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Author Topic: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker  (Read 54600 times)
Schrub
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #25 on: 07/08/11, 09:47 PM »

Very cool trip, I enjoyed the read.

BTW, nice to meet you at Silver on Wednesday....thanks again for grabbing my hat.

Randy
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Salal
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #26 on: 07/09/11, 11:35 AM »

Nice trip report ryan. Seems like you guys got redemption!
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Lisa
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #27 on: 07/09/11, 11:53 AM »

Wow! Congratulations on a successful traverse.  Cool Cool
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Schwerkraft
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #28 on: 07/09/11, 01:04 PM »

Einfach geil!



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tabski
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #29 on: 07/09/11, 11:57 PM »

I'm just posting again to say wow and what the fuck and god damn and so on. And I keep laughing at your thread title. Damn, boys. Soon time will come for variations on a theme.
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Gregg_C
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #30 on: 07/10/11, 03:05 PM »



James Blench climbing through the ice cliff on the North Face of Mt. Temple, Canadian Rockies, 1982.

Thanks for all the very positive comments about our traverse.  It is quite the thrill to have an idea, have it lay in fallow and then to actually came back many years later and pull it off.  Thank you Drew for rekindling the idea anew.  I wish that you could have been with us.

After our first attempt on the 12th of June, I seriously doubted that doing both peaks in one day/push was possible for me.  Sitting on my pack at Artist's point in the muggy heat, looking at all the black debris flows at the terminuous of the Curtis and feeling bone tired, my energy was drained away.  Plus, at fifty-one, I thought that my best days were behind me.  Shuksan was just a peak too far at this stage of the game.

Climbing and skiing Baker and Shuksan in one go is an interesting puzzle.  You have to hit both peaks in the right conditions and have the fitness and energy intake to match the demands of being on the go for an extended period of time.

The solution came to me a few weeks later while mulling over our failed attempt and wondering if there was a way that we could actually do it  given the above constraints.  I remembered a climb I did while working at Yamnuska Mountain School  one summer while in College.  James Blench and I wanted to do the Elzinga Route on the North Face of Temple above Lake Louise.  The problem was getting up the Dolphin (the long snow and ice patch that ascends 3k feet into the heart of the headwall) while avoiding the notorious rockfall and still have light to see our way up the ten pitches of mixed climbing leading to the north ridge.   

Our idea, which worked perfectly, was to ascend the dolphin in the late evening, sit for a few hours in our duvats for the dawn, and start climbing at first light.  We were on top of Temple by 11 am, having caught perfect conditions on all sections of the mountain.

That is where the 3 pm start came from.  We ascended Baker in an overcast evening, skied through some disheartening mush in the middle of the night but found perfect conditions in the chimneys and the upper part of Shuksan.  The ski down from the base of Shuksan's summit pyramid actually held good corn for the first 1,500 ft.  The two hour break on Lasiocarpa allowed us to rehydrate, enjoy a cooked dinner, and nap for an hour before pushing off in the dark towards Artist Point.

It was a monster day (twenty miles of travel as the crow flies and 16,000ft. of climbing) but I never felt exhausted.  A long day, and night and day of moving through a beautiful setting with a good friend.  It was all about flow and keeping it going.....

The Monika Traverse.

May you all have similar experiences in your own mountain outings.

Peace,

Gregg
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TillyJane
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #31 on: 07/11/11, 07:41 AM »

A beautiful trip Ryan and Greg. Congrats you guys!
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Mtraslin
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #32 on: 07/11/11, 11:56 AM »

Beautiful!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!!

Has the bar been raised? Yes.... And you guys finished with smiles on your faces!
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #33 on: 07/11/11, 09:23 PM »

Great trip!

To me, this sort of trip represents the future of ski mountaineering. In Fifty Classic Ski Descents of North America the authors asked the contributors, "How do you see the sport evolving?" My answer (before they edited it down) was:

Quote
In the mountains of North America, or at least in the Lower-48 States, it won’t be long before most of the classic lines that can be skied will be skied. For skiers seeking new challenges, the future of the sport will be in linkups­--skiing both steep and far. Ski mountaineers will merge the techniques developed for rando-racing with those developed for steep skiing. The emphasis probably won’t be on the steepest descents, but instead on the most elegant routes that link multiple descents on multiple peaks. These routes will revive the joy of using skis to go places, and combine it with the fun of challenging ski descents. For example, a project being pursued by Oregon skiers is the one-day ski enchainment of the Three Sisters. In the North Cascades, the possibilities are endless. Taken one at a time, our mountains are only so big, but when you start linking mountains together, the canvas becomes limitless.

« Last Edit: 07/11/11, 09:32 PM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
jtack
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #34 on: 07/12/11, 09:17 PM »

What a fantastic TR, great pictures, and a fantastic story, so well written, and a great tribute. thanks
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kam
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #35 on: 07/12/11, 09:39 PM »

Amazing and very, very inspiring!  This is a very beautiful traverse...
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What do you mean you didn't bring skis?
Atraslin
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #36 on: 07/14/11, 02:45 PM »

Epic link-up.Let's try it do it in under 24 hours next year.
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swalsh
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #37 on: 07/15/11, 03:35 AM »

Ryan
I first met Monika in 2006 doing the Watson together with Oyvind, Tim and Joe.
I was whupped bringing up the rear coming out at the parking lot, it was only when we were loading up in our 2nd car at the ski area that I realized Monika was hanging out to climb Shuksan the next morning with some other friends, I couldn't believe it!
Congratulations on this latest traverse and thanks for the great description of what it felt like to be in it.
Sean

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danhelmstadter
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #38 on: 07/15/11, 10:40 AM »

what an incredible effort, you guys are my heros.
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markharf
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #39 on: 08/21/11, 03:49 PM »

Raising the bar:  http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2011/08/21/2148673/kirkland-man-pedals-103-miles.html
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skykilo
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #40 on: 08/21/11, 05:11 PM »

Mark, I agree that this man has done something quite impressive but, for me, I'm not sure he "raised the bar" compared to the skiing exploits documented here.

I admire the style used by Greg and Ryan much more.  They didn't even have a car shuttle in place; they were committed to the unknown.  This guy had people carry food and gear for him to the Baker base and hired Volken's company.

Quote
But the professional mountain guides he hired through Pro Guiding Service to keep him safe found a way for him to pass the bergschrund, he said.

I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with that.  I'd just like to offer a belated bravo to the dudes for putting it all out there on their ski traverse!

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skykilo
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #41 on: 08/21/11, 05:24 PM »

(Plus Ryan and Greg were skiing and why would anyone climb a volcano without skiing it!?)
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markharf
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Re: July 2, 2011, Mt Shuksan via Mt Baker
« Reply #42 on: 08/22/11, 12:10 PM »

Absolutely, Sky.  This guy was doing something very different, using different skills and presumably for different reasons.  If I had seriously thought his accomplishment detracted from what Greg and Ryan accomplished I'd have politely (and uncharacteristically) kept quiet.  Sorry if it appears to anyone that way to anyone.

Mark
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