Lone Pine Peak via Northeast Ridge [failed attempt] | High Sierra Topix  

Lone Pine Peak via Northeast Ridge [failed attempt]

Topics related to peak bagging, rock climbing and bouldering in the foothills and high country of the Sierra Nevada. Be sure to also check out the Information Booth forum category to learn from / see if you can contribute to a profile for High Sierra 13'ers, 14'ers and cross country passes.
User avatar

Lone Pine Peak via Northeast Ridge [failed attempt]

Postby Eric1234 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:05 pm




User avatar
Eric1234
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:34 pm
Location: San Diego, Santa Cruz, Bishop
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Lone Pine Peak via Northeast Ridge [failed attempt]

Postby giantbrookie » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:40 pm

Holy smokes, that's a real mountaineering epic of first order. Thanks for a riveting post with photos to match. I don't need to read any of those Patagonian or Himalayan epics tonight. Wow.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
User avatar
giantbrookie
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 2439
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:22 am
Location: Fresno
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Lone Pine Peak via Northeast Ridge [failed attempt]

Postby Jimr » Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:23 am

Perhaps you failed to hit the peak, but you did succeed in living to tell about it. :eek:
What?!
User avatar
Jimr
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1141
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:14 pm
Location: Redondo Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Lone Pine Peak via Northeast Ridge [failed attempt]

Postby mtnsos » Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:36 am

Way to get after it. Winter changes everything. The Pull Harder gang had a similar epic on the NE Ridge a couple of years ago. Although luck is always at play, props on finding your way off the route in bad weather. Always enjoy your TRs.
User avatar
mtnsos
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 10:08 am
Location: Carmel Valley, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Lone Pine Peak via Northeast Ridge [failed attempt]

Postby ERIC » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:21 am

Awesome report and photos. Thanks for sharing!
New members, please consider giving us an intro!
Follow us on Twitter @HighSierraTopix. Use hashtags #SIERRAPHILE #GotSierra? #GotMountains?
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighSierraTopix
User avatar
ERIC
Your Humble Host & Forums Administrator
Your Humble Host & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 2910
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:13 am
Location: between the 916 and 661
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Lone Pine Peak via Northeast Ridge [failed attempt]

Postby copeg » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:27 pm

Pretty knarly - especially this time of year. Thanks for sharing!
User avatar
copeg
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 1968
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:25 pm
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Lone Pine Peak via Northeast Ridge [failed attempt]

Postby maverick » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:17 pm

Happy to read that the both of you got out uninjured, what a way to end, and
then start a off the New Year (a new lease on life).
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8050
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Lone Pine Peak via Northeast Ridge [failed attempt]

Postby alpinemike » Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:04 pm

Now that is a mountaineering story! Winter definitely is a game changer. During the summer it might be a bit uncomfortable bivving an extra night on the mountain, while in the winter it could mean the difference between life and death. Glad you both made it out alive and all in one piece. The thought about coming back to go after it is definitely the sign of mountaineers! Definitely know that feeling all too well.

Out of curiosity what were you using for winter jackets to stay warm in those conditions?
Never put off a backpacking trip for tomorrow, if you can do it today...
Alpine Mike-

http://mikhailkorotkinphotography.com/
User avatar
alpinemike
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:00 pm
Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Lone Pine Peak via Northeast Ridge [failed attempt]

Postby pez_leon » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:13 pm

I've been debating posting this. I think someone should start the conversation.
First, I want to thank you for posting what you did. You report clearly enough on your circumstances that a reader can understand just how rough things were out there. That having been said, your story is missing a crucial component. What is needed is the part where you reflect on how badly things very nearly went and how great the cost of some of your bad choices could have been, both to you and to any SAR folks unlucky enough to go after you, and describe what you'll do differently next time. In your climb, you were caught in a predictable storm (in that it happened in winter), chose to climb on, and placed yourself in a situation where you were so far out you faced even a water shortage. It sounds from your description like you were both profoundly exhausted, possibly hypothermic, and very close to calling in a rescue. This is not an OK way to climb.
If at any point in your adventure you even have to consider calling in a rescue, something has gone very wrong. You need to change the way you approach future trips. I think that some of the choices that you discuss were irresponsible, and that the danger you could have caused to rescuers means that you deserve to be called out on them in this forum. I'm particularly concerned about the point at which you came around a ridge into a howling windstorm and decided to continue toward the peak. Once you're in the middle of the storm, any ruminations on the unpredictability of winter weather are moot. You don't need a prediction. You know exactly what is happening and that it's bad, and you should turn around and go home.
I recognize your climbing buddy. He's published several other reports about trips gone bad or nearly bad, once with fatal consequences for his partner. Each time one of these close calls happen people in the community argue about the specific circumstances around it. You and your friend should take a good hard look at the bigger picture and recognize that your margins are not sufficient. You need to build more safety into your trips, even if that means not hitting peaks you want to hit. The lives you save could be your own. More significantly, they could be some poor rescuers.
I think it's great that you had an adventure in the mountains, but not that you came so close to involving others in your own personal preventable disaster. I hope you can read this and understand that what I'm calling for is a change to the way you plan your trips and make decisions. This is not meant to be a personal attack, but instead a perspective on choices you have made.
User avatar
pez_leon
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:31 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Lone Pine Peak via Northeast Ridge [failed attempt]

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:11 am

The climb seemed to be not unusual for what some cutting edge climbers are doing nowadays. Not that I would myself have such as small margin of safety. We did have a pretty long stretch of weather with no storms predicted. It would be interesting to look back at NWS weather forecast on the day they started. They had prepared to spend two nights out on the climb. As for when to turn around, it is never such a clear cut decision when you are actually up there. At some point on a long climb, it is actually better to keep going because getting to the top is shorter and easier than descending. I am not sure I would be so critical of not turning around at 40mph winds. When things got worse they did turn around. Definitely later than I would have. The mistake seems to be not taking into account the possibility of getting lost on the descent. The delay and extra night out also put them in a storm that would have been avoided had they not gotten temporarily lost on the route. I would not say that winter weather is never predictable. But 3 days out ahead of a forecast is pushing it. I really never interpreted any mention of rescue as expecting someone to swoop in and rescue them.

That said, I agree that writing it up not fessing up to some decision errors, and a bit in a boasting tone, is not responsible. That "tone" is actually pretty common in today's popular climbing magazines. I think they are fully aware of their slim margin of safety. But everyone likes to read about an epic where the outcome is positive. Everyone likes to write up their epic as heroic, not analyze the steps that lead to things gone wrong. As far as pushing the limit, maybe not to this degree, but I have been there, done that too.

By the way, I have bivouacked on Lone Pine Peak twice, but in the summer, but then without a sleeping bag. I have TWO failed attempt at routes on Lone Pine - the ridge to the north of the one they did - easier ridge but the guidebook write up was so off (sandbagged) that we never could find the route and did not have the gear we needed, so bailed off (some rappels) on the Meysan Lake side. The other attempt was the south face from Tuttle Creek. We got in over our heads and decided to go down but then decided that we still wanted to climb the peak so went up the valley another 1,500 feet and bivouacked in some trees. Did not get much sleep. Next morning climbed an easier face to the top.
User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Junkie
 
Posts: 2610
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Experience: N/A


Return to Peak Bagging / Rock Climbing / Bouldering



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests