To: email@example.com 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 13000'. * 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 bolt. * 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.