Add Heading HereMt Emerson SE Face (5.4), 9-30-07
Have you ever played the game of:
“What do you want to do I don’t know what do you want to do ”
Well Tony, ET, and I were playing this game in Wilson’s Sporting Goods (Bishop) on Saturday night while we thumbed through the various guidebooks and asked the guy at the front desk for suggestions/recommendations.
We had originally planned on doing Humphreys NE Ridge (5.4) the day after we had done Agassiz. But the recent dusting of snow made us a little concerned that some snow could be obstructing the nooks and crannies up on the impressive NE Ridge. Also, I didn’t want to drive out on the Buttermilk dirt road and try to find the McGee trail head in the dark. Uhmmm,….. I forget the rest of the excuses, but I recall that we had at least a half dozen
So there we were in our post-Las Palmas Mexican feast stupor trying to think of something worthy of doing. Hmm….. How about Mt Laurel NE Gully (5.2) Nope its north facing and probably still wet or icy from the recent snow (remember excuse #1). OK, howz’ about some sportclimbing down at Alabama Hills Nope, we wanted to get in some High Sierra action while the weather was still good.
Finally around 9pm, the guy at the front desk suggested Mt Emerson SE face (5.4) as he tapped his foot and looked tolerantly at us sitting amongst several guidebooks and magazines spread over the book bench.
Yeah, that would be good, but how about ………uh We were too tired to think of anymore options. So ET made the executive decision that we should shoot for Emerson tomorrow as they finally flicked the lights to kindly let us know that they wanted to close up for the night
So we headed up to North Lake parking area to sleep, and then got started around 8:20am on Sunday morning. We hiked up the Piute Pass trail to about 1/2 mile short of Loch Leven and then headed (north) up the talus slope to the base of Emerson’s SE face.
We looked up at the convoluted SE face of Emerson and tried to figure out which route/line best fit the vague Secor description. We finally decided on a thin black stained crack system that offered about 50’ of 5.4 before getting into some class 3 ledges that zig-zag up to the summit ridge (later after checking SummitPost, I realized that we were several hundred feet to the west of the normal 1st pitch).
Anyhow, our route was somewhat consistent with Secor’s description and we finally got up to the spicy class-4 knife edge summit ridgeline with tons of exposure. Just to make it extra spicy, we asked Mother Nature to buffeted us with strong winds; and she was more than willing to accommodate us. WoHoo!
We finally got to the summit ~2:30 and were rewarded with fantastic views all around. Looking north we could see the impressive Mt Humphreys formation and the east ridge on the skyline.
After a short time on top, we headed down the South Face gully back to the Piute Pass trail and got back to the car ~6pm.
To add a cherry on top of an already great day, the Aspen trees were showing off their brilliant fall colors, cool
Here are some photos (still adding captions)
Another great day in the Sierras with great company.