2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Golden State. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the California Climbing Partners forum.
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Bob Burd
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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

by Bob Burd » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:32 am

Day 6 - Mt. Ickes
Mt. Ickes, 12,900ft, is located northwest of Pinchot Pass about 4 miles west of the Sierra Crest. We were down to a core group of eight folks at the Taboose Pass TH for a 4am start. The previous day's weather had not dissipated overnight. In a first ever for the Challenge we had rain beore sunrise that had us digging in packs for rain jackets and pack covers. Wiser folks might have thought better of continuing, but this was not a group of wise men. For our perseverance we were treated to an incredible rainbow over Taboose Pass just before we arrived there around 7pm. It was on and off wind, rain and sunshine all day, making for some spectacular skies and scenery. Rain gear was also on and off all day. Eric was already coming down from the summit when Pat, Sean, Jonathan and I were about 30 minutes away. It appears that in addition to being super-fast, Eric also possesses some super powers. While four of us were bundled against the weather, Eric was casually talking to us in a tshirt and shorts. No one has yet observed whether Eric has any sort of rain gear at all. He appears to be either impervious to weather hazards, or simply outruns any rain/hail that might threaten. He also seems to have built-in night vision. Though we started in serious darkness (the moon was behind the clouds or mountains all the while, and no stars were out), he took off in the lead without need for a headlamp and left us mortals in the dust - this on the Taboose Pass Trail which is notoriously rocky.

In all, five made it to Ickes and back (Eric the fastest at just over 8.5hrs, myself the slowest at just under 12hrs. Michael G went to Striped, Chris visited Cardinal, and Tommey was off to tag Pinchot and Wynne (he wasn't yet back when most of us left the TH in the afternoon).

After Day 5, Pat was the leader in the Yellow (overall fastest) and Green (over 50yrs) jerseys. Eric was the leader in the King of the Mountain with a total of 14 summits as well as the White jersey (under 25yrs). By summiting only one peak today, Eric picked up more than two hours on Pat to take the Yellow Jersey after Day 6.

Tomorrow we're heading up the Baxter Pass Trail, the first time it's been used during the Challenge (the Bighorn closure prevented it being useful in the past). We'll be tackling one or more of a variety of summits including Black, Diamond, Diamond North, Baxter and Acrodectes. Should be easier than today's hike...

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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

by mrchad9 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:40 am

Well done! No small accomplishment!

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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

by ScottHanson » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:58 am

"We were down to a core group of eight folks at the Taboose Pass TH for a 4am start."

Last man standing! Or maybe last woman standing! You guys rock!

I only have three questions. Where is Toxo? Where is Laura M? Is Eric a bionic man?

Greetings from the old northwest guy. WOW!

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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

by Mark M » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:15 am

Bob Burd wrote:Day 6 - Mt. Ickes
After Day 5, Pat was the leader in the... Green (over 50yrs) jerseys....


You need to check her birth certificate. She should be counted in the under 25 group. :)

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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

by Vitaliy M. » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:15 pm

Reading about this event gives me dark thoughts of a massive day...hope my body can handle it.

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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

by orbitor » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:27 pm

ScottHanson wrote:Is Eric a bionic man?


Having done multiple trips with Eric in a variety of conditions, I can attest he is indeed a bionic man. A new breed of well-trained and well-conditioned teenage climber, the next step in human evolution (steroid-free).

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Bob Burd
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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

by Bob Burd » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:05 am

Mark M wrote:
Bob Burd wrote:Day 6 - Mt. Ickes
After Day 5, Pat was the leader in the... Green (over 52yrs) jerseys....


You need to check her birth certificate. She should be counted in the under 25 group. :)


She beats everyone in every age category this year with the exception of Eric. She's really quite amazing. She spent 20 years as a HS Boy's XCountry coach, and I suspect she outran all of them. She was also 2X National Mountain Biking Champion. She's a tiny little thing but packs an amazing amount of impressive biology inside her skin. The guys are all suffering and complaining of this injury or that while she just smiles. She's spent 3hrs less time on the trail climbing the same peaks as myself. I don't want to admit I suck, so I tell myself she's just that much better. And she is.

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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

by WyomingSummits » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:00 am

Bob Burd wrote:
Mark M wrote:
Bob Burd wrote:Day 6 - Mt. Ickes
After Day 5, Pat was the leader in the... Green (over 52yrs) jerseys....


You need to check her birth certificate. She should be counted in the under 25 group. :)


She beats everyone in every age category this year with the exception of Eric. She's really quite amazing. She spent 20 years as a HS Boy's XCountry coach, and I suspect she outran all of them. She was also 2X National Mountain Biking Champion. She's a tiny little thing but packs an amazing amount of impressive biology inside her skin. The guys are all suffering and complaining of this injury or that while she just smiles. She's spent 3hrs less time on the trail climbing the same peaks as myself. I don't want to admit I suck, so I tell myself she's just that much better. And she is.

Ah, you're a bit hard on yourself. You don't suck, you're just a crappy climber. :) But for real, the average person out there would not only FAIl at climbing most of what you've done.....they'd prob have to take GU shots just reading about it. So take a deep breath and relax....we are what we are.

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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

by Deb » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:28 am

Pat IS a little dynamo! I try not to gauge my slug pace against her jack rabbit, but she gets the best of me on a trail. On a scramble, I think we're even. :) I probably would've taken 4 days instead of 2 to do Milestone/Midway without her.

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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

by Ze » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:40 pm

Not only is Pat blazing fast, she has such a positive energy and attitude and such an obvious love for the mountains and the challenges they bring. I'm glad I met her.

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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

by Bob Burd » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:13 pm

I am very sorry to report that Pat Hadley fell to her death yesterday morning on Diamond North. She was climbing alone at the time along the NE Ridge from Baxter Pass. Though rated class 3, the ridgeline is composed of very loose rock over a series of gendarmes and steep chutes. Some hours later her body was spotted by three other participants who reached the summit, about 150ft below the summit on the SE side of the ridge. One of them went down to check her pulse, but found she had probably died instantaneously. SAR is currently working to bring her remains back to Independence this afternoon.

All of us are devastated by this tragic loss. Our prayers and thoughts go out to her husband, family and a wide community of friends that will undoubtedly be greatly affected. Over the short time I had known her, I found her to be one of the most accomplished and kindest persons I have had the privilege to meet.

The rest of the Challenge has been canceled out of respect for Pat and her family. You will be sorely missed, Pat. God bless.


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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

by bcrowell2 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:16 pm

I'm stunned to hear about Pat's death. I had just met and climbed with her for five days in July, and remember her as an amazing climber and a wonderful companion. Her good character came through in a lot of little ways, like sharing her limited supply of coffee with me and letting me have a whole cup without mentioning that that was only going to leave her with half a cup. The other two of us on the trip were operating way below her level, and she was very gracious about helping us out on the Mt Russell ridge, where we weren't feeling very confident. It was a real rush climbing with her because it was so obvious how much fun she was having. I think that comes through in this picture of her celebrating on the summit of Russell. Pat was an exceptional person, and I feel very privileged to have had a chance to get to know her, however briefly.

a.jpg
Pat Hadley on the summit of Mt. Russell
a.jpg (24.51 KiB) Viewed 9947 times


-Ben Crowell
Last edited by bcrowell2 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

by MoapaPk » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:18 pm

Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet princess:
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest! ;(

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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

by mrchad9 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:23 pm

My condolences to Pat's family, friends, and everyone who knew her. Extremely tragic, unfortunately you can never know how to prevent such things in every case. Best wishes to everyone around her who is dealing with her loss.

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Re: 2013 Sierra Challenge Aug 16-25

by bob mc » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:19 pm

I am stunned by Pat's death. I hadn't seen her since last October. I remember her talking about you Bob Burd this and Bob Burd that and racing to the register on Whale peak to find your name. You were her hero. I am glad that she got to hike with you as you had inspired her to go to the next level. So tragic that what should have been the beginning became the end. Rest in peace Pat, you will be missed.

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