Friday, August 24, 2012

TR: Doubling Down on Mt. Conness (N. Ridge & W. Ridge)

The night before... after a fun mtn bike ride in the morning, we headed down to Travertine to loosen our muscles and get mentally prepared for our day ahead...
Nick... mentally preppin' 
The time-lapse set up... and the resulting time-lapse below...
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The route for our adventure the next morning... 

Still dark in the mornin'... 5 am.  On the trail at 5:30 am... split a nice Beef Stew for brekky
North Peak reflection
Miley with Greenstone Lake and Saddlebag Lake in the background
The highest one of the Conness Lakes and the bluest.  
Approaching the ridge... starts out 2nd class, then 3rd class, then 4th class...
and the ridge to the summit.  We roped up after the second tower (this pic is from the first tower).  
Looking towards the Valley from the second tower.  Fairview Dome, Tenaya Peak, Tioga Lake, Half Dome and Clouds Rest.


Looking down the bowling alley to Roosevelt Lake from the North Ridge.
Typical climbing on the N. Ridge... the "crux" of the N. Ridge is the downclimb, which many folks choose to rappel.  The downclimb is pretty easy, and much faster... don't rap folks.  
Summit Pic #1: 9 am.  
Remnants of an old research station at the summit plateau
Pink Flowers... dicot... 4 petals... not sure what it is. EDIT: Rock Fringe (Epilobium obcordatum) Heart Willowweed,  in the Evening Primrose family.  
Clouds looking darker at the start of the west ridge.  Around 10:30 am... I felt a few drop on the ridge, but nothing significant fell on us...
Looking down the west ridge.  I led the first half, and when I ran out of gear (here) we swapped leads.  
Nick working his way up to the summit... the West Ridge is supposed to be more classic... and it is a bit more technical & longer, but as you can see in this pic, the exposure isn't on both sides of the ridge like it is on the North Ridge for the whole length.  Yeah the down climbing isn't as aesthetic... but I'd say both ridges are equally good.  Do both.  
The further up you get on West Ridge the easier the climbing gets.  This was mostly 4th class and felt like I was just on a StairMaster huffing and puffing... 
Summit Pic #2: 12:30 pm.  
Time to head down.  Cool alien looking rocks on the plateau.  
Looking back at the summit from the plateau.  Conness is a peak that looks quite different from every angle.  
Carnegie Institute... now defunct
Once you reach this bridge you are basically back at Sawmill Campground... time for some beers!  Back at the car at 3 pm, I made it home by 8:30 pm to pick up my folks at the airport.  






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