Deb and I decided to cover the other side of the entrance to the South Fork of Big Pine this past Saturday, hoping for another nice snow climb like Mt. Alice last week. The day dawned even better than last week, with no wind and warmer at the trailhead. From there, we headed over the bridge into the Glacier Lodge area, then donned crampons and headed, well, UP.
We took what looked like a nice chute on the NW-ish corner, which got a bit steep before it topped out:
After topping out on the face, we gained a nice ridge, which was fairly melted out. Honestly, the scree and loose rock was a bit of a problem, so I would encourage heading to the boulders on the top and scrambling rather than sliding around in the loose stuff.
Moment of Bliss:
We basically made a beeline for the summit from here:
We summited after about 4 hours, and the views of the Palisades were awesome:
We decided to stay on the snow on the other side of the ridge for the descent, which once again grabbed and held our attention. The snow was really variable, up high allowing for fantastic plunge stepping, then instantly getting hard-packed. I kept flashing on our attempt of Alice last January! We did the cop-a-squat method for the crampon down, and Deb was wishing for anti-bot plates (which actually didn't always help me, either!) at times. Another problem was some definitely whoompfing under some sections, which, thankfully, stayed just noise. But it definitely did nothing to boost our confidence!
Plunge-steps on top:
I went for the latest mountain fashion, crampons and shorts. Just don't kick yourself!
Makin' it down:
This chute dumped us right into the Big Pine campground, so a short walk back to the TOF. We were both pretty beat, but I can say that the descent chute would probably be a nicer ascent than the one we chose. Why? Because apparently I didn't get enough vertical on the way up, and decided to leave my camera where we donned crampons! Luckily I realized it when we were still only about 200-300vf below, so I just trudged back up and then back down again. Sheesh! (New feature on my hikes, the MAGOO Move of the Day!)
Beautiful day, I want to get back and do the ridge between Kid and Peak 13,165 above it!
Rest of the pics are here.
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.
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3 posts • Page 1 of 1
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