2015 Sierra Challenge Aug 7-16

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Bob Burd
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2015 Sierra Challenge Aug 7-16

by Bob Burd » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:18 am

Spring has arrived, the Sierra snows are now melting in earnest with fair weather ahead, the passes are starting to open and thoughts naturally turn to What to Do in the Sierra this Summer. The 15th annual Sierra Challenge is set for August long after most of the snows have melted, the mosquitoes have had their run, water is plentiful as is sunshine and plenty of daylight hours. 10 new peaks have been selected for the 2015 event including a few of the lesser-known 13ers, a couple obscure prominence summits and other rarely visited summits. We're going to visit Northern Yosemite, rediscover Francois Matthes' Lost Valley in Yosemite, hike in the White Mtns (the first Challenge Peak outside the Sierra), yet another return to Taboose Pass, visit Forester Pass, explore the Siberian Outpost and more.

The all-new 2015 Sierra Challenge gives you ten days in August to challenge your stamina and your sanity amidst the beauty that is the Sierra Nevada. Leave your heavy backpacks and marginal camp foods behind. Climb some impressive peaks with a daypack and enjoy fine Eastern Sierra cuisine at day's end. Join us for one day or all ten, to test your legs in the backcountry or just to meet fellow enthusiasts. We already have several dozen folks signed up this year, always room for more. :D

For those who aren't familiar with the yearly Challenge, in a nutshell - we drive up and down the Eastern Sierra for ten days and climb 1-2 cool peaks each day. Mostly carrying a light daypack, sometimes crampons/axe. It's primarily a hike/scramble event, with little technical rock climbing. It's generally a pretty exhausting day, but most participants would use the word "fun" somewhere in their varying descriptions. This is not a race, there are no official sponsors, and there are no prizes. There are no qualifications to join in the fun - everyone is welcome. The link above will give you all the info.

Michael Graupe on Courte-Echelle's summit block (also known as Bat Pinnacle):
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Re: 2015 Sierra Challenge Aug 7-16

by ScottHanson » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:10 pm

Thanks Bob for sponsoring this event for the 15th time. Being an older, slower participant, I am glad there are not too many requirements to join! My strategy this year will involve climbing SPS peaks some days and Burd Challenge peaks on other days. A few days my listed peak satisfies both criteria. Look forward to renewing many friendships that have developed over the years!
Scott

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Re: 2015 Sierra Challenge Aug 7-16

by Bob Burd » Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:59 am

Two weeks until the start of the Challenge. You've still time to sign up and (maybe) get in shape. I'm touring across the West looking for inspiration. Here's what I found today:
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Manns Peak in the La Sal Mtns, UT

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Re: 2015 Sierra Challenge Aug 7-16

by Turtleggjp » Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:23 pm

Looks like we might be getting some rain on day 1, possibly from the very start in the parking lot! Good thing I just bought a dry sack for my cameras, and a new rain jacket. The weather is looking great after that though.

Matt

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Re: 2015 Sierra Challenge Aug 7-16

by colinr » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:19 pm

http://mammothweather.com/2015/08/05/high-clouds-flowing-northeastward-from-ts-east-of-hawaii-has-shifted-south-this-morning-that-band-will-lift-north-back-into-mono-county-later-today-showers-likely-late-thursday-night-into-fri/

...Precipitation amounts will not be major...Showers and or thunderstorms may develop anytime between Thursday night and especially through Friday AM and PM. 15Z 500/1000 thickness of 570dm suggest that precipitation may be in the form of some light snowfall above 11,000 feet Friday mid morning...so there may be another dusting or an inch like what we had on the 9th of July. This is not a major storm…but it will feel fall-like Friday. The weekend outlook is better. It will be clear Saturday and Sunday with high temps returning to the low to mid 70s. However, Saturday pre dawn lows may be well down into the 30s is some areas...

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Re: 2015 Sierra Challenge Aug 7-16

by ScottHanson » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:40 pm

I will be a bit north for day 3 (Granite Chief) and day 4 (Leavitt Peak) of SC 2015. Before getting closer to SC crowd on day 5 (Cloudripper) and night in Bishop. But still a different trailhead start! My only common trailhead scheduled with the SC gang peak is day 10 at Cottonwood. And of course my schedule peaks and actual peaks climbed are never the same. I plan to try to get a Whitney day permit for day 9, so that is a real wild card too.

Looking forward to start!!

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Re: 2015 Sierra Challenge Aug 7-16

by Daria » Thu Aug 06, 2015 5:15 am

Yay for the Sierra Challenge, the event that celebrates the feverish quest for summits and the very pure style of peak bagging called the dayhike!

Just when you thought the old man was going to quit, hes back with yet another 10-day peak agenda!!!

For anyone who has a geeky fixation on peaks and peak lists, who likes to fight and go against our natural inclinations to be lazy, for anyone who is a fan of showing up pretty haggard at the trailheads at 5 or 6 in the morning and feeling that good buzz of exhaustion at the end of the day, for anyone who wants to explore hidden corners of the Sierra, squeeze Bob Burd of knowledge about peaks in the Sierra, experience the wild power of bone-shaking thunder and hail storms deep in the Sierra, and expand your skills with cross country navigation, Sierra Challenge is the right event for you!

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I'm the top troll.

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Re: 2015 Sierra Challenge Aug 7-16

by fedak » Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:18 am

Stay safe everyone :)
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http://www.fedak.net/backcountry.html

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Re: 2015 Sierra Challenge Aug 7-16

by DukeJH » Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:35 pm

I'd love to join again this year but work and other mountaineering goals preclude it. You guys be safe and have fun.

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Re: 2015 Sierra Challenge Aug 7-16

by surgent » Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:44 pm

bump

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Re: 2015 Sierra Challenge Aug 7-16

by colinr » Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:46 am

Day 1 Acker Peak. Bob is in yellow, far left

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Day 2:
Eric Su (center in blue jacket) did Sheperd Crest 5.7 traverse today and 15 of us made it up a crappy chute without killing each other with loose rocks to get the west summit in addition to the easy east. Register was depression era! Bob may have done the ridge traverse back.

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Re: 2015 Sierra Challenge Aug 7-16

by ScottHanson » Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:50 am

I am having trouble opening the excel based stat sheet. Any one else experiencing the same problem?
Thanks,
Scott

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Re: 2015 Sierra Challenge Aug 7-16

by SJD » Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:34 pm

Same deal here Scott.

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Bob Burd
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Re: 2015 Sierra Challenge Aug 7-16

by Bob Burd » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:14 am

Sorry all, I've been remiss on getting updates. I blame the wifi/internet provided by Juniper Springs Resort in Mammoth Lakes. Possibly the worst internet connection ever. No internet would be better than the few bytes I've been able to upload before being disconnected. At Starbucks now.
(The stats.xls sheet should be working now)

Day 1 - Acker Peak

Located deep in Northern Yosemite, Acker Peak at less than 11,000ft got on this year's list for esoteric reasons (one of three summits over 10,000ft with more than 900ft of prominence I had yet to visit). Regardless, it's in a stunning granite wonderland and well worth the visit out of Twin Lakes. With some 20 folks starting out, we got more than a dozen to the summit some 12mi from the TH. No one managed to get back to the TH before the rain started which was accompanied by thunder, lightning and some hail. Most everyone got at least some wet, but took it in stride - forecast was something like 60% chance of precip, so most folks had rain jackets. Eric Su and Robert Wu were the first two back to the TH, less than 10min apart. The rest of us dribbled in over the next several hours. No one managed any bonus peaks today - rain isn't so conducive to such extracurricular activities. Fish tacos at the Whoa Nellie did wonders to revive our spirits.

Eight at the summit:
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Kerrick Meadow:
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Re: 2015 Sierra Challenge Aug 7-16

by Bob Burd » Mon Aug 10, 2015 12:26 am

Day 2 - Shepherd Crest

Located just inside the No. Yosemite boundary north of Conness and North Peak, Shepherd Crest isn't one of the Yosemite giants. Still, it has an interesting history dating back to the 1930s when Matthes first identified what was described as "Little Lost Valley", a geologic remnant from the Eocene period, left high and dry when the Sierra was uplifted and subsequently heavily glaciated. The east summit is fairly easy and took the fastest of us less than two hours. The west summit, where Little Lost Valley is found, is another story. With little beta available, we took a guess that a steep chute on the south side would work - and it did. Somewhere around a dozen folks visited both summits to get full credit for the day. Eric Su had the boldest adventure, traversing the heavily serrated ridgeline between the two summits (he reported it as having a 5.7 downclimb at the crux), reaching the west summit less than 10min after the fastest of those up the South Chute. Only three parties had signed into the ancient register this century, its brief popularity almost forgotten. Eric was again the first back to the TH, giving him a fair lead for the Yellow jersey. Scott Barnes climbed the east summit along with North Peak and Sheep Peak while Chris Henry did both summits on Shepherd Crest along with North. Juries still out, but one of them have the lead for the Polka Dot Jersey.

East summit of Shepherd Crest in center:
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Shepherd Crest ridgeline from west summit:
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Little Lost Valley:
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