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Ridgeline and Traverse

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Ridgeline and Traverse

Postby Sierra_Summits » Fri May 08, 2015 9:03 pm

I have recently been intrigued by trip reports from member eric1234 and his ridgeline traverses. I was wondering if there were more that other members have done that they could comment on. Preferably keeping them in the class 3-4 range. i know that there are tons of them you "could" do but wanted some of them they we have first hand account of. I would be interested in knowing traverses that are a day long and some that are multiple days that you have done that only require ropes for lowering/hauling packs.

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Re: Ridgeline and Traverse

Postby ExploreABitMore » Sat May 09, 2015 7:40 am

A great ridgeline traverse that has a fairly short approach and is super scenic with fantastic climbing is the NW Ridge of North Peak. The crux is a short 5.3/4 downclimb into a notch, but there is supposedly a Class 4 bypass around it. I haven't done the bypass, but it looks like Class 4. Easy Class 2 descent down to Conness Lakes. You hike by about 9 lakes during the loop and the scenery is hard to beat. Maybe like 9-10 miles round trip and less than 3000 feet of gain. Highly recommended!

Here is a video I took during the climb last year.

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Re: Ridgeline and Traverse

Postby Sierra_Summits » Sat May 09, 2015 8:18 am

This is one that eric1234 has done around mt. whitney! looks exciting!

http://peaksforfreaks.blogspot.com/2013 ... enson.html
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Re: Ridgeline and Traverse

Postby SSSdave » Sat May 09, 2015 3:51 pm

Class 3 or 4 is more about serious peak bagging than backpacking. Tons of such erete routes documented on the mountain pages of boards like summitpost.org and various books. Of course a minor number of backpackers are also climbers and vice versa. A more interesting thread for a broader audience on this board would identify class 1 and 2 routes. Many peaks are merely high points on ridge lines with steep drop offs either side of a ridge. For instance from Knapsack Pass across the spine of Columbine Peak is hard class 2 with spectacular views. But then the broader audience is unlikely to consider challenges like completing a ridge traverse a worthy goal versus just climbing high points or to good views. As for traverses, there are many more that are interesting for backpackers and hikers that don't lie on top of some ridge. In other words difficult routes that save time going from point A to B without using a trail. Like the one from SR120 up to Medlicott Dome to Lower Cathedral Lake that traverses along a ledge and is only about a single mile instead of the 3.5 trail miles from Tuolumne Meadows. That is the what rangers use to patrol those areas as well as climbers going to the Cathedral group. Or the class 1 route from the end of the road to the northwest side of Mt. Hoffman that gets one up into Woodchuck Country with half the effort. Class 1 but not easy route finding haha.
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Re: Ridgeline and Traverse

Postby Sierra_Summits » Sat May 09, 2015 4:39 pm

Thanks for your input SSSdave. So should i move this thread? if so how do i do that?

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Re: Ridgeline and Traverse

Postby ExploreABitMore » Sun May 10, 2015 8:36 am

One other point to add to Dave's is that many of the big traverses like the one in the last report you posted from Eric, are incredibly physically demanding. Somebody needs to be REALLY strong in the mountains to do these massive traverses that involve numerous peaks in a day. Also, for that particular "traverse", I would argue Russel was the only real quality "ridge traverse", while peaks like Tunnabora, Thor, etc, can be mostly a slog if you don't take the right route (or even if you do). Regardless, many of these big "traverses" involve their fair share of slogging.

So, I guess it depends on what you're looking for. If you want numerous peaks with that endurance challenge, the example of Eric's trips you posted would be great. If you really just want high quality ridge climbing just do Russel in a day, or for an even better climb try North Peak, or some other peak that is known for the quality and fun of a specific ridge route.

Just be mindful of your skill set and endurance level. It can be easy to get in over your head on this kind of thing. I've learned that the hard way, hehe. I typically don't have the endurance for so many peaks in a day.
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Re: Ridgeline and Traverse

Postby cefire » Mon May 11, 2015 7:45 am

Nothing to add - just wanted to say "cool video" :D :thumbsup:
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Re: Ridgeline and Traverse

Postby seanr » Mon May 11, 2015 1:20 pm

Yes, Eric does some interesting stuff and posts about it frequently on his blog and here! He often meets up with others, so you may want to contact him sometime if looking for partners/groups. Also, you could meet some folks interested in ridge traverses at the Sierra Challenge in August. It is nice to see ExploreABitMore posting about some nice routes as well. There are some other HST members who are interested in ridge traverses, but often accounts of such routes are buried few and far between in backpacking or peakbagging trip reports.

Some summitpost members on my radar who have made trip reports/posts about ridge routes/traverses are Bob Burd, Deb, Leor Pantilat, and Sean O'Rourke (seano). Don't confuse me with any of them; their climbing and scrambling skills are much more honed than mine. Leor, Eric, Deb, and Sean are EXTREMELY fast when they want to be and Bob has legendary endurance. I am working toward significant class 3-4 routes, but tend to be drawn more toward the kind of routes that SSSdave mentioned for safety reasons. I am getting interested in climbing and tolerating exposure, but might lean toward routes where equipment is easily used for awhile if I continue down that path.

Some links:
http://www.snwburd.com/bob/index.html
http://www.snwburd.com/bob/challenge/2015/
http://peaksforfreaks.blogspot.com/?m=1
https://pantilat.wordpress.com/mountains/
https://pantilat.wordpress.com
https://drdirtbag.wordpress.com
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Re: Ridgeline and Traverse

Postby Eric1234 » Wed May 13, 2015 10:15 pm

That traverse near Whitney was one of my first traverses. Looking back at it now, it is not a true ridge traverse because we leave the ridge on several occasions. If one were to remain on the ridge, there would be much more solid climbing (such as the ridge connecting Russell to Morgenson, which is class 5, and the class 4 ridge between Cleaver and Carillon). I am thinking of heading back there in the future to do the true ridge traverse.
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