On March 17 Brett Watson and Ryan Wordell joined Kurt for a private Mountaineering Skills Seminar. These seminars are designed to introduce people to the world of mountaineering. Over a 5-day period we cover as many topics as possible covering a range of different skills that can be used on climbs in the Sierra and on high peaks world wide. We decided to conduct the trip in the Mt. Whitney region where snow conditions have been shaping up nicely all season. There is also a large ice flow that consistently forms below nearby Thor Peak. After training on a variety of skills we capped off the week with an ascent of Mt. Whitney’s Mountaineers Route where we put into practice many skills learned over the previous few days.
A few pictures are below. The rest of the pictures can be found here:
Brett and Ryan demonstrating excellent ice axe self arrests
Brett learning ice climbing techniques
Ryan showing proper belaying skills
Ryan taking his first try at ascending fixed lines using prussik slings
Brett looking like a pro on his first rappel
Kurt testing a snow anchor built by Brett and Ryan. It held successfully!
The boys geared up and ready for a pre dawn start on summit day
Mt. Whitney in morning alpenglow from Iceberg Lake. The Mountaineer’s Route is a chute on the right side of the mountain.
Ascending the Mountaineers Route on Mt. Whitney
Brett and Ryan using efficient cramponing technique up the steep final 400 feet of Mt. Whitney’s Mountaineers Route
Ryan topping out on the final pitch of climbing on Mt. Whitney
Summit photo on Mt. Whitney, March 20, 2010