Trip Report
Mosquito Variation - North Peak, Conness, Tenaya UNROPED
Wednesday July 3, 2013 11:58pm
Hey Cowboy. Slow it down a little, yeah?

Per usual, my excitement about the climb overrode the need to keep pace and keep perspiration and exhaustion in check. David stepped up front and imposed his Chamonix-Guide-Pace on the two of us. Step Step Step Squish Splash. I wiped the sweat from beneath my eyes and continued across the sodden landscape towards the back side of North Peak, the trail trading places with the small streams running off the slopes to our left. I had hoped to cross the creek and head up through a relief in the small cliffs below the start of our route, but David wasnt game.

I dont want to go cross-country. There is the trail back there. We should take it.

I slapped the back of my arms to clear the mosquitoes he had been here before, and his French accent seemed to add credibility to his opinion, so we turned back the way we came. I turned on the afterburners again, trying to outrun the biting mosquitoes and failing miserably. David followed behind as we made our way up the stomped highway towards the group of lakes nestled below the North Ridge of North Peak. We could see the three couloirs leading down to a large snow patch to our left, and as we climbed higher we scanned the options for the path of least resistance. Long story short: we ended up winding and wandering for probably an extra 1.5 miles when all was said and done, but found our way eventually to the start of the snow.

Middle looks like the ticket
Middle looks like the ticket
Credit: Burch3y

A wee bird serenaded us as we arranged our kit for the snow climb ahead sun already blazing in the early day (but not enough to discourage the mosquitoes). We could see already that all three couloirs on the north side of North Peak were snow, with tiny openings at the base of the middle and right chutes. My understanding is the middle route often melts out in the upper portion, so we took advantage of there only being a small amount of rock showing in the very upper portion. I shouldered my pack and we headed across and up.

The middle chute is a little steeper than the more popular right one, and gets quite narrow as you get closer to the top. We kicked easy steps in the firm incline, and we were at the chockstone in a flash.

French Fries is satisfied with the narrows
French Fries is satisfied with the narrows
Credit: Burch3y

It turned out you could tunnel under the chockstone, so I sent the Frenchman first to test the water (literally). He discovered quite a bit of cold running agua just under the stone it moated-out in a manner of speaking, so the best option was crampons on the rock. I took advantage of the beta and made it through unscathed, but as we finished the steep snow beyond the stone, David left small bloody imprints where his knee pressed against it. Dont eat the yellow (or red) snow, I guess.

Can barely fit my ego in here
Can barely fit my ego in here
Credit: David Le Pagne

sneaking past the chockstone
sneaking past the chockstone
Credit: David Le Pagne


We left the crampons on for a spicy mantle up and over towards the summit, kicking steps in the snow on the slope leading past the notch of the right couloir and over to the 4th class finish. We had a quick snack and shoved snow into our water bladders, anticipating a long hot day ahead. Crampons off, the rock finish to the summit wasnt very hard, but had a nice little traverse over and around to an easy walk to the finish.

David finds his way - rope and gear not required.
David finds his way - rope and gear not required.
Credit: Burch3y


You're doing it Dad
You're doing it Dad
Credit: Burch3y

s.u.m.m.i.t.
s.u.m.m.i.t.
Credit: Burch3y

A couple/three moments were spent on top, but our joy was lessened by the clouds forming off in the distance, clearly dumping rain over the mountains on the other side of the 395. We cursed ourselves for the route-finding funk earlier in the day, as wed have probably been mostly finished with the north ridge of Conness by that point had we been more direct. Nothing could be done about that, so we made a beeline for the start of the ridge, traversing slightly left around the first big cone to the ridge-proper. We were moving fairly quickly, the wind building a little as we climbed along and up, reminding us of the possible weather we faced.

Oui!
Oui!
Credit: Burch3y

First tower came and went, but I think we did a compromise between the easy traverse below it and the downclimb off. Twas a little awkward in spots, but hands and feet held true and we were on our way towards the second tower. In the distance, sheets of rain fell on lower elevations...would it blow this way? Who knows? Who gives a crap? Keep moving! Pro stayed in the pack still, providing that much-needed dead weight. We were feeling okay so far in boots without the rope, and decided we would continue this way until we wouldn't. We found a few 5.easy cracks to test our clunky feet and handjams, but for the most part it was glorious 4th class.

Rope came out for the raps off the 2nd tower, but it was very doable for the downclimb. In fact, I had to retrieve the stuck rope and downclimb anyway on the last rap, so effort = wasted. We were unable to see the weather at this point, our view blocked by the final pitches of Conness.

gittem
gittem
Credit: David Le Pagne

Although I was distracted by thoughts of storm-scenarios, I focused on making solid moves as we crept up the ridge - most of it was cruiser, but there were a few spots that gave me pause as I reminded myself we weren't tied in. Such great rock, and the holds were all there. David shouted down alternating words of encouragement and insults. It was glorious. We finished the nice exposed edge, and after a few interesting false summits, we were on top. No rain.

love the rain dumping in the background
love the rain dumping in the background
Credit: David Le Pagne

Another couple climbers came up the West Ridge as we rested there, one of them carried a penguin - I believe this penguin went by Penny, but don't hold me to it. We talked of shoes, and age. And poetry. She left a poem in the register box, and we said our goodbyes and headed down the east ridge - the two of them growing smaller as we bounded down the exit route. The walk out would never end, but we survived the onslaught of mosquitoes and the sketchy waterfall downclimb. A well-deserved burger and a little whisky in our bellies, I was out minutes after I laid down my head.


Following day brought a 2:15 car-to-summit on Tenaya. The approach was wet and the rock was fantastic (as were the views). We did the whole thing in approach shoes and smiles, and wrapped it up with a dip in the lake. I can't believe my life is this good. We are lucky bastards indeed.

fricccccccccccccccccccction
fricccccccccccccccccccction
Credit: Burch3y


choose your own adventure...or line
choose your own adventure...or line
Credit: Burch3y

HAHA sum-ate
HAHA sum-ate
Credit: Burch3y





  Trip Report Views: 1,374
Burch3y
About the Author
Burch3y is a spoiled D-bag from San Diego.

Comments
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
Nevada City
  Jul 4, 2013 - 05:01am PT


Such great rock, and the holds were all there. David shouted down alternating words of encouragement and insults. It was glorious.
Glorious, indeed.
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
  Jul 4, 2013 - 07:04am PT
That's a cool and narrow couloir.
Nice TR!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jul 4, 2013 - 07:12am PT
Thank you for posting. Old climbing buddy said he wouldn't touch that middle couloir unless it was in bullet proof Sierra alpine conditions.
Burch3y

Mountain climber
I offer nothing to the discussion
Author's Reply  Jul 4, 2013 - 08:31am PT
Old climbing buddy said he wouldn't touch that middle couloir unless it was in bullet proof Sierra alpine conditions.

I'm pretty sure he wouldn't touch the middle couloir period - I believe he bolted the hell out of the right couloir. We weren't sure what we'd find, but hoped for some ice based on earlier ice found in the Palisades. These chutes are more north facing, so I think that helps the snow hang in there for longer. Shet.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Jul 4, 2013 - 09:36am PT
So awesome back there, nice one Burchey. Good to have a Frenchman to test the waters lol.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
  Jul 4, 2013 - 06:50pm PT
I....
Like....
IT!!!!!!!!!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jul 4, 2013 - 07:22pm PT
Lucky bastards Indeed!!!
Thank you!!!
hamik

Mountain climber
Pasadena, CA
  Jul 4, 2013 - 07:32pm PT
Due to conservation of mass it seems the weight I've lost in Peru has transferred itself to you. Fatass. 1/10

P.S. 2:15 car-to-summit is not Chamonix guide pace!
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Peavine Basecamp
  Jul 4, 2013 - 11:50pm PT
Burchey is definitely the Face of this A-Team.
Burch3y

Mountain climber
I offer nothing to the discussion
Author's Reply  Jul 5, 2013 - 06:59am PT
First of all...

Ya'll don't know me!

Second, Hamik - you can't come in here tossing around laws of Physics just because you are dating a sexy Physicist. In addition, we wanted to go fast on Sunday because we thought we could get it done before our legs realized they were tired.

Jebus - you sure I'm not Murdock? I'm hyperventilating in my glove right now.
mpmoody

Mountain climber
Alamo, CA
  Jul 5, 2013 - 04:49pm PT
burch3y - congrats - nice TR
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
  Jul 6, 2013 - 08:59am PT
Nice man! North peak looks awesome. You'll have to try to beat my most recent Tenaya time soon, eh? :)
Burch3y

Mountain climber
I offer nothing to the discussion
Author's Reply  Jul 6, 2013 - 08:01pm PT
Greg, what was your time? Couple/three minutes?
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Jul 6, 2013 - 08:19pm PT
That is one huge hanger in the 5th photo.

BBST bump
T H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
  Jul 6, 2013 - 09:07pm PT

Summit-block bouldering (and one pitch wonders) is the future.
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
Nevada City
  Jul 6, 2013 - 09:07pm PT
right? edit : indeed a hanger, biotch snaked in.
Burch3y

Mountain climber
I offer nothing to the discussion
Author's Reply  Jul 6, 2013 - 11:38pm PT
That's not the summit, that's the shuffle before the ridge starts, I think.

That being said, I ALWAYS bail off summit boulders. ALWAYS. Unless I can lasso it and then use jumars or something else like this:

http://youtu.be/t7a0ABStfiM?t=2m56s
Burch3y

Mountain climber
I offer nothing to the discussion
Author's Reply  Jul 17, 2013 - 11:50am PT
Title correction needed
Snowmassguy

Trad climber
Calirado
  Jul 17, 2013 - 11:58am PT
I had unprotected sex last night. Is that the same as unroped?
Burch3y

Mountain climber
I offer nothing to the discussion
Author's Reply  Jul 17, 2013 - 12:00pm PT
I had unprotected sex last night. Is that the same as unroped?

Depends.

Were there jugs?
Snowmassguy

Trad climber
Calirado
  Jul 17, 2013 - 12:01pm PT
Yes to the jugs and no to the handles.
Joking aside...looks like a fun day out there !
Burch3y

Mountain climber
I offer nothing to the discussion
Author's Reply  Jul 17, 2013 - 12:03pm PT
It was a fun day, just surprised that guides charge up to 2000 dollars to take you up this climb. Do they think they have the keys to the big master lock on the summit?!?!?!
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Jul 17, 2013 - 01:28pm PT
Thumbs up for link ups!

Yall got some nice non epic mileage in the sky. Way to go. It took me 2:15 to get off the summit and back to the car on Tenaya last summer. Yallz fast.
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
Go