The ridge was fun, maybe a little too loose in places. Can't beat the view of Bear Creek Spire from this side. 2009 Sierra Challenge.
With a whole mess o' folks from the 2009 Sierra Challenge. Trip Report
Quite exposed 3rd class
With the Gookins and "LA" via Spire Col 5.6 north approach. Bit of excitement when a basketball sized rock came loose in my hands -- juggled between staying alive on the face (ropeless at that point) and not dropping the missile on the guy below me. Released it after both he and I were secure in the chute. Needless to say, the rope came out shortly afterwards.
2009 Sierra Challenge. Nice ridge, blah approach.
With the Challenge. Made it to the top in about 5.5 hours I think. The class 3 along the ridge was pretty intense, with steep drops on all sides. Some parts were a little loose, but the more solid stuff was fun.
Enticed by the 5.6 rating, this was my one and only day of the 2009 Sierra Challenge. The ascent (chute that splits the dark rock of Peppermint Pk from the white BCS granite) and descent (one just to the right) chutes I selected were far more solid than the sketchy one (next chute to the right, 2 over from the boundary) I used for my BCS E Arete attempt. The peak itself was so so, although it afforded spectacular views of the E Arete. Climbed with Jascha.
What was originally Debbi's desire to tick Peppermint Peak off her "hit list" became a dynamic duo effort, which payed dividends! What an awesome view of BCS from the southeast and looking directly at the East Ridge...it's relief was Patagonia-like in character. Once we got to Spire Col, the real entertainment began with exciting and sometimes wild exposure. Debbi is so wonderful to climb with....without her, the ascent would have been meaningless. It was also neat to know we were the 3rd ascent party to summit Peppermint Peak. People are missing out on the fun ridge traverse it offers and the amazing views of BCS. Worth the work to do this!!
UPDATED ENTRY - 03 Jun 07
Successful summit of Peppermint Peak via South Spire Col on 3 Jun 07). Made the summit in 9 hours from Pine Creek trailhead (because I am a slow old bag) and found that there was more Class 4 and chossy exposure than expected. Totally exhilerating route from the col to summit! Saw one tiny person on top of Bear Creek Spire while we were on our summit - very cool. We waved at each other.
Only other entries in summit register were 1st ascent party in 1972 and two dudes last July. Peppermint is so lonely. :(
Great climbing, hated the 16 mile haul though. :P
23 Sept 06
This trip was truly a test of my diligence and discipline. After 8 hours of hoofin' it to Spire Col, the altitude played hell with my respiratory infection. The summit was certainly obtainable, but at 3PM when every content of my stomach was layed to rest on ridgeline ledges, I conceded to being a failure and death slogged out of the wilderness like a zombie...fortunately I never met a soul out there to be humiliated by.