June Lake Loop conditions + development


Original Post
kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 9,632

Conditions first:
Headed out this morning to explore new stuff on the featured granite of the Rush crag.
Figured the flow of the creek at the log snag would be low enough so we could cross (unlike last time I checked around June 1).

Now it's a different problem from flow. As of today, Grant Lake is so full of water from previous days + weeks, that it has "backed up" toward the south, and is now flooding over Rush Creek feeding into it. So I could not even reach the log snag, so much water + mud. Not even close.

Only way to reach the Rush granite crag is using a boat.

Ken

P.S. the Grant Lake Marina does rent boats.

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 9,632

Development next:
Instead Alastair and I went to sunny Silver Lake quartzite crag, sector Gimmelwald.

Alasdair had not yet done the Mitteleggi Ridge route, so he led that to get us up to the upper part. There we found it easy to set up Top-Rope with tree or bush as anchor.
Found five new routes in the 5.6 to 5.8+ range.

Also one roof with rather interesting positive holds below and above, but alas we at our level could not work out how to connect them in the middle.

Then it was after noon and getting hot in the sun, so we drove and hiked to above Mammoth Lakes and climbed some more on shaded granite, with snow alongside.

Ken

P.S. So I'll be interested to climb with people who want to explore new routes (or help me bolt some known routes) on featured quartzite.

Or who want to join in renting a boat (or bring their own boat) to explore or bolt featured granite.

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 9,632

Sharon and I have explored some more easy routes near the right end of the lower Silver Lake crags. Also installed some more two-bolt anchors for TR. Also installed intermediate bolts on four pitches for
sport Leading.
See this topo photo for sector Miroir.
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/113074164

Unexpected result is that there is now a sport-leadable multi-pitch route which can be used as an approach to another crag above, the
Family Wall (not in the print guidebook) contributed to MountainProject -- see
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/family-wall/111106441
by Mark Grundon.

Sharon + I are expecting to get out and add some more in the next few days.

Ken

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 9,632

Fire this morning.
Sharon + I were out on the N high part of the Silver Lake crag, so we could see where the smoke was coming from -- area of brush burning on slope NW above Silver Lake. And two smaller spots not far away.

Especially memorable was a sizable jet slowly going low and dropping bright red stuff (fire retardant?).

Smoke was not blowing near us, so didn't affect our climbing. But the road was closed north from Silver Lake, so we couldn't check water level around Grant Lake.

Ken

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 9,632

Fire out + done except for one whisp higher up. Helicopter making trips up there to finish it off.

Five new pitches of quality yesterday by Sharon + me, so far TR.

Two short pitches so far this morning (out solo while Sharon rides bike from Mammoth to Silver Lake) -- useful for connecting multi-pitch from bottom to top (and fun interesting climbing).

Plan is to improve and add some anchors, hope to get to install intermediate bolts for Leading on a long fun easy pitch in nice situation previously TR.

Ken

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 9,632

the Rush granite crag (SE of Grant Lake) is now accessible by the log snag crossing. But still muddy getting to the snag. And rather buggy by the crossing because of remaining pools of water.

Road between Silver Lake and Grant Lake now open.
Still flying helicopters to dump water on small fires higher up which we couldn't see. Some of the water scooped up from Silver Lake.

Ken

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 9,632

Sharon and I explored some more Top-Rope pitches on the right side of the Silver Lake crag, so they've been linked from the area pages for sector Melchsee and sector Miroir. Includes the first pitch on this crag as hard as 5.9 (with a 10b variation), also additional fun easy routes.

Sport Lead - (seems like much harder work) - Bolted two or three more pitches in sector Miroir.
- [ see on this Photo ] -
. . . (bolted routes now marked with yellow X) . . . .

The new bolted routes (5.4 and 5.7) are on the left side. I was motivated by how they finish up to the obvious "peak" at the left top of the sector (and the nice climbing sequences). And they connect a bit more closely with the Sport Lead route below in sector Melchsee to make a multi-pitch sport route.
. . . (possible next idea is to bolt a first pitch below in sector Melchsee farther right, so it will connect even more closely).

Convenience . . .
another nice thing about sector Miroir we've now used twice is the ability to walk down from the top on a well-maintained hiking trail (with a car shuttle, or car/bike, or car/flat-run shuttle).

Ken

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 9,632

Silver Lake crag ...

Added two more top anchors to sector Melchsee. Also a mid-height anchor to reduce the problem of rope stretch when Top-Roping if climber falls near the bottom.

So far bolts and hangers only, no connect between bolts, no rappel or lower-off.
. . (I hope before end of the year I'll get the chance to add a connector between each pair of bolts, and some kind of lower-off, to each of those anchors).

Checked loose hanger in anchor at top of P1 / bottom of P2 in route Mittellegi Ridge sector Gimmelwald. Cannot be tightened because nut and bolt just spin together, I assume due to damaged bolt thread. So I tested it: Got the teeth of a 12-inch crowbar under the hanger, also under the bolt -- pried with as much strength and weight as I could put on the crowbar, but nothing in the bolt-nut-hanger hardware moved a bit.

Looked for Howard's route with old piton, and photo of interesting crack (unsorted route in sector Gimmelwald), but couldn't find it.

Ken

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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