Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Big Stuff

Ah, the Big Stuff. The East Side. Visions of toiling up miles of talus, searing UV, glacial crossings, and an endless scramble which finally terminates on an indifferent summit. The high and dry Eastern Sierra. My favorite mountains.
On this weekend's drive up and down the 395 I was able to pull out and shoot some pics of this amazing landscape. I paid special attention to two fourteeners which I will be reattempting in June: Middle Palisade and Split mountain. Dave Rivas and I got pasted by a week of bad weather on last year's try and although we made a good account of ourselves, we still owe ourselves these summits. Above, the Minarets, Mt Ritter {in clouds} (which we climbed in '06), and Banner Peak. Below, Convict Lake.
Below are photos of three peaks we intend to climb in June. The first shows Middle Palisade, a massive fourteener which we will climb via the East Face (Class III). To Middle Pal's right stands Norman Clyde Peak. NClyde is not a fourteener, however, it is a serious climb to the summit. Named for the gentleman who became synonymous with hard first ascents in the Eastern Sierra, the easiest route we could pick to climb the peak will require a rope in some places, and especially on the descent. Norman Clyde Peak will be a third priority because we are really after the 14ers but would likely be the more challenging of the three peaks we will attempt. On the bottom is Split Mountain, another massive dose of mountain. We will attempt this peak via the St. Jean Couloir which is the prominent gully in the sun, center right of the summit. This is mostly a snow climb but may require a rope and some gear in places. This is the plan, man. Take two.

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