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oldclimber

Kautz Glacier

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I'm taking some first timers up the kautz this weekend sat,sun,mon. Climbing rangers say conditions are good. Anyone have recent experience on the route? The ranger I spoke with said he had not been on the route this season.

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Summited via the Kautz on wednesday the 20th. My first time. Conditions seemed generally pretty good except that it was too warm. There was a slab avalanche on the turtle and the crossing under the icefall dropped a huge serac just after we passed under it on the way back down. I think if the freezing level is below 10K it should be fine. Lots of crevasses on the Nisqually and above 12K but most not very big yet. D.

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Drederek, I was hoping I would catch up to you. My team got to high camp (about 11,200) on the Kautz route about 4:00 pm on Wednesday. We saw you guys descending the chute about 4:30 pm. I looked at my thermometer, it was 80 degrees. YOU ARE VERY LUCKY THAT YOU WALKED OFF THAT MOUNTIAN!!!!. I first thought you got nuked after you got off the chute (with much slipping and sliding I might add) and were down out of my sight in the garbage chute area. A large amount of debris discharged off the ice cliff and we figured you were dead. We were relieved when we saw you coming down from camp hazard about 6:30 pm, until the ice cliff calved off again right above you. We praised Jesus when the ice stopped just before sending you to an early grave.

Somehow you missed hearing the rule about being back from the summit to high camp by noon. We hear from other teams that you didn't leave for the summit until 9:30am, is that correct? You have a death wish! We left for the summit at 1:00 am on Thursday and never saw as much as a rock fall. You need to understand that your stupid actions can effect others. We thought our trip was screwed because we were going to have to rescue your ass.

Do me a favor. The next time you plan a climbing trip, let me know so that I can plan to be in another time zone.

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Well you are right about most of your post. I don't mind admitting what we did was stupid and that we were lucky. We left for the summit at 5 AM from 9500 feet. The highest camp we passed on the way down was about 10500 feet and off to the west. We were at the summit at 2:30. We passed under the icefall about 5:30. We definitely should have started earlier as the heavy snow really slowed us down. We should have turned back when it was apparent we were going to be so late getting back. It kinda sounds like you had your trip ruined by the way you felt you needed to sound off to me. Seek counseling. D

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We actually had a great climb, reaching the summit at 6:30am. It was increadible. With regard to counseling ... I advise that you follow your own advice.

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A note to airmoss,

I think that D took note of your awareness to his dangers. Climbing Mtns is sometimes all about taking calculated risks out there. Many parties choose to do so... To slander D on a public board in your smart ass fashion is low. Seek counseling tongue.gif

-Cpt

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Then again, pointing out others' follies and close calls may prevent others from taking unnecessary risks. $02.00

Albeit in a less pedantic fashion.

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People, people, people! Let us not forget that our experiences in the hills are supposed to be shared in a joyful manner. I was in the party with airmoss, who successfully summited via the Kautz route. I am a first time veteran of the rock and I must say it was the most fantastic experience of my 37 years. By no means should I consider myself a mountain climbing veteran, but I know one thing for certain, getting an alpine start on summit day, means the middle of the night. We began our summit ascent @ 1:00 am from 11k to ensure the stability of the cliffs and the ice chute, both on the way up and the way down and experienced no trouble whatsoever. In defense of airmoss, it is true that our experience (and maybe our only opportunity this year) was almost ruined by Drederek and his party's late arrival from the summit, when the ice cliffs were dropping truck size chunks into the garbage chute seemingly every few minutes. For about an hour while they were descending, I was virtually certain that we were going to have to rescue these boys! Let's all come to an understanding on something people, sometimes the truth hurts! Please don't be so sensitive! Climb on!

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Thanks for the perspective Cleave. I guess you had to be there. Seems I cheesed off Cpt a bit. The word slander is not appropriate in this case, as D agrees for the most part with the facts I described. As far as this being a public forum, the point is well taken, but isn't there a degree of anonymity here?

On a lighter note, I just got my pictures back. I have duplicates for you Cleave, and I have a great shot of D descending the Chute.

 

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Yeah I was not there but geez give the guy a break maybe he was a newbie or somethin else?? You were not with his party either. I aint pissed just was giving perspective. Alles goot.

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Ignoring the squabbles above, we chopped out platforms at 10,500 in deteriorating weather on sunday the 24th and spent a bad night getting pounded with wind and spindrift. Without much sleep we started up early on monday through 18 inches of new snow on the turtle and after only 500 ft. I called a halt, both because of the slow going and the avalanche danger that would be developing later in the day.

I had talked with 2 parties on saturday who described a traverse across the the ice fall debris chute just below Hazard that put them out at the middle or at the top of the first steep pitch of the Kautz itself. they did not descend the chute and go around the toe of the ice cliff to gain the glacier.

The crevasses on the mountain side of the lower Nisqually are getting nasty. For the first time in 28 years of climbing I had a rope team member go into a crevasse. We got his pack out and then attached prusiks to his rope and used our second rope team of 4 to brute force him out. He was one scared cowboy. I found it ironic to find one of the more dangerous portions of the route within an hour of Paradise.

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