Climbing Archive

Notes on Rock Self Rescue

I recently took a class on basic self-rescue skills. I wrote up some notes to help me remember things and figured it would be useful to others! Before we start, none of this complicated stuff matters if these are not true: Always lock locking carabiners! Check your and your partners harness, figure-eight and belay setups! Wear a helmet! There are a few different knots used in all technical mountaineering/climbing and it is best to be able to do them in your sleep, one-handed. Read more...

First time in the Bugaboos: I will be back!

Every once in a while, a trip goes so well, you want to thank the entire Universe for not conspiring against you. Such was the Bugaboos. The weather was ideal, the company was nice and the views were spectacular! The rock? Bugaboos rock is perfect! Much has been written about the Bugaboos, so I won’t go into the logistics and route details, focusing instead on the trip. We hiked in July 22nd and hiked out July 29th. Read more...

Weekend adventures: Tamarack Peak ski and Eagle Lake Buttress traverse (attempt)

Another saturday, another early morning drive to Tahoe. This time it was an even longer drive to Nevada, to get some beginner backcountry skiing experience on Tamarack Peak. Thanks to Marusa for guiding us on this half-day tour, it was a lot of fun! Snow conditions were good and the way up was well tracked. I managed to fall a couple of times on the icy parts of the skin-track, until I learned to trust my heels and keep looking up. Read more...

Unicorn and Cathedral Peak: ending the summer up high.

Saddlebag campground is my favourite place as fall approaches. Cold night temperatures drive away the crowds, but perfect weather during the day opens up splendid Tuolumne Meadows alpine objectives. Last year I traversed North Peak and Conness and this year I had already done a car-to-car of Matterhorn. When the Sierra Mountaineering Club scheduled an early October trip I wanted to use the opportunity to climb Cathedral. I’ve been eyeing it for 2 seasons and felt ready. Read more...

Banner Peak

My interest in Banner Peak and Mt. Ritter began when I encountered them while hiking the John Muir Trail in August 2014. Immortalized by Ansel Adams, the 2 mountains framed by Garnet Lake and Thousand Island Lake are well known and frequently climbed. Banner Peak and Mt. Ritter: A picture I took of Banner and Ritter from Garnet Lake in July 2014 I snagged permits for Ediza Lake several months ago, with an intention to climb both Ritter and Banner via their scrambling routes from the Ritter/Banner saddle. Read more...

Mt. Brewer: A third of adventure, is still enough adventure

Much of the majesty of the Sierra Nevada lies in the fact that accounts of its exploration are well preserved and promoted. The mountains and their stories are intertwined in accessible books and a vibrant internet community. Daniel Arnold’s “Early Days in the Range of Light” is a fantastic contemporary introduction to this beautiful range. It’s first chapter follows William Brewer’s ascent of his namesake peak, and was my inspiration for a trip deep into the Sierra backcountry. Read more...