Winter mountaineering yay!
|Teresa ties in to lead a 5.10|
With the mountains looking in the western sky it starts to get dark around 4pm, so we packed it up.
We slept in the back of the car and had a lazy 6 am start.
|Who needs a camper when you have a Subaru Outback?|
|Ice climb #1|
|Whitney Portal Buttress at sunrise|
After about 3 miles we left the trail and headed cross country, heading towards the south east couloir of Thor Peak. The approach was not the best, unconsolidated snow and thorny bushes made progress fairly slow.
|Teresa approaching the couloir. Notice the many thorny bushes!|
|Teresa climbing through the rock crux in the couloir|
|Top of the couloir|
We then topped out the couloir after maybe 1000' of climbing at entered the very broad, low angled summit plateau of the mountain. The crampons and ice axe went back into the bags, and a slow meandering walked up class 2 talus towards the highpoint.
|Big summit plateau|
|Views from the summit crest|
Instead of down climbing the couloir, we headed down the south west slopes, which would deposit us on the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek.
We descended about 2000' of garbage, loose scree and then into a snow filled talus field. Not exactly fun. On the plus side there were nice views, and I spied some more potential ice climbing above Boy scout Lake.
|On the way down|
|More ice climbs!|
A long drive home back to Fresno.
For me, climbing in the mountains during the winter is really special. There are no crowds, the climbing/hiking is way more serious, the days are short and cold so you have to move fast. I love it. I'm not sure Teresa felt the same, but I certainly appreciate that I have a wife who is willing to share in my passion and shares a sense of adventure with me.
|Mini ice climb. Hahahaha!!!|