Complete East Ridge Mt. Humphreys conditions?

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asmrz

 
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Complete East Ridge Mt. Humphreys conditions?

by asmrz » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:57 pm

Hi everybody, what does the approach to East Ridge look like? Snow? Can we do it in light approach shoes or do we need boots and ice axes? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks, Alois.

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Dow Williams

 
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Re: Complete East Ridge Mt. Humphreys conditions?

by Dow Williams » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:45 pm

Three of us did it last week solo...2nd ascent of the season logged in the book. One had approach shoes and wish he had boots for the glissade descent. Only one had an alpine ax...which made for a safer butt slide as well. Zero snow along the ridge really except for the descent notch. Light boots and a ski pole or maybe an alpine ax and approach shoes. One or the other (boots and/or axe) will make the descent much quicker. River crossing was fine for a reasonable clearance vehicle as well on return, before 4:PM. that is. Enjoy.

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Re: Complete East Ridge Mt. Humphreys conditions?

by The Chief » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:48 pm

Alois,

Looking much better than it did two weeks ago. My buddy and I turned around after encountering several early morning slides at the upper most notch across from Checked Demon. The initial ramp approach up to the Ridge Route just south and above of Peaklet appeared pretty snow free two days ago.

This week is looking very grim though as we are having pretty consistent TS conditions. Suppose to clear up next week. The heat is still on thus increasing the snow melt.

I am headed down to Bishop tomorrow to do some chores. Will take some fresh photos and post em.

Hope this helps.


DOW!

Which approach road did you take to the parking area and was there any snow bank impeding the final mile of the road to the PA?

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Re: Complete East Ridge Mt. Humphreys conditions?

by Dow Williams » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:39 pm

assume you are talking about that sort of narrow switchback section...completely clear of all debris and snow....I don't know which approach, except we drove past the Buttermilks and kept driving until the road ended, then easily scrambled up the ridge to the summit with one hand line in place right before the notch between the two major peaks on the ridgeline....we crossed a creek which another young man here on SP who just happened to be climbing that day did not want to cross...possibly worried about return...but everything was easy for any two wheel with clearance in my opinion....and creek on return was not to high at 4, week ago Tuesday...Rick, you familiar with Dutch Petes Ranch near Benton?

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Re: Complete East Ridge Mt. Humphreys conditions?

by The Chief » Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:49 pm

Thanks DOW.

There are two roads into the PA. An upper fire road is shorter and actually cuts off some 30-45 minutes on the drive in where it meets up with the Buttermilks Rd about a mile and half below the PA.

Sure em. Just to the right about 1/2 a mile past the 120/Benton Rd. intersection on the way north to Granite Basin. Got a question about it?

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Re: Complete East Ridge Mt. Humphreys conditions?

by asmrz » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:00 am

Thank you guys. We wanted to be there today but the weather forecast looked awful, so maybe next week or later. Don't want to drive all the way up and end up turning around because of thundestorms. I assume in two weeks the approach to the (lower) notch should be snow-free. Chief, a photo would be great, thanks. BTW, I just saw your summit note Dow, you did the whole (complete) E.Ridge in 8 hours RT? Awesome!

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Re: Complete East Ridge Mt. Humphreys conditions?

by Dow Williams » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:03 am

Just passed by there last year about this time and noticed this couples vision and how cool it was when it was under construction. Finished now. Off the grid. Solar, tons of water...Black Lake, the incredible view of Boundary Peak through the notch....been talking to them...very interesting folks...inspirational place. Any established climbing on the road back north towards Mono Lake...not near Mono Lake, I know about that...but rather on the east side of the road, those granite fins....they have offered us to bring our horses and stay at their place...they are not using it much themselves. They have peaked my curiosity. There are not too many places off the grid anymore.

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Re: Complete East Ridge Mt. Humphreys conditions?

by Dow Williams » Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:08 am

yes on the complete ridge. It goes pretty fast in my opinion. I would be tempted to call it a scramble if it were in a more remote location, but I realize there are 5th class sections on it. There is a lot of snow up there still. I would not assume it to be gone in two weeks...you all know your area better than me though. The snow slope angle is such, it does not really matter though, anyone can get down no matter what they have with them...just a matter of how fast and comfortable depending on gear. Quite a blanket of snow from the summit looking northwest. Good Luck!

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Re: Complete East Ridge Mt. Humphreys conditions?

by The Chief » Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:20 am

Hey DOW,

Which way did you descend at the first upper notch. Skiers left down into Humphrey Basin or right into the Checkered Demon Basin?

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Re: Complete East Ridge Mt. Humphreys conditions?

by Dow Williams » Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:05 am

The descent from the notch between the two peaks is very obvious and the obvious slope from a safty perspective was the left one, not to mention more direct via the return. Neither felt like a basin to me if that is what you are calling them. There were no ava issues. The only issue with the right slope would be hitting a rock if one did not control their descent. Of course I did not go down in it so can't say what it was like further down. Can glissade down the left slope losing thousands of feet in just minutes. Very soft snow. Wish every mountain had this smooth and fast of a descent. I am more accustom to glacier ice, crevasses and many protruding rocks. Good Luck, sweet place.

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Re: Complete East Ridge Mt. Humphreys conditions?

by The Chief » Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:14 am

Thanks DOW.

Been down both actually.


FYI: Had you gone right (the actual Clyde's FA proper descent route), there would not have been any creek crossing issues over McGee Creek, that you encountered descending left into the Humphrey Basin - Langley Res and then following McGee Creek back to the parking area

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Re: Complete East Ridge Mt. Humphreys conditions?

by Dow Williams » Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:37 am

We crossed no creek on descent. I think you might be a bit confused. Young man following me in on the drive..Frankie from SP I believe....worried his two wheel truck could not cross a creek on the drive up the road...that creek was not an issue to cross going in or on return in my opinion. Flowing, but just a creek. I am use to folks losing their entire truck in the Ghost Wilderness area crossing glacier rivers so was a bit surprised this was even an issue. No doubt eariler in the year maybe it is. The descent we took, directly down from the notch is the most direct descent. No creek crossing, no issue of any kind except soft snow to glissade down. Assume as summer moves along, you lose the snow. Good luck on your next attempt. Conditions were great last week. I would get right on it while there is snow to descend. I am not use to scramble routes like this being called FA's? but if that is your intent, I believe my friend said the FA did not include the entire ridge..but that would miss some fun ground. I advise doing the entire ridge. Goes by quickly.

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Re: Complete East Ridge Mt. Humphreys conditions?

by The Chief » Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:15 am

SO then you did go right at then into Checkered Demon Basin. That is the regular descent. I misunderstood.

Thanks again for the condition update.

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Re: Complete East Ridge Mt. Humphreys conditions?

by The Chief » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:43 pm

No pics. Yesterday the entire area was enveloped in TSers as it was just 20 mins ago. Will try again tomorrow Alois.

Sorry.

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Re: Complete East Ridge Mt. Humphreys conditions?

by asmrz » Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:19 am

No problem Rick. This is not really super critical, don't go out of your way. We will just bring a bit heavier boots and ski poles and get on with it. My assumption is that the only issue (if any) will be the initial descent to the snowed in gully and down the slopes. Looks like the weather pattern is easing by the end of the wekend, it might be better next week. Thanks for your effort.
BTW we have friends staying at the Crowley Lake BLM CG and besides the July 4th Fireworks and for the last week they just mostly kept watching the thunder and lightning shows over the Sierra.

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