Album: Lone Pine Peak (2x) - SE Slope
- Outdoor Adventures
- Album Date
- Date Added
- 1/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
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The view as I arrived at our designated parking area on the North side of Tuttle Creek. It looked a lot like this the last time I attempted the SE slope. Was this destined to be a repeat of the conditions that scuttled my last attempt?
Here's the turn where we parked. Beyond this point the road becomes a 4wd road requiring good clearance. I could have pushed on further with the 4runner but figured it wasn't worth the extra scratches to my finish (due to the brush).
I hadn't really paid close enough attention to the time and realized it was starting to get dark.
Now dark, I scount around for a spot to bivy. Kent Aschcraft and his group are somewhere nearby but I'll have to try to catch up with them in the morning.
Compared to Kent's group (who carved out spots for their bivies in the snow), my accommodations were probably on the luxurious side. While I didn't get much sleep due to the wind, I was quite comfortable under a nice big pine tree.
Looking back down the main gully. I dropped over into this gully just North of the prominent rocky outcropping in the center of the photo.
The Stonehouse Buttress (as seen from the North)
As expected, less snow coverage than there was in February and more brush to deal with. Ugh.
I bivied under the large pine tree in the center of the photo.
Finally, after seemingly endless sand and brush I have reached the snow! From now on sand and brush are no longer an issue.
Past a large rock I spotted footprints in the snow. I am encouraged to push on in an attempt to catch Kent Ashcraft and his group of young climbers.
The gully makes a turn to the left - I keep going up.
Just before the gully tops out I catch up with Kent's group.
This is the lightly forested transition zone between the top of the SE gully and the upper plateau.
Uh oh, are these rising clouds going to put us into a whiteout -- fortunately the wind blew them away.
Matthew catches his breath. This is a tough workout.
Matthew and I take a break and wait for the others to catch up.
Evan, Jeff, Brent, Kent. The rocky outcropping in the center of the photo marks our entry onto the large upper sloping plateau.
This large snow filled gully was visible to the NE of the upper plateau. I believe it is the gully just south of the NE ridge. It connects up with the plateau and definitely caught my interest.
Looking down at the lower portion of the NE gully
We proceed around these rock outcroppings to the left (south) and then head due North to the summit.
Mathew likes the steeper terrain near the rocks.
Our group of six makes it's final push to the summit.
Looking down at Meysan Lake -- frozen and covered in snow
Evan and Brent. In sight of the summit, Brent finds a surge of energy and powers on up. All six of our group successfully summit.
Snow in the gully has softened. At first I head down plunge stepping with crampons, but then opt to remove them for glissading. We have to be careful not to glissade over a small rock band on the way down.
At 2:30pm we arrive at the spot where Kent's group bivied.
On the way down I stop off at the large pine tree where I stowed my bivy gear.
The lower part of the SE gully had good running water.
Our vehicles are a welcome sight. A good meal is not far away now!