Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    4

    The Cassin Ridge

    I'm planning a trip to Denali in May 2011 and hope to climb the Cassin Ridge. Our current approach involves skiing into basecamp, leaving skis at 17,000, descending to climb the Cassin, then skiing down the West Buttress. Any advice on logistics, equipment, or training for this challenging route? Any recent, first hand info on Denali?

    Thanks!

    I posted a video about the trip: "The Cassin Ridge" at http://www.nols.edu/contest/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    A LSD Steakhouse somewhere in the Wasatch
    Posts
    7,433
    I was going to go with search jong but feeling helpful today
    [ame="http://tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79474"]http://tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79474[/ame]
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    SPAM
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
    ski on in eternal peace

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    A Chamonix of the Mind
    Posts
    3,705
    A Tufts man climbing the Cassin? Bwaaaa-haaaa-haaaa!

    Seriously, since this is TGR, every thread needs advice from someone who has never actually done what you are planning to do. So here is my $0.02 from my own aged Denali experiences.

    Fitness!

    Cassin is a few grades above the Polish Glacier in terms of challenge and seriousness. Lots of people go to Alaska to flash the Cassin and end up puking on the West Butt. Route finding is a bitch and who knows in what shape you'll find the Jap Couloir? I think your comment in the video is correct - it'll be the most serious thing you've ever done. 12hours a day of WI3 top-roping won't get you ready and it'll be hard to replicate what you are going to do - 9000 feet of alpine climbing. But fitness can overcome a lot of other bullshit.

    Don't leave much at 17k besides some food and white gas in case you never make it back up there.

    Good luck, it's a legendary line!



    And. . . Wrong Forum, Jong!
    "Buy the Fucking Plane Tickets!"
    -- Jack Tackle

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
    Posts
    1,567
    Thank's for the link. Definitely going to put my son onto it. He is always dreaming up expeditions. We just got back from the Brooks Range. He wants to go back up there with his bike and ride some of those big rock piles. Also been hounding me to give the Japanese couloir a shot this April. WTF heli skiing is a dream expedition? Good luck on the Cassin, my oldest son was accepted to Tufts actually liked it when he visited. You should probably take a NOLS course before you try the Cassin, but if the weather is good you should be able to do it. As for the instructors course my friends that instructed all used it for the same end. The NOLS retirement plan!
    off your knees Louie

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    JH
    Posts
    407
    Hi, Jeff. I think Joe really took it easy on you. And I can't believe Hugh didn't rip you. I can only assume that he didn't actually click on your video submission. Doing a high altitude tramp on Aconcagua, and taking videos of snowshoeing in the Presidentials, has not prepared you for a route like Cassin. Despite the quality of your video presentation, I predict that you will not be given the money to take your expedition to Denali. Since they will not give you that money, I predict that you will never set foot on any route on Denali, much less attempt the Cassin. If NOLS somehow decides to make a grievous error in judgement and give you that money, and you actually get on the Cassin, much less if you ever summit, please post here to let me know how wrong I was. But I think if that ever were to happen, I don't really give you a chance in hell of making it up the Jap couloir, and if you do somehow manage to get above it, I would give your chances of getting caught in weather and dying without being capable of retreat as somewhere around 97%. Normally I would just shit on your parade by just telling you what a jong you are, but I seriously felt compelled to post here, should you ever see it, in the hopes that if anyone gave you the money at your current experience level, you seriously, seriously reconsider exactly the magnitude of a two-man alpine assault on one of the largest faces in the world renowned for horrific weather the likes of which you've never seen, with enormous route-finding complications at high altitude. All of which are almost moot since I am fairly convinced you have never even attempted a multi-pitch ice climb, much less actually travelled on a glacier, in your life.

    But, hey-that's like, my opinion, man.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ice coast!
    Posts
    242
    Quote Originally Posted by telelebowski View Post
    Hi, Jeff. I think Joe really took it easy on you. And I can't believe Hugh didn't rip you. I can only assume that he didn't actually click on your video submission. Doing a high altitude tramp on Aconcagua, and taking videos of snowshoeing in the Presidentials, has not prepared you for a route like Cassin. Despite the quality of your video presentation, I predict that you will not be given the money to take your expedition to Denali. Since they will not give you that money, I predict that you will never set foot on any route on Denali, much less attempt the Cassin. If NOLS somehow decides to make a grievous error in judgement and give you that money, and you actually get on the Cassin, much less if you ever summit, please post here to let me know how wrong I was. But I think if that ever were to happen, I don't really give you a chance in hell of making it up the Jap couloir, and if you do somehow manage to get above it, I would give your chances of getting caught in weather and dying without being capable of retreat as somewhere around 97%. Normally I would just shit on your parade by just telling you what a jong you are, but I seriously felt compelled to post here, should you ever see it, in the hopes that if anyone gave you the money at your current experience level, you seriously, seriously reconsider exactly the magnitude of a two-man alpine assault on one of the largest faces in the world renowned for horrific weather the likes of which you've never seen, with enormous route-finding complications at high altitude. All of which are almost moot since I am fairly convinced you have never even attempted a multi-pitch ice climb, much less actually travelled on a glacier, in your life.

    But, hey-that's like, my opinion, man.
    Yeah, that pretty much covered everything I came here to say.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    444
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeStrummer View Post
    A Tufts man climbing the Cassin? Bwaaaa-haaaa-haaaa!

    Seriously, since this is TGR, every thread needs advice from someone who has never actually done what you are planning to do. So here is my $0.02 from my own aged Denali experiences.

    Fitness!

    Cassin is a few grades above the Polish Glacier in terms of challenge and seriousness. Lots of people go to Alaska to flash the Cassin and end up puking on the West Butt. Route finding is a bitch and who knows in what shape you'll find the Jap Couloir? I think your comment in the video is correct - it'll be the most serious thing you've ever done. 12hours a day of WI3 top-roping won't get you ready and it'll be hard to replicate what you are going to do - 9000 feet of alpine climbing. But fitness can overcome a lot of other bullshit.

    Don't leave much at 17k besides some food and white gas in case you never make it back up there.

    Good luck, it's a legendary line!



    And. . . Wrong Forum, Jong!
    have you climbed any route on that side?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    ParkCity
    Posts
    194
    Quote Originally Posted by jlongcor View Post
    I'm planning a trip to Denali in May 2011 and hope to climb the Cassin Ridge. Our current approach involves skiing into basecamp, leaving skis at 17,000, descending to climb the Cassin, then skiing down the West Buttress. Any advice on logistics, equipment, or training for this challenging route? Any recent, first hand info on Denali?

    Thanks!

    I posted a video about the trip: "The Cassin Ridge" at http://www.nols.edu/contest/

    This is a serious mtn - on any route. I attempted a new route on this mtn many years ago...big eye opener. Must have experience with ice at grade 4, ice at 5.9 at altitude...Winter camping? We had 9 days with winds over 60mph and temps (without the wind factor) at -40. We had no support (no radios, no dog sleds to bring in our food during the winter) and came in on the back side from the lake (19 mile approach across to the Pioneer Ridge).
    We carried and dragged over 130lbs each (we were a party of 2 as well).

    For training - spring trip on Liberty Ridge (Rainier), winter trips at every opportunity, hit as many 14ers as possible - winter, spring and fall (screw summer - challenge yourself with the weather and adverse conditions). Practice crevasse rescue, self rescue and test all your stoves and repairing such.

    Whats your skill level on the above games - rock, ice etc...Can you hike at 15K with a 50lb pack for 7 hrs? In snow? Do you have any EMT skills?

    Even with all the sponsors we groveled at, best we could get for a 1st assent was gear and food - which took 8 months to work out...Hope you are already writing the letters and have the contacts..

    Get lots of life insurance as well...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    3,760
    Quote Originally Posted by mtnreed View Post
    This is a serious mtn - on any route. I attempted a new route on this mtn many years ago...big eye opener. Must have experience with ice at grade 4, ice at 5.9 at altitude...Winter camping? We had 9 days with winds over 60mph and temps (without the wind factor) at -40. We had no support (no radios, no dog sleds to bring in our food during the winter) and came in on the back side from the lake (19 mile approach across to the Pioneer Ridge).
    We carried and dragged over 130lbs each (we were a party of 2 as well).

    For training - spring trip on Liberty Ridge (Rainier), winter trips at every opportunity, hit as many 14ers as possible - winter, spring and fall (screw summer - challenge yourself with the weather and adverse conditions). Practice crevasse rescue, self rescue and test all your stoves and repairing such.

    Whats your skill level on the above games - rock, ice etc...Can you hike at 15K with a 50lb pack for 7 hrs? In snow? Do you have any EMT skills?

    Even with all the sponsors we groveled at, best we could get for a 1st assent was gear and food - which took 8 months to work out...Hope you are already writing the letters and have the contacts..

    Get lots of life insurance as well...
    By chance is this Rob?



    To OP solid advice here and other posts. Denali is not a beginners playground and takes the lives of the most experienced each year. But places like Denali truly define the spirit of mountaineering and if you're ready (only you and/or a guide/mentor can tell you that) go for it!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    ParkCity
    Posts
    194
    Quote Originally Posted by lynchdogger View Post
    By chance is this Rob?



    To OP solid advice here and other posts. Denali is not a beginners playground and takes the lives of the most experienced each year. But places like Denali truly define the spirit of mountaineering and if you're ready (only you and/or a guide/mentor can tell you that) go for it!
    I am not Rob of which you speak....

    Mugs Stump, Sue Nott, Karen McNeill and others are a few (I listed these names only as I knew them well) that have died - some on hard routes and others just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Each of these offer awards to climbers wanting to try routes - some hard, some ethical and others new areas with new climbs.

    Adventure is the the key here - it will never be forgotten - the flight in dropping into the valleys looking at monstrous glaciers, the quick landing on a short runway. The 1st time you realize where you are and the utter hugeness of what you are doing and the magnitude of the size - nothing compares here - nothing...

    Go - be safe and prepared (take out that policy...)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    land of the free
    Posts
    7,122
    Quote Originally Posted by jlongcor View Post
    I'm planning a trip to Denali in May 2011 and hope to climb the Cassin Ridge. Our current approach involves skiing into basecamp, leaving skis at 17,000, descending to climb the Cassin, then skiing down the West Buttress. Any advice on logistics, equipment, or training for this challenging route? Any recent, first hand info on Denali?

    Thanks!

    I posted a video about the trip: "The Cassin Ridge" at http://www.nols.edu/contest/
    that sounds like some super gay homo mountaineering.

    will you be sharing a sleeping bag to save weight and have more fun on cold nights?
    "Fakers are Maggots" - T. Hall, 2011
    heh
    only a fake Rasta could make a claim like that

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    4
    Thanks for the good advice and extra motiviation. Training hard.

    [nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAHn8SJoDUU"]YouTube - Climbing the Cassin Ridge - NOLS Dream Expedition[/nomedia]

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Whistler
    Posts
    2,059
    We're going to have a spankdown on the Cassin Ridge? Alright! Are you bringing the beer?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    2
    Forget it... The Indians's pitching has been so much better than the Red Sox's pitching. Indians will win the ALCS, but loose to the Rockies

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Movin' On
    Posts
    1,515
    For the record, I'm pretty sure that Jeff (OP) successfully climbed the Messner Couloir this year as part of a two man team and that I met him in Talkeetna afterwards. The Messner is definitely nothing to scoff at.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Olathe, KS
    Posts
    2,160
    Does Jefe have any beta on the Messner? I'm still a few years out from any realistic thoughts of a Denali attempt, but an upper West Rib or Messner couloir from the 14-2 camp would be a much more interesting detour.
    Kansas - First Of The Rectangle States

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Van
    Posts
    488
    did this ever happen?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    12
    Hi Cassin
    how was your trip @ Denali.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    JH
    Posts
    407
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevo View Post
    For the record, I'm pretty sure that Jeff (OP) successfully climbed the Messner Couloir this year as part of a two man team and that I met him in Talkeetna afterwards. The Messner is definitely nothing to scoff at.
    Oh, well, Nancy's pretty good.



    All seriousness aside, good for them coming up with something that would stretch their abilities but was within the realm of possibility, and led to them learning new stuff and, most importantly, having fun.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    20
    Did you complete this?

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    3

    They did...

    Yep. the OP topped out via Messner. He's afraid to sniff around this forum again, though.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    4
    Wow! I completely forgot about this thread after trying to win that video competition. Bowskis' old post totally fired me up. While I started with far more experience than the video showed, my partner and I also worked very hard to prepare. I highly recommend Sheldon Air Service (SAS) and talkeetna taxi service. On the 8th day of our expedition, we simul climbed the left side of messner. My partner felt strong at 19k and went on to summit, then skied from there to 14k. Here's his video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPDDUEJBVwQ . On the 10th day of our expedition, we simul soloed from 14k to the summit via a combination of the west buttress route and the left side of messners. My partner and I parted ways at the top of the couloir and he skied down from there. We were poised for the Cassin but unsettled weather rolled in, so after waiting a few days we gave away 10days worth of food and fuel then headed down. The last person we spoke with at 14k was colin haley, who was acclimatizing to repeat the cassin...from what I recall from his blog, he waited almost 2 wks and ended up bailing on the route due to deep snow. We enjoyed partying in Talkeetna with Will, John, Kevin, Andreas, Magnus, Max, and Jacon. Good times! Anyway, thanks for the motivation everyone! let me know if you have any questions and don't let anyone tell you something is impossible, just be sure to make the necessary preparations. My partner has some great photos and videos. He is a total badass, or whatever lingo people use in these forums.
    Last edited by jlongcor; 02-08-2012 at 05:07 PM.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    4
    And thanks to everyone who supported us and posted here with updates. Hope we meet up sometime soon.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    2
    Good times! Anyway, thanks for the motivation everyone! let me know if you have any questions and don't let anyone tell you something is impossible, just be sure to make the necessary preparations. My partner has some great photos and videos. He is a total badass, or whatever lingo people use in these forums.
    web2.0 blogsite list

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Movin' On
    Posts
    1,515
    Right on Jeff! Had a good time hanging out with you in Talkeetna. Hit me up if you are ever in Boulder!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •