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North Arete of Bear Creek Spire

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North Arete of Bear Creek Spire

Postby Vitaliy M. » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:58 pm

Do people use crampons on the approach? Do you haul them up all the way or throw it down and pick it up on the way back? Crampons suggested or required (if you fall you die type of situation) for the way down?
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Re: North Arete of Bear Creek Spire

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:06 pm

The snow should be soft when you descend. You should be able to get to your crampons pretty easily if you throw them down. Just make sure you see where they land.
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Re: North Arete of Bear Creek Spire

Postby fatdad » Thu Sep 01, 2011 10:53 pm

Caveat: I haven't been to BCS this year, so I can't comment on the present snow conditions. However, I've done BCS a couple of times and brought crampons for the descent at least once, and was glad I had them. The initial portion of the snowfield from Cox Col can be steep and icy, depending on the season. What persuaded me to bring them was meeting a guy in the parking lot who pulled up his sleeves to show us the gnarly road rash on both of his forearms from slipping on the hard stuff. They aren't THAT heavy.
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Re: North Arete of Bear Creek Spire

Postby Vitaliy M. » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:27 pm

They aren't THAT heavy.


Not ones I have!

There is no deadly exposure there though right?
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Re: North Arete of Bear Creek Spire

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:38 pm

Vitaliy M. wrote:
They aren't THAT heavy.


Not ones I have!

There is no deadly exposure there though right?

You will see it on the way up, and can decide whether to carry them to the summit when you reach the route.
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Re: North Arete of Bear Creek Spire

Postby sharperblue » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:39 pm

We ran up him a few weeks ago and did not use crampons for approach (def. not needed) nor descent, BUT we lingered quite a bit on top and the snow was very hard and very mildly dangerous lower down (not for the first hundred feet below the ridge or so) by early evening - facing down from the ridge, there is an arm of much rockier class 2 & 3 terrain on the left a few hundred feet further out beyond the snow, which you can use to take you almost all the way down safely (watch out for loose rock though)
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Re: North Arete of Bear Creek Spire

Postby Vitaliy M. » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:54 pm

Thank you blue! I should have just called you two or Mark, since all you guys been that way this year. Have no idea why I started the thread... : /
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Re: North Arete of Bear Creek Spire

Postby PellucidWombat » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:39 am

Vitaly, if there's one area you need crampons, it will be descending Cox Col rather than ascending to any of the routes on BCS, so throwing them down won't help you.

As for exposure, there are lots of sun cups & could be exposed rocks at the bottom, and sliding into those at high speeds won't feel nice. At the very least bring an axe and you can always rappel the worst part of the slope.

Just carry your crampons & axe up & over. They aren't that heavy, the N Arete isn't very hard, and carrying them on the climb builds character. :-)
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Re: North Arete of Bear Creek Spire

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:15 am

PellucidWombat wrote:Vitaly, if there's one area you need crampons, it will be descending Cox Col rather than ascending to any of the routes on BCS, so throwing them down won't help you.

Baloney.

You can easily get to the rock rib on the right side without crampons. If you don't need them to get to the route you definitely won't need them to get down. Just have to go a bt further north before descending than you might otherwise have to.
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Re: North Arete of Bear Creek Spire

Postby x15x15 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:17 am

as mr chad said, you really do not need them at all. even if you have to get on the snow, and you do slip, AND if you place yourself in position, it is a great run out. but, looking at what you say you have done, BCS sans crampons should be no problem. Have fun dude...

and this aint the cascades. carrying crampons and ice axe up and over does nothing for your character...
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Re: North Arete of Bear Creek Spire

Postby PellucidWombat » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:45 am

mrchad9 wrote:
PellucidWombat wrote:Vitaly, if there's one area you need crampons, it will be descending Cox Col rather than ascending to any of the routes on BCS, so throwing them down won't help you.

Baloney.

You can easily get to the rock rib on the right side without crampons. If you don't need them to get to the route you definitely won't need them to get down. Just have to go a bt further north before descending than you might otherwise have to.


Pork chops.

I've done that rock rib before. However, when I was on BCS a month ago there was still unavoidable snow on it, so it didn't really offer a better alternative. From Scott's more recent report, though, it sounds like that might be a viable bypass option now.

Falling at the top of Cox Col can have a safe runout earlier in the year, but when I last descended it, falling, while not deadly, would have really hurt.

By building character I mean climbing with more weight or a larger pack than might be necessary on an easy route to get used to it. I barely notice mine now, but when I trim things down for a more difficult climb, then I really notice a difference. This year I felt that reserve really did help when I, for example, was climbing in the Cascades, which I know V wants to do more of. Climb more with a pack on and eat your vegetables! :mrgreen:
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Re: North Arete of Bear Creek Spire

Postby Vitaliy M. » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:15 am

Cool, I can see everyone's point. I will not bring them, if I will slip and die blame Chad and x15x15. :) I understand Mark's point, but I prefer to enjoy a climb by not bringing more gear than I really need to. I actually prefer bare minimum. 1 pack that will be exchanged based on who is leading and who is following. With one jacket for each, a hat, 1L of water, some energy gels, cell phone, topo. Stash the other back pack with more food and other misc stuff at the base.

When I was climbing in the Cascades this year (doing a carry over Liberty Ridge to Emmons as you have) my pack did not weight much at all, maybe 32lbs or so with all our camping gear (although I was able to get it down to 27lbs? when I did Whitney glacier on Shasta with Chad). Jetboil, gas, 3lb tent (divided for two), +freeze dried personal food/GU, personal clothes (could have cut some weight here too), sleeping bag (+10 down bag), 1 neo air sleeping pad (14 oz), other personal accessories. Worked great, and I wouldn't want to take anything extra for any other objective there. I want to be able to consistently get my pack down to 25lbs or so for overnight technical climbs where I need to carry my stuff all day.
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Re: North Arete of Bear Creek Spire

Postby granjero » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:42 am

Vitaliy M. wrote:With one jacket for each


Get a Houdini jacket from patagucci. Super warm and super duper outrageously light! Ultimate alpine jacket for non-precipitation conditions IMHO

Vitaliy M. wrote:cell phone


For pictures? I don't think you can make booty calls for the trailhead up there unless you got satellite capabilities LOL :)

And just super hydrate before and bring a jolly rancher or two for each pitch to whet the whistle. That climb is short and you needn't worry about dehydration. Plus going uber light means motivation and ability to go uber fast! wheeee
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Re: North Arete of Bear Creek Spire

Postby The Chief » Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:58 am

Vitaliy M. wrote:Cool, I can see everyone's point. I will not bring them, if I will slip and die blame Chad and x15x15. :) I understand Mark's point, but I prefer to enjoy a climb by not bringing more gear than I really need to. I actually prefer bare minimum. 1 pack that will be exchanged based on who is leading and who is following. With one jacket for each, a hat, 1L of water, some energy gels, cell phone, topo. Stash the other back pack with more food and other misc stuff at the base.

When I was climbing in the Cascades this year (doing a carry over Liberty Ridge to Emmons as you have) my pack did not weight much at all, maybe 32lbs or so with all our camping gear (although I was able to get it down to 27lbs? when I did Whitney glacier on Shasta with Chad). Jetboil, gas, 3lb tent (divided for two), +freeze dried personal food/GU, personal clothes (could have cut some weight here too), sleeping bag (+10 down bag), 1 neo air sleeping pad (14 oz), other personal accessories. Worked great, and I wouldn't want to take anything extra for any other objective there. I want to be able to consistently get my pack down to 25lbs or so for overnight technical climbs where I need to carry my stuff all day.



What do you need all the above crap for....C-C from Mosq Flats in 11 hours max. Pack with rope and pro (10 pieces & 10 Alpine Draws at the most for this route) should weigh no less than 10lbs max. If this 50plus year old can do it regularly in under 11 hours, your 24 yrs old youngass surely should be more than capable of doing so...
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Re: North Arete of Bear Creek Spire

Postby WML » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:26 am

granjero wrote:
Vitaliy M. wrote:With one jacket for each


Get a Houdini jacket from patagucci. Super warm and super duper outrageously light! Ultimate alpine jacket for non-precipitation conditions IMHO

Vitaliy M. wrote:cell phone


For pictures? I don't think you can make booty calls for the trailhead up there unless you got satellite capabilities LOL :)

And just super hydrate before and bring a jolly rancher or two for each pitch to whet the whistle. That climb is short and you needn't worry about dehydration. Plus going uber light means motivation and ability to go uber fast! wheeee


Agreed with granjero RE: all of the above. The gucci Houdini is money, and if it is a bit chilly, their nano puff is pretty effin warm for the weight.

I also enjoy carrying the bare minimum on climbs, why lug things you won't need up a climb? I'm a little guy and I hate carrying extra crap up something, "character" my ass. Build character by training harder :) Does Ueli carry extra shit up climbs? Nope, runs 10k a day, does lots of hard climbing laps, and gets his stretch on.

Bring what you need, leave what you do not. Whether it is extra cams, backpacks, etc. just go with the flow and use the experience you have accrued in order to make the best decisions you have shown you are capable of making. Most importantly, have a blast. That arete is gorgeous, take lots of pics and have fun, yo!

Image

EDIT: added picture from last weekend from hiking around with my girlfriend
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