Part II: Personal Blunders in the Mtns

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d_baker
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Re: Part II: Personal Blunders in the Mtns

Post by d_baker » Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:15 am

shelly+ wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:09 am
the many times i stumbled through cacti on a bushwhacking mission.
Thorn in my side...

Tom Pierce, holy s**t!

Tmud, tripping along and learning.... hahaha [perm-grin, not permafrost]
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rijaca
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Re: Part II: Personal Blunders in the Mtns

Post by rijaca » Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:43 am

I forgot the beer. :oops:
"A couple more shots of whiskey,
the women 'round here start looking good"
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Re: Part II: Personal Blunders in the Mtns

Post by ker0uac » Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:56 am

CoHi591 wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 8:39 pm

1. Crossing steep snow without an axe early season on Pikes. It was still dark, and there were foot prints across, and it didn't look that steep, and we had spikes. My partner made it across, I made it half way and panicked. Legitimately probably the most scared I've ever been in the mountains. it wasn't a certain death runout but it would have HURT, it was steeper than I'd thought. I was trying to use my knees and elbows as ice axes which is laughable, finally I backtracked. My buddy crossed back over without incident, I had bloody cuts all over both elbows and knees, and as the sun came up we saw it was remarkably easy to go up and around the thing. This wasn't my first time in Pikes, I had done if I recall correctly 46 of the 14ers at this point plus dozens of repeats, I have no idea why I mentally checked out and was like "ah it's fine this is just Pikes".
Crags Trail? I think I know this slope and felt uneasy about it too during a winter climb after heavy snow fall
Those who travel to mountain-tops are half in love with themselves and half in love with oblivion
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Re: Part II: Personal Blunders in the Mtns

Post by WVMountaineer » Mon Mar 01, 2021 1:56 pm

Mt. Rainier almost 2 years ago in May still early season when guided trips weren't there and lots of fresh snowfall. On summit day, the weather forecast looked great and we ascended to the summit up Emmons-Winthrop without incident with our 2 rope teams of 3 carrying their allotment of reflective fiberglass pickets. We ascended the final 800 ish feet in a cloud setting pickets at rope length for that final gain to the summit. While celebrating and taking our time on the summit that cloud layer dropped about 2000 feet leaving us descending in whiteout conditions where we didn't have the foresight to set pickets... Finding the bootpack we set on the way up was not trivial going down but we eventually made our way down the mountain without incident. After we got below the cloud layer, lightning started showering down around us for the final 2000 feet to camp which was pretty concerning considering how slow we had to move on a rope and how much metal each of us were equipped with (ice axes, crampons, carabiners, anchor, snow shovel). Blunders were made and lessons were learned that day.
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Fortune Cookie Says "Calamity is the touchstone of a brave mind."
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Rainier_Wolfcastle
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Re: Part II: Personal Blunders in the Mtns

Post by Rainier_Wolfcastle » Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:08 pm

Oh boy, which of my hundred or so blunders do I share?

Reminded of Emmons Route on Rainier by the earlier post, I’ll share a few from my climb.

I had maybe done 10 moderate(say 40ish degree slope) angle snow climbs before the trip. Read about glacier travel, but never set foot on one...which is why signed up for a “5 day Denali Training Camp/Guided Emmons Climb”. After 2 days of instruction and the approach to Camp Schurman day 3, it was summit day! We had 4, 3 man rope teams, guide leading each, I was at the other end of rope. The climb goes great, I don’t think I said a word all the way to the summit, it seemed so easy! For Emmons, the only other guided group had to turn back halfway up, and the other two non-guided groups where hours faster then us. This mid July day was ridiculously warm, sunny, with no wind...my puffy did not come out on top. The guides took us down a different way because of the conditions, down Winthrop...it was fun and a little scary, with some ad hoc lowerings and crossings. But it took a while and we were now descending on 4 inches of slush. Anyways, we are taking our last break, I sit down and just start sliding right into my rope mate...instead of doing anything with my axe I just yell “falling”, a guide yells “use your axe”, I still go pons first right into the guys butt. Super lucky I don’t make any punctures wounds. Hello brain, is anyone in there?

Next day on the “simple” descent from camp, again on 3 man teams...but this time I’m a middle guy. Not far from camp we have to step across a 2 foot wide crack. My guide and I step across, my guide has his back to us and has stopped with a fair amount of slack between us. Dude trailing me is a big solid dude weighing in the mid 200s, he steps across and it just gives way. Do I counter arrest and plunge my axe? No, I drop my axe and grab the rope with both hands. At least I do tighten the rope, lean back, dig in and slow him. Not sure how that would have gone down, had his pack not helped stop him as he wedged past waist deep. What was that?

I hope I’ve learned something from my blunders.
Shawn
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Re: Part II: Personal Blunders in the Mtns

Post by johnt » Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:25 pm

2004 was the just map and compass and Roach era. No internet or GPS help. Nate and I attempted Missouri from Cloyses Lake. Drove my new 4-Runner across Lake Creek and had a blast! We hadn't seen each other in a while and were shooting the breeze as we hiked around the lake. Kept walking and talking. Saw a gulch or ridge (I don't remember which) that looked like a good way and headed up. Kept climbing and climbing to the obvious summit. Arrived and opened the register. Emerald Peak - 13904'. We both said one unprintable word and started laughing. Then we looked around and got our maps out for the first time. We'd even bypassed Iowa! The next weekend we Toyota'd (I don't ford) the creek again and got Missouri that time.
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Trotter
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Re: Part II: Personal Blunders in the Mtns

Post by Trotter » Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:04 pm

Climbed Guadalupe Peak in west Texas... in June... With 1 liter of water.

Figured its only 3000 feet gain, and only an 8er. And I'll start at dawn anyways, so it'll be nice and cool.

Ran out of water on descent. Stopping multiple times for leg cramps. Temperature at parking lot was in 90s. Stupid.
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. -Nelson Mandela
Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called Ego. -Nietzsche
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Re: Part II: Personal Blunders in the Mtns

Post by shays_days » Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:56 pm

Trotter wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:04 pm
Climbed Guadalupe Peak in west Texas... in June... With 1 liter of water.

Figured its only 3000 feet gain, and only an 8er. And I'll start at dawn anyways, so it'll be nice and cool.

Ran out of water on descent. Stopping multiple times for leg cramps. Temperature at parking lot was in 90s. Stupid.
Bro the same s**t happened to me. Ran out of water with two friends on a 90 degree April morning and all we had in the car was a 6 pack of Smirnoff ice which we looked forward to for the entire last 2 miles down those horrible switchbacks when you think you’re almost there. And it was so so incredible, I will never again misunderestimate Smirnoff ice
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Re: Part II: Personal Blunders in the Mtns

Post by bluegrassclimber » Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:10 am

I’ve only completed 15 summits over 11k, this was my first blunder. I was descending Uncompahgre at the crux of the route. Having ascending the slightly harder branch up, and seeing a group moving down that same scramble, I figured I would save time and see the full route by going the longer way. I slipped on loose dirt and in the process of catching myself sent my trekking pole 30-50ft below the trail onto the scree slope. Thinking more about LNT than my skill level and safety I dropped down to get it.

I had my first scree skiing experience, and while it was short lived, the pole was now another 25ft or so further downslope too. The scree on this section of the mountain is a bit larger and was loose. Every step I took resulting in a shift of a couple feet of sliding rock. Decided the pole was out of reach and took the next half hour to traverse maybe the 150ft back to where the trail met up with the rock wall.

I probably would be more comfortable and capable of moving on that scree now, but as a first experience it was a good lesson in decision making - small suboptimal choices can snowball quickly.
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Re: Part II: Personal Blunders in the Mtns

Post by Wentzl » Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:34 am

1986, Mt. Baker, a 5 day glacier travel and crevasse rescue class with the American Alpine Institute. Feeling pretty strong camping out around 10,000' on the snow, in the rain and fog, wearing blue jeans and sleeping in my $15.00 Wal-Mart tent. The class goes well, I learn a lot (don’t wear jeans in the mountains) and meet up with a guy who, like me, wants to put our new skills to task. We decide to give Liberty Ridge on Mt. Rainier a whirl. Hell, it is one of the “50 Classic Climbs of North America” so it must be fun.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifty_Cla ... th_America

Side note, anybody out there who can say they have done all 50? FKT to complete?

So we load up for bear and go for it. At some point the route drops off Curtis Ridge and crosses the Carbon Glacier. (is there still a glacier there?) We didn’t like the looks of how broken up the glacier looked, and also didn’t want to lose the elevation we had already gained. So from where we are perched, we can spy a line of hikers making good progress a few thousand vertical feet above. Turns out they were following a route from Camp Schurman (this, I think, would be an ideal route for anyone aspiring to do a car to car one day ascent of Rainier) So we abandon our ambitious plan, turn our backs to Liberty Ridge and make a high camp in the middle of the glacier between established routes.

We leave our camp (literally, leaving tent/sleeping bag, stove etc.) the next morning and head up with the goal to intercept the trail where we had seen people the night before. No evidence of human activity anywhere in sight other than our own most of that day. But all goes well. Steady progress and eventually we find ourselves on top!

Now the summit of Rainier is big and confusing. There is a crater rim and the actual highest point is not easy to discern. To make sure we find it, we circumnavigate the crater. Our plan at this point is simple. Hike around the rim of the crater until we find the trail going back down to Camp Schurman, follow that trail down to the point where we can spy our camp. After all, we saw at least 10 people from camp, ergo, we should be able to see our camp from that trail. What could go wrong?

It is a beautiful day. Clear, warm, calm, we are “on top of the world”. We linger on the summit for over an hour. Finding a big obvious trail and head down. It is only a few hours later it begins to dawn on us that we might not be on the Camp Schurman trail. Nothing is familiar, but that was not a total surprise, we weren’t going down the way we came up. But it just doesn’t seem quite right.

Turns out we intercepted the Disappointment Cleaver route and were heading down away from our camp. So it is getting on around 5:00 p.m. and we are somewhere around 12,000' when this revelation hits us and for the first time in three days a bit of doubt creeps into the trip. Going back up and over and taking a second stab at finding our camp seems like a bad idea so we just keep heading down.

Well, we didn’t know it, but there is a camp on the Disappointment Cleaver somewhere around 10,000 with a cabin and a ranger. They greeted us warmly and let us spend the night in some WWII vintage sleeping bags they had on hand. Next morning we go down the rest of the route, past the visitor center and start to hitch a ride back to our cars. This is when the scope and size of the mountain really became apparent. We were roughly 90 degrees around the mountain from where we started and it was something like 120 miles by car go back around the base of the mountain.

Well, by the end of that day we had managed to get back to our cars, stash everything except water and a bit of food and sprint back up the lower part of the mountain to retrieve our camp.

Two weeks later we hooked up again in Yosemite, where another of those 50 Classic Climbs awaited, but that is another story!
Shorter of Breath and One Day Closer . . .
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Re: Part II: Personal Blunders in the Mtns

Post by justiner » Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:43 am

Wentzl wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:34 am
Side note, anybody out there who can say they have done all 50? FKT to complete?
No one person has actually done all 50 Classic Climbs. Some of the climbs are completely out of condition because of climate change, some have fallen off the mountain they were on. A husband/wife team (Smileys) actually tried; they did The Casual Route as their first climb, but that's not even on the list (D1 is). Some pretty bold, Alaskan and BC climbs on that list.

I look forward to your Royal Arch story.
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Re: Part II: Personal Blunders in the Mtns

Post by Jon Frohlich » Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:31 am

Trotter wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:04 pm
Climbed Guadalupe Peak in west Texas... in June... With 1 liter of water.

Figured its only 3000 feet gain, and only an 8er. And I'll start at dawn anyways, so it'll be nice and cool.

Ran out of water on descent. Stopping multiple times for leg cramps. Temperature at parking lot was in 90s. Stupid.
Not exactly Guadalupe but we had a horrible adventure hiking over to El Capitan from Guadalupe. We misunderstood the advice we had been given and thought it would only take 30 minutes or so each way. Well....no. The terrain was awful and we were getting scratched up by cactus and thorns everywhere. The summit was farther away than we expected too. We had thought there was another way down (there wasn't). Everything cliffed out except the way we had come. We had to return by our heinous ascent route and eventually got back to the Guadalupe trail. Our little detour had taken an extra 4 hours not 1 hour.

El Capitan sucks. Never go there. At least not the one in Texas.
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