Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Alps, August 2010, with Gary Arce

Gary and I met in Zermatt, Switzerland to begin our climbs of the Matterhorn, and Mont Blanc.
The Mountain Guide.

Gary on the Breithorn, a warm up outing prior to the Matterhorn.

The Briethorn has some stimulating snow, ice, and rock climbing, occasionally on very narrow ridges.

Gary and Doug with the iconic Matterhorn behind, viewed from Zermatt.

The local music festival features the Alpshorn quartet.

Gary Arce on the summit of the Matterhorn with "Saint Bernard" watching over the climbers below.

Doug on the summit of Mont Blanc, Chamonix, France

Gary nearing the end of a 14 hour day as we descend from Mont Blanc

French and Swiss Alps, 2010

Summer 2010 saw us on Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, and a attempt on the Eiger
The Mountain Guide travels to Europe.

Keith Bortle and I had a great time in the Alps this season, with beautiful peaks, nice people, and the Euro not in our favor.

Stepping out on the glacier above Chamonix, France Keith and I join a few of our friends for
a little glacier stroll.

Keith follows a pitch on the Cosmique Arete, a wonderful mixed route that end at the cable car station.

Keith and I cross the glacier towards Mont Blanc (15,781') as we start what will become an 18hr. day climbing
over Mont Blanc du Tacul, Mont Maudit, and then to the summit of Mont Blanc.

Keith nearing the summit of Maudit. We had the route to ourselves that day, a very rare treat. BUT, we had to pay
for that treat with some deep snow trailbreaking.

Doug on Mont Maudit with extraordinary mountain scenery all around.

Descending the Monch, a moderate outing near the Eiger in Grindlewald, Switzerland

Sunday, June 27, 2010

East Buttress, El Cap with Shirley Wes and Kay Wilson.....the rest of the story..

In May 2010, Shirley Wes and Kay Wilson came to Yosemite to continue their training for the
East Buttress of El Capitan, a 13 pitch, 5.10b. First climbed in 1953, this classic Valley route
has it all...face, fingers, hands, fist, stemming, and yes, everyone's favorite...chimneys. The
Mountain Guide

The beautiful morning light on The Cathedrals as we approach El Capitan.

Shirley and Kay get down to business. The chimney and stemming of Pitch 1. (a full body workout)

Now when does a foothold become a handhold ?

Kay nears the anchor at the end of pitch 1.

Kay on p 6. This was quite challenging as it was very wet from Horsetail blowing water on us as
the afternoon winds picked up.

Shirley and Kay on the Nose belay. We waited here for some time as there was a slower party ahead of us
and overcast prevented the sun from drying the rock from Horsetail Falls blowing water.

Shirley on p 7, the 5.9 fist and face pitch. This was hard as the rock was a bit wet.

Kay enjoying the view from high on El Capitan. We were past the crux of the route, but still needed to hustle
as the remaining pitches and the lengthy descent would press us toward darkness.

The summit with The Three Bothers and the Valley in evening light. What a wonderful day on the rock, with great partners, a day to

Monday, May 24, 2010

Yosemite, May 2010, with Shirley Wes & Kay Wilson

Shirley and Kay are planning and preparing to climb the East Buttress of El Cap in June and have been polishing their wide crack skills in Moab, UT and Red Rock, NV with guide Amie Barns and now here in Yosemite with me. Not many folks chose to work on their wide crack skills as it is so physical, gotta hand it to these gals.
The Mountain Guide

The Iota Chimney, Kay and Shirley wanted ( they really did) to polish their wide crack skills as we prep for the East Buttress of El Capitan in mid June. I have guided for YMS, Yosemite Mountaineering School since 1984 and can count on one hand the number of times people have requested chimneys, fist cracks, and flares. Way Proud !

Next, off to Reed Pinnacle, regular route, and Bongs Away (not shown) for some variety in our skill development. And to have a little fun of course.

Kay Wilson on pitch 2 of the Braille Book, a 5 pitch 5.8 up Higher Cathedral Rock. It was a gorgeous day out, with a few parties behind us. The Valley was as beautiful as ever !

Pitch 3 of the Braille Book, way off the deck, stemming away, oh so good !

Shirley, Doug, and Kay on the descent from Higher Cathedral Rock.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yosemite, May 2010, A day on the East Buttress of Middle Cathedral.

The East Buttress of Middle Cathedral, grade IV, 5.9, A0, one of the Fifty Classic Climbs in North America. The Mountain Guide

At the base of the route in the morning light, Sloan Larsen and Daniel Kennedy prepping for the route above, 10 pitches of the best moderate terrain in the Valley.

Sloan Larsen on pitch 6, a wonderful 60 meter rope stretcher of everything good, fingers, hands, fists, laybacking, and some good stemming. It doesn't get much better that this.

Sloan nearing the belay ledge at the end of pitch 6, with El Cap meadow and the Merced River far below.

Daniel pacing himself on the long 6th pitch as he cleans the gear. We were quite fortunate to have only one other party on the route that day, a very uncommon event given the well deserved popularity of the route.

Sloan nearing the top, it turned out to be a longer day than normal as the descent gully was choked with snow. We had rappels through waterfalls, a number of rappels off snow bollards, a very alpine finish to a great day in Yosemite Valley.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Spring Skiing in the Sierra, Carson Peak, 10,909, Pete's Dream

April 30, 2010, Carson Peak. It has been a wonderful winter and a continuing cool spring. The
snow has remained great. Given the big winter and subsequent avalanches Pete's Dream was ski-able
from the summit to the Double Eagle Resort following the fall line. It's the first time I've seen it possible.

On the summit, 7pm, looking east towards the June Mt. Ski Area. It was a beautiful
sunset with good cloud color and great snow.

The "Range of Light" in winter glory. Looking north to Mount Wood

Winter Snow on April 30th? Yes indeed. My skin track up the main bowl on Carson Peak, with the
June Lake Loop in the background. Mono Lake in the distance.

Nearing the top of Carson Peak I got a nice view of the Minarets, Mount Ritter
and Banner Peak. That's allot of snow for this time of year !

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tioga Pass to June Lake Ski Tour

Ken Corathers skinning up to the Kuna Crest, Tioga Pass in the
background. We had a wonderful 3-day trip, with great snow, weather,
and the most beautiful mountain scenery.

Looking through the pass towards Banner Peak and Mount Lyell

Doug taking off the skins for the downhill run

Ken on Donahue Pass, morning of the 3rd day, heading home

Almost home, great skiing down to June Lake with Banner Peak in
the background.

Winter Ascent, East Face, Mt. Whitney

Woody White approaching Mount Whitney in the morning light

The Washboard in winter conditions

High up the Giant Staircase

Woody on a variant pitch at the top of the
Giant Staircase

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bridelvail Falls, CO, WI 5+, Jan. 2010 with Constantine Severis

A Jeff Lowe classic, Bridelvail Falls is one of America's best known
and coolest ice climbs. Three Pitches of interesting and hard climbing.

The climb follow the right hand ice flow, the left is off limits with power cable and sewage lines under the ice, eeww !

Constantine Severis on the 1st pitch.

We had great ice early season ice on Bridelvail.

Constantine in great form !

Con after the battle !