smoke from the raging CA fires made breathing a bit more interesting...
What an adventure! We left around 3:30 AM. When approaching keep on the left side of the canyon, and stay level with the Stone House. The first real pitch was 10b, with some sketchy fixed pitons. P2: a runnout 5.9 traverse left and up along the left side of a rib. P3: Another short pitch up and right along a shallow crack to a ledge. Move to the left side of the ledge. P4: Climb up the shallow dihedral 10c good gear, underneath the small roof and up the corner above. Long pitch, belay bolts. You are stoked now because you are past the crux. P5: can't remember. P6: RUNNOUT 5.7 climbing up grooves, angling right ot the corner system. can't remember the pitches after this but you go up incredible "sea of knobs" and get on to the ridge. It is incredibly demoralizing because you still have a ways to go, you are only halfway to the top at this point. We ended up bivying without gear under a boulder on the summit plateau. it was cold. Descent down the east slopes is tricky and takes 3-4 hours.
The route description in RJ sucks. We made to the bottom of the first tower after approx. 7 hrs of hiking/climbing (started at 4.30am from trailhead), rappeled down and bailed out.... Hopefully next time... Still totally worth it, great views and you can't beat the great company (Bill, Kris, Steve - in alphabetical order)
Solo day hike on the next to last day of year
Sand slog up to the snow line. Turned around below the gully that leads to the summit plateau because I thought the risk of soft snow avalanches was too high.
Mark Bowling and I did this first ascent. Lots of loose rock! IV 5.9 A2.
Solo accent. Hanggliders were soaring a couple hundred feet overhead !
Climbed with Aaron Schohn. We got a late start after getting to bed at midnight:30, hitting the trail at 5.50 or so. Got to the actual ridge around noon.
Though we brought a rope & gear, we 3rd-classed the route. Nice route, but not as classic as, for instance Mt. Conness' W. Ridge- difficulties too easily bypassed on L, rock varied from great to so-so, exposure not sustained, & irritating & time-consuming notches broke continuity. We had fun, though.
Summited at 17.23, leaving at 18.20. Unfortunately, the "obvious" scree & talus slopes weren't to us, and after multiple attempts, settled on going down a steep gully between 2 buttresses. Things got sketchy, & I suggested we hang out at a flat area we found for the night- good thing (sort of- we froze our asses off, getting maybe 2-3 hrs of sleep)- slabby class 5 downclimbing awaited below (in the light, we found some 4th class gullies below which eventually got us down). Fun climb, not-fun downclimb.
Kris Solem and I had a spectacular time taking on this ridge in perfect weather. It was both a pleasure and a thrill to accompany Kris in his typical grace to the summit, although I was more of a circus clown act on the way down through the skree. Much deserved beer and Tylenol awaited down below. Thanks again Kris for an exhilerating experience; blue Chupakabras and all!
Climbed the slope consisting of the unnatural amount of scree and talus (you can't do it without poles). Looking forward to climb it via the technical route later.
Day hike - 12 hours car to car with a couple hours on the summit. Didn't see a sole beyond the parking lot. I put together a composite 360 degree panorama from the top. Too big to post. Email me if you want a 2Mbyte jpeg of the panorama.
In July 1990, Miguel Carmona and I climbed the NE ridge from the desert floor at 6,000 feet to the summit in 13 hours CTC. We brought rope, and gear, but the route was just easy enough, so that we didn;t have to use it. The line, if done with little or no roped climbing is a long grade IV. If you rope up, it becomes ENDLESS grade V. This is another quality alpine route on this uncommon peak.
Penelope May and I climbed the seldom done East Ridge all the way from the desert floor in May 2002. The route is some 6,200 feet of gain and follows the left of the three eastern Lone Pine Ridges. There is a huge ammount of scree climbing, 3rd class bouldering, patches of ice in early season as well as decent, easy 5th class climbing in the upper part. The route ends on the shoulder of Lone Pine Peak, well below the summit. It takes couple of hours to hike up to the summit, but the view of the Whitney massif is spectacular from there, don't miss it. The summit register had no mention of anyone climbing this route in 20 years.
Michael Gordon and I climbed the Beckey/Bjornstad route in 15.5 hours car-to-car. This was the fourth time for me on this route in the last 20 years, and the fastest. I'm sure there are hundreds of climbers out there, who could/would/did the route faster, but it was an acomplishment for this "old" man to get his wish and complete it in one day. I used Craig Peer's topo that he mailed me in 1981 and I kept all these years. Thank you Mr. Peer and good climbing!
BTW, I saw the topo somewhere here on this site, Craig made it available to everybody.
Joe LeMay and I climbed the Complete North Ridge from the car parked at Day Parking Area of the Lone Pine Campground. We found this to be challenging, aesthetic and classic line. The route is 7,100' high and some 4 miles long. We took 17.5 hours from our car to the summit. The description in the 2nd Edition of Secor's book is a bit confusing, so I would like to offer my alternative:
THE COMPLETE NORTH RIDGE: V, 5.7
The climb starts at the Day Parking area of the Lone Pine Campground at 5,700'. From the far end of the Campground, the signed trail to Whitney Portal starts at 5,900'. Follow the trail till 6,900'. Leave the trail and head up onto the lower North Ridge. The lower part of the ridge is steep, difficult scrambling on scree.Bypass boulders and obstacles mostly on left(E).Above 9,300';pass through a notch to the West side of the ridge. Climb series of ledges on the right (W) side well bellow the ridge crest. Scramble up 1,000'. After some 4,500' have been gained, the large notch of the Meysan Lakes route (III,5.4) is reached. Above the notch, several hundred feet of steepening slabs (up to 4th class) lead up to the First Tower. Rope up. From the notch, go down and left some 40', climb 5th class crack slanting left. Climb 4th class pitch toward the huge, sharp flake above. Go left and down, follow ledges to gully system, which leads back up toward the crest of the ridge (3rd,4th). The ridge soon brings you to the Second Tower. From the notch, move right 50'. Climb 5th class steep face/ramp to 5.7 layback with old, fixed ring pin. Belay at a platform on the right. Move 10' right, climb awkward (5.7?) offwidth.
Continue up for two pitches to top of the tower. Traverse along the crest of the tower. Descend to the notch. Third Tower. From the notch, move left and down into large gully (20'), climb 5th class crack/steep face to a ledge on the left side of the arete. Two more 4th class pitches up and right bring you to the crest again. Traverse along the crest. Downclimb south side of tower to notch and final summit pitches.Summit Pitches.Twenty feet left of the notch, climb up 6-8 pitches of 4th and easy 5th directly to the summit register.
Please note: To reach the notch of all the towers, downclimb 4th class terrain, no rappelling is required.
Equipment: One (or two) 8.1mm rope(s), 5 medium wires, 5 medium Hexes, 7 slings, rock shoes, harness, helmet, water, a few granola bars,bivi gear. Go as light as possible!
As you sit by the Stonehouse, the drainage of Winter Route is right in front of you. High up on the wall to the right of Winter Route is very prominent ORANGE wall. The base of the Orange wall is where the Club Alpin Francais route starts. In June of 1998, Miguel Carmona and I scrambled to the base of this wall, looking for possible climbs. We followed gully to the left of the Orange wall, past the huge dihedral of Dynamo Hum to a notch below a multipitch pedestal, steep dihedral above it, and a smooth, light colored face at the top. Miguel wanted to drill up the face and I was just as adamant that we should follow the pedestal and the dihedral to the face, and up. We climbed the line in 8-9 pitches, with Miguel leading the crux, very steep and long 5 inch crack (5.9?) in the dihedral. I got my way regarding the route, but later, Miguel got even with me. He named it.
Please email me, if you would like to have a TOPO. It's a full day of hiking/climbing from your car and it would be a good outing for a short weekend. The rock is clean,steep and solid.
When Miguel Carmona and I climbed the Winter Route in early 80s, we noticed the smooth, steep face to the left of the Winter Route. For years we talked about it.
In 1996, Jim Mathews, Miguel and I climbed this line. It is very esthetic, steep, clean face and crack route, just right from the Direct South Face. The route goes up the steepest part of the central South Face on EXCELLENT rock. The route has now been climbed at least twice. Email me for topo. firstname.lastname@example.org . The first few pitches are sustained at 5.9-5.10+, the upper part as well as the approach are more mountaineering like (easy 5th). 16 pitches in total. No special hardware required. Set of Wires, full set of SLCDs(Friends), slings, 3 small TCUs. There is fixed pro (pins) at the key areas. Recommended.
Rich Henke and I climbed the complete NE Ridge in full winter conditions in early March of 1994 from the end of Olivas Ranch Road at 5,900'. This is incredibly scenic and long ridge, over three miles long and some 7,100 feet high. We roped 14 pitches, spend 25 hours climbing and 2 bivouacs (one on the summit). Leave your car on the North Side of Tuttle Creek at the end of Olivas Ranch Road. Climb the first tower mostly on the North Side and the second tower on the South Side. The exit gully follows the Right side of the upper NE Ridge. Interesting climbing with packs, winter boots and gear. I would fully recommend this route as a very scenic, technical winter rock climb.
This might have been First Winter Ascent.
Peter Green and I skied to the base of the South Face in early March of 1993, left our skis there and with one bivi, climbed the Beckey/Bjornstad line in full winter conditions. Except for the approach which required going back up there later to pick up our skis, the climb was great, if cold and icy. Knowing the line helped quite a bit. We went very light and bivied at the top of the "hand crack" (5.8), which starts at the BASE of the the tension traverse right (A1 or 5.9), to the UGLY gully.
The crack gives the route much more esthetic finish.
This might have been First Winter Ascent.
I climbed this route with the native Picos De Europa (Spain)climber and since 1979 LA resident, Miguel Carmona. THIS is great introduction into Sierra Winter climbing. Since the route is mostly facing South, it gets sun even in winter. There is 80-100 feet long ice pitch just below the Winter Route/Direct South Face notch. The ice is thin and steep. Bring two tools and crampons for it. It's not there every year, but its hard to get past it without tools. If you combine this route with going to the summit, it will be one of the winter Sierra climbs, you will not forget for a while. This climb really "IS" winter outing. In summer, it has completely different character and really does not offer much. In winter, it's a different story. The ice might only be there in Jan/Feb timeframe. Above the Notch, follow the ledge and crack/face system (5.7) to the top.