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Mt. Tyndall - Class 2?

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Mt. Tyndall - Class 2?

Postby toejam » Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:50 am

Is there really a class 2 route on Mt Tyndall as so many written & on-line guides suggest? Last month I tried to climb the easy class 2 trail up the northwest ridge and found no such thing. At the point where the northwest & west ridges meet the guy I was with wasn't comfortable staying on the top of the ridge. We didn't see a reasonable way around to the right of it as my book suggested. The safest passage seemed to be to follow cracks on the north face to the north rib route. The north rib wasn't bad at all and we came down that way.

Another friend of mine wants me to take him & his kid up there so I'm trying to figure out what the easiest route is. In my mind it's the north rib. Anybody remember how to get past that difficult section on the northwest ridge?



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Re: Mt. Tyndall - Class 2?

Postby maverick » Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:23 am

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
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Re: Mt. Tyndall - Class 2?

Postby toejam » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:17 am

Yeah, she took the rib. There's an '06 TR on Summitpost where a guy did like me and scrambled from the NW ridge to the rib. What I climbed on the NW ridge where it meets the summit ridge was an airy, difficult class 3, and the rib was an easy non-exposed class 3.

Since all these experts who write the guides say the NW ridge is class 2, you'd think some of us normal people who've climbed it could corroborate. But I haven't seen a TR yet where anybody found a class 2 route at the top of the NW ridge.
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Re: Mt. Tyndall - Class 2?

Postby maverick » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:23 am

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
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Re: Mt. Tyndall - Class 2?

Postby giantbrookie » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:27 pm

I think it is safe to say that there is one guaranteed class 2 approach for Tyndall--this is the southern slope toward Wright Lakes. This does make the approach longer (if based at Shepherd Pass) or make the trip longer (if one wants to shift camp to Wright Lakes--a very beautiful basin, to be sure).

It would seem to me that the NW ridge at class 2 is rating is one of those hold overs from an earlier era. Believe it or not, the NW ridge of Mt Morrison was in the older guides as class 2 as well, but was subsequently adjusted to a more realistic class 3+. Another amusing "holdover", familiar to a few folks, is the standard SE ridge route for Mt. Prater, the first peak north of Split. It is rated class 1, yet Secor notes "A short knife edge is easy but scary". Under what definition can real class 1 be scary? Having been there I can certainly agree with the 'easy' but there is big air there and I don't see how anything that is an honest class 1 can be described as "scary". It seems to me the class 1 rationale of Prater's SE ridge is similar to the oddball rationale of Tyndall's NW ridge--some sort of strange tradition is in play. I sort of think that Conness' famed SE ridge (finish of easiest route) is mired in "tradition" at class 2 as well. Yes, this is partly an engineered trail, but you are using your hands over some pretty dramatic air--thus I believe an honest rating should be class 3. I make these statements at the same time saying that in general there have been a lot of inflated ratings in recent years (such as some guides raising the NE couloir route of Abbot to class 4 from 3) as well as some old holdovers ("tradition") that I thought were higher than they should be (Tower Peak as class 3 for example--sure seemed like a steep class 2 to me; Maclure can also go 3 to 2 with some creative route finding--exiting the SE ridge for a big bench that goes across an otherwise really steep E face to class 2 on the other side).
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
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Re: Mt. Tyndall - Class 2?

Postby quentinc » Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:07 pm

One time that I did Tyndall was with a guy and gal who had done Williamson the day before. Yet, the guy was too scared to finish Tyndall after the end of the NW ridge, which I found kind of incredible, since it struck me as a lot easier than Williamson's Class 3 chimney.

GB, thanks for an interesting history of class rating changes. Russell is another interesting one to me. In California's Fourteeners it's listed as class 2. And it may be possible to do the whole east ridge without a single class 3 move, although I've never managed that. But because of the exposure, most people consider it high class 3.
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Re: Mt. Tyndall - Class 2?

Postby toejam » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:26 pm

If I get to climb it again it will be the north rib without sidetracks or detours. It just makes the most sense.

Thanks for the input.
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Re: Mt. Tyndall - Class 2?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:36 pm

I climbed up the NW ridge of Tyndall and down the south side to Wright Lake. I thought the up route was easy class 3, and down route easy class 2. I had rock shoes for the climb. I think on hard class 2-class 3, having rock shoes makes a BIG difference. In general rock climbing ratings do not take into account exposure - but rather the difficulty of the hardest "move" on the route. A 5.8 is a 5.8 regardless of the distance off the ground. But I think with class 1-3 exposure SHOULD be taken into consideration, because these ratings are usually done by the average joe scrambler/peak bagger, NOT the rock climber. In my opinion, "fall-you die" should be class 3. I have done a lot of slab climbing and am used to exposure, so the route on Tyndall really was not scarey to me at all. But I would not want to have done it in hiking shoes or boots. The route down the back side to Wright Lake was tedious and not very enjoyable. But the views from Wright Lake were wonderful. I also did it in perfect weather, on the last day of a 10-day climbing trip that included a lot of hard class 3-4 climbs so I was mentally "in shape" for the exposure.
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Re: Mt. Tyndall - Class 2?

Postby toejam » Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:37 am

My uncertainty is about the place where the west, northwest, and summit ridges meet. From the notch where the ridges meet I couldn't see a path to the summit that didn't involve either difficult third class moves on the lower part of the summit ridge or sliding several hundred feet down a loose chute to get to the west side and easy slope to the summit, regardless of your footwear. The difficulty on the lower summit ridge is a significant notch - the exposure is just a bonus. The guide book seemed to be talking about a different mountain.
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Re: Mt. Tyndall - Class 2?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:43 am

If a climb is a difficult class 3 I usually remember that part, because I am a real wimp on that stuff. For me, it is not the difficulty per se, but because I am used to being roped up on exposed rock, going solo without a rope freaks me out. Whenever I find that the "route description" does not at all match the terrain in front of me, guess what- I am not on the same route. It is VERY easy to get off route from what the guide book is describing. I take all guide route with a grain of salt, and then go where I deem is the best route. Probably neither of us was exactly on route. I probably found an easier way; you probably got just enough off route for it to be harder. Also remember, those who "rate" climbs often are accostomed to climbing more difficult rock. A "5.10 climber" is going to be aweful at rating a class 2 or class 3 route. Finally, knowing and being good at the "tricks of the trade" in rock climbing (some moves are not apparantely obvious and even counter-intuitive) makes what at first looks impossible, trivial. By the way, the Tyndall climb is in the "Sierra Classics" and in the "Good Great and Awesome". Any class 2 or 3 climb, that gets in a rock climbers "classic" book is going to be greatly "sandbagged". It is in those books because it IS HARD! A route rated class 2 or 3 in a rock climbing guide is not likely to be very accurate. For more detailed information I usually "google" the route. Trip reports from climber.org also are helpful. I absolutely agree that calling the Tyndall route "class 2" is REALLY stretching the upper limit of class 2.
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Re: Mt. Tyndall - Class 2?

Postby Dfarrell » Fri Jun 14, 2013 3:55 pm

New(ish)member here, been stalking in the shadows a bit after moving here to CA from CO. Any thoughts on putting two separate ratings for routes? Utilizing a scale of 1-5 for the route difficulty as always, but the addition of 1-5 for exposure (1 an easy stroll with a fall resulting in laughter and embarrassment, 2 some easy exposure with a fall resulting in mostly minor injury, 3 a fall is injury, 4 a fall is serious injury/death, 5 a fall is certain death).
Two ratings will allow people to make a judgement call based on not only physical ability but also taking into account the mental side of things. For instance when I had company visit the Rockies from sea level hikes could be tailored to the guests physical condition as well as how much risk they seek/can handle.
Just an idea from a fresh perspective....

**side note, I realized this is a mixed board with climbing as well as hiking, so it may be a complete different world in terms of ratings. I'm not a climber and haven't any idea (that goes for most things as well!)
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Re: Mt. Tyndall - Class 2?

Postby rlown » Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:40 pm

Welcome to the HST!

Here's a link to some established definitions: http://www.climber.org/data/decimal.html

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