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Eagle Lake Buttress, Mountaineer's Route

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Eagle Lake Buttress, Mountaineer's Route

Postby shuteye » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:57 am

Eagle Lake Buttress overlooks Emerald Bay and Desolation Wilderness. We were concerned about crossing the outlet of Eagle Lake so we left the trail just before the bridge, skirting above the Ninety-Foot Wall climbing area and under legendary Section Twenty on Emerald Point. We bushwhacked then crossed the smaller outlet from Grouse Lakes, and started up slabs and blocks towards the Buttress, edging past a large snowfield as we reached the ridge at the base.

Heading up. The Buttress visible above the ridge.
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At the base.
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Velma Lakes in Desolation
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The long ridgeline leading to ELB.
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From the summit.
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Descending to Eagle Lake. Another party reported the outlet crossable.

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Re: Eagle Lake Buttress, Mountaineer's Route

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:09 pm

Is your "at the base" photo the actual route you took? I did a climb years ago but recall that we used ropes, so not sure if it was the same route you did.

I drove by Eagle Creek yesterday. All nicely melted off at the lower elevations. From the top, could you see how much snow is up higher? Do you have a photo of that?
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Re: Eagle Lake Buttress, Mountaineer's Route

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:10 pm

Sorry, I do see you have a photo of Velma Lakes. For some reason that photo did not initially show up when I read this post. Wow! I think I am going in there to fish ASAP!
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Re: Eagle Lake Buttress, Mountaineer's Route

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:43 pm

Thanks for the TR and pictures! Things are melting off nicely in that area, your Velma shot is very informative. :thumbsup:
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Eagle Lake Buttress, Mountaineer's Route

Postby giantbrookie » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:08 pm

Nice report. I've gazed at that ridge and buttress many times in the past and admired it for its appearance. Those are some uncommon viewpoints you have of landmarks familiar to so many Desolation-goers. As WD states, too, the Velmas are calling to a number of us: "Come and visit." I'm curious as to the ferocity of the brush you encountered. I've bushwhacked around nearby and gotten into some pretty nasty thickets. It always looked pretty grim below that buttress.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Eagle Lake Buttress, Mountaineer's Route

Postby shuteye » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:11 pm

WD, the photo is from the base, south side, and does show the Mountaineers Route, mostly 3 some 4, all fun, which is also the descent for other more technical routes. There are several: 5.7-10. We brought gear but arrived late for 3 pitches and retracing the approach. The buttress is very vertical and imposing overall but there are lines of weakness which my iPhone camera slurred. A really beautiful piece of rock and summit, though.

GB: We stayed low after we crossed above Ninety Foot Wall going west. The really bad, dense, head-high Manzanita was further up encircling the base of Section 20 (which is where the heinous reports mostly come from, I believe) and was worst east of the stream/cascade coming from Grouse Lakes. As we approached the stream to cross, I recall we had some very moderate brush to negotiate. On the other side and all the way to the ridge I think we were able to avoid it following slabs and talus.
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