Exciting views of remote part of the Sierra and supurb route conditions greeted us on this annually scheduled SMI trip. We allow 5 days to tackle two of the Sierra’s most remote 14ers. Mt. Williamson at 14,375′ is the second highest peak in California and access to the peak is restricted past July 15. Mt. Tyndall lies outside of the closure area located closer to Shepherd Pass. The climbs are enjoyable ascents involving 3rd class climbing over excellent quality Sierra granite. Breathtaking views from the summits add to the majestic beauty of these peaks.
Category: California 14ers
Mt. Sill, Apex Couloir 14,153′, 4314m
March 23-25, 2009
We were treated to clear weather in the Sierra backcountry over Memorial Day weekend this year. Chuck Raper, Patricia Twomey, and Dustin Wunderlich joined guides Rick Poedtke and Kurt Wedberg for a classic climb in the Palisades region of the Sierra.
Mt. Sill is one of the few Sierra peaks that was named by the indigenous Piaute indians who inhabited the Owens Valley. Their name for it was “Nee-na-mee-she” which is translated “Guardian of the Valley”. Today it is a classic 14er in Californa and the view from its summit is considered one of the finest in the entire Sierra.
Our route was the Apex Couloir on Mt. Sill. This route is also called the “North Couloir” but since there are so many couloirs that go by that name I prefer calling it the Apex Couloir. The snow conditions remain excellent in the Palisades right now. We were treated to four pitches of climbing at 40 – 45 degrees. We then exited the route to the right where we climbed a pitch of 3rd to low 5th class rock that led to one more pitch of 50+ degree snow. One final 4th class pitch led to the ridgeline on Mt. Sill where we scrambled up to the summit.
Here are a few pictures. The entire gallery can be viewed here: http://kurtwedberg.smugmug.com/gallery/8329693_LrcYi/1/545818744_wQKSG
Mt. Whitney, Mountaineer’s Route 14,497′, 4418m
May 14-17, 2009
We had a great climb of Mt. Whitney via the Mountaineer’s Route. We were treated to warm, clear, and calm weather for the entire trip. To allow for plenty of acclimatization and some training on techniques we planned a 4-day trip. There was plenty of snow from Iceberg Lake and higher but it is melting fast in the Sierra right now.
The entire photo gallery is here: http://kurtwedberg.smugmug.com/gallery/8241408_UdZae/1/539107184_oLihd
North Palisade Peak, Clyde Couloir
May 11-13, 2009
Our first trip into the Palisades this year was to climb the Clyde Couloir with Chuck Raper. The weather was clear with high winds. The route is in great shape at the moment. The bergshrund on the Palisade Glacier is easily crossed and the current snow conditions in the chute are supurb.
The entire photo gallery is here: http://kurtwedberg.smugmug.com/gallery/8202780_q54pC/1/535974139_p4ykZ
Mt. Langley, NE Couloir 14,042′, 4280m
May 1-3, 2009
Brian Bentrott, Rick Putnam, and Kurt Wedberg climbed the NE Couloir of Mt. Langley. This was a training climb for Rick’s upcoming Mt. McKinley climb in June. Under a windy and stormy day we climbed the 40+ degree chute to the summit of Mt. Langley.
The entire photo gallery is here: http://kurtwedberg.smugmug.com/gallery/8095299_4rxz8/1/527546726_5Nhjg