Bear Creek Spire NE Ridge TR! (w/beta?)

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GDavis

Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 9, 2009 - 12:41pm PT
Not much to say, it was a GREAT route, I enjoyed the heck out of it, and recommend it highly. The approach is kind of strange, the first 3.5 miles took about an hour and gained, like, 800 feet elevation, then the next portion is all going straight up talus for 1600 feet. Was not stoked on that. If you're acclimated already probably plan 3 hours if moving quick, we thought we moved relatively fast and it took 3hour45min to get to the saddle, about 15 minutes below the first tower. So who knows, I am not that fast on approaches but there was at least one other party who were quite a bit slower, so CMac, maybe recommend 3-5 hours? haha. The views on the trail are amazing, though, but I recommend also not hiking out in the middle of the afternoon on a saturday because there were a bazillion people and it felt more like the vernal falls trail.

The climbing was much easier than expected, probably comparable to Tenaya Peak. We brought a 7.7mil ice thong rope and a few peices of gear, and just simul'd with it doubled up. Stopped at a few cool ledges to snack up and took our time, ~2 hours on route. The summit ridge is short but sweet, and I do recommend staying on the ridge the whole route, absolutely! Leave the climbing shoes at home, the wide 4th and easy 5th cracks are more comfortable to stuff a pair of approach shoes in.

If you haven't done this, you SHOULD! I lead easy 5.10 on a good day and if you climb 5.10 trad I would leave the rack and rope at home, its possible to downclimb 4th/5.0 to the northeast of the summit instead of rapping.

The arete, now THAT looks rad...


Day hiking for some acclimitization, kinda pointless because we only gained like 300 feet haha.


the whole approach for the first 3.5 miles is through this GORGEOUS valley



We had a full moon out, so clicked off our headlamps 5 minutes from the car. This is right as the sun is starting to crest and outpower the moonlight.


The route!


Getting a sip and warming up. It was COLD this weekend!


Racking up


The elusive camera man getting ready to FIRE the 5.5 crux!


Its difficult to tell from afar, but the ridge is relatively sharp. Not knife-edge like what you would see on matthis or humphreys, but never more than 10 feet wide that I saw. Very cool.


matt's a boulderer so had to take his shirt off. However, he did set his altitude record on this climb! At the parking too no less!


and the shot of the summy! :D
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Aug 9, 2009 - 01:23pm PT
Badass....as usual.....
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 9, 2009 - 01:24pm PT
making my sore back an even bigger pain in the ass....

...I want to go out and do this sort of thing!!
maybe things are resolving... and I will again get to that high sierra list...

thanks for the stoke, and the nice report
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Aug 9, 2009 - 01:57pm PT
"matt's a boulderer so had to take his shirt off."

Awesome. Great Job fellas. Thanks for the report.
10b4me

Gym climber
Happy Boulders
Aug 9, 2009 - 02:01pm PT
looks like fun. tried this in 2000 in winter but , got shut down.
need to go back.
hooblie

climber
Aug 9, 2009 - 02:27pm PT
nice gendarme. assuming you're out of site of the belay, next time you come to a big standing flake like that or a chockstone, a fun thing to do is pass it on one side, tie off one of your twin ropes and pick it up after passing it again on the other side.
for selected partners only, if you wind up in ANAM, you didn't hear it from me
GDavis

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 9, 2009 - 04:02pm PT
Hooblie... thanks... lol! it was his first big mountain route, I can only imagine seeing him trying to crawl over it.
TYeary

climber
Aug 9, 2009 - 07:49pm PT
I'd go back with ya, 10b4me, you cranky , old fart.
cleo

Social climber
Berkeley, CA
Aug 9, 2009 - 08:08pm PT
that was a fun route... tho the altitude kicked my ka-hooney 'round the summit. felt better the next day (on the arete)
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Aug 9, 2009 - 08:13pm PT
You simuled with a thong? Cool!

Ken

P.S. Nice TR
Captain...or Skully

Social climber
Boise....
Aug 9, 2009 - 08:18pm PT
Good shizz, there, guys!
Awesome views. That one has been on the list for AWHILE.
Nicely done.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Aug 9, 2009 - 08:34pm PT
Such a beautiful area. I try to pretend I'm just out hiking until I get to the base

Peace

Karl

cleo

Social climber
Berkeley, CA
Aug 9, 2009 - 09:41pm PT
yes, of course, i forgot to say, NICE TR! Good job!
Rich the Brit

Trad climber
San Ramon, CA
Aug 9, 2009 - 10:29pm PT
hooblie

You bring back memories of my first ascent of the spire. A buddy was climbing galen's route, so a another buddy and I offer to take his relatively inexperieinced fiance up the ne ridge, along with my wife.

There is a cool place where the ne ridge joins the buttress with a huge drop on either side. Somewhere along here, there is actually a small keyhole in a gendarme on the ridge about 18 inches square. I couldn't resist. I made the rope and myself safe; untied from the rope, and passed it through the keyhole, safe in the knowledge that my wife would know how to safely bypasss the obstacle.

I never got to see her face as she reached the key hole, but my wife tells she had quite a look of confusion on her face for some time.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Aug 9, 2009 - 10:36pm PT
schweet
le_bruce

climber
Oakland: what's not to love?
Aug 9, 2009 - 11:08pm PT

Thanks GDavis. I agree - a fine, fine route.







Ed, you mentioned a high Sierra list - care to share? Post it up!
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Aug 9, 2009 - 11:13pm PT
very nice, with humor to boot!
TYeary

climber
Aug 9, 2009 - 11:17pm PT
Jim Hefner and I walked in to do the East Arete one morning, but the altitude got the best of him. So we stowed the gear and soloed the NE Ridge instead. What a GREAT route. If you have not done it, I highly recomend you do so.
We went back and didthe E Ridge car to car in about 9 hours or so. No world record and not a world class route either. The North Arete or the N E Ridge is a much better outing , by far.
Nice TR . Thanks.
Tony
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Aug 9, 2009 - 11:53pm PT
Thanks much for the fine TR. I realize it's been 30 years since I've been in Little Lakes Valley (to do the NE Couloir on Abbott). After viewing and reading this report, I want to go back and do that ridge!

Thanks again.

John
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 2, 2010 - 02:59pm PT
Bump... someone come climb the NE Arete with me in july!
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
Jun 2, 2010 - 10:05pm PT
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jun 2, 2010 - 10:10pm PT
which weekend?

I could be down. I got a couple folks I've talked to about this route, but not yet set in stone.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 2, 2010 - 11:26pm PT
I have off july 18th to aug 20th :D
kev

climber
A pile of dirt.
Jun 3, 2010 - 12:35am PT
I might be up for it but it's a little soon to commit...

kev
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jun 4, 2010 - 12:17am PT
10-4 I've got some conflicts in August and July, but will have a weekend in there somewhere to do some bc. I'll ping ya.
rhyang

climber
SJC
Jul 13, 2010 - 11:47am PT
Anybody been up there yet this year ? Curious about approach conditions for the N arete ..
crøtch

climber
Jul 13, 2010 - 11:58am PT
On July 4th weekend, it was mandatory snow travel from Dade Lake all the way to the base of the N arete.

donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 13, 2010 - 12:03pm PT
Nicely done! I always wonder how you lowlanders from SoCal cope with the altitude.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 13, 2010 - 12:08pm PT
Heh, nice to see this bumped on my drive down from tuolumne to lone pine :) gettin on the sunshine peeweee route! Yay!
rhyang

climber
SJC
Jul 13, 2010 - 12:28pm PT
Sweet :) May I ask if there was any bare ground for camping around Dade ? Was the approach talus from Gem still covered with snow ?
crøtch

climber
Jul 13, 2010 - 12:35pm PT
There was snow covering most of the talus in the chute to Dade, but it is melting fast. And there was bare ground to camp on above Dade Lake. We camped a bit farther back on the knoll to the NE of the lake, but by now there should be more open ground near the lake.

Dade Lake, lower right quadrant


Dade Lake
rhyang

climber
SJC
Jul 13, 2010 - 12:49pm PT
Nice ! Thanks for the info.
Tattooed 1

Trad climber
Sebastopol, Ca
Jul 13, 2010 - 12:57pm PT
Most Excellent GDavis. Noice.
crøtch

climber
Jul 13, 2010 - 02:54pm PT
Have fun up there, rhyang!
kc

Trad climber
lg, ca
Jul 13, 2010 - 05:22pm PT
But did you stop at Pie in the Sky? That's mandatory when you're near Mosquito flats, as far as I'm concerned. Heaven.
rhyang

climber
SJC
Aug 3, 2010 - 10:40pm PT
We are wimps and will camp at Dade Lake to get an early start :) Is anyone bringing ice axe / crampons for the approach ? I've done the NE Ridge twice and have not needed them this time of year, but am unsure about the North Arete. Thanks !
kunlun_shan

Mountain climber
SF, CA
Aug 3, 2010 - 11:38pm PT
Did the NE ridge this last weekend. Same initial approach as for the arete. We took ice axes and used them a little as the snow was surprisingly solid early morning. Crampons not needed. We used ice axes descending Cox Col but it could be done without I suppose - snow was soft at noon. There were 3-4 parties on the Arete.


BCS from Dade Lake, Aug. 1, 2010
BCS from Dade Lake, Aug. 1, 2010
Credit: kunlun_shan
rhyang

climber
SJC
Aug 14, 2010 - 08:10pm PT
Climbed the North Arete yesterday, and did not need snow gear. Some pics -





Perseid meteor shower as viewed from Dade Lake was wonderful too. Trip report coming soon :)
Chinchen

climber
Way out there....
Aug 14, 2010 - 10:28pm PT
Nice! I wanna go do it!!
skipt

Mountain climber
Washington
Aug 14, 2010 - 10:43pm PT
I worked as the ranger in the canyon to the left of Rock Creek. So you can
imagine I would never admit to sneaking off and climbing Bear Creek Spire
on a 'few' occasions.

"No sir. Not me" were my exact words.

I love that peak.

Nice send Rhyang. Good job.


Skip
Gene

Social climber
Aug 14, 2010 - 10:46pm PT
Rob,

Slendid pictures. Looking for more....

g
TripL7

Trad climber
san diego
Aug 14, 2010 - 10:54pm PT
Supa dupa, thanks!
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
Aug 21, 2010 - 11:21am PT
Heading to the north arête early September. Sounds like the approach should be clear of snow but wondering what to expect for the descent and if axe and/or crampons might be needed? I've never been up there- does the descent usually melt out by late season?
TIA
TYeary

Social climber
State of decay
Aug 21, 2010 - 02:06pm PT
Should be no need for crampons or ice axe. It will be scree and talus walking to Dade Lake and then back on the trail.
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