My friend Laurel

Approach in the fog Photo by Laurel

Approach in the fog
Photo by Laurel

I only got to climb and socialize about a dozen times with her so I won’t pretend to have been one of her closer friends. I can’t tell you that much of who she was. There are just a few times I caught glimpses of what she was like, and I grew to appreciate this unassuming person based upon what I saw. Perhaps the most striking was when I was desperate for a climbing partner my last weekend before going back to steady work again. I had offers from people who would go cragging with me but I was holding out for something “Big”.

“Is Der Sportsman big enough for you?” She dryly inquired. Not only did she invite me to join her and Zac, but spend a long weekend with them and Daphne at their short term rental in Leavenworth. With that invitation I remember thinking that she didn’t fit the “Seattle Chill”personality. I had a wonderful few days there with them all, cragging, eating(lots of root veggies), and eventually getting on with Prussik peak. That is where I caught another glimpse into her steady and unpretentious nature to the bitter end( for me) of that 21 hr day.

Perhaps our finest outing together was her only first ascent that I am aware of, and my first in several years. I felt that we really became friends on that trip. I got to see what she was like all excited at getting to the top, and all the way back to town there was that smile. I remember being excited to have found another top-notch local climbing partner. It is so like human nature to not realize what you have until it is gone, and in this case there can never be recompense. She was too much to so many people. I sometimes feel like a composite of all the different people that I have known, and I will save a good part of myself for her.

Off belay Laurel Fan

Dear diary.

…or, the whole journal thing.

 

I believe it started with me bragging to my aunt that I wanted to try climbing someday. I told her this on a trip to a downtown bookstore. Approximately 7 years old at the time,(early 70s?) She gave me a jab in the side by buying me a “Climbing Journal” published by the Mountaineers at the time. Of course, it would be a couple of years until I got to try the sport. By then reading instructional books and the right friends lent the confidence and opportunity to do the sport. Early on, the journal was a large motivator;  I just had to fill up the pages with quality stories and photos! Climbing became the thing in my life and so keeping up on my geeky journal changed greatly. I had no idea it would lead to this blog site. I now write more for the reader than myself. That alone is oddly motivating, this idea of being watched. I guess I am a bit of a ham in that regard. Thanks for putting up with such vanity. I just hope that it’s helpful to other adventure seekers.

 

It keeps me humble to remember where I’ve come from, and wondering still where I can go.

 

My first climb  worthy of the journal.

My first climb worthy of the journal.

 

 

Scan 9

 

My favorite trips.

First of all I wish to thank my many climbing partners over the years. These lists and stories would not be possible without a trusted friend on the other end of the rope.

I don’t believe in a pre-climber age for myself. I finally got to use ropes and gear at age 9 or so. It was a relief to be able to protect the crazy antics I had done as an even smaller child. I was the kid way up in the tree. Confidence wasn’t strong in me then though. I learned from books mostly. I had no upper body strength as a lad, so when I got the training and gear, I aid climbed mostly. No rock shoes for years meant 5.7 was scary, and it took many years before I did my first lead at that grade.  After graduating high school in ’81, I got my first pair of rock shoes and took up free-climbing in earnest. I moved to Mt Hood the next year and re-established my passion for the high peaks.  I came to realize how climbing would drive my life. A monster traverse of the Cascade Volcanoes, followed by a few summers in Yosemite, with winters in Tahoe, confirmed that the big routes were where I wanted to be. I willed and worked my way through many of them, always pushing myself to be my best. A few accidents/injuries tempered my ambitions. My carpentry career led me back to Portland in 86, Seattle in 2000, where I currently reside.

Climbing isnt everything to me though. I value being a good father, mate, worker,  friend, and citizen. I have recently become a political activist. I urge you to get involved in your community. Please make a difference.

I had always kept a book-type journal about my climbing. I started keeping a digital one in the early 2000s, which led to launching the 1st waynessite in 2006. I was afraid I didnt have enough content, which led to , of course, way too much content. Later(2009), I started this wordpress, streamlined the extras (Thanks Jon), and now I use it mostly for trip reports. Just remember, dreams can happen.

Here are a few trips/experiences that had a deep effect on me.

1973 Roped climbing at Broughtons Bluff, I asked a party to borrow a harness and a tope rope.

1976 Mt St. Helens age 13

1978 Beacon Rock, first multi-pitch

1982 The Cascade Enchainment: Jefferson to Broken top. 7 summits

1982 South Face Washingtons Column, on 19th birthday, Prow solo in 83.

1983 Zodiac, El Cap, the Nose in 85

1985 Ice 9, Mt Mendel

1986, January injury left me with a lot to think about for 9 months.

86 N Face of Grand, Andromeda, and New Route in Blogett in 1 road trip

88 Guiding 2 trips on Denali, one of them from the Ruth

88 Complete N Ridge of Stuart, Discovered the North Cascades, sigh…….

89 FA,Dragons Of Eden, Dragontail. PFA, Solid gold soon after.

Early 90s-current, Raised 2 daughters

93 FA, Arachnophobia, Mt Hood: My first Black Spider adventure.

94 N Butt, Mt Fury, discovered the Pickets, long sigh….

96 Sunshine route on Snowpatch, world-beater classic.

96 N Face, Mt Temple, phew.

97 South Face Artesonraju,  A month in Peru

2000, Attempt N Ridge of K2, to 7000m. Moved to Seattle.

02 Original West Ridge Mt Hunter , to 11k

02 Direct N Butt. Bear Mt.

03 FA, The Southern Pickets Traverse.

03 FA, NW Ridge Mt Logan. Solo

04 Ham and Eggs, Mooses Tooth

04 FA, The Sawtooth Traverse, 20 summits/pinnacles

05 FA, The Northern Pickets Traverse.

06 FA, Mongo Ridge, West Fury. Solo

07 FA, N. Dihedral Direct , Snow Creek Wall, in winter conditions.

09 Benetiers rt, El Mocho, Patagonia

09 FA, Gran Torino, Dome Peak

10 FA, East Face, Pyramid Peak

10 Scenic Cruise, Black Canyon

10 Index Traverse

10 Beckey- Choinard, S.Howser Tower

11 Springbok Arete, Les Cornes.

11 Mummy 234, Hyalite

12 The Replicant, Mt Rundle

12 The Fine Line, Elephants Perch

12 The Hitch Hiker, S. Early Winter Spire

13 Goats Beard, Goat Wall

13 Oz/Positive Vibrations, Needles

13 The Passenger, SEWS

14 Rainbow Serpent, Ghost

14 The Silmaril, Zion

15  Weeping Pillar/Hydrophobia/Curtain Call

15 5 Desert Towers

15 Ellen Pea rt, Supercave

15 Der Sportsman, Prussik Peak

15 Twisted, Superbok, Mixed Master, and Bourgeau Left

You.

Yes, you.

Climbing would not be nearly as fun without being  with friends while doing it. People continue to be one of my favorite aspects of the sport. Thanks to many good friends, I have had countless great trips and good times along the way.

Thanks also to you the reader, and if we haven’t already, I hope to meet you along the journey. Thanks for making all of this “me ” sharing a more comfortable thing. It can be a weird idea to publish a personal journal in public, but I have never seen a negative encounter to cause worry.

Thanks to the climbing community. It is amazing what the collective can do at different times. I continue to see great eras,and great change occur, with renewed inspiration for the sport. So, just feeling extra grateful, thats all.

Mikes new book is out!!

jpeghttp://www.amazon.com/Climbing-Stronger-Faster-Healthier-Beyond/dp/149965667X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=8-1&keywords=michael+layton+book

So my buddy Michael just released his second edition of his monster book: Climbing Faster, stronger, and healthier! Picture ALL of the “How to” books of climbing put into one! Also throw out all of the mundane beginner fundamentals. It is literally 12 books in one. Outstanding information in all of these areas:

1. Training Basics (my weakness)

2. Preparation and prevention, covers 99% of the body.( web discount codes for the other 1%)

3.4.  Exercises.

5, 6. The Mental aspects of climbing and training. Cant get enough on this subject.

7,8.  Health and nutrition.

9-12.  More than you can ever imagine on planning skills technical equipment, and trickery. These sections validate the old saying “old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill, every time” You will be a way more savvy climber after these chapters!

  I am lucky man to have such great friends. I tend to be drawn to intelligent  people. Though it seems unlikely to have an occasional conflict with such considerate and thoughtful friends, it can happen. I recall a heated argument that left me at odds with my best friend. I wanted to do The Fine Line on Elephants perch, but I did not want to have to lead all of its difficult pitches ( all 12 of them are difficult). I was lucky to find a person to swap leads at the base camp to replace my now upset friend. He was lucky that he found a partner as well to do an easier route. I felt bad for the move, but this is typical behavior for an ambitious nature/bastard. We later talked and made amends, but his argument had holes. I remember him saying: ” Well, you have gotten better” (as a climber). My reply was, ” well, ALL of climbing has gotten better”  ..and continues to. It is up to each individual to either keep up, or enjoy the easier routes with people that stay at moderate difficulty climbs.

I recall another argument I had with a younger friend. I do enjoy discovering when I take the wrong side of the agreement >in this case> We we talking about the harder routes and how after a climb like the Passenger gets done. I thought very few ascents occur annually say, 2-3. We later met that many at the Mazama store that had climbed it prior,  or had climbed it that weekend. “Its the new thing” he explained, everybody’s doing these routes that just a few years prior were thought to be sacred relics of difficulty!

People, the day is here when the crowded classics are no longer just the 5.8s and 9s of yesteryear! They are your dream routes, and they are getting done all the time.

  

   Throw in the aging issue, finding partners and keeping up with the culture of the area, you have your work cut out for you. How about the safety issue? The more fit we are the safer and enjoyable the experience.You wouldn’t even be looking for improvement and knowledge if you ware happy with where you are. It has been my pleasure to work on the several of the ideas in Michael’s book, through trial and conversation over the years, It makes me proud to be friends with a person willing to take on the struggle of amassing such a great body of work. I hope it invigorates your passion for the the next big adventure as it has mine.

There are so many reasons to want to be a more fit and efficient  outdoor person. How about just the joy of sending some amazing hard route? Setting  yourself up for that sick trad route? You’re first – first ascent?, or just looking good at the lake? How about living longer and a more fulfilled life , because, you will only get this one.

  We spring forth from the Earth, and it is always calling us back. Enjoy Michaels new book, Wayne

The new Northwest Oregon Rock/Ice guide!

Tims new book 2012!

It is out, the Northwest Oregon Rock/Ice guide!

I wasn’t expecting it, and it surprised me greatly. The trend in Tims series gradually had less content as the new editions came out. This one obliterated that trend with an exhaustingly complete catalogue of nearly all of the major ares as well as dozens of the obscure. Such a treat for the adventure groveler. Areas include 80 different climbing areas from south to Eugene north to St Helens. East to Hells Canyon. From winter mixed on Illumination Rock, to a brief section on the Menagerie. He also included Gorge Ice! The Wolf Rock section is amazing. Absent is the Portland area crags, and the Beacon area, but he has covered that well in the past efforts. Not since the Dodge guide have we seen a book that covers so much of Northern Oregon. This edition really floored me with the vast array of information and areas I hadnt even heard of. Cant wait to check  out some of them for sure.
Hats off to you Tim, and thanks for nearly 20 years of hard work in your public service to us all, Wayne

Buy it here, for surprisingly little $ : http://www.portlandrockclimbs.com/portland-rock-climbs
Its the 2nd book down the list.

Footnote: This is hardly an unbiased review of this book. Tim has been a dear friend to myself and others for many years. I have enjoyed his work greatly, and have enjoyed working with him on a small part of his relentless efforts to bring it all out to the climbing community. We expect to have the new Mt Hood Guidebook out soon. Again it will be a biased review, as Tim and  I were some of the main authors to that particular project.

Something big going on.

As I write this, friends of mine are on a traverse that I have  held to be the last great traverse project. Joining the Southern and Northern Pickets summit -ridge Traverses stands to be the grandest of all the lower altitude alpine tours. It is now day 4 for them and they have yet to make contact with their phones, which is a spotty prospect at all. Like Ginnie said to me: If they are flying they should be clearing Picket Pass. God Speed Lads!

I am so excited for them as I have come to terms with my own ambitions with this daunting project. My knee and energy level are not quite what they used to be.  I had my time in this great range. It is just awesome to help, and see these fine young climbers pick up the torch and see dreams come true.

Sols Tr on CC.com

 

Jens tr. in web log form, so find the newer posts

Dans tr

Update below

South and North Pickets, photo by Seth

Update 9-9-11 day 8.  Dan H, Sol W, and Jens H pulled off the amazing feat of bagging the 2nd ascent of the Summit Ridge Traverse of the Southern Picket Range, adding Outrigger and Luna in the Northern range as well.. cant wait to hear the story!

Wine Spires: Rampage, Action Potential

Lane and I went on a hard route spree last weekend bagging Paisano Pinnacle via the  Rampage route (4.5 p, 5.10d)and the (probable) 3rd ascent of Action Potential (9p, 5.10c/d, imo) on the East face of Burgundy Spire (a route we had attempted a few years ago).

We had a great time on these wild routes of similar character. Both routes had steep flaring thin-cracks and very strenuous cruxes.

Afrter humping the bivy up to the col saturday we racked up and hit The Rampage route on Paisano in the afternoon. The 4 and a half pitch route was great, offering 2 crux pitches that had similarities to a fist fight. Maximum effort was required to stick to the rattly jams and locks. The last pitch we got off route and I ended up traversing across some wild face to avoid the disappearing seam I had got stuck on.

Sunday, We were up in the morning to chop steps with a rock to get around to Action Potential. A couple of my friends, Mike Layton and Mark Allen, put up this route . I liked the name, and Lane and I wandered up there a few years ago only to find it foggy. This time we were headed up it and found good rock and fun moves with a very demanding crux. Their sense of humor was evident on pitch 6 with the “fun” 5.8 pitch. Expect very serious climbing and route finding on this, the 2nd crux. Impressed with the exposure and the how dang long the route was, it was great to be on the summit after a 14 pitch weekend. Not bad for a couple of 48 year olds.

will load Lanes photos soon.

Paisano Pinnacle Route is corner on right of center


Camp @ Burgundy Col


Action Potential p1

A.P. up high


A.P. up high


A.P. up high


A.P. up high


The Summit of Burgundy Spire

The View From Burgundy Col

Here are some of Lanes pics

P1 Action Potential


Mid route A.P.


The Crux?


The Chimney


Wild move at the top

Willis Wall Analysis

Then along came a (much bigger) Spider..

So I recently returned to my volcanic climbing roots with another ascent of the Black Spider (2010, Center Drip) and a new variation on Mt Adams (2011, Ice Extension). Slag heaps they are, but they can offer  good long seasonal ice due to their altitude.

Looking to take the next step, I have started looking at a much more tempestuous project.  When I say project, I am talking about a long time frame to possibly align the many issues with a massive and dangerous climb. I dont think the climbs themselves are very difficult, it is the rock and icefall I am most concerned with. Which leads me to think the face has a short conditions window to mitigate that and the many other barriers to getting to the top of the Willis Wall. We saw a monster bergsrund at the base. It is the largest on I have ever seen in the lower states. Here is a close up of it:

We did not get close enough to find a way through it, but it looked very daunting. In the line of the fire, and it would not be a place to wander around in the dark. The dead of winter or early spring would tame it out, but then one would be concerned about snow avalanches then.

Of course it would need to be cold as well as stable weather in store. When we were there last week it did not get below 45 degrees at night (7500′). Game over for now.

There are people that think it would go in late fall. I see this as a bony, black ice sketchathon. It would need to be a heavy snow pack in the prior winter to help with that. Though in the 80s I had success with the Eliot Glacier  Headwall on mt Hood one October day, climate change has left more scree and ancient hard ice these days in the fall.

Each of the 3 ribs have their particular issues too. I think the center is the most dangerous due to the amount of rock I saw at the base. All save the left rib has very high serac fall danger too. Here is Jens’ short trip report from the most recent rip I know of. He found an interesting way around the shrund. Lorens Trip Report

1989 ascent.

Which brings me to the final issue, is it all worth it as a route to spend so much energy on?  I prefer technical difficulty combined with aesthetics when looking for a route to pursue. Is this what I will find there? I am not sure, but I will have to have another look at it for sure, Be safe, and I would love to hear any input on this subject, Wayne

Update, thanks, there are some good ideas in the comments now.