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Longest Recorded Alpine Ridge Traverse

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Longest Recorded Alpine Ridge Traverse

Postby colinr » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:21 am

A new report, Convoluted Bliss, is up on https://peaksforfreaks.blogspot.com. Eight days of scrambling, climbing, and hiking in the high country of Yosemite resulted in successful completion of the longest recorded alpine ridge traverse in the United States. An in depth report on a traverse of the peaks encircling the Merced River drainage (Cathedral Range, Isberg Divide, and Clark Range) is posted by Eric Su here: https://peaksforfreaks.blogspot.com/2017/08/convoluted-bliss.html

This distance felt about ideal by the end given no zero days, but
if you prefer a longer adventure, masochists will spot ways more peaks could be added to lengthen the trip. :lol:

I wonder what else similar and manageable in the Sierra is being mapped out with serious consideration in mind. More adventures await!
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Re: Longest Recorded Alpine Ridge Traverse

Postby Jesus Malverde » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:39 pm

Colin,
Congrats! That is a fantastic accomplishment. Inspirational.
As the wiseman Hebest once said: "I like big projects!" :)
Now for rest, recupe and planning the next Big One.
Best,
JM
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Re: Longest Recorded Alpine Ridge Traverse

Postby Romain » Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:25 pm

Saw your summit register entries in the 4 major peaks of the Clark Range when I was there a few days after you. I had wondered what "Convoluted Bliss" was. Now I know... Strong work!
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Re: Longest Recorded Alpine Ridge Traverse

Postby awilsondc » Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:20 pm

Whoa! That's seriously bad ***!!! One of the best link ups I've seen. That must have been fun, challenging, and rewarding with a bit of suffering thrown in the mix as well. A lifelong memory for sure, nice work!
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Re: Longest Recorded Alpine Ridge Traverse

Postby colinr » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:10 pm

Thanks y'all! Indeed a grand mixture of experiences that I will always remember with a smile.

Romain wrote:Saw your summit register entries in the 4 major peaks of the Clark Range when I was there a few days after you. I had wondered what "Convoluted Bliss" was. Now I know... Strong work!


Romain,
I'm glad to help solve the mystery.

I just found your trip report link in the summit log; looks like you put a big adventure together yourself! Ottoway Lakes area is indeed a gem. As far as hiking/scrambling along the ridge in the Clark Range, I found the ascent up Gray Peak onward to Clark to be a highlight. Red Peak and the loose class 2 just north of it were tedious. Your partner's journaling was an entertaining addition. He had me chuckling here!
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Re: Longest Recorded Alpine Ridge Traverse

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:48 pm

Cool looking adventure. The longest alpine traverse I have done was the traverse of all peaks from Piute pass to Bishop pass. About 25+ named and unnamed 13ers (Full Evolution Crest) with technical difficulties to about 5.9 in the harder spots. Shorter in distance but much more 'alpine' in character. First ascent was done over 8 days on the ridge proper with cached food/fuel. I believe mine was the third overall ascent and first solo of it. 3 days car to car carrying all gear. Greatest personal physical challenge I have had and a great route!
Last edited by Vitaliy M. on Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Longest Recorded Alpine Ridge Traverse

Postby Yury » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:20 pm

Now we know what's required to get Vitaly out of his Summitpost retirement.
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Re: Longest Recorded Alpine Ridge Traverse

Postby Vitaliy M. » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:59 pm

Haha, I was stopping by for some CA conditions updates and saw this. A very cool and very original adventures are nice to read about. Blog post is very good. :)
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Re: Longest Recorded Alpine Ridge Traverse

Postby Sunny Buns » Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:04 am

Looks like an awesome hike!

What would be the definition of an alpine ridge traverse, in order to qualify for the list?

FYI, heard about a device that will help clean your protection off a wall - they're looking to get a few more investors I think so they can make a bunch of them. Watch video:
https://dcmountaineering.com/
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Re: Longest Recorded Alpine Ridge Traverse

Postby colinr » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:34 pm

Vitaliy M. wrote:Haha, I was stopping by for some CA conditions updates and saw this. A very cool and very original adventures are nice to read about. Blog post is very good. :)


Yeah, Eric's site inspires many.

It would have been nice to be checking condition reports on my phone instead of using it for MountainSexual pursuits. The best I could manage mountain related so far this long weekend was ordering some Prana Zions and some more green Mountain Hardware Wicked shirts from Backcountry. Family first.

MountainSexual???
Similar to metrosexual but one who lives in the mountains or otherwise pursues the outdoors adventure lifestyle. Kind of a cleaned-up granola, a Woodsy GQ kinda guy with a splash of bohemian. Knows that he doesn't have to look or smell like a dirtbag to enjoy climbing, hiking, cycling, skiing (all forms), snowshoeing, etc. Probably reads Men's Journal, Outside, Outside's Go, National Geographic Adventure, even Wallpaper* and Dwell. Brands: Patagonia, Keen, Kuhl, The North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, Mountain Khakis. Strong environmental ethic. Drives a well-maintained truck, performance SUV, or cross-over when absolutely necessary but walks or rides a bicycle whenever possible. Works out gym but primarily to be in shape for outdoor pursuits. Shuns chain stores and shops in outdoor specialty stores such as The Trailhead in Buena Vista, Colorado.

"For such an outdoorsy guy, that dude sure has great style."

"Yeah, he's a veritable MountainSexual!"
#metrosexual#woodsy#sav#gq#gq with an iq#granola#patagonia
by mrchad9 January 24, 2009


Not bad, but I think that definition needs a bit of updating in a few spots.
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Re: Longest Recorded Alpine Ridge Traverse

Postby colinr » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:35 pm

Vitaliy M. wrote:Cool looking adventure. The longest alpine traverse I have done was the traverse of all peaks from Piute pass to Bishop pass. About 25+ named and unnamed 13ers (Full Evolution Crest) with technical difficulties to about 5.9 in the harder spots. Shorter in distance but much more 'alpine' in character. First ascent was done over 8 days on the ridge proper with cached food/fuel. I believe mine was the third overall ascent and first solo of it. 3 days car to car carrying all gear. Greatest personal physical challenge I have had and a great route!


Thanks!

I remember that report; it's worth another read, especially while imagining big adventures, some inspired by such accounts and others dreamt up. Better training fuel than Thanksgiving Dinner!
Last edited by colinr on Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Longest Recorded Alpine Ridge Traverse

Postby colinr » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:00 pm

Sunny Buns wrote:Looks like an awesome hike!

What would be the definition of an alpine ridge traverse, in order to qualify for the list?

FYI, heard about a device that will help clean your protection off a wall - they're looking to get a few more investors I think so they can make a bunch of them. Watch video:
https://dcmountaineering.com/


Yeah, need to salvage that pro if we want to keep going on the cheap and avoid the hassles that come with sponsors. Nice to leave those places wild, too. We'd need more gear and training to get on that stuff Vitaliy is talking about as well as some bigger possible traverses that would make Convoluted Bliss feel like a weekend getaway.

Debating definitions and lists can be a fun game, but I'm not much of a list guy. To me, an outing is worthwhile if it is a challenging and fun adventure for the individual/team. Basically a traverse in the spirit of Eric's site and style is traveling the ridgetop with minimal to no skipping of sections. Some use the term traverse more loosely and may do something such as travel a long section of a range summitting major peaks, but dropping down substantially at times to not bother with several sections of ridge or even several minor peaks. Also, as Vitaliy mentioned, some alpine areas can feel more alpine in character than others and may involve technical challenges that could come with that.

As an aside, some of the class 2 terrain on Convoluted Bliss had me wishing for more class 3-4, but on the other hand we got in plenty of fun scrambling and were not really prepared for anything more difficult than easy 5th class terrain. It was all beautiful and solitude was unmistakable; despite being in Yosemite, we only crossed paths with people on day 8 on major trails after exiting the traverse.
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