Mt. Sill from the SW

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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Re: Mt. Sill from the SW

by KathyW » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:50 pm

That is a good photo: ... -the/39820

I looked at both options when I was out there last year and found the "Normal" route to be easier for me. It's borderline Class 3/Class 4 - either hard Class 3 or not so hard Class 4. I'm not much of a climber and was able to get up it okay without a rope or other protection. At the same time, it doesn't hurt to be careful and carry some extra gear.

I think I was lucky to do the climb on a good snow year. This year will be different - except that section when you traverse from the top of the "L" Shaped Couloir to the Class 4 move should be the same.

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Re: Mt. Sill from the SW

by MoapaPk » Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:29 am

The L-couloir is definitely getting icy near the top. Snow-cups helped on way up, not so much on way down (false sense of security).

Slings looked fresh, and 50' 15mm webbing was enough (doubled) to protect the short 4th class section. Lots of cracks and projecting footholds. Kathy Wing's smugmug report was very useful for the last part.

There was enough snow on the north (L-shaped) couloir to use crampons and an ax; but I fear it will soon be getting so icy that you may want to climb around on the sides (to R as you head up).

On top, we met some folks who had backpacked over Scimitar Pass from Elinore, and spent the night (before summit day) at the lake below. They felt it was a little more scrambly than pure class 2. Kudos to anyone who carries a full pack up Scimitar.

The way up to Elinore, with a full pack, is not easy. If you look carefully, you can find a faint use trail (with some cairns) on the left side, almost all the way. Lots of brush, lots of big talus blocks... and it you don't hit it right, some gnarly stream crossings.

If you take the L-couloir from Elinore, be aware that there is a slightly confusing section after the high unnamed lake, where you are supposed to head toward the base of Gayley. The "easy" way up the wall on the right is to go high, then cut back along a ramp on the right side. If you don't find that ramp, the access will be as hard as anything above the L-couloir.


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