Friday, September 30, 2011

Classic Routes for the Mortal man

La Sportiva Live and I collaborated to write a short article on "Classic routes for the Mortal Man". I'd like to thank all the folks at La Sportiva, Bridget, and Brad for being great climbing partners and for providing pictures.

to read the story click HERE .

Cheers, Loren

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lines on a topo map

The back side of the Dog's tooth at sunrise

Scott Salzer and I ventured into the Crazy Mountains for our annual pilgrimage. We choose to explore a theoretical cliff located N-E of twin Lakes. The lines on the topo map made the area look promising. We started hiking at 5:00am and arrived beneath the mountain at daybreak, the problem was the cliff is located on the other side of the mountain. We climbed for 2,500 feet up following a rib of perfect pink granite. We hoped that this granite poked out the other side at the unseen cliff. It didn't. We arrived at the top of the cliff and looked down on a 600' cliff of choss. We decided to try and climb a line on the cliff that looked somewhat safe. It wasn't. After climbing around a huge chock stone I stepped to the left and placed a piece of gear, just as I did this half of the bottom of the chock stone fell off, the size of a kitchen table. Lucky I was out of the way, and Scott was hidden in a cave. Shaken I climbed the last 25 feet of 5.10- climbing to the top of the chock stone where, after finding nothing but rotton rock, I placed the only bolt I have ever placed in the mountains and bailed. The climb had a very sinister feel to it. The entire time we were climbing we had to brush off small bones from the holds. It turns out that the chock stone was home to a large owl (we never saw) and the ground was littered with owl pellets and bones. This is one cliff I don't think I ever need to go back to and honestly I don't recommend any climber going there unless you like bad rock. However, It was great learning experience and another 'crazy' climbing experience with Scott.

Cheers, Loren

Scott on top of the ridge before dropping down the other side to the base of the wall.

Scott splunk-climbing

Scott rappelling off the wall

I know this is cheesy, trust me.

A video of the day.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ainger Lake

A climb with Nathan Cooper.

I cut back on the wording for this original post because it was to verbose for me. I had to include something about this haliarious day though.

1.) Nathan is not a climber. This climb "jump the gap" is 6 pitches of 5.10 climbing.
2.) We forgot to bring along 2 belay/rappel devices. I belayed with a munter hitch.
3.) Nathan had a baskeball sized rock fall directly on his head. He nearly blacked out, we tested the munter hitch belay.
4.) The runouts were real on this climb. Broken-leg country abounded. The tiny rack of draws and a half set of hexes were inadequate.
5.) We did a semi-blind, 60M, free hanging rappel off the formation. Nathan has never rappelled. We had only 1 belay device. I went first to make sure the ropes touched; I tied the belay device on the ends of the rope, Nathan brought the device up to him, and I coached him how to rappell, from 200' below.

it was a classic climbing trip with Nathan.
Cheers, Loren

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cowen Cirque

Mount Cowen from paradise valley. The NE arete is the left skyline.

Brad Stanton and I just returned from a fun weekend trip to Mount Cowen in the Absorka range of Montana. This beautiful peak (cirque) has great rock and breathtaking vistas. As Marko Prezelj has stated "Personal experiences in the mountains can't be transformed into a uniform creation that will copy and transmit the same feelings". Every single post in this blog is an example of this statement. Writing these posts I always feel a bit awkward as I try and hint at a deeper meaning to being in the mountains.

Brad and I's darker sides exposed at the start of the NE arete of Cowen

View from the NE ridge

Brad on the NE arete. We simul-climbed the fun route in 3 "pitches".

Lewis and Clark would be proud

On the descent we encountered a Ram who had fallen from cliffs high above.

Brad showed me "the world's smallest boulder problem". It works with any rock about this size and is actually wicked hard, similar to chair bouldering. photo by Brad Stanton

After climbing the NE ridge of Cowen we decided to climb "GO West!" on the Anacker Tower.

Brad on P1

P2 photo by Brad Stanton



Brad not finding much gear on P4



P6 photo by Brad Stanton

Brad on P7. An outstanding pitch of exposed knobby face climbing into a splitter hand crack, great way to finish.

Brad on the top, again Lewis and Clark would be proud.

Descent off the tower

The Cowen cirque is a pretty amazing place.

Cheers, Loren

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Tooth Revisited

Bridget and I had a wonderful time this past weekend climbing the beautiful Beartooth Spire. After Rusty Willis and I had made a climb of the spire a few winters ago the area fell by the way side(for me)for a bit as school took over my life. It was good to get back to my spiritual sanctuary.

We hiked in and with plenty of day light decided to climb a clean slab on Mount Rearguard, located on the north end of Moon Lake. The climb turned out to be really mellow and fun. (Pitch1 5.5, 70m, Pitch2 5.5, 60m, pitch3, 5.4 20m). With the sun striking the rock and the sound of waves breaking on shore it was a tranquil climb. We finished the climb by hiking for 15 minutes to the summit of Mount Rearguard.

The slab above moon lake

Bridget following the first pitch of the slab

Bridget leading the second pitch of the slab

The top of Mount Rearguard

The next day we woke early and hiked to the Tooth. It was good to us.

Bridget on the Tooth

Bridget leads the crux

Me following the crux

Bridget being dwarfed by the bigness

We're not in the Bugaboos anymore

Oh, and I guess the ropes don't touch on the last rappell.

Bridget perpetually smiling

Home sweet home

I found something on the East Ridge of the Tooth, if you know what I'm talking about shoot me a message.

Cheers, Loren