Azure\’s Adventures

My adventures, fun times, and thoughts

Leuthold once….Leuthold Twice June 11, 2008

Filed under: Alpine Climbing — azureraff @ 12:54 am

Climbing Mt. Hood is fun and interesting.  It is amazing how quickly we forget after summiting how freaking hard the climb was.  I climbed Hood via the Leuthold route on May 5th and then again on May 30.  When I did it in May, my friend Tracy reminded me that I had said that I wouldn’t be doing this anytime soon (those were not my exact words 🙂 ).  I decided to do the climb again so that I could take Eric since I thought it would be a great prep for Rainier coming up on July 4th, plus Chris has never done the route and was up for something new. 

The first group of climbers was me, Tracy, Andrea, and Mac, all of us ICS grads.  Tracy led the way, I led the rope team.  It was very cold and very postholey, but a great clear day!!  The second time was me, Eric, and Chris with me leading.  This was Erics first time on hood, and of course, knowing how tough he is…. I take him on a 50 degree technical route on hood.  The things we do for love! 🙂 On the way up the palmer snowfield, I felt very dizzy and sick, but I toughed it through and felt better at the saddle.  The route was postholey again after palmer lifts, plus weather moved in later, Eric had to arrest Chris’s fall, I think he tripped on a crampon (good thing I taught him basic mountaineering the day before), and a successful summit!  I feel like Eric has covered everything before our rainier climb now!Here are some of the pics from the climbs. 

Illumination Saddle on May 5, 2008

A clear view looking to the north from the ridgeline around 10,500 ft

knife edge ridge near the summit….wow, what a view!

Summit day, May 5, 2008 (Mac, Tracy, Andrea, and I)

Illumination Saddle, 5/30/2008…much less snow!  It was about 4am in the morning here. Pic taken by CPK

Traversing from the saddle over near the hourglass, then up,up,up.  Lots of postholeing here!!! Yikes (me in front, eric is second, CPK took the pic).

This is hard!!!  Are we there yet!

We didn’t get summit pics because it was nasty!!!  Think we were there around 10am on May 30, 2008.  It was still challenging and fun.  We had a great gilissade all the way down after we took off our crampons!




ICS Fun…..I was helping out 2008 May 29, 2008

Filed under: Alpine Climbing — azureraff @ 10:12 pm

I helped out with the Mazamas ICS class this year.  It was defientely a great time, met the new students, brushed up on my crevasse rescue skills, and did a fair amount of drinking!  Isn’t that a requirement for the class ? 🙂

Nick, me, and Heather


Brian and I




Middle Sister Climb September 22-23, 2007 October 1, 2007

Filed under: Alpine Climbing,Middle Sister — azureraff @ 12:40 am

On Saturday September 22, 2007 Eric, Jim, hurley, Gidget,and I set out on our ascent of middle sister near Sisters, Oregon.  We started the climb around 2:30pm from the Pole creek trail head.  The weather was great, the perfect temperature.  The hike was about 7 miles in (our map was wrong) so it took us longer than we thought to get to camp.  We arrived at Camp lake just before dark.  The wind was kicking up pretty rapidly so we set up the tent then cooked and sat in our tent and grubbed on our food.  It got really cold and windy and we wondering if we were going to get weathered in and not do the climb.  We were planning on doing the Hayden Glacier, but vouched to do the South route because of the conditions and complexity of the other route.  We went to bed around 8pm so that we can get up as early as possible to start the climb.


Eric on the hike in


Jim with broken top in the background


Views on the hike in

 We woke up to a frozen tent and cold conditions! Good thing I had my puffy jacket.  We got the dogs ready and headed up there trail around 7:30am or so.  We owned the mountain, nobody decided to attempt this mountain this late in the season.  The weather was calm and great, but very cold.  We ascended a steap trail to some snow fields at around 8,000 feet.  We then arrived at a huge boulderfield which was interesting.  The last 1,000 feet of the climb was loose scree leading up to the summit block at 10,047 feet. It was chilly at the summit and we lingered here for about 15-20 minutes before decending. 


Off to an early “COLD” start in the morning


On one of the no name snowfields on the ascent.  South sister in the background.


Our crazy energetic dogs in the am…before the climb


Us at the summit!


View of North Sister from the summit….notice the ice, burrr

The dogs were wiped!  Once we got to camp, they curled up in little balls.  We broke down our gear and proceeded to attempt our hike out.  We got back to the truck at around 9pm…really hungry! 


The tired dogs as we break down camp.


Camp lake (yes, this is the real  name) from our campsite.


South Sister/Green Lakes July 28, 2007

Filed under: Alpine Climbing,South Sister/Green Lakes — azureraff @ 9:11 pm

Eric and I set out July 28-29 to climb south sister and broken top via green lakes. We headed into green lakes late on Friday getting to camp around 8:30-9pm.  Our camp was gorgeous except for the fact we had to hike a steep hill to get there…what were we thinking! We brought the dogs with us on the occation.  This was the first mountain for both Hurley and Eric both.


Our camp from Green Lakes, South sister and Gidget in the background

The next morning we got up made breakfast and took off around 8:30 from camp.  We headed across the lake and found what looked like the trail.  We followed it along a stream and some steep rocky switchbacks.  We had snow to the left of us and if we had crampons it would have been ideal.  We Proceeded to scramble up volcanic rock (my favorite) up to a snowfield around 8500 feet. 


View from a break we took after a big scree field


Pool of water on the glacier


Summit of South Sister the 3rd highest peak in Oregon.  Eric and Hurleys first summit! Middle sister is next!

Absolutely nobody was on this route! We had a mix of a little of everything, snow, scree, trail.  It was nice for us and the dogs.  The dogs took a beating (even with the booties).  We decided that we were not going to attempt broken top the next day and just relax.  We brought a bota bag full of 4 bottles of wine with us! Believe me, I drank too much, another reason for not attempting broken top!


A tired Hurley rests in the tent!


Mt. Adams/Mazama Glacier July 14, 2007

Filed under: Alpine Climbing,Mt. Adams/Mazama Glacier — azureraff @ 10:08 pm

This was a climb that I did on July 14-15, 2007 with my friends Tracy, Mac, Macs nephew from the east coast, and Andrea.  All of us are recent ICS (Intermediate Climbing School) grads from the mazamas and wanted to do a different route on Adams besides the Southside.  We headed up to the Cold Springs trailhead on the Gifford Pinchot National forest and arrived at around 10:30am on Saturday.  From the trailhead we headed up the trailhead (cold springs) until arriving at the round the mountain trail.  From here we headed east toward the South east side of the mountain and then entering the Yakima Indian Reservation.  Beautiful wildflowers were along the trail, and great views of the south side of the moutnain.img_0702.jpg

Lunch Break on July 14th after finding a trail (what we think is the main trail) up to the Mazama glacier.  We are on the Southeastern side of the mountain at this point. 


Wildflowers that occur along the trail on the Yakima Nation side.  It is much more beautiful in person!

We had to do some bushwacking along the way, since the trail was not the one that we thought it was (thats why this is called an exploritory route 🙂  We ended up gaining elevation before camp that we did not want!  Oh well, better conditioning for us!


me on top of an unwanted ridge looking down and the rock we have to scramble down.  I am looking at camp in the distance.  Damn!

After the crazy scramble down, we arive at Sunrise Camp elevation 8400 feet. 


A picture of Andrea working on her windblock!  Mac has the cadillac of all tents so we didn’t have to worry about that so much.


 Us grubbing in Macs tent and sharing dinner.  Trying to stay out of the crazy wind!!!!


Me pumping water…Burr its windy and cold! I don’t go anywhere without my puffy! 🙂

We went to bed then woke up around 3am to assess the wind situation.  We sort of decided that we didn’t want to go because of the high winds and nobody in camp was budging.  I then went back to bed got up around 5:30am and decided to give it a shot.  We were one of the last people out of camp to leave.  Conditions were favorable though. 


Me leading our rope team of 5 up the Mazama glacier.



Some crevasses and Mt. Hood in the background.  What a view!


Me on the summit (a cold summit!) sitting under a lenticular cloud.  We didn’t spend much time here!


The long hike out on the REAL trail this time.  Me and Andrea just wanted to get the heck out of here and so did everyone else.  We wanted a real meal!


Wonderful view of Mt. Hood near sunset on our way out on the round the mountain trail!!

A beautiful climb! 


Mt. Shasta-Hotlum/Bolam June 29, 2007

Filed under: Alpine Climbing,Mt. Shasta/Hotlum-Bolam — azureraff @ 11:35 pm

My climb up Shasta was amazing!  We headed out June 29 and returned home on July 2nd late.  The climbing party was fellow ICSers me, Brian A., Brian, W. Mac, Tammi, and Dillon.  We camped at the Northgate trailhead friday night and woke up to a beautiful day on Saturday! Perfect climbing weather.  Actually, it wasn’t too hot.  Love that!  We headed out around 10:30am up the Northgate trail to our camp around 9,800 feet.  The trailhead started around 6,400 I believe.

Me and tammi at Northgate trailhead ready to go.


Picture on our way up the trailhead.  Almost to camp around 8000 maybe?


View from 13, 800 feet…almost there!!!!


Summit of Mt. Shasta!!! 14,150 feet.


Mt. Hood-Sunshine Route June 23, 2007

Filed under: Alpine Climbing,Mt. Hood/Sunshine — azureraff @ 8:39 pm

On June 23 I went on an adventure with the Mazamas climbing Mt. Hood Sunshine Route which is the North side of Mt. Hood.  Our plan was to bivy around the 8500 foot level.  I got up that morning and was looking at the weather which did not look that promising.  I headed up to timberline lodge to meet the group which some of them I new from ICS, Linda, and assistant leader Eileen.  The leader I have had lectures from in ICS.  There was a total of 10 of us.  The plan was to leave some of the cars at timberline (South side) then head to Cooper spur and start on the North side of the mountain.  We started the climb around 10:30 am on Saturday.  It appeared that that weather was suppose to move in that night would could mean we will not summit.  We headed up the mountain toward the elliot glacier. We approached the area that we planned on camping at, and decided to do a carry over with our packs and climb the route in one day.  It was around 1pm now and we were making good time.  At this point we were at around 9K feet I believe.


We headed up to approach a dicey crossing after we first roped up and this lead to a steep climb!



The second person in me on the steep climb on the North side near the elliot glacier…up up up


Look at the views!


The climb was great until we hit about 10,500 feet around the ridge separating the south from the north side.  The wind kicked up and the storm started to move in.  We hit the summit, then decended the route as soon as possible. That was the coldest I have ever been on a climb!  burrr. We had to front point on the way down because of icy and steep conditions.  We ended up back at timberline around 11:30 pm. It was a long day.