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Author Topic: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent  (Read 75837 times)
dave095790
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11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« on: 04/14/14, 02:43 PM »

Similar Post on CC:  http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1122983#Post1122983

It started with a big ambition plan, the good luck of knowing a friend with a snowmobile, and a good weather window. The goal was a single push, ski descent of the Liberty Ridge, starting Friday night, 11 April; included in this was an easy transition to a backup of climb/ski over the weekend. I only got three pictures with my iPhone before it got too cold … wtf; thus Alex will have to submit the ones he captured.

We got a late start, and started skinning after the snowmobile ride just before midnight on Friday. We made expected fast time to Saint Elmo Pass (just over two hours) and only had to do crevasse avoidance shenanigans once (on the Winthrop Glacier around 7190 feet). Ski crampons were nearly required to make the continuous traverse at around 7200 feet. The drop off to the Carbon Glacier from the Curtis Ridge was spot on at 7200 feet, and no easily identifiable option existed above (as far as I could tell at 530am). We stopped before the toe in order to transition from skinning to technical climbing, we also melted snow and had some lunch around

Our climbing up was a little slower than expected, but not bad. The shrund was easily passed, and we opted to cross over to the east side of the ridge about half-way to Thumb Rock. We arrived at TR around noon.

Based on our climbing pace, the fatigue from not getting quite a good pre-climb nap, and our overall priority of the ski descent, we opted to overnight at TR and get a good rest, acclimate, and start again around midnight, Sunday morning. We each set at creating our own little snow cave, and essentially had the afternoon to relax in one of the most incredible landscapes on earth - cloudless, bright sun, moderate temperatures, complete silence – except for the clockwork regularity of avalanches from the Curtis and Willis Walls, transition to dusk then night, and a blinding (nearly full) moon.

No alarm was set, as it is unnatural to go to sleep at 3pm and stay asleep for more than 7 hours, so at 10pm Alex and I started getting ready to go. We at this point had not met the single-push goal, so we were essentially on a casual pace, with no real hurry, and just a whole lot of mountain and whole lot of time. We opted to go left above TR and essentially continued making left choices until we were forced to go right. We moved slow and steady, taking one large break around 3am to melt some more snow. Shortly after this my Suunto HR Monitor watch’s batteries died, along with my too-cold iPhone, meant I no longer had any notion of time.

This “left choice” eventually placed us at skier’s right, and at the base of, an enormous “snowfield” that was actually 30-45 degree ice. Sunrise (Sunday) occurred shortly before arriving at the ice field. Not expecting to do long or continuous technical climbing we only brought a 30m 8mm and a 35m 6mm tag line. From our original vantage point it was unclear is this would be a short section of ice, or run full length. We did a single 30m pitch hoping to reach a better vantage point. Needless to say, 30 meters sounds like a good distance – it’s not! The second pitch we did some pre-planning and discussed the options for simul-climbing should the need arise, and it did; we simuled about 2 rope length to get into a position to fully appraise the situation. The third and final lead was all simul, nearly 5 or 6 rope lengths of the 30m rope, to reach the end of the ice.

This put us in position to identify the break in the ice cap where we could climb up through. The gap was simple and straightforward – we soloed it. The climb (death slog) from that point to Liberty Cap was very windy (the windiest of my Rainier summits … this (finally) was the first), and seemed to go forever (hence, death slog). I thought it was right there … then this one … then maybe this one … then I’ll just wait to be surprised. We summated between noon and 1pm (maybe?).

Given that our overly causal day put us pretty late on top, we had a short discussion on the summit about the descent options, should we bail down the Emmons or go for the LR descent? We chose to go for the money …

We booted back down, choosing not to ski because of the horrendous wind, and made an easy rappel back down the ice step. I transitioned at the base of the rappel, and had probably the best turns of the day for the next 200 feet of vertical (little did I know). The snow turned to unskiable ice (as we experienced on the way up, but failed to make a good mental note), and the art of transitioning from skis to crampons was once again practiced. We down-climbed to the top of the “snow” (I mean “ice”) field and made two 30m rappels. This moved us to skier’s left where we could search for a ski line (in an area we had not climbed up) using the various topos from the guide books. We made another three 30m rappels through the steepest/continuous ice, connecting large sections of easily down-climbable terrain. Once again, we stopped for a lengthy snow melting break, around maybe 3pm.

Around 5pm we eventually settled on a line that looked like it would go … and it didn’t … another round of skis to crampons. Some down-climbing and back on skis for a good section of skiing, though with quality getting worse, eventually bad enough to not justify skiing … skis to crampons. There was one more final stretch of good skiing that once again ended with running out of real estate, and skis to crampons. We booted down the remainder of the ridge (sunset Sunday near the bottom), staying skier’s left and making a final 30m rappel through some ice that is climber’s right on the west side of the ridge while gaining TR.

Thanks to the GPS track from the approach we were able to ski full speed across the Carbon Glacier with headlamps, transition to skins, and gain the Curtis Ridge without a hitch. Our skin track was still visible enough to follow it all the way back to Saint Elmo Pass (we avoided the crevasse this time). We again stopped to melt snow, about halfway across the Winthrop Glacier. The climb up to Saint Elmo was crappy, the last thing we wanted to do was boot up a semi-supportable, but 99% breakable crust to just below the knee … really fun. We transitioned at the top, and crushed that slope in the dark – mega-bright headlamp skiing is one of the coolest things around. We were able to ski along the White River and to within one mile of the campground (sunrise Monday near the campground). Some snowmobile shenanigans and we were off. 31.5 hours camp to car.

Thoughts/Notes:

1) The Liberty Ridge has millions of options. I think people might get wrapped up in doing a specific section, or feature, and lose sight that the entire thing is the ridge, climb what you want and what looks fun. I think this mindset contributed to our “left choice” mentality instead of just going for something, and seeing what you get. I also think that the left options is significantly longer (overall distance traveled), which makes it a much more time consuming route.

2) I generally always follow the mindset to climb it before you ski it (if it is that type of terrain, and I would consider LR to be in the category). We did not follow this, and it cost us. The reason was the that length of time to get through the ice by rappelling would have been too long, and the terrain on the far climber’s left seemed that I would be placing you in a location not ideal for skiers … Next time, I would have put more thought into the up-route, and made sure that we were actively seeking our descent line, and making good mental (or working iPhone) notes.

3) Time and speed, we were really slow. This was hard to quantitatively notice because of a dead watch battery (it started at 100%) and a frozen iPhone. We stopped twice on the climb to generate water, which we would require since we are at altitude, and having going for a long time; I don’t think you can cut these out – maybe carry more water, heavier=faster?. Technical climbing, we did one short pitch (30m), a short simul pitch (60m), and long simul pitch (275m) … that’s not a ton of belays and time sinks … but perhaps it is and I just don’t recognize it as such. I believe that the biggest source of lost time were inefficient water breaks (as previously discussed), and other general breaks that should either have been shorter, or should not have occurred.

4) Snow and ski conditions, is the bullet-proof snow and ice throughout the entire ridge a common condition, or did we gamble on conditions and lose?

All in all, this was a good climb, but I don’t think it was a great climb, though I did have a great time. I would round up and call it a partial ski descent. I liked the remoteness, route-finding challenges, and size/scale – I underestimated the overall package of the Liberty Ridge. I thought that there would have been more technical challenges with it, perhaps with a different line of ascent there would be more (the lack of technical climbing is what downgraded it from great to good). I personally enjoyed Mt Hood’s North Face more.
« Last Edit: 04/15/14, 03:53 PM by dave095790 » Logged
mikerolfs
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #1 on: 04/14/14, 02:57 PM »

I'd have wet my pants trying to descend LR in the conditions you describe.  Especially with skis and only 30m rappel ability.  You guys are harder men than I.

I once climbed Liberty Ridge in prime solo conditions, never put on a rope and kicked easy steps all the way up.  Even in that condition I would not have wanted to ski the line; too steep, too long, too scary to imagine a fall.

My hat is off to you two.
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clane
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #2 on: 04/14/14, 05:51 PM »

Great report. Way to take advantage of the weather window and get after it!
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Alex L
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #3 on: 04/14/14, 07:40 PM »

My pictures: https://plus.google.com/photos/103764998885643953728/albums/6002308739623361137

Overall a spectacular climb.  Better snow conditions definitely would have made the descent much more enjoyable.  The vthread raps and all the ski-to-boot crampon transistions were good experience though.  I think we did a good job of minimizing risk without slowing us down too much.

My Gear:
Boots: Dynafit TLT5P
Skis: Dynafit Nanga Parbat, 179cm.  Amazingly light for how well they ski.
Bindings: Ski Trab Race
Axes: Quarks
Crampons: Grivel G20.  The vertical mono-point's were great for the rock-hard glacier ice sections.

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tabski
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #4 on: 04/14/14, 08:55 PM »

Can you explain what observations you made that convinced you the slope would be skiable after seeing what you did while climbing?

Strong effort.
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dave095790
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #5 on: 04/14/14, 09:21 PM »

Can you explain what observations you made that convinced you the slope would be skiable after seeing what you did while climbing?

Strong effort.

We skied a completely different route than what we climbed.  Which is semi-against my general technical skiing philosphy (see "Thought/Note 2" above), for the exact reason that you DON'T know what you are really going to be getting into.  We also did a significant portion in the dark, with the headlight not giving the greatest overall conditions and during the daylight hours we were climbing the ice field, the ice step, and Liberty Cap, then began descending. 

In retrospect, and with this experience for reinforcement, I would stick to the idea to ski the line that was climbed.  In this case, it would not have been the most aesthetic, and probably would have been a lot more traverse-style vice fall line-style skiing - but we would had that prior knowledge from the ascent and would have been able to make probably a continuous descent.  Also, keep in mind the conditions at 3am, with a full moon and no clouds could be very different that conditions at 3pm after several hours of bright, cloudless sun (and potentially above freezing temps) ... so, the conditions on the ascent route could have been the same as the descent route (though, probably not worse). 

Make sense?  and I welcome feedback from others ...
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #6 on: 04/14/14, 09:52 PM »

I've climbed Liberty Ridge a couple times, but never skied it.

Looking at Photo 6 in Alex's google photos, I was struck by this view:



The ice field on the east side of the Black Pyramid is clearly visible.

You can tell it's bare glacier ice by the color, and it appears to span the entire face around 12,600ft elevation. In most years, this section is all snow (though it may be icy snow).

I think I would have abandoned trying to ski it after seeing this view. Was there a route around the ice that was skiable snow?

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dave095790
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #7 on: 04/14/14, 10:33 PM »

Was there a route around the ice that was skiable snow?

Lowell, there was not a continuous route around the ice.  There were some sections where you could possibly have linked some jump turns, but it would have been short and you would have needed to pull into a rap station to move through ice, or transition back to crampons and down climb. 

Beyond the visible ice, there were other sections that just had unskiable snow/ice, which was difficult to tell until you right up to it, sometimes it was short and you could get by it, other times it was large and impossible to get past (thus requiring transitions). 

I skied three section, shown in orange circles, the overall descent is in orange, and our climb is in red (best as I can remember from the dark). 


* Liberty_Ridge.jpg (52.67 KB, 640x532 - viewed 4475 times.)
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BillK
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #8 on: 04/15/14, 09:07 AM »

Sounds like a clusterphuck...any experience is good experience, I guess.
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Jonn-E
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #9 on: 04/15/14, 11:03 AM »

That's an impressive piece of ski mountaineering!
We experienced some strong winds on the other side of the mountain Sunday morning, enough to convince us to stay off the upper reaches. How high would you say they were on the summit?
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Pete_H
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #10 on: 04/15/14, 12:37 PM »

Wow snowpack on that side of the mtn looks pinner
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Alex L
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #11 on: 04/15/14, 01:01 PM »

That's an impressive piece of ski mountaineering!
We experienced some strong winds on the other side of the mountain Sunday morning, enough to convince us to stay off the upper reaches. How high would you say they were on the summit?

Once we popped up onto the snowfield just below Liberty Cap, there was ~30+mph continuous winds from the East (just a guess at 30mph).  It wasn't too bad, just continuous, so we were leaning pretty far sideways the whole walk up to Liberty Cap.
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avajane
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #12 on: 04/15/14, 08:11 PM »

Impressive up and down of a big mountain feature in crap conditions. Sounded like you guys were well within your limits,   and had things under control. Some of those steep ice pictures made my blood turn to piss. Thought about climbing it when I was young, and we went out and got drunk instead. Great effort. You'll get good skiing somewhere else.
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Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
jtack
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #13 on: 04/15/14, 08:12 PM »

Thanks for the great report, reading is about it is a close as I am likely to come.  Scares the spit out of me just to read the story.
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rlsg
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #14 on: 04/16/14, 06:43 PM »

Way to get out there--VERY COOL!!!!!!!!!!
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Kyle Miller
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #15 on: 04/19/14, 10:00 PM »

Nice work cutting the lock at the White River gate at potentially messing it up for everyone. Classy!
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In a perfect world, everybody would act with the correct etiquette and follow the rules. Human nature as it is= NOT GOING TO HAPPEN....no matter how many discussion on ski blogs/websites. Face reality............
truthlives
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #16 on: 04/19/14, 10:22 PM »

Not trying to hurl accusations, but Kyle's post makes me wonder. I was up around Colchuck Lake on the weekend of this TR...

http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=31381.0

... and parked at the gate closure at Bridge Creek CG on Saturday. On the way out Sunday we passed two vehicles parked pretty far up eight-mile road. I was confused but figured they knew something/someone we didn't because the gate was still closed.
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tabski
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #17 on: 04/20/14, 09:12 AM »

There's no telling what else a man deranged enough to rappel Lib Ridge with a 30m rope is capable of.
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swaterfall
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #18 on: 04/20/14, 09:19 AM »

Two people were citied by NPS for cutting the lock on the 410 gate driving up the road to the White River CG and parking there while they attempted to climb and ski Liberty Ridge.

The supreme lameness of that move could only be made more lame by double posting a long-winded TR about a poorly strategized and executed mission, without claiming the cut lock.
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powdherb
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #19 on: 04/21/14, 06:37 AM »

I was a bit blasé in regards to the trip report but this cutting the gate move... shit. You're lucky they only cited you. In my experience you would have gone straight to Guantanamo. In any case, I'm sure the next time you set foot back in the park you'll be pummeled with human feces by the numerous TAY'ers that routinely patrol the lower reaches of the mountain. Chapeau.
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runningclouds
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #20 on: 04/21/14, 09:50 PM »

My Gear:
Bolt Cutter: Workforce 24 in. from Home Depot. Awesome, pops lock in no time.
Boots: Dynafit TLT5P
Skis: Dynafit Nanga Parbat, 179cm.  Amazingly light for how well they ski.
Bindings: Ski Trab Race
Axes: Quarks
Crampons: Grivel G20.  The vertical mono-point's were great for the rock-hard glacier ice sections.


* homedepot.jpg (181.95 KB, 1000x740 - viewed 3214 times.)
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Alex L
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #21 on: 04/21/14, 10:08 PM »

For future reference, if you call the NPS, they can give you road conditions for closed roads, and tell you if a snowmobile can make it down the closed road, or if you need to bring bikes.  Bad planning on our part for not doing this before we drove out there.  Lesson learned, won't happen again.
« Last Edit: 04/21/14, 10:31 PM by Alex L » Logged
Lowell_Skoog
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #22 on: 04/21/14, 10:40 PM »

For future reference, if you call the NPS, they can give you road conditions for closed roads, and tell you if a snowmobile can make it down the closed road, or if you need to bring bikes.  Bad planning on our part for not doing this before we drove out there.  Lesson learned, won't happen again.

Which is to say... you're not denying that you cut the lock.  Just that bad planning forced you to do it.

Or something.
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dave095790
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #23 on: 04/21/14, 11:31 PM »

OK, the cat's out of the bag. 

I cut the lock at the gate.  We had a discussion about the options that we had, and we chose this one.  Looking back, it was obviously the wrong choice; but at the time, it's the one we went with.

The first two of us met the NPS on Sunday.  When we came out on Monday, we met the NPS at the gate.  I told the ranger I cut the lock without attempting to conceal anything.  We were issued fines and citations for the violation

I had originally included this information in the trip report, but did not want to turn the trip report into a report about cutting locks .... 

Was it a bad idea, a stupid and avoidable problem? Yes, without a doubt, a very stupid move, and one that could have easily ended up a lot worse. I am sincerely sorry for the bad example that was set, and will make better decisions in the future.
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BillK
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #24 on: 04/22/14, 07:57 AM »

OK, now this is getting just plain strange!
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powscraper
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #25 on: 04/22/14, 08:41 AM »

Nice looking adventure, looks difficult and exhausting. Prepare to be brutally second-guessed

The need for public management of public resources, vs. being routinely locked out of said public resources... What would John Muir do?

Can't wait to see how Fox News spins this :p
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skykilo
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #26 on: 04/22/14, 10:09 AM »

This trip report (these trip reports) now officially blow(s) my mind.  Kudos on wanting it that badly!   Wink Cheesy Grin

But there is a question I feel compelled to ask: do you normally carry bolt cutters in your vehicle?  I want more details.  Hacksaw?  I am truly curious.  In any situation where I've encountered such an obstacle, I've never had adequate tools with me.  (Not that I would ever do such a thing!  These days I am a letter-and-spirit of the law abiding prude who would not dare risk any type of legal consequence.)

Good job getting up and down that thing in one piece in conditions where I never would have considered descending it.

P.S. Did you see any of these while you were up there?

« Last Edit: 04/22/14, 10:27 AM by skykilo » Logged
Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #27 on: 04/22/14, 11:08 AM »

It would appear that they did: https://plus.google.com/photos/+AlexLeone/albums/6002308739623361137/6002308748986636850
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hedonaut
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #28 on: 04/22/14, 02:00 PM »


The need for public management of public resources, vs. being routinely locked out of said public resources... What would John Muir do?


This is an interesting tension.  Restricted access to MRNP and the N Cascades sometimes seems to defy reason.

I can see why folks are getting their knickers in a twist about these guys breaking the law.  On the other hand, what damage has been done by a snowmobile on a snow-covered ROAD?  What's the motivation of the NP blocking access to reasonable use of a road, the same road that sees thousands of vehicles?

Is there a particular wildlife-related reason to limit noise on the road during winter?  Why not allow for a narrow slot for sleds to gain access?

Like Sky, I'm just curious--about this, as well as what motivated someone to "ski" that line in that condition.
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dale_72
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #29 on: 04/22/14, 02:21 PM »

Not trying to hurl accusations, but Kyle's post makes me wonder. I was up around Colchuck Lake on the weekend of this TR...

http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=31381.0

... and parked at the gate closure at Bridge Creek CG on Saturday. On the way out Sunday we passed two vehicles parked pretty far up eight-mile road. I was confused but figured they knew something/someone we didn't because the gate was still closed.

Are you guys going to fess up to cutting this lock also?
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drescj
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #30 on: 04/22/14, 02:47 PM »

My impression from the TR was that the poster thought there would be snow at the gate, found none, and cut the lock to drive to where sledding was possible. Could be wrong.

One possible motivation for leaving gates locked would be to reduce damage to water-saturated roads in the spring until the road bed/surface can dry out.

If NPS and other agencies (USFS, etc) would explain their reasoning for locking off roads it would probably help alleviate the tension between agencies and communities such as ours.

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BillK
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #31 on: 04/22/14, 02:54 PM »

As far as I know, snowmobiling is very limited in the park...allowed on just a few stretches of snow-covered road.
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Pete_H
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #32 on: 04/22/14, 02:58 PM »

This is an interesting tension.  Restricted access to MRNP and the N Cascades sometimes seems to defy reason.

I can see why folks are getting their knickers in a twist about these guys breaking the law.  On the other hand, what damage has been done by a snowmobile on a snow-covered ROAD?  What's the motivation of the NP blocking access to reasonable use of a road, the same road that sees thousands of vehicles?

Is there a particular wildlife-related reason to limit noise on the road during winter?  Why not allow for a narrow slot for sleds to gain access?

Like Sky, I'm just curious--about this, as well as what motivated someone to "ski" that line in that condition.

I think most here are for having better access, and have been frustrated at some point by over-regulation and restricted access. Therefore, it's easy to look the other way if one of us were to say ski Rainier solo without the right permit or something. However, vandalism of government property and trespass are not productive for improving access for the backcountry and outdoor community in general. I also think it leaves a sour taste that these guys had a "the law doesn't apply to us" arrogance.
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tabski
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #33 on: 04/22/14, 03:09 PM »

What would John Muir do? He would be pissed they paved the road in the first place. He would keep the gates closed all year. He would walk the 15 miles in wearing wool pants and leather boots, sit in a tempest for hours to observe the glaciers, eat an apple and walk back out.

Though the closures can be frustrating, the footprint of your average American visitor is more so.

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jwplotz
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #34 on: 04/22/14, 03:56 PM »

Isn't Dave a federal employee?  I wonder how that factors into his decision, if at all?
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Scotsman
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #35 on: 04/22/14, 04:17 PM »

What would John Muir do? He would be pissed they paved the road in the first place. He would keep the gates closed all year. He would walk the 15 miles in wearing wool pants and leather boots, sit in a tempest for hours to observe the glaciers, eat an apple and walk back out.

Though the closures can be frustrating, the footprint of your average American visitor is more so.



Actually, the silly bugger would have "sauntered".
From his own words.

"One day as I was resting in the shade Mr. Muir overtook me on the trail and began to chat in that friendly way in which he delights to talk with everyone he meets. I said to him: "Mr. Muir, someone told me you did not approve of the word 'hike.' Is that so?" His blue eyes flashed, and with his Scotch accent he replied: "I don't like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains - not hike!

"Do you know the origin of that word 'saunter?' It's a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, "A la sainte terre,' 'To the Holy Land.' And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not 'hike' through them."
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swaterfall
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #36 on: 04/22/14, 04:18 PM »

This is an interesting tension.  Restricted access to MRNP and the N Cascades sometimes seems to defy reason.


This road and HWY 20 are open for snomo traffic all winter.  There are closures in effect during Spring periods when snow removal equipment is active.  I don't see that as overly restrictive.

If the NPS decides that they want to shut down access via snow parks because skiers and sledders completely disregard established regulations then that would be restrictive.

I think sledders in the NW do an excellent job of controlling violators within their group since access to fed lands is so important to them.  Skiers would do well to emulate that.
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powscraper
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #37 on: 04/22/14, 04:20 PM »

The Muir Games, sponsored by Patagonia's new line of woolies and Washington apples

The statistical and operational arguments for restriction are pretty solid on multiple levels. I had always been under the impression that the cool guys knew how to get keys and then didn't talk about it. I've never been that cool though.
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Alex L
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #38 on: 04/22/14, 04:27 PM »


Yeah, we saw a few big avalanches rip down the Willis Wall and few down the Liberty Wall.  Quite the sight, and you can hear them before you see them, so for a few frantic seconds you hope that it's not coming down on top of you (not that it would, since you are climbing a ridge).  The only thing that moved near us was maybe a few pebbles above Thumb Rock, and trying to dodge the dinner plates of ice when I was belaying Dave up the few pitches of glacier ice.
« Last Edit: 04/22/14, 04:35 PM by Alex L » Logged
aaron_wright
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #39 on: 04/22/14, 05:32 PM »

Yeah, we saw a few big avalanches rip down the Willis Wall and few down the Liberty Wall.  Quite the sight, and you can hear them before you see them, so for a few frantic seconds you hope that it's not coming down on top of you (not that it would, since you are climbing a ridge).  The only thing that moved near us was maybe a few pebbles above Thumb Rock, and trying to dodge the dinner plates of ice when I was belaying Dave up the few pitches of glacier ice.
So what's the story with the gate on Eightmile?
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hedonaut
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #40 on: 04/22/14, 05:45 PM »

Thanks for the info. and entertaining replies.  Good points all.  Didn't know that snowmobile access was allowed, then temporarily cut off during the spring--interesting.  Back to my apples.
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dave095790
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #41 on: 04/22/14, 06:05 PM »

So what's the story with the gate on Eightmile?

I'm not sure what the story is.  But, if you will feel better about everything, I will take credit for it.  Let's move on. 
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aaron_wright
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #42 on: 04/22/14, 06:09 PM »

Thanks for the info. and entertaining replies.  Good points all.  Didn't know that snowmobile access was allowed, then temporarily cut off during the spring--interesting.  Back to my apples.
Snowmobiles are only allowed on 410 until the White River Rd. not allowed past or on the White River Rd. These guys should be in jail.
« Last Edit: 04/22/14, 06:13 PM by aaron_wright » Logged
dave095790
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #43 on: 04/22/14, 06:18 PM »

Snowmobiles are only allowed on 410 until the White River Rd. not allowed past or on the White River Rd. These guys should be in jail.

"Snowmobiles are permitted on the 12-mile section of unplowed road from the north park boundary on Highway 410 to the White River Campground. Snowmobiles may not continue on Hwy 410 south of the White River Road turnoff. They are also prohibited from proceeding beyond the closure at the White River Campground road junction towards Sunrise. Snowmobiles must stay on the road corridor; they are not allowed to proceed beyond the campground towards Glacier Basin. Be aware of avalanche danger and the weather forecast. "
-http://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/winter-recreation.htm#CP_JUMP_147158

I think you misread the statement online. 
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aaron_wright
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #44 on: 04/22/14, 07:01 PM »

"Snowmobiles are permitted on the 12-mile section of unplowed road from the north park boundary on Highway 410 to the White River Campground. Snowmobiles may not continue on Hwy 410 south of the White River Road turnoff. They are also prohibited from proceeding beyond the closure at the White River Campground road junction towards Sunrise. Snowmobiles must stay on the road corridor; they are not allowed to proceed beyond the campground towards Glacier Basin. Be aware of avalanche danger and the weather forecast. "
-http://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/winter-recreation.htm#CP_JUMP_147158

I think you misread the statement online. 

Yes, you are right. You should still be in jail. What made you think it was ok to cut the lock and drive until you hit snow and then unload your sleds and and continue? This sets a really bad example for sledders and skiers.

Did you cut the lock on Eightmile or do you have a key?
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aaron_wright
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #45 on: 04/22/14, 07:27 PM »

Isn't Dave a federal employee?  I wonder how that factors into his decision, if at all?
Maybe he's a SEAL and has his get out of jail free card?!
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water
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #46 on: 04/22/14, 08:19 PM »

jail huh? you'd rather pay ~$128/day as a taxpayer to have him in jail? Certainly cutting down multiple trees in the north cascades should warrant lots of 'jail' if cutting a $5 lock does.

What is the rationale behind having a road gated in the middle of winter? Or closed when there isn't avalanche risk..  Roll Eyes

If someone rode around into glacier basin or into wilderness area i would be irate, and am when they do (mt. Adams...Badger creek wilderness by Mt. Hood). But on a road they're otherwise allowed to be on... what is the justification for having it closed?
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Jonn-E
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #47 on: 04/22/14, 10:57 PM »

These guys should be in jail.

I thought if someone did something disagreeable in this country we just took them out back and shot them?  Roll Eyes
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aaron_wright
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #48 on: 04/23/14, 06:30 AM »

Jail would be a bit harsh and expensive, it's more the sentiment. They basically got away with a slap on the wrist. I see this as a slap in the face to sledders and bc skiers as a group, it gives us all a bad name.

What if everyone decided to bend or break the law just because they really wanted to do something and had been planning on it? I'd love to ride my mtb in parts of the Wilderness, should I just go ahead and do it? After all having some of those trails closed to bikes is silly, right? What about riding my sled to Sunrise? That would be fun too what's the harm?
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tabski
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #49 on: 04/23/14, 07:50 AM »


Quote
Jack: Well, then, I confess: It is my intention to commandeer one of these ships, pick up a crew in Tortuga, raid, pillage, plunder and otherwise pilfer me weaselly black guts out.
Murtogg: I said no lies!
Mullroy: I think he's telling the truth.
Murtogg: If he were telling the truth, he wouldn't have told us.
Jack: Unless of course he knew you wouldn't believe the truth, even if he told you.
« Last Edit: 04/23/14, 09:19 AM by tabski » Logged
Sol Wertkin
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #50 on: 04/23/14, 07:51 AM »

I cant even imagine doing something like that knowing the impact it could have on access for everyone.

POOR FORM!
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freeski
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #51 on: 04/23/14, 09:24 AM »

jail huh? you'd rather pay ~$128/day as a taxpayer to have him in jail? Certainly cutting down multiple trees in the north cascades should warrant lots of 'jail' if cutting a $5 lock does.

 
also consider that the FS did a good job inventing a cover story and trying to pin the crime on the heli pilot,even after a confession by one of the Nchs owners was in the public domain. And even after fs law enforcement documents showed a confession by the other nchs owner. And then fs law enforcement refused to even investigate the other cut sites even after evidence was submitted and a request was made that this potential crime be investigated. What example does this set? 
« Last Edit: 04/23/14, 10:04 AM by freeskiguy » Logged

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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #52 on: 04/23/14, 09:47 AM »

^^^^^That the whole situation was over-hyped, over-blown and really not that big a deal....well-handled by the FS, IMO.
« Last Edit: 04/23/14, 10:02 AM by BillK » Logged
Amar Andalkar
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #53 on: 04/23/14, 10:15 AM »

Like Sky, I'm just curious--about this, as well as what motivated someone to "ski" that line in that condition.

Perhaps the answer to that question can be found in this post: http://www.mountainproject.com/v/moving-to-everett-wa/107665376

Quote
By Dave Schultz
From Everett, Washington
Jun 19, 2012

Hi Everyone,

I will be moving from NY State to Everett, WA and arrive in early Sept. I am new to ski mountaineering and ice climbing (only one season of serous endeavors under my belt) but think I have a natural talent for it . . .


(emphasis added) Those words say it all.

The highly questionable decision to even attempt to ski (or climb) this route under these very poor, icy conditions appears to be due to that inexperience, along with the hubris of natural talent.

Hopefully you'll survive this learning phase, Dave, and will exercise better judgment in the future on trip planning, and during the drive to the trailhead.

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Chamois
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #54 on: 04/23/14, 10:18 AM »

Just another sign of the times I suppose.  Ego factor prevails again. 

Flaunt rules, cut bolt on gate, then chest beat on several websites.  Charming.

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freeski
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #55 on: 04/23/14, 10:20 AM »

^^^^^That the whole situation was over-hyped, over-blown and really not that big a deal....well-handled by the FS, IMO.
so you would be cool if some folks entered you're property and logged the trees for profit and then only the driver of the truck recieved a warning ticket?
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hillybilly
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #56 on: 04/23/14, 10:20 AM »


You should still be in jail.

The legal positivism is strong with this one.
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powscraper
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #57 on: 04/23/14, 11:05 AM »

I think I gotta break this down for myself somehow to avoid hopeless confusion

Lawful Good: only enters the park according to strict, unquestioned NPS guidelines; always parks car at the gate (even if it's open) and walks in
Neutral Good: enters the park completely at will at any time; leaves no trace
Chaotic Good: spike strips
Lawful Evil: NPS ski junkie, always has the keys and a federally issued sno-mo to approach camp
Neutral Evil: cuts lock, high-marks everything, replaces lock with new one upon exit

Nope, doesn't clear it up for me. Some cognitive dissonance remains. Easiest option: don't make enemies.
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dave095790
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #58 on: 04/23/14, 11:17 AM »

Conditions for the climb were good. We had no glacier crossing issues, except for one spot on the Winthrop. We never wallowed or post holed on the climb. The ice made for fast, and fairly secure climbing (easily protectable via simul climbing) ... Where are the bad conditions?  

The descent, I agree, was not the best of conditions. The other option though was a descent down the Emmons, which was not the route we climbed, and thus would have little familiarity with. The conditions on the Emmons probably would have been similar, hard wind effected snow (but we'll never know) ...  Going back down LR gave us the opportunity to possibly find some skiable snow - which we did, in several sections ... Though there was downclimbing and rappelling involved between those sections.

It was a very involved, and technical descent - but nothing about it was crazy, and none of it was close to being beyond our capabilities. It went smooth, and was only hampered by several transitions on-off of skis/crampons ...  The descent was actually highly enjoyable, to be able to use the tricks and tools in order to get down safely. I found it to be exactly the type of steep and technical ski mountaineering objective that I personally crave ... If only there was more of a continuous line, and if we were faster ... But, the judgement to not rush, to make the transitions when necessary, downclimbing when able, and rappel when needed only show that, IMO, the route was in a condition to support this type if climb/descent.

I posted the TR because I thought if was a good piece of ski-mountaineering, I left out the gate because it doesn't play part in the climb or ski, other than the approach; and didn't think it would receive the attention it has. We've beaten the horse, I'm sure it's still got some life, but we've admitted the guilt and paid the man - we didn't get away with it.

The reputation is getting smeared, which it deserves, but c'mon. Amar, thanks for bringing up the old post, I certainly am new, and clearly learning. The gate was a bad move, but what is the dangerous and stupid part if the rest of the climb .... How could you do it any safer/better and still do it?  
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #59 on: 04/23/14, 12:10 PM »

Dave, I don't think anyone really cares that you climbed up and down Liberty with skies on your back, I saw no evidence that you did anything more than that.  Maybe in your excitement to ski multiple pitches of pure water ice you forgot to pull the camera out?  If I were you I'd be talking less about your climb, and more about what your planning on doing to rectify what you did with the park.  I'm not going to pretend that I understand how MRNP makes their decision's, but from what I've seen living here my whole life is if something becomes a problem they will attempt to fix it.
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water
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #60 on: 04/23/14, 12:21 PM »

I'm not going to pretend that I understand how MRNP makes their decision's, but from what I've seen living here my whole life is they'll make problems for access with no attempt to fix it.

fixed it for you.

MRNP is horribly mismanaged, I'm so pissed right now.  It seems like they use any excuse, opportunity, road wash out, to keep people out of the park.  It's crazy how much money the park is spending cleaning up some of the Ipsut campground cabins, just let them be and call them historical sites.  Devote that money into reopening the West Side Road, one very small washout that is still very drivable I really don't get it, the park still drives it for trail maintenance.  I have some friends that helped remodel the new Carbon River Ranger Station, I'm not going to go there.  Personally I think they should leave the gate open all night and shut it at 8:00am for plowing.  I'd also like to see the Mowich Lake, and sunrise road open to snowmobiles.
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JimD
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #61 on: 04/23/14, 12:22 PM »

Dave, I won't put words into Amar's mouth about what he meant, but my first thought on seeing the photos was, "Good effort and adventure, but poor choice of a route under those conditions." I'm not saying you were unsafe or stupid (Amar also didn't use those words - you inferred it). Your TR made it all sound under control. I might have climbed it under those conditions, but would have continued over to the Emmons for the descent (which is what I did many years ago with much easier conditions). As a skier it's beyond my ambitions now, but when I toyed with the idea I would only have considered bringing skis under the best of conditions. I'm glad you had fun, but it sounded like too way much trouble for a small amount of shitty skiing for my taste.

I also would say that full disclosure on the gate fiasco in the original TR might have headed off some of these flames, but likely not on this site. Obviously best choice would have been no TRs, esp. on this site since the skiing was negligible.

If the NPS normally has that access open for sleds as you quoted I don't blame you for being pissed on arrival to find it unexpectedly locked. Does seem funny though, as Sky questioned (and you never replied), how did you happen to have lock cutters? Do you always travel with them, and if so why?

A very real and current example of the repercussions such scoff law actions can have is the spring closure of the access road to my local favorite mountain, Mt. Pilchuck. Years ago they would open the gate when we could start skinning about 3 miles from the trailhead. After the lock was repeatedly cut, and the gate even torn off it's hinges (I assume by 4-wheeling knuckleheads not skiers), they now pile boulders in front of it, then take their sweet time removing them and opening it. This year it was just last week, when the snow line was only 1/3 mile from the trailhead, so we missed a lot of good skiing because of the FS response to this exact issue. Institutions have a long memory and in the current political financial climate will do anything to save money/trouble.
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prestonf
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #62 on: 04/23/14, 12:28 PM »

In non-timed, non-judged activities like ski mountaineering, style matters just as much, if not more, than the objective.  The style of your 'ski' is about as bad as it could possibly get.  You did it safely and had an adventure, but a little humility and study of the history and ethics of bc skiing and ski mountaineering will do you good.
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Mofro
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #63 on: 04/23/14, 12:35 PM »

Ouch.

locks aren't the only thing being cut in this thread.
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #64 on: 04/23/14, 01:18 PM »

Conditions for the climb were good. We had no glacier crossing issues, except for one spot on the Winthrop. We never wallowed or post holed on the climb. The ice made for fast, and fairly secure climbing (easily protectable via simul climbing) ... Where are the bad conditions?  

The descent, I agree, was not the best of conditions. The other option though was a descent down the Emmons, which was not the route we climbed, and thus would have little familiarity with. The conditions on the Emmons probably would have been similar, hard wind effected snow (but we'll never know) ...  Going back down LR gave us the opportunity to possibly find some skiable snow - which we did, in several sections ... Though there was downclimbing and rappelling involved between those sections.

It was a very involved, and technical descent - but nothing about it was crazy, and none of it was close to being beyond our capabilities. It went smooth, and was only hampered by several transitions on-off of skis/crampons ...  The descent was actually highly enjoyable, to be able to use the tricks and tools in order to get down safely. I found it to be exactly the type of steep and technical ski mountaineering objective that I personally crave ... If only there was more of a continuous line, and if we were faster ... But, the judgement to not rush, to make the transitions when necessary, downclimbing when able, and rappel when needed only show that, IMO, the route was in a condition to support this type if climb/descent.

I posted the TR because I thought if was a good piece of ski-mountaineering, I left out the gate because it doesn't play part in the climb or ski, other than the approach; and didn't think it would receive the attention it has. We've beaten the horse, I'm sure it's still got some life, but we've admitted the guilt and paid the man - we didn't get away with it.

The reputation is getting smeared, which it deserves, but c'mon. Amar, thanks for bringing up the old post, I certainly am new, and clearly learning. The gate was a bad move, but what is the dangerous and stupid part if the rest of the climb .... How could you do it any safer/better and still do it?  

Well, Dave, those are reasonable questions, so I'll try to give reasonable answers, and explain why that route would be considered in very poor condition relative to what you'd want it to be for skiing.

But basically, it all comes down to the exposed glacial ice. Huge sections of exposed glacial ice, which you could see on the approach and which you could have easily seen from the lowlands on any clear day prior to the climb (even from Seattle with binoculars or a compact superzoom camera). In general, steep routes on Rainier are best skied (and climbed) when they are entirely snow-covered, not when large sections of glacial ice are exposed. When people like Sky (skykilo) and Eric (hedonaut) are considering the route to be out of condition for skiing, and questioning why you would attempt it, you should listen to them! They each have numerous major first descents throughout the WA Cascades, including several major lines on Rainier, and are among the most experienced and most calculating of Northwest extreme skiers. You won't find more reliable opinions on this issue than theirs. My circle of friends includes several others with extensive experience skiing steep lines on Rainier, and they also agree with this analysis of the route conditions. Words like "stupid" and "lucky" are among those used to describe your trip -- is that really what you want experienced people to say about you and your climbs?

To me, there's nothing good or pleasant about doing a route that requires multiple ski-to-crampon transitions on steep, exposed, hard-frozen terrain. Every transition is another chance to accidentally drop a critical piece of gear (crampon or ski), and unless fully anchored, another chance to accidentally slip and fall to your death. Everyone thinks they won't drop important gear or slip in that situation, but if you do that often enough, eventually everyone will drop gear and will slip too. Multiple transitions needlessly magnify the risks one is already taking to ski a steep line. I think you are severely underestimating the risks of making those multiple transitions, and continuing to do so will likely get you into trouble.

In summary, the "dangerous and stupid part" was even attempting to ski this line at this time given the easily-visible exposed glacial ice throughout the upper part of the route, instead of waiting for better and safer conditions. The overwhelming consensus is that the route appears to be in marginal condition at best for this type of climb/descent. Although you "thought it was a good piece of ski-mountaineering" and a few have agreed with you, many others do not think so at all, including some who are very experienced in skiing that terrain. "How could you do it any safer/better and still do it?" That's easy, just wait for better route conditions without vast areas of exposed glacial ice, perhaps later this spring if warm spring storms bury the ice with snow, or else some other year.

By the way, the conditions on the Emmons would not have been similar to what you found this time on Liberty Ridge at all. That you would think so perhaps reflects inexperience on Rainier. The Emmons would have had zero exposed glacial ice to cross during a ski descent (and actually does have zero, as seen in recent days from Crystal Mountain), only hard frozen snow at worst, and only up to about 40 degrees. No transitions of any kind would have been required due to exposed bare glacial ice, and in fact they never are required on the Emmons during conditions which are appropriate for skiing it (sometimes by summer, the Emmons does require transitions due to open crevasses which can not be safely negotiated on skis without air, but these transitions generally occur on local patches of flatter terrain, not in steep exposed areas).

For perspective on where I'm coming from, here's my level of experience on Rainier: zero attempts on Liberty Ridge, and no current intention to attempt it. It's certainly well within my skiing ability, but only marginally within my climbing ability (I'm a much more experienced skier than climber). It's just too sustained, too exposed, too north-facing (= possibly unpredictably icy even without exposed glacial ice) for my comfort level. So you could potentially say that I have no idea what I'm talking about.

But I have made 24 Rainier summit ski descents by 9 routes, including several descents which are generally considered in the extreme category: the Kautz Ice Chute 3 times (a 50 degree route even when snow-filled, but 2 separate pitches of 50-60 degree glacial ice otherwise), and Gib Chute (50+ degrees in 2009, but becoming slightly easier in recent years due to glacial recession at the entrance). TRs for all of those can be found on TAY, linked in my signature below, and a Whippet-arrested slip atop the Gib Chute in hard icy conditions was the closest I've come to a fatal fall while skiing. Although I've skied the Kautz multiple times, including once with atrocious thigh-high penitentes in the Chute that had unexpectedly formed during the previous few days of intense July sun, I think that attempting it right now would be idiotic: there are two obvious bands of exposed glacial ice (both pitches) in the Chute which can easily be seen from the road, so the route is totally out as a reasonable ski objective. It's best to wait for snow to fill those in (which could happen later this spring or perhaps not until another year) before trying to ski it, not go and attempt it right now as some sort of greater ski mountaineering challenge. That type of attitude results in accidents and fatalities.


View of the upper Kautz Glacier from Longmire, April 14, with exposed glacial ice on both pitches through the Kautz Ice Chute.


If the NPS normally has that access open for sleds as you quoted I don't blame you for being pissed on arrival to find it unexpectedly locked. Does seem funny though, as Sky questioned (and you never replied), how did you happen to have lock cutters? Do you always travel with them, and if so why?

The road gate is never open for snowmobile access, the sleds are supposed to start from the adjacent Sno-Park and thus avoid the gate entirely, joining SR 410 a few hundred feet beyond the gate. It would have been completely legal for these guys to park in the Sno-Park, and snowmobile up the bare road until they reached snow (apparently 12 miles in this case, due to plowing to White River?). Snowmobiling in from that side often involves crossing at least a few sections of bare pavement along SR 410 especially in March, or in a year with poor low elevation snowpack. There is no guarantee of continuous snow-cover even when that road is legally open to snowmobiles.

« Last Edit: 04/23/14, 01:47 PM by Amar Andalkar » Logged

pipedream
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #65 on: 04/23/14, 02:01 PM »

How much did that ticket from the NPS set you back? For future reference, a sufficient set of lock picking tools runs $30 - $40, probably less than a third of the cost of that ticket. With a little practice, you can be popping tumblers in no time...

Not that I'd advise using one to open access gates, they're just handy for, uh, you know, like helping people get back into their vehicles when they've locked themselves out and stuff Roll Eyes
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #66 on: 04/23/14, 03:23 PM »

I posted the TR because I thought it was a good piece of ski-mountaineering...

It doesn't appear to me that this was a reckless descent.  But was it a good piece of ski mountaineering?  That's an interesting question.  What is ski mountaineering?

I think of ski mountaineering as a sport in which skis are used in a significant way as tools for traveling through the mountains.  The traditions of ski mountaineering emphasize the following:

Completeness - Skis are used over as much terrain as possible.

Continuity - Skis are used as continuously as possible (i.e. don't take them off and put them on too much).

Control - As much as possible, movement is under ski control (rather than weighting a rope for example).

By these standards, I wouldn't call this descent very good ski mountaineering.  As a ski historian, I wouldn't give it much weight if it could be claimed as a "first."

It sounds like it was a good trip for practicing mountain skills.  And it was a successful climb.  So congratulations on that.  But as a ski mountaineering trip, it wasn't very interesting to me (or to others, based on comments posted here). 

Regarding the lock-cutting, I condemn it.  If you're carrying lock breaking tools on your trips regularly, that's an ugly habit.
« Last Edit: 04/23/14, 10:46 PM by Lowell_Skoog » Logged
rlsg
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #67 on: 04/23/14, 03:31 PM »

Oh my, I thought this was THE Dave of yester-yore Yosemite wall climbing- life. That Dave I believe climbed well above 5.9 (what with all those years and  laps on El Cap). 

I must say that LR trip is quite a read considering said experience.  Can't imagine you pulling any more shenanigans after this screw up...
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tabski
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #68 on: 04/24/14, 08:27 AM »

A couple weeks ago I was skiing down from an on-hill cafe with two friends. We were two bottles of red into the early evening, the sun was setting, and as the lifts had been closed for two hours the piste had been re-groomed. It was a warm spring day but as the sun went down temperatures began to drop. The fresh corduroy, molded out of slightly wet spring snow, had just begun to refreeze, making for absolutely perfect turning conditions on a sort of manmade firn spiegel.  We schussed effortlessly down to the base, leaving geometrically perfect turns down 1000m of fresh canvas.

Route choice, conditions windows, wine pairings...
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #69 on: 04/24/14, 10:00 AM »

We schussed effortlessly down to the base, leaving geometrically perfect turns down 1000m of fresh canvas.

The very best ski mountaineering involves flow.

Skis are gliding tools, and if you're not taking advantage of that, there isn't much point.

Several years ago, a couple of well-known skiers descended the Mowich Face almost entirely by side-stepping. The snow was crustier than they expected, but they persisted in keeping their skis on for the entire descent.

It was "complete," it was "continuous" (in the most basic sense), and it was under "ski control." But it was pretty pointless.

When skiing becomes just a mechanistic exercise, we've strayed from the path.
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BillK
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #70 on: 04/24/14, 10:43 AM »

Several years ago, a couple of well-known skiers descended the Mowich Face almost entirely by side-stepping. The snow was crustier than they expected, but they persisted in keeping their skis on for the entire descent.

Silly me, but I actually prefer to "ski" when I go ski mountaineering. 
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natefred
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #71 on: 04/24/14, 11:09 AM »

Dave, bolt cutting aside, I'm glad you had a satisfying adventure. Lots of good suggestions & information coming at you from a broad base of experience.  If you can separate the good information from the raw criticism, I think there's a lot to learn from the comments. After recalling spring LR TR's years past about people post-holing through slop, I think you did OK. But I'm the sort of guy who is OK with a firm slope rather than worry too much about stability (yeah I learned to ski back east too).

I hope you continue to enjoy your personal evolution as a climber & skier. Try to have some fun before the rule book gets published!
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ryanl
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #72 on: 04/24/14, 11:27 AM »

The very best ski mountaineering involves flow.

I agree Lowell, but I think your understanding of Flow carries with it some pretty subjective claims (one's which I myself admire and aspire to) about what counts as Flow.  Flow doesn't apply only to  schussing effortlessly, or gliding endlessly. And skis are way more than gliding tools, in the same way that crampons are way more than ice climbing tools.  Flow can apply just as well to a series of crampon-rap-skis cycles down crazy terrain. The fact that these guys got off on using the various tricks of the trade suggests that they were Engaged in a way beyond being merely gripped, and being Engaged is what Flow is all about. At least for me.

 
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BillK
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #73 on: 04/24/14, 11:42 AM »

In what way, for you, are skis "way more than gliding tools"?...that's an interesting comment....same question re: crampons.

For me, skis often feel like an extension of my penis.     
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ryanl
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #74 on: 04/24/14, 12:01 PM »

I don't feel like I'm gliding when I'm ascending a slope on skins, and I much prefer to skin than to boot most of the time.  There are also scenarios where it's way safer to descend a slope by side stepping than by down climbing. Same with crossing a glacier. Skis are like any tool: what they're made for doesn't define the appropriateness of their use.

Re: crampons, they're great for Man Yoga http://vimeo.com/33005769
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BillK
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #75 on: 04/24/14, 12:10 PM »

I see what you mean...thanks.
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #76 on: 04/24/14, 01:20 PM »

If we can avoid turning posts and this thread into innuendo, that would be great.  Thanks.
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BillK
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #77 on: 04/24/14, 01:33 PM »

Yeah, Ryan, clean up your act!  Now where were we.....?
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Pete_H
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #78 on: 04/24/14, 01:52 PM »


Route choice, conditions windows, wine pairings...


Based on the route and conditions window these gentlemen chose, I can't imagine the poor wine pairings they might make!
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hillybilly
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #79 on: 04/24/14, 02:59 PM »

IMHO I think the community is better off when people like Dave share these types of experiences, bad or good.

On a more categorical note, the so called sport of "ski mountaineering" suggests that not all ascents will be rewarded with a fantastic ski since it depends on unexpected conditions, safety concerns and last minute decisions made on the fly. Likewise not all ski descents require ascending routes that if looked at narrowly would be considered "mountaineering". The pedantry on whether or not these guys are "ski mountaineering" seems uncharitable and frankly off topic. I do not think Dave posted his TR requesting TAYs approval of whether or not he was ski mountaineering.

This is was a good TR. We want more TRs not less. Smiley
« Last Edit: 04/24/14, 09:15 PM by hillybilly » Logged
Stefan
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #80 on: 04/24/14, 05:31 PM »

thanks for the trip report.

I did not think there were any rules to ski mountaineering.  thankfully we don't have to break those because there are none.
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avajane
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #81 on: 04/24/14, 05:55 PM »

This dead horse has definitely been beat!!! I don't want to make light of some significant points that have been made but common guys...Even the Feds only fined them a hundred something bucks. With my stamina I'd love to plunk down $150 to save a days road hiking! If the Feds thought this was such a big deal they would have done something else to the guys.

Are we all forgetting what we did when we were young? By the time I was their age I'd either committed or seen committed:

Illegal Lodging - All over Yosemite and anywhere else we used to go from tent cabins, to campsites, to road ditches, and trailheads.

Climbing in unauthorized areas. Used to go to Glacier Point all the time after the rock fall because nobody was there.

Bad driving to get access. Drove up a closed Mirror Lake Road without headlights to get gear in to a base camp.

Skiing in Closed areas - Used to love going night skiing and skiing closed, unlit runs. I still ski in closed areas and often by myself.

Destruction of Federal Property - Knew a guy who took off the "Unprotected water - not for drinking" sign off the spring in Yosemite valley. (Word has it he put it above his toilet) The water has always been safe - and now they finally let you drink it again without any signs on it.

Abseiled from terrible anchors to save money.

Lied to girls about important things.

We've all done these things and much worse. It's time to give these guys a break and leave them alone. Some of the above behaviors are immature and stupid - and some could have caused some sort of damage to somebody or some group. But what the h^*@$!  Oh and by the way...Lots of younger climbers don't really think of rappelling as that dangerous anymore. Long routes are regularly rapped and even simul rapped. I don't advocate all the newer methods/techniques but they do have a following. Us old jump turners aren't the only ones on the mountain these days.

Dave. Drop me a message and I'd love to ski with you sometime. I even know a place with a roadblock and a no trespassing sign I always go through...Lots of options.
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #82 on: 04/24/14, 08:00 PM »

thanks for the trip report.

I did not think there were any rules to ski mountaineering.  thankfully we don't have to break those because there are none.
rule 1- do not place others, including SAR personal, at risk of harm due to irresponsible actions.
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Lowell_Skoog
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #83 on: 04/24/14, 08:12 PM »

I agree Lowell, but I think your understanding of Flow carries with it some pretty subjective claims (one's which I myself admire and aspire to) about what counts as Flow.  Flow doesn't apply only to  schussing effortlessly, or gliding endlessly. And skis are way more than gliding tools, in the same way that crampons are way more than ice climbing tools.  Flow can apply just as well to a series of crampon-rap-skis cycles down crazy terrain. The fact that these guys got off on using the various tricks of the trade suggests that they were Engaged in a way beyond being merely gripped, and being Engaged is what Flow is all about. At least for me.

Good points, Ryan.  Thanks.
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jasonkdowns
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #84 on: 04/24/14, 08:44 PM »

rule 1- do not place others, including SAR personal, at risk of harm due to irresponsible actions.

Freeskiguy, please define "irresponsible" for me.  I bet some folks would define the sh#t you do in the mtns as "irresponsible".  Point here is that its very subjective.  Something irresponsible to someone else may not be in your eyes.  In the end, who really cares.  We all do stuff we aren't supposed to.  Have any of you sped on the highway?  Bet people could say you are putting other folks at risk for that.

This whole thread is self righteous....too many folks getting up on their soap boxes.  Also, I love how people sit here behind a monitor and rip these guys.  I don't get it.  It cracks me up because I know 90% of the sh#t talkin folks wouldn't have the nuts (or ovaries) to say this stuff face to face.  Anonymity makes ya feel a bit more ballsy than you really are sometimes.

Dave - Kick ass report.  Glad you had an amazing adventure and hope to see many more TRs from ya in the future. 

P.s.  I would have cut the lock too.
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freeski
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #85 on: 04/24/14, 09:07 PM »

Freeskiguy, please define "irresponsible" for me.   

P.s.  I would have cut the lock too.
you answered your own guestion. Irresponsible is defined as 'not having or showing any care for the consequences of personal actions'. I do not know if the conditions dave encountered on his trip constitutes irresponsible behavior. Many East coasters do not fear ice like  some west-coasters do. East coasters fear 'cascade cement'. The local boys here ski it with grace. Back east, it is common to encounter  and ski ice that is so clear blue that the ground is visible through the ice. The solution is to move west.
« Last Edit: 04/24/14, 09:47 PM by freeskiguy » Logged

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jasonkdowns
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #86 on: 04/24/14, 09:19 PM »

Suppose I did  Smiley  Thanks for the insight, buddy.
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swaterfall
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #87 on: 04/24/14, 09:48 PM »

I don't give a crap what or how these guys 'skied'.  It seems like a very poor decision to tee off on Lib right now but that's my own deal not theirs.

They couldn't find the snow park so they cut the lock on the gate.  That deserves ridicule! and this is the internet after all.

The serial lock cutting is disturbing to me though.  I don't think land managers want public lands associated with criminal activity and what they perceive as 'dangerous/extreme' activities.  Who do you think will lose more from further strain on this relationship?

If you're gonna pull a move like that have a little more ninja to you, def don't get caught and by all means resist the urge to chest thump about it.

« Last Edit: 04/24/14, 09:52 PM by swaterfall » Logged
MW88888888
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #88 on: 04/24/14, 09:54 PM »

I must say this has been one of THE most entertaining threads I have ever read on TAY.

From nonchalant dead-pan epic retelling, true crime, history, poems, theory, drama.

Awesome.
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Daver
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #89 on: 04/24/14, 10:15 PM »

Wait a minute, I thought I was on TAY not cascadeclimbers.com. Very entertaining indeed.
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samthaman
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #90 on: 04/24/14, 10:47 PM »


For me, skis often feel like an extension of my penis.     

^^^^ Probably the only worthwhile take away from this thread.
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jwplotz
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #91 on: 04/25/14, 07:09 AM »

The very best ski mountaineering involves flow.

Several years ago, a couple of well-known skiers descended the Mowich Face almost entirely by side-stepping. The snow was crustier than they expected, but they persisted in keeping their skis on for the entire descent.


Yes, but did they sidestep/herringbone up the face?  If so, then we could be looking at a new style of ski mountaineering. 
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skykilo
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #92 on: 04/25/14, 07:49 AM »

This thread is the apogee of TAY! 

Two nights ago, having a beer and watching the NBA playoffs at Rio Chama steakhouse, the bartender told me that he actually carries bolt cutters in his truck all of the time.  He started doing it after somebody locked him inside some parking area once and he's had multiple legitimate occasions to use them since. 

To Dave Schultz: personally, I neither condemn nor endorse any of your actions.  I might not want to play on Liberty Ridge in the same conditions, but if that's what you like, have a blast!  Let your freak flag fly.  Either way, thanks for being the impetus for all of this entertainment.  What's "good ski mountaineering" is 100% subjective.  Personally, that term doesn't sit well with me; something about it makes me think of gaiters and skinny skis.  I prefer "ski alpinism" and "cross-country freeride" (with no apology to Steve Barnett, whom I greatly admire). 

Happy Friday!
« Last Edit: 04/25/14, 08:01 AM by skykilo » Logged
samthaman
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #93 on: 04/25/14, 08:21 AM »

  I prefer "ski alpinism" and "cross-country freeride" (with no apology to Steve Barnett, whom I greatly admire). 

Happy Friday!

Cross-country Freeride: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9OQUOGcL4c&list=PL9F7BDB669B897F08
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powscraper
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #94 on: 04/25/14, 10:06 AM »

This does seem like a new approach to 'ski mountaineering.' Like most, I have never even considered using bolt cutters or snomo-ing into a national park. Thus I suggest we nominate these intrepid young fellows for a Polaris/Hilti/Workforce Maestri Award™, which comes with a lifetime ban from using tools in the park
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RonL
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #95 on: 04/25/14, 10:11 AM »

Ha, the lure of this thread has become to strong... It's pulling us all in. Keep posting reports Dave... Oh and shame on you man, but good job too, and east coast or not that ice looks scary...  But I am over 40 and own a snowboard so I don't likely count as having an opinion on such matters.
As for a term of whatever this sport is....    I still prefer to call it "dorking around in the mountains"
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calamity
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #96 on: 04/25/14, 11:51 AM »

http://vimeo.com/72024058
a good example of the "poor" ski mountaineering being exercised in the modern age.
all the transitions and ice, you cant even call it ski mountaineering!
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Scotsman
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #97 on: 04/25/14, 12:36 PM »

Truly amazing post Dave.
You have been admonished/shamed by.

The former Freeride ski world Champion
The sates' most eminent ski historian.
Several professional guides.
A sponsored Snowboarder.
Several of the PNW's "les enfants terrible" of steep, sick ski-mountaineering.
The most renowned amateur meteorologist in the region.

AND the word penis was used.

Amazing....you have my admiration.....please keep posting.


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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #98 on: 04/25/14, 12:53 PM »

Many East coasters do not fear ice like  some west-coasters do. East coasters fear 'cascade cement'. The local boys here ski it with grace. Back east, it is common to encounter  and ski ice that is so clear blue that the ground is visible through the ice. The solution is to move west.

ripping icy groomers at sugarbush is entirely different than skiing an icy, exposed, 5,000-foot line on a volcano.  Cheesy
« Last Edit: 04/25/14, 05:46 PM by WillD » Logged
avajane
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #99 on: 04/25/14, 01:00 PM »

http://vimeo.com/72024058
a good example of the "poor" ski mountaineering being exercised in the modern age.
all the transitions and ice, you cant even call it ski mountaineering!

And it probably wasn't really that steep! It was just some pile of rocks called Robson in some foreign country way up north. Wink
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Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #100 on: 04/25/14, 01:05 PM »

This thread is the apogee of TAY! 

Two nights ago, having a beer and watching the NBA playoffs at Rio Chama steakhouse, the bartender told me that he actually carries bolt cutters in his truck all of the time.  He started doing it after somebody locked him inside some parking area once and he's had multiple legitimate occasions to use them since.

 

A friends girlfriend used to have them handy as well after she had been "barrelled" downtown. You never know...

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Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #101 on: 04/25/14, 01:08 PM »

This whole thread is self righteous....too many folks getting up on their soap boxes.  Also, I love how people sit here behind a monitor and rip these guys.  I don't get it.  It cracks me up because I know 90% of the sh#t talkin folks wouldn't have the nuts (or ovaries) to say this stuff face to face.  Anonymity makes ya feel a bit more ballsy than you really are sometimes.

Most of the people making harsh, but constructive comments have their identities revealed through their website links under their usernames. If you take the time to identify the posters you will find a depth of experience unavailable on other ski forums. You won't find out my identity because I am not that experienced and would rather not have you know :P

As for the current discussion I agree with beating the dead horse on poor form with the lock cutting. Easy access is great but sometimes half the adventure and challenge is simply spending the time to complete the approach.

http://vimeo.com/72024058
a good example of the "poor" ski mountaineering being exercised in the modern age.
all the transitions and ice, you cant even call it ski mountaineering!
Reiner is a humble animal who was attempting to show what could be done on bear bones Skimo gear in this video. I think this video illustrates the opposite point that you are attempting to convey.
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tabski
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #102 on: 04/25/14, 01:53 PM »

"Hey man, you wanna hang out Friday night?"

"Nah, I'm gonna stay in and watch the April Liberty Ridge thread."

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rlsg
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #103 on: 04/25/14, 06:57 PM »

Great write-up of your adventure.  The lock cutting could make for road opening/ access problems problems in the future.

Keep your TRs coming though--great reads!
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ski2fly
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #104 on: 04/25/14, 08:00 PM »

This is a story of a great adventure. Dave thanks for posting and including so many pictures. As for the lock, and though it might be a $5 lock I am guessing the Feds paid $150 for it. I don't see anywhere Dave actual says he cut it.
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samthaman
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #105 on: 04/25/14, 08:13 PM »

ripping icy groomers at sugarbush is entirely different than skiing an icy, exposed, 5,000-foot line on a volcano.  Cheesy

In the OP's defense.. it's not that different
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Gregg_C
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #106 on: 04/25/14, 08:58 PM »

I have nothing glib or amusing to add--others have done so well.  Sky's, "Let your freak flag fly" comment had me nearly spitting beer out my nose.  And I put in my vote for Scotsman as being his best post ever.  Funny, clever and with that edge of sarcasm we have come to expect. 

My boring droll comment is to ask why a road that is open for sledding is locked for road access.  Why not let folks drive to the snow and unload?  I recently used sleds to do the Forbidden Traverse.  If not for a very large tree 1.5 miles from the Eldorado Gate recently fallen across the road, we would have saved four miles of road skinning.  (Before you start jumping on our actions,  we called the Park and were told we could use the sleds to that point.)  Interestingly, someone had used a snow mobile to drive to the summer parking lot and were able to open the gate on the hillside below the parking lot after the final bridge.  Must have been park employees.

Fantastic thread.  Highly enjoyable reading above the usual TAY fare.
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Alex L
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #107 on: 04/25/14, 09:01 PM »

Just to clear one thing up - we snowmobiled from the end of the plowed road at the White River Ranger Station, to the Glacier Basin Trailhead at the White River Campground (where the "No Snowmobiles" sign is).

Here's my gpx from the TH where we started skiing to Thumb Rock:  http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php?q=http://sites.google.com/site/acleone/gpx/2014-04-11_LR_TH_to_Thumb_Rock.gpx&ll=46.885500,-121.715739&z=13&t=t4

My two cents about the conditions: Skis made for fast and efficient travel all the way to the toe of Liberty Ridge and back.  Climbing conditions on the ridge were great, no wallowing, mostly styrofoam snow that took steps well.  No schrund shenanigans at all.  There was maybe 10 feet of 60-70 degree snow, the rest was 40-50 degrees, including all the ice pitches.

We planned to ski the Emmons if we didn't find good conditions.  Once we popped up onto the snowfield below Liberty Cap and out of the shelter of the headwall, there was a strong continuous wind from the East.  Just to get up to Liberty Cap we had to crawl a bit.  It would have been quite a battle to walk directly into the wind to get over to the saddle and down the Emmons.

Once we got back down out of the wind, Dave skied a section, found it to be pretty hard snow, so I downclimbed.  Once we got back to the top of the exposed glacier ice (see picture on page 1), we made a few raps over the ice to just above the Black Pyramid, and downclimbed on snow to just below the Black Pyramid.  None of the raps were vertical, just the same 40 degree ice that we climbed up.  The snow below the Black Pyramid was pretty hard, but certianly edgeable.  Dave skied it, I took a turn or two, and decided I liked downclimbing more, so switched back to crampons.  A few hundred feet below the snow softened up nicely so I eventually put skis back on.  I think there was another hard snow section were we switched and one last exposed ice band near the bottom that required a short rap.

I bet Dave could have skied continuously from below the Black Pyramid all the way out, and made the single short rap with skis on.  I wasn't as confident in my abilities so I probably caused us to transition to crampons a few more times than was necessary.  I bet a little later in the season when the snow is softer, and without the exposed glacier ice section above the Black Pyramid, it would have made for a much more aesthetic ski descent.
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #108 on: 04/25/14, 10:13 PM »

Alex, don't sweat it, ski-mountaineers struggle with identity issues.  Consider yourselves "Fun hogs" and be done with that.

The lock is a different deal and that is done...

Keep climbing smart and have fun.
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ajjenkin
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #109 on: 04/25/14, 10:42 PM »

Just like Tabke said...better than TV...especially when babysitting on a Friday night.

LR skiing TR's over the last few years seem to fall into two camps - the mid-April/early-May attempts, and the late-June/early-July attempts.  The later attempts seem to find better conditions and have better luck with the skiing.  If you are too late,  this can happen:

http://mountrainierconditions.blogspot.com/2010/04/liberty-ridge-2010.html

Too early and you get gray patches of dirty ice in the path of your ascent/descent.  The amount of snow we get, and the type of snow we get throughout the winter surely matters too.  It may be as simple as earlier is better on low snow years, and later is better on high snow years.  Anyway, I'm suggesting that maybe the window for LR skiing is later than everyone seems to think.  Perhaps just past the prime climbing window, but before the lower ridge really falls apart.  This may only be a 2 to 4 week window somewhere between early-June and early-July.

This route is certainly a "test-piece" (great word for rock climbing, but I don't really like that word for skiing - too variable).  It is bound to see more frequent ski attempts, so a discussion of when to go is important.  I thought I'd throw this out there because I haven't seen it dealt with in this "far ranging" thread.

As far as the bolt cutting...I threw drano-bombs off the cornice at Loveland Pass in my early twenties to try to get the slope below to slide.  Stupid.  I wish I could sit down with that young lad now and talk some sense into him.  He wouldn't listen though.
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freeski
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #110 on: 04/26/14, 07:12 AM »

ripping icy groomers at sugarbush is entirely different than skiing an icy, exposed, 5,000-foot line on a volcano.  Cheesy
you mean the east doesn't have Bc skiing? No ice with exposure? My point is that you reach a comfort level with the conditions you are raised on. The Bc skiers that i know from the east make really bad snow, like ice and wind hammer,look easy to ski.
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T. Eastman
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #111 on: 04/26/14, 09:30 AM »

you mean the east doesn't have Bc skiing? No ice with exposure? My point is that you reach a comfort level with the conditions you are raised on. The Bc skiers that i know from the east make really bad snow, like ice and wind hammer,look easy to ski.

This is so true, Samthaman is said to actually hate powder and smooth corn, preferring wicked hard crust and boiler plate...
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rlsg
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #112 on: 04/26/14, 10:06 AM »

Now the Park Service is going to be looking for a PAIR of 'hoods' with ski masks and bolt cutters (Avajane and Dave..)--The new DYNAMIC DUO!
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Pete_H
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #113 on: 04/26/14, 06:51 PM »

This is a story of a great adventure.

Fair enough. But mountaineering, yes. Ski mountaineering (or ski alpinism), no.
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altasnob
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #114 on: 04/26/14, 06:53 PM »

Not fessing up to the bolt cutting off the bat was your biggest blunder. Had you just claimed you did it for the cause, hell, you'd go to jail for the cause, everyone would be cool with that. You'd might even pass Scottsman as TAY's #1 poster.

There is no good reason why the road isn't open to wherever the snow line is. The road is paved, so less risk of ruts like on dirt roads. And they could post a sign that says you have to display your Rainier Park pass, and make money by ticketing offenders. Rainier should tier their 410 opening schedule, rather than just wait for Chinook to open.
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freeski
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #115 on: 04/26/14, 09:50 PM »

Alex, i read your last post and it sounds like you had good teamwork and were staying together. One of the guys who posted advice to you once posted a very well written story about a  climb-ski were he ditched his partner and wound up speading the night in one of the steam vents. Because he is willing to share his mistakes, I would say that he was not trying to shame,as was suggested in one of the posts, but to teach out of concern for safety.
« Last Edit: 04/26/14, 10:14 PM by freeskiguy » Logged

"I'm not making love to anyones wishes, only for that light I see." Cat Stevens
avajane
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #116 on: 04/27/14, 11:42 PM »

Now the Park Service is going to be looking for a PAIR of 'hoods' with ski masks and bolt cutters (Avajane and Dave..)--The new DYNAMIC DUO!
Snuck into the backside of Stevens Pass but was by myself. The Nordic road had been groomed the day before! Will be skiing with Dave soon. Just couldn't meet up this time.
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Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
rlsg
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #117 on: 04/28/14, 04:38 PM »

Which one will be BATMAN and who (or is it whom?) will be Robin?  Both CAPE CRUSADERS I'm sure....
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avajane
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #118 on: 04/28/14, 05:16 PM »

Don't know but you are surely the Joker Grin
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Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
rlsg
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #119 on: 04/28/14, 05:33 PM »

OK--I'll stop...
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hillybilly
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #120 on: 04/28/14, 07:59 PM »

Not fessing up to the bolt cutting off the bat was your biggest blunder.

Why is that? Seems rational to show reluctance.
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aaron_wright
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #121 on: 04/28/14, 08:28 PM »

Why is that? Seems rational to show reluctance.
What if that was your plan all along?
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hillybilly
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #122 on: 04/29/14, 12:10 PM »

What if? I guess I don't follow.
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David_Coleman
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #123 on: 04/29/14, 05:06 PM »

Freak-flag on...haha.  I see Sky hasn't missed a beat with his sense of humor  Cool.  As for this thread, I must say, TAY still appears civil.  I can only imagine what a cross-thread of this would be like on cc.com, with full on profanity or drumrolls!

Or to quote the Urban Dictionary (Cross-threaded): When you are taking a crap, and it takes you a long time, and it feels as if a boulder is being squeezed from your a_ _. It hurts and feels like it's coming out sideways.

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JasonGriffith
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #124 on: 04/29/14, 07:52 PM »

No need to imagine, Dave thought of everything:  http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1123514/1
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LukerBee
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #125 on: 04/30/14, 11:11 AM »

So I toured Pilchuck with Dave yesterday – only on the ride home did I learn of his TAY celebrity stature. He shared the whole story with me. When I got home I read this thread.

Was posting the report chest beating / bragging? I do not think so. Dave is pretty modest low-key guy.

Were logistics poorly planned? As it relates to NPS access regulations, yes. The mountaineering part seemed pretty well thought through – but what do I know.

Wrong to cut the lock? He should not have done it. He knows it. I probably would have made that decision 20 years ago at that age. I think he learned from the experience.

Premeditated Offense: No. He carries a lot of gear in his rig.

Lock cutting penalty: I guess they let him off easy because he was truthful and introspective with NPS as he as with me.

Too dangerous? I am not qualified to answer that. Seems straight out crazy to me. As do many of the tours on here.

Was it skiing? I am on a splitboard. I tour to shred, not ice climb. So I guess I really don’t care.
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aaron_wright
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #126 on: 04/30/14, 08:21 PM »

Interesting, he sent me a pm asking me to stop posting and said that the plan had been to cut the lock, hence the carrying of bolt cutters. The naivete of posters and people in general is astounding.

So I toured Pilchuck with Dave yesterday – only on the ride home did I learn of his TAY celebrity stature. He shared the whole story with me. When I got home I read this thread.

Was posting the report chest beating / bragging? I do not think so. Dave is pretty modest low-key guy.

Were logistics poorly planned? As it relates to NPS access regulations, yes. The mountaineering part seemed pretty well thought through – but what do I know.

Wrong to cut the lock? He should not have done it. He knows it. I probably would have made that decision 20 years ago at that age. I think he learned from the experience.

Premeditated Offense: No. He carries a lot of gear in his rig.

Lock cutting penalty: I guess they let him off easy because he was truthful and introspective with NPS as he as with me.

Too dangerous? I am not qualified to answer that. Seems straight out crazy to me. As do many of the tours on here.

Was it skiing? I am on a splitboard. I tour to shred, not ice climb. So I guess I really don’t care.

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LukerBee
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #127 on: 04/30/14, 08:48 PM »

You may be wright or you may be wrong   Cool
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Jonn-E
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #128 on: 04/30/14, 10:01 PM »

It is genuinely interesting to read the different responses between this forum and the identical post on CC.com.  Really shows that there are some cultural differences between those who climb to ski and those who climb to climb.
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BrianT
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #129 on: 05/01/14, 02:37 PM »

You may be wright or you may be wrong   Cool

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cih0btgJw8s
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ski2fly
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #130 on: 05/01/14, 05:59 PM »

Fair enough. But mountaineering, yes. Ski mountaineering (or ski alpinism), no.
Splitting hairs there. I will bet they enjoyed the whole thing. I suppose if you went on the same trip then you would have had 1/2 an adventure +/-.
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freeski
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #131 on: 05/02/14, 05:29 PM »

It is genuinely interesting to read the different responses between this forum and the identical post on CC.com.  Really shows that there are some cultural differences between those who climb to ski and those who climb to climb.
yea I read that after reading your post. Seems there was a lot of talk about rap systems and rope. Skiers be crazy though. I've seen photos of skiers descending slopes that climbers are roped up on. I know from some of my own exposed, ropeless, gripped ascents that as soon as I click into my skis, I feel better.
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Jonn-E
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #132 on: 05/05/14, 07:45 AM »

The deep focus on the technical over at CC.com was part of it, but I also noted that the average response here was "respect authority" while over at CC.com the average response was more "screw the park".  That to me is an interesting cultural grouping that I would not have guessed existed before this thread/large-scale social experiment. Perhaps climbers (particularly older ones) are more used to breaking the rules to in order to access a line?
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BillK
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #133 on: 05/05/14, 08:37 AM »

^^^^Inherent differences between the sports? Rugged individualists?  Age differences?  Other demographic differences?
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avajane
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #134 on: 05/05/14, 09:35 AM »

From an old climber......Most climbers are skiers but most skiers are not climbers. I'm sure, in general, most climbers are less apt to be joiners and are not as likely to follow direction as well. The technical discussions about rap systems on cc was for the most part because the set ups in the pictures were not what they were used to - perhaps because they came from back east. People are people though, and there were plenty on cc who said "not cool".
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Brian Izdepski, Facebook TAY
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #135 on: 05/05/14, 10:25 AM »

Most climbers are skiers but most skiers are not climbers. ..... People are people though, and there were plenty on cc who said "not cool".

True on both counts.
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freeski
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #136 on: 05/05/14, 12:30 PM »

I also noted that the average response here was "respect authority" while over at CC.com the average response was more "screw the park".
another factor going on at TAY may be tribal. The new guy did not respect the efforts of those few here at TAY who have been challenging authority, on our behalf, concerning access rights to the park. 
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"I'm not making love to anyones wishes, only for that light I see." Cat Stevens
BillK
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #137 on: 05/05/14, 01:40 PM »

Good point.  Not that he intentionally disrespected them, but his actions undermined their efforts.  I agree...
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freeski
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #138 on: 05/05/14, 03:40 PM »

  Not that he intentionally disrespected them, but his actions undermined their efforts. 
 
yes. I agree.
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"I'm not making love to anyones wishes, only for that light I see." Cat Stevens
wooley12
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Re: 11-14 April Liberty Ridge with Partial Ski Descent
« Reply #139 on: 05/25/14, 12:11 AM »

Better that I discovered this thread AFTER I lent them my pulk.  Looking forward to their next TR.

Godspeed gentleman.





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The stem christie is a legitimate backcountry turn
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