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#53490 - 06/14/18 09:19 AM Mountaineer's?
keebs Offline


Registered: 06/14/18
Posts: 5
Loc: Forest Falls, CA
Heading up to try and hop on East Buttress, descending MR.
Anyone been up there recently, so we can decide if we need to bring axes/poons or not?

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#53491 - 06/14/18 11:33 AM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: keebs]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7590
Loc: Fresno, CA
With the many accidents on the chute on the main trail, and reports I've seen lately, I'd bring the ice tools to descend.

...Also, I saw another place where a 60M rope for rappelling the Final 400 was a big help.

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#53498 - 06/14/18 01:26 PM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: Steve C]
keebs Offline


Registered: 06/14/18
Posts: 5
Loc: Forest Falls, CA
doing the East Buttress, so we'll have a 60m with us, thanks!

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#53505 - 06/14/18 10:24 PM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: keebs]
wshaynes Offline


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 18
Loc: California
When are you going up? I have a trip for 6/29 and I'm getting somewhat concerned about conditions. My group has some rock climbing experience ie: setting up belays and climbing anchors, but not rappels. We were planning on bringing a 30m rope and roping up (simulclimbing) using natural and artificial protection as needed. But also hopeful to just be able to down climb with no gear.

This will be our first time doing the MR, but we have climbed Mt Williamson and Middle Palisade. Both of those climbs were done later in the season (late August).

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated...

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#53511 - 06/15/18 09:06 AM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: wshaynes]
keebs Offline


Registered: 06/14/18
Posts: 5
Loc: Forest Falls, CA
planning on tomorrow if we get a permit...otherwise plan B just multipitch at the portal (sniff, sniff, the sadness! :-) )

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#53573 - 06/18/18 10:30 AM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: wshaynes]
keebs Offline


Registered: 06/14/18
Posts: 5
Loc: Forest Falls, CA
Our party of 2 made it up the East Buttress on Saturday, and descended the MR.

The "final 400" is still ice+snow, so our descent at 2:30PM worked well to take advantage of softer material for kicking+plunging before it set up again in the afternoon.

There a 3 100' raps down the MR gully currently -though you must carefully kick/pick down and over to the first one (yellow webbing).

100' down is the 2nd with blue webbing, and final rap is red webbing -such a colorful descent!

After that, you're in the notch to easier scrambling/glissading/skriing down to Iceberg Lake.

We had a great 15.5 hour daytrip from the campground.

Enjoy.

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#53578 - 06/18/18 12:34 PM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: keebs]
Granny Smith Offline


Registered: 06/13/17
Posts: 11
Loc: California
Our party of two made the trip up to Iceberg Lake on Friday, June 15th. We were headed up the chute to the notch by 4:30am the next day and the snow was great with crampons/axe at that time of the day. Once at the final 400', we took advantage of the protection already in place, and even saw two additional rap/anchor stations (yellow and orange I believe). Roping in made the ascent much more comfortable knowing we had the protection in case of a slip/fall, as the snow in the final 400 was pretty solid/icy. We should have brought two 30m ropes to rappel back down the same way we came up, as the single 30m rope we had was good to belay/ascend the route, but not to rappel back down to those same stations.

We used the "walk-off" route for our return and protected about 2/3 of the journey by setting our own webbing/anchors using the natural boulder fields along the route. That snow was still very firm with good purchase for the crampons at 10-11am, but was softening by the time we reached the notch, which would have made the journey a little more adventurous.

Snow was very sloppy coming back down the chute towards iceberg lake, lots of post-holing and sliding the whole way down.

We had a great time, first time for us summiting via that route, and will definitely do it again in the future. Happy to answer more questions if you have them.

Cheers,
Nick

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#53579 - 06/18/18 12:36 PM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: Steve C]
Granny Smith Offline


Registered: 06/13/17
Posts: 11
Loc: California
Steve,

You are spot-on here. 60m is the perfect length rope to descend via rappel from rap station to rap station on the final 400'. Highly recommended!

Cheers,

Nick

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#53582 - 06/18/18 08:59 PM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: Granny Smith]
wshaynes Offline


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 18
Loc: California
How did you "rope in" for the ascent up the final 400? Were you simulclimbing? Lead climbing?

I'm part of a group of four going up the MR for our first time on 6/29. We are brining two 30m ropes and all the gear to rappel down if icy. But would love to know more details about what you recommend for going up.

Thanks!

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#53586 - 06/19/18 09:40 AM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: wshaynes]
Granny Smith Offline


Registered: 06/13/17
Posts: 11
Loc: California
wshaynes -

We took turns leading the climb with the other belaying from the rap station. We would tie in (anchor) to each station as the belayer and then the other would lead up to the next station. Once there, he would attach himself to the station and essentially top rope belay the guy from down below. Rinse, lather, and repeat until we reached the top. The steepest part is from the very last station up to the summit. Here the slope was very steep and icy, so most caution was used here.

Rappelling down would have been much better (in my humble opinion) if you know how and have the gear (sounds like you do) as opposed to using the "walk-off".

Stay safe,

Nick

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#53587 - 06/19/18 11:56 AM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: Granny Smith]
cakeandbeerdiet Offline


Registered: 06/19/18
Posts: 1
Loc: PA
GrannySmith,
any chance you have a pic or two of what he snow/ice looked like in the final 400 from your recent trip, especially near the summit? Were any rocks poking out yet? Or are they still buried in ice and snow?

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#53588 - 06/19/18 12:46 PM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: Granny Smith]
wshaynes Offline


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 18
Loc: California
Great info - thank you! Follow up question: Did you bring your own artificial protection? If so, what type(s) and what size range?

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#53590 - 06/19/18 03:23 PM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: Granny Smith]
Granola Offline


Registered: 05/16/18
Posts: 9
Loc: Idaho
My buddy and I are doing the MR on Tuesday the 26th. Any recent photos of the final 400 would be much appreciated. Side note: We are going to descend the Whitney trail tagging Mt. Muir along the way so we are not planning on bringing any gear, other than ice ax's and crampons. Side-side note: we are both experienced and comfortable with solo climbing steep snow/class 3, however I may decide to bring the appropriate gear (or just stick to the Whitney trail) if solid ice conditions are present. It looks like the temps may be warm enough to prevent that, but any recent photos and other reports would be super helpful.

Thanks!

Tom

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#53594 - 06/19/18 09:17 PM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: keebs]
wshaynes Offline


Registered: 06/06/18
Posts: 18
Loc: California
Sounds like the 3 rap stations are already rigged up? I was planning on bringing 10ft sections of webbing and some descending rings in case we need to build our own. Question is, how much do I bring? Thanks again for any wisdom.

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#53595 - 06/19/18 10:21 PM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: cakeandbeerdiet]
Granny Smith Offline


Registered: 06/13/17
Posts: 11
Loc: California
Not sure if this will work or not, but I uploaded some pics to Flickr of the final 400 and “walk-off” from Saturday, June 16th.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/162694296@N06/

As for rocks poking out, there are some larger boulders coming through in places, but plenty of snow, especially once you clear the initial “ledge” you come to on the final 400. You’ll have to climb up a rock ledge and do a mini boulder scramble up the left side to reach the first rappel station.


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#53596 - 06/19/18 10:36 PM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: wshaynes]
Granny Smith Offline


Registered: 06/13/17
Posts: 11
Loc: California
We didn’t bring any cams or nuts, but did see some folks on our way down with snow pickets. As mentioned, we had one 30m rope (should have brought two), some webbing, personal anchors, assortment of slings, alpine draws and locking carabiners. If you stuck to the left side of the ascent, you could place some cams and quickdraws or alpine draws in there to add additional protection between the stations, but with the good firm snow and crampons, I don’t think you’d need that - over to you, stay safe!

If you really wanted to take along some cams, I’d say nothing smaller than a .75 and up to a 3 would work. Lots of nice cracks and gaps that would take some 1-3 BD cams.

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#53597 - 06/19/18 10:38 PM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: wshaynes]
Granny Smith Offline


Registered: 06/13/17
Posts: 11
Loc: California
We brought a roll of our own webbing and only ended up making one sling out of it to fix to a large boulder when traversing the “walk-off”. The existing rap stations in the final 400 were all pretty bomber and didn’t require us to do anything other than anchor in and get to work.

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#53600 - 06/20/18 08:01 AM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: Granny Smith]
Granola Offline


Registered: 05/16/18
Posts: 9
Loc: Idaho
Awesome! Thanks for the pictures. Looks like good climbing. thanks

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#53719 - 06/28/18 07:22 AM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: keebs]
Granola Offline


Registered: 05/16/18
Posts: 9
Loc: Idaho
Summited via the Mountaineer's Route on Tuesday June 26. Almost no snow in the chute, but there was a small patch before the notch that was quite icy under a layer of slush. We used our ice axes for approx 10m. Conditions in the first couloir of the final 400 were also mostly dry, except for some very steep and icy snow up high. A guided group used the rock rib on the right, we used the rocks/ blocky route on the left.

Descended via the Whitney Trail which was 99% dry other than a short section at the cables that was easily past.

I have to give thanks to this forum and the people that contribute to it. It was my single most used resource while planning our climb. I'm working on a detailed trip report and will post it up as soon as its done.

Cheers!

Tom


Edited by Granola (06/28/18 12:51 PM)

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#53722 - 06/28/18 11:47 AM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: Granola]
Granny Smith Offline


Registered: 06/13/17
Posts: 11
Loc: California
Congrats Tom! Did you guys "rope-in" at all in the final 400, or is enough of the snow gone that you can hug the right/left rocky parts as mentioned?

Solid work, Mountaineer's route is a great way to see Whitney.

Cheers,

Nick

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#53725 - 06/28/18 12:54 PM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: Granny Smith]
Granola Offline


Registered: 05/16/18
Posts: 9
Loc: Idaho
Thanks Nick!

We did not rope up. We just climbed the rocks on the left side. We were scratching our heads at first but it ended up being a really fun scramble.

Tom

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#53762 - 07/02/18 11:41 AM Re: Mountaineer's? [Re: keebs]
GeoMountain Offline


Registered: 07/02/18
Posts: 1
Loc: California
Summited and descended via MR on 07/01. We brought ice axes/crampons but ended up not using them at all. The chute has some snow at the bottom but most are climbing on rock for this section.

There is some snow left for the last third of the Final 400, but we chose to use the 3rd/4th class rock rib on the climbers' right. Some might rope up here on the way up or down (we did a bit on the descent,) but most of the rap stations have been removed at this point. We were happy to have a rope/sling as we rappelled off a block for the lowest 30 ft of the final 400, due to some frozen water runoff - but I think most would be fine with downclimbing the whole way.

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