Guilty As Charged
WI4 M2 R
||Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 1400', Grade III
|Original: ||WI4 M2 Steep Snow R [details]|
|FA: ||February 2013: Mike Collins, Dale Apgar, Ryan Tetz, Jed Porter, Ian McEleney|
|New Route: ||Yes|
|Page Views: ||356|
|Submitted By: ||Ian McEleney on Feb 6, 2016|
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Jed on the first pitch.
Remarkably, it seems like this line may not have been climbed until February of 2013. An unusual route for the Eastern Sierra, I wish we had more like it.
Dale Apgar and Mike Collins spied the first two pitches while scrambling up the North Ridge of Mount Morrison across the canyon. Collins climbed the first two pitches, and word got out. Apgar and Ryan Tetz came back a few days later and added a third. Jed Porter and Ian McEleney got caught up in the excitement and climbed it to
the top within a week of Collins' ascent. The first two parties thought they were repeating an Andy Selters route called Conviction. Later Apgar confirmed that the Conviction name belongs to some WI3-looking flows just down-canyon.
This route climbs the south shoulder (approx. 10,840) of Laurel Mountain, about a mile south of the true summit. Much of the route follows a couloir that is avalanche terrain. The route generally faces east and parts of it (including the first pitch) receive a lot of sun in the morning. Plan accordingly.
Pitch one climbs nearly 60m of sustained WI4. Where the ice levels off and gives way to snow look for some fixed stoppers (easily backed up) on the right. Belay here.
Follow the couloir up for several hundred feet of low angled snow. You're headed for a smaller, tributary couloir on the left with a runnel of ice.
Climb this for about 35m of WI2. The first ascent parties found the bottom of this to be extremely thin and supplemented the ice with some rock climbing.
Hike up the snow to another, shorter step of mixed climbing that may or may not have some ice dribbled on it. Above this follow snow until it dead-ends into a steep rock headwall. Turn right here and climb a fun pitch of surprisingly steep snow ending on a cool snowy arete. Now head left and climb lower angled snow and a step of chossy rock to the top of the ridge. Unrope and post hole to the top of the south shoulder of Laurel Mountain.
Park at the Convict Lake Marina parking lot, at the outlet of the lake. Follow the trail around the right side of the lake and up into the canyon for a little less than 3 miles. At about 7500 feet the first pitch should be clearly visible. The route starts about 200 feet left of the Mini-Pinner couloir. The approach takes 1 - 2 hours. Some flotation is desirable, but conditions/coverage could make skiing not worth it.
To descend hike down the Mini-Pinner couloir, or hike south and drop into the canyon where the cliff is shorter.
Screws for the pitches of ice, a selection of rock gear - maybe stoppers and cams from .4 - 3.
Cool snow arete up above the tech stuff.
Overview of the face as seen from the NW Ridge of ...
The second "real" pitch on the route. Pa...
Looking up from the top of the WI2 pitch. Hike up ...
This is looking up from the top of the first pitch...
On the approach, the first glimpse of the first pi...