January 27, 2011

Peninsula Ice Exploration

Andy and I headed down to check on a couple project areas I watch on the Peninsula. We didn't find as much ice as we hoped, but did get a couple good days in trying to make new lines go in the -20 F conditions. Ultimately we were shut down as a hoped for multipitch mixed line ended after two pitches of easy mixed and grayish alpine ice in a pile of alders - and again when the second pitch of another line showed us it would need some serious cleaning and possibly bolting to make it go. In the end, we ran out of time - but there is always next year, and perhaps things will form up reasonably again. Pics are limited here due to project nature of the climbs we we checking out...more to come if they get sent later this season...



Moonrise somewhere near Moose Pass.


The two pitch mixed line from afar. The second pitch needed some cleaning. Combined, this would make for a nice climb when complete.


Climbing a short pitch of vertical ice in search of new mixed... in -20 F. Alas, not enough time to clean and possibly bolt it. Sometime...

Portage Climbing

Andy and I spent a couple days climbing a couple of classics at Portage over the break. Here are a few photos from those days. 


Andy walking on black ice out to the ice climb Hands Across the Water. The climb was so enjoyable that I went back with Ben Chriswell a week later and climbed it again. Both times we ended up climbing the center line since it was the steepest and had reasonable ice quality. 


Hands Across the Water


2nd pitch on Hands. The first time Andy and I went, there was no snow so we had a great time climbing an extra pitch at the bottom. The second time there was snow and Ben and I just ran up the first 400 feet on super easy ice and snow climbing. 


More cool ice formations, this time in the two foot thick black ice of Portage Lake.


A photoshopped Jenny on graphically tweaked textures in the black ice.



Conditions on Death Lizard (left) and Rainbow Bridge (right).


Conditions on the Fringe wall.


Conditions on Gingus.


Conditions on Lucky Man. Andy and I also went and climbed this classic. 

Peters Recon

Andy Sterns and I, buoyed by reports of good ice conditions back in Peters Creek, headed back to see what we could see. Our schedule was pretty aggressive, aiming to complete the 20-mile ski approach on day one, climb an alpine route of some sort the following day, and a ski out with a dinner appointment on day 3. It ended up looking like our aggro schedule wasn't going to work, but we did get a pile of good load hauling in. After we got done here we headed to Portage and found good ice conditions.


Ready to go...



Cool ice formations in Peters Creek


Rumble and Peeking graphic photo art

January 23, 2011

And...more drama on Cerro Torre

So, I can't guarantee that my sentiments here are shared, but - There are a few areas in the climbing world that seem like they receive more than their share of press. I have to include Yosemite (sorry, all, but I don't really want to see another picture of the changing corners pitch) and Patagonia (Is that Cerro Torre's summit mushroom again?) in that category. 

In all honesty the climbing in Patagonia has huge appeal to me due to its alpine nature and clean granite. But, at the same time, there are other spires of comparable size and beauty that remain rarely visited or even unclimbed in other areas of the world. It is to these places that my thoughts and desires extend. 

Many people in the climbing world already know about last year's David Lama and Red Bull debacle on Cerro Torre, in which case David et al reportedly placed about 60 bolts on the already overbolted and overclimbed Compressor Route. These bolts were placed in the name of filming David's attempt to free climb the well-traveled route which consists of miles of splitter cracks which take protection easily. 

Colin Haley has a great post here which outlines Mr. Lama's approach last year, and describes how his team intends to approach the climbing on Cerro Torre this year. Apparently, Mr. Lama intends to rap bolt a steep headwall on Cerro Torre, starting at the summit. Read up if you want to, leave it if you don't. It's more commentary on the controversy - but it comes from Colin's personal experience in this case and as such is illuminating in a different way. Here's the link.

I swear, I really will post climbing pics from the last couple weeks soon. My truck is broken down with my camera in it, so please wish me speedy truck recovery!

January 18, 2011

Cool Ski Video - Northwest Couloir of Shuksan

Soon I will catch up on posting climbing pics from the last week. For now, enjoy this sweet video. I hope this winter is treating everyone well.


BD athlete Zack Giffin skis Mt. Shuksan's Northwest Couloir from Black Diamond Equipment on Vimeo.

January 11, 2011

Maui Wowie

Wendy and I just had a great trip to Maui, an entirely new place to me. Tomorrow, off to climb in the Chugach with Andy Sterns!

Here are a few pics from our trip. Highlights were trail runs up 10,000 foot Haleakala and a cool trail loop we ran from Wainapanapa to Hana and back, as well as hanging out with friends and various modes of water play.


A humpback surfacing off the coast near Kahului.


Wendy dropping into the crater on a fun 13-mile trail run up across Haleakala crater from a lower trailhead, finishing on the sliding sands trail at the summit visitor's center at 10,000 feet. We hitched from there back to the car at the lower trailhead. A great day out!


 A funny sign at a beach along the Hana road where we went surfing and snorkeling.


Have you seen our beachballs? They're about THIS big.



Rugged coast at Nahiki.


In camp at Wainapanapa, near the black sand beach.


Wendy doing her yoga on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean, mid trail run from Wainapanapa to Hana.


A fishing hut mid trail run between Wainapanapa and Hana.


The view of the violence and textures in moving water from the sea cliffs we ran along between Wainapanapa and Hana. We definitely recommend this outing!