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Clyde Minaret conditions ?

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Clyde Minaret conditions ?

Postby rhyang » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:24 am

Just wondering how the snow is on the approach to the Rock Route. I would expect there to still be snow, just not sure how suncupped it is .. probably should throw the axe & spikes on my pack anyway :) Thanks for any info !

btw Thinking about the SE Face some other season. Question for those of you who have done it via the original / traverse start : looking at the topos in Moynier & Fiddler and Croft, I get the impression there are about 8 pitches that rate 5.7 - 5.8; the rest sound like 4th/easy 5th. Sandbag ?
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Re: Clyde Minaret conditions ?

Postby Bob Burd » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:34 am

rhyang wrote:Just wondering how the snow is on the approach to the Rock Route. I would expect there to still be snow, just not sure how suncupped it is .. probably should throw the axe & spikes on my pack anyway :) Thanks for any info !


Yep, that would be best. Here's the route as of Aug 9:

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Postby SJD » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:47 am

Here's a distant view as taken from atop Mammoth Mountain on Friday (8/20/10).

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Re: Clyde Minaret conditions ?

Postby Tom Fralich » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:36 am

rhyang wrote:I get the impression there are about 8 pitches that rate 5.7 - 5.8; the rest sound like 4th/easy 5th. Sandbag ?


Yes, that sounds about right. I didn't find it to be a sandbag...pretty honest 5.7-5.8 and the gear is good.

I didn't do it, but I understand that the traverse start is not that obvious. The direct start is very obvious, has excellent climbing, and is well protected. I didn't think it was any harder than solid 5.9. I would try to do it with the direct start if you can.
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Postby rhyang » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:45 pm

Thanks guys !
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Re: Clyde Minaret conditions ?

Postby fatdad » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:42 pm

Tom Fralich wrote:
rhyang wrote:I get the impression there are about 8 pitches that rate 5.7 - 5.8; the rest sound like 4th/easy 5th. Sandbag ?


Yes, that sounds about right. I didn't find it to be a sandbag...pretty honest 5.7-5.8 and the gear is good.

I didn't do it, but I understand that the traverse start is not that obvious. The direct start is very obvious, has excellent climbing, and is well protected. I didn't think it was any harder than solid 5.9. I would try to do it with the direct start if you can.


I think the route is pretty stout for 5.8. I'd say it's 5.8 if you're a solid 5.9 climber. I'm thinking pitch 5, the traverse into and the long crack might feel pretty hard to a 5.7/8 climber. Add a pack, some altitude, and it's going to feel more stout than some garden variety 5.8. Also a couple of pitches higher, the pitch is only 5.7 but it's on really loose rock with pretty lousy pro in spots. It felt considerably harder than your average 5.7 pitch because a lot of the big obvious holds looked they would bust off in your hands. Definitely a don't fall pitch. At the time I thought that maybe the pitch wasn't as bad as it seemed, but when my partner--who's done a ton of stuff in the Sierra, Tetons, Winds, Bugaboos--followed it, he commented on how sporty and loose it felt.

I saw your recent trip report for the N. Arete of BCS and I thought Clyde was WAY harder. Same rating but no comparison in terms of difficulty or commitment. That's just me though. I'm far more conservative these days. Don't get me wrong. It's an awesome climb. There's just a much greater chance of really getting hurt on it than some other Sierra 5.8s.
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Postby Diggler » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:52 pm

I thought the 5.8 sections were solid 5.8 (after the original start-direct start confluence); there's the non-obvious, exposed traverse, then esp. the dihedral beyond- pretty much continual 5.8. The direct start is phenomenal climbing (.9+), & well protected. While I thought that there was some loose stuff on the descent (Rock route), I felt that the SE face was totally solid. Have fun, Rob. A great route. I would recommend, though, looking at some photos (there are some good ones here) that show some views of the face while on route & looking up- it's not too difficult to get lost on that vast face.
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Re: Clyde Minaret conditions ?

Postby Tom Fralich » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:02 pm

fatdad wrote:I saw your recent trip report for the N. Arete of BCS and I thought Clyde was WAY harder. Same rating but no comparison in terms of difficulty or commitment. That's just me though.


I definitely agree with this. BCS has 2 pitches of 5.7...maybe 5.8...and then it is mostly 5.easy. Clyde is WAY more sustained. I don't remember being scared though and thought the rock was pretty solid throughout.

I didn't read your trip report, so I'm not sure what your experience was on BCS, but if you didn't cruise it, you could have some trouble with Clyde. There are a lot of pitches of 5.8ish climbing, so probably best to be a 5.9 leader.
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Postby rhyang » Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:29 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys. Just from looking at the topos, the SE Face sounds more sustained than any of the alpine rock I have led so far, and I have also read elsewhere that it's better for a solid 5.9 leader .. which I am not. Yet :) And I would probably want my partner to be pretty strong as well.

Usually when leading 5.8's I am scared, sewing it up and about to cry for mommy :lol:

It is however a goal for "someday" ..
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