April 24, 2011

Climbing @ the Coulee - Vantage, WA

First multi-day climbing trip of 2011.  Casey, Brian and I headed down to Vantage for 2 days of climbing.  Saturday we climbed at the Millennium, Hen House and Feathers walls.  Sunday we braved the crowds at the popular Sunshine wall, show how scoring two of its classics, Ride' Em Cowboy and Boschido. Followed by two 4 star routes down on the Fat and Skinny Man walls,  the climbing here tends is steeper and more powerful due to the fractured basalt.  Very Deep Creek like:)

Ride' Em Cowboy (5th pillar over from left).  Classic arete, area classic

Ride'Em Cowgirl - Casey

Me on Boschido

Boschido's Crux

Noteworthy Sends:

Thunder Run 5.10b

Monsters Under My Bed 5.10b

Harvest 5.10c

Boschido 5.10c

Fresh Eggs 5.10d

April 18, 2011

OH CANADA - Garibaldi Provincial Park

Day 2:

OH CANADA... OH CANADA... whyfore art thou in my backyard?  Every backcoutry skiing enthusiast  needs to experience the Garibaldi's, this way Im not the only one seeking counseling for Canadian backcountry withdrawal! :) The opportunities are endless, next season larger packs and tents are to be brought along!

Peaks Skied:
1) Spearhead
2) Decker
3) Blackcomb Glacier 

Overview of our day via GPS tracks

Decker after Riding Spearhead's SE face. For perspective note the skiers putting in the skin track for us:)

Our line off Spearhead

K here as we make our way up Decker Glacier.  Spearhead and Run 1 in the background

View from Decker : Left to Right = Trorey, Overlord, Whirlwind, Fissle

Fissle and our future line:)

Another perspective shot, note the skier traversing under Trorey, heading towards Pattison

Our line off Decker

Kristin's entrance off of Decker.  I pee'd and tightened my boots before her run was over. LEG BURNER

Our last run of the day, down Blackcomb Glacier.  This thing was TOO long!  There is an additional 3 miles of to be skied, crossing through Blackcomb resort, finally dumping out at the famous Whistler village

April 17, 2011

Yet Another Bites the Dust - Joffre Group

Day 1:

Kristin, Drew and I rendezvoused in Seattle for what we hoped would be an epic trip up to Whistler,  British Columbia.  Sunday morning we popped into a Whistler village gear shop and equipped Drew with a splitty.  Hence the title "Yet Another Bites the Dust"  :)  I believe this is victim # 3...As Drew was jones-in to purchase a splitboard after his first split tour of: Joffre Group, Pemberton Area, British Columbia.  I'm not sure if I like spreading the love for the sport or if I just like increasing my odds of finding partners to dig us out on any given weekend:)  The Joffre group is accessed via the Sea-to-Sky Highway, about 1 hour beyond Whistler or 20 minutes beyond Pemberton.  The iconic Anniversary Glacier sits between Joffre and Matier Peaks, and provides a rather safe ascent route to either Joffre's W couloirs or Matier's N face.  At the base of the glacier also sits a hut (Keith's Hut) that is rumored to sleep 15+ people.  So next year... hut trip for sure!

After a 2-3 hour approach, the skies started to clear, giving us a view of Anniversary glacier and encouraged a change of plans, which involved skiing Anniversary glacier as opposed to Vantage Pk.  So we started the the climb up Joffre's East ridge to gain access to the Anniversary glacier.  It was here during a lunch break that Drew poised the question..."Do you hear that"...and I answered "ya its a plane".  ERRR wrong it was a rather HUGE av, originating from Joffre's NE steep rocky face.  We scrambled for our cameras and tried to catch it on video (see video below). I was only able to catch the final runout. the whole basin then filled with a snow cloud.  The "jet roar" was preceded by a large bang.  Which leads me to think rockfall caused by the intense warming was the trigger for the slide, as there was no signs of stability in the snowpack itself.  The Anniversary Glacier's skiers right provides a long powder filled shot right down to its base, resulting in a ~ 3000' foot run.

Anniversary Glacier, Joffre Peak on the right

Vantage Pk

Matier Pk and the line down Anniversary Glacier

Joffre Peak

The man of the day DREW DAWG - Put on his big boy pants and rode the split - soon to be addicted

K DAWG showing how the treacherous icy bridge crossing is done:)

April 3, 2011

Which Addiction? - Frechman Coulee, WA

We've all had some difficult decisions in our lives; K and I were faced with one of them this past weekend...Head north to British Columbia to rock the splitties or head south to crush some rock.  I cant tell you how many times we went back and forth, we had one room staged with skiing gear and another with  climbing gear.  Being in the sun as opposed to playing in the cold snow, won the dilemma battle... this time.

Thus we headed down to Frenchman Coulee aka Vantage.  This unique area overlooks the Columbia River Gorge, an area carved by glacier migration many many years ago.  The majority of the crags face south, thus converting Vantage into a popular winter destination...especially for all those Seattle-ites, who flee Seattle in hopes of finding something other then rain.

The setting and climbing at Vantage reminds me of one of my favorite New Mexico crags Diablo Canyon .
Vantage offers around 700+ routes both sport and traditionally protected crack climbs between vertical pillars/columns.  Below is a pic of one of the sectors at Vantage, which is then broken up into 8-10 differently named crags.      

The highest concentration of Vantage routes are seen here, including Sunshine Wall, RiverView Park, Millenium, Fat Man, Skinny Man, M&M walls.  Climbing exists on both the upper and lower cliff bands.
Kristin on Aeolachrymation 5.8 at the Riverview Columns

This ones for you Grandma Aloys (GG)
What an awesome first weekend back on the rock...first day climbing since last December:)  Defiantly took it easy, finding out I'm only a 5.10 climber off the couch.  Kristin on the other hand looked like she picked up right where she left off...she seems to improve on every route, she is gonna be strong with some training:)

Noteworthy Sends:
A Genius Bruing 5.10a
Mortal Prying in the V Shaped Realm  5.10b
Hakuna Matata 5.10b