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 Post subject: Mt Adams, N Face, NW Ridge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:19 am 
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Posts: 819
Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
Trip Report: July 10, 2010

Ski descent, Mt Adams Northwest Ridge, North Face

It all started with Adam Roberts calling me last week saying “hey man, wanna do something roudy this weekend?” With a tentative response I said “uhh, SURE!”

The objective: Climb the North Ridge seen left center, summit, top out the West Peak, and drop the line directly right of center. North side of Mt Adams, seen from Randle, Wa.
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And a full truckbed:
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A few years ago I began to encounter a recurring problem. You see, I’m a passionate alpine climber, but I am also a diehard snowboarder. Generally speaking the snowboard industry is pretty much funded by an abundance of overhype and gangster baggy pants. This means that for those of us who call ourselves splitboard mountaineers, the lack of communication between climbing companies and the snowboard world has forced us to be a bit more creative. Because of a relative lack of snowboard wankers who enjoy slogging, the vast majority of my outings are with those who consider themselves truly hardcore and dedicated: skiers. I guess this is okay…

Adams Glacier Icefall:
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The good news is that within the past 10 years the discipline of splitboarding has undergone fantastic evolution with the beginning of Spark R&D (.com) and the mainstreaming of rider-built splitboards. Despite these great advances, a few of us are still wanting more. Namely soft-boot binding stiffness and responsiveness, touring edging performance, and as light weight and sexy as possible. I mean, skiers get Dynafits, and splitboarders need something as revolutionary!

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Enter Karakoram (.com): “Innovate, Ride, Explore”. What else could be sicker than designing and engineering your very own splitboard interface, only to take it to its physical limits in the most demanding and beautiful places on Planet Earth? That’s right, NOTHING is sicker than that. At least in my biased opinion.

So when Adam called me wanting to get “roudy on Mount Adams”, it seemed like a great chance to try and destroy some prototype bindings (thanks Bryce and Tyler). The plan was to climb the North Ridge, summit and traverse to the West Peak, then descend the North Face of the Northwest Ridge. I believe it was first completed by the Hummels in the late 90’s, although there is a rumor that the late Doug Combs skied the line in the mid 90’s and never told anybody. The Hummels: http://cascadeclassics.org/MountAdams/N ... ring03.htm

As the weekend began to take shape, I got a voice message from Liz Daley. It essentially said “I’m needing some knar right now”. Okay, so she’s coming too; and her buddy Reed Pervis, who had recently skied the Fuhrer Finger on Rainier. A team of 4 seemed pretty solid!

Slogging began late Friday evening (around 6:30pm). We made tree line around 8:45 and decided to set up base camp before total darkness ensued.
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A nightmare several nights before about falling over 500 foot cliffs into a crevasse and dying a cold lonely death had me a wee bit on edge. This injected a twinge of nervous restlessness all week long, and had me awake by 3:45 in the morning. After melting snow for 30 minutes I made the decision that this party needed to start. That Liz Daley chick was bivied out under the stars looking rather cozy, and so I chucked and ice ball at her. With an exceptionally cute sounding and high pitched “YAAAALP!” she woke the other two wankers as well. I thought to myself “geeze, that worked great! Just get Liz to squeak and everybody is up!”

At 5:00am it was official, we were slogging again.
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We gained the North Ridge Proper around 7:00am. Lava Headwall seen on left.
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Adams Icefall
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The line: pictures from this angle do not do it justice..
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Despite the usual Adam Roberts complaint of “having a headache and feeling like shit” he still managed to look pretty darn sexy. Just look that that chest!
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The Lava Headwall: who in their deranged mind would want to ski this thing? Oh yes, the Hummels… Those silly tele skiers and near death antics… (http://cascadeclassics.org/MountAdams/N ... ring02.htm)
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I believe we took 4 breaks total on the way up and were crossing the summit ice cap by (I think) around 11. The Adams Glacier Headwall and icefall were looking rather phenomenal.

Lower ½ of Lava Headwall:
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The NW Ridge, and Adams Glacier:
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The summit was a nice break.
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On the way to the West Peak: Legs started feeling it here…
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That Liz Daley is so hot right now!
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Adam Roberts on the West Peak:
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How do you say 45-50 degrees with a scary as hell rollover?
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The snow was “near perfect”. If you weren’t careful with your sluff, it would build into a ball under your board/skis and make you slip. Also, a firm icy layer underneath made it bumpy in places and added a twinge of seriousness to each turn. Overall however, the corn was a perfect combo of firmness that wouldn’t slide big, but still soft enough to edge well.


Despite good snow, the fall line was HUGE… Both Adam and I described feelings of vertigo:
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The thing about riding steep, big lines, is that each tiny motion of your body takes on the utmost significance. I found the prototype Karakoram Bindings to deliver a very high degree of responsiveness and support, and in all honestly am not sure I would have felt comfortable riding this line with my Spark Fuses. They just don’t offer the same degree of fine board control.


About halfway down I found myself thinking “I need to make it off of this think so I can go kiss my mom and girlfriend again.” To say the least I was practicing a very high degree of caution with each turn.

Steepness:
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The crux and exit of the route were the most fun for me. I could see myself living once again, and so my movements became looser.

Reed seemed to be the most comfortable and skied the most normally out of all of us. Adam and I on the other hand seemed to be scared shitless and did significantly more side slippage..
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The exit is very interesting traverse underneath cliffs, followed by a quick point over a crevasse bridge. Once back on the Adams Glacier it becomes pretty straightforward, but you still need to be conscious of 100 foot glacial cracks.
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Sometime in the previous days a huge icefall came down….
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Once off the mountain the line reveals itself in entirety, however, photos rarely do justice to the steepness and exposure, or to the emotional toll of accomplishment.
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We were back at camp by 5:00pm, and skiing out by 6:00pm. We had plans of swimming and drunken stupidness, but coming across a hiker with a fractured ankle delayed us to well after dark. All in all, 16 hours of continuous movement had us feeling pretty psyched on life.


The next day was spent swallowing ice cream and napping at Adam’s house. Before heading back to Seattle I managed to get a “cooldown” tour up to camp muir. Laying out full-speed turns on mellow slopes felt amazing. No longer was the fear of death looming in my brain. Stats for the weekend were 12,600 feet of elevation gain, with nearly exactly 12,000 feet of snowboard descent. Not too bad!

It always amazes me how much BIGGER, and more MASSIVE Mt Rainier is than everything else… There simply is no mountain in the lower 48 that rivals its mass or degree of glaciation:
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Nisqually Ice Cliff:
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Next project??
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Thanks Adam, Liz, and Reed for killer companionship! And thanks Bryce and Tyler, for the opportunity to pound on the bindings!

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 Post subject: Re: Mt Adams, N Face, NW Ridge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:38 pm
Posts: 390
Location: Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon.
Sweet! Thanks for that TR. :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: Mt Adams, N Face, NW Ridge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:18 pm
Posts: 939
Location: reiter hills
RAD!!!!

Congrats on the awesome line. Well written report too.

Funny. I got an email on asking if I wanted to to get out that weekend and NFNWR was one of 3 options. Would have been weird having so many people there at once. Not regretably, we ended up going with option 4. Epic weekend all around and its the middle of freakin july.


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 Post subject: Re: Mt Adams, N Face, NW Ridge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:43 pm
Posts: 870
Nice TR Russman.

Quote:
The good news is that within the past 10 years the discipline of splitboarding has undergone fantastic evolution with the beginning of Spark R&D (.com) and the mainstreaming of rider-built splitboards. Despite these great advances, a few of us are still wanting more. Namely soft-boot binding stiffness and responsiveness, touring edging performance, and as light weight and sexy as possible. I mean, skiers get Dynafits, and splitboarders need something as revolutionary!


Hey Russ without sugar coating anything, since based on the way you gracefully took your verbal beatdown when you posted your first post on this site I know you can take it. The "evolution" of splitboarding began when a guy name Brett Kobernik came up with this idea that is now splitboarding and a small ski company in UTAH, Voile out of all the large ski/snowboard industries minus the money had the balls to invest in the idea. Since that day this sport/art has evolved due in LARGE part to guys who have been shredding the BC putting sick lines down for far longer than 10 years. In fact you coud say the evolution of splitboarding starting with God creating the mountains and then guys like Muir, Hillary and others who had the vision to explore them. I'm not sure where got that magic number of 10 anyways. A little over 10 years ago I bought my first DIY splitty from a local snowboard legend Brandon Ruff instead of my annual season pass. That board/binding set up is still my go to set-up for every variation of llne to this day. My point you give too much credit to people who have yet to earn it and give too much credit to gear when it's really all about the rider.

Quote:
Enter Karakoram (.com): “Innovate, Ride, Explore”. What else could be sicker than designing and engineering your very own splitboard interface, only to take it to its physical limits in the most demanding and beautiful places on Planet Earth? That’s right, NOTHING is sicker than that. At least in my biased opinion.


When I read your posts it seems I often supposed to be led to believe that Jeremy Jones started splitboarding and Karakorem is our saving grace. It's a little offensive and I don't think you do those companies any favors. Let them earn their respect when they put out a product that get's it's due testing, is affordable, and a solid product. 10 years ago Voile had 3 types of boards a swallow, the mtn gun and the mojo. Each designed for different styles of riding. Unfortunately this sport wasn't quite peaking and now there down to one. At the same time Prior was coming into the game. Furthermore when Brett came out with his initial model of splitboard he was also riding a modded mtneering boot hence the plate binding that now allows us to access the mountains with more snowboard mountaineering type objectives.

Anyways I could go on and on. My point it's nice some new guys found splitting and it's changed their lives for the better, that's what its' all about. It's nice they want to start some new products, awesome. However don't diss the innovators like Will, Voile and others by comparing them with products that have yet to hit the market, that's pretty insulting and I don't even ride Sparks or a Voile. Your line probably wasn't first hit in the 90's probably done way before that by guys on old gear who didn't bother bragging about. If Wasnington anything like Utah theres probably a thick history to your backcountry culture. Get to know it and throw some love to those guys as well...cough cough Craig, etc.

Take care.


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 Post subject: Re: Mt Adams, N Face, NW Ridge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 4:18 pm
Posts: 52
Location: Seattle
That's a proud line Russ. Good job. And don't beat yourself up about a little side-slipping here and there. You gotta live in the moment and do what feels right to YOU at the time and get down in one piece.

I like your enthusiasm, and it's nice to see you guys with tools and harnesses, especially since you didn't climb it first.

But UTAH makes some good points. No reason to knock others, and I'm sure you're beginning to realize that for every one of us that posts stuff on the interwebs, there are 50 that don't. All those lines in your pictures of Rainier were shredded on snowboards a long time ago (lots of the climbing rangers over the years have been snowboarders). So while your buddies' bindings look pretty nifty, they certainly aren't necessary to get down gnarly stuff. (Now if somebody would make a proper BOOT, then we'd be getting somewhere...)

Anyway, since you seem to be begging :wink: for history lessons, this is a pretty cool series:
http://www.vbs.tv/watch/powder-and-rail ... snek-1of-2

Early snowboarding 'gansters' where, of course, mostly rad skates. That's just the history of the industry, and probably why 'style' is considered more important than function sometimes. Nothing wrong with that. But I wear form-fitting Arcteryx :wink: .

Anyway, watch the whole series if you have time.

Good job on the NFNWR.

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 Post subject: Re: Mt Adams, N Face, NW Ridge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:42 am
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Nice line.


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 Post subject: Re: Mt Adams, N Face, NW Ridge
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 8:05 am
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Dude, love the line. Nice work.

As for that other line...where is that? You gonna hit it this year?......call me if so.....seriously

Why u guys giving him crap for being stoked on his new gear? I've never ridden those binding and I'm stoked on 'em. We've all been bitching about how we want a new, revolutionary interface to come out and now you're all giving a guy crap about not being true to his roots just cuz he likes his gear. Whatever.

He's not bashing anyone. He's stoked on his bro's invention. Those bindings (along w/ touring bracket and clips) are way better than anything on the market and I've only seen them I M O.

The Craig Kelly mystery air WAS a sick board. Doesn't mean I'm gonna get pissed if someone suggests there's something better I should be riding.
It's a wake up call for the other Co's who want to survive in this industry. Step up or die. There's a new kid on the block.

GOOD FOR ALL OF US :bananas:


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 Post subject: Re: Mt Adams, N Face, NW Ridge
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:25 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:57 am
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA/Ashland, OR
:drool:

Summertime deliciousness!

...and a hot girl on....approach skis :scratch: meh..works for me!

I wanna do that other line too!....but I'm booked until the 31st/1st weekend...August riding anyone?

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 Post subject: Re: Mt Adams, N Face, NW Ridge
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:18 pm
Posts: 939
Location: reiter hills
I am not a fan, but I decided to put my annimousity for Russ away and give him the atta boy on this. That's a pretty big deal that a lot of guys only dream of. I know how he's gotta be feeling pretty alive right now. Just ask JimJar what could go wrong on this...(damn, this was a while back)



http://freshiez.net/2004/adams_6_20_04/



some rainier chronology from Mr. Skoog...


http://www.alpenglow.org/ski-history/ch ... inier.html


I am most likely climbing/riding Liberty Ridge, starting on the 22 or 23. Any one crazy enough is welcome to come along.


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 Post subject: Re: Mt Adams, N Face, NW Ridge
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:38 pm
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Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
UTAH wrote:

A little over 10 years ago I bought my first DIY splitty from a local snowboard legend Brandon Ruff instead of my annual season pass. That board/binding set up is still my go to set-up for every variation of llne to this day.


That's great. Good for you!

UTAH wrote:
My point you give too much credit to people who have yet to earn it and give too much credit to gear when it's really all about the rider.


Okay, sure, of course there are amazing riders out there who get knarl stuff done on old, tired gear. Also, good for them!

UTAH wrote:
When I read your posts it seems I often supposed to be led to believe that Jeremy Jones started splitboarding and Karakorem is our saving grace. It's a little offensive and I don't think you do those companies any favors. Let them earn their respect when they put out a product that get's it's due testing, is affordable, and a solid product.


Where on Earth do you get this stuff? Dude, its all about innovation and evolution. Have you spent much time with super dialed ski mountaineers? Their gear kicks the shit out of our gear! I don't know about you, but when I'm looking up at a 7000 foot climb it would be nice to have a splitboard setup that weighed less than 16 friggen pounds!

UTAH wrote:
10 years ago Voile had 3 types of boards a swallow, the mtn gun and the mojo. Each designed for different styles of riding. Unfortunately this sport wasn't quite peaking and now there down to one. At the same time Prior was coming into the game. Furthermore when Brett came out with his initial model of splitboard he was also riding a modded mtneering boot hence the plate binding that now allows us to access the mountains with more snowboard mountaineering type objectives.


That's great, too. Really, extremely relevant information!

UTAH wrote:
Anyways I could go on and on...... However don't diss the innovators like Will, Voile and others by comparing them with products that have yet to hit the market, that's pretty insulting and I don't even ride Sparks or a Voile.


Diss?? Really? Where did I do that? Geeze man, that's nuts. Will Ritter is probably the single raddest company owner I've ever met! What he's done for the sport is truly remarkable!

Wouldn't we all be doing our sport a huge injustice by just sitting on our butts doing nothing to push the evolution of the equipment? So many times has a company become comfortable and held back the evolution of a sport just because they can. Sure, our gear is sitting on the shoulders of that which came first, but isn't that the POINT? To get better and better?

UTAH wrote:
Your line probably wasn't first hit in the 90's probably done way before that by guys on old gear who didn't bother bragging about.


Actually, maybe you should chat with the Hummel twins.. As far as we know, they DOCUMENTED the first descent. Along with their first descents of the Lava Headwall, Adams Icefall, and recently the Klickitat Headwall. Before you begin dishing shit, check some facts BRAH.

This trip really belongs to Adam. The view from his folk's place looks directly on the Northwest Ridge. He's dreamed of this descent for over 15 years. I will say this: Liz Daley might be the first female descent, ski or snowboard. And that is VERY cool... However we're not sure..

Also, where did I say "my line". And bragging? Really? Glaciers do not care about egos.. They're thousands of years old man.. But you probably know that...


UTAH wrote:
If Wasnington anything like Utah theres probably a thick history to your backcountry culture. Get to know it and throw some love to those guys as well...cough cough Craig, etc.


Washington is very much UNLIKE Utah, dude. We don't carry handguns in our daypacks!

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 Post subject: Re: Mt Adams, N Face, NW Ridge
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:04 am 
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Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
prestonf wrote:
Now if somebody would make a proper BOOT, then we'd be getting somewhere...)


I agree! We're working on it ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Mt Adams, N Face, NW Ridge
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:25 am 
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russman wrote:
Have you spent much time with super dialed ski mountaineers? Their gear kicks the shit out of our gear! I don't know about you, but when I'm looking up at a 7000 foot climb it would be nice to have a splitboard setup that weighed less than 16 friggen pounds!


Hellyeah, completely agree

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 Post subject: Re: Mt Adams, N Face, NW Ridge
PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:18 pm
Posts: 939
Location: reiter hills
Actually, the NFNWR was a Ben Manfredi and Charlie Berg production.


Here is a really good article on steep decents from lowell, and even some mention of when of some of the bigger lines where Snowboarded.

http://www.mountaineers.org/nwmj/04/041_Steeps.html


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