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

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 fedak » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:16 pm

On this dry of a year I'd be surprised to see any skeeters left anywhere in late August.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
http://www.fedak.net/backcountry.html
User Avatar
fedak

 
Posts: 597
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2003 5:28 pm
Location: Stateline, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 74 times in 61 posts

The following user would like to thank fedak for this post
tbaranski

Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:05 pm

Returned Sunday evening after 4 days zigzagging over peaks on the Great Western Divide starting at Road’s End in Kings Canyon. On the way to Sphinx Lakes I heard what sounded like a bear running up a tree… sure enough it was a small cub, but no good pics of it.

A few thunderstorms off in the distance, but it had little impact as it was about all I could do to haul my 4 days of food up to the first camp at the base of Mount Brewer.

North Guard in the rain from camp

Image

And camp at sunset

Image

More sunset

Image

Then next morning off to North Guard and the spectacular summit block. I had brought climbing shoes for this and Thunder Mountain, but rather than sit and think about things I just ran on up. Turned out to be more trivial than it looks.

Image

Then up Mount Brewer. Returning to camp my gear was in disarray. Apparently a marmot or something had its way with it, luckily all it did was chew up my hiking poles.

Image

Packed up camp, up and over South Guard, then off to Thunder Mountain for the fourth peak of the day. En route a nice view of Table Mountain.

Image

The route to Thunder’s summit was much spicier than I anticipated. Turns out I went not the best way. Exposed class 4 (in red, showing looking back at the south summit). I returned a much more secure route shown in green, probably the way everyone else already knows to go.

Image

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.

Image

Then off to Midway and Milestone. View of Milestone from the gap in the east ridge of Midway. It was storming to the north but obviously sunny for me.

Image

The chute up Milestone’s east side.

Image

View from Milestone to Midway, Table, and beyond. Brewer and Nouth Guard visible to the left of Midway here. Really enjoyed the scrambling at the top of Milestone, and the views.

Image

By the end of the day I was exhausted. Turns out I have three tough days in me, not four. On day four I managed to drag my butt up Genevra on the way out. I had considered Jordon, I wanted to try a harder summit block, but there was no chance of me bothering with the extra mileage. Below Reflection Lake here is what passed for a trail… just a cairn amongst some flowers. At least it was downhill!

Image
User Avatar
mrchad9

 
Posts: 4174
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:01 am
Location: San Ramon, California, United States
Thanked: 1202 times in 814 posts

The following user would like to thank mrchad9 for this post
BHunewill, granite4brains, johnr, myles, Tom Kenney, tonyo

Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby sharperblue » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:17 pm

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?
User Avatar
sharperblue

 
Posts: 387
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:05 am
Location: san francisco, California, United States
Thanked: 62 times in 45 posts

Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

Postby mrchad9 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:22 pm

Snow is inconsequential no matter where you go.
User Avatar
mrchad9

 
Posts: 4174
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:01 am
Location: San Ramon, California, United States
Thanked: 1202 times in 814 posts

The following user would like to thank mrchad9 for this post
Daria

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


Image

(pic by Bob Burd 2010)
I'm the top troll.
User Avatar
Daria

 
Posts: 419
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:33 am
Location: Eastern Sierra, California, United States
Thanked: 219 times in 152 posts

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.
User Avatar
fatdad

 
Posts: 1378
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
Thanked: 83 times in 57 posts

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!
I'm the top troll.
User Avatar
Daria

 
Posts: 419
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:33 am
Location: Eastern Sierra, California, United States
Thanked: 219 times in 152 posts

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:

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

Image
Great early morning calm.

Image
Tons of flowers!

Image
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.
User Avatar
BHunewill

 
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:14 am
Location: Bridgeport, California, United States
Thanked: 25 times in 10 posts

The following user would like to thank BHunewill for this post
johnr, mrchad9, myles, Tom Kenney, tonyo

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!
User Avatar
mrchad9

 
Posts: 4174
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:01 am
Location: San Ramon, California, United States
Thanked: 1202 times in 814 posts

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!
User Avatar
Deb

 
Posts: 3012
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2002 1:57 pm
Location: Bishop, California, United States
Thanked: 168 times in 102 posts

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:
Image

A short break to think about Unicorn's "hand traverse" that I had heard so much (on the internet) about:
Image

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:
Image

Cockscomb:
Image

On our way out we stopped at this tarn west of Unicorn. I enjoyed the way Whorl Mountain lined up in the background:
Image
User Avatar
BHunewill

 
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:14 am
Location: Bridgeport, California, United States
Thanked: 25 times in 10 posts

The following user would like to thank BHunewill for this post
96avs01, artrock23, boyblue, dshoshone, johnr, Princess Buttercup

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.

Image

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!

Image

Then back to camp.

Image

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.

Image

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

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

Then back to Golden Bear Lake.

Image

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

Image

Camp from across the lake.

Image

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.

Image

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

Image

Leaving my mark in the sand…

Image

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.

Image
User Avatar
mrchad9

 
Posts: 4174
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:01 am
Location: San Ramon, California, United States
Thanked: 1202 times in 814 posts

The following user would like to thank mrchad9 for this post
artrock23, boyblue

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!
User Avatar
Deb

 
Posts: 3012
Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2002 1:57 pm
Location: Bishop, California, United States
Thanked: 168 times in 102 posts

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.

Image

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.

Image

The next day we headed up the glacier.

Image

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.

Image

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

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

Middle Palisade Glacier

Image

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.

Image

Descending back to camp.

Image

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.

Image

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

Image

Mount Sill and Mount Gayley as we departed Sunday.

Image
User Avatar
mrchad9

 
Posts: 4174
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:01 am
Location: San Ramon, California, United States
Thanked: 1202 times in 814 posts

The following user would like to thank mrchad9 for this post
artrock23, BHunewill, boyblue, dshoshone

Re: Beautiful Sierra SUMMER conditions

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

Mt. Lyell, with the approach from Donahue Pass.
Image

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:
Image

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.
Image

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.
Image

At the summit.
Image
User Avatar
artrock23

 
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 4:26 pm
Location: Laguna Beach, California, United States
Thanked: 155 times in 84 posts

The following user would like to thank artrock23 for this post
anita, BHunewill, boyblue, mrchad9, myles

PreviousNext

Return to California

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron

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