Venusian Blind 5.7

 
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Temple Crag


High Sierra, California USA


Trip Report
Trad neophyte on Venusian Blind
Wednesday June 11, 2014 11:42pm
First off, a little context...

Before last weekend I had:
-only led 4 single pitch trad climbs
-only built 2 gear anchors
-never done an alpine climb
-never swung leads
-never been backpacking

All of that I wanted to change before my life gets flipped upside-down in a few months, and fortunately I have a cousin who has lots of experience in all those things, and is apparently dumb enough to trust me with them, even knowing how little experience I had.

Even more fortunate, his trust proved well founded, we had an amazing and successful trip, and I only truly thought I might die for less than an hour, when I got temporarily trapped on the scree-talus-morain-landslide hell between Alice and Temple on the descent after dark when I tried to go to retrieve our ice axes.

Now on to the goods!

Loading up before starting a four day diet of backpacking food.
Credit: looks easy from here
Since we were passing by we decided to add a fifth trad lead to my resume.
Hexentric, Columns of the Giants
Hexentric, Columns of the Giants
Credit: looks easy from here
Acclimating on top of Fourth Buttress at Chipmunk Flat on the SPH. We spent a night up there to adjust (happily monster-free).
Credit: looks easy from here
We don't have to grow up anytime soon, do we?
Credit: looks easy from here
Next day at the North Fork of the Big pine Trail head. Pack 'em up...
Credit: looks easy from here
...and move 'em out!
Credit: looks easy from here
Scenery's pretty good right out the gate.
North Fork of the Big Pine Trail
North Fork of the Big Pine Trail
Credit: looks easy from here
Overall, a beautiful trail. I want to come back and enjoy it as a day hike someday (we were chuggin'!)
North Fork of the Big Pine Trail
North Fork of the Big Pine Trail
Credit: looks easy from here
First peek of the peak!
Temple Crag from North Fork of the Big Pine Trail
Temple Crag from North Fork of the Big Pine Trail
Credit: looks easy from here
Game's suddenly feeling pretty real. Our camp was right by the small snowfield in the bottem left of the picture.
Can you spot my cousin?
Can you spot my cousin?
Credit: looks easy from here
Even much-maligned Mt. Alice has moments of peaceful beauty. She wasn't ever quiet for long, though.
Credit: looks easy from here
Having a hard time getting to sleep, and it isn't because of how bright the moon is.
Credit: looks easy from here
Ready to go!
Credit: looks easy from here
Feeling like Ueli.
Credit: looks easy from here
Amazing 3rd/4th class approach. You get real high real quick.
Credit: looks easy from here
Sick, brah!
Credit: looks easy from here
View from about halfway up.
Second Lake and First Lake  from Venusian Blind
Second Lake and First Lake from Venusian Blind
Credit: looks easy from here
We had the entire mountain to ourselves, including Moon Goddess to our right...
Moon Goddess seen from Venusian Blind
Moon Goddess seen from Venusian Blind
Credit: looks easy from here
...and, not surprisingly, Jenga Arete to our left.
Eclipsed Arete, Temple Crag, from Venusian Blind
Eclipsed Arete, Temple Crag, from Venusian Blind
Credit: looks easy from here
The last hurdle before the summit ridge!
Last tower on Venusian Blind
Last tower on Venusian Blind
Credit: looks easy from here
There aren't words to describe a view like this, and everything that goes with it.
view south from summit ridge of Temple Crag
view south from summit ridge of Temple Crag
Credit: looks easy from here
If anyone finds a red 5.10 Guide on Venusian Blind my cousin would love to get it back. Its strap broke somewhere on the second half of the route. Fortunately he's very ingenious, and his sleeping pad sandals carried him and his 60 lb. pack all the way back to the car.
Credit: looks easy from here
Success!
Credit: looks easy from here

  Trip Report Views: 1,661
looks easy from here
About the Author
looks easy from here is a climber from Ben Lomond, CA.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jun 11, 2014 - 11:45pm PT
Hexentric ascent to boot?! Nice, style point achievement unlocked!
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Old West Crackramento
  Jun 11, 2014 - 11:47pm PT
Is nice.
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 21, 2014 - 05:12pm PT
Thanks guys.

I snagged a copy of the SPH guide as soon as it came out, and I've been coveting Hexentric ever since. It was just as awesome as it looks!
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Jun 12, 2014 - 12:12am PT
The best trip reports make me wish I was there. Yours succeeds with ease. Thanks for the report, pictures, and sharing an excellent effort.

John
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jun 12, 2014 - 03:58am PT
CoolTR, sounds like you are hooked!!!!
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Jun 12, 2014 - 05:26am PT
Sweet!
TFPU
Tad
fluffy

Trad climber
Colorado
  Jun 12, 2014 - 05:47am PT
Sleeping pad sandals?? Awesome! That's using the ol' coconut!

Great job man, thanks for sharing.
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
  Jun 12, 2014 - 07:14am PT
Fortunately he's very ingenious, and his sleeping pad sandals carried him and his 60 lb. pack all the way back to the car.


awesome!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  Jun 12, 2014 - 07:25am PT
60 lb. pack? ouch.

nice job and TR.
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
  Jun 12, 2014 - 07:34am PT
Cool stuff. Patent that sandel design.
moosedrool

climber
lost, far away from Poland
  Jun 12, 2014 - 07:41am PT
We won't call you n00b anymore!

FFPU

Andrzej
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Jun 12, 2014 - 09:22am PT
This was great! Did you take any leads? How did they go?

I've noticed your handle around the ST, and always appreciated the name. Now a super high quality TR. looks easy from here is is an up-and-coming TR machine in the making, I can feel it.

NutAgain! and I got into those horrible scree and dust slopes along Temple's flank when we were coming down, which was at about midnight. Grim over there!

What's this reference to a life change in a few months? Buying your first 8.2 for Sierra ridge traverses? Anything to increase the TR output, I stand behind.

We don't have to grow up anytime soon, do we?

Negative on that one, bub!
BuddhaStalin

climber
Truckee, CA
  Jun 12, 2014 - 09:28am PT
get some, way to get after it
W.L.

climber
Edge of the Electric Ocean Beneath Red Rock
  Jun 12, 2014 - 09:32am PT
Excellent TR! Temple Crag is one of the coolest looking features in the Sierra. Definitely can feel the stoke flowing in this TR, thank you again for sharing.
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Jun 12, 2014 - 09:36am PT
This was a fun TR. Really appreciate the stoke & for sharing what was a new experience for yourself.

Sometimes I try to put a gauge or meter on it, but have come to realize that it's totally arbitrary to try & measure how great it really is to walk up into the high country & climb on top of a mountain.


If you are lucky enough to be in the mountains, well, you are lucky enough.

Thanks for the reminder.
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Jun 12, 2014 - 10:40am PT
Very cool dude!! Thanks! This one is high on the list!
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jun 12, 2014 - 03:50pm PT
Loading up before starting a four day diet of backpacking food
Love this stage! And love your TR! You guys seem SUPER stoked! Glad you liked it. VB is not the best Sierra route, so everything else you will do will be even better!! Hope to see more TRs!
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Old West Crackramento
  Jun 12, 2014 - 03:53pm PT
VB is not the best Sierra route, so everything else you will do will be even better!! Hope to see more TRs!


Heh. Temple Crag is not high on my list for repeats after Dark Star. Stunning setting and all, but, damn, I'm a choss weenie!
msiddens

Trad climber
  Jun 12, 2014 - 03:58pm PT
Lol niiiiice! Love the shoes. A worthy route and Moon God is even better!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jun 12, 2014 - 04:01pm PT
WOOT!!
Flip Flop

Trad climber
Truckee, CA
  Jun 12, 2014 - 04:12pm PT
You were gonna die!
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Jun 12, 2014 - 04:24pm PT
This is what life is all about! Biting off a big chunk for an epic adventure, not quite sure what you're getting into :)
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
  Jun 12, 2014 - 04:54pm PT
That last photo really sums up the urge to get out there soon for me!! Thanks for the TR. Good Job getting on it.........
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
  Jun 12, 2014 - 05:09pm PT
HELL yes.
johnboy

Trad climber
Can't get here from there
  Jun 12, 2014 - 06:36pm PT
Nice, thanks.
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 13, 2014 - 12:00am PT
Wow! Thanks for all the kind words. Now I don't feel so bad that writing about it took almost as long as climbing it...

Did you take any leads? How did they go?

Yeah. We swapped leads, so I got plenty of time on the sharp end. Somehow I got the best sections on the route-pitches 6 and 9 per Supertopo (or 2 and 4 for us, iirc, thanks to double slings and a 70m rope). My pro and anchors were all solid, and I never felt the urge to panic-sew a crack. Of course most of my experience is at the Pinns and on Yosemite "sport" climbs, so I'm pretty comfortable on rock of dubious security and long run-outs on easy terrain.

What's this reference to a life change in a few months?

I expect I'll share more in a few weeks. ;)
jonnyrig

climber
  Jun 13, 2014 - 08:42am PT
Nice!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Jun 13, 2014 - 09:44am PT
Dang no pee wee mock-lead TR route on the Sunnyside Bench for you!

DMT

ps. next time you're up there amble over to the summit and check out the register. The entries in there will water your eyes.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jun 13, 2014 - 09:50am PT
Nicely done, welcome to the clan.....but, remember, friends don't let their friends drink PBR!
Stevee B

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
  Jun 13, 2014 - 10:18am PT
You have stoked me. Thank you sir! Looking forward to more!
Inspired by the sleeping pad flip flops. Been there!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Jun 16, 2014 - 10:19pm PT


Oh yeah!
crankster

Trad climber
  Jun 17, 2014 - 06:50am PT
Excellent job!
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
  Jun 18, 2014 - 03:03am PT
Awesome
The last pic is spectacular
I found that red 5.10 Guide rock shoe, it had a tampon in it, though
Anything you want to tell us?
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 21, 2014 - 05:27pm PT
60 lb. pack? ouch.

I was afraid it would kill me when I first put it on, but we hit the groove pretty quickly and even with the altitude it wasn't too bad.

next time you're up there amble over to the summit and check out the register. The entries in there will water your eyes.

We made it one gap away, but the physical and mental exhaustion made it just too much of a push for this trip. But we'll be back (Vitaliy's opinion aside :p ).

friends don't let their friends drink PBR!

I always say that 'til I taste it: it's never as bad as I remember, even half-warm.

I found that red 5.10 Guide rock shoe, it had a tampon in it, though

New or used?

Regarding the sandals, my cousin took inspiration from the huaraches of the Tarahumara's of Mexico who make them out of tires and run in ultramarathons in them.
brad_wk

Trad climber
Humble, TX
  Jul 27, 2014 - 01:31pm PT
Thanks for sharing! Heading out also in a few weeks. Is there any gear that would have been useful that you didn't have with you? Also, what would you recommend for approach shoes....simple shoes or mountaineering boots?

Your pics and post very much appreciated!

Brad
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
  Jul 27, 2014 - 06:07pm PT
Good job.
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Author's Reply  Jul 29, 2014 - 10:08am PT
Thanks for sharing! Heading out also in a few weeks. Is there any gear that would have been useful that you didn't have with you? Also, what would you recommend for approach shoes....simple shoes or mountaineering boots?

Your pics and post very much appreciated!

Brad

I just wore my trailrunners for the hike and approach until I decided I would rather have something stickier (about halfway up the 4th class section). Our rack was BD cams .4-3, DMM Wallnuts 1-11, DMM offsets 7-11 and WC hexes 6-8, which we felt was perfect-even with our longer pitches (we did it in either 8 or 10, don't remember) that's plenty to protect the harder sections and build bomber anchors as long as you don't get too gear happy on the easier stuff.

Biggest piece of advice-STUDY THE DESCENT INFO! And if it looks like it's going to get dark wait 'til the next day to retrieve your axes (assuming you even need to bring them). Don't do like I did and almost end up having to spend a night on the Mt. Alice moraine to avoid landsliding yourself to death (literally the most scared for my life I've ever been).

Have fun! It's an amazing climb in an amazing setting.
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Temple Crag - Venusian Blind 5.7 - High Sierra, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The route as seen from Second Lake.
Photo: SP Parker
Other Routes on Temple Crag
Temple Crag - Sun Ribbon Arete 5.10a - High Sierra, California USA. Click for details.
Sun Ribbon Arete, 5.10a
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The route as seen from Second Lake.
Temple Crag - Moon Goddess Arete 5.8 - High Sierra, California USA. Click for details.
Moon Goddess Arete, 5.8
Temple Crag
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The route as seen from Second Lake.
Temple Crag - Dark Star 5.10b - High Sierra, California USA. Click for details.
Dark Star, 5.10b
Temple Crag
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The route as seen from Second Lake.