Northeast Couloir AI 2 4th Class

 
  • Currently 4.0/5
Search
Go

North Peak


High Sierra, California USA


Trip Report
North Peak Northeast (right) Couloir AI2
Sunday October 6, 2013 12:20pm
The original plan was to climb North Peak, however after an extremely tough week at work, all I wanted to do was relax and lie low. My new plan was yoga and lots of it. By about mid-day on Friday however, all I could think about was the beautiful ice and beautiful line I would be missing out on. So I called Pat and he didn't take much convincing. Actually I think I had him at hello.
North Peak approach
North Peak approach
Credit: Brian Biancardi
We didn't get on the road till about 8pm on Friday, but by then the roads were clear and we sailed out of the bay in record time. It was a little weird to see the "closed" sign on Yosemite but we traveled right through and parked up at Saddlebag Lake in Inyo National Forest. It was about 1am by then so we just grabbed our sleeping bags, lowered the seats in my car and passed out. When we woke up, we saw that we were not the only ones with the idea to bivy right there in the Saddlebag parking lot. A lot of climbers were actually stealthing into the park to climb Conness regardless of the shutdown. Lovely. North Peak is officially not in Yosemite although I think our descent might have taken us into the park briefly.
North Peak approach II
North Peak approach II
Credit: Brian Biancardi
We woke up at 6 and started on the approach at 7. We skirted Saddlebag Lake, went past Green Rock Lake, took a right when we got to the backside of North Peak but we ended up too high. I think our mistake was staying to the left of Green Rock Lake when in fact we should have gone right. We backtracked a bit down to Cascade Lake and then gained our last ridge line before the climb.
Approach
Approach
Credit: Brian Biancardi
We roped up at the base of the glacier and then simuled the glacier up the shrund and then traversed left till we were right at the couloir. I popped in a couple screws and belayed Pat over as he cleaned the two aliens I put in as I traversed over. Pat allowed me to take the first pitch and after that we swapped leads. It could be argued that block leads are the way to go with ice simply because of the time one spends freezing there ass off hanging out at a belay station. The swapped leads made the rope management super easy but by the time Pat followed the first pitch and started up leading the second, my toes and my body were freezing. I was literally dancing at the belay to keep my body moving and stay warm.
A stunning line!
A stunning line!
Credit: Brian Biancardi
P1 Right Couloir
P1 Right Couloir
Credit: Brian Biancardi
We used a 70m single 9.1 which made the pitches long and allowed us to do the 800 ft climb in only 4 pitches. We debated using my doubles but because they are 50m they would have added at least one more pitch. Arguments for both but next time I would love a set of 60m or 70m doubles. Having one rope when ice climbing just doesn't seem redundant enough for me.
Top out of Right Couloir
Top out of Right Couloir
Credit: Brian Biancardi
We started climbing at about 10am and we topped out at about 2:30 or 3pm. We found a bit of sun and rested our poor bones while Pat devoured a sandwich. The descent trail was as obvious as they come and by 6pm we were back at the car. 11 hours car to car with two liters of water apiece and mine ran out just as we got back to the parking lot. Perfect day!

Gear: 8 screws, small rack of aliens (red, yellow, blue and two off-sets), small rack of nuts, .5, .75, #1 BD, 70m single, 8 draws (mixed in alpine draws)
Credit: Brian Biancardi
Credit: Brian Biancardi
Credit: Brian Biancardi

  Trip Report Views: 915
Brian B
About the Author
Brian Biancardi is a trad climber from Oakland.

Comments
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
10b4me

climber
  Oct 6, 2013 - 12:30pm PT
Nice. Seems like we did the climb in four pitches using 60 meter ropes.
That's a nice little scramble up to the summit.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Oct 6, 2013 - 12:53pm PT
Very nice Brian, looks like a great day out!
Deekaid

climber
  Oct 6, 2013 - 01:53pm PT
cool...tiffypoo
Brian B

Trad climber
Oakland
Author's Reply  Oct 6, 2013 - 08:10pm PT
I just checked Peaks-Passes-Trails and I think this climb is also called Northeast Couloir (pg 442). They don't seem to give the left couloir a specific name.
Did you like this Trip Report? Got something to say? Don't hold back...
Comment on this Trip Report
Go
North Peak - Northeast Couloir AI 2 4th Class - High Sierra, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The Northeast Couloir of North Peak.
Photo: Dan Mingori