Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day weekend -Yukla!

Where to Start?
This trip simply oozed of awesomeness in every aspect.
Headed up Eagle River valley to the Twin Falls valley Saturday with JT, A, Dogust, Julie & Chunkfest 09.

Very Busy Beavers!

After a few hours we turned and headed up the very steep hunter trail into Twin Falls.

Windy night, chicken curry, a flapping megamid and restless puppy gave way to a stunning bluebird morning.

JT, A and Dogust headed over the pass to Vertigo peak and the ridge, while J, Luz and I headed up Mt Yukla. Its the highest peak in the Eagle River valley but has a nice snow route that twists around the back side of the peak.
up up up... past the little glacier.

Over Twinsicle pass to the back side of Yukla. Mt. Soggy just plastered with ice..

up up up, made our way through a little couloir and over an ice buldge that Luz needed to be carried through. We were not sure at that point how to get her down but 'll get to that later...

summit ridge, luz needed to be tied off to prohibit 4000' cornice hucking.

Yukla has twin summits, J & luz stayed on one, while I went over to the other.

View down Yukla's North face into Icicle Creek. Nice contrast between summer's lushness and the alpine. About 6,800' vertical relief!

Time to go down. Luz was short roped as the exposure was quite stiff for a fearless puppy.

To the ice step. After some quick thought, the only real option was to sack the dog. She really did not protest at all and quickly started snoring. A good reason to bring a decent sized pack!

down down down, 1000's of feet of glissading:

Monday was beautiful again. A hiked out early, so after a mellow breakfast with JT we headed up to the ridge for a little hike before going back. JT headed over the pass again to traverse around to Emerald peak and out Thunder gorge.

Glacier Lake - the start of Eagle River and the crow pass trail valley:

Devils Mistress and Beezelbub - Two hard to climb peaks in the western Chugash.

Yukla from the trail hiking out the valley:

still oozing..

Friday, May 22, 2009


Jesse sent me this link.
Looks like a well produced and edited piece of work for sure.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

abort 2x

Feeling antsy - Plan B went into action, to try to climb Killiak in Eagle River with JT and his friend Jennifer. Hiked in to above the river at the enterance to Icicle creek Saturday night to the most stunning campsite you could ask for.

Views of Organ, Compass Butte and Flute were jaw dropping.. in a taunting sort of way.

I was feeling pretty crappy on the hike in.. J's cold seemed to pass my outer defenses. The early start to a huge day confirmed that I am indeed fighting a cold again. Turned around after like 45 minutes heading up the hunter's trail zapped for energy. Some weekends just don't work out like you hope for. Had a nice hike out the valley in gorgeous weather and went home to bed. The obsession continues.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

abort abort abort...

When high pressure comes crashing down.

Didn't even make it to the glacier. grrrr...
next time.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ze big Three

Time for some Chugach.
Going to attempt to traverse the peaks in the header photo of this blog over the next 3+ days, Flute, Organ and Polar Bear. Yes there is a reason that photo is up there!

First up Flute:
I tried it last year via the Couloir on the Flute Glacier side which was fine, but got turned around at the top rock pitch solo. So this time should be better with ropes and gear.

On to Organ:
The west face of Organ is a stunning alpine wall, but rounding the corner on the Organ glacier shows a somewhat more straight foreword route via the glacier ramp just left of center in this photo...

And lastly Polar Bear:

vamos a ver.. time to pack!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Vancouver & Squamish

Got back last night from a great trip and much needed vacation to the pacific northwest.
Julie had long been planning and training to run the Vancouver B.C. marathon so it was only natural that we extended the trip by going to granite rock mecca of Squamish for the rest of the week.

A quick buzz through Seattle and a hop over the border to the glass city of Vancouver. At first I was taken a back by the city, then began to like it. It has a huge Asian population and it kinda feels like you're in Hong Kong with the glass high rises.

That's her on the home stretch.. rock star

On to Squamish.. with one of us with dead legs and unstable rainy weather we did lots of walking around the first few days and warmed up on some nice and easier climbs and got scared on wet cracks. It had been over a year since I lead trad rock so I had to get my head game together a bit as well!

The Cheif - big wall playground!

We pretty much stayed in Smoke bluffs the whole time. Fantastic 1-2 pitch climbs around every corner. Like Pikie Corner a nice 5.8 pair of cracks:

This was another fun crack at the Neat and Cool wall:

The weather got better later in the week and we climbed till dark on one of the evenings. Hiked up to the shannon Falls climbs and lead a nice 5.8 crack that turned to fists higher up and was wet.. it generally blew me mentally for the rest of the day leading that thing.

Anyway, fantastic quality 2 pitch climbs at Mosquito - here we are topping out on Flemish Dance an awesome 5.8 that is quite stiff!

Great week, J's first real into to the world of gym-free climbing and it was great to get on some stellar granite climbs. Just as we had to leave we actually felt like we were warmed up and were ready to step it up a notch and get on some harder climbs but there is always next time. Looking foreword to more mixed in this summer at Hatchers.