Posted on July 22nd, 2012 No comments
There are 15 peaks in California above 14,000′ in elevation. 13 of these “14ers” are in the Sierra Nevada. We have many clientele who come to climb these lofty peaks. This group assembled was here to “knock off” a couple of the California 14ers.
On day 1 the team hiked over Bishop Pass (11973′/3649m) then turned south climbing over Thunderbolt Col and down into Palisade Basin where camp was set. An early dinner was followed by final packing and preparations for the climbing in the morning.
On day 2 the team rose early with the intention of climbing Thunderbolt Peak via SW Chute #1 then traversing along the crest of the Palisades to Starlight before descending back to camp. SW Chute #1 consists of 3rd class climbing requiring the use of hands and feet mixed in with easier terrain. Where the notch tops out the route turns south and ascends two short pitches of 4th class rock leading to the final summit block. A rope was put up to allow all team members the opportunity to climb the 5.8 summit block then the team packed up and began traversing towards Starlight.
The traversing is a fun mix of scrambling, down climbing, and rappelling. The climbing is exposed in spots but never rising above low 5th class in difficulty. While a rope is used for protection and safety many people who climb these routes with us have had minimal formal rock climbing training.
After arriving at Starlight the climb involves ascending the “Milk Bottle”, which is a short 5.7 friction face climb. Once again we anchored a rope in place and each team member had the opportunity to ascend this beautiful pinnacle of rock.
With the climbing finished the team descended back to camp and enjoyed a nice dinner before having a well earned sleep! On July 21 the team packed up and headed back to the parking lot arriving mid afternoon.
Congratulations to all for a job well done! A few pictures are below. The rest of the pictures are here:
Posted on August 12th, 2011 No comments
On August 8-10 our good friend of SMI Ed Saenz visited us for his long anticipated completion of the California 14,000’ peaks. Ed started this quest a few years ago and has steadily ticked them off his list. The last of them was Starlight Peak (14,200’/4328m) in the Palisades region of the Sierra. The crux of this climb is the “Milk Bottle”. This pinnacle of rock is about 40’/12m high. It is airy and exposed and offers a great sense of accomplishment. Also joining us on this climb was Cory Cline who has been steadily “knocking off” the California 14ers. This would be his 9th summit. SMI guides Trevor Anthes and Kurt Wedberg rounded out the team.
The approach to this climb took us out of South Lake on the Bishop Pass trail. After gaining Bishop Pass (11,972’/3649m) we traversed south towards Thunderbolt Col then down into Palisade Basin where we set up camp. An early dinner was followed by packing and crawling into our sleeping bags in preparation for our climb the following day.
Starting daybreak we climbed into the mouth of the Northwest Chute, roped up, and began climbing the 3rd and 4th class terrain that leads to the Milk Bottle. The day broke clear and calm with pleasant temperatures. The team moved well and we found ourselves arriving at the Milk Bottle in the late morning. Ed and Kurt arrived first.
Upon arrival they wasted no time in preparing to climb the Milk Bottle. Taking a belay from Ed, Kurt climbed the 5.7 pinnacle to the top. The climb is unprotected meaning there is nowhere to place any gear until the top of the pinnacle is reached. Anchoring the top are a sling plus a ¼” bolt so our climbing rope can be slung through a solid point allowing the others to climb the Milk Bottle with a “top rope” belay. Cory and Trevor arrived soon after and everybody took a turn climbing the Milk Bottle that makes up Starlight Peak. Pleasant temperatures allowed us to stay on top for a while eating lunch and enjoying the view before descending back to camp.
On day 3 we packed up and hiked back out to South Lake.
That evening the team had the pleasure of celebrating Ed’s successful completion of all 15 California 14ers with a big dinner at Whiskey Creek in Bishop. This is a big accomplishment for any Sierra mountaineer to achieve. Ed also made it a point to help others along the way by raising money for two worthy causes: Friends of Frankie and the Widows’ and Orphans’ Aid Association. Friends of Frankie is an organization founded to help out Frankie Shouldice, who is a young boy currently suffering from leukemia. Widows and Orphans Aid Association is a San Francisco based organization founded to help out families that have lost a parent who worked as an officer for the SFPD by providing financial aid and scholarship support. If you would like to donate to these worthy causes you may do so by sending checks made payable to “Friends of Frankie” or “Widows’ and Orphans’ Aid Association” to: Officer Ed Saenz C/o San Francisco Police Dept 301 Eddy St. San Francisco, CA 94102
Congratulations Ed on a job well done!! A few pictures are below. The entire photo gallery from the climb can be found here: Starlight Peak August 8-10, 2011.
Posted on September 27th, 2010 No comments
On September 24-26, 2010 Brian Corrigan and Erik Peterson joined Kurt Wedberg for a climb of a couple classic 14ers in the Palisades region of the Sierra. Here in the Sierra we were treated to summer temperatures over 10 degrees above normal for this time of year. On September 24 we hiked over Bishop Pass and camped in Palisade Basin. On day 2 we got a pre dawn start climbing Southwest Chute #1 on Thunderbolt Peak. After reaching the summit we traversed south along the crest of the Palisades towards Starlight Peak. After climbing Starlight we descended back to Palisade Basin for a nice dinner before going to sleep. On day 3 we retraced out steps hiking back over Bishop Pass to the parking lot at South Lake.