Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

2014 Sierra Challenge Aug 15-24

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

Re: 2014 Sierra Challenge Aug 15-24

Postby Bob Burd » Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:12 am

Day 7 - Courte-Echelle (Bat Pinnacle)

Today's summit lies on the Sierra Crest between Mt. Bradley and Mt Keith. There is little info on it, and what there is I found confusing. There *seemed* to be an unnamed 13er nearby so we planned to do that and add the class 5 pinnacle as a half-bonus peak. Turns out the two are one and the same. We had a dozen at the Robinson Lake TH out of Onion Valley. Three others started earlier.
Image

Not everyone was heading to Courte-Echelle, but most everyone was going over University Pass (a couple went only as far as Robinson Lake). It has a nasty reputation, but most of that is from backpackers going over. As a dayhike it's about 30-45min of unpleasant followed by a speedy sand/scree ski down the west side. The pass is on the left in the photo. One poorly informed participant did the harder chute to the right.
Image

From the pass we could see our destination. It's the pointy thing to the left. Mt. Keith is to the right.
Image

We had a lovely hike through Center Basin to reach our peak. We came across the frog lady who was part of a team restoring yellow-legged frogs to some of the upper lakes. There was some debate as to whether the sheep lady (counting sheep in the range) that was met atop Striped Mtn the previous day was cuter than the frog lady. Both were described as exceptional.
Image

The climb to Courte-Echelle wasn't particularly notable until we neared the summit. Everyone reached the crest too far north and had to negotiate class 3-4 terrain to make it to the summit pinnacle. Getting to the base of the summit block itself was a class 3-4 effort from any direction. Eric and I had arrived first, about 15 minutes before the others. All we knew of the summit block beforehand was that the first ascent was done with a shoulder stand and a piton. It was a mostly blank wall when we examined it. We were going to try the shoulder stand but decided Eric might crush me and we could both fall about 20ft into the gap below. We waited for the others, especially Nick who was carrying the rope. We were going to try some silly lasso of the block ala Thunderbolt, but when Tom Grundy examined it carefully, he decided to try climbing it on the south shoulder. I provided a sketchy belay (he might break something if he fell, but at least he wouldn't fall 40ft if he peeled. He made it look almost too easy, but it was a fine piece of free climbing (later we guessed about 5.6). He then belayed the four more from our party one at a time, repeating the move, climbing the block to the top and lowering back down. Tom then downclimbed the route. He is awesomeness plus.
Image
Image
Image

There was an Andy Smatko register from 1967 near the summit block. Last entry was from 1985, but that might mean much as there was no pencil and we didn't even notice the tiny film canister until Jonathan did a thorough search. We left a better container before we left.
Image

Others spent the day going to a number of other peaks including University, Center, Bradley Keith and somewhat surprisingly, Mt. Bago which isn't really near any of these others. A great day in the hills, to be sure!
User Avatar
Bob Burd
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 4118
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 10:42 pm
Location: San Jose, California, United States
Thanked: 471 times in 239 posts

The following user would like to thank Bob Burd for this post
John Duffield, myles

Re: 2014 Sierra Challenge Aug 15-24

Postby Bob Burd » Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:14 am

Day 8 - Gamblers Special

This summit is located just east of the Sierra Crest on the edge of the Whitney Zone. The name comes from a DC-3 that flew passengers from Long Beach and Burbank to Hawthorne, NV for gambling junkets. The plane crashed in a snow storm in 1969, flying into the mountain between our peak and nearby Cleaver Peak. With 35 passengers plus crew, the plane was not located for many months. The wreckage lies at the head of the cirque between the two peaks, pieces clearly visible from the summit if you know where to look.

As a climbing objective Gamblers Special is not particularly difficult. After a mile on the trail we headed up the use trail (now semi-official) up the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek.
Image

This took us up the famous EB Ledges, once a confusing series of class 3 ledges now made more obvious by large cairns at critical junctures.
Image

Just before reaching Lower Boy Scout Lake we turned right and headed up to the Carillon Creek drainage. I had thought this was on the edge of the Whitney Zone, but came to find after the fact that this isn't so - we cut through about 1/2mi of the eastern edge. A ranger at LBSL turned two of our later arriving participants around.
Image

Most of us climbed the broad, easy class 3 chute on the SW side.
Image

We had seven at the summit in just under three hours. The oldest register scrap was once again from Andy Smatko, dating to 1965. We left a better container before leaving after about half and hour. Views were somewhat marred by light smoke haze. Lots and lots of rock in most directions, Langley to the south, Williamson to the north and lots of high peaks in between. Most of us then descended the easier class 2 South Slope with thousands of feet worth of sandy boot skiing.
Image

Folks got back to the TH anywhere between 5-8hrs, making for a short day overall. I came back to Lone Pine before noon, got lunch, went for a swim, bought some groceries then drove out on Movie Rd in the Alabama Hills to hike to a few of the taller summits there. With temps in the mid 90s, it was more like desert hiking but still fun.
Image

The highlight was a couple of vultures who were having a meal of entrails on a rock near one of the summits. One immediately flew off when it caught sight of me, the other first regurgitating whatever it was eating (smelled awful) before doing likewise.
Image

Tomorrow we head to the unnamed 13er just west of Lone Pine Peak off the Meysan Lake Trail.
User Avatar
Bob Burd
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 4118
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 10:42 pm
Location: San Jose, California, United States
Thanked: 471 times in 239 posts

Re: 2014 Sierra Challenge Aug 15-24

Postby Bob Burd » Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:36 am

Day 9 - Rosco Peak

This morning we were heading to unnamed Peak 13,074ft about a mile west of Lone Pine Peak. We have since determined that the proper name is Rosco Peak. More on that later.
There were eleven at the Meysan Lake TH at 6am. 3 others had started earlier to get a jump on the hike up the trail.
Image

We hiked up the Meysan Lake Trail to Grass Lake, crossing the creek before starting up the huge class 2 chute leading up to the broad saddle between Lone Pine and Rosco.
Image

Most everyone went to Lone Pine Peak first as the bonus peak, Eric getting there in less than 3hrs the rest of us sometime after 3hrs. Then we headed west across the sandy saddle to Roscoe. There is a class 4ish notch near the beginning of the climb up to Roscoe which we found could be bypassed on the north side on some gravelly class 3 ledges. After a short traverse, Andrew and I went through a keyhole to return to the ridge while Jonathan continued lower on the north side. Bottom line - there are numerous ways to climb this peak from the east. It was a really enjoyable scramble along the East Ridge to the summit, the best on this year's Challenge.
Image

By 11am we had nine at the summit. The summit register was left by Brian French in 2006. The name Rosco Peak was inspired by Brian and his canine companion of 15yrs laid to rest that same year. It seemed a fitting name, and in any case, better than Peak 13,074ft or its metric equivalent.
Image

Most of us went back down the East Ridge while Jonathan and I, feeling adventurous, decided to descend down the West Ridge. This turned out to be enjoyable class 3-4. Taking separate routes, I dropped down the NW side into a tricky chute leading down to Meysan Lake. While on the rubble at the base of the mountain, Jonathan shouted to me from above where he had run into a massive cliff band. He would have to retreat back along his route to eventually find the chute I had descended. We were both among the first to return to the TH around the 8hr mark, so even with the route-finding issues, it was a faster descent than the East Ridge. NW side of Rosco:
Image

Another beautiful day in the Sierra! Tomorrow is the last day, a long hike over Cottonwood Pass to Mt. Anna Mills. It's the third of three peaks on this year's Challenge named for women. There are at least three other peaks in the Sierra named after women as well. Can anyone name them?
User Avatar
Bob Burd
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 4118
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 10:42 pm
Location: San Jose, California, United States
Thanked: 471 times in 239 posts

Re: 2014 Sierra Challenge Aug 15-24

Postby Bob Burd » Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:40 am

We have six participants who have completed all nine Challenge peaks so far. For anyone interested, the stat sheet
User Avatar
Bob Burd
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 4118
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 10:42 pm
Location: San Jose, California, United States
Thanked: 471 times in 239 posts

Re: 2014 Sierra Challenge Aug 15-24

Postby Tom Kenney » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:04 am

Bob Burd wrote:There are at least three other peaks in the Sierra named after women as well. Can anyone name them?


Mount Mary Austin
Hulda Crooks Peak
Emilia Earhart Peak


Do I win the box of Smeckler's Powder? :)
User Avatar
Tom Kenney

 
Posts: 269
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2002 5:12 pm
Location: Woodland Hills, California, United States
Thanked: 8 times in 7 posts

The following user would like to thank Tom Kenney for this post
jesu, joy of man's desiring

Re: 2014 Sierra Challenge Aug 15-24

Postby jesu, joy of man's desiring » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:07 am

Hulda Crooks Peak is named after a woman.

Congrats to all....such remarkable, daily feats of endurance!



Edit....urgghhh, Kenney beat me to the SEND button
User Avatar
jesu, joy of man's desiring

 
Posts: 712
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:54 pm
Thanked: 448 times in 333 posts

Re: 2014 Sierra Challenge Aug 15-24

Postby SeanReedy » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:21 am

Melissa Corray Peak near Kirkwood/Carson Pass is the only one I could come up with from memory.

It sounds and looks like lots of spice was found in recent days preceding the long day 10 march.
User Avatar
SeanReedy

 
Posts: 769
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:37 pm
Location: Garlic, California, United States
Thanked: 382 times in 302 posts

Re: 2014 Sierra Challenge Aug 15-24

Postby fedak » Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:01 am

> There are at least three other peaks in the Sierra named after women as well. Can anyone name them?

Maggie's Peaks in Tahoe are reportedly named after a barmaid's tits. :)
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
http://www.fedak.net/backcountry.html
User Avatar
fedak

 
Posts: 605
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2003 5:28 pm
Location: Stateline, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 75 times in 62 posts

Re: 2014 Sierra Challenge Aug 15-24

Postby boyblue » Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:55 am

Tom Kenney wrote:
Bob Burd wrote:There are at least three other peaks in the Sierra named after women as well. Can anyone name them?


Mount Mary Austin
Hulda Crooks Peak
Emilia Earhart Peak


Two more:

Mount Alice and Marion Peak.
(I'm assuming Mount Alice isn't named after Alice Cooper. :wink: )
User Avatar
boyblue

 
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2003 9:30 am
Location: Newark, California, United States
Thanked: 75 times in 46 posts

Re: 2014 Sierra Challenge Aug 15-24

Postby Bob Burd » Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:52 am

You guys are good. Another one - Mt. Lola, named for a very colorful character during the gold rush days.

Day 10 - Mt. Anna Mills

Well, all was going swimmingly for me until about 2am last night. With a 3am wake-up, I was already feeling pretty bad. Seems I picked up a bug somewhere and my body has been spending time trying to expel it from one orifice or another. I drove about halfway up the Horseshoe Meadow Rd before having to pull over to vomit. I think that was a sign of some sort. Anyway, I drove back to Lone Pine and never got close to the TH this morning. Mostly I spent the day sleeping. But not so the others.

Around 8 participants headed out over Cottonwood Pass into the dry, southern reaches of the range. The peak is not a difficult climb, but it's pretty far out there - about 27mi roundtrip. To no great surprise, Eric was the first back in under 10hrs and almost immediately headed home to San Diego. The others trickled in over the next hours. When all was said and done, we had four folks that completed all ten Challenge Peaks, not a record number, but an excellent showing.

Eric Su, 18, San Diego. Our young speedster not only climbed all ten Challenge peaks but an additional 12.5 bonus peaks, all in less time than the rest of us could just climb the Challenge peaks.
Image

Jonathan Bourne, 58, Mammoth Lakes. This local East-sider doesn't let age slow him down any, moving faster than most folks less than half his age.
Image

Nick Clawson, 27, Fayetteville, AR. On his first Challenge, Nick was remarkable. The highest summits in AR are about 3,000ft. Without ever having seen immense boulder and talus fields as we have in the Sierra, Nick was as fast moving over them as anyone. It is believed he may be Chris McCandless reincarnated.
Image

Tom Grundy, 46, Bishop. Tom moves at a slower speed than most of the others, but he never missed a summit. 20lbs of photographic equipment may be responsible for slowing him down some.
Image

Jersey results:

Yellow (fastest overall time for 10 Challenge peaks)
1. Eric Su
2. Jonathan Bourne
3. Nick Clawson

White (fastest under 25yrs of age)
1. Eric Su
2. Michael Chapiro
3. Greg Cooper

Green (fastest over 50yrs of age)
1. Jonathan Bourne
2. Bob Burd
3. Jeff Moffat

Polka dot (most total peaks)
1. Eric Su, 22.5 summits
2. Bill Peters, 20 summits
3. Michael Graupe, Tom Grundy, 16.5 summits

Thanks to everyone that participated this year! Hope to see many of you back again next year!
User Avatar
Bob Burd
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 4118
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 10:42 pm
Location: San Jose, California, United States
Thanked: 471 times in 239 posts

The following user would like to thank Bob Burd for this post
bobmc, hightinerary, jesu, joy of man's desiring, johnm, LincolnB, Marcsoltan, MarkDidier

Re: 2014 Sierra Challenge Aug 15-24

Postby boyblue » Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:30 am

Bob Burd wrote:You guys are good. Another one - Mt. Lola, named for a very colorful character during the gold rush days.


Good one. I still have one more:
Charlotte Dome.

I was going to mention 'Virginia Peak', but it appears that it was named after the state. Oh, well. :roll:

Congrats on another successful Challenge. Looking forward to the trip reports. :)
User Avatar
boyblue

 
Posts: 142
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2003 9:30 am
Location: Newark, California, United States
Thanked: 75 times in 46 posts

2014 Sierra Challenge

Postby hightinerary » Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:11 pm

Thanks for the vicarious thrills again, Bob.
User Avatar
hightinerary

 
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 5:21 am
Location: Maryland, United States
Thanked: 3 times in 3 posts

Re: 2014 Sierra Challenge Aug 15-24

Postby thegib » Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:33 am

Once again it was fun reading about the challenge, but I'm curious; what became of the bow found in the ice?
User Avatar
thegib

 
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:18 pm
Location: Berkeley, California, United States
Thanked: 20 times in 16 posts

Re: 2014 Sierra Challenge Aug 15-24

Postby Bob Burd » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:41 pm

thegib wrote:Once again it was fun reading about the challenge, but I'm curious; what became of the bow found in the ice?


It was eventually extracted. It was broken near the center, either by the moving glacier, or perhaps more likely when it was discarded. There were no other items found in the area despite a thorough search. That suggests that the bow may have been accidently broken while crossing the Glacier Divide, perhaps a slip in the boulder fields, after which a frustrated native discarded his now useless bow. Where the bow will eventually end up, that I don't know.
User Avatar
Bob Burd
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 4118
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 10:42 pm
Location: San Jose, California, United States
Thanked: 471 times in 239 posts

Previous

Return to California

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.