balls'. I have a family and I enjoy coming home to them in one piece. We all take risks in the mountains: By going headlong into fear we become free of it, if only for small bits of time, and that experience of being free of fear is the essence, for me, of feeling alive. But I don't want anyone to label me as reckless because of speculative, subjective talk by people who've never climbed with me and haven't been on the route from which they are interpolating judgement of me.

 

Enough said.

 

Loren

cool.gif

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