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Cascades Better than the Sierra?

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Re: Cascades Better than the Sierra?

Postby SKI » Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:49 pm

For the aspiring alpinist...

The Sierras don't offer enough.

In the Cascades, you can get into all sorts of trouble/fun. Mixed, hard rock, easy rock, Ice, Tons of Alpine Ice...

Don't get me wrong, the Sierras are great/wonderful/spiritual whatever... It's just not the whole package.
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Re: Cascades Better than the Sierra?

Postby granjero » Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:32 am

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Re: Cascades Better than the Sierra?

Postby mvs » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:58 am

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Re: Cascades Better than the Sierra?

Postby Scott » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:09 pm

I'm from Washington, but I'd like to see a lot more in the Sierra as well. I have so many peaks on my list in both areas, but I just can't seem to get out enough so I'm (unfortunately) not an expert in either area.

The Cascades have much bigger glaciers than the Sierra and are hard to beat in the lower 48 for alpine setting. There's a reason for all those big glaciers. The weather is miserable there much of the year though. The Sierra has an advantage of having great summer weather and easy access to desert locations in the winter if want to escape the snow (much of Washington is desert, but most of the desert there tends to be quite ugly).

One thing for sure is that I really wish to climb many more mountains in both areas and both areas are big enough that you couldn't see it all in one lifetime.

No state and no mountain range has it all, nor do any of them offer the "full package".

California has a good mix, but it's missing the canyon country of Southern Utah/Northern Arizona and it's missing the big glaciers in the more northerly Cascade Mountains (although Mt. Shasta has some pretty nice ones).

Washington has the best alpine scenery IMHO, but it's also missing the canyon country and winters tend to be wet and miserable there with poor visibility.

Oregon is great, but the Cascades overall aren't quite as impressive (in my opinion) as farther north.

Utah (my favorite) has a good mix and has the canyon country, huge cliffs (probably more exposed rock than anywhere on earth), a whole lot of public land and the alpine mountains, but it has no coastline and the big glaciers are missing.

Colorado has a good mix, but the canyon country isn't as impressive as it is in Utah and most of the alpine mountains (in my opinion) aren't as impressive as the ones in Idaho, Montana or Wyoming. The big glaciers are missing as well. Still it packs a lot in small areas and it's usually easy to find good weather year round. You can get a lot done with a short amount of time.

The list goes on and on and such is true with the other states in the west, all of which have great scenery and things to see. At least all of them beat places like Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas.
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Re: Cascades Better than the Sierra?

Postby granjero » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:22 pm

MVS, there are some tasty lines in that pic! Is that Mt. Terror on the far left and the Twin Needle with the killer looking hopscotch hanging glacier ski run?

Tryin' to learn the geography of just another sweet locale of Planet Earth, yo.

Way cool!
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Re: Cascades Better than the Sierra?

Postby mvs » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:57 pm

granjero wrote:MVS, there are some tasty lines in that pic! Is that Mt. Terror on the far left and the Twin Needle with the killer looking hopscotch hanging glacier ski run?

Tryin' to learn the geography of just another sweet locale of Planet Earth, yo.

Way cool!


Sweet indeed! In the picture it's East and West McMillan Spire on the left, Inspiration, Degenhardt, then Terror on the right. The climber is standing just below the East Summit of Mount Fury, looking south.

If I ever get back there, I really want to climb one of the north face routes on East McMillan Spire, that would be a real climb o' the lifetime.

I agree with Aaron too, so many places are great. California sure has Washington beat on the weather, that is for sure!
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Re: Cascades Better than the Sierra?

Postby x15x15 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:54 pm

and the stuff close to the road aint too bad either... but there are glaciers up there, and that is scary...
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Re: Cascades Better than the Sierra?

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:55 pm

x15x15 wrote: but there are glaciers up there, and that is scary...



Were you very scared when you fell into a crevasse (one on your main photo)?
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Re: Cascades Better than the Sierra?

Postby Clark_Griswold » Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:13 pm

What if you just want to have fun?
...
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Re: Cascades Better than the Sierra?

Postby x15x15 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:44 pm

Lionel wrote:What if you just want to have fun?


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Re: Cascades Better than the Sierra?

Postby x15x15 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:52 pm

Vitaliy M. wrote:
x15x15 wrote: but there are glaciers up there, and that is scary...



Were you very scared when you fell into a crevasse (one on your main photo)?

in the moment there was no fear. but, its a long story. the fear came that evening, trying to sleep and contemplating what was really close to being an irreversible plunge...
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Re: Cascades Better than the Sierra?

Postby SKI » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:56 am

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Tower Mountain, Golden Horn.

Damn, MVS. I would saw off an important say, pinky toe to bag East Ridge on Inspiration or the NB on Terror. Superb picture.

My heart really belongs to this guy right now though:

Image

Thanks, John Scurlock
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Re: Cascades Better than the Sierra?

Postby Vitaliy M. » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:48 pm

x15x15 wrote:
Vitaliy M. wrote:
x15x15 wrote: but there are glaciers up there, and that is scary...



Were you very scared when you fell into a crevasse (one on your main photo)?

in the moment there was no fear. but, its a long story. the fear came that evening, trying to sleep and contemplating what was really close to being an irreversible plunge...


It is one thing to fall in with a crowd around you, but if it was just you and your partner it could get complicated. Some glaciers could be especially intimidating when you are in a team of 2...

That is one reason I think it is hard to be a 'complete' mountaineer in Sierra. You are not usually keeping up with your glacier travel skills till 'that trip to Alaska.'
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Re: Cascades Better than the Sierra?

Postby lcarreau » Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:33 pm

Funny ... I'm planning a trip to Nome, Alaska, next year.

What about the Stansbury Mountains of northern Utah ???

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Image

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And, time to reload the camera ..

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Sorry, I thought this was the UTAH thread. Aaaaa ... carry on folks.

:oops:
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Re: Cascades Better than the Sierra?

Postby mvs » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:41 pm

SKI wrote:
Damn, MVS. I would saw off an important say, pinky toe to bag East Ridge on Inspiration or the NB on Terror. Superb picture.



Me too! Well at least the East Ridge of Inspiration. I climbed the North Face of Terror, by the Bell/Cooper/etc 1961 route. I haven't climbed the Stoddard 1984 North Buttress. Maybe we took a wrong turn, but it was not class 3 "with one class 5 pitch" at all. Plenty of 4th, several 5th class and one 5.8 pitch, though my partners say that's my own fault for getting scared on the crest and making a dicey traverse to a gully on the left. Here is a little topo I made:

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Looking at it now, much as we enjoyed the climb, the classic is obviously the Stoddard route at the line of light and shade on the left. But it's such an effort to get in there I'm happy for any chance to rope up!

SKI wrote:
My heart really belongs to this guy right now though:

Image

Thanks, John Scurlock


John Scurlock is to northwest climbers as the sun and good soil are to green things!
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