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Cpt.Caveman

Johannesburg Mtn

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Anyone climb Jberg lately? Stories of forced bivies or epics on the rock routes. C'mon dont be ashamed I wanna hear the fun [big Drink]

 

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uhhh, I briefly spoke with 2 grizzled looking alpine vetrans in the Cascade Pass Parking lot Saturday 6am who were headed up the "1951" route, which as it turns out is the one outlined in Vol. II of Selected Climbs. They didn't look one bit scared either. Fiberglass helmets, old chonaird harnesses, ovals and wool sweaters. You could say they were old school I suppose except they drove to the pass in a new Explorer instead of a '49 Ford.

 

Nice Picture Ray.

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quote:

Originally posted by Cpt.Caveman:

Did they have hobnailed boots and hemp ropes!?

Hah, I've always wanted to go climbing at Smith with that get up, wool knickers and one of those alpine caps with a feather too!

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OH, and with regards to the topic, I did NE Rib long ago (hence no current conditions beta) and found it to be just fine, a little scurrying at the bottom in the threat zone, but not particularly loose or scary. We took the right hand way at the top (rap into the narrow couloir, up that to the snow crest) and loved it. I think it took us about 9 hours, Beckey guidebook time. The descent is another thing, as we went down some gully on the s. face, wound up doing some crux downclimbing to the moat, and did not make it out that night. Bivy was wonderful though, nice patch of grass surrounded by dead trees, great fire all night long. We did the descent to the West instead of the couloir or to the pass, it was long but no big deal. Bushed at the bottom though, bummed a ride back up to the car instead of hoofing it. Had one of the worst meals after a big climb ever at that place on the right in Marblemount, just after you cross the bridge over the Skagit. Anyway, I'd say its good, go get it.

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There is still a good bit of snow in the gully system above C-J Col. With the current warm weather the rock would be wet and the snow mushy. Would make for a scintillating ascent/descent.

 

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Got a good look at the alternate descent route from C-J Col to Cache Col. Getting past Mixup looks like a PITA. Has anyone here ever gone that way??

 

Someone ran into my car at the Cascade Pass lot over the weekend. They were kind enough to leave insurance info. I also had a nice flat tire that we got to change yesterday evening. Many thanks to Ranger Kelly Bush who took pity on me and left a nice note instead of a parking ticket on my windshield.

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Did one of the rock ribs above the hanging glacier several years ago. Don't especially recommend it. Easy class 5, some looseness.

 

Descent was an adventure. Getting to CJ col was OK though time consuming. I recall a rap or two. Then tried taking the cross country route around Mixup and up to Gunsight Notch. In declining weather (heavy mist) and fading light, we could find no obvious "goat path" despite clambering up and down Mixup's shoulder for 1000 vertical or so, and finding 5th class headwalls and steep chutes instead between us and Gunsight basin. Ended up bivying and rapping down to the valley bottom next morning, then bushwacking/hiking out Middle Fork Cascade River.

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Got skunked off of an attempt of Mixup over the weekend. Gunsight notch had a knife edged snowfield almost up to its tiny col, with a 30' dropoff to either moat (which were also unpassable) and a boot-wide isthmus leading up to the knife edge. Further melting could make it better...or worse? Too dicey for us single-toolers.

Also saw a party of three ascending Sahale at DUSK! Granted, weather was flawless and there was a moon out, they probably topped out a bit after sundown. Was that anyone who posts here?

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I was in Boston Basin all weekend, and I saw parties on the Quien Sabe glacier at all hours on both days. Weather was certainly not a limiting factor, unless you count the hazard of heat exhaustion. The moon was bright enough to obviate any need for headlamps. I talked to a couple of the groups going up, but didn't get their names-- they could be cc.comers for all I know. [big Grin]

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JBERG........

Don't try it...... it will kill you

It's tried to kill me five times.

 

The most heinous was when we got avalanched going up the CJ couloir in 95. I threw myself into a bottomless moat and survived. My buddy got hit but surrvived. It was louder than any rock concert I have ever been to times 10. I won't spray about the other four times but they were just as serious.

 

PS. Ran into a grizzly bear on the south side the first time I climbed Jberg. It ain't a black bear either (I used to bowhunt em'). Any wildlife biologists know what the lowdown is with a grizzly there?

 

[big Drink]

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My first attempt was with Dennis Harmon in Winter. Hadnt been in there before and it was bigger than I thought . Second attempt solo avalanched on 3 times on the buttress half way . Somehow downclimbed in bad blizzard. 3rd attempt rain. 4th was $ up the cj couloir in the fog

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Well, I did go try to solo the CJ Couloir once and had an epic... on the freeway in Tacoma when all the wiring in the dash of my 1970 International melted down, filling the cab with acrid electrical smoke in the middle of rush hour. Inside of the dash looked like a toaster oven until I knocked the battery cable off.

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It sounds like the CJ couloir is certainly the fastest way to go. However the rock routes look like the plumb lines. Does everyone agree that a planned bivy is the way to go or what? Might try to climb it some day and just curious on what epics to expect. I like the looks of the 1951 route personally. The desent down the CJ couloir looks spicy [Eek!]

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Did j-berg several years ago. Went from car at Eldorado trailhead (gate closed) to summit and back to col via normal route. Went up and did Cascade peak too on same day. Great day. Camped in some trees below the col on the south side (you don't need an overnight permit here becuase it is officially out of the NCNP). Next morning woke up to rain, but climbed the Triplets. We came out via cascade-johannesburg couloir. We glissaded the couloir down.

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Normal route is the east ridge route. I have no idea when it was done--probably in the 30's.

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E Ridge is loose rock and snow, sometimes steep. No brush to speak of. W Ridge is the brush bash.

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Ray:

 

Call me for beta. You know the number. And the route in Nelson's book is the 1957 variation, not the 1951 route. It's not as bad as it looks. It took Jim and Bob and me 12 hours up, then down a ways to the bivi spot, then another 12 hours down. Can't recommend the CJ couloir descent, but that's what we did in the interest of simplicity, and we wrote it up for Jim's book. Lived to tell about it, but we were stressed and tired of dodging rock fall for about six hours. Have "fun" and be careful.

 

John Sharp

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Juana,

 

I aint got time for it this season but if and when I decide I am up for it I will call you for the beta. My guess is the beta might be to bring the bivy sack and a stove hehe? Maybe that Layton guy is going for it next [Confused]

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Yah, I think many mortals do wind up with a night out on that one. The route in Nelson's book was quite nice, but think late season so the snow is off the steep heather, and give a good look at the alternate descent we used that Beckey mentions via the west summit. We dropped off the ridge too soon (impatient) but it really wasn't epic, or risky, and the ample firewood for the bivy made stoves and sacks quite unnecessary. The rest of the descent went around a couple shoulders and down steep timber reminiscent of the other side of the valley. Beats the pants off dodging rocks in the CJ. Do put it on your list for next year, and you don't have to be a super alpinist, I'm certainly no better than just average, and it was a great climb with only moderate anxiety.

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PS. Ran into a grizzly bear on the south side the first time I climbed Jberg. It ain't a black bear either (I used to bowhunt em'). Any wildlife biologists know what the lowdown is with a grizzly there?

 

- I have one on video from the Ptarmigan Traverse between Yang Yang Lake and the ridge below LaConte Pk. It was taken 8/96

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consider the west ridge of Jberg as the "best of a bad lot" Tom Miller solo'd the 1st ascent , and descended the same way. I descended this way and it's ok, altho a lot o' lucy traversing to west peak. way less rock fall potential on this route.

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My brother Gordy and I climbed the 1963 NE Face route in mid-August 1983. While climbing the couloir, we exited before the narrows and climbed 3rd class rock on the left. This avoids the worst part of the shooting gallery. I descended this way several years later after a climb of Cascade Pk. It's reasonably solid and secure. From the Sill Glacier we had one nice pitch and one somewhat runout pitch up the left side of the fault, then worked right and had several hundred feet of easy climbing up the lower part of the rib. Near the top of the face are a couple of steep pitches on rather sharp, brittle rock left of the rib crest (low class 5, definitely the crux area). Then the rock eases off and there's some snow climbing below the summit.

 

We came down the CJ couloir, descending the snow all the way. Our round trip time was about 11 hours. In my journal I called it a "big treacherous mountain."

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Lowell, did your brother Gordy climb Forbidden's W. ridge on July 21? I met a guy named Gordy at the summit, and he looked a little like your brother did in a photo I saw of him in a ski magazine when I was a kid ("Gordon Skoog-- a Backscratcher"). He was simulclimbing with someone named Gus, the whole mountain as a day trip, wearing smooth soled shoes up the couloir.

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