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Snow level on Inyo and Keynot ??

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Re: Snow level on Inyo and Keynot ??

Postby Daria » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:20 pm

MoapaPk wrote:
2) it gives pretty accurate difficulty grading, and time recommendations;

Now back to the topic -- keep those Inyo updates coming!


Yea, except for his estimate for Bridge Mountain......claiming 6 hours roundtrip. That is literally impossible, we were moving-we got close to the summit, but never reached it because we ran out of daylight and had to bail at the start of the final 5th class pitch, and ended up taking 11-12 hours roundtrip. This mountain had extremely sketchy sections, like random flimsy bushes for anchors and questionable terrain and very specific route selections (straying off intended route leads to inevitable cliffs). I'm of the general impression that there is a 30% likelihood of death when doing Zion peaks. GPS and preferably track is necessary if you plan to be hiking out after dark.

One of my more memorable hikes was doing Keynot from the Saline Valley floor as a dayhike-requiring 10,000 ft. of gain and mostly off trail. The Inyo canyons are also very remote and wild, some of my most memorable and adventurous outdoor excursions to date, especially McElvoy canyon. In general, Inyo range is one of my favorites.

On the topic of the Inyo's: We still haven't determined if there is any snow on them yet. Because if there is, that would greatly alleviate the whole water burden issue thingee.

Ah-Rick's injury. It's such a shame, because I keep thinking it could have been avoided. Basically, after I briefly investigated the slope which he ended up falling on; I backed off of it because I had a bad feeling about it and started traversing right to find an alternate drop in for gunsight canyon, staying on higher ground. I was already on my way when Rick called me back-at the last second he spotted a tree anchor that was on that same slope that I had not liked and had already turned away from. Well, that same slope ended up completely collapsing under his feet which was escalated by the huge boulder breaking loose. I also keep thinking if this could have possibly been avoided if he had immediately clipped into the webbing around the tree(naturally one would do this, because the terrain was so freakish, questionable, and significantly exposed), since to get to the rappel rings, it required stepping down 2 feet and grabbing hold of that large boulder as a hand hold, which then broke loose and crushed his ankle.
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Re: Snow level on Inyo and Keynot ??

Postby MoapaPk » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:59 pm

Darija wrote:Yea, except for his estimate for Bridge Mountain......claiming 6 hours roundtrip. That is literally impossible, we were moving-we got close to the summit, but never reached it because we ran out of daylight and had to bail at the start of the final 5th class pitch, and ended up taking 11-12 hours roundtrip. This mountain had extremely sketchy sections, like random flimsy bushes for anchors and questionable terrain and very specific route selections (straying off intended route leads to inevitable cliffs). I'm of the general impression that there is a 30% likelihood of death when doing Zion peaks. GPS and preferably track is necessary if you plan to be hiking out after dark.


His estimate for Bridge Zion is 6-8 hours. The other fellow who has written up this "hike" is Branch Whitney; he recommends 8-9 hrs and also gives it a class 4 rating.

I just looked at the track logs, and my group took 7.8 hrs, but we had one very methodical, safety-minded guy who slowed us down a little (this includes a substantial stay on top, and a 0.25hr side excursion through "The Vortex"). None of us were in your kind of condition (that's a compliment). However, I set handlines just twice, and did so while other folks were catching up, so there was no wasted time. If one does real belays up there, it will slow you down a lot. I bet you were carrying a big heavy rope and gear; I was carrying just 100' of 15mm webbing and two slings.

Bridge Zion is the creepiest mountain I've ever done. The class 4 rating is very deceiving; on that traverse, if you slip, you die-- no doubt about it. (BUT note cp0915 comments at length about the danger.) The anchors there are really sketchy; I'm still thinking of a way to protect that stretch. If a recent rain has washed sand over the rock, slipping is all too easy. Above the traverse, I followed a guy who knew every subtle ledge, so it was easier to save time. There is a way around the last wall, mainly through bushes, and that saves time.

I presume you now have a GPS record, but if it might help and you ever try that again, I'll send you my GPS track.

Ah-Rick's injury. It's such a shame, because I keep thinking it could have been avoided. Basically, after I briefly investigated the slope which he ended up falling on; I backed off of it because I had a bad feeling about it and started traversing right to find an alternate drop in for gunsight canyon, staying on higher ground. I was already on my way when Rick called me back-at the last second he spotted a tree anchor that was on that same slope that I had not liked and had already turned away from. Well, that same slope ended up completely collapsing under his feet which was escalated by the huge boulder breaking loose. I also keep thinking if this could have possibly been avoided if he had immediately clipped into the webbing around the tree(naturally one would do this, because the terrain was so freakish, questionable, and significantly exposed), since to get to the rappel rings, it required stepping down 2 feet and grabbing hold of that large boulder as a hand hold, which then broke loose and crushed his ankle.


Everything worked out as well as it could. Everything is 20/20 in hindsight.

I thought I heard a copter going overhead Saturday, when we were just S of NGA, but that might have been a tourist deal.

As for loose rock... cp0915 is such a nice guy, that he offered to show a random fellow up NGA. The guy seemed stuck below the crux, and cp0915 almost got him to the ridge; but on the way, the fellow set off a 5-minute rockfall, and cp0915 held this heavy guy on belay for that entire time, as rocks went flying by.

EDITS: additional info from old thread, in blue italics.
Last edited by MoapaPk on Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Snow level on Inyo and Keynot ??

Postby Greg Enright » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:46 pm

There is snow on Waucoba, but I don't know about Inyo or Keynot. Just can't quite see those two from work.

Also, the CHP website has an entry for two vehicles stuck in snow 4 miles north of Shulman Grove on the White Mountain Road. That kind of thing seems to happen every year now.
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Re: Snow level on Inyo and Keynot ??

Postby MoapaPk » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:16 am

Thanks all. I just heard from a friend-- he was on Montgomery and Boundary 10 days ago, and he said there was about a foot of snow, some hard and slippery.
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Re: Snow level on Inyo and Keynot ??

Postby cp0915 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:35 pm

1000Pks wrote:I won't be buying his book from my quick look, NGA descript sucks.


Agreed. I think it's best you don't buy the book, Pete.

I'm of the impression that some folks appreciate not being spoon-fed beta step by step. Explorer-types, like me, like there to be mystery. I don't want someone holding my hand from trailhead to summit; others, like you, do. It's all good, man. You and my book are not a good fit. You think I'm just gonna give away all of Zion's secrets?

Darija wrote:Yea, except for his estimate for Bridge Mountain......claiming 6 hours roundtrip. That is literally impossible, we were moving-we got close to the summit, but never reached it because we ran out of daylight and had to bail at the start of the final 5th class pitch, and ended up taking 11-12 hours roundtrip. This mountain had extremely sketchy sections, like random flimsy bushes for anchors and questionable terrain and very specific route selections (straying off intended route leads to inevitable cliffs). I'm of the general impression that there is a 30% likelihood of death when doing Zion peaks. GPS and preferably track is necessary if you plan to be hiking out after dark.


Six hours is not "literally impossible". You think you are the only one who can move? Plus I know the Zion backcountry 50X better than you do. I did it in six hours. But I was alone and had only a very light pack (with no rope, etc.).

The "30% likelihood of death when doing Zion peaks" is a bit dramatic but I understand the sentiment. I managed to climb my 125th unique Zion peak yesterday, but I might not be here after next weekend. Folks need to be careful. The multiple warnings in the book exist for a reason.
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Re: Snow level on Inyo and Keynot ??

Postby Day Hiker » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:18 pm

1000Pks wrote:The page for NGA does not even say left or right once you get to the rock ridge.


Of which "rock ridge" are you referring? You mean, once you get to the saddle on the northeast ridge? It's pretty obvious from there which way is uphill. Unless it's dark out, you can see the obvious mountain to the southwest and the obvious non-mountain the other direction.

And even if you couldn't tell which way is uphill, it's still pretty obvious. (Hint: You're on a peak's northeast ridge.) Since you are facing south, you would hang a right to go southwest.

Or you can actually READ the text (which you obviously didn't) and see that it clearly reads "hang a right and begin ascending the northeast ridge."
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Re: Snow level on Inyo and Keynot ??

Postby cp0915 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:46 pm

I recognize the futility in arguing with you, but I feel compelled to let others know that your remarks are a bit left of left field.

Granted that you do not provide every last detail for novices, but why then write a guidebook without any good descript?


"Good" is subjective. From your view (which is apparently based on a "quick glance" at a single route in the book), the beta is not detailed enough to make you feel warm and fuzzy. Many others have commented to me that they thought the beta was sufficient enough to assist one in getting the job done -- which was the goal in publishing the information.

Were you to hypothetically acquire a copy of the book, I'd strongly urge you to stick with the class 1 and easier class 2 routes. Zion has some great trails.

The page for NGA does not even say left or right once you get to the rock ridge. I might take a fatal fall choosing the wrong way, maybe both ways go or one or not at all. Or get terribly stuck trying to back down.


Personal responsibility, Peter. Absent special circumstances, you should never commit yourself to something you don't have the ability to get out of. If a route choice looks too rich for your blood, back off.

That free website that the NPS gave me gives better info, if not too complete or accurate as well, but it's free.


Awesome. I hope it works out great for you.
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Re: Snow level on Inyo and Keynot ??

Postby Daria » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:33 pm

cp0915 wrote:
1000Pks wrote: But I was alone and had only a very light pack (with no rope, etc.).



Are we talking about the same mountain? What were the hardest sections of the route that you took? Because the way we went up, there were at least two sections of extremely exposed 5th class that we had to rope up on just so we don't die. One of them had like 1,000 ft. of exposure. I just can't see how you could downclimb some of those parts safely, with how sketchy the rock is. I'm very interested in how you soloed this sucker.
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Re: Snow level on Inyo and Keynot ??

Postby KathyW » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:51 pm

So, what's the snow level on Inyo and Keynot?
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Re: Snow level on Inyo and Keynot ??

Postby Day Hiker » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:54 pm

1000Pks wrote:Myself, with as intricate a route as the DPS describes, I'll be taking lots of photos and posting the way I took on my website. With the usual disclaimers, of course. I do similar with Angels Landing, you can easily contact me for a full slideshow and running personal narrative for each and every step, or so to speak.


A step-by-step illustrated personal narrative to describe how to follow class-1 trail and class-2 with handrail chains? Now I think we understand where you're coming from regarding your problems with cp's book.
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Re: Snow level on Inyo and Keynot ??

Postby Princess Buttercup » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:29 pm

No snow left on the west side that I could see yesterday from Lone Pine and the Alabama Hills. Could be hidden in the shadows on the east, but looks fairly dry.
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