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Archive for the ‘Climbing’ Category

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Locations: High Sierra of Yosemite National Park – Tenaya Peak, W. Ridge of Mt. Conness and the approaches in between (including Ragged Peak & Young Lakes)

Dates: Saturday, September 25 – Sunday, September 26, 2010

Climbers: Nick & Jon

Photos: Nick & Jon (as noted)

Weather: Both Saturday and Sunday were bluebird skies, with 0% chance of precipitation. During the day, weather was in the mid-60s on both days, with nighttime lows in the mid-30s.

Synopsis: As the week began to pass, I could sense the stars aligning and a sequence of events shaping up that would miraculously enable me to climb two ultra-classic, High Sierra alpine routes of varying difficulties (in both exposure, technical climbing and approach commitment: the Northwest Buttress of Tenaya Peak and the West Ridge of Mt. Conness.

Note: Sierra Alpine Weekend – Part I – Tenaya Peak (Northwest Buttress)

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Locations: High Sierra of Yosemite National Park – Tenaya Peak, W. Ridge of Mt. Conness and the approaches in between (including Ragged Peak & Young Lakes)

Dates: Saturday, September 25 – Sunday, September 26, 2010

Climbers: Nick & Brandon

Photos: Nick & Brandon (as noted)

Weather: Both Saturday and Sunday were bluebird skies, with 0% chance of precipitation. During the day, weather was in the mid-60s on both days, with nighttime lows in the mid-30s.

Synopsis: As the week began to pass, I could sense the stars aligning and a sequence of events shaping up that would miraculously enable me to climb two ultra-classic, High Sierra alpine routes of varying difficulties (in both exposure, technical climbing and approach commitment: the Northwest Buttress of Tenaya Peak and the West Ridge of Mt. Conness.

Note: Part II – West Ridge of Mt. Conness (VonTrap Style!)

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Date: Saturday, July 24, 2010

Climbers: Colin & Nick

Photos: Nick (unless otherwise noted as Colin)

Weather: The forecast called for the dreaded “High Sierra 20% chance of thunderstorms after 11 A.M.” Therefore, based on past experience of watching the thunderheads develop along the Sierra Crest at a rapid speed, we knew that it was inevitable it was going to rain. Just call it a feeling.

Add in the fact that Cathedral Peak is essentially an overgrown granite lightening rod, we planned on a very early start with the goal towards descending before any storms hit. As noted below, we essentially satisfied the goal (although we were only 1/3rd of the climbers’ trail down when the lightening and hail hit…)

Synopsis: In my humble opinion, Cathedral Peak offers some of the best alpine rock climbing in Yosemite (if not one of the best moderate alpine routes in the country!). Such a great climb: (i) fun and scenic approach, (ii) good routes with plenty of alternate ascent options, (iii) a spectacular summit and (iv) amazing views.

Colin and I drove up from the Bay Area on Friday night and camped out in the Golden Arrow area. After an alpine wake-up and the remainder of the drive to Tuolumne Meadows, we were on the trail early and moving at a fast pace. I believe we made the approach from the car to the base in exactly one hour.

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Dates: Saturday, June 26 – Sunday, Jun 27

Climbers: Nick & Colin

Photos: Nick & Colin (as noted)

Weather: Both Saturday and Sunday were absolutely gorgeous. Highs in the mid-60s, lows in the upper 40s. Interestingly, on the drive back to the Bay Area on Sunday evening, we saw some massive thunderheads growing up by Sonora Pass. Given the temps of 102 in the Central Valley, this was not particularly surprising. Notwithstanding the crazy warm temps at lower elevations, Tuolumne was super pleasant.

Synopsis: With a spell of warm weather recently and after some beta received re: approach conditions on SuperTopo, it seemed as if the climbs around Tuolumne were drying and the snow was melting. Colin and I decided to head up and climb some moderate multi-pitch dome routes. All in all, there is still a good amount of snow on many of the larger alpine routes (e.g., Mt. Conness, North Peak, Tenaya), but the lower domes in and around Tuolumne were *relatively* dry (except for Dozier Dome – more on that later) with snowless approaches.

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Location: Lover’s Leap, South Lake Tahoe

Date: Saturday, June 13, 2010

Climbers: Nick, Jon & Jon’s friend Rachel

Photos: Nick, Jon & Rachel

Weather: Amazing day, as usual. Clear skies, with a decent breeze. The morning started out pretty crisp (in the low 50s), but gradually warmed with the rising sun to around the low 70s.

Synopsis: Jon and I had plans to get up in San Fran at 4:00 AM and hit the road for the short drive up to South Lake Tahoe, and hit the smooth granite at the Leap. I had been up the weekend before with my buddy Brandon, and being desperately hung over, we climbed Pop Bottle (5.7) on the East Wall and Deception (5.7) on Hogsback.

On plenty of sleep and sans a hangover, Jon and I had more ambitious plans, which would largely be dictated by how crowded the Leap was. We wanted to try and climb the following combo:

1. Bear’s Reach (5.7) on the East Wall
2. East Wall (5.7) on, well, the East Wall
3. The Line (5.9) on, you guessed it, the East Wall
4. Surrealistic Pillar (5.7) on the Lower Buttress

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Locations: Denali National Park – S.E. Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, including summits of Control Peak Tower (8,670 ft / 2,643 m) and Mt. Francis (10,450 ft / 3,185 m)

Dates: Thursday, May 13 – Thursday, May 20, 2010

Photos & Video: Nick

Weather: It’s the Alaska Range, so expect the unexpected as I have come to find out. Generally, we really lucked out with the weather and had perfect climbing conditions and bluebird days on our 2 summit days. We only encountered white-out conditions (and only partial days) during 2 of our 8 days on the Kahiltna.

Temperatures fluctuated greatly during the day depending on the amount of cloud cover and wind, and temps were generally relatively cold at night.

Synopsis: After skiing the Sierra High Route and climbing and skiing Mt. Williamson with Jon, the end of my May would be spent in and around the Southeast Fork of the Kahiltna Glacier, located in Denali National Park.

While we do have some smallish glaciers (e.g., the Norman Clyde Glacier around the Palisades and the Whitney Glacier on Mount Shasta) here in California, I was craving a forum to formally learn the technical aspects of large-scale glacier travel and crevasse rescue. As I fully intend on making trips into the Alaska Range in the future, I felt it was the best location to take such a course. A beautiful setting with heavily glaciated terrain – it fit the ticket perfectly.

Note: This Mega TR is several pages long – just click at the end of each page to continue.

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Location: Yosemite Valley

Dates: Thursday, November 26th (Thanksgiving) – Friday, November 27th

Climbers: Jon & Nick

Jon and I decided to head to Yosemite Valley to do some climbing over Thanksgiving. This was a trip of firsts for me, including:

1. This was my first time climbing in Yosemite Valley. To any climber, this is a huge development. I hope this to be the first of many trips in the future.

2. This was my first time climbing since I tore my meniscus in September. I had plans of grander this Fall to make many trips to the Meadows and the Eastside, all of which were derailed by my knee injury. After a lot of PT and still potential surgery, I felt it was time to “test the knee” so to speak.

3. This was my first time climbing on Thanksgiving. Last year I was skiing powder at Mammoth Mountain over Thanksgiving. This year, I thought climbing took the lead (no pun intended!).

4. This was my first time climbing with Jon. Jon is far and away a more experienced climber and a good friend to make the trip with. Enthusiastic, willing to teach and, most importantly, willing to down grade the routes we were on to fit my abilities (both from an injury standpoint and leading standpoint).

On to the trip….

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