Another fun sierra snow climb
Although we took climbing hardware (6 screws, 4 cams, mixed set of nuts and hexes, carabiners, quickdraws, cordolettes, and runners) and a 9.8mm x 60m rope, Tom Hartger and I ended up soloing the North Couloir in about 1hr 20min under "cruising" conditions - perfect neve (firn). We each had 2 tools. The 4th class ramp/low angle dihedral people talk about looked like 3rd class to me. We started at the base of the couloir at 8:20am and summited two hours later at 10:20am. There was not even a single cloud in the sky, sunny, a bit breezy....just a beautiful day in the Sierras.
Climbed steep snow chute leading to notch by Pk 12640+, and followed the ridge to summit. There was somewhere between 6"-12" of fresh powder atop the Sierra Crest, which made the going a bit tedious.
Traversed over to Mt. Johnson on the way back, which was great fun--excellent class 3.
getting back in shape after an injury. also climbed johnson the same morning, which was great fun from the cwm east of treasure col.
I climbed this ice couloir two times (never roped) in the last few years. First time with Eric Klostermann in 10 hours RT from South Lake in October of 1998 and second time with Michael Gordon in August of 2000. This ice couloir can be a really good, one day RT car-to-car, solo outing. Several of my friends do it every year, just for training. The fact, that one climbs up the gully and down the Treasure Col back to the Treasure Lakes trail and the car, allows for this. There really is not ANY 5.6 climbing, if one follows the easiest way. From the notch at the top of the couloir, drop down 40 feet, traverse left 20 feet, climb 4th class ramp that changes into low angle corner. 200 feet of this gets you to the summit. This is one of the best ice gullies in the Sierra, because of it's position, because it's away from major trails and you can easily do the climb in a day from your car at South Lake. Recommended.
As a warmup for attempting the Williamson dayhike the following day, I climbed Mts. Gilbert and Johnson out of South Lake. The SE Slope on Gilbert is mostly a slog, but the climb up to Treasure Col was fun. Trip Report
I first climbed this awesome ice route in 1979 with Britt Reeves under warm conditions, with perfect neve. Unroped of course. Came back in Sept. 1983, right after a big snow dump. Climbed it this time with Tim Winiarski and Mike Meng. 900' of 65 degree powder snow over water ice. Talk about scared! I watched avalanches ( caused by Tim ) make my boots disappear. A real epic! Unroped of course! But the class 4 - 5 at the top covered with powder snow was definitely the crux ( a lot easier when dry )!