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#33213 - 09/12/13 05:40 PM I wonder which 14ers I can actually do?
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 368
Loc: Wildomar
I'm a day hiker with limited route finding skills. I have nearly 20 summits up Whitney, including once up the Mountaineers Route. There isn't too much route finding on the Mountaineers Route and my son and I were led by Richard P. I had no trouble on the ledges or the final 400, but again, I just followed along.

I recently walked up Langley and we are headed to stroll up White Mountain soon.

So I'm wondering - which 14ers does a guy with my skill set have a chance of sumitting?

I'm guessing I could get Muir if I tagged along with someone else. It doesn't "look" to be worse than the final 400, but then again, what do I know?

Assuming that miles, gain and hours needed are no problem and that only route finding and actual climbing are hurdles, which 14ers left on the list could be done?

I know I'll never get them all, I'm not a climber. But I would like to get a few of them (safely)..............................................DUG

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#33219 - 09/12/13 10:41 PM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: DUG]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
Definitely go for Split. Also Williamson and Tyndall.

Then Middle Palisade -- its "final 1000" is like the final 400.

Shasta requires crampons and ice axe, but it's not technical.

Mt Sill and North Palisade would give you the toughest time. I did those when I was younger and bolder.

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#33220 - 09/12/13 11:06 PM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: Steve C]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 368
Loc: Wildomar
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Definitely go for Split. Also Williamson and Tyndall.

Then Middle Palisade -- its "final 1000" is like the final 400.

Shasta requires crampons and ice axe, but it's not technical.

Mt Sill and North Palisade would give you the toughest time. I did those when I was younger and bolder.


Thanks for the info. I might try to get up Whitney next week and if so, I'll take a good look at Muir while I'm there. I'm fairly confident I could safely climb it, not so sure about down climbing it. So I'll wait and tag along with someone else.............................................DUG

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#33222 - 09/13/13 06:32 AM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: Steve C]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1029
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: Steve C


Mt Sill and North Palisade would give you the toughest time. I did those when I was younger and bolder.


Mt. Sill from the south isn't that bad. Nice day hike over Bishop and Potluck Pass smile

Some tricky moves at the very end, but otherwise nothing super challenging (Potluck Pass is a good test of your abilities before the final climb). I always wanted to combine it with the High Route section from Palisade Lake to Le Conte, but so far have not been able to squeeze that detour into any hike.

pictures of a climb from the south here



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#33224 - 09/13/13 09:05 AM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: DUG]
Snacking Bear Offline


Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 494
Loc: Saugus, CA
Originally Posted By: DUG

Thanks for the info. I might try to get up Whitney next week and if so, I'll take a good look at Muir while I'm there. I'm fairly confident I could safely climb it, not so sure about down climbing it. So I'll wait and tag along with someone else.............................................DUG


Muir is a tricky bit of rock-work. I'm of the opinion that it firmly crosses into the realm of Class 4.

Here are two potential routes as seen in one of jdmorris's photos on summitpost:



(The route in blue is purported to be closer to class 3 and the red deviation is class 4)

Tyndall is good, from Shepherds Pass your entire route is in view and apparent.



(Courtesy Pebblecrawler's Blogspot)

Crossing the Williamson Bowl is something of a chore and getting in view of the correct ascent chute is crucial. Make sure you do your homework Piero Scaruffi gives a good idea of the route:

http://www.scaruffi.com/travel/williams.html


Edited by Snacking Bear (09/13/13 09:10 AM)
Edit Reason: Then I misspelled some stuff.
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#33225 - 09/13/13 10:07 AM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: Snacking Bear]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 368
Loc: Wildomar
Originally Posted By: Snacking Bear
Originally Posted By: DUG

Thanks for the info. I might try to get up Whitney next week and if so, I'll take a good look at Muir while I'm there. I'm fairly confident I could safely climb it, not so sure about down climbing it. So I'll wait and tag along with someone else.............................................DUG


Muir is a tricky bit of rock-work. I'm of the opinion that it firmly crosses into the realm of Class 4.

Here are two potential routes as seen in one of jdmorris's photos on summitpost:



(The route in blue is purported to be closer to class 3 and the red deviation is class 4)

Tyndall is good, from Shepherds Pass your entire route is in view and apparent.



(Courtesy Pebblecrawler's Blogspot)

Crossing the Williamson Bowl is something of a chore and getting in view of the correct ascent chute is crucial. Make sure you do your homework Piero Scaruffi gives a good idea of the route:

http://www.scaruffi.com/travel/williams.html


Thanks for the pics and info. I'm pretty confident I could get UP Muir, not so sure I could get safely down. Since that's pretty important, I need to either step up my skill set or go with someone else. Probably both. I take my son on pretty much everything, so I have to be extra careful.

Anyone going to Muir soon? I'm buying Moose Burgers and beer! I need to watch the boards for a "Will guide for food posting". smile.......................................DUG

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#33227 - 09/13/13 10:30 AM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: DUG]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Unless you are really determined that it just has to be a forteener, Mt Agassiz (just under 14), from Bishop Pass is doable as a day-hike from the South Lake trailhead in less than 12 hours. Plenty of good camp sites along the approach trail, if you don't want to do it as a day hike. The West Slope route is class 2, with solid rock, no exposure, and easy route finding. It would be a good climb and safer for your kid than some of the other climbs.

http://www.summitpost.org/mount-agassiz/150921

The view, from the summit of Agassiz, of the Palisade glacier and beyond is outstanding.


Edited by Bob West (09/13/13 10:35 AM)

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#33228 - 09/13/13 10:55 AM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: DUG]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
Originally Posted By: DUG
I'm pretty confident I could get UP Muir, not so sure I could get safely down. Since that's pretty important, I need to either step up my skill set or go with someone else. Probably both. I take my son on pretty much everything, so I have to be extra careful.


DUG, descending really isn't any more difficult than ascending. If you can go up something, it is definitely possible to down-climb it. Your only disadvantage going down is that it is more difficult to find the footholds going down, since you might not be able to see them as readily as when you climb up. And with that disadvantage, it is the worst when you are nearly vertical, so can't hang out a little bit to see your downward route. However, Muir and all but the most technical of the peaks here are NOT that steep.

So you can pretty easily view your downward path with your eyes, and then proceed with your feet. On your way up, look down often, so you can recognize the route when you head down. It is not that difficult!

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#33230 - 09/13/13 12:37 PM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: Steve C]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 368
Loc: Wildomar
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Originally Posted By: DUG
I'm pretty confident I could get UP Muir, not so sure I could get safely down. Since that's pretty important, I need to either step up my skill set or go with someone else. Probably both. I take my son on pretty much everything, so I have to be extra careful.


DUG, descending really isn't any more difficult than ascending. If you can go up something, it is definitely possible to down-climb it. Your only disadvantage going down is that it is more difficult to find the footholds going down, since you might not be able to see them as readily as when you climb up. And with that disadvantage, it is the worst when you are nearly vertical, so can't hang out a little bit to see your downward route. However, Muir and all but the most technical of the peaks here are NOT that steep.

So you can pretty easily view your downward path with your eyes, and then proceed with your feet. On your way up, look down often, so you can recognize the route when you head down. It is not that difficult!


Then why are cats always getting stuck UP in a tree? smile

What you says sound good, but I have no experience. When we did the Mountaineers Route with Richard P we came down the main trail so he could show us all the short cuts.

I need to take a class or something. Maybe Route Finding/Mountain Climbing for Dummies?..............................................DUG

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#33232 - 09/13/13 02:16 PM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: Steve C]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
Originally Posted By: Steve C


DUG, descending really isn't any more difficult than ascending. If you can go up something, it is definitely possible to down-climb it. Your only disadvantage going down is that it is more difficult to find the footholds going down, since you might not be able to see them as readily as when you climb up. And with that disadvantage, it is the worst when you are nearly vertical, so can't hang out a little bit to see your downward route. However, Muir and all but the most technical of the peaks here are NOT that steep.

So you can pretty easily view your downward path with your eyes, and then proceed with your feet. On your way up, look down often, so you can recognize the route when you head down. It is not that difficult!


Yup: that's why so many climbers simply downclimb their 5.15 overhanging routes.

Yup: I REALIZE that's an extreme example, but what is simple scrambling for one person is another person's death trap. And, having just lost someone on "Class 3 terrain", you can't tell me that going down is just a simple reversal of going up.

Also, might I suggest we watch the definition of "technical", please? Saying that something requires snow equipment, but in the same sentence saying the climb isn't technical is a gross sandbagging of what might be required to safely climb a mountain. To me, at least, anything requiring specialized equipment beyond than your lower limbs and trekking poles makes a climb technical. Other interpretations lead to people thinking they can take something like microspikes and use them on terrain other than a flat trail.

DUG, Muir is definitely Class 3, and has elements of exposure. The hand and foot holds are positive and evident, except for the "sit and spin" move in the middle of the face. If the weather holds, I would have some time in later October to head up there. It's a lot of walking for not a lot of scrambling, but maybe we could find some other trouble to get into, as well...

As for "other 14ers", c'mon now DUGgers. Don't join the ranks of the trophy-baggers and widen your scope a bit. There are SO many awesomely fun peaks throughout the Sierra on which you can learn and hone your skillz. I may know a few...

-L
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#33234 - 09/13/13 03:03 PM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: MooseTracks]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 368
Loc: Wildomar
Originally Posted By: MooseTracks
Originally Posted By: Steve C


DUG, descending really isn't any more difficult than ascending. If you can go up something, it is definitely possible to down-climb it. Your only disadvantage going down is that it is more difficult to find the footholds going down, since you might not be able to see them as readily as when you climb up. And with that disadvantage, it is the worst when you are nearly vertical, so can't hang out a little bit to see your downward route. However, Muir and all but the most technical of the peaks here are NOT that steep.

So you can pretty easily view your downward path with your eyes, and then proceed with your feet. On your way up, look down often, so you can recognize the route when you head down. It is not that difficult!


Yup: that's why so many climbers simply downclimb their 5.15 overhanging routes.

Yup: I REALIZE that's an extreme example, but what is simple scrambling for one person is another person's death trap. And, having just lost someone on "Class 3 terrain", you can't tell me that going down is just a simple reversal of going up.

Also, might I suggest we watch the definition of "technical", please? Saying that something requires snow equipment, but in the same sentence saying the climb isn't technical is a gross sandbagging of what might be required to safely climb a mountain. To me, at least, anything requiring specialized equipment beyond than your lower limbs and trekking poles makes a climb technical. Other interpretations lead to people thinking they can take something like microspikes and use them on terrain other than a flat trail.

DUG, Muir is definitely Class 3, and has elements of exposure. The hand and foot holds are positive and evident, except for the "sit and spin" move in the middle of the face. If the weather holds, I would have some time in later October to head up there. It's a lot of walking for not a lot of scrambling, but maybe we could find some other trouble to get into, as well...

As for "other 14ers", c'mon now DUGgers. Don't join the ranks of the trophy-baggers and widen your scope a bit. There are SO many awesomely fun peaks throughout the Sierra on which you can learn and hone your skillz. I may know a few...

-L


You know I would LOVE a little Moose trek!

No thoughts of being a peak bagger or trophy hunter. I'll do as many as I safely can in my lifetime and be good with it.

Bob West has already suggested another fine peak that I haven't ever even heard of that deserves a look.

I was just curious, knowing my somewhat limited skill set and my over cautious nature, which of the 14ers I could do. I'm willing to try new things and improve my skills, but I have to many interests and hobbies in life to focus on becoming a super skilled mountaineer. I would like to be able to find my way around the back country without a trail more often though.

I'm planning on taking a long walk on the Whitney main trail next week to see how far I've come in my recovery. If I don't embarrass myself and the weather holds and you're willing to hang out, I would be love to take a stroll with you Moosie..............................DUG

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#33237 - 09/13/13 06:33 PM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: Steve C]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Steve C

DUG, descending really isn't any more difficult than ascending. If you can go up something, it is definitely possible to down-climb it.


Ah, yes the "if you can go up something, you can go down it" oversimplification. How many times have you witnessed someone forward down-climbing terrain that should have been a face-in down-step? Point: many people cannot handle the face-in ladder position of a class 3 and above down-climb without an adverse reaction (if they have not practiced it a bit).

Anyone who has not practiced this sometimes awkward technique of face-in down-climbing should familiarize themselves with it in an area with very low exposure (I have seen people freeze up and the wrong time)

Muir: I was the gear babysitter for a group who did Muir, and again, I would suggest that due to a couple of semi-technical maneuvers (laybacks)(the turn-twist maneuver) that I witnessed as a newbee, (if not a technical climber), I would only advise doing the otherwise simple route with an experienced individual only, during the first attempt.
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#33238 - 09/13/13 07:27 PM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: Bee]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
Thank you Bee and Laura, for injected some much needed reality into the topic of "down-climbing."

Experienced rock climbers (and SAR personnel) can tell you, with experience based authority, that the descent is often more dangerous than the ascent. What seemed easy going up can become a major problem while descending the same route.

A case study:

During a good snow Winter (sigh) years ago, a couple of very experienced climbers and skiers decided to ski over the crest at Echo Col. One of the guys climbed up a nearby cliff to see if the West side looked do-able on skis. About 90 feet up he tried to down-climb his ascent route and discovered that he couldn't. His partner skied out and called for help. Inyo SAR arrived on the scene near Echo Col, via a very dicey helo flight at 2 AM, and climbed to the stranded climber/skier. SAR personnel lowered the guy down to safety. Post script: the very same rescued climber/skier was killed a couple of years later, while descending the Petit Dru in the French Alps.

It's all well and good to say that climbing down is as easy as climbing up if it is Class 2 or easy Class 3 - assuming the absence of route finding problems. But above those levels problems can occur. Most experienced climbers will seek a safer descent route or rappel if they have to.

It really angers me when some contributors to this forum offer climbing advice to people they have never met, or climbed with, without first-hand knowledge of the person's experience, climbing ability and physical fitness. Some self-proclaimed "experts" and "hard-men" ought to just STFU.





Edited by Bob West (09/13/13 07:35 PM)

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#33239 - 09/13/13 09:02 PM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: Bob West]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
Originally Posted By: Bob West

Experienced rock climbers (and SAR personnel) can tell you, with experience based authority, that the descent is often more dangerous than the ascent. What seemed easy going up can become a major problem while descending the same route.


Me. Clyde Minaret. Case in Point.

"This is as big a puzzle on the way down as it was on the way up!" -my climbing partner that day.
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#33242 - 09/13/13 10:17 PM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: MooseTracks]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
Sheesh people! I was just trying to encourage DUG to try Mt Muir, not some 5.15 overhang, or Echo Col or Clyde Minaret. I wouldn't get close to any of the last three, and I wouldn't encourage DUG to try. I was just talking about Mt Muir.

Please, ya kinda blasted me with the anger and harsh words and extreme examples. frown
I have to admit, though, that I quite a few times I have underestimated the difficulty of some terrain. What most of us would cruise through have turned out to be major obstacles for someone I encouraged to come along. So I'll offer my apology.

But I still think DUG, based on his climbing the MR, and his routfinding to the Gamblers site, could get up and back down Muir.

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#33243 - 09/13/13 10:26 PM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: Steve C]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Speaking as a non-blaster, in all fairness, your post was very ambiguous in terms that it sounded like you were making a general statement about Ups and Downs.

The fact that many fatalities have been related to the fallacy of easy up/easy down -- generally speaking -- is sure to rankle the guy who has had to go fetch to bodies. (much like certain traffic maneuvers send me over the edge, because I have had to process the 'unsuccessful' results of such maneuvers)

Buy hey, I already gave my rant somewhere else as to how easily misunderstood these posts can bee

I stand by my casual observation that Muir has a few skills involved that has nothing to do with marathon dayhikes. I would prefer to advise the 'monkey see monkey do' for a non-climber attempting anything unrelated to putting one foot in front of the other type skills (I do not recall that the MR has any laybacks or simple chimnying required)
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#33244 - 09/13/13 10:30 PM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: Steve C]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Definitely go for Split. Also Williamson and Tyndall.

Then Middle Palisade -- its "final 1000" is like the final 400.

Shasta requires crampons and ice axe, but it's not technical.

Mt Sill and North Palisade would give you the toughest time. I did those when I was younger and bolder.


So, this wasn't you?
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#33246 - 09/13/13 11:09 PM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: Steve C]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 368
Loc: Wildomar
I appreciate the advice, encouragement and suggestions. Seriously I do. I am extremely cautious in the back country. Maybe more than I should, but I come home safely after every trip so I can live with missing out on an epic.

I was curious about Muir and some other peaks mainly because I know my limitations. Yes I went up the MR and had no problems. But, on the other hand I was just following my son who was lead by Richard P. I didn't really have any problems but I just put my hands and feet where I was told. We did not down climb. So I have never really down climbed a route.

I did successfully route find my way to the Gamblers Special Wreck. That is a route that has stonewalled a few hikers before me. The thing here is I researched it for three years and failed once. Also after you make the correct turn its simply UP. If you can handle the elevation gain you can not get lost. If you go up you will get to the tarn. Pick the easiest path and go. A monkey could do it. And if you fall, you'll need a band aide, not a body bag.

Anyway, I was just thinking out loud, not trying to stir anyone up. Again, I appreciate the comments and suggestions. It's nice to be back..................DUG


Edited by DUG (09/13/13 11:10 PM)

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#33248 - 09/13/13 11:36 PM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: DUG]
Bob R Offline


Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 129
Loc: Ridgecrest, California
DUG, I owe you one from our discussions a couple of years back. I'd love to share some trail time with you. I know this peak well. I haven't decided what to do around next weekend, but it could easily include Mt. Muir, which would be my 37th ascent of it. I climb it class 3, but I have seen and removed many rappel slings from the route, so some treat it class 4. I wouldn't argue with them; climbing difficulty is subjective.

Based on what you've written, I think you would do fine on Mt. Muir if you went with someone who's climbed it before. Also Split, Williamson, and Tyndall if by the easiest routes.

The others? I'll defer my recommendations until we've shared Mt. Muir. As Bob West suggested, too many people offer climbing advice to those whom they've never met.

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#33254 - 09/14/13 09:06 AM Re: I wonder which 14ers I can actually do? [Re: Bob R]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 368
Loc: Wildomar
Bob, Thank you so much for the offer. I'm headed up to the Portal Wednesday and plan on walking along the the main trail on Thursday. I'm retired now so M-F is pretty easy to get away, but weekends are tough due to family/scout commitments.

I would be honored to hike with you and I hope we can get our schedules to mesh.

Did you ever get back in the Hogback area?........................DUG

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