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June Lake Loop conditions + development


Original Post
kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,777

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: 11,777

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: 11,777

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.
mountainproject.com/v/11307…

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
mountainproject.com/v/famil…
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: 11,777

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: 11,777

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: 11,777

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: 11,777

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: 11,777

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

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,777

New route by somebody else . . .
Yesterday Sharon got out to explore more at Rush -- from which we were denied during the summer by high water in Rush Creek. Now it was easy to cross the log bridge and we hiked up to sector 8 Cosmiques. Above the rock-scrambling part it we discovered that someone else had improved the herd path by creating some switchbacks.

When we arrived at the left (north) side of Cosmiques, we saw a bolt line (which we had not installed), so decided to try climbing it. Variety of interesing moves up to a 2-bolt anchor with 2 rappel rings. Noticed that the bolt hangers were Metolius EN959, which a web search afterward showed were composed of extra-corrosion-resistance 316 Stainless steel. Pretty tough stuff for the dry Eastside environment -- honoring the interesting fun featured granite of Rush by building for eternity.

Afterward I put a description and photos of route up on MP:
- - [ see on this page ] - -

Then we saw lots of interesting rock nearby, so used that shiny 2-bolt anchor (with some directionals) to try Top-Roping other lines to either side -- found lots more fun climbing:
- - [ see on this Photo ] - - 

I'd love to know who did that nice work of bolting, to give them credit for First Ascent, and so they could give their name for this route.

Ken

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,777

Silver Lake

Sharon + I found yet more fun easy routes there today at sector 9 Lavorgo - [ see Photo ] - and last week on the central slab of sector 7 Melchsee - [ see Photo ] -

Wednesday + Friday planning to do some bolting in these sectors.
. . . (possibly Saturday if weather forecast better than showing now).

If might want to join, please send a message to my MP account with your email and phone.

Ken

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,777

No new routes, but I did post description of a crag previously not on MountainProject:

Gull Buttress 

with photos and driving instructions and GPS.
. . (for routes see the 2014 Marty Lewis guidebook).

Close to and highly visible from the main loop road, about a mile SW from Gull Lake.

Quartzite rock, said to be sufficiently hard to rapidly render drill bits dull.

Perhaps someone who knows better can draw some topo lines on the photos to show the routes.

Ken

Jeff Scheuerell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 1,555

Haha, yep that rock is haaaaard. I started a couple of routes above the ball field, sector Gunter Glieben,   Quartzite and Marble, 2 trips with a fresh battery each trip got me 4 bolts total. 

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,777

Thanks for the work -- hope I get to use those bolts for climbing (easier if you post more details on MP).

Sounds like harder rock than most of Silver Lake crag. But couple of weeks ago I wanted to install a directional bolt in blank dull gray plate -- wrecked two drill bits in less than half an hour before I got smart and gave up.

Ken

Jeff Scheuerell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 1,555

I don't tend to post routes until they are done. At the rate I am going it will be a while, cant afford the drill bits and  the time right now. There is an anchor though that works for 2 climbs, a 5.8 and an 11+/12-, but it is a bit of work getting to it. 

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 11,777

Looks like no more rock-climb development for a few months ... based on this view:
- - June Mountain webcam - -

But I did some work on Maps.
Added GPS tracks for approach routes up to the MountainProject maps for

* Rush crag map

* Silver Lake crag map

But because of MP server refresh delay, likely the new routes will not show in your view of those pages until Sunday.
. . . also . . .

Re-naming of sectors of Silver Lake:
A couple of thoughtful readers suggested that the current names chosen for the sectors of SIlver Lake were not very good, and I agreed. So I proposed a new naming theme, and nobody suggested any other theme, so I'm going forward with that. The theme is about Eastside and southern California climbers who have made significant contributions, so if you want to make some suggesions or corrections, check  
- - this thread on MP Northern California forum
which was based on
- - this thread on MP Southern Califorrnia forum

Thanks for any help,

Ken

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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