Thursday, June 20, 2013

June Update: Summer is here!

So besides the blog entries below for a couple of the climbs that I have gotten to do in the last week, I'll give a bit more insight into what has been going on.
Jen and I spent about 2 weeks up in the Pacific Northwest visiting my folks, and kayaking up on the Olympic Peninsula before I had a trip to guide on Mount Shasta.  Our group was unsuccessful at reaching the summit, due to to high winds and bitter cold, but everyone had a good time.
After getting back, I have been climbing as much as possible, making trips into the Incredible Hulk, Charlotte Dome, the Palisades and Rock Creek, and have gotten some great work trips as well, climbing Mount Whitney a couple times and some rock instruction too.  
For the rest of June I go up Mount Whitney once more, and then get to take a nice casual hike from Tuolumne to Mammoth with a guest and his son.  

The rest of the summer is looking pretty full already, with the exception of a week in the middle of July, so if you are still on the fence about coming out and climbing a peak in the Range of Light, get on it!  


Sun Ribbon Arete- Temple Crag's Most Classic Line

What is better than climbing one of the most classic alpine rock routes in the Sierra?  Probably coming back to camp and eating burritos and drinking cold beers complete with lime wedges thanks to a couple of mules who hauled it all in there for you! 
Every year it seems we do a pack supported trip into the Palisades, and this was no exception.  Letting the mules do the heavy lifting frees you up to concentrate on more important things, like... how many cantaloupes to bring!  But after we are deposited at our camp near Third Lake, we have to decide what to climb.

Glenn and I decided to get on the ultra-mega-classic good route called Sun Ribbon Arete.  There are several other "Celestial Aretes", namely Venusian Blind and Moon Goddess Arete, but this one wins out as best route in a landslide.  Why?  Incredible quality climbing, amazing positioning, and a TYROLEAN TRAVERSE in the middle of the route!  That's right, you have to throw your rope over a horn on the other side of a large notch, secure it, and tyrolean across it!  

Realizing now how many exclamations I am using, I may need to tone it down a bit.  But that's how good Sun Ribbon is.  Now, go do it.  Or let me take you up it.  I promise not to use as many exclamations.  Maybe.  

South Face of Charlotte Dome: Worth the hike.

Last week Jen and I motored over Kearsarge Pass to climb a backcountry classic that has always interested me, but has deterred many of my potential climbing partners with a stout 12 mile, uphill-both-ways approach.

Luckily for me Jen doesn't look at the map before these adventures, so I can pretty much rope her into anything!

After getting to the plush bivy in the forest next to the dome we conked out for the night amidst a haze of mosquitos.  Upon waking I found out one of the buggers had found its way through my bug net and bitten me near the eye, causing my eyelid to swell up and give me a case of the dreaded Pirate-Eye!  This would make the first couple pitches more interesting as I had limited depth perception!

Once we got on the route it was just about as good as it gets; fun slab pitches with finicky protection, great cracks and some unique water runnels forming grooved pitches called the Furrows.  All in all, it is a spectacular route in a very beautiful setting, made even better by the fact that we had it to ourselves.

A couple cups of coffee before hitting the road back over the Pass helped get us through the end of the day.  Doing this in 2 days was a bit of a stretch, since you end up gaining just as much elevation going back as you did coming in!  A quick stop at Carl's Jr. in Bishop and it was back home to Mammoth.