Alpine Climbs - Organizers Guide
Class / Group Gear
The cabin will have:
Tooth requires: 4 full ropes, 1 half rope, webbing for anchors, garbage bags for burying ropes, flagging tape or wands, 1 shovel.
Rabbit team on first day takes 3 full ropes, 1 half rope, webbing. Student team takes in 1 full rope.
Lundin requires: 1 full rope, some webbing. Lead instructor should bring avy probe, shovel.
From Heather Whitney:
Saturday Tooth team --
Yes, the weather is a concern. I've been watching the forecast closely as well. Here's one of my favorite weather links to a "meteogram" which provide a snapshot of the humidity and other variables in the atmosphere over time. You can see a wall of green May 9-10 representing the current weather system. Looks much nicer on Sunday (lucky Doug!).
http://wxmaps.org/pix/meteograms.html (select Seattle, WA)
We are still a go at this point in time, but the co-chairs and I will continue to monitor the weather forecast tomorrow and I will provide an update by 4pm Friday. Saturday's weather forecast looks better than Friday's, but still not fantastic. Frankly, we might not know for certain until we wake up Saturday morning or even until we get to the base of the Tooth. Worst case scenario is that we'll all have fun tromping around in some wet weather, practice some navigation skills with the students, and enjoy some good butt glissading. Ropes are at the cabin; the setup crew will take 3 full ropes + 1 half rope + webbing for anchors. Student team (Fred and Andrea), will bring the 4th full rope (or ask for a strong student volunteer to carry it). I'll pack some garbage bags for burying ropes. Anyone on my team have some flagging tape? Please bring it. I don't have any. Otherwise, Katja, please pack a few wands and we'll mark the buried ropes with those. Fred and Andrea, please bring a copy of the student packing list with you so you can conduct pack checks. Adam, bring the shovel.
ERP attached along with student and instructor packets. Let me know if you are uncomfortable with your assignment. Assignments are not set in stone; If we have an incident at the base of the Tooth and I'm at the top, Fred may very well assume IC given that he might be closer to the incident.
Let me know if I forgot anything.
Saturday Tooth Team,
We have acquired some beta from a climb of the Tooth last Friday, and there is a lot of snow. The moat at Pineapple Pass is reportedly also opening up and may be an issue this weekend. After chatting with the co-chairs and other climb leaders tonight, we have made an executive decision to swap out two of the instructors between the Lundin and Tooth teams so as to strengthen the overall Tooth team. Many factors went into this decision, with safety being foremost. Petek will be leaving us, but she is being replaced by Fred Slater, who is very familiar with the Tooth and its hazards.
The setup/student teams will now be as follows:
Setup/Rabbit team: Heather (lead), Adam, Katja
Student team: Fred Slater (lead), Andrea
I have adjusted the previous detailed description that I sent out with names changed per the new roles (see below). Please review and let me know if you have any questions. In summary, Katja will now be stationed at the top of pitch 2, and Fred will be stationed at the top of pitch 1. If everyone summits, Fred will be the last down and clean all rappels.
Furthermore, the cabin will be open Friday night, so any of you are welcome to join me there. ERP to follow in a separate email. I'll have WAC radios to give to Katja and Adam at 6am. I'm still working on the plan to get radios to Andrea and Fred, but I think Jenn may be able to hand the WAC radios to you at the trailhead (she will be climbing Lundin); I will confirm. Other equipment needs:
Adam -- shovel
Andrea or Fred -- can one of you pack a small camp stove? Might be nice to have some hot drinks at the base if students are getting cold waiting around.
If the weather is really bad, the decision to climb the Tooth will be made at the base of the Tooth by the setup team. That means that everyone will get some exercise hiking up to the base.
Thanks and Let me know if you have questions.
Amended super-detailed description:
The rabbit team will meet in the upper Alpental parking lot at 6am (ugh..). I’ll likely plan to stay at the cabinFriday night to avoid the pre-dawn start. I'm checking to make sure that the cabin will be open. The rabbit team will head up to the base of the climb and will have most of the ropes set by the time the student team arrives. Basic setup will play out as follows: leader (Heather) will lead up to the anchor at the top of pitch two in one long linked pitch. Heather will belay up Katja second; Adam will climb third on the rope trailed by Katja. Adam will trail a 3rd rope. Trailed ropes should be clipped through the pitch 1 anchor as you go. Heather will then fix the hand line on pitch three; Adam will follow up the hand line with a backpacked rope. Adam will belay Heather to the summit . That will leave us with Heather at the summit, Adam at the top of p.3, and Katja at the top of p.2, with one rope from p.2 to the base and a fourth rope still coiled at the base of the climb.
The student team will meet shortly before 7am (students arrive at 7). Take care of pack checks and head to the base of the climb. Be aware of mitigating exposure to avy terrain en route. Once you get near Source Lake, the route turns south and heads up towards Pineapple Pass. The big (usually) exposed boulder below the east face of the Tooth makes a good break spot to put on harnesses (which may be needed to cross the moat). Helmets should go on whenever ice axes are used. The moat at Pineapple Pass may be a big issue – we won't know the status until the Friday team can check it out. Fred will in charge of deciding whether students climb up it unprotected, set a hand line, or belay. Hopefully we’ll have some beta from the Friday team, and an extra rope already up there if needed for that section. If hand line or belay is needed, Fred will set that up.
When students arrive at the base of the Tooth, make sure students stow gear and don’t get too close to the sharp drop off climbers right of the base of p.1. Students need to get food, water, layers that they’ll need to be on the climb for several hours; harnesses on if not already. Re layers, even if they’re not cold at the base, they will have been moving uphill and will be warm; climbing is slower work and they will certainly get colder on the climb, don’t let them wander up w/out their packs. As students are getting close to ready to climb, Fred will tie into the rope at the base that runs to the top of p.2, and trail the full rope coiled at the base. Katja belays Fred to the top of p.1, Fred sets up the trailed rope for top belay for the first pitch, Katja pulls the rope that Fred climbed on up to set for top belay for p.2. Andrea stays at the base and continues to monitor students. Once the first student is ready, Andrea checks their harness and tie in and confirms they have the gear they need; Fred belays up. Once student one is tied in to start climbing the second pitch, the next student starts up p.1, and so on. The throw on p.1 is a bit tricky, and took some rock down with it last year, so be cautious – and in general students shouldn’t be right at the base of the climb until they’re ready to start up the first pitch. Katja, the throw from the top of pitch 2 is also tricky. You may wish to to attach yourself to the anchor with a clove hitch so you can extend yourself close to edge in order to throw the rope and also to monitor student climbing progress.
P.1 (Fred), p.2 (Katja), and p.4 (Heather) are top belays, bring ATC guides if you have them. P.3 (Adam) is a hand line and is not belayed. At each anchor make sure the student anchors in correctly before going off belay (or detaching from the hand line), and then ties in for the next pitch (w/prussik for hand line pitch) correctly before un-anchoring. Once all the students are up, the instructors will all have a chance to summit as well, time permitting, working from the bottom up (so Andrea will climb to the summit, then Fred, etc).
If we have to turn around before all instructors are at the summit, everyone will stay at the stations they’re at and set that station for rappel. If all instructors summit, we’ll reverse the order on the way down – Heather down first, then Adam (stopping at p.1 anchor), Katja (p.2), Andrea (p.3), and Fred on top. Check every student’s rappel setup each time. Heather will set all the rap stations on the way down; Fred will be the last down and will clean all raps. Fred will send Andrea and Katja w/backpacked ropes and will take a rope himself. Based on conditions on the moat on the way up we may or may not need to rap or hand line down that too.
Everyone needs to check, double-check, and quadrupole check rappel setups, auto block knots and stopper knots. I have seen auto block knots come undone on previous student climbs of the Tooth, and it was scary (because the student lost control of the rappel). Safety is our number one priority.
If anyone has questions or suggestions, let me know – modifications welcomed.
ERP and additional final details still to come.
Fred, I'll loop you into the emails with my crew. Just to bring you up to speed, my proposed plan is to pair you and Andrea together to bring in the students. I'm driving up Friday night and will assemble necessary radios and other gear; maybe even do some pack checks at the cabin if students are ready. I'll take Katja and Adam with me for setup. Setup crew will meet at the parking lot at 6am and be hiking by 6:15am. You and Andrea should shoot to arrive by about 6:45am; students will arrive at7am to begin pack checks. With you on my team, I'm comfortable taking up to 7 students, although, frankly, given the lousy weather forecast, the students might have better luck summiting Lundin than the Tooth. I don't really have a preference as to which 7 students we take -- Doug suggested the first 6 on the list for Saturday; Jenn suggested tonight that we take the first 7 that show up at the parking lot ready to go (positive reinforcement for those who are prompt and on time). The latter plan is fine with me if its easier (since I think all students are being told to report to the upper Alpental lot). According to Jenn, there are no students on the Saturday climb list for which we should have any major concerns, so any combination of 6-7 students ought to be okay.