Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
PellucidWombat

[TR] Mt Carl Heller - East Ridge 3/13/2011

Recommended Posts

Trip: Mt Carl Heller - East Ridge

 

Date: 3/13/2011

 

Trip Report:

Carl Heller is a rarely climbed peak just north of Mt Whitney in the High Sierra. However, the east ridge is often touted as being the best scramble in the High Sierra, with continuous exposure & knife edge scrambling on sustained cl. 3-4 cracks and friction slab.

 

A few years ago I saw a photo of the ridge with snow on it, and it looked like a whole different level of challenge. Despite the easier rating, with snow this was a lot harder than the East Ridge of Mt Humphreys (III-IV, 5.4-5.5) that I had climbed the months prior, and with runouts traverses on soft snow adhering to steep granite slabs.

 

I talked Vitaliy, Max, Shane, and Kevin into joining me, and as expected, the ridge was longer and harder than expected and we bivied one pitch shy of the summit before descending the next day.

 

We reached the most exposed and technical crux in the dark, so sadly I don't have any photos of that. See the report link for more photos & the write up. Some highlight photos are included below.

 

Link: Partying Like a G6 on the East Ridge of Carl Heller (In Winter Style)

 

[img:center]http://www.summitpost.org/images/medium/704779.jpg[/img]

Carl Heller seen from our camp.

 

 

[img:center]http://www.summitpost.org/images/medium/708661.jpg[/img]

The East Ridge of Carl Heller

 

 

[img:center]http://www.summitpost.org/images/medium/704775.jpg[/img]

The East Ridge of Carl Heller as we pitched it out (I left out 1 or 2 belays)

 

 

[img:center]http://www.summitpost.org/images/medium/704776.jpg[/img]

The East Ridge of Carl Heller as we pitched it out (I left out 1 or 2 belays)

 

 

[img:center]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-gIe95cExOLA/TYc-KS8_73I/AAAAAAAAIa0/2pmreR91aLQ/s640/019-Vitaliy-6-188799_10150116011642270_515072269_6166620_2053633_n.jpg[/img]

Some of the tricky climbing in the middle of the ridge. You had to dig around a lot in the snow to find pro & holds.

 

[img:center]http://www.summitpost.org/images/medium/704797.jpg[/img]

Increasing exposure on the ridge. Fortunately the snow on the slab held and only footsteps were collapsing.

 

 

 

Gear Notes:

Light alpine rack. Very large slings for slinging blocks.

 

1-2 pickets for psychological pro if you're desperate.

 

In summer no gear is needed, though many people would appreciate a rope or climbing shoes for a couple of sections.

 

Approach Notes:

Approach by ascending 5,000 up the annoying bushwack in George Creek (snow does not make it easier!).

 

After the climb, descend the cl. 4 West Face, and ascend 1,000 ft over Vacation Pass to the north to return to camp.

 

In summer the route is often done out of Whitney Portal via Cleaver Col & Vacation Pass, then back out via Cleaver Col as a long day hike & scramble.

Edited by PellucidWombat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow, some scramble!

 

Russian I, 4.11b (Vodka required)
awesome!

 

and nice to meet you, mark - have a good rest of your week in the PNW!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Veronica! The Russian rating was made in jest since two members of our group were Ukrainian. Vitaliy actually did bring some vodka for the bivy & summit, while I brought Jameson whiskey out of respect for my Irish heritage :-)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks Veronica! The Russian rating was made in jest since two members of our group were Ukrainian. Vitaliy actually did bring some vodka for the bivy & summit, while I brought Jameson whiskey out of respect for my Irish heritage :-)

 

 

how appropriate!

i brought a little vodka bottle to our ascent of borah last year, and doug and i dragged a bottle of burgundy and a bottle chianti to... burgundy and chianti peaks in north cascades a few weeks ago. cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a great time reading your account on Summitpost. Congrats on an amazing adventure. That route looks incredible! :tup::tup: :tup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×