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[TR] Tenaya Peak - NW Buttress 5.7 variation 10/10/2009

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Trip: Tenaya Peak - NW Buttress 5.7 variation


Date: 10/10/2009


Trip Report:


I'm in a masters in education program so I teach in the mornings and work for an after school program in the afternoons. The after school program is in one of Oakland's toughest middle schools and I'm quickly learning to decipher when I'm being told to fuck off in more languages than I'll be able to learn in one lifetime. It was a tough week and I was looking forward to some fresh air and solitary granite. Last weekend while cragging in the Valley I took a couple of nice whippers and it didn't seem like I could stay on anything. All in all I was needing something to feel positive about. Fourteen pitches of 5.0 to 5.5 climbing with a few 5.7 moves thrown in for fun?.... Now this is the type of ego booster I'm looking for!



Tenaya Peak




The Sierra saw it's first snow last week and there was some left on the route. A few other parties bailed but that seemed unnecessary. I mean I tell people I'm an alpinist, often times they don't know what that means but it sounds kind of cool. I haven't felt like one too often since I moved down here so maybe some snow and ice would help me redeem myself.



Justin following in the cold.



Tenaya Lake in the background.




Half way up the climb everything was going great. It was one of those crisp fall days where it just feels good to be outside and the views were fantastic. We simul-climbed everything to this point and then decided to pitch out a 5.5 section since we were running into more snow and ice. A couple of fun moves brought me to a featureless, low angle slab. I kept cruising upward but found myself running out of options and rope. What looked fine from below was really ice disguised by shade. I continued towards a corner with a nice crack eager to place something. The higher I got the worse the ice was and pretty soon I was trapped. The crack was sufficiently guarded and now I had to down-climb icy, low angle slabs? This was supposed to be confidence building. How did I find myself 80 feet above my last piece down climbing a featureless face with splotches of ice? "Climber falls on Tenaya Peak"... now that simply is not the way to go out in style. Well, here we go. I started down and began traversing to the right until I found a few ledges above with trees- anchor please. I delicately moved across some snow and sized up the last unprotect moves I'd make before safety. When I became a student again they made me get health insurance plus that membership to the AAC comes with medevac right? A few moderate moves and I was sitting in the snow tying into those trees. A little more than I had bargained for but I guess that was an ego booster? Maybe? We avoided ice and snow for the rest of the climb and started to take in some sunshine as we got higher.




Heading towards the top.




Summit shot.




The W. Ridge of Mt. Conness is in the center/background. Definitely my favorite thing I've done down here.




Matthes Crest which looks like a blast.




Checking out the route on the descent.




Tuolmne Meadows.




Some beautiful scenery right off of 120 by Tioga Pass. I'm pretty sure this is near Dana Plateau.



Heading east with Lee Vining Canyon below.


It sounds like Tioga Pass might close this week due to snow which would be a shame. You've got to love the solitude of fall climbing but all good things must come to an end. Now back to take on middle school.


Gear Notes:

.5 to 3


Approach Notes:


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