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20150822 Bear Creek Spire North Arete, III 5.8

 
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Taco
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Location: Stuntin in the trap son

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:45 am    Post subject: 20150822 Bear Creek Spire North Arete, III 5.8  Reply with quote

Bear with my scatterbrained writing style on this one.

I've had this route on my list for a while. It looked appealing as a quick route, as it wasn't a long hike in and had a difficult enough rating to be interesting, while still being mellow overall.

Gabriel wanted to climb it, and he hit me up asking if I was down. I said yes, and figured we would have a blast. We did arright, and learned some things.

I got the idea this route was easy overall, with a short approach and mostly easy climbing. 3 miles on trail, a few more to the base, 10 pitches of mostly easy climbing with a few 5.7-8 pitches, and the same hike out. I'd say that's accurate, but I'm not in shape for that right now. The climbing itself was easy and fun, with the crux 5.8 pitch being the highlight. I was so bummed about it that I made a daisy chain from a knotted sling, which I put on my harness prior to leading the pitch in case I pussed out and had to aid it. I had no issues and actually enjoyed it quite a bit.

We were too slow and out of shape to do it quickly. We bailed from pitch 8 or so, and I went into super speedman rappel anchor express as we flew down the east face in 5-6 rappels or so.

I was in wonderful shape a few months ago, but a lot has changed. Lost the van, which changed everything. Two tooth infections meant I couldn't eat solid food for a while, so that meant I couldn't train. I lost a lot of muscle mass and a ton of muscular endurance, which I had worked hard to gain. Not a lot of good news lately. Just keeping on chugging through the small steps in life, trying to see the good in things, knowing that things will change, and trying different things to improve my situation and bring eventual balance to my perception of time and existence.

So, basically, I'm out of shape, physically and mentally. This trip was big and demanding enough that it pushed me beyond my 'sphere of acceptable commitment', or whatever. I could've soloed this 3 months ago in short order and barely remembered it. What a world, what a world.

On to the photos!

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The approach. Pretty, but a lot of smoke. Ashes flew through our headlamp beams like insects at night.

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Our objective, with Dade Lake.

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Gabe on the approach

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Looking up the North Arete. You can see several parties ahead of us.

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Looking down from pitch 2 or so, I think. There are a couple 5.7ish pitches early on, which were fun.

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Going up the early stuff

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A nice couple from up north going up the next pitch. I butchered this pitch, going too far right and making some unreal ropedrag for myself. I've been mostly rope-soloing lately. You have no ropedrag when doing that. I needed to think like I was leading like a regular person. Too much wandering got me in trouble and made for the hardest pitch of the day up some loose steep stuff with one very large, very loose, dangerous block which I stood atop.

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Standing atop the loose block, I think. I love love love the exposure, but the block moved an inch or so away from the wall with me on it, which scared me for a second.

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Took a shaky photo from the crux pitch. I enjoyed this one thoroughly. One can chimney it, but I chose to stem around the flakes. More balance and grace to avoid getting beat up scraping up the chimney moves. More air that way, looking into a welcoming void, if I may be overly artistic.

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Gabe coming up that pitch. Nice belay ledge up top with great views.

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Hauling ass outta here. As one can see, I'm wearing shorts. I didn't wanna bivy at 13,000+. Was comfortable otherwise. Very happy when we got off the rapps with some light left!

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The east face, which we rapped down.

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Smokey sunset

Got back to our big packs at Dade Lake at dark, ate, drank, cleaned up, and headed out. Lotta talus and scree on the way back, with severe knee pain in my left knee. Gabe wasn't having a blast either. We were happy to reach the trail at Gem lakes, and had some more food and drink. The 3 miles out took a long time, as these things tend to do. You just fall into your zombie zone of pain and keep chugging on your way home. Got back to the car around 11:20, making for about 17hrs on the go.

Gabe's trip report will be much better. I'll link to it here.

Have fun guys, and keep being cool.
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mangus7175



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Location: Los Angeles CA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn! That is just gorgeous Shocked
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Sewellymon



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Location: Sierra Madre, CA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bummer about the smoke. That takes some of the fun outta it..

And in terms of perspective- it's all about the long run. Take care of life. If the climbs are meant to be, they will happen.

Be nice if I could do that route in a day, but at slow and old 58.. well....   I was happy just to backpack and day hike up the talus last month and eyeball the route...


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tekewin



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Location: Aliso Viejo

PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gorgeous pictures and a big climb up the Spire. Good thing that loose boulder didn't fall.  Shocked  You really have a flair for photos near sunset.

You were way north of us in the Bishop area, but the smoke was still a problem. Maybe it will be clear out soon.
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Taco
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Location: Stuntin in the trap son

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys. I am learning that, Sewellymon.  Cool

Give the credit to instagram! It's what I use for all the photos I take now. Makes up for mistakes and conditions.
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JeffH



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Location: Claremont

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice pics, they look like paintings.
Is that out of Little Lakes Valley (Mosquito Flat trailhead)?
Second photo appears to be Long Lake.
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Taco
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Location: Stuntin in the trap son

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correct, same area. You hike right past it. Slept at Mosquito Lake the night before and when we got back down at 11:20pm.
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Uncle Rico



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Location: Pleasantville

PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Taco wrote:
Slept at Mosquito Lake the night before and when we got back down at 11:20pm.


So did you get attacked by mosquitoes?  Laughing
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Taco
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Location: Stuntin in the trap son

PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude, so lucky! No mosquitoes!!!!! I remember hiking up awful Shepherd's Pass once, and passing that nice stream partway up. The mosquitoes descended in force and I ran!!!

Thank you, Google, for teaching me that I must add an e to mosquitoes to make it plural. I'd fail English class at this point.
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