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  1. #1426
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    91
    Spectacular work, everyone. Killer Tom score, way to get some Sweetwater action, and beautiful Pika turns!

    AKB-I know how you feel, obsessive weather watching and conditions are the opposite/way better/worse than expected. Spatial variability at it's finest.

    Evan-Am I crazy, or were you skinning so fast that you left clouds of spray behind? (Not talking about your times haha (which btw are awesomely fast and inspiring me to move more quickly)).


    To quote Gimpy using Snoop's Shizzolator: "Platizzo is stizzacked".

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    Got something new and something old for y'all

    Time to ride the Magic Carpet! Last time, I was on the snowboard for this (in 2011, RIP TR on thebackcountry.com forums), so it was fun to two plank it.

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    Peeping the optional entrance to Liberty LOL

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    Glad to have super good snow where it mattered, but VBowl was transitioning to mank (better for snowboard).

  2. #1427
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
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    2,640
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. hankey View Post
    Lot of great stuff here!
    Rod, nice job on the hulk. I've done everything else around there, but that's still on my list. maybe this weekend...

    AKB, Doc, nice pics from Tom/Pinner. Man i just remember that ridge walk to the summit taking forever... all of the false summits. So from your pics skinning, it looks like the flat aspects were pretty consolidated to about 10k or so - is that right? what's your take on direct south stuff up high (12-14k) when you went, had it gone the cycle back then? obviously the north hadn't and there's been some new snow, but trying to figure out what i'll find this weekend. looks like further south(big pine, etc.) aren't getting much from tomorrow's system.

    Skeeze/Climbereven - nicely done.
    we were in Big Pine last friday and saturday. My son skied mount alice only the bottom 1000 was corned up and a little bit by the ridge. Aspect was east facing. next day we skied up to middle palisade glacier which was wind slabby breakable crust. two people skied the south side of the next taller peak up the drainage from mt alice and it looked like good corn.
    off your knees Louie

  3. #1428
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    3,561
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. hankey View Post
    Man i just remember that ridge walk to the summit taking forever... all of the false summits. So from your pics skinning, it looks like the flat aspects were pretty consolidated to about 10k or so - is that right? what's your take on direct south stuff up high (12-14k) when you went, had it gone the cycle back then? obviously the north hadn't and there's been some new snow, but trying to figure out what i'll find this weekend. looks like further south(big pine, etc.) aren't getting much from tomorrow's system.
    I assume you went via Elderberry? whatsupdoc and I tried that a couple years ago and realized that it was far too much effort under the circumstances. We went by the east valley this time (which is very Elderberry-esque) and the summit was only maybe an hour from where we topped out on the southern headwall. It definitely seems like the easier way to go for summitting.

    Higher southern stuff was definitely warm pow on Sunday. I assume it'll be a bit transitional above 12.5k, turning into decent corn at some point.

    BFD: Were the others skiing the south side of Buck Mtn? It and Alice looked pretty nice when I was up there a few weeks ago. South Fork Bowl of Kid also looked like a really fun ski.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliKid View Post
    Anyone have an idea where the snow-line is on Onion Valley Rd?
    I'm going to optimistically say around 7,300' on northern aspects but I've been very, extremely, and exceedingly wrong concerning such guesses in the past.

    213: Nice! I remember the epic Gutter photo from 2011. Did you ski Liberty from the alternate entrance, which I never knew about and assume is scary as hell?

  4. #1429
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    In the sewers of Folsom
    Posts
    89
    Nice 213 !!!

    Thanks for the Beta BFD, AKBruin!
    Yeah we did Elderberry. Next time I go Idefinitely want to do the South face or S.E chute if corn and what you did if powder.

    If anyone is down the east side this weekend, I'll be there Sat-Mon. Still unsure if I'll have a partner or not, so if anyone's down there and looking for a partner, PM me. Main goal was to do some of the lines off of 395 near big pine before snowline gets too high (Tinemaha, S side Split, but will see based on conditions.)

  5. #1430
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    cordova,AK
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    2,640
    I guess it was Buck Mt. We really did not know where we were at. We hit couloir on NW side of Tom than did Mountaineers route on Whitney. My son skied from notch I walked down, conditions sucked. Old tracks were foot tall sustrugi. We headed for Big Pine as the road was paved and the Honda fit has low clearance. We just followed the most tracks. I thought we were headed to u notch. Just today looked at maps and realized where we were. Alice had some old tracks and sun so we stopped and my son skied it. All the other tracks stopped lower as they probably realized conditions were firm to breakable. When we headed up the valley we saw what I guess is Buck and there were more old tracks on that and the south face looked like it softened up by the fresh tracks. I am a bit embarrassed. We had planned to go to Trinity Alps but it was raining. My son checked the weather and Bishop looked dry. So we drove there. We really had no plans. He had seen an intstagram post on Tom so we went straight there. Than Whitney just because. After that the charger cable broke so we lost the phone and winged it. Eastern Sierra is an incredible place. Would of liked to of spent more time we only had 5 days. Looking forward to coming back next year with a partner more my pace.
    off your knees Louie

  6. #1431
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,561
    Quote Originally Posted by BFD View Post
    I guess it was Buck Mt. We really did not know where we were at. We hit couloir on NW side of Tom than did Mountaineers route on Whitney. My son skied from notch I walked down, conditions sucked. Old tracks were foot tall sustrugi. We headed for Big Pine as the road was paved and the Honda fit has low clearance. We just followed the most tracks. I thought we were headed to u notch. Just today looked at maps and realized where we were. Alice had some old tracks and sun so we stopped and my son skied it. All the other tracks stopped lower as they probably realized conditions were firm to breakable. When we headed up the valley we saw what I guess is Buck and there were more old tracks on that and the south face looked like it softened up by the fresh tracks. I am a bit embarrassed. We had planned to go to Trinity Alps but it was raining. My son checked the weather and Bishop looked dry. So we drove there. We really had no plans. He had seen an intstagram post on Tom so we went straight there. Than Whitney just because. After that the charger cable broke so we lost the phone and winged it. Eastern Sierra is an incredible place. Would of liked to of spent more time we only had 5 days. Looking forward to coming back next year with a partner more my pace.
    Whoa. (1) Rad! (2) Post pics, please! (3) For Whitney, were you able to drive to Whitney Portal? I keep checking, and it appears that the road is closed at the bottom. (I don't want to hike the extra 2k and ~4 miles of road from the bottom closure.)

  7. #1432
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Jackson
    Posts
    256
    Thanks, doc. I've hiked/backpacked from all those trailheads except Virginia Lakes and the terrain looked great. I'll continue to follow this thread with great interest for the next month (and probably forever). There's some special about the Sierras and you guys are posting up some great pics. Can't wait to visit!


    Quote Originally Posted by whatsupdoc View Post
    Skiing should still be pretty awesome come mid-May. Plenty of snow up high that can be accessed from high THs.

    South Lake, Rock Creek, Virginia Lakes, and Onion Valley all have good skiing with higher starting elevations. You'll probably be skinning from near the car at all of these places, with shorter dirt walks. Other THs like Big Pine, Twin Lakes, McGee, and Pine Creek will have some more dirt walking, but that's pretty typical in Mid-May. They should all have good skiing up high still. Basically besides the stuff that rises up from the desert (like Birch, Tinemaha, and Tom) it should still be good to go that time of year without too much suffering.

    Tioga Pass probably won't be open that early this year. If it is that should be high on your list.

    The 4x4 would be helpful if you plan on accessing stuff up Buttermilks Rd like Emerson and Locke or McMurray Meadows Rd like Cardinal and Split. The skiing is sweet around the Buttermilks, so it could be nice to have 4x4. But it's also nice to have a camping rig. You can pretty much camp anywhere on the E side. You'll still have plenty to ski without a 4x4 vehicle.

    The snowpack is fat and snow levels are lower than usual. Photos of Tom can be deceiving, that stuff melts out quickly even in big years.

  8. #1433
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    207
    Goddammit I knew I shouldn't have looked at this thread!! It looks quit-yer-job good out there. Hmm....

    Good to see some of the usuals back in action. 213! WTF getting that line in pow! AK, the "optional entrance to Liberty" is only one if you have a deathwish. Well, then again maybe this year it's just a minor huck. Hankey, see you at the Mo-mart soon!

    Couple important notes:

    1) This would be a good year to pack some Verts.

    2) Rod this is your monthly reminder to not quote the ENTIRE GODDAMN POST when replying. Thanks. (Oh and nice score on Hulk!)

  9. #1434
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    525
    Recently from the Upper O

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  10. #1435
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    tahoe
    Posts
    2,792
    just picked up new edition of eastern sierra guidebook n i think jimw is only maggot left in it. most all of dans action pics got nixed which is understandable given he doesnt seem to be involved with the project anymore but still, .......... kinda sad to not see buddy in it anymore

  11. #1436
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    3,561
    Lone Pine Peak, in my opinion, is one of the best descents in the Sierra. First, it's big (6k - 6.5k descent). Second, it's unrelentingly and sustainedly steep. Third, it's got an amazing, hidden couloir right off the summit. Third, you can see at least five 14ers from the summit--Langley, Muir, Whitney, Russell, Williamson, and Split--and at the same time, Death Valley. Fourth, it's just a handsome mountain. In fact, it is so handsome that Apple appropriated it for its Sierra operating system in 2016:
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    But LPP is not easy. The approach is rugged and Williamson-esque. The skinning was hard. The booting was not particularly hard, but 2.5k of booting isn't easy. Here's CJ scrambling as we make our way toward the snow. We did about three hours of this.
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    Unlike our Tom tour last weekend, we did not score deep, unexpected powder. Instead, we got about 4k of variable snow, 1k of fun corn, and 1k of mushy-just-trying-to-keep-the-skis-on-as-long-as-possible snow. CJ skinning toward the summit, surrounded by clean granite.
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    The main face is 3.5-4k to the summit. It starts at about 30 degrees, quickly gets to 35 degrees, steepens to a little under 40 degrees 2/3rds of the way up, and then hits around 45 degrees in the summit couloir.
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    We summitted a little before 2:30 (after starting a 5 a.m.). As mentioned before, the summit is glorious.
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    CJ dropping into the steep, tight summit couloir, while I obnoxiously captured a slanted horizon with my iPhone.
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    Here is Andy Lewicky's photo of the summit couloir, which is so damn cool. (Andy's descent TR, done without the benefit of any prior knowledge or assurance that the line went, is fantastic.)
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    Unfortunately, we were probably an hour late on the descent. The snow in the chute was baked and highly textured, but mostly refroze by the time we skied it. It was still quite fun, but the firmness made turns perhaps a little more "exhilarating" than the would have been if we had gotten softer snow.
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    Photo: CJ

    Jump turns for days.
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    This line is unrelenting. Again, while the snow was not great, it was a very fun descent.
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    And, at this point, my iPhone battery was nearly dead. So I turned it off, saving the last 5% or so for emergency GPS usage if we needed help finding the car. I'll spare you more superlatives about LPP or our experience, but suffice it to day it was a great day.

  12. #1437
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Marin born -> Chico State -> CH -> France -> Truckee
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    466
    A quick shot I grabbed driving out of green church hot springs 4 days ago...Its going to be an awesome spring

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    http://skivino.com

    IG @Jskierpx

    "Can switching to Geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance?"

    "Do people really call 911 thinking they will get seen faster in the ER?"

  13. #1438
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Cruzing
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    9,126
    Quote Originally Posted by 2_1_3 View Post
    AKB-I know how you feel, obsessive weather watching and conditions are the opposite/way better/worse than expected. Spatial variability at it's finest.
    This is where I see the crossover between skiing and surfing high quality waves. Trying to score these big lines in the right conditions, and choosing the right line for the day and hour, sounds like it takes as much work coming through data and using past experience, to choose the right spot. I find that kind of cool. So hard to pin down.

    Nice work ya'll. Keeping me inspired this spring. Hoping to get back out there and find something promising.

  14. #1439
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    May 2015
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    santa monica, ca
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    84
    Quote Originally Posted by CaliKid View Post
    Anyone have an idea where the snow-line is on Onion Valley Rd?
    snow line at 7600, super nice corn on solar aspects, windfucked pow elsewhere. super nice!


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  15. #1440
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Zion
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  16. #1441
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    In the sewers of Folsom
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    89
    Nice job AKBruin! ...Beautiful peak & line. Good type2 fun

    Jskierpx, that’s an iconic photo with the road leading to the mtns…
    Gnarbro, same with yours. One of these days I wanna go fishing in the afternoon down there after skiing.

    Gimpy, dude, I just bought the new book and had the same thought. It was really cool reading the first edition and seeing 5-7 folks that I skied with in the book. I think even BCrider was on maybe one page only in the new one. But I guess that’s ok. Times change…

    One thing I’d recommend for anyone getting the new edition is to get the digital version using the rakkup app. https://rakkup.com/guidebooks/backco...astern-sierra/ you can buy only the app version for 8 bucks, or buy the book +digital version for $51. Tried the app this weekend and it worked awesome. It works even when you’re in airplane mode (to save power), and it works great as a GPS with the routes overlaid on it. Only thing that sucks is that the app only has the route, not the drive/approach to get to the trailheads (or at least I haven’t figure that out yet).

    Skiied Twin lakes Saturday – extremely windy, and not much new snow. Found mostly windboard, breakable windboard, breakable crust on northerly. Even the couloir was 1-3 inches of powder on windboard.

    PSA: drove down to Big pine to do Tinnemaha on Saturday night. I’ve driven the rough roads there and other places in the Sierra many times… this time on Mcmurray meadows road, I notice my “low pressure” light turn on. Got out, looks ok… one tire kinda lower, but not bad. Do I keep driving? … decided to turn back just to be safe. By the time I got to the pavement it was pretty low. So Sunday was spent getting the tire fixed. I drive up and another skier is already getting his fixed – same story, but on Buttermilks(Basin mtn.). Talking to the tire dude, he said he sees skiers come in every weekend this time of year. Even if you’re driving slow and careful with good 4wd and tires, it’s just a matter of luck. Right rock at the right angle, etc… Said you should take some air out of your tires to help lower the risk…

    After getting it fixed I drove around and took pics on the way home. It’s lookin’ good, but it sounds like the S and E (high elevations) still hasn’t gone the cycle. Didn’t see that nice shiny look up high on anything. The guy that skied basin said it was great powder on the N side. Folks that skied kidd mtn said it was good windbuff skiing.

    Independence:
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    Big pine:
    Seemed like snow line was 7000-7500. At glacier lodge, pretty much ski right from the road still.
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    Bishop:
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    Mcgee:
    pretty much ski to the road (low road). it'll be a while till it melts out to the canyon/stables.
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    Convict:
    2ft or snow on S side of the lake still.
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    Twin lakes:
    1-2 feet at the resort. the creeks are opened up, with some snow bridges still.
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    Victoria/Hunewell, on the way Saturday.
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    Jimw - your comment about verts is spot on. when we did the pencil couloir on kettle I think your verts saved us. after some initial ok boot packing, It got to be waist deep in the Couloir. just swimming. break the crust with knees, step. then finally I couldn't even reach it with my knees. turned around ~100-200ft from the top so I'd get to bigpine in time to drive to the TH in day light.
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    It's going to be a great sping in the Sierra

  17. #1442
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Reno
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    1,229
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. hankey View Post
    PSA: drove down to Big pine to do Tinnemaha on Saturday night. I’ve driven the rough roads there and other places in the Sierra many times… this time on Mcmurray meadows road, I notice my “low pressure” light turn on. Got out, looks ok… one tire kinda lower, but not bad. Do I keep driving? … decided to turn back just to be safe. By the time I got to the pavement it was pretty low. So Sunday was spent getting the tire fixed. I drive up and another skier is already getting his fixed – same story, but on Buttermilks(Basin mtn.). Talking to the tire dude, he said he sees skiers come in every weekend this time of year. Even if you’re driving slow and careful with good 4wd and tires, it’s just a matter of luck. Right rock at the right angle, etc… Said you should take some air out of your tires to help lower the risk…
    I've always taken the other road to tinemaha. I think it's easier and quicker (same road that goes to Red Lake T.H.) A bigger hazard than flat tires imo is animals chewing your engine wires. I almost didn't make it out of Birch creek T.H. one day cuz a rodent had chewed through one of my spark plug wires completely and half way through a second. Had he gotten through the second it would have been an epic. This has happened to me twice on the eastside. Nowadays I always leave my hood open when I'm sleeping in the car and when I'm gone touring. I also take a spray bottle of window cleaner with ammonia in it and spray all around the base of my truck and engine. They like engine compartments cuz of the warmth and shelter. Keeping the hood opens deters them from trying to nest in there. The ammonia keeps them away cuz it mimics animal urine.

  18. #1443
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    In the sewers of Folsom
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    89
    That's great advice bgnight. Yeah i had marmots eat the insulation off of my pipes when i did a day hike on White mtn. I never thought you could do much to avoid it, but i think i'll follow your advice next time. other than big pine, where else is really bad for critters?
    btw, other folks drove up the other road and told me it was really rough (from fisher springs?). I remember taking that way when we did cardinal and i didn't remember it being that bad. McMurry is too looong though

  19. #1444
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    Dec 2006
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    Nice job, Mr. Hankey. But bummer about the tire issue. McMurry Meadows Road was fine getting to Birch in 2017 (until we hit snow drifts). But when we did Tinemaha, we took a different approach from Fish Springs using friend's rad 4x4 van. I recall the road being bumpy. Coincidentally, the same friend got his rad van stuck in the mud on Friday and had to have it towed out. Getting my suburban-commute-loving CR-V stuck several miles in on an Eastern Sierra dirt path is one of my great worries.

    Gimpy: Getting yourself into any edition of the book is majorly cool.

    Good advice, BG: I've never had a problem with rodents at the trailhead, but you've got me worried. I can only imagine how shitty it'd be to come back from an epic only to realize that your car won't start and you're a few miles of dirt road from cell reception.

    Question for 2_1_3, JimW, or anybody else who knows: What length of rope for the rappel into Liberty? I think the book says 60m, but when I looked into it a couple years ago, that seemed excessive. I was thinking my 30m glacier rope (skinny and light) might do.

  20. #1445
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    4,277
    Thread full of stoke!!

    You all don’t pee into your engine bay to keep rodents out?! It’s great fun!

    Chains can help when stuck in mud. Some chains (the “D” kind) can be easier to put on compared to ladder chains when you are already stuck.

  21. #1446
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Squaw valley
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKbruin View Post
    Nice job, Mr. Hankey. But bummer about the tire issue. McMurry Meadows Road was fine getting to Birch in 2017 (until we hit snow drifts). But when we did Tinemaha, we took a different approach from Fish Springs using friend's rad 4x4 van. I recall the road being bumpy. Coincidentally, the same friend got his rad van stuck in the mud on Friday and had to have it towed out. Getting my suburban-commute-loving CR-V stuck several miles in on an Eastern Sierra dirt path is one of my great worries.

    Gimpy: Getting yourself into any edition of the book is majorly cool.

    Good advice, BG: I've never had a problem with rodents at the trailhead, but you've got me worried. I can only imagine how shitty it'd be to come back from an epic only to realize that your car won't start and you're a few miles of dirt road from cell reception.

    Question for 2_1_3, JimW, or anybody else who knows: What length of rope for the rappel into Liberty? I think the book says 60m, but when I looked into it a couple years ago, that seemed excessive. I was thinking my 30m glacier rope (skinny and light) might do.
    30 meter works, but we needed to do two rappels.

    Sent from my Armor_3 using Tapatalk

  22. #1447
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    Apr 2006
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    Tahoe City
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    627
    Mr Hankey thanks for posting the pics, I'm hoping to put them to use Fri - Sunday, we really need to just get in the truck, then hike/ski/repeat and not overthink it! I'll bring my ammonia spray bottle & pee a lot around my truck. Cheers and thanks all for the inspiring posts!
    Like I told my last wife, I never drive faster than I can see, besides it's all in the reflexes.

  23. #1448
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    207
    Quote Originally Posted by AKbruin View Post
    Question for 2_1_3, JimW, or anybody else who knows: What length of rope for the rappel into Liberty? I think the book says 60m, but when I looked into it a couple years ago, that seemed excessive. I was thinking my 30m glacier rope (skinny and light) might do.
    The few times I've done it I've used a 30m rope and it was fine, just enough to place you directly under that massive dripping cornice while contemplating life. If you need more than that it's probably pretty thin, or late in season, or both (Rod... oh and BTW see how I quoted ONLY THE RELEVANT TEXT there?? ). One time I did downclimb a bit from the end of the rappel because the snow in the super skinny top part sucked. Well sucked more than usual, every time I've been there that upper part has sucked. Hell this year you probably don't even NEED a rope!

    But don't go to the plateau, I heard it sucks...

  24. #1449
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    1,801
    I came. I saw. I vomited. I did not summit. I learned lessons. My friends skied the gnar. I had to content myself with big vert and clean corn. Can't wait to go back with a stable stomach!

    This thread has continued to deliver. Nice work peeple!

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    sproing!

    FS: crampons, lightweight winter down sleeping bag, and stuff https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...ost?highlight=

  25. #1450
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    tahoe
    Posts
    2,792
    siiiiiiiik u guys are killing it+++
    30m should be plenty in a fat year such as this. speaking of the first edition, theres a full page pic of me "skiing" liberty. what is harder to tell was that i was essentially self belaying myself w my whippet down bulletproof. we threw rocks into sweet pow from rap spot but just out of view lay the notpow. no climbing back outta tat one

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