From:  "Eric Robinson"
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 18:12:53 -0000 
Subject: [nolans14] Report 

I'm back in Berkeley today.  My run ended at Alpine around 12:30 pm 
Saturday.  My last summit was Princeton at 8:34 am, or 52:34.  

Highlights include:

* Got sick during the first night just after Cloises Lake, but 
recovered by the next morning.

*  New descent of Missouri to Elkhead Pass (courtesy of Rollin).  
Descend directly off summit into a scree chute to the SE.  At 13200', 
traverse across talus to the NE, maintaining elevation, or even 
gaining slightly.  Reach the base of some cliffs and buttresses and 
find a faint trail that climbs to a gap in the ridge.  (This gap is 
the same place you find Roach's "Ravens of Portent" and the rocky 
bench on Roach's ascent route).  From the gap, go E along the spine 
of the ridge to Elkhead Pass.  I'm pretty sure that some luck was 
involved when I found the correct route in darkness.  I did drop a 
little too low, and had to climb 300 feet straight up to reach the 
trail and the gap.

* Found the easy way up Harvard: cross Pine Creek directly across 
from Matt's avalanche chute, find a trail leading upstream through 
the woods on the far side, and after going about 200 yards upstream, 
get onto a grassy ramp that leads straight up to the ridgeline at 

* Got surprised by lightning on Yale around sunset on day 2.  After 
getting on the ridge above the avalanche chute, I could see several 
nasty storms to the north and northwest that posed no problem at all, 
since the wind would be carrying them the other way.  On Yale itself 
the sky was totally clear, and it remained clear the whole time I 
climbed.  A very gentle mist fell on me the whole way up -- where it 
came from I couldn't say.  There was a single lightning bolt that 
struck within about 1/4 mile when I reached the summit.  I suppose 
that even though the sky looked clear, there must have been a very 
diffuse cloud in the area.  Enough to generate the mist and a single 

* About an hour after crossing the summit, things clouded up very 
heavily and the real rain and lightning started to come down.  But by 
that time I was in the next basin.

* New descent off Yale that I scouted during training.  Rollin gives 
the route his favorite term of endorsement: "real slick".  It's a 
variation of Ginny's Ridge that avoids the actual ridge, which is a 
bit too rocky for descending.  Instead, descend the east ridge from 
the summit to the saddle with point 13460, and drop into the drainage 
to the south.  This drop includes about 200 yards of fine dirt, then 
about 300 yards of coin-sized shale fragments -- very nice.  When the 
good scree runs out and the gully turns to bowling-ball sized rocks, 
hop to a green on the right and descend to scrubline.  Get on the 
left margin of the basin, between boulders on the left and scrub on 
the right.  Follow the margin down to treeline.  Follow animal trails 
and ramplike benches down to 10700' or 10800' elevation, keeping a 
slope on your left and all streams on your right.  Reach a somewhat 
flatish area within earshot of the stream at 10700' or 10800', then 
take bearing 120 to intercept the Colorado trail at about 10600'.  As 
it happened, bearing 120 aimed me pretty close to Mars.

*  New ascent of Princeton.  This beautiful climb was from an idea 
Ginny had during last year's training.  Climb up Maxwell Gulch to 
just above the first cabin.  Cross the stream and follow a grass ramp 
that curves W then SW to reach a rock buttress at the foot of a 
ridge.  (This ridge is the W wall of the very deepest side-drainage 
in the south side of Maxwell Gulch).  The buttress is a very fun 
Class 3 climb, with a good route if you angle left towards a shrubby 
tree, then traverse right on a gravel bench before climbing onto the 
main spine of the ridge.  There are several areas that are slightly 
loose and crumbly, but with patience and testing, you will find 
reasonably good rock the whole way.  From the spine of the ridge, the 
climb is long but straightforward, on easy, stable talus.

* I reached the buttress just before dawn (around 5:30-ish).  For the 
next three hours or so as I climbed, I was amazed by the coyotes 
howling in Maxwell Gulch.