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Jun 20, 2013
My buddy and I are planning on tackling the Evolution Traverse this summer. We have 1 month off at the same time and plan on Tuolumne for a base camp, and are planning on spending a lot of time in the High Sierra. Any ideas out there as good routes to do before the Traverse. Obvious ones I have in mind are Matthes Crest and Mt. Conness Up the west ridge then down the north.
Thanks.
Willie Wilson
From America
Joined Aug 1, 2010
48 points
Jun 20, 2013
We just climbed for a month or so in Washington, Tahoe, and Tuolumne. Nothing too crazy. Our friend joined us from sea level the day before the climb, and he did fine. I think he did some jogging or surfing or something to get in shape.

We did drive out into the mountains and slept at 10k' the night before the climb which probably helped.

Have fun and move fast.

Phillip
Dobson
From Butte, MT
Joined Oct 20, 2011
187 points
Jun 21, 2013
The West Desert...it's not just for climbing, suck...
Acclimatizing is probably the least of his concerns.

There are others far more qualified here than I to give you advice, but I would think about doing Cathedral range link-up options (like Tenaya, Cathedral, Matthes, and assorted nearby peaks like Echo, etc). Doing Matthes alone seems like kiddie prep. Conness would be a good intro.

You could do Palisade Traverse or at least parts of it, like Little Palisade. Lone Peak in a day (not sure if it's too hot now).

There are other traverses out there...some of them with longer approaches, worse rock, and harder routefinding as far as I know, so somewhat riskier perhaps. I am sure you will get some additional feedback which is more informed than mine.
Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Mar 5, 2007
2,516 points
Jun 21, 2013
Ah, I understand now, Aerili.

I still have not really done any other large ridge traverses like the Evo, so I can't be of much help finding similar ones. The climbing in the Evo is rarely hard, it's just long and complex. The trick is to make good decisions quickly and follow through with them without hesitation.

A good way to approximate the climbing would be to get on other large (hopefully chossy) ridges with very little beta and try to do them as fast as possible. Get a good feel for what you can solo, simul, and what you need to pitch out. The less you know about the practice climb in advance, the more useful it will be as training. The climbing doesn't even have to be hard, just mysterious. Good strategy and routefinding is the key to success in the Evolution Traverse.

Evo Traverse
Evo Traverse


Evo exposure
Evo exposure


Haeckel
Haeckel


Phillip
Dobson
From Butte, MT
Joined Oct 20, 2011
187 points
Jun 21, 2013
Tbolt summit block (photo by Damien)
Having done the traverse, things like Tenaya-Matthes-Cathedral and Conness aren't very representative. You'll get acclimatization, but the climbing is not very similar in length or routefinding difficulties. I would recommend things like Temple-Galey-Sill and Sill to Tbolt (or better yet those two combined). It's not a bad idea to preview the section of the traverse between Darwin and 13,322 where you'll kill the most time. fossana
From Sin City & Bishop
Joined Apr 30, 2006
12,438 points
Jun 21, 2013
fossana wrote:
It's not a bad idea to preview the section of the traverse between Darwin and 13,322 where you'll kill the most time.


That's almost cheating! You don't want to make it too easy. :-)

We lost the better part of a day getting to 13332. Fortunately, once you get there, the rest of the route is in the bag.
Dobson
From Butte, MT
Joined Oct 20, 2011
187 points
Jun 21, 2013
Tbolt summit block (photo by Damien)
Dobson wrote:
That's almost cheating! You don't want to make it too easy. :-) We lost the better part of a day getting to 13332. Fortunately, once you get there, the rest of the route is in the bag.


In the bag from a technical standpoint, but from an endurance standpoint you have to convince yourself to keep moving. It's still a long ways to go.
fossana
From Sin City & Bishop
Joined Apr 30, 2006
12,438 points
Jun 21, 2013
fossana wrote:
In the bag from a technical standpoint, but from an endurance standpoint you have to convince yourself to keep moving. It's still a long ways to go.


Haha, yeah. Twenty-two long hours back to the start of the route. Maybe the best long day of my life.
Dobson
From Butte, MT
Joined Oct 20, 2011
187 points
Jun 21, 2013
Tbolt summit block (photo by Damien)
Dobson wrote:
Haha, yeah. Twenty-two long hours back to the start of the route. Maybe the best long day of my life.


That's a great time, esp given that you guys roped up for part of it.
fossana
From Sin City & Bishop
Joined Apr 30, 2006
12,438 points
Jun 21, 2013
That was just our time from 13332. I'm definitely not strong enough to do the whole thing in a day. Dobson
From Butte, MT
Joined Oct 20, 2011
187 points
Jun 21, 2013
Tbolt summit block (photo by Damien)
Dobson wrote:
That was just our time from 13332. I'm definitely not strong enough to do the whole thing in a day.


You and me both ;)
fossana
From Sin City & Bishop
Joined Apr 30, 2006
12,438 points
Jun 29, 2013
Sweet thanks for the help guys and gals, looks like we decided on sill-thunderbolt as a warmup to it. The Cathedral range is on our tick list as well just not sure if were going to do it before Evo. Any thought on finding water in mid August will there still be snow or will we have to descend to a lake? Willie Wilson
From America
Joined Aug 1, 2010
48 points
Jun 29, 2013
In early July last year, we were able to find snow to melt on the summit of Darwin. Our friends who went in August were not so lucky and had to bail.

If I went in August, I would for sure carry more water (we had 2L per person), and be vigilant about taking advantage of any source I came about. There were some pools deep under boulders on top of Darwin that should persist. With a long section of water filter hose, you can suck them dry.

The other option is to get to the tarn below Haeckel in the first day. It would be a hell of a marathon, though. I wouldn't want to traverse from Darwin to 13332 in the dark. Especially not for the first time.

It's a tough decision. More water slows you down and make it harder to get to the next source. Less water commits you to moving fast or else. Judge your speed accurately and make a smart plan.
Dobson
From Butte, MT
Joined Oct 20, 2011
187 points


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