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High Sierra in the Winter
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By Tapawingo
Oct 24, 2012

Does anyone have any recommendations or beta on some south facing, somewhat warmer, moderate (5.7-9) High Sierra climbs? I'd like to get out over Thanksgiving for either a long day or quick overnighter if possible.

Any recommendations are appreciated, cheers!


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Oct 24, 2012

I think any climb in the High Sierra in November will be chilly, regardless of aspect. Have you looked at this one?

mountainproject.com/v/east-arete/106736873


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By Tapawingo
Oct 24, 2012

Thanks Frank, that definitely seems like a possibility. Definitely expecting it to be "chilly" would just be nice to at least see some sunlight in the AM. Have you been up that route? Looks fun, but may be looking for something more sustained.


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Oct 24, 2012

I have not done that route, but I have heard it can be done in one long day. I know it's not the difficulty level you were looking for, but it has an eastward aspect and can be done in a day. Two outta three ain't bad!


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By vincent L.
From Redwood City
Oct 24, 2012
First day of school

Good question ...

E. Arete of Humphrey usually requires a drive up a 4x4 road to about 8-9k feet to get to the start of the approach , probably lots of snow , which means more walking on the approach.

But you probably already knew that a lot of approach times will increase because of having to walk up roads that are not plowed during winter .

I.E. Walking up a portion of Whitney portal road to access routes on Whitney , Russell , etc.

Winter routes in the Sierra definitely do-able though ...


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By splitclimber
Oct 24, 2012

several options if the 120 is still open.

or charlotte dome,

whitney portal or pine creek if high country is cold or snowed in by then


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By TWK
Oct 25, 2012

I considered suggesting Charlotte Dome--it's south-facing--but then thought better of it.

Having been to Charlotte Dome in summer, I can't imagine crossing the talus field we encountered if it was covered with a couple of feet--or less--of snow.

We came in from the east side, and Who Knows? maybe we got off route on the approach. We crossed about a mile and a quarter of very challenging talus that really slowed us down. It'd be a real b*$!h in early winter, with light to moderate snow cover. Couldn't ski it, probably, unless there was heavy snow cover.

The talus field between Charlotte Lake and Charlotte Dome is clearly seen on Google Earth. Better coming in from the west? I don't know, never tried.

Splitclimber wrote "if high country is cold or snowed in by then"

At 10,690', Charlotte IS high country.


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By Charles I.
From Boulder, CO
Oct 25, 2012
Climbing the Second Icefield.  Watch for stonefall here and move fast.

For high stuff that is south facing I might suggest the Michael Strassman Memorial Route. Not easy, but not super hard.

A night at the Stone House is always a great and you would have plenty of time to send.

mountainproject.com/v/michael-strassman-memorial-route/10683>>>

Let me know if you want some beta.


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By SirTobyThe3rd
Oct 27, 2012
Hello

Charlotte dome! Great route and chill. III 5.7-8. I did it last year in similar season and had a blast.


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By BighornAdams
Oct 27, 2012

Im also considering Charlotte Dome in November. So what Im understanding is that it might be doable? Better from the west approach?


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Oct 27, 2012

BighornAdams wrote:
Im also considering Charlotte Dome in November. So what Im understanding is that it might be doable? Better from the west approach?


The approach from the west is much shorter, but the good campsites are a thousand feet below the start of the routes (so you'll need to either hike that in the morning of the climb or hike up to the start of the route and bivy). The trailhead from the west starts at a much lower elevation than the Onion Valley trailhead, so there's a better chance it will be passable/driveable in November. I can't tell you if either road will be open in November, though.


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Oct 28, 2012

November in the Sierra is a judgment call. You go into to do something in the Palisades, have snow boots, snow gear and get an early season winter storm, you'll have a tricky hike out but the gear to make it doable. Different story in a pair of light boots, no snow gear, etc. If a storm moves in and dumps a foot of snow, you're hosed.


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By Tapawingo
Oct 28, 2012

Charlotte Dome is an awesome suggestion, seems like it gets the most sun of the high sierra routes listed on this site anyway. Was also looking at Venusian Blind on Temple, seems like it gets morning and afternoon sun but quite a bit higher in elevation and shorter approach. Think it's a toss up between the two.


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Oct 29, 2012

I think the South Face of Lone Pine Peak is a far better suggestion than Charlotte Dome. Way more accessible. Routinely climbed in the winter, unlike Charlotte. Like I said about early season storms, you don't want to be this poor guy who got nailed by the same and is overdue: www.summitpost.org/phpBB3/overdue-hiker-t63470.html

Pick your objective based upon the possible conditions, not just on what you want to climb. Otherwise, you're not just putting yourself at risk, you'll also be putting others at risk if they need to come and find you if things get bad.


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By Tapawingo
Oct 29, 2012

Thanks for the input and concern FD, thats unfortunate about the missing hikers. Attempting a route on LP in a day would definitely give me more time to go craggin at ORG or enjoy some bouldering as well, so I'll definitely consider it.

I found some decent info on summit post, but are there any specific guidebooks that have topos/beta? How is south face direct compared to summer solstice, czech pillar, or zig zag dihedral as they all seem within my range?


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By SirTobyThe3rd
Nov 1, 2012
Hello

Fat Dad wrote:
I think the South Face of Lone Pine Peak is a far better suggestion than Charlotte Dome. Way more accessible. Routinely climbed in the winter, unlike Charlotte.


SF of Charlotte gets done in winter too. Descent is easy- unlike LPP (did you see the trip report about a 40+ hour climb? Well I guess the same dude had a bivy on the Charlotte as well...) elevation is much lower. There are pluses and minuses to both.
As I understand you can only climb Charlotte from the East side in winter. I heard the road to Road's End was supposed to close after this past weekend (if you are planning to climb it, it is your job to check. I do not know if the closed it or not).


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By rex parker
From las vegas n.v
Nov 5, 2012
on the way up <br />

Looks like a few feet coming on the 10th of nov to the high country . Then another banger of a storm thanksgiving they recently reopened the passes but the storm the tenth will shut em down for good. Nothing north of bishop thats for sure. The owens river gorge will be dry . If your into that.


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By michael rowell
Nov 5, 2012
sail away, joshua tree

rex, how likely is rain/snow in the bishop area next weekend?


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By rex parker
From las vegas n.v
Nov 7, 2012
on the way up <br />

I might get a little drizzle and the storm on the tenth got down graded to about a foot above 9000 on fri and only a few inches at 8,000 . But if you look its supposed to be really really cold i think friday nights low in mammoth iis like 5 degrees . Still might be ok after friday in bishop some sunshine at around the gorge or the sads but pretty cold.


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By Tapawingo
Nov 7, 2012

Yeah, was looking at the gorge or the hills as some alternatives if the weather doesn't cooperate. May be doing north ridge of LPP if there is a small window of decent weather sometime between the 17-24th. Keeping my fingers crossed...thanks for the update Rex.


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