Album: Mount Whitney (19x) - North Face
- Outdoor Adventures
- Album Date
- Date Added
- 1/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
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I finally catch up with Tina at the E-Ledges. 5:00am.
Tina (right) and a group descending down from Iceberg Lake
Odd this didn't seem scary ... must be the camera angle
Fantastic group at Iceberg Lake! Chris, Richard, Mike, Tom Tina, & Rick G. 8:51am.
We were terrified of the ferocious Sierra sparrow. We were aware of the recent reports of attacks by these vicious predators.
Lots of postholing on the way up from Iceberg to the Whitney/Russell pass ... at least Tina's still smiling.
Oh thank god! Scree at last! Oh wait, what am I saying?
Mount Russell as seen from Whitney/Russell pass. 10:01am.
The North Face as seen from Whitney/Russell pass
Postholing and scree while traversing the North Face
Once we were further up this steep granite slab would be our fate if we slipped ... perhaps not as bad as going over a cliff but still not too pleasant
Here we followed the snow up in the center of the photo, crossed another rib, and continued up the next run
Slope angle increasing. Now things are getting interesting.
Summit looks deceptively close in this photo (camera illusion). It took another 3 and half hours to summit from this point.
In this region we had about 8 to 16 inches of soft snow on top of smooth granite
Soft surface snow became thinner at this point and we kept hitting either ice or granite 5 or 6 inches below
After a failed attempt to climb the unstable rock in the upper left we downclimbed back to a safe position and considered our options
In this region the soft surface snow (on top of solid ice) was uncomfortably thin
The sharpened front points of my crampons simply bounced right off this boilerplate ice. Fortunately we were able to traverse under this to the right.
Traversing right (west) to avoid the ice guarding the summit
Damn REI UL trekking poles were worthless! -- always collapsing or coming apart at the worst possible time