Loc: San Carlos, CA
Trip: West McMillan Spire Speed Climb - West Ridge
Trip Report: Having thoroughly enjoyed the climb of West McMillan Spire in 2007, I figured it was time to return. With route knowledge and generally good conditions I was able to better the 2007 time by just over 3 hours to 8:14 roundtrip.
Location (Elevation): Time Elapsed / Real Time Goodell Creek Trailhead (600 ft) : 0 / 05:45 Climbers Path Turnoff (1,600 ft) : 45:28 / 06:30 Heather Bench [top of hill climb] (5,200 ft) : 1:50:30 / 07:35 Arrive West McMillan Summit (8,000 ft) : 4:20:19 / 10:05 Depart West McMillan Summit (8,000 ft) : 4:41:01 / 10:26 Heather Bench [top of hill climb] (5,200 ft) : 6:46:08 / 12:31 Climbers Path Turnoff (1,600 ft) : 7:40:40 / 13:26 Goodell Creek Trailhead (600 ft) : 8:14:12 / 14:00
Thanks Val Zephyr for the route conditions. The climbers path from Goodell Creek to the heather benches at 5,200 ft is a masterpiece of elevation gain. One major difference from the prior trip report were the snow conditions, which were firm and even icy in spots. This generally allowed for fast travel on the traverse from the heather benches to the Terror Glacier. However, the short descent from the 6,300+ ft notch and the final steeper snow slope up to the West Ridge required some attention. Maybe it was the rain the previous day or simply a factor of travelling on a chilly morning. On the descent the snow conditions were already getting slightly softer.
Gear Notes: Black Diamond Neve Strap Crampons; Ultimate Direction Wasp Pack, First Endurance EFS and Ultragen; La Sportiva Raptors
Approach Notes: A couple brushy sections on the Goodell Creek Trail. The climbers path is generally easy to follow, but if you lose it, retrace your steps and find it.