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Author Topic: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face  (Read 11733 times)
alecapone
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june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« on: 06/13/11, 08:56 AM »

Franklin(FWB)and I had a great day climbing and riding Argonaut's NE couloir and upper face this past Saturday. I'm sure he'll get a better report up soon, but he is buried in pile of recent trips that he has yet to get to.





Alpine start under clear skies up a snow free trail past the colchuck/stu lakes junction, then spotty afterwards. Left the trail for a short shwack,  a very slippery log crossing, and then a little too much post holing for 2 guys carrying skis. Skies on, and  few more creek crossings, then we where in the clear. Snow was continuous all the way down to the creek, but very firm, so we put our pointy shoes on.
Climbing the couloir itself was fun,,, especially with Frankling leading the whole way!. We hit it pretty early, so it was still firm(wish I had brought two tools). I'm not gonna estimate the pitch since I think the firmness made it feel a bit steeper then it was. With Franklin's hard work, soon enough we topped out into the sunshine, with snow starting to soften.






Then we made our way over for a sporty pitch to the upper snow field. again Franklin lead up a nice___________.  I'll let him fill in the blank. Nice place to have my first taste of protected climbing. if that's what you want to call it.. more like being hauled. Both my knees are sporting some nice bruising.  A nice steep traverse across a now very soft upper snow field brought us finally to the final couple hundred feet, and a short scramble to a place that has taken me a half dozen half hearted attempts to get too.









Weather and views where so nice we lingered forever, and where finally joined by two following climbers. Colchuck looked busy, and we spotted a few people climbing the cascadian on Stuart.  Franklin read some familiar names from the register out loud. I felt in good company, and a moment of sorrow for the names of those who our no longer with us. Time to go now. Back to our gear then a transition to ride mode. The upper face seemed scarily soft on the up, even more so with the exposure below it, but it rode famously with barely any movement. The climbers let us rap off their rope in exchange for the nice steps Franklin put in.




Now the part I came for. The glorious sun that had been softening the snow in the couloir had moved on and left shadows and hardening snow. The upper turns where pretty good, but the lower we went, the firmer it got. From fun to gripping until we made it to the constriction. We stopped and dug a small platform to transition back to crampons, and down climbed for bit. The back to sliding tools for some stress free turns in slightly  slushy snow all the way back to the creek. Camera stayed in my pocket from rap to bottum of the decent since I was so focused on what i was doing..

Thanks Franklin for an awesome day and showing me a few more tricks for my bag!




   




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scott
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #1 on: 06/13/11, 09:02 AM »

I'm sure he'll get a better report up soon, but he is buried in pile of recent trips that he has yet to get to.

That's a tough problem to have... Wink

Great TR -- sounds like some sweet new tricks for sure!  Sporty indeed...
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Pete_H
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #2 on: 06/13/11, 09:03 AM »

Nice! I thought I saw tracks on the upper E Face yesterday. Eric W and I climbed the coulior and the face last weekend but continued with our original plan of skiing the S Face of Argonaut and exiting out Porcupine Creek and Colchuck Glacier. Nice job on the coulior - must have been full value.  
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alecapone
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #3 on: 06/13/11, 09:10 AM »

ha..

Given the conditons, that would have been the wiser and much quicker route to take back.

We where questioning throughout  the climb if the ghosts we could see where human, goat, or tumblers until we finally seen holes from axes near the top.
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scott
lrudholm
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #4 on: 06/13/11, 09:52 AM »

Sounds like a nice day out! I bet it felt good to ski it off the top. That boot pack looks steep.
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Leyland
fwb
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #5 on: 06/13/11, 11:27 AM »

Thanks writing the tr for the idea to finish our left-over business up there.  I'll get to one of my trs this week... trying to at least get to the pictures.  It was interesting to randomly leave the Stuart Lake trail and land spot on the climbers trail first time.  The regular ski and wide ars snagging of trees.  The first log being slippery and a long crossing I was re-quessing my judgement half way across looking at it getting narrower and slipery-(er).  Fun to go from standing to chaval.  Crossing like that get my knees shaking.  Luckily on our route beck we followed the freeway of prints that lead to a short crossing with a much more friendly log crossing.

We made great time up the trail.  Bogged down post holing up Mountaineers creek til we donned or boards.  We spotted boot prints from last week  occasionally wandering around. The Coulour started out mellow with what looked like fresh goat tracks going up.  I'd read the pitch never exceeds 40  degrees.  In the constriction and a few other places I measured it up to 55 degrees. A little dicey with the hardness and runnels on the way down.  The  way up was wishing I'd brought steel crampons. Front-pointing was easy, but setting buckets gave ample chance to takes pauses.  Had to laugh after
mentioning it seemed normal to put in steps then another group to blaze on behind. I thought they said they didn't even need crampons. Wasn't the legs  getting worked.  It was the arms trashed from too much mouse action and jambing the ax in for solid placements.  I must be a whimp.

Not sure how I blazed by and missed the cl4 pitch to the upper snow field.  Would have been much more fun than the 120' of cl5 ski snagging chimney.

After our attempt two months ago that turned into a local white-out it was nice to see the awesome views and activity on nearby peaks -ants on Stuart and Colchuck.
A long day...  though another good day in the mountains : )
-fwb

And now some mountain porn...




Scott going all terrain.  Solid snow from the creek - well a bit spotty right where the trees meet the avy debris.



Lower north basin looking up.  NE Col just left of high point.  can only see a sliver of it.


Booting up with Eightmile, Axis and Cashmere as our backdrop


The NE Coulour,  it felt steeper than it looks.


Feeling like a thousand kick steps later topping off the Coulour with the striking view of Colchuck and Dragontail


After out fun bit of rock climbing (with ski boots and crampons) we crossed the upper snow field


Scott leaving the snow over the false summit for a view of the final scramble to the summit


Plenty of oppurtunities to soak in the views.


Finally the summit block


uber wide summit pano looking north down Mountaineers Creek


Dropping in to the NE Coulour



Happy back out in the sun -the col doesn't look that steep from here...


Happy turns...


Almost back at the trees, snow was getting soft.  We were very happy to have floatation seeing th efreeway of post-holes.


Can't forget the numerous log crossings

A few more images here
-fwb
« Last Edit: 06/14/11, 04:24 PM by fwb » Logged
trees4me
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #6 on: 06/13/11, 12:52 PM »

strong effort guys, looks like some nice ski alpinism!
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chill people, skiing is fun
ryanl
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #7 on: 06/13/11, 04:17 PM »

Nice one boys! Love the log crossing with skis/splits on.
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blitz
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #8 on: 06/13/11, 08:18 PM »

very exciting!
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alisa
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #9 on: 06/13/11, 08:52 PM »

Nice trip Franklin and Scott!!  Cool  Scott, are those Dynafits on your split board? Btw, Jake wants to hit Baker again with his latest prototype binding, it's in the final stage. You game next month?
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davidG
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #10 on: 06/13/11, 08:53 PM »

All That Jazz.. nice.  And there's just something about the name, Argonaut, don't you think..

Gotta like the 'new' pic non-policy, too.
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"Good for you for getting it and thank goodness I wasn't there with you."  [courtesy mikerolfs, 2014]
fwb
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #11 on: 06/13/11, 08:57 PM »

I figure you can add all the pics you want if you link to your own server/website.  That way the TAY storage is only of the link.  Well, that's what I assume.  If wrong, I'm sure the web gurus out there will let me know ; )
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Marcus
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #12 on: 06/13/11, 10:12 PM »

Updating of the site's photo posting guidelines is long overdue (and entirely on me)... there's not really a limit on photos, just the encouragement to put up the best you've got and not dump the entire photo card into the TR.  Great pics Franklin.
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cumulus
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #13 on: 06/13/11, 11:04 PM »

ha ha!  that helmet's making the rounds...

more good mileage!
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Stefan
mick_scott
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #14 on: 06/14/11, 02:02 AM »

Cool trip! I'm glad you were able to get out during the high pressure.
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BUSHWACK AND....
kath
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #15 on: 06/14/11, 04:06 PM »

way to go you guys!!! awesome pix .. even if they aren't fm afar scott  Wink
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jesski
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #16 on: 06/14/11, 04:31 PM »

yeah scott!!
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bringing the fun since 1984
Big Steve
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #17 on: 06/14/11, 05:34 PM »

Lookin' good, Honeybadger!
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danhelmstadter
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #18 on: 06/14/11, 06:47 PM »

Nice Scott!

that walk across log crossing in boots looks like a challange!
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MW88888888
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #19 on: 06/14/11, 07:10 PM »

Me?  That hanging, exposed summit snowfield is what gets me.  That looks intense.

Nice.   
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iron
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #20 on: 06/15/11, 07:12 PM »

good stuff guys. sounds like typical franklin work. i recall a nice set of boot tracks for me heading up the N face of buckner last summer courtesy of FWB...
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alecapone
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #21 on: 06/16/11, 08:30 AM »

Thanks for all the great comments!!

Anytime Lisa! And since you asked,,,

The boots I'm using are dynafit tlt 700 lowers(courtesy of Marcus!), with lowa structura light uppers. When I had them apart I also notched out the walk/ski mode bar so that it has some play even in ski mode. cut the tounges in half, dremmeled off a bunch of plastic, and got rid of some buckels. Just about got them dialed.


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scott
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #22 on: 06/16/11, 08:33 AM »

SWEET!  So glad they're working out for you.  You can tell people you're sponsored by TAY Wink
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alecapone
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #23 on: 06/16/11, 08:48 AM »

ha..

TAY, Kyle Miller, & North Fork snowboards. My main sources of generosity... Rico dropped me due to the MOD pizza sticker on Franklin's helmet.
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scott
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Re: june 11, 2011, Argonaut, NE couloir/face
« Reply #24 on: 06/18/11, 10:38 PM »

Great pics, great report.
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