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January Quandary IV

Need a climbing partner? Trying to form a hiking group for an outing?
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Re: January Quandary IV

Postby kansas » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:44 am

Alby426 wrote:I am watching the weather and it seems like it may snow. We can press on or start considering a date change. Thoughts?


Press on Al! It's winter mountaineering, right? :P
"In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams."
— Jon Krakauer

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Re: January Quandary IV

Postby KeithK » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:07 am

kansas wrote:
Alby426 wrote:I am watching the weather and it seems like it may snow. We can press on or start considering a date change. Thoughts?


Press on Al! It's winter mountaineering, right? :P


A high of 23 is about as good as it gets this time of year... you have to remember, winter and snow are DUMB. There's no getting around it!

See you Saturday. :-"
Snow is dumb.™

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Re: January Quandary IV

Postby kansas » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:56 am

I knew you would come to your senses, Keith...

Also, does anyone out there have some recent pictures of the Blue Lakes/Monte Cristo Creek area? More specifically, pictures of the approach for the West Ridge?
"In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams."
— Jon Krakauer

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Re: January Quandary IV

Postby Gueza » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:12 pm

See you all Saturday! :mrgreen:
Look at every setback, failure, and time you feel down in your life as a temporary, fixable condition. That is how you never give up and keep moving onwards.

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Re: January Quandary IV

Postby Doug Shaw » Wed Jan 12, 2011 6:50 pm

kansas wrote:Also, does anyone out there have some recent pictures of the Blue Lakes/Monte Cristo Creek area? More specifically, pictures of the approach for the West Ridge?


No recent pics, but having been there in the past I took one look at the "hanging valley" and dismissed it out of hand - it looks like a death trap in winter. Continue a bit further west and ascend up to the west rim of that basin then follow it over to the ridge. Even gaining the ridge you may need to do some routefinding to gain the ridge to avoid avalanchey bits...

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Re: January Quandary IV

Postby JA_son27 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:08 pm

I'm actually quite nervous about attempting my first winter summit, you guys will hold my hand right?
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
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Re: January Quandary IV

Postby Alby426 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:16 pm

Let's press on, it may not be the easiest, but it will be good.
Whom ever may need hand holding, as long as I can wear my gloves, OK.
West ridge, I would consider that route dicey. MonteCristo, shouldn't be attempted, due to avalanche danger.
See you Saturday.

Make sure that you have enough clothes to have NO SKIN EXPOSED :P

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Re: January Quandary IV

Postby crossfitter » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:26 pm

Doug Shaw wrote:
kansas wrote:Also, does anyone out there have some recent pictures of the Blue Lakes/Monte Cristo Creek area? More specifically, pictures of the approach for the West Ridge?


No recent pics, but having been there in the past I took one look at the "hanging valley" and dismissed it out of hand - it looks like a death trap in winter. Continue a bit further west and ascend up to the west rim of that basin then follow it over to the ridge. Even gaining the ridge you may need to do some routefinding to gain the ridge to avoid avalanchey bits...


Yeah, the hanging valley was definitely ruled out right away. The most conservative option we see is to travel much further west towards Monte Cristo creek and ascend the gentle SW aspect once north of pt 13515. We're most interested in conditions on Quandary's south face and North Star's north face as the route crosses potential runout paths under those faces. Any and all input will not fall on deaf ears.
- A mountain is not a checkbox to be ticked
- Alpinism and mountaineering are not restricted to 14,000 foot mountains
- Judgment and experience are the two most important pieces of gear you own
- Being honest to yourself and others about your abilities is a characteristic of experienced climbers
- Courage cannot be bought at REI or carried with you in your rucksack


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Re: January Quandary IV

Postby kansas » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:10 pm

Doug Shaw wrote:
kansas wrote:Also, does anyone out there have some recent pictures of the Blue Lakes/Monte Cristo Creek area? More specifically, pictures of the approach for the West Ridge?


No recent pics, but having been there in the past I took one look at the "hanging valley" and dismissed it out of hand - it looks like a death trap in winter. Continue a bit further west and ascend up to the west rim of that basin then follow it over to the ridge. Even gaining the ridge you may need to do some routefinding to gain the ridge to avoid avalanchey bits...


Thanks, Doug. As crossfitter said, our plan is to swing as far west as we can and completely avoid the "hanging vally". Neither one of us it afraid to turn around if things don't look good, I was just asking for pictures to get an idea of what the snow coverage is like in the area.
"In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams."
— Jon Krakauer

Re: January Quandary IV

Postby CDR242 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:46 am

Anyone need a ride or have an open seat?

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Re: January Quandary IV

Postby specmiata37 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:52 am

CDR242, I sent you a PM.
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Re: January Quandary IV

Postby GravityPilot » Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:31 am

I was in that area last Saturday. The north face of North Star was wind stripped except for the gullies and couloirs the slabs up there are incredibly hard. The Cristo Couloir on Quandary was the same way. The road to the dam was mostly covered except where the winds scoured it out. The snow coverage up the basin was spotty in some places due to this same wind. Since Saturday we have seen a strong surface hoar event, double digit negative temps and over a foot of snow in some places. I would expect to see new snow on top of very hard slabs, and considerable wind loading. There is more than enough snow for transport. The winds have been perfect to put snow right in the starting zones rather than lower down the paths. Some faces may show good anchoring due to the sastrugi that was on the surface before the last storm, but other places were buffed out flat which could equal that perfect sheer surface. The storm that is moving in now seems to be losing steam. It's coming in warm, but the temps will decrease as it goes on, and the winds should remain moderate. Could be a pleasent winter day up there. The trek out to point 13151' or whatever it is, is a long one, the valley floor is riddled with willows and the snow tends to rot out. I'd allow for a lot of extra time. Have fun, I might be skiing out there on Saturday.

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