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California 14ers suggestions

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Golden State. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the California Climbing Partners forum.
 

Re: California 14ers suggestions

Postby hgrapid » Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:30 pm

I am preparing to climb Split Mountain on July 21. Just how bad is the descent? Very loose? Very dangerous? Or pretty reasonable in daylight?
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Re: California 14ers suggestions

Postby boisedoc » Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:53 am

It has been awhile since I was climbed Split mountain but the scramble above Red Lake is basically just a bunch of talus. There is no real climbing to speak of. I think the talus is relatively stable and safe. There is not any exposure. I thought the hike to Red Lake in the heat and dust was the worst part.
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Re: California 14ers suggestions

Postby Romain » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:24 am

A good alternative to the Red Lake approach is to climb Split via its North Face approaching from Taboose Pass. I don't know why it isn't done more. Taboose Pass is a long hike but on excellent setting. Then you get to be on one of the most spectacular sections of the JMT for a few miles - easy going through Upper Basin. It's a good alternative for people who prefer trail and spending some time in the backcountry (budget one extra day). Hiking Split that way is very straightforward, and so is the descent (all class 1, no routefinding issues). I suspect that while longer, this is much easier than Red Lake. I posted some photos at https://picasaweb.google.com/1094829042 ... ountRuskin.
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Re: California 14ers suggestions

Postby RickF » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:17 am

hgrapid wrote:I am preparing to climb Split Mountain on July 21. Just how bad is the descent? Very loose? Very dangerous? Or pretty reasonable in daylight?


Hgrapid,

Assuming you'll be following the popular, standard North Slope route from Red's Lake I'd like to share two notes of caution.

First, on the section from the Split/Prater saddle until you gain the North Slope, you'll be making a gradual ascent along a ridge, crossing above some chutes. This section is very loose talus and small boulders. Use appropriate caution here as it would be easy to trigger a rock slide that could drag you down.

Second, you'll emerge from the ridge onto the North Slope, where you'll turn left (east) and head toward the summit. The North Slope is a broad, vast inclinded plane and this part is very straight forward as far as route finding on the way up. But, turn around, look back and make note of where you'll need to enter this chute on the way back down it would be easy to miss when headed down. Three people in my group thought they were really making good time on the descent only to find that they'd gone too far down and had to climb back up a few hundred feet to enter the correct descent chute.
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Re: California 14ers suggestions

Postby hgrapid » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:17 pm

Taboose looks interesting. There is really a trail all the way to the PCT? Seems like at least 29-30 mile round trip climb though?
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Re: California 14ers suggestions

Postby Kerstin » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:05 pm

hgrapid, I did the Taboose Pass-John Muir Trail route to Split Mountain in 2005. It was a leisurely five day trip. I'd highly recommend it if you have the time.
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Re: California 14ers suggestions

Postby Romain » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:04 am

Yes, a good trail all the way to the PCT, and then good trail almost all the way to the base (the last bit is easy/flat cross country to Lake 3535). It's 16 miles one way to Lake 3535 which is where we set up camp for Split. Definitely longer than Red Lake, but again, if you have extra time and interest in seeing that area, well worth it.
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