Exploring the sisters: West Ridge of North Twin

Exploring the sisters: West Ridge of North Twin

If I have learned anything about “winter” climbing on the west slopes of the Cascades, its that getting the conditions just right is both luck and an art.  Sure if you get a big high pressure window and ice flowing down tree trunks its one thing, but for the rest of the year finding good sports action is hard.  After bailing on grander plans that required a better weather forecast and snowpack, Eric and I decided to do a little short day jaunt into the sisters with skis.  We were stunned by the fun climbing and the great conditions we...
Christmas Exocet Attempt

Christmas Exocet Attempt

After a week and a half in Chalten, we finally got out for our first set of climbing days in Patagonia.  Somehow luck would have it that we found ourselves on one of the better known ice climbs in the world on Christmas.  It was our first real taste of Patagonia weather, and a really wild mountain experience with many highs and lows.  I’ll try to describe it here, with enough gory details for those who will relive it via this post, and enough beta for those who want a similar adventure.  For either type of reader, note that its hard to...