K-K Divide to Muir Crest Planning

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giantbrookie
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Re: K-K Divide to Muir Crest Planning

Post by giantbrookie » Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:48 pm

Harlen wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:14 pm
giantbrookie writes:
Anyhow if you're not planning on climbing University it would probably take less time to go all the way to Kearsarge than to cross off trail via the shoulder.
I don't know, I still like your first idea John. Starting at Golden Bear Lake, I get 2,330' uphill on the JMT and K Pass route, plus about 13.5 miles. Easy trail cruising, but how does that compare with just 1200' up, and ~ 7.5 miles. And I like finishing the trip mostly off-trail, and leaving the JMT/PCT section out.
Yes, if you want to finish off trail (instead of "conventional"), going over the shoulder would certainly be finishing with a fine flourish!


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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;






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Re: K-K Divide to Muir Crest Planning

Post by Harlen » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:14 am

cgunderson writes:
OK, I have a better picture now of your intended loop, and it does not include that snazzy ridge above Robinson Lake that I've looked at, thought about, but never acted on....
Where is your "snazzy ridge?" Now that John has pointed onto the north side of Uni Peak for my decent, I find myself checking out the whole ridge from Uni Pk to Kearsarge Pass. Check it out in the first photo I posted:

carl book 018.JPG
View southeast from Kearsarge Pass.


Is this the route you are interested in, or if not, might it become another one for you/us? Maybe I'll have time to check it out on the way out.
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Re: K-K Divide to Muir Crest Planning

Post by cgundersen » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:54 pm

Hi Ian, I'll be curious how this plays out on the ground. My one time over Thunder Pass coincided with a bunch of Outward bound kids heading to climb Thunder Mt; they too were happy to get past the talus approach. Since it was early season, the first lake below the pass was still largely snow-bound, so I cannot comment on camping. We stayed at the smaller lower lakes near the outlet stream: quite OK. As for the hop from Robinson Lake, what I had eyes on from a day hike was the southeast ridge (your above photo should be northeast ridge). So, I'd take John's advice that it's a horrific talus slog, but it sure shaves off a lot of trail time if it's your choice for an exit route. Let the fun begin.......Cameron

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Re: K-K Divide to Muir Crest Planning

Post by giantbrookie » Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:40 pm

cgundersen wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:54 pm
As for the hop from Robinson Lake, what I had eyes on from a day hike was the southeast ridge (your above photo should be northeast ridge). So, I'd take John's advice that it's a horrific talus slog, but it sure shaves off a lot of trail time if it's your choice for an exit route.
I was thinking about this a bit and one thing I didn't consider is that I probably tried this boulder field in 1971 or 1972 and I think it was before I really became a boulder hopping fiend (probably didn't really hit my stride doing that until the early 80s). On the other hand, my dad was at the top of his game then (and my dad at the top of his game was the closest thing to Superman I've ever seen), and I recall he was the one who threw in the towel. We were totally "mazed" and made little progress in a fairly extended period of time. In my memory the only boulder field I've ever taken on that was comparable in the size of boulders and the frustration of route finding through it was when I made the error of thinking of taking a "short cut" through the boulder field in northern Yosemite's Slide Canyon in 1993 when I was at the top of my game. I recall giving up and getting out sideways to do the more sensible "up the side" detour there. I suppose it is also significant to note that when my dad gave up above Robinson Lake we weren't carrying full packs, because we were dayhiking with the aim of climbing University that way whereas my Slide Canyon nightmare was with a full pack.
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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: K-K Divide to Muir Crest Planning

Post by Harlen » Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:31 am

I was happy to hear back from commonloon, who just returned from his and Henry's epic mountaineering route through the Muir Crest, and onward. Among many other peaks, they climbed some of my goals-- the East Ridge of Russell, and the Mt'eer's Route on Whitney. I hope Paul will provide us with some insight as to giantbrookie's cautionary tale of climber generated rockfall hazard on the latter route, and to John's idea about the potential for climbing Whitney's north slopes instead. I like the idea, but want to be safe when solo; I know that there was a recent fatality in that very area. Paul, what about a super early, headlamp start up the Mt'eer's Rt., then I would only have the way down to worry about? And Paul, can you give us your insight on climbing Russell via the east? I imagine you and Henry prancing along the very top of that airy ridge-- is it safe enough of old guys?

Congratulations on your trip, and thanks for any advice you can give us, Ian

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Re: K-K Divide to Muir Crest Planning

Post by commonloon » Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:20 pm

I'm hoping to do a TR soon, but In short, we did Shepherd, Tyndall Col-Versteeg, Wrights/Wallace saddle, Russel/Carillon Col, Russel, Carillon, Whitney MR, Muir, Crabtree Pass, Miter Basin, Lake below The General and finally Langley.

East Ridge was fun for me. I would characterize it as easy class 3 with epic exposure and views. Interestingly we ran into 2 other climbers on Russel who were descending the southern chute near the east summit to then climb Whitney. I think Secor (p78) calls this the "South face, right side" and says it is class 3. You could descend this (I haven't so I can't say what it is like) and go up Whitney's N face as giantbrookie mentions, and still do the best part of the MR route (the last 500m or so of class 3 above the notch).

We're both old guys ;-) Yes, I think Russel is a safe climb if one is careful. We did use approach shoes. Henry was cruising.

Regarding the the Whitney MR, we did it on a weekday, early and were the 1st to summit w/ no parties above us either on the MR or elsewhere. So, I can't really speak to rockfall from above. Although that sounds scary! Henry and I had discussed the possibility of "Crowds" and camped at Iceberg so we could get an early start (dawn at start of climb). The chute was mostly snow free. We took nice class 3 slabs to avoid the hard snow down low and more slabs up higher just because (to avoid loose rock). The last bit after the notch was some of the most enjoyable class 3 I have done.

MR: Yes, earlier start the better and stage as high as possible. Iceberg is best. It was unfortunately littered w/ stuff :-(

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