The Pearly Gates route is a route usually deemed for beginners during the spring and summer. However, when undertaken during the winter, the route really takes on an elevated level of seriousness. Trail breaking, steep hard blue ice, and high winds, all make for what I consider a Cascade classic.
One of the considerations I have had for a long time has been spending a summer season climbing a bunch of alpine routes close to home. The irony of me leaving for peaks abroad during the core of the climbing season here has never been lost on me. For that, I have never actually had the time to climb in the Boston Basin.[...]
First Ascent: Epicing on Urus Este’s West Face is part of Death & Failure, Cordillera Blanca 2018. The Plan The only one of who had really ever thought of this route was Nacho. He brought his students from the IFMGA Alpine School to a different route up the West Face just a few weeks prior. They [...]
Planning my return to the Cordillera Blanca, something in my gut felt off a few weeks before heading out. So much so that a month before flying out I dramatically reduced the length of my trip without really any good reason. Maybe I felt that my success rate of 100% in South America the previous [...]
We got a nice late start at 5am to begin our approach up to the base of the Fuhrer Finger. We had blue skies overhead, but the weather forecast upgraded our possibility of storms from “slight chance” to just regular “chance”. Across the horizon, Mount Adams and Mount Saint Helens were already covered with storm clouds as well. Taking a chance on the “chance”, we made the call to move up. If a storm did start to come in, we’d just have to figure something out.[...]
One of the most frequently asked questions I get from new climbers eyeing Mount Rainier is about altitude sickness. Altitude sickness is one of those things that looms over most new climbers before their first big climbs. Rainier also happens to be many budding alpinists' first big climb. First thing's first, short of trying to [...]
To be honest, coming off of Cayambe’s Santa Barbara Ridge, the last thing I felt like doing was writing about it. I was exhausted. After 15.5 hours of hard climbing (plus the previous 10 days), just sitting at our table in the hut’s dining room was difficult. Aside from a few notes, I opted to forego writing anything about this climb for another month.[...]