Friday, May 24, 2013

Rock Climbing Log 2013- Wasatch Front, Utah

Big Cottonwood Canyon (BCC)
Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC)

Date: May 15, 2013  

Route: Steort's Ridge (The Dead Snag, BCC) - Trad, 5.6, 3 pitches  
Notes: Route took ~1.5 hours
Luke finishing up the final pitch on Steort's Ridge
Route: Sweet and Low (Challenge Buttress, BCC) - Sport, 5.5, 1 pitch
Notes:  Did several laps, very easy climbing, good workout

Doing laps on Sweet and Low

Date: May 16, 2013

Route: Beckey's Wall (Beckey's Wall Area, LCC) - Trad, 5.7, 2 pitches
Notes: Route took ~2 hours
Luke coming up first pitch on Beckey's Wall 

Luke leading steep 2nd pitch on Beckey's Wall

Date: May 21, 2013

Route: Crescent Crack (Crescent Crack Buttress, LCC) - Trad, 5.7, 2 pitches
Notes: We only did the first pitch  (Billie, Paige, Joel, Luke, and I)
Crescent Crack, 1st pitch

Crescent Crack, 1st pitch

Date: May 24, 2013

Route: Schoolroom (Schoolroom Area, LCC) - Trad, 5.6, 5 pitches
Notes:  Very fun!  Took 2:10 minutes to climb, 3 hours car-to-car.
Me leading final pitch on Schoolroom

Date: May 30, 2013

Route: Jigs Up (Steort's Ridge area- Dead Snag, BCC) - Trad, 5.6, 2-3 pitches
Notes:  Not as cool as Steort's.  Climbed it with Kayte and Luke, took 2 hours.  Only one double-rope rappel to the ground.

Luke coming up the fun finger cracks on the second pitch
Rappelling off Jig's Up, BCC

Date: May 31, 2013

Route: Crescent Crack (Crescent Crack Buttress, LCC) - Trad, 5.7, 2 pitches
Notes: I took my first lead "fall" on the off-width crack on the second pitch.  We got spooked and rapped off from the chains.  I dislike off-widths.

Off-width crack on second pitch of Crescent Crack
Minor cut from fall

Date: June 5, 2013

Route:  Perhaps (Perhaps Area, LCC) - Trad, 5.7, 2 pitches
Notes:  Luke led first, I led second.  Super fun!  Bring lots of long runners next time to reduce rope drag

We also climbed Green Adjective (5.9 - finger crack) on top rope after rappelling off Perhaps.

Luke coming up 2nd pitch on Perhaps

Date: June 7, 2013

Route: Outside Corner (JHCOB Wall, BCC), Trad, 5.7, 3 pitches
Notes: Very fun route, walk off is a pain - make sure to bring approach shoes up the route with you

First pitch of Outside Corner

Looking down to climber coming up 3rd pitch

Date:  Friday June 14, 2013

Route: For Whom the Bells Toll (Bells Canyon), Trad, 5.7, 5 pitches
Notes: Luke and I carried a full trad rack and rope up 2 miles, 2 k ft., just to end up free-soloing this route.  One 5.7 move, the rest is 5.5 at best.  We protected the one move on pitch 4.  

Looking into Little Cottonwood Canyon from the top of 'For Whom the Bells Toll'

Date: Saturday June 15, 2013

Route:  West Slabs (Mt. Olympus), Trad, 5.5, usually 9-10 pitches
Notes:  This was my third time on this route.  We simul-climbed 4 pitches and soloed the rest.  Took us 1 hour 45 minutes from the base of the climb to the ridge.  Never roping up for this again, but still pretty fun.  Heading to the Palisades next weekend!

 Bring an ice axe if there's snow in the gully! It got sketchy and tricky up higher. 

Our 2nd pitch began at a set of chains about 200 ft from the base of the wall

Not steep

Good anchor

Brent at the top

Saturday July 27, 2013

Route: Tingeys Terror via Sweet Jane Variation, Trad, 5.7, 4 pitches
Notes:  Climbed with Luke and Kayte.  Started just right of Beckeys Wall start near bolts and followed steep crack (Sweet Jane variation 5.7) up to a belay tree.  From there we climbed up Tingeys and traversed too early on a STEEP slab onto Tingeys direct (5.7+).  If that was 5.7+, I would hate to see what a harder friction climb is like.

We climbed up the last pitch of Tingeys Terror, which was a left-facing crack, which takes a right up and over easy terrain to some trees.  We scrambled above the trees to a set of chains and rapped off the east side of the buttress.  

5.7 Sweet Jane Variation crack
Coming up Tingeys Terror, the pitch before the traverse
Scary, mostly unprotectable traverse onto Tingeys Direct (5.7+)

Wednesday August 7, 2013

Route: Bushwhack Crack, Trad, 5.8, 2 pitches
Notes: Planned to climb Pentapitch, but 3 groups were ahead of us, so we went down the canyon to do Bushwhack Crack.  This is a great, sustained 5.8 hand crack.  Crux is right off the deck.  Very well protected.  2nd pitch is much easier.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mt. Baker - Coleman-Deming May 2013

Mt. Baker, Washington
Coleman-Deming Route -glacier travel
May 9-10, 2013

We left Seattle Thursday morning to climb and ski Mt. Baker via the Coleman-Deming route on the northwest side of the mountain.  This side of the mountain stays cooler during the day, leaving the crevasse snow bridges very stable.  It also keeps the snow firm in the morning, but softens up in the afternoon - perfect for skiing.

Getting as close as we can!
We plowed our way through snow on the road as far as we could and starting skinning up the Heliotrope Ridge road at 3:30 pm at about 3,000 ft. elevation.  It was about 2 miles from the true trailhead.  When we reached the true trailhead covered in snow and we took the winter route up the Grouse Creek drainage.  This route gets out of the trees sooner than the traditional trail and allows for more skiing on the way back down, but it wasn't easy.  We have to navigate very steep slopes in the late afternoon on our skis.  The climb up to the ridge was brutal.

Sunset at basecamp (5,800 ft.)
We eventually gained the ridge at 7:30 pm and camped with a nice view of Mt. Baker above the treeline at 5,800 ft. elevation.  We were in no hurry.  We wanted to be on the summit around noon so we could ski down on soft corn snow.

We left in the morning at 6:45 am.  The sun was up, there wasn't a cloud in the ski, and there wasn't another person visible anywhere.  We skinned and traversed along the western edge of the Coleman glacier unroped.  There was not a sign of crevasses or any instability until we got much higher up; so we cruised up towards the Black Buttes.  The snow was hard and icy...we hoped it would soften up!

The entire route: Traverse below the Black Buttes to the saddle and
head left up the last 1,500 ft to the summit
Part of the ice fall area
Summit on the left, Black Buttes on the right
Checking out one of the few crevasses
 We passed a couple of crevasses near the Black Buttes below the ice fall area.  We were not concerned at all.  We soloed up to the saddle between the Black Buttes and the summit wall of Mt. Baker.  At this point, we took our skis off and slung them on our packs and began boot packing up Pumice Ridge and the Roman Wall.  This was a steep hike but very straight forward.  At 11:30 am on the Roman Wall, the snow was still pretty hard.  We reached the true summit around 12:15 pm.  We snacked, drank some water, and prepared to ski down.  We started skiing down at 1 pm.

Boot packing up the Roman Wall
Skiing off the Roman Wall was steep but very enjoyable despite the firm snow.  We knew the snow below would be soft and awesome.....and it was! Perfect corn snow all the way down!  We skied back to base camp, packed up, and skied to the car in 2 hours.  Total time skiing...1 hour 15 minutes.

SEE VIDEO..................PART 1        PART 2 (skiing down)

Skiing Mt. Baker was one of the highlights of my mountain climbing career.  I am sticking with ski mountaineering.

Mt. Rainier - May 2013

Mt. Rainier via Ingraham Glacier
May 6-7, 2013

Ryan and I arrived at Paradise around 8:30 am on Monday May 6.  We began to ready our packs when a random dude asked if he could join our team and summit with us. Ryan didn't even hesitate, "Sure."  That was that.  Ryan, Kirk and now, Matt, were heading up to summit Mt. Rainier.

Skinning up Muir snowfield to Camp Muir
Eating at Camp Muir, Cowlitz Glacier and
Cadaver Gap in the background
We left Paradise at 5,400 ft. elevation for Camp Muir on our backcountry skis at 10:10 am in perfect weather.  We skinned up to Muir with no incidents.  We were at Camp Muir at 10,188 ft. by 3:10 pm.  It took us 5 hours to climb about 5,000 ft.  Not bad with 50 lbs worth of gear, clothes, food, etc. on our backs.

We attempted to get to bed early in the Muir shelter but as usual, it didn't turn out to be a good idea due to the constant movement and chatter of climbers.  Remind me to never sleep in there again.

We got up at 12:30 am, ate breakfast, melted snow, and prepared our packs and gear for the summit.
We roped up and left Muir at 2:30 am.

We easily crossed the Cowlitz Glacier and climbed up and over Cathedral Gap.  We traversed and began to cross the Ingraham Glacier with little to no visible crevasses until past Ingraham flats.  The route up Disappointment Clever was obscured by avalanche debris.  We began to make our way up the Ingraham Glacier direct route and through the ice fall area.  The route meandered through and around seracs and crevasses.  One section was very steep and very exposed with crevasses on either side.  Luckily, I lead it in the dark otherwise I would have been a bit more nervous and would have felt better with an extra ice tool.

Sunrise on the Ingraham Glacier 

The sun began to rise.  We crossed a giant avalanche path as we made our way up to the top of the Ingraham Glacier.  The thought of downclimbing the steep section in the warm sun made us a bit nervous, but we pressed on.  The sun rose behind little Tahoma as we approached 12,000 ft.  We followed the boot packed trail and occasional wands(flags) all the way to the summit.  The summit dome has a few crevasses, but otherwise it was just a simple snow climb.  The elevation slowed us down but we eventually reached the summit at 14,411 ft. by 9:30 am.  It took us 7 hours to climb from Camp Muir to the summit.  This was my second attempt and success on this route.  May is prime climbing time in the Cascades.

Mt. Rainier summit
We hiked down and remained roped up until the Ingraham flats area, where we all felt comfortable soloing back to Muir where we put our skis back on and skied down to the parking lot.  We left Muir at 3 pm.  We arrived at the parking lot at 3:45 pm.  It only took 45 minutes to descend 5 k ft!  Skiing is much more efficient and enjoyable.

Video of trip can be seen HERE!