Christian Pondella on the upper slopes of Mount Rainier.
It’s always a bit of a gamble to plan an ambitious trip to the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. The fickle, if not downright lousy weather has dealt more than it’s share of disappointment to locals and visitors alike. So we knew when we got the invite to join Chris Davenport on the Spyder Volcano Tour, there was a very good chance that we wouldn’t get to ski all of the peaks that were on the list for the week. read more>>>
Sierra Slayer Glen Poulsen and friends joined the Volcano Tour for a couple of days, including this one on Mt. Hood's Cooper Spur.
What an incredible trip this has been.
Since joining Chris Davenport and friends on the Spyder Volcano Tour last weekend we’ve skied Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mt. St. Helens. We’ve caught up with old friends, met loads of new ones, toured parts of the Northwest we’ve never been to before, and had awesome skiing in near-perfect weather. Christy and I couldn’t be more impressed with the effort by Dav and Jess McMillan, and the huge support behind them, particularly Spyder and Whole Foods. read more>>>
In 2003, I was offered the chance to be a part of the first, live televised summit of Mount Everest. The catch– it was as a contestant on a reality television show.
The series was called “Global Extremes – 4 Runners of Adventure” and in short, it took a whole bunch of contestants to [...]
Christy follows the route pioneered by Albert Ellingwood, ninety years ago. Often there was only one way to go along the ridge, which meant we were likely following in his exact footsteps.
“…perhaps two miles of interminable pinnacles, sheer on both sides. It was worse than it had looked. Many could be circled on the east side, but many must be taken straight on. Up and down, up and down, over rock that was very slow and called for much care. I got liberal samples of about all the varieties of rock-climbing known– smooth faces, cracks, chimneys, ledges, noses, razor edges and what not. Two or three real nasty stretches held me up for from 5 to 10 minutes each. I pushed steadily and as fast as I could, but slowed up from the weariness as I neared the ridge at the head of the Basin.”
-Albert Ellingwood, as recounted in his notes and published in Jeff Arnold’s book, Albert Ellingwood – Scholar of Summits. read more>>>
The group trudges up to Camp Muir, at about 10,000 feet,with the Nisqually Glacier, Cleaver and Ice Cliff in the background.
Because it was such a great climb and since we came home with so many pics, I thought I’d share some more.
Lindsay, Angie, Craig and Nick descend the Emmons Glacier.
Last April, when warm weather and dusty snow seemed to call an end to the Colorado spring ski season, we booked tickets to the Pacific Northwest and set our sights on some peaks in the Cascades. But when winter made a surprise comeback here at home, we were faced with a decision. We could head up to Rainier and Hood as planned, or we could stick around and try to get Christy’s remaining 14ers skied. Wisely, we opted for the latter, but we were then faced with the challenge of trying to make use of our canceled plane tickets and car rental vouchers, and wondered if we would ever salvage any part of our planned Northwest getaway.
So when Lindsay Reither, a former Aspen Highlands ski patroller and IMG mountain guide, offered us an invite to join her and some ski patrol friends on a late August Rainier climb, all it took was a quick glance at the calendar and a call to Frontier– we were in.
Christy and I climbed Rainier in 2002, along with Chris Carmichael and Jann Stoeckl, and it was a thorough ass-kicking. We almost didn’t pull it off. Early May conditions and rookie mistakes (which I like to call “learning moments”) made for a real challenging climb up the Fuhrer Finger and descent of the the Kautz Glacier. Five years later, I returned with Chris Davenport and found things to be much easier– we casually left camp around noon, climbing the Fuhrer Thumb in T-shirts and visors, and skied the Wilson Headwall near sunset. read more>>>