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My first full Whitney Glacier Attempt

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My first full Whitney Glacier Attempt

Postby clmbr » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:20 am

Here is a video I shot on my first (and so far last) full Whitney Glacier attempt starting from Bolam TH located at 5,600 feet. The road to the TH was very rough and rocky and the approach to the glacier very long through various cross-country terrain which discouraged me from repeating the route. However, I fell in love with this glacier and have been climbing it practically every year since then but through Hidden Valley. Unfortunately, entering Whitney Glacier just above the middle bergschrund cuts off more than 50% of excitement such as additional crevasses, rock falls and of course the bergschrund itself. All of these may not be noticeable early in the season and look more like a snowfield but be very broken up and intimidating (or interesting) in the late season. I’ve tried a few times to take others on Whitney Glacier but had to retreat even before getting down to the middle bergschrund. So I’ve been climbing it alone and never seen anyone there. This year I got the idea of starting from North Gate TH and setting up my base camp on the H/B ridge to safe some elevation and cross-country travel but the camp was too far and we (a team of five) ran out of time to complete the route. At least we climbed some interesting icefalls, Whitney Glacier Icefalls , which in fact resurrected my desire to climb both parts of the glacier again (in late season, of course). This old video (I thought I lost it years ago) reinforced my desire. I started writing a TR (not sure when I finish it) to complement the video. The video itself does not reveal what we really had to go through but shows some of the terrain, conditions and a crushed airplane :o . The guy who climbed with me had no previous glacier/ice experience and it was his first Shasta attempt.

http://youtu.be/3r7oPp95s6k
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Re: My first full Whitney Glacier Attempt

Postby mountainsandsound » Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:16 pm

another Mt Shasta love thread
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Re: My first full Whitney Glacier Attempt

Postby Jesus Malverde » Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:39 pm

Ach mein gott! At 1:44 what's that I see?? A climbing rope?
Thanks for sharing. :)
Best,
JM
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Re: My first full Whitney Glacier Attempt

Postby clmbr » Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:22 pm

Jesus Malverde wrote:Ach mein gott! At 1:44 what's that I see?? A climbing rope?
...

As I mentioned,
clmbr wrote:The guy who climbed with me had no previous glacier/ice experience and it was his first Shasta attempt.

Safety first. I had to protect my buddy. :)
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Re: My first full Whitney Glacier Attempt

Postby clmbr » Sat Sep 07, 2013 4:27 pm

mountainsandsound wrote:another Mt Shasta love thread

Because unlike Washington, in California we have only one glaciated mountain. :)
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Re: My first full Whitney Glacier Attempt

Postby ExcitableBoy » Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:28 pm

I've climbed quite a few mountains and while all are special and awesome, on Shasta I felt something really different. Perhaps there were an excess of positive ions in the air or the Dr. Suess trees were emitting an organic compound, but some type of positive energy/feeling was palpable.
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Re: My first full Whitney Glacier Attempt

Postby mountainsandsound » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:57 pm

clmbr wrote:
mountainsandsound wrote:another Mt Shasta love thread

Because unlike Washington, in California we have only one glaciated mountain. :)


True. Glaciers tend to really "tie the room (terrain) together". And I was just playing around with that comment (the Sierras don't get a proportional amount of love on this site). I've climbed Shasta by 3 different routes and I will keep coming back. Looking at it from the north is something else. I would like to try the Whitney next, but I always go in June and don't know how "interesting" it would be at that time.

Also, while we're on the subject of Shasta, does anyone ever climb the full Wintun Glacier route? It looks like it could be pretty fun.
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Re: My first full Whitney Glacier Attempt

Postby mountainsandsound » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:01 pm

Oh. Looks like Mr. Chad just made a Wintun page with some good pics. Cool! And thank you for not over-beta-ing it.
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Re: My first full Whitney Glacier Attempt

Postby WyomingSummits » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:01 am

ExcitableBoy wrote:I've climbed quite a few mountains and while all are special and awesome, on Shasta I felt something really different. Perhaps there were an excess of positive ions in the air or the Dr. Suess trees were emitting an organic compound, but some type of positive energy/feeling was palpable.

It was the pot smoke wafting in from the bay area.....I get the same feeling when the southerly winds blow up from Colorado. :)
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Re: My first full Whitney Glacier Attempt

Postby mrchad9 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:54 am

To access the Whitney Glacier from either Coquette Falls or North Gate without bypassing the middle bergschrund or any significant crevasse areas ideal camps can be selected as shown here in red:

image.jpg
image.jpg (368.14 KiB) Viewed 594 times


Any higher up and you are pretty much forced to skip a lot. From those sites all you really pass over is some rolling but solid ice areas where ropes aren't even really necessary. It's an easy hop straight onto the glacier from there, and a pretty mild approach to camp too.
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Re: My first full Whitney Glacier Attempt

Postby Vitaliy M. » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:36 am

WyomingSummits wrote:
ExcitableBoy wrote:I've climbed quite a few mountains and while all are special and awesome, on Shasta I felt something really different. Perhaps there were an excess of positive ions in the air or the Dr. Suess trees were emitting an organic compound, but some type of positive energy/feeling was palpable.

It was the pot smoke wafting in from the bay area.....I get the same feeling when the southerly winds blow up from Colorado. :)


Actually there is a town near by named Weed.... :D
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Re: My first full Whitney Glacier Attempt

Postby clmbr » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:38 am

mrchad9 wrote:To access the Whitney Glacier from either Coquette Falls or North Gate without bypassing the middle bergschrund or any significant crevasse areas ideal camps can be selected as shown here in red:

image.jpg


Any higher up and you are pretty much forced to skip a lot. From those sites all you really pass over is some rolling but solid ice areas where ropes aren't even really necessary. It's an easy hop straight onto the glacier from there, and a pretty mild approach to camp too.

There is a quite big flat area with camp spots on the Whitney/Bolam ridge slope just next to the lower part of the glacier, the black part. It seems like near the red lines but I’m not sure if that place could be access from the ridge itself.
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