As we began to make our way up the chute, the climbing stayed drama free. It was exactly what it looked like from below, fun and cruiser. We could see a trio of climbers below us in the distance below looking up at us. Below I knew it, I could feel the sun cresting over the ridge above. A few kicks later, looking over my left shoulder I could see the Wy’east ridge to the summit soaring up above us. “Woahhhhhh, Jess, this is beautiful! When you get up here look over your left shoulder!” [...]
Last year Jessica and I had so many failed attempts at the Devils Kitchen Headwall that we ended up deeming just uttering its name to be unlucky. The fails were not climbing fails, per se... forgetting our boots at home, seriously bad ice fall conditions, etc. By the time we actually managed to give it a shot, it was in condition thin enough that I didn’t deem reasonable to climb half-way through. I bailed off an extremely sketchy screw placement in aerated ice and called it a season for the Headwall. [...]
We followed the traces of our boot pack from 2 days prior, almost completely erased by the constant spindrift. The snow was a ton more stable and far less of a pain in the ass to break trail through. (That wouldn’t last.) We pretty quickly realized that we didn’t do much research about the route, the lower section of which proved to be far longer than expected. [...]
I met Jessica this last summer in the Cordillera Blanca. Our relationship kindled quickly, and a few months later she moved here to Seattle from Montreal. As they would say- the rest was history. I guess we could say that this would be the start of our climbing history. I believe that the definition of [...]
This Andean-esq rhyme clad committing route deserves to be climbed alpine style. We planned to simul-climb the entirety of the 2,000’ face, armed with a rack of screws, pickets, and a couple tiblocks for running protection. We knew that with the long warm days there would be falling ice. We would have to beat the sun before allowing it to bake the upper south west face so an early start and climbing speed would be a big factor.[...]
The North Face has been especially appealing to me. The face is really defined by two significant gullies running almost completely from bottom to top, reminiscent of some sort of double barreled musket. It’s the sort of feature one would should really only climb when conditions are solid, otherwise it would be a game of bullet dodging. [...]
I had always wanted to climb the Leuthold Couloir, an apparent Pacific Northwest classic, but being a grade II climb I just never really got around to it. When we saw a 2 day weather window open up, we made the call to shoot for the Leuthold Couloir with a camp at Illumination Rock. It would be a little easy, but hey, it’s supposed to be a classic.[...]
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.