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Climbing in the Evolutions
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By Sam Cannon
From Holladay, Utah
Mar 4, 2014
a

Just read this on the Evolution Traverse page -

"Water is a problem, unless you go early in the season, which is recommended if the snow year was not big."

How early is "early season?" I know this has been a terrible year for the CA snowpack, but temps are staying cool (I know it's March, I'm not expecting 60s) at upper elevations. For you local guys, how early (ballpark me, here) do you think we'd be able to make a reasonable attempt at the traverse?

Thanks!


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Mar 4, 2014

Disclaimer: I haven't done the traverse, but have been in the area.

I believe there are places you can drop down from the ridge to a lake that aren't too much work. Refill, then go back up to the ridge. For example, you can come down from the Haeckel/Wallace col to the little tarn on the east side and that only requires about 400 feet of elevation loss.

Hopefully, you'll get some input from someone who has actually done the traverse in dry conditions!


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By Dobson
From Butte, MT
Mar 4, 2014

We went Fourth of July during what I think was a normal year and found just enough snow and water in spots. Much later, and we would have had to work hard for liquid.

If you're really fast, you may be able to get to the tarn past 13332 on day one. You'd probably want a very early start that puts you at the crux between Darwin and 13332 during daylight.


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By Sam Cannon
From Holladay, Utah
Mar 4, 2014
a

Again, understanding that I'll be watching conditions myself, but looking for a ballpark estimate based on historical weather patterns, what do you think is the earliest we could get back there to do this route? Thanks for your responses.


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By Sam Cannon
From Holladay, Utah
Mar 4, 2014
a

My concern isn't so much getting water, but how early we can start thinking of tackling the traverse.


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Mar 4, 2014

SwC wrote:
My concern isn't so much getting water, but how early we can start thinking of tackling the traverse.


That's greatly dependent on your ability and experience. A winter traverse of the Evolutions was done a couple of years ago, so you can do it anytime, if you're prepared and capable.

Here's an answer for you: Go in May.


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By Adam Burch
From San Dieger
Mar 4, 2014
Mexico, Mang

pullharder.org/2012/03/18/on-the-summit-a-lot-pullharder-fwa>>>


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By Dobson
From Butte, MT
Mar 4, 2014

There should be a lot less snow slogging if you get after it this year.


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By Sam Cannon
From Holladay, Utah
Mar 4, 2014
a

Yeah, Dobson, that's what I was thinking, what with CA's abysmal snowpack. Thanks all for your responses, including that TR. See you in the mountains!


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By Sam Cannon
From Holladay, Utah
Mar 5, 2014
a

One more question: I'm torn between doing the Evolution Traverse or the Palisade Traverse. For those of you familiar with both routes - which do you consider to be more spectacular? I've heard Peter Croft referenced as saying he thought the Evolution was the finest ridge run in the Sierras, but I haven't seen that quote in print, myself.


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By Dobson
From Butte, MT
Mar 5, 2014

SwC wrote:
One more question: I'm torn between doing the Evolution Traverse or the Palisade Traverse. For those of you familiar with both routes - which do you consider to be more spectacular? I've heard Peter Croft referenced as saying he thought the Evolution was the finest ridge run in the Sierras, but I haven't seen that quote in print, myself.


I think that Croft has not yet done the Full Palisade. The only info I have on that route comes from the Pullharder guys, however.

I do know that my experience on the Evo was one of the best climbing-like adventures of my life. What makes it great is not the individual sections of climbing, but the entire package. The exploration, the rock, the hunger and exhaustion, these are what made it memorable.


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By fossana
From Bishop, CA
Mar 5, 2014
downclimb off the First Flatiron <br />photo by TooTallTim

I have done Evolution and sections of the Palisade traverse. The rock is better on Evolution and the routefinding is more straightforward.

This [Evolution] is the best traverse I have done.
- Croft in The Good, the Great, and the Awesome

I have talked to several people who have completed both traverses and none have recommended the Palisades over Evolution.

[adding]
Timing-wise getting to the start would be a factor should they get more precip. Slogging up Lamark Col and through Darwin Canyon could not be fun.


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By SirTobyThe3rd
Mar 6, 2014
Hello

I think you could reasonably go there and do it in late May early June. Just watch for thunderstorms early in the season. LOL And through the summer. It would be great to have snow on the ridge to melt, and you will certainly find it in late May/early June, even in a light snow year. This is the third year in a row that there was below average precip.

I think Evolution is worth doing, but Palisade Traverse, or at least a trip to climb a few things in the Palisades would be great too. I mean, Sierra in general is pretty awesome, and you should check out more than Evo if you are here.

If you are into crack climbing make sure to day of climbing at the Cardinal Pinnacle. It is on the way to South Lake (TH for Evo) and has a Purdy view of Haekel. Climbs on Cardinal are awesome, and you will get to acclimate a bit.
Also, would suggest Sun Ribbon Arete on Temple Crag, or any popular route on it, that would put you on top. From there you would be able to see the Palisade ridge. Pretty sure it would get you excited to return for that one :)
If you can, also do Charlotte Dome's S Face. It is the best freaking 5.8 ever. SE Face Direct of Clyde Minaret is awesome, and NB of Merriam is a must do too! Stay all summer! :)


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By Sam Cannon
From Holladay, Utah
Mar 6, 2014
a

I climbed a few routes on Temple Crag last year (including Sun Ribbon). It did get me psyched for the Palisades, the views were unreal. I think I'm coming down in May to tag Fishhook/Mithril on Russel or a few routes on Lone Pine, maybe Bear Creek or Goode, depending on weather/snow. I love, love, LOVE the Sierras. I grew up in SoCal and spent my youth hiking in them.

Thanks for the replies.


View from Sun Ribbon Arete after a brief (thank god) thunderstorm.
View from Sun Ribbon Arete after a brief (thank god) thunderstorm.


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By fossana
From Bishop, CA
Mar 6, 2014
downclimb off the First Flatiron <br />photo by TooTallTim

If you still want to do a shorter, but still fun link-up on your trip I can recommend Temple (Moon Goddess or Venusian) to T-bolt, or Sill for something shorter.


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By Sam Cannon
From Holladay, Utah
Apr 19, 2014
a

I think I saw the mountains in CA got a bit more snow recently. Anyone have an idea of what we're looking at snow-pack wise for the next month?


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By SirTobyThe3rd
Apr 21, 2014
Hello

"CA snowpack" typed in into Google search revealed:
cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/snowapp/sweq.action


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