The Red Lobster Journal for 1979

"The Rock Climber" Carving, The Squamish Buttress, North Ridge of Mt. Baker, Diedre,
Conrad Kain Hut, Mt. Weart, Tantalus Range


Welcome to 1979!


 "The Rock Climber" Carving

The carving in the rock to the left is on the trail that leads to the Grand Wall area. Up until 2008, I had no idea who did this wonderful carving. Then I got this email from Victor Peterson...

"I was there in 1969 when the carving was done. I was only about 7 years old at the time and played in the forest with my brothers and sister while my father worked on the rock.

The artist's name is Jack Peterson, He used a five pound sledge with a custom made handle that he carved to fit his hand. His only other tools were a selection of rock chisels, maybe five in total of various sizes.

Many of his other works are in museums and private collections around the world.

He always referred to the carving at the base of the Chief as "The Rock Climber" and was done as a tribute to the many climbers that scaled that amazing rock face. I think he always dreamed of scaling the face himself while he was carving the stone and we spent many days watching the various climbers work their way to the top. He did take the entire family up the back trail one day so we could stand at the top and look down on the Sound. What an incredible view."

Victor Peterson"

The Squamish Buttress - The Chief - Squamish

We went up Diedre for a start, and then up the sometimes quite vegetated lower sections of the buttress. It was nice to get away from the crowds.

You almost felt like you were in the mountains, and yet you could still hear cars down on the highway.

I'm not sure why I have that puzzled look on my face.

One of the best parts of the climb is a 80 foot steep pitch cut by a could of vertical cracks. I led it on aid as I am not that good, especially when I'm already a bit tired. It was fun and rewarding. The last bit just below the summit on the west side is this great crack on clean rock that just sucks up your hands and feet. A fun way to finish things off.


North Ridge of Mt. Baker - Cascade Range - Washington State

Mike Goetz lost a water bottle at the base of the Coleman Headwall during a break. I remember it skidding across the frozen snow and down into some nameless crevasse. I remember thinking, "Gee, it looks like Mike's going to get thirsty today!"

We had camped on the big flat area of the Coleman Glacier and were up before the sun. With the twinkling lights of Vancouver fading in the early morning predawn, we scooted under the Coleman Headwall where Mike lost his water bottle, and gained the north ridge. It quickly became windy and chilly, so we donned our wind pants and looked up at the upper reaches of the north ridge from close range for the first time.

The snow was firm and crunchy and gaining the north ridge was straight forward if you liked third classing French technique with a slide into large crevasses below you.

We know the crux of the climb was going to be the ice cliff at around 9600 ft.

Chuck is approaching the crux .
It steepened up below the ice bulge but the snow was good for kick stepping. Chuck led up to the ice bulge and put in a couple of screws and Mike and I came up. There was only about 10 meters of steep ice, and then the angle eased off. There was a large crevasse that separated the summit crater from the upper glacier, but was easily negotiated.
In this picture we have got over the ice cliff area immediately behind Mike. Behind Mike is the Roosevelt Glacier. As we approached the summit, the heat and tiredness certainly starts to set in. Just behind Chuck it starts to drop off and the Coleman Headwall is below. Just to the left of his knee you can see the remains of an avalanche that has come down the headwall a couple of thousand feet below.
I remember trudging over to the actual summit on the south-east corner of the crater and looking down to see the ever present steam jets and the small lake in Sherman Crater and taking a break with the faint smell of sulfur to add to the smell of our food.As usual, the snow on the descent was soft and the heat enervating. By the time we got to the car, the feet and legs were sore and tired, but my spirits were still high up on the mountain


Diedre - The Apron - Squamish

Diedre has to be one of the most popular climbs on the Apron. The approach involves some slab climbing and then most of it consists of this right facing corner.

For some of it, you can slide your fingers up the crack until if finds old pin scars for a better hold. At about 5.7 it is not terribly difficult but does involve some runouts on the slabs. Protection on the diedre itself is quite good.

What can one say? It's a great climb. :-)

Conrad Kain Hut - Bugaboos

We made another trip into the Bugaboos. If I remember correctly we didn't do that much climbing because of the weather, but it was good just to be back in that area.

The hut is in the lower part of the picture.


Mt. Weart - Garibaldi Park

The trail is always a grunt. It is steep, steep, and more steep. When you reach the crest at timberline, the view of the hut and Wedgemont Lake make it all worthwhile.

The peak in the distance is Mt. Wedge.

The last bit was on some slushy snow with big drop offs to either side, so we used a rope as you can see in the picture.

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Lake Lovely Water - Tantalus Range - Coast Range

Chris, bless his heart, organized this trip. I think his interest in organizing trips at this stage was just a portend of things to come later. We flew into Lake Lovely Water from Squamish in just a few minutes and were immediately in a different world again. How amazing it is to be whisked so quickly into another realm.
We left Chris's steaks to turn green in the summer warmth, and headed off for a bivouac up on the southern sides of Alpha and Serratus.

In this picture are Chris Cooper, Chris Pennel, and Rick Clements standing, and sitting are me (Keith Rajala), David Harris, and Chuck McCafferty.

The next day Rick and I went up Alpha, while the others made an attempt on Tantalus. After that, some guys had to fly home, while Chris, Chuck, and I did some more fishing and made good use of our frying pans and cooking oil! We also made a trip up Niobe and Pelops. It was a great trip.

The picture of Chuck here shows the view over to the Red Tusk area west of Lake Lovely Water

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