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Bear Creek Spire, South Face

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Bear Creek Spire, South Face

Postby m_dquist » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:38 pm

Has anyone climbed any routes on the South Face of Bear Creek Spire? Not a lot of information out there on this wall. Any feedback would be great, and I'm also curious about how to get back down to a camp on the south side if anyone's done it this way rather than descending on the north side into Rock Creek. I climbed the East Ridge of BCS a while back but can't remember how easy it would be to climb over the toe of that ridge from the north side to access the South Face. So we'll probably end up approaching from Pine Creek and descending back to the south if possible.
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Re: Bear Creek Spire, South Face

Postby JedSMG » Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:49 pm

Dude, just stash a bike. Come on! And then go to the Gallery in Bishop. That's how you roll, right? A Rowell route, then a Gallery visit.
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Re: Bear Creek Spire, South Face

Postby sharperblue » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:29 pm

I've got some fantastic shots of BCS's South face as it intersects the ridgeline (dropping South) and becomes Apollo Peak - in other words, a likely descent route from the top back into Pine Creek; it should be completely reasonable. Give me a few to pull and post them, but the ridgeline looks Class 4 for a few hundred feet, then onto Apollo (Class 2 to base)
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Re: Bear Creek Spire, South Face

Postby sharperblue » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:32 am

ok, apologies for the delay. shot of east arete to summit, from Apollo last year:

http://www.summitpost.org/bcs-east-aret ... 0/c-150612

not a beautiful shot, but should be informative. You'll likely go down the scree under all that snow so fast you'll go back in time :)
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Re: Bear Creek Spire, South Face

Postby granjero » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:56 am

Morgan pass trail is your descent if doing it out and back from PC (though it would still be a loop, albeit just not a very round one). I second the motion for bicycle stashing. Dont forget to stash reefer and beer for your coast down the hill! :wink:
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Re: Bear Creek Spire, South Face

Postby The Chief » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:25 am

Image
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Re: Bear Creek Spire, South Face

Postby sharperblue » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:54 pm

The Chief wrote:Image



Ok, that's a nice shot
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Re: Bear Creek Spire, South Face

Postby Deb » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:21 pm

Why can't you drop down towards Peppermint on the east ridge? I know it's only Class 2 from there down to the "trail" on the south side. Then exit on Pine Creek trail. Don't go all the way to Spire Col. There's an obvious difference in rock color and quality; almost like someone started a new project building Peppermint Peak.
OR, you can go down Spire Col and exit on the Morgan Pass trail (looks boring).
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Re: Bear Creek Spire, South Face

Postby fatdad » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:20 pm

Two things:

One, you can ride your bike up to Morgan Pass from Pine Creek? Really? Sounds fun.

Two, I remember reading in an old AAJ (late 70s/early 80s) a report from Galen Rowell about a climb he did called the British Chimney Route or something like that. Sounded interesting.
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Re: Bear Creek Spire, South Face

Postby Michael Graupe » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:16 pm

Deb wrote:Why can't you drop down towards Peppermint on the east ridge? I know it's only Class 2 from there down to the "trail" on the south side. Then exit on Pine Creek trail. Don't go all the way to Spire Col. There's an obvious difference in rock color and quality; almost like someone started a new project building Peppermint Peak.


Deb, are you suggesting to drop down this ridge? Looks difficult. This is the view from Peppermint.

Image
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Re: Bear Creek Spire, South Face

Postby m_dquist » Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:37 am

We ended up just climbing over Spire Col from the Little Lakes Valley side and it was no problem to just return down Ulrich's Route to our camp. Finding the route, however, was not easy. Unable to identify the line, we just picked what looked climbable and ended up climbing something that bore no resemblance to the cryptic description in Rowell's AAJ article and required a decent amount of aid in the upper pitches.

Can anyone identify Rowell's South Face route on sharperblue's photo above? (awesome photo by the way, wish I saw it before we headed there!)

http://www.summitpost.org/bcs-east-aret ... 0/c-150612

I'm trying to figure out if we did at least a partial FA or not; the bottomed cracks on some of the upper pitches were flaky enough in the only places they'd take gear that I highly doubt they'd been climbed, there were also sections I'd put at 5.11 that I doubt Galen freed and called 5.9. (we aided them!)

I've got a route overlay of the route we did, PM me if interested.
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Re: Bear Creek Spire, South Face

Postby sharperblue » Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:10 pm

m_dquist wrote:We ended up just climbing over Spire Col from the Little Lakes Valley side and it was no problem to just return down Ulrich's Route to our camp. Finding the route, however, was not easy. Unable to identify the line, we just picked what looked climbable and ended up climbing something that bore no resemblance to the cryptic description in Rowell's AAJ article and required a decent amount of aid in the upper pitches.

Can anyone identify Rowell's South Face route on sharperblue's photo above? (awesome photo by the way, wish I saw it before we headed there!)


Here's a more complete shot of the South Face; there's a line drawn on the face in a photo in the Moynier/Fiddler Guide that indicates the Rowell route and its companion both tracking straight up either side of the arete (the 'serrated fin') casting the strong shadow about 3/4 way over the face from the East - that should be ' South Face'

http://www.summitpost.org/bcs-south-fac ... 9/c-150612
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Re: Bear Creek Spire, South Face

Postby Deb » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:58 pm

Michael Graupe wrote:
Deb wrote:Why can't you drop down towards Peppermint on the east ridge? I know it's only Class 2 from there down to the "trail" on the south side. Then exit on Pine Creek trail. Don't go all the way to Spire Col. There's an obvious difference in rock color and quality; almost like someone started a new project building Peppermint Peak.


Deb, are you suggesting to drop down this ridge? Looks difficult. This is the view from Peppermint.

Image

Yeah...nevermind. Not knowing where the OP's route begins....I guess it's a dumb idea to downclimb the east ridge. :cry:
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