Month: September 2010

Thunderbolt Peak to Starlight Traverse September 24-26, 2010

On September 24-26, 2010 Brian Corrigan and Erik Peterson joined Kurt Wedberg for a climb of a couple classic 14ers in the Palisades region of the Sierra.  Here in the Sierra we were treated to summer temperatures over 10 degrees above normal for this time of year.  On September 24 we hiked over Bishop Pass and camped in Palisade Basin.  On day 2 we got a pre dawn start climbing Southwest Chute #1 on Thunderbolt Peak.  After reaching the summit we traversed south along the crest of the Palisades towards Starlight Peak.  After climbing Starlight we descended back to Palisade Basin for a nice dinner before going to sleep.  On day 3 we retraced out steps hiking back over Bishop Pass to the parking lot at South Lake.

The Palisades from Palisade Basin. Thunderbolt Peak is just out of view on the left. Starlight and North Palisade Peak are above.

Left to right: Kurt Wedberg, Erik Peterson, Brian Corrigan

Brian and Erik taking a break at Bishop Pass (11,972', 3694m).

Kurt climbing the summit block on Thunderbolt Peak.

Brian on top of Thunderbolt Peak's summit block.

Erik atop Thunderbolt Peak.

From the summit of Thunderbolt Peak looking along the Palisade Crest towards Starlight Peak.

Brian atop Starlight Peak

Erik surmounting the "milk bottle" that makes up Starlight Peak.

Kurt atop the "milk bottle" on Starlight Peak.

Norman Clyde Peak (13,920′, 4243m) September 16-18, 2010

Demetria Gianopoulos and Tom Sakowych joined Kurt Wedberg for a climb of the NNE Face of Norman Clyde Peak.  This peak is named after the legendary Sierra mountaineering pioneer.  Norman Clyde taught school in the Owens Valley and lived in Big Pine creek canyon.  This impressive peak is situated just north of Middle Palisade Peak above the glacier that goes by the same name.  The NNE Face is an enjoyable 3rd /4th class route offering good rock quality and great views of the Palisades.  As one climbs higher views looking north all the way to the Minarets and Boundary Peak are revealed.

On day 1 our approach brought us in to Finger Lake.  A pre dawn start on a warm September night got us to the base of the route shortly after sunrise.  After reaching the summit we returned to Finger Lake.  On day 3 we hiked out.

A few pictures are below.   The rest of the pictures are here:  Norman Clyde Peak September 16-18, 2010.

Norman Clyde Peak in morning light. The NNE Face is on the far right side of the sunlit part of the massif.

From left to right: Demetria Gianopoulos, Kurt Wedberg, Tom Sakowych

The NNE Face of Norman Clyde Peak

Demetria at a belay high on the NNE Face of Norman Clyde Peak.

Tom climbing one of the 4th class pitches near the top of the NNE Face of Norman Clyde Peak.

Demetria enjoying some of the 4th class climbing near the top of the NNE Face of Norman Clyde Peak.

From the top of the NNE Face looking south on the ridge line that leads to the summit of Norman Clyde Peak.

Tom and Demetria on the summit of Norman Clyde Peak.

Mt. Russell Mithral Dihedral September 4, 2010

Mt. Russell’s Mithral Dihedral has long been a classic test piece in the Sierra backcountry.  While most of the route is mid 5th class the dihedral in the middle is 300 feet of sustained crack climbing.  A dihedral is a rock formation that resembles a book half way opened up.  The Mithral Dihedral was originally rated 5.9 but the consensus now has it rated closer to 5.10b.  On a beautiful crisp early September morning Darryl, Zach, and Kurt went up to give it a go.  Here are a couple pictures.  The rest can be found here:

Mt. Russell from hear the Whitney / Russell Col

The Mithral Dihedral on Mt. Russell's south face

Darryl geared up and ready to lead the first pitch.

Zach leading the last pitch of the crux dihedral.

Kurt at a hanging belay in the middle of the Mithral Dihedral

Summit photo from left to right: Kurt, Darryl, Zach