Dayhiked as part of the 2006 Sierra Challenge with several others.
Howdy Sergio --
did you guys do any "extra mileage" on the way out? We were in such a hurry to get down before the mountain shadow took over that crappy road, that we rushed a bit too much. I think we went off-trail 4 times, 3 times in the jungle, and once below. I kept pulling out the GPS after the fact, confirming that we had to climb back UP to get on the trail. At one point Paul said he felt like he was in the army, to which I responded, I felt we were in Bataan.
Stay on rock as much as possible to avoiding beaning your comrades. I really saw nothing higher than class 2 in the gully, but went some 2/3 places just to avoid rockfall.
The road (normal route): I took my Subaru Outback (7.3" clearance AWD, skid plates front and rear). I wouldn't do that again. Take a higher clearance, shorter wheelbase vehicle with stiffer suspension. 4WD or AWD (or big engine and HC) needed. I bounced rocks off the skid plates many times. I drove slowly (but not slowly enough) much of the way, and went into AWD mode many times to get up uneven, rocky slopes.
The trail to Red Lake has many, many false herd paths made by confused hikers. Some false paths even have cairns. Heed this advice: if you notice the path is suddenly fainter or much more brushy, back up to the last place where you were on the trail, and try _again_ to find the next destination on the real trail. In the "jungle", there are places where the stream is actually the path; the true path is marked by cleanly-cut (NOT just broken) branches.
Fun climb. Lots of vertical, especially without 4WD to get to the trailhead. Trail to Red Lake is hot, dry and dusty. Red Lake to the summit is fun.
The route was better than I thought. Split is a good looking peak. Next time I'll traverse over to the south summit... looks interesting.
Snow conditions were excellent. Hike in and out were quite forgettable.....
Day 6 of the 2006 Challenge. This was a very enjoyable day tagging Split/Prater/Bolton Brown/Thumb in a long day. Trip Report
This was a side trip on my larger JMT backpack from South Lake to Onion Valley. The day was beautiful with no clouds anywhere in the sky. The hike took about 7 hours from our camp site below Mather Pass to the top and back. It was slow going with talus slopes beginning just beyond Lake 11598 and the talus continued all the way to the top. This was my third California Fourteener and the best weather on a High Sierra peak yet. A tough climb but if you’re in the area I would definitely recommend it.
6th day of the Sierra Challenge. Decided to climb a previous years challenge peak instead of Prater since it's also a 14er. Climbed with Mike and Ryan, met Scott, Cliff and Cory on their way down.
A deviation from the planned Sierra Challenge peak of Mt. Prater. Made it up in 5:10 and met among others Dick and Jill from China Lake. Started with Bob Burd who was up in 4:05 which smoked everyone and I enjoyed the top with Cliff and Cory, too.
Camped at red lake on first night. Ascended via snow-covered saddle to north ridge. Considered descent down saddle too dangerous, so climbed down rocks to the right of the saddle. On our way down we saw someone perform a just-in-time self-arrest sliding down the saddle (was sliding in self-arrest position for a good 200-300 ft). Hiked back to trailhead under moonlight...and got lost in the jungle. Had to bushwhack through jungle at night, but eventually found trail again. Beautiful mountain. Fun trip.
3 years of taunting by my nemesis, the 2nd time on trail after a humiliating defeat in 2003. This day I emerged victorious, but some may say ... at what cost. Aug 7 was my birthday, and suffice it to say that I celebrated my hour of birth (4am local time) huddled shivering in an emergency bivy cave somewhere north of 13000' on a "way too dangerous" wall I'd accidentally downclimbed onto in the dark before giving up for the previous night... well, at least it was a birthday like none other! After that, spent the remainder of the day hiking out, got lost in the upper jungle (on the previous trip, I'd gotten lost in the lower jungle, so I count that as complete now), and then after making it to my car in daylight, proceeded to get lost trying to drive out, and taking over 4 hours to finally get back to civilization. Um, old age, anyone??
Did this as an overnighter and glad I did. Red Lake trail is as advertised and very unendearing. Boulder gully to second saddle above Red Lake snow filled so scooted up the rocks to the right of it.
easy 14er. The drive to the trailhead is the hardest part.
This hike was when I became a believer in hiking light. Beautiful alpine glow, but I could have skipped the talus. Cheers.
Drove to within 4.5 miles of the Red Lake trail head (in a 2001 Honda Accord sedan via the 'official' route from Big Pine through McMurray Meadows), biked half the remaining, then mostly pushed the bikes for the other half (biking in sand is terrible). Hiked almost to Red Lake, camping for the night.
At 6am we started out late for the summit. I think it was 3 miles and we made it in snails-pace 8.5 hours, which put us there at a very late 2:30pm, my first 14-er (and my first time above 11,502'). Snow was a very packed and mostly still frozen. Glorious views, very little wind. A bit warm.
Descended slowly at 3:15pm. Snow was now a little wet but stable. We did not see or hear any rock falls nor avalanches.
After repacking our bags at camp, we hiked out the rest of the way in the dark (with headlamps and a GPS track to reference). We made it back to my car by 1am, substantially later than planned, very tired and fairly dehydrated.
I found the road easily navigable, even in the dark. I didn't think the trail was very hard to follow out in the dark, but I did have to check the GPS a few times. I wish I had read these Climber Logs before I went or I would have taken a notebook for the register--it is indeed full. Someone had signed the back of a printout of the route description from Summit Post...but I forgot the name.
Partner had been up the East Couloir in June four years ago and found ice, so I figured "why not" and decided to go check it out.
Started from camp at Red Lake at 3:30am, soft snow conditions persisted up the glacier - probably never got below 40F at the lake (whose surface ice was melting). Got to schrund around 5:30-6ish - some ice there. We simul'd up to chimney on 45-50 degree soft snow. To climber's right of chimney was a gushing waterfall. Some ice in bottom of chimney, but with big gap and lots of snow; didn't look climbable. Partner led up half of rock route in crampons to climber's left of chimney, then retreated. He reported seeing an ice axe embedded in the couloir above that point.
We downclimbed from there to just above schrund, then crossed to climber's right onto a rock buttress which was slung with a faded rap anchor. Rapping on one of our 60m doubles got us down to the glacier.
Lots of rockfall as the day warmed - saw / heard several in St. Jean's area. Will consider returning in the fall. Trail up to Red Lake is heinous !!
A spicy gully climb with the very hard snow we encountered; it demanded full concentration while cramponing up. It had been unseasonably cold the past three days. I climbed the St. Jean couloir with Brad and Mark. We started up at 4:23am from our camp at Red Lake and summited by 9:50am. BTW, the register is full. Whoever goes next please bring a notepad for the summit register. I screwed up on the descent and went down to the lowest saddle by Prater. Had to climb back up 500 feet to find the correct Red Lake pass (elev ~ 12,950') descent. Reached camp at 12:50pm. Took just 2 hours to hike out back to the Red Lake trailhead (6,568'). We had excellent weather both days.
Great climb and great company! Climbed with Pavel (kovarpa) and Doug (dug). The weather was awesome. Couloir was filled with pretty deep snow, but at least we experienced no rockfall.
Good clear sky with strong wind. Crappy drive to the trailhead. Do not drive in or out in the dark. It'll not be fun. Same applies to the trail. Hard to follow in the dark.