Cathedral Range-Isberg Divide-Clark Range Traverse

Topics related to peak bagging, rock climbing and bouldering in the foothills and high country of the Sierra Nevada. Be sure to also check out the Information Booth forum category to learn from / see if you can contribute to a profile for High Sierra 13'ers, 14'ers and cross country passes.
User avatar
seanr
Topix Regular
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:46 am
Experience: N/A

Cathedral Range-Isberg Divide-Clark Range Traverse

Post by seanr » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:34 pm

In case you missed it, Eric Su pulled off a long planned tour de force in the Yosemite high country this summer and posted an in depth report on his website. I am thankful that my local training, Sierra training, schedule, and attitude this year allowed me to make a relatively last minute decision to join. Perhaps I'll get around to sharing some reports of my own after a long hiatus. Anyway here's a handful of my images and Eric's report link for Convoluted Bliss, the longest completed alpine ridge traverse in the United States:
https://peaksforfreaks.blogspot.com/201 ... 809514.jpg[/img]ImageImageImageImageImage

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk








User avatar
gary c.
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1191
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:56 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Lancaster, CA

Re: Cathedral Range-Isberg Divide-Clark Range Traverse

Post by gary c. » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:57 pm

I was thinking awesome until I looked at the other complete report. Now I'm thinking just plane over the freaking top!! Nice job.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray

User avatar
Hobbes
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1119
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:09 am
Experience: N/A
Location: The OC

Re: Cathedral Range-Isberg Divide-Clark Range Traverse

Post by Hobbes » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:37 am

Nice. I was wondering if/when someone would do that kind of route. It's hard enough - and seemingly difficult to find trail intelligence - for just a normal backpacking loop via the passes. Traversing the ridge line is superman territory, which would be expected from the youngest winner of the Sierra challenge and his cohorts.

His report should provide good information for anyone thinking of doing a regular loop. His photos/descriptions usually provide a lot of detail/insight to be able to cobble together a reasonable understanding of the area.

PS Sean, what kind of special conditioning did you guys engage beforehand? Just a lot of peak bagging, or any specific exercises? Again, bravo.

User avatar
Jimr
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 1786
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:14 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Redondo Beach

Re: Cathedral Range-Isberg Divide-Clark Range Traverse

Post by Jimr » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:31 pm

I bet they start with lots of pelvic floor lifts. Ya know, to keep from crapping in your pants?
If you don't want to be eaten, don't look like food.

User avatar
seanr
Topix Regular
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:46 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Cathedral Range-Isberg Divide-Clark Range Traverse

Post by seanr » Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:04 pm

Jimr wrote:I bet they start with lots of pelvic floor lifts. Ya know, to keep from crapping in your pants?
Haha! Toshi did mention packing an extra pair of underwear on his gear spreadsheet with that listed as the reason. I suspect I would have had a problem with the exposure not much over a year prior.
I recall each of us having a few moments of looking at the route choice another was making and initially shaking our heads at the thought of following. Sometimes we'd opt for a variation and other times we'd follow and find it not to be as bad as it looked. I only recall one mention of unpleasant bodily functions due to fear and it was Toshi's thought of vomiting up breakfast in response to finding unexpected exposure on a descent from an obscure peak near Post Peak Pass.



Image

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

User avatar
seanr
Topix Regular
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:46 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Cathedral Range-Isberg Divide-Clark Range Traverse

Post by seanr » Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:22 pm

gary c. wrote:I was thinking awesome until I looked at the other complete report. Now I'm thinking just plane over the freaking top!! Nice job.
Thanks! With all that he's done in a short time, it's not generally like Eric to make a really big deal out of specific a trip, but he was thrilled about reattempting and completing this one! I had never been out more than two nights before and we didn't cross paths with anyone else besides on our last day, yet I felt at home out there. Whether or not I ever come close to equalling or surpassing this effort, I'm sure I'll appreciate memories of it forever.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

User avatar
seanr
Topix Regular
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:46 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Cathedral Range-Isberg Divide-Clark Range Traverse

Post by seanr » Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:57 pm

Hobbes wrote:Nice. I was wondering if/when someone would do that kind of route. It's hard enough - and seemingly difficult to find trail intelligence - for just a normal backpacking loop via the passes. Traversing the ridge line is superman territory, which would be expected from the youngest winner of the Sierra challenge and his cohorts.

His report should provide good information for anyone thinking of doing a regular loop. His photos/descriptions usually provide a lot of detail/insight to be able to cobble together a reasonable understanding of the area.

PS Sean, what kind of special conditioning did you guys engage beforehand? Just a lot of peak bagging, or any specific exercises? Again, bravo.
Regarding conditioning, Eric mostly did his typical long hikes in the Diablo Range this winter/spring followed by some Sierra peakbagging and traversing. He added some strength training and did some marathon training in winter/early spring. As you mentioned, his background is evident from his webpage and legendary Sierra Challenge feats. Having that background certainly helps!

Toshi has an ultrarunning background and set a record on Mt. Tam this spring while running the famed Dipsea trail 16 times for nearly thirty-eight hours straight.

My past endurance accomplishments don't come close to matching theirs, but I did prepare for and complete all 10 days of Sierra Challenge the two prior years and didn't find it particularly difficult the second time out despite doing extra peaks/mileage. This year I ramped training up by doing a decent job of following the training plans and exercises in the book Training for the New Alpinism by House and Johnston. I then did a lot of snowy cross country peakbagging/traversing in May, June, and July (mostly on weekends) with a few multi-night trips and one stretch of four moderate length dayhikes. Most notable was Gardiner Traverse with Eric (Glacier Monument to Gould). Pinchot to Wynne with some other peaks from Armstrong Canyon lower TH Memorial Day weekend was pretty memorable as well. I made a strategic mistake as far as tapering by doing Glacier Ridge ~50 Mile dayhike with HST videographer Turtle Matt a few days before Convoluted Bliss, which led to me not being super fresh and greatly contributed to sore ankles and shin splints on one leg for the second half of the eight days. Extensive endurance training on foot on relatively hard and rugged surfaces is important preparation for an outing like this, but I should have been easing up on mileage going into the trip.



Image

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

User avatar
Hobbes
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1119
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:09 am
Experience: N/A
Location: The OC

Re: Cathedral Range-Isberg Divide-Clark Range Traverse

Post by Hobbes » Sun Oct 01, 2017 6:22 am

Aye carumba! What's the old saying, there's always someone thinner, better looking and richer?

In the sports world, there's always someone stronger, faster and in better condition. LOL

You guys are animals. What's next - where do you go from here: Denali, the Andes, Himalaya?

User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Addict
Posts: 3841
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Contact:

Re: Cathedral Range-Isberg Divide-Clark Range Traverse

Post by Wandering Daisy » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:13 am

Maybe I just missed it, but what did you guys rate that traverse?

User avatar
seanr
Topix Regular
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:46 am
Experience: N/A

Re: Cathedral Range-Isberg Divide-Clark Range Traverse

Post by seanr » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:13 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:Maybe I just missed it, but what did you guys rate that traverse?
The simple answer would be low fifth class.

Undoubtedly some loose class 2 sections hold potential injury risk, especially while carrying 30-50 pounds, but I will sequentially summarize some of the details regarding substantial class 3-4-5 terrain found in Eric’s maps and lengthy report:

We sometimes dropped slightly off of the absolute ridgetop to bypass unclimbable and/or unprotectable and challenging 5th class terrain.

Vogelsang Peak to Emeric Peak contains exposed class 3 (dropped packs).

Simmons Sidewalk (located northeast of Simmons) contained class 4 sections.

Second Tower of Simmons (east of the summit tower) contained class 3-4 downclimbing in our direction of travel.

NW Ridge of Estel Tower III is significant class 3.

West Ridge of Maclure and the headwall contained class 4 sections. Descent was class 3.

Lyell Northwest and east ridges contained class 4.

Marie Peak summit area contains loose class 4 (dropped packs).

Getting to the summit of Rodgers from the north required a bypass that we lengthened to make camp near water in a storm.

Southwest Ridge of Rodgers required our most substantial bypass.

Hailstorm Peak from Rodgers was class 3+.

Ansel Adams is exposed class 3

Southwest Ridge of Electra required a bypass.

Loose Ridge Peak (just after Electra) was class 4.

Carpe Diem’s SW Ridge is class 3-4.

Post Peak summit block is class 5 (dropped packs). Climbing shoes and/or extremely long reach recommended (I am 6’4” with long arms and trained upper body strength).

West side of Porphry Peak (west of Post Peak Pass) contained a brief class 4 section.

Walton to Little Divide is class 3.

Giant Fist is significant class 3.

Ottoway is class 3.

Red Devil Spur is loose class 3 knife edge (dropped packs).

Grayling to Gray is a very long class 3 section either loose or drop down to slabs.

Blocky Ridge is significant, airy class 4-5.

Clark SE Ridge is class 4, especially the first tower (dropped packs).

Tunnel Rock Peak is class 3. Staying atop the ridge is a knife-edge.










Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
Last edited by seanr on Mon Oct 02, 2017 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests