Monthly Archives: May 2011

Multi Tasking

After a quick afternoon skiing with Mike Mourar and Steve Baume I left our base for a week with my van packed with Skis, Mountaineering gear and a full Kayaking set-up. I started with a three day Swiftwater Rescue Technician Course at wet planet on the White Salmon River in Washington and followed it up with an ascent of the Reid Glacier Headwall route on Mt Hood with Trevor (descending via the south side) followed by running the White and West fork of the Hood Rivers with Mike Mourar and then two days safety kayaking for the Assistant Instructor Training course on the White Salmon. It was great, if a little tiring, trying to tag so many things back to back but definitely made the most of the conditions available.
Reid Glacier Headwall – Ski up till level with illumination saddle, drop skis and traverse to saddle. Rope up, descend onto Reid Glacier then head up up up trying not to be scared when the 4 pickets and 2 ice screws didnt seem to be enough. Descend via south Side to skis, ski (badly) back to vehicles.
White River – A long off road drive (my van is rear wheel drive) to the start of the river. Pray that said van will make it out, leave in the morning and the van makes it out, decide to use mountain bike for shuttle instead.
West Fork of the Hood – Only a short section of river but ran after the White making a very full whitewater day. Feel ready for the White Salmon
White Salmon – put in at 820am to recon river for staff training, 7 miles takes 45 mins, realise that the river is a little high. Run it three times in the next 2 days.
The Week – Highly Succesfull but am now very tired

Trevor (approx 7am) high on the Reid headwall after the main difficulties (a steep ice pitch) were passed.
Trevor leading out below some serious rime ice on the Reid Headwall
Oregon Road, still learning how to use the new fish eye lens – taken on a few hours drive around Northern Oregon with Mike trying to see what rivers where actually “up”
Trevor leading through the final technical section – a rime ice tunnel on very unconsolidated hard wind slab snow.
Loading my van for the portage on the white salmon (definitely making my daily wage as it reduced my fuel efficiency to 8mpg)
The bottom hole of “Maytag” (Class 3) on the White Salmon – the first 2 miles was essentially survival paddling after this rapid as the boats were so full of water.
Skiing Tumalo Mtn with Mourar and Baume – Mourar drops in to a couple of inches of powder with his usual flair.
Anyone whos ski-ed with me should be able to guess which line is mine (clue – Mike Mourar teaches kids how to shred in the back country)
Trevor and I loving it high on the Reid Face – we summited at 930am, grabbed our skis (stashed on the south side) and ski-ed back to our vehicles in a 10.5hr round trip) it was blizzarding within the hour.
Mike Mourar and I pleased with ourselves after a rather full on off road drive down to the put-in for the white river – 12 miles of constant class 3+ with the odd 4.

I only have a couple more days off before our “All Staff” Training – possibly some time for more climbing at Smith Rock
Posted in Mt hood, Reid glacier headwall, skiing, White River, White salmon

Mount Jefferson

So I am working right now but here are some photos from my time off. Lots of climbing, relaxing, coffee drinking and an attempt on Mount Jefferson by the Park Glacier Route. Steve, Amber and I skiied in from as far up the Whitewater Trailhead road as possible up to a high camp at around 6000ft. The weather was amazing but surprisingly (and worryingly) warm. We got up the next day and left camp at 5am, only to see the clouds roll in and drop our visibility to around 30ft (I couldn’t really see steve on the other end of the rope team). We tried to go upwards through some steep crevassed terrain and poor weather until we could go no further at 10,000ft (the summit is 490ft higher). We got back to our skis and headed to camp, packed out and got out of there. A long day but a fun one with the only thing missing actually getting to the top.

Steve and Amber at our camp
A slightly random shot with my new fisheye lens – taken on the deck of the staff lodge.
Night view of our camp
Packing up as fast as possible. We made it to the trail head at 7pm after some survival skiing with large packs through the trees.
Sunset from camp. As soon as this weather clears up another attempt might be in order.

Posted in Mt Jefferson, Park Glacier route, skiing


Spring is almost over which means that I just finished work. Wrapping up the Wilderness Instructors Course with a 7 day run on the Owyhee River in Eastern Oregon could not be better. We were a little worried in the days leading up to the long drive across the state as the river peaked at 18000 cfs (1000 -10,000 cfs being considered runnable). We got on the river at 9,000 as it slowly dropped, ideal circumstances for this river making rapids a little less technical. 7 days of phenomenal scenery, wildlife, hotsprings and great rafting is hard to beat.

Levi and Steve working hard (probably discussing what type of bird they’re staring at)
Indian Paintbrush in one of the side canyons
Eric and I sailing the flotilla of rafts across Lake Owyhee on the second last day. (we actually got 4 miles an hour out of this rig while towing a paddle boat)
Mice practicing for the olympics in out dishwashing tubs (frozen in place in the morning)
Me doing what I do best, reading my book and drinking coffee in Ryegrass hotsprings.
Camp fire as the river and clouds flow past, Pruitts castle camp.
The groover – do toilet locations get any better??
Camp in Green Dragon Canyon.
Okay so not actually the Owyhee. I managed to get an evening of climbing in just before heading off and grabbed this picture of one of the bald eagles at Smith Rock.

Now I have some days off and just have to decide on Climbing, Mountaineering or Rivers…..
Posted in alastair rose, lower owyhee river, mountains to the sea, mountainstothesea, Owyhee river