Mt aggasiz


Original Post
Jennifer rau · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 5

I've been up to the north fork of big pine backpacking  twice this year. One of my favorites:)

 Now my husband and I are planning a summit of one of the 13/14 ers  in the area. We were planning on doing one of the easier class 3 scrambles and not caring ropes. Our first idea was to East ridge of mt Russell  but because we are getting a walk a permit on a weekend I think it's safer to pick something we can do in one day if needed. Mt aggisiz  is the current pick for location,  mileage and height  Plus it utilizes the South Lake trailhead so I would see something different.  I'm wondering if that is the best choice for the area though, the Palisades have so many amazing summits. I would love suggestions

Jennifer rau · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 5

And thank you!

Jennifer rau · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 5

 One other idea was bear Creek spire 

Ney Grant · · Pollock Pines, CA · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 1,005

Yes, Mt. Aggisiz is a fine mountain to climb.  You can look into the Palisades basin from there and it is gorgeous.  Bear Creek Spire is also a beautiful and fine day out in the mountains - both are really nice.  I'd probably pick Bear Creek as the top is more of a peak and the ridge at the top is stunning.

In fact here is a video we did of Aggisiz:

 

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

I've climbed the West Chute of Agassiz (Class 2)) from a camp at Bishop Pass. It is a fine adventure with great views. I know people do it car-to-car, also, but that's more work than I've cared to do.

Just watch out for incoming thunderstorms (which applies to any peak). 

Jennifer rau · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 5

Ok I'm sold.  We will do Bear Creek spire in October as we have permits, if weather permits. This looks great but I wish I could borrow those dogs !!

 To do the easiest route on Bearcreek spire did you use ropes I have read conflicting reports about the top.

Paul Morrison · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 0

Even if you don't need it on the way up BCS, you might want to carry a rope to begin the descent by rappelling from just below the summit block.

ze dirtbag · · Tahoe · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 50

The summit block is 5.6ish I believe.   The route is pretty mellow below that.   A skinny half rope is my go to for that type of terrain.   The rap below the summit block saves a boatload of time, highly recommended.  

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60
Paul Morrison wrote:

Even if you don't need it on the way up BCS, you might want to carry a rope to begin the descent by rappelling from just below the summit block.

I agree with this. The least technical way to the top of BCS is the Ulrich route, which has some sections of tricky class 4.  Even if the OP managed to scramble her way up, the descent would be kind of sketchy for someone just looking for some mellow class 3.  I soloed the NE Arete on this years ago and found the descent to be the trickiest part.  Perhaps there is an easier descent than the route I took, but I didn't find it.  I've done BCS a couple of times since and found it easier to rap.  

Also, re Mt. Agassiz, you guys are talking apples and oranges.  If I understand the OP correctly, she may be looking to climb something from the N. Fork of Big Pine Creek.  The usual way up Agassiz (the class 2 route) is from Bishop Pass.  I know there are ways up Agassiz from the N. Fork area, but it's a much longer approach and my recollection is that they're typically stout Sierra 4th class.  

If you're looking for class 3 in that area (and if you have crampons and an ice axe), the E. Ridge of Mt. Winchell is a classic.  Mt. Gayley is also a fun, pretty short class 3 from Glacier Notch.  Though the climb itself isn't too long, it's a long enough day if you're approaching from Sam Mack Meadow and you get a tremendous view of both sides of the Palisades, which more than compensates for the relatively short climb.  

Another really good and fun class 3 is Red and White Mt., out of McGee Creek.  I forget the exact route (check the old Moynier/Fiddler guide) but a fairly relaxed 3 dayers, with about a 7 mile hike into basecamp (Big McGee Lake if I remember correctly).  Great, colorful geology heading up that canyon and fun climbing to a good summit.  

brian burke · · santa monica, ca · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 115

mt lamarck is a fun and moderate 13er accessable out of the north lake trailhead in bishop.  i has a few hundred feet of 3rd class on the south face and is really pleasant and beautiful trail to get up there.  the views into the evolution basin from the top are next-level.  the trail is much less traveled than the north fork of big pine creek or anything in the whitney/russel zone. 

would def recommend.  

Jennifer rau · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 5

Thanks Brian I'll check that out. Was definitely planning on bishop pass as I've been up north fork 2x already this year.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Jennifer rau wrote:

Thanks Brian I'll check that out. Was definitely planning on bishop pass as I've been up north fork 2x already this year.

You know that you don't access Bear Creek Spire or Mt. Lamarck from the Bishop Pass trail, right? You do access Mt. Agassiz from the Bishop Pass trail.

Jennifer rau · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 5

And thank you for such thoughtful replies. We are both strong sport climbers and I'm a strong sierra backpacker but taking it easy for our first summit together.

White mountain was farther then we wanted to drive this time Fat Dad but looks great. I am doing a day hike of Whitney in a few weeks with friends so this was a good opportunity to have an adventure together that would be good training but more technical.  My husband is not quite in the same endurance shape as me so we didn't feel like Bringing a rope  if we could still do something beautiful and technical without it. Love that some of the suggested routes are quieter :) many beautiful suggestions. 

Matt Thomsen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 8

The southeast face of Mt. Emerson is a really good car to car day. If you are looking for something with out a permit and just have a day. Really good climbing and it is over 13,000'. All other suggestions are also very good.

brian burke · · santa monica, ca · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 115
Matt Thomsen wrote:

The southeast face of Mt. Emerson is a really good car to car day. 

strong call

Jennifer rau · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 5
brian burke wrote:

mt lamarck is a fun and moderate 13er accessable out of the north lake trailhead in bishop.  i has a few hundred feet of 3rd class on the south face and is really pleasant and beautiful trail to get up there.  the views into the evolution basin from the top are next-level.  the trail is much less traveled than the north fork of big pine creek or anything in the whitney/russel zone. 

would def recommend.  

Do you know which route you did and do you have any beta for the hike and route itself?

Jennifer rau · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 5
Matt Thomsen wrote:

The southeast face of Mt. Emerson is a really good car to car day. If you are looking for something with out a permit and just have a day. Really good climbing and it is over 13,000'. All other suggestions are also very good.

Does anyone have beta for the hike in and the exact route? I'm not finding much online

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Jennifer rau wrote:

Does anyone have beta for the hike in and the exact route? I'm not finding much online

The trailhead is North Lake. The High Sierra Supertopo covers this climb:

http://www.supertopo.com/rock-climbing/High-Sierra-Mt-Emerson-Southeast-Face

Edit: Read the sections/tabs entitled: Route Beta and Trip Reports

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60

Mt. Emerson is a good peak but the route in the Supertopo guide is 5.4 if I recall.  That's the one with the section of black rock at the beginning?  Unless your husband is comfortable soloing at that grade you'd want a rope.  

Rob Gordon · · Hollywood, CA · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 105

I just did Bear Creek Spire. I found the fourth class very mellow if you choose the right path. The summit block was exposed but I thought the move was more like 5.4 and not scary.  Though you wouldn't want to fall. For me the sketchiest thing was cutting snow steps on steep snow with a rock and then climbing the 3rd/4th to the left of cox col to skip the rest of the snow.. the whole thing took me 11.5 hours which was much longer than I expected. The talus and snow really slowed me down. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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