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2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

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

Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

Postby mrchad9 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:09 pm

Ascending Thunder Pass, east of Thunder Mountain, is mightily unpleasant when snow free.

Descending University Pass is one of the most enjoyable bits of elevation losses I've experienced. Less than 15 minutes and you can practically boot ski 1000 feet down to the terrain below.
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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

Postby Ze » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:13 pm

Was nice meeting a bunch of really crazy, but nice people. Did technically "easy" ascents of Matterhorn and Morgan / Twelve Flags the first 2 days. Had to pass on the 3rd day as I blew up my ankle on the 2nd day descent as a large slab gave out under me. Scrambling down the rest of the way on one good leg was interesting. Thanks to those who hung out me as I hobbled down from Francis Lake!
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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

Postby Bob Burd » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:10 am

Day - Twin Peaks
This unofficially named 13er is located west of Mt. Prater, about two miles from the Sierra Crest. Though it had the same gain as Black Divide (9,100ft), it was several hours easier. Pat was the first to the pass north of Split in about 3.5hrs, Eric just behind her. Jonathan and I got there half an hour later, with others further behind. From the pass (actually the side of Split Mtn, not really the saddle with Prater), one drops 1,000ft to a delightful alpine lake in a beautiful setting before climbing 1,000ft up to Twin. Twin turned out to be surprisingly difficult going by the route up from the south that most of us tried. The granite was somewhere between solid rock and sand, meaning it would often decompose in your hands. Pat was on her way down while Jonathan and I were struggling a bit over our heads. She didn't stick around for fear of watching us kill ourselves. Luckily, we didn't. Made the summit in 6hrs, had a nice lunch atop and checked out an old Andy Smatko register. It had half a dozen entries in 50 years.

Others at our trailhead climbed other peaks: Tommey, Tom B, Michael G and Luke climbed Prater. Luke, Michael C and JD climbed Split. Eric traversed from Prater to Bolton Brown, then climbed Twin and still got back 15min before me. Ouch. No significant weather encountered today at the Red Lake Trail, but others at North Lake and elsewhere reported some rain. All good.

Tomorrow we're heading to Taboose Pass to climb Mt. Ickes, another 9,100-foot day. Should be another long one...
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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

Postby WyomingSummits » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:24 am

Ze wrote:Was nice meeting a bunch of really crazy, but nice people. Did technically "easy" ascents of Matterhorn and Morgan / Twelve Flags the first 2 days. Had to pass on the 3rd day as I blew up my ankle on the 2nd day descent as a large slab gave out under me. Scrambling down the rest of the way on one good leg was interesting. Thanks to those who hung out me as I hobbled down from Francis Lake!

That sucks man. I do a lot of solo trips that are 20+ miles and the boulder fields freak me out for that very reason......you just never know when a boulder that looks solid will collapse and suck your leg into a hell hole. It's a long lonely slog out on one leg. Glad you had company! Not that they can help a lot, but it sure boosts morale! :)
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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:46 am

Damn Bob, seems like you guys been doing a bunch of long days on this challenge...all the best to your bodies! Keep those machines going and get some good nutrition and rest!
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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

Postby Bob Burd » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:32 am

Day 6 - Mt. Ickes
Mt. Ickes, 12,900ft, is located northwest of Pinchot Pass about 4 miles west of the Sierra Crest. We were down to a core group of eight folks at the Taboose Pass TH for a 4am start. The previous day's weather had not dissipated overnight. In a first ever for the Challenge we had rain beore sunrise that had us digging in packs for rain jackets and pack covers. Wiser folks might have thought better of continuing, but this was not a group of wise men. For our perseverance we were treated to an incredible rainbow over Taboose Pass just before we arrived there around 7pm. It was on and off wind, rain and sunshine all day, making for some spectacular skies and scenery. Rain gear was also on and off all day. Eric was already coming down from the summit when Pat, Sean, Jonathan and I were about 30 minutes away. It appears that in addition to being super-fast, Eric also possesses some super powers. While four of us were bundled against the weather, Eric was casually talking to us in a tshirt and shorts. No one has yet observed whether Eric has any sort of rain gear at all. He appears to be either impervious to weather hazards, or simply outruns any rain/hail that might threaten. He also seems to have built-in night vision. Though we started in serious darkness (the moon was behind the clouds or mountains all the while, and no stars were out), he took off in the lead without need for a headlamp and left us mortals in the dust - this on the Taboose Pass Trail which is notoriously rocky.

In all, five made it to Ickes and back (Eric the fastest at just over 8.5hrs, myself the slowest at just under 12hrs. Michael G went to Striped, Chris visited Cardinal, and Tommey was off to tag Pinchot and Wynne (he wasn't yet back when most of us left the TH in the afternoon).

After Day 5, Pat was the leader in the Yellow (overall fastest) and Green (over 50yrs) jerseys. Eric was the leader in the King of the Mountain with a total of 14 summits as well as the White jersey (under 25yrs). By summiting only one peak today, Eric picked up more than two hours on Pat to take the Yellow Jersey after Day 6.

Tomorrow we're heading up the Baxter Pass Trail, the first time it's been used during the Challenge (the Bighorn closure prevented it being useful in the past). We'll be tackling one or more of a variety of summits including Black, Diamond, Diamond North, Baxter and Acrodectes. Should be easier than today's hike...
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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

Postby mrchad9 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:40 am

Well done! No small accomplishment!
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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

Postby ScottHanson » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:58 am

"We were down to a core group of eight folks at the Taboose Pass TH for a 4am start."

Last man standing! Or maybe last woman standing! You guys rock!

I only have three questions. Where is Toxo? Where is Laura M? Is Eric a bionic man?

Greetings from the old northwest guy. WOW!
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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

Postby Mark M » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:15 am

Bob Burd wrote:Day 6 - Mt. Ickes
After Day 5, Pat was the leader in the... Green (over 50yrs) jerseys....


You need to check her birth certificate. She should be counted in the under 25 group. :)
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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

Postby toxo » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:47 pm

ScottHanson wrote:"We were down to a core group of eight folks at the Taboose Pass TH for a 4am start."

Last man standing! Or maybe last woman standing! You guys rock!

I only have three questions. Where is Toxo? Where is Laura M? Is Eric a bionic man?

Greetings from the old northwest guy. WOW!


Toxo has been back to work for the last couple of days.
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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

Postby Vitaliy M. » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:15 pm

Reading about this event gives me dark thoughts of a massive day...hope my body can handle it.
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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

Postby orbitor » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:27 pm

ScottHanson wrote:Is Eric a bionic man?


Having done multiple trips with Eric in a variety of conditions, I can attest he is indeed a bionic man. A new breed of well-trained and well-conditioned teenage climber, the next step in human evolution (steroid-free).
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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

Postby Bob Burd » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:05 am

Mark M wrote:
Bob Burd wrote:Day 6 - Mt. Ickes
After Day 5, Pat was the leader in the... Green (over 52yrs) jerseys....


You need to check her birth certificate. She should be counted in the under 25 group. :)


She beats everyone in every age category this year with the exception of Eric. She's really quite amazing. She spent 20 years as a HS Boy's XCountry coach, and I suspect she outran all of them. She was also 2X National Mountain Biking Champion. She's a tiny little thing but packs an amazing amount of impressive biology inside her skin. The guys are all suffering and complaining of this injury or that while she just smiles. She's spent 3hrs less time on the trail climbing the same peaks as myself. I don't want to admit I suck, so I tell myself she's just that much better. And she is.
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The following user would like to thank Bob Burd for this post
cab, Daria, Mark M, Princess Buttercup, ScottHanson, SeanReedy, Ze

Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

Postby WyomingSummits » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:00 am

Bob Burd wrote:
Mark M wrote:
Bob Burd wrote:Day 6 - Mt. Ickes
After Day 5, Pat was the leader in the... Green (over 52yrs) jerseys....


You need to check her birth certificate. She should be counted in the under 25 group. :)


She beats everyone in every age category this year with the exception of Eric. She's really quite amazing. She spent 20 years as a HS Boy's XCountry coach, and I suspect she outran all of them. She was also 2X National Mountain Biking Champion. She's a tiny little thing but packs an amazing amount of impressive biology inside her skin. The guys are all suffering and complaining of this injury or that while she just smiles. She's spent 3hrs less time on the trail climbing the same peaks as myself. I don't want to admit I suck, so I tell myself she's just that much better. And she is.

Ah, you're a bit hard on yourself. You don't suck, you're just a crappy climber. :) But for real, the average person out there would not only FAIl at climbing most of what you've done.....they'd prob have to take GU shots just reading about it. So take a deep breath and relax....we are what we are.
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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

Postby Deb » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:28 am

Pat IS a little dynamo! I try not to gauge my slug pace against her jack rabbit, but she gets the best of me on a trail. On a scramble, I think we're even. :) I probably would've taken 4 days instead of 2 to do Milestone/Midway without her.
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