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carolyn

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Hello

I just found this site tonight and was hoping I could get some suggestions from those of you who live in the NW.

I received a scholarship to participate in an Outward Bound Mountaineering Course in the N. Cascades. Unfortunately due to low enrollment it looks like the course will be cancelled! (wasnt expecting that frown.gif).

Anyway, I have decided to come out to the NW with or without Outward Bound backing me. I know some people who are somewhat experienced climbers and backpackers who will head out into the mountains with me. Im looking for suggestions or ideas others might have on various climbs or hikes in the Cascades.

A bit of background....I am in Minnesota , so I do not have much experience in the mountains. I have done a little bit of climbing in colorado. I have done some ice and rock climbing here in MN. I have also done quite a bit of backpacking in N. Minnesota. I would like to do some easier (walk up ) routes...but dont want to rule out some of the easier technical routes. I dont mind doing some of the popular climbs. However, I would prefer some obscure, relatively unknown/unpopulated areas to explore.

Is it true there is not much ice to be climbed at this point? Im coming out in Sept and would LOOOOOOOOOOVE to find some ice!!!!!

Thank you in advance,

carolyn

ps....please tell me the mosquitos, black flies and humidity are MUCh less out there than they are here grin.gif

[This message has been edited by carolyn (edited 07-23-2001).]

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if you're coming in September, the bugs will be past their peak - a couple of freezes works wonders on the black-flie population. If you're hoping for ice that late in the season, any glacier will have melted back to ice by then - but be prepared to deal with the "dogturdite" uncovered by that meltout. If you're inexperienced on big alpine terrain, I expect you'd be happier on rock routes at that time of year. Fred Beckey's Cascade Climbing Guides (if you're not familiar with them, they are required reading) are your best resource for selecting objectives. Good luck, and congratulations on your decision to not let that cancelled course keep you from coming!!! Good luck!

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Well here are some ideas for some routes that might fit what you’re looking for:

To get your ice climbing fix I would recommend any of the following:

Chiwawa via the Lyman Glacier- an easy alpine ice climb that offers 2 to 3 pitches of hard ice in Sept. You can pick a line of varying steepness depending on what you are looking for, but probably its 40 degrees on avg with some short steep steps. The rest of the climb and approach are straightforward.

Kyes peak/Pride glacier – hard to get to and a much more strenous alpine outing than Chiwawa, but definitely away from the crowds. 1,500 ft of steep snow and ice (40 to 50 degrees) with a complex rock scrambling finish.

Mount Bakers Coleman Glacier – spend a day honing your steep ice climbing skills, seracing on the lower Coleman, then run up the coleman deming route and tag the top of one of our famous volcanos. Expect a to see a few people here.

For walk up routes:

A trip into Leroy creek basin could be beautiful in late Sept/early Oct, as the Larches will be turning golden. And you can tag 2 of Washingtons 9,000 foot non volcanic peaks, Seven Finger Jack and Maude. With a little more work you could also get a 3rd 9,000 footer by climbing the SW gully of Fernow ( although the glacier may be a little icy by then and hard to descend).

I just did Robinson via the S.E ridge (I think?) in the Paysten wilderness and really enjoyed it. We did it in a long day , but there is a beautiful camping spot at a nice little alpine tarn surrounded by larches right at the base of the ridge. A nice walk up route with a bit of 3rd class.

For rock climbing:

Easy rock climbing classics abound, but are typically teaming with other climbers. I would suggest Kangaroo Temple as an easy alpine rock climb that doesn’t see too much traffic. There are a number of lines at varying difficulty levels form beginning to advanced.

E face of Mixup is a little more involved, even if the grade is easier, it’s a harder climb when looking at the complete package. Not too many climbers on it either.

Enjoy your trip.

 

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Hey thanks for the suggestions thus far! I really appreciate them!

Haireball - I have not had much luck finding guide books in MN stores on the cascades, so I will unfortunately have to wait until I arrive in the area. Should REI have a sufficient amount of books?

I will be spending some of my time climbing with someone who I met on the ice in canada. He guides trips up ranier for RMI. Unfortunately, not being from the area he is not familiar with much more than ranier. I trust that I will be in good hands when it comes to something more techinical.

I would love to hear more ideas. Are people open for me to contact them via email if I need more specifics (directions and such)?

I planned on spending a week in the Portland area doing some backpacking as a final "training" and to get used to an altitude higher than 0 grin.gif (actually minnesota DOES have SOME hills smile.gif). Any suggestions within an Hour or two of the city?

THanks again!

be well,

carolyn

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Carolyn---

About the Becky books....Amazon.com!!!!! And if you can handle bugs in the midwest you will be ahead of us all here in sanity maintenence.........

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Carolyn-

You might also consider Mt. Daniel for a pleasant 2 day trip. Can be done as a ridge scramble (3rd class with some snow) or via glacier (Daniel glacier would require a rope and snow anchors others do not). Can also be done in a day.

Mt. Ruth (by Mt.s Shuksan and Baker) is also a moderate glacier climb, with outstanding views of Shuksan, Baker and into the Northern Picketts. Do it in 2 to enjoy the scenery or one, TBD your schedule.

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Doing climbs midweek should cut down on the crowds. Some of the easier graded classic climbs around here are the south face of The Tooth (5.3 or 5.4) and the Beckey Route on Libery Bell (maybe 5.6, but the rock is totally solid, the climbing is pretty casual, no shortage of good places for pro). Both are pretty short approach hikes away from highways, almost like crag climbing in an alpine environment. There's endless numbers of walkups and easy scrambles. Maybe it would be easier if you zeroed in on a specific part of the Cascade Range you wanted to see, and then we could bombard you w/ suggestions. One of my favorite areas is along the Mt. Loop Highway east of Everett (north of Seattle), you can easily go up Pilchuck, Dickerman, Del Campo, Sperry, Vesper, Columbia, and others. Ranging from 5300' to a little over 7000'. Also, the Tatoosh Range immediately south of Rainier, within the national park, offers several good options.

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Carolyn, most of us live at sea level, and most Cascade summits are only around 8000 ft. Though that might sound high compared to MN or the East Coast, altitude does not really become an issue until past about 8500 ft, so don't worry too much about altitude. If you do some of the larger peaks, like Rainier or Adams, sleeping in a high camp the night before a summit attempt will likely help you acclimate enough.

Cheers and enjoy your stay, Alex

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Alex is right that the altitude generally isn't too much of a problem. However, Mt. Raininer is enough higher than everything else and the climber usually spends enough time at a relatively high altitude that I believe that over half of Mt. Raininer climbers suffer at least some degree of Acute Mountain Sickness and it is not uncommon for people to abandon the ascent due to AMS. The one night itinerary is the most common schedule for climbing the mountain but I have thoroughly enjoyed longer trips were we were able to enjoy the scenery at an intermediate altitude for a night or even two, and some people have suggested that a one-day climb without the stop at a high camp gets you up and down quick enough that the likelihood of getting sick is less.

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if climbing the normal route on rainier, skip camp muir, it is a sty that will make you sick. go to ingraham flats. the hut at camp muir has no ventilation, too many stoves eat the oxygen, and the whole place drips with condensation. i feel sick just writing this.

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For getting in shape around Portland, there's plenty of hiking to do in the Colombia River Gorge plus Mt. Hood and St. Helens are really close.

To get in shape I would hike Mt. Defiance in the Gorge, the hardest hike (so they say) in Oregon and puts the legs to a test as much as Hood can.

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I have climbed the Disappoint Cleaver Route on Rainer in 2 days and 3 days. Three days was more enjoyable and we slept on the snowfield at about 9800 feet the first time and then went up to Ingraham Flats for the second night. I agree with Scott. Muir is a sty. Only stop long enough to relieve yourself at the outhouse. Ingraham Flats is a much nicer place to camp.

Another fun, easy alpine route is the South Arete on South Early Winters Spire up at Washington Pass. Third and 4th class scrambling with sections of easy, low 5th class climbing in an absoulutely beautiful area. You could camp in the basin and combine this one with Nolan's suggestion of the Beckey route on Liberty Bell. Enjoy your trip!

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if you're starting in Portland, and want ice in September, then Hood is a no-brainer. Even the "walk-up" from crater rock via the hogsback can yield a three-pitch ice-climb in late fall. Leuthold Couloir is slightly longer / more demanding, and several north side routes, including Sunshine, The North Face (really two routes, both ice-gullies)and the Sandy Glacier Headwall should be good. Don't go near the Elliot Headwall at that time of year - mineral showers... have fun!

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Hey! Thanks again for all of the suggestions. I have been taking them into consideration as I try to map out a plan. I have also been looking at various websites to get more ideas (or elaborate on some already mentioned).

Thus far, Mt. hood, Mt. Daniel, Mt. Ruth, Three Fingered jack, middle sister, mt baker, dragontail peak, Eldorado Peak (ugh sounds TOUGH), Mt. Maude and Red Mountain. I have more on my list to check out as well.

I guess IDEALLY, I would like to spend a day playing around...learning self- arrests and glacier travel. then spend a day or two doing some easy walk ups , and a two day climb with a little bit of technical difficulty.

the more I look at the "popular" mountains, the more I think I dont want to focus on them. Not that they are not beautiful. there is a reason they are popular. Because I dont feel the need to climb a BIG mountain right now. I need to learn the necessary skills and enjoy being in the mountains. That doesnt require well known peaks. smile.gif

(hope that doesnt offend anyone)

They are not scratched off my list...but definately not in the front of my mind.

Can anyone tell me more about Dragontail Peak and the surrounding area?

(ha! and for all i know that might be a POPULAR peak)

well, I am off...I am doing a 4-day solo backpacking trip on the SUperior Hiking Trail starting tomorrow morning (near the boundary waters). The midwest should not be forgotten for its beauty smile.gif(and bears, and mosquitos, and humidity, and black flies, and....hehehehhehe).

I will check in again next week!

Be well, be safe,

carolyn

PS...odd question, but in case the person I expect to be climbing with cannot get off of work, does anyone have suggestions as to how to find a SAFE person

(someone who knows what they are doing, patient, and a good leader) to hang out in the mountains with?

[This message has been edited by carolyn (edited 07-30-2001).]

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quote:

Originally posted by mikeadam:

Someone to take you into the mountains??

Depends on how good you look.
wink.gif

Shit Mike, don't sugarcoat it. What are you really trying to say? I'm sure she's chompin at the bit to go climbin with you now.

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Yes, only ugly people are allowed to climb with Adamson. It's so he can look good by comparison. Aidan, this is why pretty girls at high school dances always have a fat friend nearby.

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Carolyn:

I suggest (in finding a "safe" person) that you consider hiring a guide if your class doesn't happen. Not that its the only way to go, but since you were planning on spending some money on instruction anyway, it might not be a bad investment. I have never hired a guide in this area, but there are plenty around.

Mountain Madness is a big commercial outfit, but they might be one place to look. At least with a guide you don't have to be worried about some wierdo that you don't know freaking out on you. Most climbers are cool, but its always a risk to climb with someone you don't know and this is the time in your training when you want to be sure you are learning things in a safe manner.

Good luck! And, I think Dragontail is popular, but not like the big volcanos. It takes a permit, but they do give some on a walk in basis.

Holly

[This message has been edited by hollyclimber (edited 07-31-2001).]

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carolyn,

the obvious choice for that would be me! ask me i will tell you! though i don't spray my accomplishments too much! but i think i have done most the routes you would be interested in.

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Mountain Sadness would be a big waste of time and money. Do a one on one with a qualified quide if you absolutely must go that route, and skip the kindergarten mountaineering courses. I see those guys courses all the time and they ain't sheeit!

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First of all, let me tell you how much i cringed when I hit the "send" button on my last reply asking how to find a climbing partner in the area while I was visiting. I KNEW i would get some smart allek responses:P

I appreciate those who have emailed serious enquiries and promise i WILL get back to you shortly.

For those of you withe the "cute" responses...thank you for the laughs...however (*biting my tongue as I predict the responses*), I do wonder how looks are related to climbing abilites and safety.

On a more serious note...I hired a guide while in colorado last year. It was VERY expensive! I was not intending to spend any money for the outward bound course because I received a scholarship. I was just paying for the flight. Despite the course being cancelled I am still planning to come out because I have worked my butt off training for it and deserve a vacation! This is a great opportunity to explore the mountains!

I keep my fingers crossed that the acquaintance (geesh I cant spell tonight) I have who guides on Ranier will have time off to head out with me for a while. If not, I need a compassionate, patient person with good leadership/safety skills who enjoys introducing people to mountains.

Otherwise...I will explore on my own within my own comfort zone and wait for the next Outward Bound trip.

On a side note...I mentioned in my last response I was doing a solo backpacking trip in n. minnesota. I posted a warning about heat and I urge you all to beware of the heat whereever your travels may take you. It can be extremely dangerous as it was proven to me this week.

be well,

be safe,

carolyn

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Not to be a jerk but watning to be honest it sounds like more along the lines of you need a partner to guide you.? Showing the ropes and patient as you metioned..

They can be found for sure but many people are simply not patient enough to train people and would rather enjoy their short time in the mountains with someone more experienced as I do.. If I go out with beginners they just tie in and go for it. Not too much into training here. I hope you find a partners. wink.gif

[This message has been edited by Cpt.Caveman (edited 08-03-2001).]

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