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2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Golden State. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the California Climbing Partners forum.
 

Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby Turtleggjp » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:03 pm

I sure hope everyone gets back safely from Barrett Peak today. I got back just before 1PM from Sky Haven, and then just after 1PM it was raining pretty hard, and even hailing too. On the drive back to Bishop, I could see a huge thundercloud covering much of the area up there. I'd start praying for their safety...

Matt
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby seano » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:13 am

Turtleggjp wrote:I'd start praying for their safety...

No one has melted yet.
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby Kahuna » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:40 am

MooseTracks wrote:Yeah, we should all sit around in the air conditioning, raise a few glasses, and sing songs of the glory days of yesteryear.


So how did MooseTracks do today?
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby granjero » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:49 am

Any Sierra Challengers doing the REAL Sierra Challenge?

http://ws100.com/

I'd think it would be a good warmup. More likely 100F than 1terawatt...
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby Bob Burd » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:14 am

seano wrote:
Turtleggjp wrote:I'd start praying for their safety...

No one has melted yet.


Rumors of their demise have been greatly exaggerated. :-)

Day 5 - Barrett Peak

Barrett Peak is an unofficially named, almost-14er located a short distance east of Polomonium Peak in the Palisades area. At 13,962ft it's the highest peak we've been to so far. The easiest route isn't so easy, involving a long hike over Bishop Pass, then cross-country across Dusy Basin and Thunderbolt Pass, then across Palisades Basin to Potluck Pass, then a 2,000-foot climb up to the peak - 18mi roundtrip and almost 6,000ft of gain. Acres and acres of wonderful boulders to keep you on your toes.

We started off at 5am with only six heading to the peak - Sean, Jen, Jonathan, Andrew, Tom and myself. Michael had started at 4am to get a head start. I stopped to take some nighttime photos near Long Lake and got behind, in fact losing the whole group in the first half hour of the hike. I spent two hours getting to Bishop Pass, another hour to Thunderbolt Pass and another hour to Potluck Pass. Despite all the boulders it was a very enjoyable ramble across the two basins. From Thunderbolt Pass I stayed high, at roughly 12,000ft to avoid dropping down to the lakes. Fine views looking south as I traversed around the base of Thunderbolt to Polomonium. I never say any of the others that I kept thinking must be right in front of me. Around 10:30am I found myself at the summit of Barrett where I found Michael who had arrived sometime earlier. There was no sign of the other five. Where could they be? Michael and I didn't stay up there long - weather was starting to build. We photographed the register contents dating to the 1980s and beat a retreat. Half an hour later we came across Sean about 400ft below the summit. He and the others had gone to nearby bonus peak Peak 12,698ft first and were now heading to Barrett. We came across the others one by one, Jen in the rear starting to run out of gas. She decided to head back with Michael and I due to weather concerns.

When we got near Potluck Pass, Michael dropped low to cruise along the slabs and lakes while Jen and I stayed high to avoid the climb back to Thunderbolt Pass. It was again a very enjoyable traverse despite the endless boulders, with great views. All the time, the clouds were darkening over the to the north. We looked for Adam and JD on Isosceles, but didn't see them. Turns out they were up there having finished with the roped climbing and were starting down. They returned about an hour after us. We reached Bishop Pass at 1:15pm at which time the rain started up. And holy cow, did it let loose. Hail, rain both light and hard, the trail turned to creeks. Today I discovered the pack cover in the little zipper pouch at the bottom which did a great job keeping my stuff dry. And I used the $0.99 rain poncho (a step up from Sean's garbage bag) which also performed quite well. So well, that I had to take off my fleece which I had donned because I was too warm. We met Avery (who had climbed Columbine) at the pass and the three of us half jogged our way down the trail. Sean caught up with us and beat us back to the TH by ten minutes.

Karl climbed Agassiz with another participant (sorry, forgot his name) whose small dog accompanied them to the summit. Karl then went on to climb Goode since he had some spare time before the rain would began. Pat, Kevin and Matt climbed Sky Haven and reported it a very fine outing. Scott H went to Vagabond and gave up on Cloudripper because of the coming weather.

All in all, I thought it was a great day. I really enjoyed the rain element that keeps things interesting. Tomorrow we're heading to Big Pine for a climb of Big Kid.
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby Kahuna » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:34 am

Field appears to be slimming down as the weather is sustaining itself.






Appears that MooseTracks and a select others chose the comforts of, how did she sarcastically put it.....

MooseTracks wrote:.... all sit around in the air conditioning, raise a few glasses, and sing songs of the glory days of yesteryear.


Smart move.


Be safe up there....
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby kevin trieu » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:53 am

i think everyone that i saw at the summit of Barrett made it back to their car. that's the most rain i've seen in the high Sierra. bone dry in Bishop.
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby MoapaPk » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:01 am

If you try to outrun weather, you come at odds with the time-tested method of "finding your own pace."
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby Turtleggjp » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:04 am

Really glad to hear you guys all made it back safely. Sounds like you were done with the "tough stuff" before the rain hit. I had visions of you guys going across boulders in pounding rain and hail. Thank goodness that didn't happen.

Our outing to Sky Haven was nice, in that I didn't get severely rained on. It would have been nicer to stay at the summit a little longer to enjoy the views, and also visit some of the other peaks in the area. Oh well, that's the way it goes on the Sierra Challenge this year. At least I was able to get safely back home tonight at a decent hour. See you guys again this weekend!

Matt
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby kevin trieu » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:32 am

don't miss Thursday. that's going to be fun.
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby Turtleggjp » Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:20 am

Yeah... um.... I have to work that day. Oh darn!

But maybe if my endurance and desire holds out, I might give it a shot on my own later this summer. I'll probably need an earlier than 4AM start though (and hopefully better weather)
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby Princess Buttercup » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:41 pm

As tempting as a long stroll through Palisade basin was (and still is, since I've never explored that side before!), I earned my point on Mt. BBQ.

Image

It's just my annual chance to say thank you to the men who have shown me so much support and respect in the past few years. Even though I am still rebuilding conditioning and some speed, these guys always seem to be *there*, cheering me on.

And now back to your regularly scheduled peak-bagging... :)
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby Bob Burd » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:00 am

Day 6 - Big Kid Mtn

Kid Mtn is the 11,900-foot peak that rises directly up to the south from Glacier Lodge at Big Pine Creek. From nearly all angles it appears to be a huge pile of talus. A mile further south and 1,200ft higher rises unnamed Peak 3994m, which we called Big Kid and was our goal for the day. The distance from the trailhead is 3.8mi taking the direct route up and over Kid Mtn, but rises some 5,300ft. It was expected to be a relatively short day and for most participants this proved to be the case.

Seven of us (Adam, Pat, Phil, Kevin, JD, Tommey and myself) took the direct route up from behind the Store at the campground near the end of the road. Others, including Tom, Michael, Karl, Jonathan Ron and possibly others went up the South Fork Trail to gain 1,300ft before heading up the peak. This proved to be the longer route time-wise. Pat, Phil and Tommey were the first to the summit in 3h40m. The rest of us came up at various times later over the next hour. It was a beautiful view from the summit, looking out over the Owens Valley to the east, the Palisades from Split Mtn to Agassiz looking south to west. The weather was much more cooperative, just a few clouds to keep things picturesque but never threatening. Since the weather was so fine, Sean set off to do the Balcony to Disappointment to Middle Pal traverse. Haven't heard from him yet, but I'd expect something like 10-11hrs.

We'll be getting up early tomorrow morning for a 4am start up Taboose Creek for the big climb of Vennacher Needle. Should be great fun...
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby Bob Burd » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:02 am

Bob Burd wrote:Sean set off to do the Balcony to Disappointment to Middle Pal traverse. Haven't heard from him yet, but I'd expect something like 10-11hrs.



I stand corrected:

Balcony, Disappointment, Middle Pal in 8 hours even. The chute to Balcony sucked, and the last part of the traverse to Disappointment was a bit unnervingly loose, but the traverse to Middle Pal was awesome.
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Re: 2012 Sierra Challenge Aug 10-19

Postby KathyW » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:50 am

I see you're headed up Sawmill Pass Trail on Friday - I suppose everyone knows it's really hot on the lower part of the trail - worse than Birch, Red, Taboose or Shepherd, and the sun hits the lower sandy section first thing in the morning. I know those heading up will move pretty fast, but I just thought I'd mention if just in case there is anyone that struggles in hot temperatures like I do. It was also really dry on that trail in the beginning of July - there was water in the creek on the lower part of the trail (pretty low for that time of year but I don't think those creeks go dry), but there was no visible water flowing out of Sawmill Lake and it didn't look like much flowing into it (snow was pretty much all melted off up in the area around Sawmill Pass by the first weekend in July). Not there there won't be water in the lake, but it could be a stagnant lake unless the recent rains have improved things.

Later in the day the trail will be in the shade, but 90 degrees is still warm even in the shade.

Good luck to you all! - I'm especially glad to see Tommey and Pat in the Challenge - two strong fast climbers that are a perfect fit for the event.
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