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[TR] Mt Humphreys - East Ridge & Arete 2/13/2011

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Trip: Mt Humphreys - East Ridge & Arete


Date: 2/13/2011


Trip Report:

This past winter I've discovered that one way to make the Sierra cl.3-mid 5th climbs more interesting is to do them in winter. The East Ridge of Humphreys (III, 5.4-5.5) was one such route.


Link: Winter Ascent of the Full East Ridge of Mt Humphreys


The route was long and slow enough in winter that we had to bivy in a snow cave at 13,600' and finish the last 3 pitches of rock climbing the next day.


Below are some highlight photos from the climb.





The full East Ridge. The standard East Arete ascends couloirs north or south of the ridge to the large notch just past the large sub-peak, making for a significantly shorter route, but not nearly as fun!



The upper, East Arete, portion of the route, as well as the final towers to bypass on the 13,000 ft gendarme.



The route seen from the Owens Valley 7,000 ft below.



Lower 1,000 ft of the route. Stay on the ridge crest for the most fun.



Cl. 4 climbing on the lower East Ridge. Great rock!






Bypassing a smaller gendarme.



The climbing on the backside of the 13,000 ft gendarme was exposed, clean, and very fun. I'd say it is the best part of the route.



Crux headwall, although I think I went the wrong way here :-)






Final couple of pitches to the summit. Then to rappel & downclimb the route.




Downclimbing from the notch at the base of the East Arete on our descent.







Gear Notes:

Light alpine rack & long slings.


Approach Notes:

In summer, the clearance of your vehicle and the presence of 4WD will determine how close to the end of the dirt road you get. In winter it is snow level, which for us on this trip started at 6,500 ft.


The approach is pretty straightforward and there are a number of ways you can do it.

Edited by PellucidWombat

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I think I need to move to Bishop, or at least get a place down there. Nice looking climbing, year round.

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For the most part the weather is pretty stable, and the avalanche hazard isn't nearly as frightening as in the intermountain states. And if you don't like the weather in the mountains, there's always sport climbing at the Owens River Gorge or bouldering here and there.


It's just a shame that if you live in the Bay Area you have to drive 10-14 hours to get there, depending on weather. Being a local is best for winter play in the Bishop area.

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