My third and final (alternate) peak from Burd's 2014 Challenge
I intended to hike University Peak via University Pass, then come down and hike independence Peak. However, I realized that I could do a loop, which is a more attractive event. I went up Kearsarge Pass Trail about .5 mile passed Gilbert Lake, and then cross country to the base of the mountain. Solid ledges and then solid rocks to the notch. Due to some snow at the top, I could not find the easy way/ traverse of reaching the summit. I eventually reached the summit from the East. Going down to University Pass I was shocked to see how difficult that is going up. Why that route is the most popular one to get to University Peak baffles me. First of all, the trail to Robinson Lake is not fun, from the lake to University Pass is an infinite moraine, the pass was full of snow, but I imagine when the snow is gone to be full of scree. From the pass to University Peak is notching but scree. As far as I am concerned, the North ascent is the way to go.
North face ascent. The descent turned into a kind of ordeal. We had planned to descend the SE ridge and then down University Pass to Robinson Lake and Onion Valley. We made it to the correct gully, but it was filled with iced up snow. Lacking ice gear and not wanting to climb back up the endless sandy slopes to the summit to descend the North Face route, we dropped into Center Basin and rejoined the JMT to the Kearsarge Lakes basin, and then up and down Kearsarge Pass to Onion Valley, which we reached at 9 pm. Ugh.
Seemingly hundreds of different route options on this face; can keep it class 3 for almost the whole way, and some opportunity for class 4 towards the top if you stay to climber's right (on the ridge, essentially). Rocks were solid. Long and good scramble.
Excellent ski tour. Had the whole gamut of conditions, high icy, then wind pressed, then corn, then slush
uneventful. solo day hike.
Fun climbing once out of the loose rock. University Pass decent not fun.
Good class 3 scramble with a pretty short approach, and really nice plunge stepping down the sandy east slope.
Up the North Face, down University Pass. Danger from loose rock and random rock fall on the ascent.
Stayed on the rib all the way to the summit ridge. Made a mistake and traversed to the south instead of climbing directly up and towards the peak on the ridge. Found some unnecessary exposure to the south of the ridge... best to just stick to the top of the ridge, varying your route to the north of the ridge when necessary. Beautiful view from the top... perfect day. Found some decent screeing on the way down sticking well left of the rib.
I dayhiked up the north face from Onion Valley. The lower part of the north face was not much fun, but it got better as I got higher. There were cairns everywhere along the summit ridge, and I confusedly climbed the wrong summit block at first but eventually found my way.
I climbed the wrong chute going toward university pass and ended up quite close to university peak. On a whim, I decided to hike to Bago, then out by the trail to OV.
very steep climb. very rocky. brought ice cream to the lake nice treat.
Long dayhike from Onion Valley. Started late from O.V. due to thunderstorms. Started up to Robinson Lake, but stopped for nearly an hour in the forest to wait out additional hail, rain, and lightning. Scrambled up University Pass, got snowed and hailed on some more, then summitted mostly in nice sun. Headed down to unnamed lake in Center Basin, cleaned up while enjoying views, then headed down to the JMT where I finally encountered other people. The stretch along Bubbs Creek, Vidette, and up to Bullfrog Lake was scenic for ordinary trail walking. Headed out from Kearsarge Pass to Onion Valley under starlight.
I had a challenging and thrilling time on Saturday climbing 13,589' University Peak. I thought it was supposed to be a class 2 walk up but after lots of class 3 scrambling, crossing some snow fields using flat stones in my hands for 'ice axes', and generally following what looked like a commonly used route, I came to a section that looked like it might be too risky and almost turned around, but decided to take my pack off and try to scout out a safe route. After a few tries, I found one with an easy class 4 move so went back and got my pack. However, the next higher level still wasn't the summit as I hoped, for another 4 or 5 times. Finally I reached a point where I couldn't continue, and had to give up. I turned around to see if I could go back down some and get around another way, and there was the true summit, back the other way! I reached the top at 6 pm, and was down to a beautiful campsite by a nice stream, along side of the PCT on the other side of the mountain by about 7:30.
Did this using University Pass as part of the Overnight trip required for the trip. Much like our failed attempt at Independence Peak the night prior, the day was filled with thunderstorms and rain.
ok, was at sea level 30 hours ago, ouch
Descent down the garbage chute was fun (NOT!)
This route is total garbage and is not recommended under any circumstances. Steep trail to Robinson Lake, then lots of boulder-hopping, some pretty steep, to bottom of pass. Pass is a miserable, super loose scramble up a very steep slope, where anything can become a projectile. After finally overcoming this crap, sandy slog all the way to summit when using the south slopes. Demoralizing is an understatement. Views from summit are as great as advertised. Return via same route is a nightmare. Descending the pass can only be done by riding large piles of unstable rock, most of them out of control. Never again.
My group struggled a bit, while I moved swiftly up the North Rib. The North Rib isn't that bad, but some tough spots, including getting to the actual summit. We went down via the shortcut route on the southeast side. That moraine slope is really difficult and long. Found the route to be about 10 miles.