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Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

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

Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby Daria » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:00 am

mrchad9 wrote:


The next morning up Table Mountain (day 3) via the west ridge, then down the southeast face. Luckily a group I met up there (only folks I saw the entire trip) mentioned the chockstone I had otherwise forgotten. I was standing on top of it nearly a minute trying to find a way down before I realized I could crawl under it.





teh lulz


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(pic by Bob Burd 2010)
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby fatdad » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:02 am

Mr. Chad,
Nice photos. I had a trip planned to do Table, Milestone, etc., starting from Road's End and going over Harrison Pass. Turns out I just ended up chilling at Lake Reflection, which is my avatar photo. Your pics reminded me that I still need to get back there and climb those. Too many peaks, so little time.
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby Daria » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:51 am

Chad...very nice pics!!!


When I was doing my peak bagging escapade in Tahoe this past weekend, I was thinking about those bears....if I had run into them face to face while bushwhacking down the Kings River by myself, I would have literally shit my pants!! Brave man!
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby BHunewill » Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:11 am

A quick hike of Yosemite's White Mountain on June 30th:

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We left from the Sawmill campground parking area south of Saddlebag Lake.

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Great early morning calm.

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Tons of flowers!

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We approached the peak from the north. If you look hard enough on your route you can find a scramble or two before this snowfield.

Got back before the day heated up too much and enjoyed some grub at Mono Cone on the way back to Bridgeport.
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:13 am

fatdad wrote:Mr. Chad,
Nice photos. I had a trip planned to do Table, Milestone, etc., starting from Road's End and going over Harrison Pass. Turns out I just ended up chilling at Lake Reflection, which is my avatar photo. Your pics reminded me that I still need to get back there and climb those. Too many peaks, so little time.

Yes! I've had these on my to-do list a couple years. They got pushed off for Ionian Basin two years ago... glad I got to them now. I've yet to experience Harrison Pass, but I went over Millys Foot Pass and found it to be ok.

Daria if you want to go wrestle some bears I know the spot.... I've seen 11 so far this year... 4 of them within 50 feet!
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby Deb » Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:58 am

sharperblue wrote:
Deb wrote:Skeeters, spiders and marmots - OH MY! Great time on Mt Humphreys this weekend!


was thinking of Humphreys for 13July - how were snow conditions, and what route did you run up?

For SW Face to NE Ridge, you will not have to tend to any snow. Dry, straight forward route from the chite furthest west. Awesomely fun climb!
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby BHunewill » Mon Jul 22, 2013 4:58 am

7/14 ascent of Unicorn Peak:

Parked at Cathedral Lakes trailhead and hiked to Elizabeth Lake. We ascended fun granite to the saddle between Unicorn and the higher "Althuski" peak:
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A short break to think about Unicorn's "hand traverse" that I had heard so much (on the internet) about:
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View from the summit of Unicorn. I did not mind the hand traverse and on my way back climbed the block instead to try it and it wasn't bad either:
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Cockscomb:
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On our way out we stopped at this tarn west of Unicorn. I enjoyed the way Whorl Mountain lined up in the background:
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby mrchad9 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:00 pm

Out for a three day trip to Center Basin last weekend… I’d camped there before a couple of years ago, so I knew exactly the spot I wanted… right beside Golden Bear Lake. Mount Keith in the background.

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After setting up camp I still had plenty of time to head over to East Vidette and up the east ridge. I’d spent several of the last few weekends around Bubbs Creek in Kings Canyon, and it was nice to be up at the headwaters of the same. OK climbing up the peak but I think it was a bit overrated from what I had heard. Good views south to Stanford and Deerhorn here. The climb had a bonus though… someone had left some whisky on top!

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Then back to camp.

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Then up the next morning to visit Junction Peak and Forester Pass. Some lupines along the trail… one of my favorite stretches of the JMT.

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Junction Peak looked a bit intimidating as I approached the pass.

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View up the west slope of Junction Peak. The climbing here was far more enjoyable than on East Vidette. Nice slabs, and a bit of route finding to get up to the summit area.

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Looking back at Junction Peak and Forester Pass as I headed up the west side of Center Peak. I came down the same way even though my camp was to the east (and the east side was even easier). I just had to walk that bit of the JMT again. When I got to the top of Center Peak I was shocked to find a class 4 summit block! I guess I hadn’t read up on it at all… seeing that it was a class 2 peak. The summit block looked a bit hairy for a while, but I poked around and found a couple footholds that made it go pretty easy.

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Then back to Golden Bear Lake.

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Forecast was for storms but they never materialized. Looking back to the northwest towards Kings Canyon.

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Camp from across the lake.

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Then up early the next morning to head back via University Pass before the sun hit the route. Center Peak from the base of the pass.

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From the top of the pass looking at Junction Peak, Center Peak in the foreground, and Stanford on the right.

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Leaving my mark in the sand…

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Just before returning I took a detour up Independence Peak. A bit of a slog to get up to the ridge from Robinson Lake, but once there I had great climbing along the ridge to reach the summit. A year earlier Bob Sihler had done the same route… reaching the ridge far to the south of where most folks head up. I’m glad I had run across his report, otherwise it’d have been a shorter bit of good climbing with a more tedious slog. Views were splendid on top, and it only took an hour to get back to the car.

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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby Deb » Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:43 pm

Just came down Shepherd Pass - don't believe Elevation in LP - the road to TH is in fine shape. The trail, on the other hand, is washed out in about 20 different places. Ascent of the pass is damaged pretty good, pick your own line. Many ducks have appearred since Thur morning to get you across stream crossings. Biggest navigational pitfall is the grand waterfall just before Anvil Camp, it's gouged about 20' deep. Have fun!
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby mrchad9 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:37 pm

Off to Middle Palisade glacier… would we need to rope up for the crevasses as is so often required?

Didn’t take long to reach Finger Lake. Looked pretty cool on the north end. Rain had clear water running in and mixing with the glacial silt.

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Camped up at a tarn at 11,400 feet. Raining just a bit here. We originally had thoughts we might climb both The Thumb and Disappointment over two days, but weather put an end to those thoughts soon enough.

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The next day we headed up the glacier.

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Several of the crevasses were open deep enough that you couldn’t see the bottom. We stepped over a few and then practiced crevasse jumping.

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Plan was to go up Doug’s Chute or the Northeast Couloir to Disappointment Peak, but the bergshrund and snow wasn’t cooperating.

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The normal route to the east ridge didn’t look great either, and was mostly scree with ridiculous amounts of serious rockfall below. We chose a chute to the west hoping it would work out. Ran into a good bit of ice which wasn’t great on aluminum crampons, then a short but significant class 5 headwall at the top, slowed us down as we stared at it for way too long but eventually we made it to the east ridge.

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We didn’t take the normal route to traverse Balcony Peak, but rather found a traverse about 200 feet higher. Probably not better or worse. Maybe more interesting, but we were surely slower than most. Then the scramble up to the summit, with Balcony Peak on the right. The Thumb in the background and Birch Mountain in the clouds.

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Weather came in and there was a bit of lightning on Split Mountain 4 miles to the south, but we made it through ok where we were.

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Middle Palisade Glacier

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Coming down the chute I refused to enter the main chute down low, in part not wanting to deal with the ice and also it was subject to enormous rockfall. As it turns out when we were near the bottom several hundred pounds of rock sailed down the chute just a few feet over from us… twice. We were close enough that a few stray pebbles sprayed onto us. All we could do was sit and crouch and hope we were correctly positioned. Then we rapped over the bergschrund. My favorite shot as my partner flew through the air as the lip of the snow broke. Somewhat intentionally.

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Descending back to camp.

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Rockfall prone chute we descended. What missed us was but a small portion of the daily distribution on the left. We had rapped down the steeper rocks only slightly to the left of it.

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Another shot with the morning’s crevasses in the background.

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Mount Sill and Mount Gayley as we departed Sunday.

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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby artrock23 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 1:56 am

Mt. Lyell, with the approach from Donahue Pass.
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At the base of Lyell Glacier. Fresh rockfall (many tons) from the summit area. A couple I met earlier were on the mountain the day before when it happened. :shock:
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mrchad9 wrote:From the looks of it, all you might need is to lighten that load with a new ice ax...


Duly noted, Chad. I not only got a new axe, but also new G12s, and new gaiters too. :wink:
BTW, were it me, i'd ditch that lightweight alloy crap. Heavier they may be, but there are good reasons for making ice axe heads/spikes and crampons out of steel. I'd never gamble my life front-toeing with the alloy crampons i've seen.
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My route was up the glacier, to the far right edge of the bergschrund, then a 150ft section of loose class 3 rock to the summit plateau.
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At the summit.
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby Burchey » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:32 am

mrchad9 wrote:Off to Middle Palisade glacier… would we need to rope up for the crevasses as is so often required?


I know who we can ask!

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Love that tent



mrchad9 wrote:My favorite shot as my partner flew through the air as the lip of the snow broke. Somewhat intentionally.


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Shet you Noobz are gunna braak alll the ice oFF LEeVIninG SHet!


artrock23 wrote:At the summit.
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Nice ax, my man...but it's too long! :wink:

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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby Deb » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:49 am

My first trip to Middle Pal Glacier today to climb Mid Pal. Most interesting happenings up there! Constant boulder fall everywhere except Mid Pal's chute. What an excellent climb! Skeeters were out :(
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby QITNL » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:18 am

Hey artrock23 - hope it's cool i x-posted your shot of lyell on this thread:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum ... r-stagnant

Wow, dry as a bone this year.
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Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby artrock23 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 4:59 am

Burchey wrote:Nice ax, my man...but it's too long! :wink:


But i've always had a long axe! :mrgreen:

QITNL wrote:Hey artrock23 - hope it's cool i x-posted your shot of lyell on this thread:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum ... r-stagnant

Wow, dry as a bone this year.


No problem!
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