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#51343 - 08/02/17 12:09 PM Williamson / Tyndall inquiry
Wailea Offline


Registered: 08/02/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Ny
Hi, Any insight on current conditions to summit Williamson and Tyndall? How's the snow pack? Micro spikes sufficient? Also, can it be done in two days? The plan is Shephard Pass and camp at Anvil. Insight welcome! Thanks!

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#51350 - 08/02/17 02:58 PM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: Wailea]
Encinitas_Guy Offline


Registered: 05/16/16
Posts: 13
Loc: Encinitas, CA
I haven't been up Shepherds Pass this year so I cannot speak to the current conditions, however I have been up it several times in the last couple of years to both Williamson and Tyndall so I will comment on the level of physical effort involved in these two climbs. With an adequate level of fitness, it is feasible to do Tyndall in 2 days from Anvil Camp. People frequently "dayhike" both these peaks from SP TH, but bringing backpacking gear will obviously slow you down significantly. A day hike for either of these peaks is likely going to be an epic. Think 18-24 hours. When I climbed Tyndall we hiked from the car to the lake at Shepherds Pass on day one and set up camp, then started hiking around 530-6am on day two, climbed the north rib on Tyndall and got back to the car in the late afternoon (5pm-ish). I did Williamson last Memorial Day, but spread it out over 3 days and camped at the Pothole. We were on snow for 95% of the climb from the Pothole to the summit of Williamson, which probably sped up our trip across the Williamson Bowl and up the west chute since we didn't have to talus hop the whole thing. Have you decided on a peak or are you just going to play it by feel when you get up there?

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#51354 - 08/02/17 04:22 PM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: Encinitas_Guy]
Wailea Offline


Registered: 08/02/17
Posts: 2
Loc: Ny
Thanks a lot. That's very instructive. The goal is Williamson but will likely base the decision on conditions. So is it a reach to think that starting at around 4am from Anvil would enable enough time to summit both peaks same day? I.e., it sounds like it's not exactly a straight shot from peak to peak? Fairly good fitness level but this isn't my day job! Also, is the trail fairly well marked or is it more just aim in the direction of the summit? Again, thanks for the insight!

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#51357 - 08/02/17 08:30 PM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: Wailea]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 186
Loc: California
Well, I'll tell you my plan.

Two days from Onion Valley to a base camp near Mt Tydall, one day to climb Mt Williamson, Mt Tyndall the next morning before heading south towards Whitney.

From what I've been told and researched, Mt Williamson is pretty hard hike through the Williamson Bowl and some chances for wrong turns going up to the summit.

No trail marked on the maps, but some good trail descriptions and GPX tracks on the net if you search. I'd do some research on the best routes to the summit. Doesn't sound like it's clear cut route from what I've read.

But then I had trouble following the cairns on Mt Langley for some reason, so maybe I'm just directional challenged. smile

Here's some good info on a Mt Williamson and Tyndall trek:
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ascent.aspx?aid=728160

The route he took is very close to what I've been planning (even the cross country trek towards Mt Russell). But the route around the east of Center Peak is different than I palnned. Anyone know if that's a good route (vs sticking closer to the JMT on the west side?





Edited by WanderingJim (08/02/17 08:52 PM)

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#51364 - 08/03/17 08:33 AM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: Wailea]
Encinitas_Guy Offline


Registered: 05/16/16
Posts: 13
Loc: Encinitas, CA
A 4am start at Anvil Camp would be a decent time, but you still have a long way to go to get to the start of the west chute of Williamson. If you can deal with camping at 12k, I would suggest camping at Shepherds Pass to give you more time and a better chance at both peaks on day 2 (assuming AMS doesn't kick in from going from the Owens Valley to 12k feet in 1 day). Figure at 1 1/12 to 2 hours from Anvil Camp to Shepherds Pass, and then roughly 6 hours from shepherds pass to the summit of Williamson. The "trail" (talus hop) is not very well marked (I remember seeing a few cairns, but I was there in May and it was mostly covered in snow) after you drop into the Williamson Bowl, but if you follow the ridgeline (super obvious) that runs down the middle of the bowl you shouldn't have any issues route finding. Once you find the black stain, it is pretty straightforward on where to go...straight up until you run out of chute, and then follow the class 3 crack to the right. We took a printed photo of the Class 3 section to make sure it was the right one. If you hustle and aren't totally wasted from Williamson, Tyndall could be in the cards in the afternoon, but if you need to be at the car that night it would certainly be an epic. Here is a good page for directions/timing/etc. for Williamson and Tyndall too: http://www.scaruffi.com/travel/williams.html
Route finding on Tyndall is super straightforward, just identify the north rib and go up, up, up until you hit the ridge.

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#51369 - 08/03/17 10:52 AM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: Encinitas_Guy]
psykokid Offline


Registered: 07/28/15
Posts: 52
Loc: Pasadena, CA
Originally Posted By: Encinitas_Guy

Route finding on Tyndall is super straightforward, just identify the north rib and go up, up, up until you hit the ridge.


Well, up up up until just below the top of the rib, then you cross over to the other side of the rib to hit the easy chute to the top. Day 3 on on this Caltopo link shows the route I took when I went up last fall. https://caltopo.com/m/PRQL

We had planned on traversing from Williamson down to Russell mostly XC but my hiking partner wasn't up to the task.

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#51372 - 08/03/17 02:06 PM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: psykokid]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 186
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: psykokid

We had planned on traversing from Williamson down to Russell mostly XC but my hiking partner wasn't up to the task.


Oh, that is an interesting path. I didn't think about going Williamson > Trojan Peak > Bernard > Russell

So are those tracks what you planned to do or what you actually managed? Some of the tracks look rougher than others, so it looks like you recorded some and the other were planned tracks.

My plan has been to swing around to the west and the Wright Lakes/Wallace Creek area to Russell, but I'm a little worried how that will be this year with all the snow melt around those lakes and streams.

Is the Williamson > Trojan Peak > Bernard > Russell path something you've seen described as doable by others?

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#51375 - 08/03/17 02:38 PM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: WanderingJim]
psykokid Offline


Registered: 07/28/15
Posts: 52
Loc: Pasadena, CA
The 01-06 segments were the route we had planned. The day 1-4 segments were what we ended up actually doing while we were up there. BTW, I do not recommend the route we took down the back side of Tyndall - it was a long slog over a lot of unstable talus with some picking our way through to find an easy way down the cliff bands. It took us about the same amount of time to descend to lake 11959 from the summit as it did to make it to the top of Tyndall from our camp in the saddle by the tarn.

The planned track is something I had pieced together from reading other trip reports and seeing a few gps tracks. The whole route is doable. I pulled the Trojan -> Barnard bit from a couple of trip report and the Barnard -> Russell bit from another trip report and from some info from SteveC on his route through Wallace/Wales and up the Russell/Carillion saddle last Aug. The Williamson -> Trojan bit I pulled from route descriptions from a couple of sources when I was researching the whole thing last Summer.

When are you planning on heading out? Depending on the timing the Wright Lakes / Wallace Creek area should be fine, albeit a bit soggy in spots. I remember reading earlier in July that Wallace at the JMT was flowing pretty high, but that's older info. You'd be further up the basin and crossing the feeder streams before they all join together.

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#51379 - 08/03/17 03:49 PM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: psykokid]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 186
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: psykokid
BTW, I do not recommend the route we took down the back side of Tyndall - it was a long slog over a lot of unstable talus with some picking our way through to find an easy way down the cliff bands.


Yeah, I noticed that loop down from Tyndall and around the southwest peak of Tyndall and wondered why you'd do that. smile Figured you were a sucker for punishment like I am. smile

I wasn't planning on going down that way from Tyndall (wouldn't want to take my full pack up). I was planning on going up Tyndall from the north, doing down the same way. Get my gear and circle around to the west before heading to Russell. Kind of the reverse route you did in that loop.

If I did the Williamson > Trojan > Bernard > Russell route, that would mean going up Tyndall first and carrying my full pack to the bowl (possibly camping in there somewhere), doing Williamson (without my full pack, of course), and then across the peaks towards Russell.

The satellite views of your planned route doesn't look too bad (although I've been fooled several times by satellite views, so I always try to check multiple sources and trip reports before setting out off trail). It actually looks shorter and may be more scenic than going down through the Wright Lakes area.

Of course, I always have the option of going all the way west to the JMT and heading to Whitney that way if conditions prevent the overland route (skipping Russell, unfortunately).


Quote:

When are you planning on heading out? Depending on the timing the Wright Lakes / Wallace Creek area should be fine, albeit a bit soggy in spots. I remember reading earlier in July that Wallace at the JMT was flowing pretty high, but that's older info. You'd be further up the basin and crossing the feeder streams before they all join together.


My first possible start date is Aug 13th, but I've been more inclined to go on my second choice on August 27th. Weather has been looking pretty bad this week, so will depend on how the weather looks next week and any trail reports I can get.



Edited by WanderingJim (08/03/17 03:50 PM)

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#51381 - 08/03/17 04:40 PM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: WanderingJim]
psykokid Offline


Registered: 07/28/15
Posts: 52
Loc: Pasadena, CA
The one thing to note on the Trojan -> Barnard section to keep it from getting too technical is to drop down to 13K and then contour around as indicated by the track for that section. I remember reading a TR by someone and they tried running the ridge line between Trojan and Barnard and it got pretty hairy so they dropped down to keep it class 3 or lower. From what they were saying the ridge line route is doable, but goes into class 4/5 territory, not something you'd want to lug a full pack over.

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#51463 - 08/07/17 10:43 AM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: psykokid]
BFR Offline


Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 71
Loc: Santa Monica, CA
_________________________
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#51482 - 08/08/17 11:41 AM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: Wailea]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 186
Loc: California
So with the weather for next week looking pretty good so far (Mountain Forecast has till next Wednesday being clear), I'm thinking about doing my big trek next week.

So Onion Valley > JMT > Tyndall over two days.
Summit Tyndall > Williamson Bowl.
Summit Williamson > Summit Trojan > Summit Barnard
Over to Russell and summit Russell
If I'm still alive smile , descend to Iceberg Lake (or Upper Boy Scout Lake to take a gentler decent route)
Take Mountaineers Route to Summit of Whitney if able
Return to portal


So I'll have my crampons with me, but does anyone think I'd need a ice axe for that route next week? Or better to wait two more weeks?

Any other conditions I should be aware of? Any bad river crossings to expect?

I'll have my medium gloves for warmth and for scrambling, of course, but would insulated snow gloves be needed?


By the look of it, there shouldn't be any lack of water available on the route except after leaving Williamson Bowl to go over to Trojan and Bernard. So stock up in the Bowl and then once I get down from Bernard on the way to Russell.

Should I plan on possibly needing to melt snow for water? (if so, I can bring extra gas)

Basically, Tyndall and Williamson are the primary goals. Trojan and Bernard bonuses.
Russell would be great to achieve and Whitney a miracle. smile

Food weighs in at 11 pounds for this trip, but so far my whole pack is only 45 pounds fully loaded. That's the same weight as my 3 day Whitney summit back in 2015. I must be getting better at lightening my load. Or my scale is broken. smile

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#51484 - 08/08/17 12:14 PM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: WanderingJim]
bobpickering Offline


Registered: 02/07/10
Posts: 311
Loc: Reno, Nevada
When people discuss the need for crampons and ice tools, they often skip over the most important tool: the boots. A medium-weight boot with stiff soles is all you need on moderate slopes in warm weather. Adding a pair of ski poles lets you navigate slightly harder terrain. A pair of well-fitted strap-on crampons will get you up and down much steeper terrain. If you fall without an axe, you are going for a ride, but itís possible to go almost anywhere without one. Iíve even done the Whitney Mountaineersí Route in winter without using an axe.

Light hiking boots, trail runners, and other flimsy footwear work fine on the trail, but they are just about useless on snow. The flexible soles make it easy to slip. They donít work well with crampons, and the crampons may even slip off the boot at the worst possible time.

I would take the stiffer boots, crampons, and hiking/ski poles. No axe. And you might not need the crampons.

You can melt snow if you prefer, but there will be plenty of liquid water.

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#51485 - 08/08/17 12:49 PM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: WanderingJim]
futbol Offline


Registered: 06/27/17
Posts: 15
Loc: San Diego, CA

Which route do you plan on going up Mt Russell?


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#51488 - 08/08/17 01:45 PM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: futbol]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 186
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: futbol

Which route do you plan on going up Mt Russell?


From the north. Either up the north ridge that leads to the east summit or going between the two lakes up to the east ridge from the north. Then transversing from there to the main west peak of Russell.

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#51490 - 08/08/17 10:09 PM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: bobpickering]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 186
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: bobpickering
I would take the stiffer boots, crampons, and hiking/ski poles. No axe. And you might not need the crampons.


Stiff boots... check. Crampons... check. Black Diamond Z-Poles (bought specifically for my Salkantay trek and this big trek)... check.

Thanks.

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#51499 - 08/09/17 05:02 PM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: bobpickering]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 186
Loc: California
Quick question: Usually when I scrambling/scaling mighty rock walls, I won't use my hiking stick or trekking poles. They usually just get in the way in those cases. And better to have your hands free to hold on for dear life. smile

Do people usually forgo trekking poles for the final part of the Mountaineer's Route? I assume they do, but figured I'd ask.

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#51507 - 08/10/17 12:26 AM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: WanderingJim]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7235
Loc: Fresno, CA
The MR Final 400 is steep enough that you will need your hands often. Trekking poles etc. just get in the way. I stow mine in my pack.

Now if the F-400 looks too intimidating, you can use the "Easy Walk-off", and there, the poles would be helpful.

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#51511 - 08/10/17 07:40 AM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: Steve C]
BFR Offline


Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 71
Loc: Santa Monica, CA
Originally Posted By: Steve C

Now if the F-400 looks too intimidating, you can use the "Easy Walk-off", and there, the poles would be helpful.


The "easy walk off" looked terrifying when I was there on 7/30. It was covered in snow and because of the exposure it stays firmer. Slip risk is real. The final 400 was a way safer option in my view.
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#51512 - 08/10/17 08:30 AM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: BFR]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7235
Loc: Fresno, CA
> The final 400 was a way safer option in my view.

Yes! I was thinking it would be snow-free. Probably treacherous and deadly on old/cold/frozen snow.
...but then he'll be carrying crampons.

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#51519 - 08/10/17 04:22 PM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: WanderingJim]
WanderingJim Offline


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 186
Loc: California
Wish me luck, I'm going for it next week. (well... I've just made hotel reservations for the two nights of acclimatization before getting to Lone Pine that it's too late to get refunds if I back out, so I'm committed that far at least smile )



Edited by WanderingJim (08/10/17 04:24 PM)

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#51522 - 08/10/17 07:09 PM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: Wailea]
KaraKyrgyz Offline


Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 7
Loc: California, USA
Good luck!

I'm also planning a two-day trip up Tyndall via Shepherd's Pass weekend after next. Hoping some of that lingering snow near the top of the pass will melt out by then. smirk

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#51585 - 08/14/17 06:27 AM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: Wailea]
KaraKyrgyz Offline


Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 7
Loc: California, USA
Can anyone point me to a gpx track that includes the correct place to cross the rib and attain the summit ridge while climbing Tyndall's north rib? I've found several tracks of people who did the north rib, but many of them note that they hit the wrong notch and ended up on some unpleasant Class 4 terrain that I'd just as soon avoid.

Everything seems straightforward except this one bit, and while I've read enough maps and descriptions that I think we'll be fine without GPS, it would be nice to be able to check the GPS to confirm. First time on Tyndall and still relatively new to off-trail hiking, so over-preparing as best I can. smile


Edited by KaraKyrgyz (08/14/17 06:27 AM)

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#51602 - 08/14/17 11:46 AM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: KaraKyrgyz]
psykokid Offline


Registered: 07/28/15
Posts: 52
Loc: Pasadena, CA
Originally Posted By: KaraKyrgyz
Can anyone point me to a gpx track that includes the correct place to cross the rib and attain the summit ridge while climbing Tyndall's north rib? I've found several tracks of people who did the north rib, but many of them note that they hit the wrong notch and ended up on some unpleasant Class 4 terrain that I'd just as soon avoid.

Everything seems straightforward except this one bit, and while I've read enough maps and descriptions that I think we'll be fine without GPS, it would be nice to be able to check the GPS to confirm. First time on Tyndall and still relatively new to off-trail hiking, so over-preparing as best I can. smile


If you goto this link: https://caltopo.com/m/PRQL and check the track labeled "2016-09-24 - Day 3", it shows the route we took up the north rib including where we crossed over the rib and hit the easy class 3 chute to the top of the ridge line. I DO NOT recommend following our route down the backside of tyndall. Ended up being a nasty talus hop all the way down to lake 11959.

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#51603 - 08/14/17 12:15 PM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: psykokid]
BFR Offline


Registered: 04/07/16
Posts: 71
Loc: Santa Monica, CA
_________________________
Strava, IG

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#51620 - 08/15/17 06:19 AM Re: Williamson / Tyndall inquiry [Re: Wailea]
KaraKyrgyz Offline


Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 7
Loc: California, USA
Thank you both!

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