The Stanford Alpine Journal


The Stanford Alpine Journal is a yearly publication of the Stanford Alpine Club.

The Stanford Alpine Club has a distinguished history of alpine excellence. Its inspirations lie in the steep granite of the Yosemite Valley, but its members have contributed accomplishments around the globe. The SAC went dormant during the 1980s and 1990s, but was resurrected in 2002 to promote alpine pursuits in the Stanford Community.

The modem SAC perpetuates the original spirit of alpinism by providing a forum for planning excursions, and by introducing new members to the safe and responsible enjoyment of mountaineering, rock climbing, ice climbing, ski mountaineering, and other alpine pursuits.

Editor: Daniel Arnold
Layout and Design: Marshall Burke, John Montgomery-Brown, Bryan Palmintier, Matt Farrell, and Daniel Arnold
Copyright 2004
No Portion of this Journal may be reproduced without permission of the Stanford Alpine Club.
Letters to the Editor and submissions to the journal should be sent to:
Stanford Alpine Journal
PO Box 571
Palo Alto, CA 94302

Cover Photo: Tom Frost (BS '58), Dihedral Wall, 1964. Photo by Royal Robbins and courtesy of Tom Frost. Special thanks to Tom Frost for the use of his photographs in this year's Journal.

Table of Contents

Letter from the Editor

By Daniel Arnold.............................................Pg 3

Irene's Arete, Again

By Irene Beardsley...........................................Pg 6

Who Says Frontcountry Isn't Adventurous?

By Dave Weaver.............................................Pg 15

An Accident on Temple Crag

By Polly Fordyce.............................................Pg 21

The Mountain Room Lounge

By Daniel Arnold.............................................Pg 26

Ascents and Adventures..................................Pg 31

Jared Brown leads The Exorcist, Joshua Tree, CA.   Photo by Marshall Burke.

Polly Fordyce, Cinnamon Slab, Smith Rock, OR.   Photo by Marshall Burke.

A Letter From the Editor

The Death of Adventure

Go to Mt. Everest. Gobble down your acetozolamide, while your porters carry your gear to base camp. Rummage through your day pack and decide whether you'll eat a sandwich or call up your buddy on your handheld talkabout (love that little Beep-BOOP-it just fits, you know?). When you hit the snow, turn on the heating elements in your socks and in yourjacket. Check the satellite uplink on your computer (the porters carried it in for you) for the latest weather report. Bust out a few emails and update your blog. Then grab your oxygen tank (love those porters!), turn the O's up high, and don't bother looking to the west, just keep your head down. If the weather craps out, your basecamp team will let you know on your radio and you can call for a rescue on your sat-phone.

But don't tell me you've climbed Mt. E. Not here. Not interested.

Here's the painful truth: we humans have hit the spot on the technological curve where the competition between ourselves and the environment is no longer equal. Anyone can climb new rock on El Cap with a Bosch drill and a loose sense of moral propriety (why don't you just rap down on a three-thousand foot line and chisel out a 28-pitch hand crack, for chrissake). Technology can take the bite out of El Cap, and technology is doing its damnedest to turn Everest into a glorified Stair Master.

I can already hear the whining. But we don't want to climb with rules. We want freedom! We want to frolic through the mountains, filling the empty air with the Beeps and Boops of our talkabouts!

The whole point of outdoor adventure sports is the sense of uncertainty that an uncontrolled environment contains. Remove that uncertainty and all you have left is a mechanical connect the topo dots problem. I can already see the day when Garmin will sell the "Sierra Approach" package for your handheld GPS. BEEP-boop: "Turn ten degrees west ... now. Walk zero-point-four miles." BEEP-boop: "Turn fifteen degrees north ... now. Walk zero-point-seven miles to the base of Mt. Ritter." Just stare at the little arrow on your LCD display and follow it like a trained donkey. Why don't you just stay home and play a video game?

This is why the style of any given climb has become such a hot topic in recent years. More and more climbers are realizing that the technology game has an endpoint, where every fat novice can haul himself up Everest given sufficient drugs, machines, oxygen tanks, guides, and porters. We have reached an unfortunate time when not all ascents are equal. The overuse of technology can eliminate so many of the mental and physical difficulties that make climbing unique and separate from the easy living of modem society.

So what's a climber bombarded with REI catalogues and Everest summit blogs to do? Get rid of the machines! If it runs on batteries, if it makes artificial noises, if it means that you can rely on it instead of your brain or your training, chances are you can do without it.

Why do I climb? I climb to test my abilities to cope in a wild, demanding, beautiful landscape. It's a self-imposed test. If I use artificial aids to cheat, I have only cheated myself and cheapened my own experience. Mechanical aids only reduce that sense of wildness and beauty, and take away from the sense of satisfaction that comes from having succeeded based on skill, rather than on the protective layers of gear and detritus that we build up between ourselves and the mountains.

Why do I care? I care because the stories matter. Half the pleasure of climbing is relaxing with a group of friends and telling some wild tales. But I don't want to listen to people describing their journeys through the electronic GPS jungles, or about summit phone calls from the top of Mt. Whitney, or how they had to put in those bolts because "there was no other way to do the climb." I want to hear about success that was earned through skill and self-reliance, and about the use of wit rather than technology. These are the climbs that count for something and make the storyteller proud.

The history of climbing and mountaineering is filled with good stories, and I worry that the current generation of climbers is losing track of its roots. The modem climber can do nothing more valuable than to look at the minimalism of mountaineering's past in order to assess what is truly "necessary" equipment for a climb. The answer, of course, is that it's in the head, not the hardware.

-Daniel Arnold, December 2004.

Tom Frost, The Nose, 1997.   Photo by Ryan Frost.

Royal Robbins and TM Herbert, Camp 4.   Photo by Tom Frost.

Irene's Arete, Again

By Irene Beardsley

Having a classic climb named for oneself can be a matter of luck and being in the right place at the right time. In fact, Irene's Arete is something of a problem for me in conversation, particularly since I did no leading on the first ascent, or indeed on three subsequent ascents, and yet I've always been proud of that first one. Anyway, there we were at the Jenny Lake campground in the Tetons in the summer of 1957. My husband, Leigh Ortenburger, had gotten out of the army a little early to take up "seasonal employment" with the Petzoldt-Exum Guide Service. We had met while I was learning to climb with the Stanford Alpine Club in 1953.

I visited the Tetons for the first time in 1955. Leigh was on his way from basic training in the US Army to an assignment in Maryland. On that occasion we climbed the Grand Teton by connecting Okie's Thom, a southern traverse of the Molar Tooth, and the East Ridge. Then he went on to the east coast and I returned to Stanford for my junior year. After our marriage in 1956, I spent the summer living in a muggy apartment in Maryland and working for the Bureau of Standards, while Leigh got away from the army for a month to go as a guide on a Sierra Club trip led by Al and Gail Baxter to the northern St. Elias Range. This year, 1957, we spent a few days in the north end of the range, and then Leigh guided a trip for Exum, in which I was not allowed to participate.

He wound up with Achilles tendonitis, and I was restless. The solution: Leigh took me to the campsite of John Dietschy and said, "John, this is my wife, why don't you take her climbing?" John was a medical student from Washington University, about to enter his last year. Leigh had corresponded with him in his researches for the guidebook. John said "Okay," and several days later we packed up to the Petzoldt Caves with three days of food.

We spent the first day on leisurely ascents of Fairshare Tower and its subpinnacle, the Watchtower, right above the caves. Pemmican Pillar and Fairshare Tower, located on the ridge connecting the Grand Teton and Disappointment Peak, mark an earlier SAC escapade. Leigh, Dick Irvin, Nick Clinch, and John Mowat were returning along the Black Dike the next day after climbing the East Ridge in 1951. Leigh spotted the possibly unclimbed pinnacles and asked Nick to open his emergency can of pemmican. When it was passed around, Leigh said he might take a small bite, whereupon Nick, realizing what was up, said, "Hell, no, you'll eat your fair share!" Leigh and Dick went off to bag new routes, left the can as a summit register, and named the pinnacles.

This long, easy day gave John and me a chance to get used to climbing together. That night John spent some time after dinner sitting on top of the rock above the caves, smoking his pipe and looking at the proposed route for the next day. It didn't look that promising to me. The arete in question was a nearly vertical knife-edge, with two steps and a final notch before finally leveling out to the plateau of Disappointment.

The next morning we traversed several steep gulleys over to the base of the arete. The first pitch was already more challenging than any of the climbing I had done as a Stanford Alpine Club member in Yosemite or on the East Ridge of the Grand the year before. We were both wearing leather climbing boots with Vibram soles. Mine were boots my mother had worn on fishing trips that had been resoled. The rope was 7/16" nylon, 120 feet long. We would have tied in with a bowline on a coil, since climbing harnesses had not appeared. This being the era of pitons, I had to spend considerable time and effort removing them. I remember anxious belaying, sending up the pack, and piton removal. John made it easier for me by using a haul line for the pack on every pitch. The features of the climb that stand out now, besides the general steepness and exposure, are the crux, a difficult 5.8 move to the left at the beginning of the fourth pitch, and the small white crystal that I had to stand on over an overhang on the right side of the ridge later on the same pitch. I'm sure I used a tight rope for a few feet on the crux, and I know I used tension while removing some of the pitons.

We kept making progress, and finally reached the prominent notch at the top of what is now the fifth pitch just below the difficult 5.9+ face. I think we took seven pitches to get there with the 120-foot rope. There was an electrical storm coming, and we took shelter to the right of the ridge under an overhang while the skies opened up. I had tried hard during the climb to act as if this whole thing were no big deal, but I had a brief crying fit under the overhang, which I attributed to overexposure. When the storm ended, there was no thought of going up the easier rock to the top of the arete, and we descended by climbing off to the right and down a gully, with several rappels. The gully was not a particularly nice place, but it worked. Back at the caves, in a jubilant mood, we were greeted by some of John's friends who had come up to climb the Exum Ridge with us.

On the following day John gave me the treat of leading the party up the Exum Ridge, making all the route-finding decisions. It was a thrill to lead it on my first ascent, based on my reading of the guidebook, and to climb the Friction Pitch and then say, "Oh, that must have been it." Then we descended to the valley, and John disappeared off to his last year of medical school and a great career. I was very surprised some months later to learn that he had used the privilege of the first ascender to name the arete for me. The climb went on to become extremely popular.

Quoting the guidebook: "This outstanding rock climb of a beautiful knife-edge ridge has become one of the most popular of the difficult rock climbs in the Tetons. Purity of line, excellence of rock, and ease of access contribute to its high regard."

During my years in graduate school I continued to climb actively in the summers. As an undergraduate in the club I had not led, nor had I been encouraged to, but now I started to do some easier leading. We went on expeditions to Peru in 1958 and 1964, and Leigh was on an expedition to Makalu in 1961, during which I walked to and from the Everest region and spent three weeks at 19,000 ft. I enjoyed altitude and started to think I could climb a really high mountain if I got the chance. Needless to say, all this summer climbing retarded my progress through graduate school.

Climbing paused in 1966, when after the birth of my second daughter a nagging back problem turned serious and I had to quit climbing and running. After a two-level spinal fusion in 1967 there was a gap of several years, and when I started to climb again, it was at a much lower level, and for the first few years I wore a back brace. Eventually I was able to throw away the brace and started to be able to run again, longer distances and not as fast. We did more summer climbing in the Tetons, even some of moderate difficulty, but after the back surgery I felt like I didn't ever want to fall even three feet, and I did much less leading.

Twice I had the opportunity to go back up Irene's Arete with some good friends who were members of the outstanding group of Jenny Lake Seasonal Rangers. In 1981 I used rock shoes instead of boots, and with no pitons to remove the twenty-four years did not seem to matter. The climb was exhilarating, the crux move was still difficult for me, but the company of Renny Jackson, Bob Irvine, and Chris Anderson was delightful. Coming back to the caves, Bob told some other climbers, "We just climbed Irene's Arete; guess who this is!" The next time in 1984 was with Bob again and Rich Perch. When they had me climb the alternate 5.9 flaring open book near the top. I was able to stem up high enough to get my hands on the top edge, at which point my strength gave out and I had to be hauled up like a sack of potatoes over the rim. I was happy, and at the same time pretty sure that would be the last time up the climb for me.

In 1986 Dan Bloomberg and I were married. He was not a rock climber, and we settled into a routine of killer hikes, 3rd-class scrambles, and peaks that we could do in a day without a rope. This continued until Dave Carman, a wily old Exum guide, began spending winters in our house in Jackson Hole. He and I started making one or two roped climbs each summer. I got to remember what it was like to have a rope on, and we tried to find appropriate climbs that interested me and would not bore him.

The second year we climbed together we did the South Buttress on Mt. Moran, which was probably reaching too far. My direct aid skills were minimal and unrehearsed. Dave has still probably not forgiven me for the fact that we bivouacked, a first for him in many years as a guide. On the other hand, I had never dared think of doing that climb even during the time when I was climbing well, and it was definitely a thrill to see those famous pitches that Leigh had been involved in on the first ascent. After that we were more careful in our route selection and managed some satisfying ascents. We developed a system in which I would approach the climb the day before and camp, and Dave would hike up in the morning. In just that manner we did the East Ridge of the Grand, sleeping below the Molar Tooth and carrying our bivy gear over the top. In 2003 we were completely skunked by the weather. I had wanted to climb the East Ridge of Disappointment, because I had turned around just below the crux in 1982, but it snowed that day. I was sleeping at Amphitheatre Lake and Dave arrived the next morning in the middle of the snowstorm, so we just retreated down the trail.

This past spring I started to have chronic back pain, no doubt related to the earlier surgery and years of stress on the joint above the fusion. Renny, the Jenny Lake Area Ranger since 1991, had promised to take me on a 50th-anniversary climb of the Grand in 2005. After Leigh's death, I had helped Renny finish the revision of the 3rd edition of "A Climber's Guide to the Teton Range." This past summer I told him that maybe we had better make it a 49th anniversary instead. He agreed that we would do "something" this summer, and Dave said he would like to join us. Those two are good friends but usually never see each other in the course of a busy summer, unless we invite them both to dinner.

As the end of the summer approached, somehow the goal changed. Dave and Renny started promoting the arete instead of the Grand. This sounded like a really bad idea to me, since I hadn't done a rock climb in two years and thought I would never go there again, but it would definitely be less boring for them, and with friends like this, what choice did I have? Dave told me to work on assisted pullups. There is a pullup system hanging from the rafters in the living room of our house in Jackson Hole that was put up years ago for Dave's son, Adam, and somehow never had been taken down. So several times a day I did as many as I could.

Dan and I went to the Wind Rivers with a large group of overage friends, using horses to carry most of the weight in and out. We had a week of perfect weather and a great time peakbagging. I came back stronger but with some new overuse aches and pains; fortunately the weather turned really bad for a week while I worked on recovery. When everyone was free and it looked like there was a window of settled weather, Dan helped by carrying my overnight gear up to Lupine Meadows. I had a book to read, but it was more distracting to chat with other climbers camped all around. I had no stove, but I had a teabag, and scrounged some hot water from a nice couple from Georgia. In the morning, I took my climbing gear and strolled up to the Petzoldt Caves, changed into rock shoes (the same ones from 1984), and took some pain pills. The weather did not look good, and I was sitting there full of misgivings. Renny and Dave arrived in half an hour, and Renny said, "Well, why don't we just go over to the bottom of the climb and see what happens?" When got there we figured we could go up at least a couple of pitches and still retreat if necessary.

We started out with Renny leading. I had thought I would be tied into the middle, as on the last two times, but no, Renny said he would belay both of us at once. I trusted Renny's rescue expertise and didn't look too closely at the belaying arrangement. The first pitch is immediately 5.7, just to the right of the knife-edge ridge crest. Dave was climbing right behind me and he could see the worried look on my face and hear my mutterings. I was telling myself that if I lived through this, I would never have to put myself through a similar experience.

Fortunately or not, I couldn't remember where the crux was. Meanwhile Dave was enjoying the rare experience for him of following on nice rock. The weather was not getting worse, in fact was actually getting better. The sun came out. This climb is blessed with some of the most beautiful rock in the Tetons; even on the first ascent there was no loose rock. Periodically Renny would ask me to stop for a photographic opportunity. Soon enough we were at the top of the third pitch, right up against the 5.8 crux of the regular route. Renny and Dave switched leads, and Dave easily made the difficult move out to the left of the crest and stopped in a black rock area not that far above. As in every previous ascent, I couldn't quite pull this off without a tight rope for a few feet. Now I had Renny climbing closely behind me, occasionally pulling ahead to take another photo.

Once past the crux, I started to enjoy the day, the company, and the climbing. The fifth pitch began out to the right with the step onto the white crystal that I remembered so well, but it was not so difficult, followed by what Dave referred to as a gnarly crack with poor protection. At the fifth belay we were just below the 5.9 open book, but we avoided that and went around to the left of the ridge. It didn't seem as hard as the 5.7 rating in the guidebook. Dave tells me that I had a smile on my face on the entire second half of the climb. I was definitely wishing that it wouldn't end.

We took a welcome break for lunch, then finished the easy fourth class to the summit plateau and made our way west over to the descent gully. Once we were down that, we were almost back to the caves. There Renny took off, as he needed to catch up with his daughter, and Dave and I picked up my sleeping gear in the Garnet Canyon Meadows and made our way back down to the car. Dan was there to meet us, and we went back to Dave's cabin to sort gear and relax.

What a personal high! Thank you, Renny and Dave. I was honored by the fact that my friends thought I could do it, no sweat, at age 69 and hardly climbing anymore, and that they wanted to be the ones to make it a reality for me. I was surprised that all went as well as it did.

And now, what goal for 2005? The Grand Teton, of course.

-Irene Beardsley has Stanford degrees in Physics from 1957, '58, and '65. She treasures her summers in the Tetons, and still tries to do one roped climb every year. She is the keeper of the alumni list for the original SAC.

PHOTOGRAPHS: 1) Irene's Arete; Renny Jackson 2) Irene on first ascent of eponymous arete, 1957; John Dietschy 3) and 4) Irene on 2004 ascent; Renny Jackson.

Backcountry skiing, southern Sierra Nevada.   Photo by Marshall Burke.

Chris Higgins and John Montgomery-Brown, Pinnacles, CA.   Photo by Emily Desmarais.

Who Says the Front Country isn't Adventurous?

By David Weaver

"Of course I can make it up on Tuesday. There's going to be nine feet of snow!"

So Phil and I meet up one hour later and begin our drive to The Wood, aka Kirkwood. About 24 hours later, we are glowing from our incredible day of freshies. Visibility was zero, but there was nobody at the mountain. Totally epic. Now you see, that's about all I'm going to mention about how awesome the skiing was for the entire story. Not that the skiing wasn't incredible, or the deepest most bottomless snow ever (because it was), it's just that there were more adventures to be had than just on the slope. And if you are my mom or my boss, this story is, of course, pure fiction. Maybe.

So anyway, Phil and I are drinking at Bub's sports bar at Kirkwood. The beer makes the soreness in the legs much better. We made friends with this guy Jack at the bar and bought him a few beers, you know, to be nice. When it was his turn for a round, he said that he had some bud in his truck.

"Sure," we said. "Budweiser sounds good."

We get to the car, and from the drivers seat he pulls out a two-foot-long bong.

"Oh-you meant bud. Not Budweiser. That's cool."

So at this point, Phil and I are not at peak mental capacity. And it's cold. And snowing really hard. And then a little demon-weasel pokes its black-eyed face out from the innards of Jack's soul.

"Good God-an alien!" I yell.

"No, man. That's just Princess. She's my Chihuahua. She's from Mexico, you know? She don't like the cold too much so I gotta keep her in my jacket. But she likes the snow. Check this out."

Jack takes Princess out of his jacket and holds her over his shoulder like a dinner platter. Then he launches her about ten feet up and into the snow bank. Princess tunnels her way under the snow and polks her demon-face out and Jack throws her shivering little frame back into his jacket.

"That's horrible. I can't believe you just did that," I say.

"Yeah, I know," Jack says as he looks down at his feet. "You wanna try?"

"Hell yeah."

So I take Princess and launch her into the snow bank.

Phil and I wake up the next day in his truck. Everything hurts. Time to hit the slopes again. At the end of the day, Phil says he has to leave because he has this obligation that he refers to as 'a wife.' So I take my sleeping bag, tarp, and shovel, and wave goodbye to my ride. I figure I can just dig a snow pit and bivy there for the night. Then my other friends are coming up on Saturday and Sunday to ski, so I can stay with them on Saturday and go home with them on Sunday. I had a plan. But as always, my plan changed. In the lodge, I met up with some 19-year-old kid that cleans the lodge up at the end of the day.

"What time do I get kicked out of here?" I ask.

"About ten o'clock"

"Cool. Thanks. Do you know a place where I could dig a snow pit, but not have to worry about getting run over by a snow-cat in the middle of the night?"

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"You know. I'm going to sleep in a snow cave."

"Are you crazy? You ain't gunna sleep out there. It's going to snow three feet tonight. If you buy me and my friends some beer, you can stay with us. We live in Animal House - the employee housing."

"Sounds good to me."

So I bought a 12 pack of PBR for Sam to bring over as rent. He was psyched. PBR was his favorite.

"So, do you ski or snowboard?"

"Well, I telemark ski."

"Ah, I get it. You're one of those hippies. That's why you were going to sleep outside."

"Um, yeah. I guess."

"That's pretty cool though. Hey, thanks for the beer. You want a cigarette? Oh - wait - you tele ski. Those guys never smoke cigarettes."

So we were doing the usual as we drank the PBR. You know - watching the Ultimate Fighting Championship 'Greatest Hits' video. Inviting over Sam's professional juggler friend so he could juggle eggs, a gallon of paint, and a 5-pound sack of flour. And then dropping the five-pound sack of flour. And then dropping the gallon of paint on the five-pound sack of flour. Sam got kind of mad about the flour and paint on the floor though. So he threw a handful of the flour in the juggler's eyes. Then the juggler got a knife and chased Sam around for about half hour trying to stab him. I guess he never caught him because when I woke up the next day he was still alive.

And then yet another epic day of bottomless powder. I finished out the weekend in style with my friends and just went home.

And then almost exactly one year later, we decide to head up to The Wood with some random people from the new skiing email list. It was all good, about two-thirds of us were the normal and the other few were new. It was all going fine until about noon that day when Kirkwood caught on fire.

We were eating lunch at Red Cliffs when we saw smoke billowing up from behind the lodge. We checked it out-the power plant of Kirkwood was on fire. Huge flames. Thick smoke. No more skiing that day.

Unfortunately, we couldn't leave the resort because the fire trucks were blocking the entrance. So what happens when you get a bunch of people stuck in the snow? You start throwing snowballs, of course.

There was a swarm of about twenty high school kids up on this knoll raining snowballs down on us, and we were doing our best to throw back, but they had better positioning. We decided to act. Jeff, Chris, and I put on our helmets and goggles and made a bold charge up the hill. We got better position and began throwing from closer range. Our surprise attack worked, the high school kids were flustered. Chris, the random guy that we met on the email list, decided to charge ahead further. Escalation. Within minutes, Chris ended up on his back with a crazy kid trying to claw his eyes out and the other nineteen of the little truants pulling Jeff and I down. By the time ski patrol broke it all up, Chris had scratches on his cheeks, forehead, and nose from the kid's fingernails.

Anyway, we finally got out of there and began our drive home. Chris and Jeff were with Jared in the first car, and I was in the second car with Ross and Angela. We were about halfway back to Stanford when Ross, the driver, swerved in the middle of the highway.

"Snowboard!" he yelled. "I just had to dodge a snowboard at like seventy miles an hour!"

Then we saw Jared, the driver of the first car, running down the shoulder of the highway against traffic. A few seconds later we passed Jared's car. Jeff and Chris were standing next to the car shaking their heads.

I gave Jeff a call on my phone and asked him what had happened.

"Apparently, Jared's roof rack isn't strong enough for snowboards," Jeff told me. It opened and Chris, the guy who was just in the fight, had his snowboard fall off. Jared could see it floating like a feather down toward the highway in his rearview mirror. Unfortunately the white minivan that was directly behind us couldn't dodge it and totaled the board. "It's dead," Jeff said. "No more snow for that one."

We got the rest of the way home without incident. So now I think I'm going to focus a bit more on my backcountry skiing, because it seems to be a little more predictable and a bit less adventurous.

-Dave Weaver will be getting his Chem E PhD in August, and claims that he is "too hosed" to do much climbing in the near future, though we don't believe him.

PHOTOGRAPHS: 1) Edward Boenig 2) Chris Barrington-Leigh 3) Brett Parker.

Matt Lappe, East Buttress of El Capitan, Yosemite.   Photo by Marshall Burke.

A snowy day in Joshua Tree National Park.   Photo by John Montgomery-Brown.

An Accident on Temple Crag

By Polly Fordyce and Ren Buckley

Ren Buckley, Matt Lappe, Marshall Burke, and I (PMF) headed down to Temple Crag over the last weekend of August in 2003 to do some alpine climbing. The plan was to hike in on Saturday, set up camp at Third Lake, and then climb either Venusian Blind or the Moon Goddess Arete on Sunday. Ren and I planned to hike out and drive home Monday, leaving Matt and Marshall to climb some more.

On Sunday morning, we woke up to discover that one of the ropes had been left in the car. We decided that Ren and I would start climbing while Marshall ran down to the car to get the second rope, and then Matt and Marshall would continue up and meet us after Marshall got back. Despite initially ensuring that both climbing parties had knives, we were not to realize until we needed one that the unexpected partner switch left Ren and I knifeless.

We hiked up to the base of Moon Goddess Arete (about an hour from camp) and found that the approach to the usual start, as well as the first ten feet of the route, were covered in snow, so we decided to climb the alternate start. To get to the alternate start, we had to first scramble up several fourth class ledges. The first pitches of Moon Goddess are mostly fourth class with a single 5.6 move at the start. Ren and I decided to rope up for the move. The belay ledge was approximately six feet wide with a fourth class cliff below. We built an anchor, consisting of two pieces of protection equalized with a 20ft cordelette, in a crack several feet to climber's right of the route.

I took the lead on the first pitch, and about ten feet up I dislodged a large boulder that probably weighed about 300 pounds and was three to four feet tall. Ren believes that the bottom of the boulder hit the ground to climber's left of the belay. The top of the boulder then keeled over, hitting her face and landing on the anchor cordelette. Ren was knocked down and found herself on her left side under the boulder with her feet propped against the wall. The weight of the boulder on the cordelette placed pressure on her harness and prevented full circulation to her legs. The boulder itself applied additional pressure to her hips and the left side of her ribs. Her upper body was free. The boulder was fairly stable, but releasing the cordelette and harness system would have resulted in the rock falling on and potentially crushing her lower body. A second, smaller boulder was wedged at her back and was eventually cleared.

The boulder was wedged in between the sides of the belay ledge and could not be rolled off to either side. Ren was still conscious, so the two of us talked through the viable options. I first set up an independent anchor so that Ren would be attached to the wall with a chest harness in case the belay anchor and the boulder released. We decided that I should try to rig up a pulley system with the free rope to raise the rock up.

I tried to set up an anchor above the boulder, attach part of the rope to the anchor and then wrap a portion of the rope around the boulder and back up to a biner at the anchor to create a 3:1 advantage to help me lift the boulder up. The rope was pinned in many places, and it was hard to find a long enough section of free rope to wrap around the boulder, through the anchor, and pull. It would have been really helpful to have a knife to free parts of the rope for this. I tried this for some time, but couldn't pull with enough force to lift the boulder. The weight of the boulder pulling on Ren's harness was growing more painful and her hips and left leg had started to lose feeling. We then decided that I should run down to try to find Marshall and Matt and bring them back to help move the rock. Although I realized that leaving was the most effective way for me to help her, it was still very difficult for me to just leave her there. It felt like I was failing her, and I couldn't think of anything to do differently.

I ran almost all the way down to Third Lake, where Marshall and Matt heard me yelling, and came out to meet me. Marshall went back to camp to bring splinting materials and things that we could use to carry Ren out, and Matt and I ran back up to the accident site. On the way, we were incredibly fortunate to meet up with two YOSAR personnel, Janet and Phil, who were on their way up to do a ridge traverse starting with the Venusian Blind route. Janet and Phil were clearly very experienced with this sort of rescue, and their presence was reassuring. They had a textbook way of handling the situation; they were very calm and asked questions slowly, as if to reassure me that this sort of thing happened all the time and would turn out all right.

Phil, Janet, Matt, and I climbed up to the ledge where Ren was trapped. Janet, a nurse, assessed Ren's condition and circulation, and Phil had a knife with him and was able to free most of the rope.

He built an additional anchor and rigged a 2:1 pulley system. The rescue involved three anchors: the initial belay anchor held the boulder; a second anchored secured Ren and the rescuers to the ledge; and the third held the pulley system. With Matt lifting and Phil cranking on the pulley system, the boulder was raised up. A Petzl Tibloc provided an efficient way to lock off the pulley system so that the belay anchor cordelette could be cut and Ren pulled out from under the rock by Janet. Ren was initially shaking considerably due to a likely combination of shock and hypothermia. Phil cut the pulley system to release the boulder, which slid off the ledge and broke into a number of pieces upon landing at the base of the cliff. A fireman belay was rigged to get Ren off the ledge and into the sunshine.

Ren was able to walk eventually, so she and I walked out to the car. Ren was moving somewhat slowly, but overall, she felt remarkably good. We were so elated at the fact that she was moving around that we treated ourselves to gelato and hot springs rather than a hospital visit. We then started driving back to Stanford and camped out at Tuolumne. The next morning, she woke up with numbness at the surface of both of her thighs. She suffered nerve damage in her legs so that they felt numb for several months, but the feeling eventually returned to them. She also suffered an injury to her ACL and knee cartilage during the accident, and later had to have surgery.

Ren was an incredibly brave and calm victim, and she deserves a lot of credit for helping with her own rescue by talking through a lot of the options with me and helping me to make decisions. I've gone over the accident a lot in my head to try to think of how I could have prevented it. I wish that I had checked the stability of the boulder more thoroughly before I weighted it. I now try to carry a knife with me whenever I climb, in case there is ever another situation where I need to cut the rope during a rescue. Alpine climbing with another party seems like a good idea, and walkie talkies to communicate between parties could greatly facilitate rescue efforts. I would also stress to other climbers that the routes on Temple Crag are loose, committing, longer, and more remote than climbs of similar difficulty in Tuolumne.

PHOTOGRAPHS: 1) Polly Fordyce in the Sierra backcountry; Marshall Burke. 2) Third Lake from the snowpatches below Moongoddess Arete near the accident site; Matt Farrell. 3) Temple Crag looming over Third Lake; Matt Farrell.

Ryan Frost at the beginning of The Narrows, Steck-Salathe, Yosemite.   Photo by Tom Frost.

The Mountain Room Lounge

By Daniel Arnold

It is early April in the Yosemite Valley. A freak winter storm has moved in, dropping six inches of slushy snow on the valley floor. Every little kid in Yosemite is in heaven. They're on vacation after all, so their parents can't possibly say no to their snowball fights. For the parents, it's mostly a time of anxiety. They worry about getting back through the snow to their Monday morning meetings and about their kids catching pneumonia. All of the climbers are in the Mountain Room Lounge.

The Mountain Room opens early, has a large fire and is run by a sympathetic woman who doesn't mind a lot of smelly nonpaying climbers monopolizing the stone benches that surround the fireplace. The assembled climbers are an early season group-Yosemite Search and Rescue personnel, seasonal Valley transients that just couldn't stay away for another two weeks, and a few long term climbing bums, who, by all appearances, haven't set foot outside of the Valley in fifteen or twenty years. We've all given up something to be here - but right now "here" feels more like country music and less like "Freebird."

The way a climber enters through the Mountain Room door is a good indicator of where he spent the night. You can tell the ones who are too poor or too proud to buy a site and set up a tent. They have spent the night in thin sleeping bags under the overhanging boulders behind Camp 4. They come into the lounge without a word and find a place as close to the fire as possible. Everyone else understands, and leaves them alone until the flames begin to thaw their minds and tongues. The YOSAR members are louder and friskier, but they are also warmer; their voices rise above the fireside mumblings. "All I want to know," one of them says, his words beating a tattoo against the ceiling, "is who's got the drugs and when are we going to go do 'em!" From their banter there is no question as to who they think owns Yosemite. But given that for many of them an El Cap route is just another long day at the crags, who can really blame them?

By midmorning most of the stragglers have found their way to the fire and the group begins to approach critical mass. Climbers don't do well in cages, and for a climber in Yosemite, six inches of slushy snow is as confining as the bars of a prison cell. The frustration is hellish. Nik sits against the corner of one of the benches, twists his hair into waxy dreds and repeats over and over again as if it were a mantra, "We could do the Leaning Tower. Once we got through the approach, the rock would be dry. Wet Denim? Jesus Built My Hotrod? I'll do anything. Anyone? Anyone?"

The difference between the old and young climbers is striking. A handful of older climbers sit on couches farther away from the fire, relaxed and at ease. For them, this is just another blip in their climbing careers. Next week, the rock will be dry and they will go climbing again just as they have for the last twenty-five years. The young climbers have no such perspective. All they know is that they are chained to the floor of paradise with the Rat, the desire to climb, gnawing deep inside their bellies.

The lounge has begun to fill with tourists now as well. One of them takes a picture - "real live Yosemite climbers sitting by the fire" - and then hurries off without a word as if he is worried that he may have angered the natives. It is so strange to be on the other side of a zoo. We play chess and pretend to read. We talk about fear, mushrooms, and the ills of society (and whether or not to add climbing to the list). We do anything we can think of to try to ease the tension generated by our craving minds and desperate fingers.

A young woman in a form-fitting pair of tights walks past and a groan goes through the assemblage. On this particular morning, the group is mostly male. There is a general feeling that, on principle, someone must go talk to her. The group splits and soon there are two clusters of climbers sitting around two different fires, one centered on the warmth of the flame, one centered on the warmth of the girl. Remaining at the original fire, the man sitting next to me laments, mostly to himself, "What can I offer her? All I've got is a bivy sack and a rock." He hunches his shoulders and moves closer to the flames.

By early afternoon, the pent up energy around the fire grows too strong and the group begins to break up. We are propelled out the door in twos and threes by the need to exercise our bodies or at least to dull the boredom in our minds. Even menial activities become more interesting than sitting and doing nothing. Some of the climbers who are park employees go and fill propane tanks or do other small tasks to keep their tent cabins livable. Others head for the technically employee-only weightroom. And others bundle up and disappear into the woods for chemical escapes of various kinds.

I can no longer take the noise and crowds inside the lounge and so I go outside with no particular destination in mind. Snow and ice have stuck to the Sentinel and the clouds surge around its dramatic face revealing ghostly patches of crystal snow on black rock. It occurs to me for the first time all day that the Valley is incredibly beautiful in the snow. With the mists swirling, the Valley walls are distant and ethereal, like giant fortresses floating in a Japanese brush stroke painting. Ansel Adams could have no finer material to work from. Seeing the Valley in this light grants me a little perspective, reminds me that in a few days or a week I will be climbing on dry Yosemite stone. But then as the clouds chum and the meltwater soaks through my shoes, the feeling vanishes and once again I see the snow as only an impediment, as the subtle bars to the cage keeping me on the ground.

-Daniel Arnold received his B.A. in Philosophyftom Stanford in 2001. Now he teaches classes at the Stanford Climbing Wall and has secret dreams of drought years in the Sierras.

PHOTOGRAPHS: Bridalveil Falls Reflection; John Montgomery-Brown. Looking up at El Capitan; John Montgomery-Brown.

Dan Arnold on Verdict, Pinnacles, CA.   Photo by John Montgomery-Brown.

Ascents and Adventures

A chronicle of the past year's interesting climbs. Most of these climbs were informal trips by SAC members.

October 2003 - Attempt of Imja Tse, Nepal.

We traveled to Nepal to conduct a study of medication for preventing acute mountain sickness among trekkers on their way to Everest base camp. While there, we attempted Island peak (Imja Tse, 6173 m) via the standard route, but were turned back by heavy snow and whiteout conditions. On my way home I (RF), stopped to rewarm at the seaside climbing crags of Raileh, Southern Thailand.

Ross Fleischman (GS-medicine), Jeff Gertsch (Neurology Resident).

December 2003 - Mt. Morrison, NW Ridge (III 3rd Class, 12,268 ft), Sierras, CA.

A striking ridge composed of remarkably loose rock. Worth doing once ... but maybe not twice.

Dan Arnold (BA '01, SAC Historian).

Chuck Booten, Snake Dike   by John Montgomery-Brown

January 2004 - Mt. Shasta (14,162 ft), Cassaval Ridge, California.

Dan Arnold (BA '01, SAC Historian).

February 19, 2004 - Aconcagua (22,841 ft), Standard Route, Argentina.

By Jacquie Pratt

On February 19, 2004, I summitted Argentina's Aconcagua, at 6962m or 22,841 ft. It took 11 days of altitude headaches, insomnia, and 30 kilos on my back to get there. Four hours later, descending, I got separated from my companions and tumbled 100 feet down an ice slope, head first and bouncing, with no ice axe. For no apparent reason, I stopped suddenly and only fractured my left hand and incurred nasty bruises.

My boot flew off with the impact and my gear was strewn above me. After an hour of yelling for help with no results, I did a slow and tenuous self-rescue. I arrived at a camp just before sunset. The two people there were barely responsive, being mentally hampered by altitude. So I traversed back to my campsite in pitch dark without a headlamp or moonlight, mildly hallucinating, and arrived at 10:30pm. The other ten members of my expedition had gone to bed in spite of their concern. In the morning, I helped my guide with his gear and backpacked down to base camp alone, still unable to get others to help me. It took two days to hike out to civilization, and four days after the accident, I finally reached a hospital for treatment.

Jaquie Pratt, Aconcagua

Argentines told me that the mountain charged me for climbing but it charged me cheap. I have to agree, because during my two weeks on the mountain I witnessed two deaths from a two-thousand foot fall, one death from an edema, one near-fatal cerebral edema, and two lost ice climbers with frostbite. The two who died falling, near where I fell, had been staying at my Mendoza hostel.

I don't know whether I was lucky or unlucky. Nor did coming close to Death give me new insights into Life. But I did conclude that I should only climb mountains with people I know who have a vested interest in my well-being, that people lose brain function at altitude, and that there isn't always safety in numbers. It is also reassuring to witness the resilience of my body to take a beating and keep going.

Jacquie Pratt (MS '03).

March 2004 - Sierra High Route (Ski Tour), Sequoia National Park, CA.

Dave Kroodsma (BS '01, MS '03), Rob Becker (PhD '03, GS-medicine), Kevin Hand (GS-Geology, Astrobiology) and I skied the Sierra High Route from Shepard's Pass to the Tablelands. Conditions were fantastic with firm mornings giving way to afternoon corn, though the snow was a little thin in places. Most of the route was covered on skis though step kicking, often with ice axes, was needed at Milestone Col, Triple Divide Pass and Glacier Ridge. The skiing down Milestone Basin and in the Tablelands was particularly sweet. The trip involved four nights in the backcountry plus a crazy car shuttle.

For route information see Backcountry Skiing California's High Sierra by John Moynier

Bryan Palmintier (MS '00, Eng '04).

March 2004 - Mt. Gayley, SW Ridge (II 3rd class, 13,510 ft), Palisades, CA.

Deep fluffy snow made us wish we had skis and cameras instead of ice axes and ropes. For five days we wallowed around and only made it to the top of one peak. But it was beautiful and we had the Palisades to ourselves.

Dan Arnold (BA '01, SAC Historian), Dustin Clelen.

March 29-April 5, 2004 - Rock Creek to Mammoth (Ski Tour), John Muir Wilderness, CA.

Erick Matsen (BS '00), Ben Hunt (BS/MS '97), Michele Minihane (UG-Environmental Engineering), Kathleen Hannon (BS '00), Luke Hunt (BS '96, GS-Biology), Bryan Palmintier (MS '00, Eng '04).

June 14-15, 2004 - Mt. Rainier (14,411 ft), Disappointment Cleaver, WA.

Chuck Booten, Mt. Rainier

Six and a half hours from Paradise to Camp Muir (10,080'). Trail was well wanded by this time of year. High winds (~20-30mph) at Camp Muir. About 10hrs from Camp Muir to summit. Summit was sunny and 5 degrees F. Total Elevation gain: 9,000'.

Chuck Booten (GS-mechanical engineering, SAC President), Ryan Maupin, Mark Petennan, Doug Schwartz.

June 19,2004 - Mt. Shasta (14,162 ft), West Face, CA.

Paul Csonka   by David Kantola

Our day began at 11pm at Bunny Flats. We went along near Cassaval until about 10k, then a long, painful traverse to the west edge of the West Face Gully. We ascended the West Face until 13.3k. A final, short traverse back east led to the standard summit route on Misery Hill.

Paul Csonka (GS Physics), David Kantola.

July 2004 - Hallets Peak, Culp-Bossier (5.8, 12,000+ ft), Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.

We topped out the route but did not summit the peak.

Jared Brown ('07), Jeremy May.

July-September 2004 - Various Peak-Bagging Trips in Southwestern Colorado.

Half Peak (13,841 ft), Snowdon Peak (Northeast Buttress, 4th class, 13,077 ft), Niagara (13,807 ft) and Jones Peak (13,860 ft), Wilson Peak (14,017 ft) and Gladstone Peak (13,913 ft), East Trinity Peak (13,745 ft) and Peak 1 13,589 ft), and Sunlight Peak (14,059 ft).

Jared Brown (UG).

July 2004 - North Arete, Bear Creek Spire (III 5.8, 13,720 ft), Rock Creek, CA.

The hike in through Little Lakes Valley is beautiful. Many of the pitches are 4th class or easy 5th class, with only 3 pitches being 5.7 and 5.8. A cool, airy, unprotected 5.6 boulder move reaches the summit. Very manageable from the car in a day.

Marshall Burke (BA '03, staff), Polly Fordyce (GS-physics).

July 2004 - Various Ascents, Grand Teton National Park, WY.

Ashley Laird   by Dan Arnold

A good education in climbing through rain and hail. We summitted Nez Perce (11,901 ft) via the Direct South Ridge (III 5.7) and the Grand Teton (13,770 ft) via the Direct Exum (III 5.7), and also climbed the non-summit routes Irene's Arete and Guide's Wall.

Ashley Laird (BA '01, GS-medicine), Dan Arnold (BA '01, SAC Historian).

July 2004 - Mt. Stuart, North Ridge (IV 5.9, 9415 ft), Southern Cascades, WA.

A fantastic route. Lightweight style, with two nights in the mountains. Rain the first night prevented climbing the lower ridge (an additional grade IV). Instead we traversed the glacier to fine simul-climbing on the (standard) upper north ridge. Relaxing bivy one pitch below the gendarme (good tiered ledge for three). Climbed gendarme pitches and summit in the morning with enough time to scramble Ingalls Peak on the way out.

Erick Matsen (BS '00), Chris Barrington-Leigh (MS '98, PhD '01), Bryan Palmintier (MS '00, Eng '04).

July 2004 - Various Ascents, Wind River Range, WY.

Dan Arnold   by Ashley Laird

If it weren't for the rain and the mosquitoes, the Winds would be paradise. It's still pretty close. Our first day we climbed the SE Face of Pingora (III 5.9 and watch out for the misleading topo, 11,884 ft). The next day we linked up the E Ridge of Wolf's Head (III 5.6, 12,163 ft.), the N Face of Shark's Nose (II 5.8, 12,229 ft) and the W face of Overhanging Tower (I 4th Class, 12,164 ft). On our third day we climbed the N Face of Mt. Mitchell (IV 5.9) - we completed the route but did not summit due to continuing storms. Our last day we climbed the SE Ridge of Lizard's Head (wandering low 5h class, 12,842 ft).

Ashley Laird (BA '01, GS-medicine), Dan Arnold (BA '01, SAC Historian).

July 18, 2004 - Maroon Bells (14,156 ft and 14,015 ft), Aspen, CO.

Mostly LOOOSE 3rd and 4th class scrambling with a classic traverse between the two. Super fun and extremely beautiful mountains. Total elevation gain ~5,000'. Round trip time ~10 hours, including about 1 hr of talking to hikers and families who were amazed that people climbed the peaks.

Chuck Booten (GS-mechanical engineering, SAC President), Ryan Maupin.

August, 2004 - Kleine Halt, NW Face "Plattendiretissima" (IV, 5.8, 2116 m), Kaisergebirge, Austria.

Bomber two-bolt anchors at every station make this 27 pitch, 700 meter climb up an imposing limestone peak a surprisingly doable day-outing. We finished in 9 hours and according to the topo we were slow! This seems to be somewhat standard fare for European alpine climbing. Since the limestone doesn't afford a great deal of gear placements, many very long routes are well bolted, or if not, at least have bolted anchor stations. But don't worry; if you're wanting poorly protected, runout, and terribly hard alpine routes, there are plenty to be had. A few bolts in the middle of some pitches of Plattendiretissima lend peace of mind, but on this climb it's mostly racing from bolt station to bolt station with a small rack of nuts and cams. The rock wasn't of supreme quality (bring your helmet!), but at its best it can be a lot of fun. I've also been assured that there are peaks made of much better rock in the region.

The position just keeps getting better, and by the time you're on the slabbier upper section of the climb, the views are unreal. A couple of the upper pitches are very memorable. Sign the summit log and enjoy the long descent that's well-marked by large red dots painted on every third boulder. Utterly impossible to get lost. The climb itself was cool, but really you're going for the whole experience. It starts with a two hour hike from the small town through an idyllic valley to the Hans Berger Haus (the climber's lodge closest to our climb). This is not Camp 4! The Bavarian Alps have alpine lodges scattered throughout the mountains that serve as base camps for day outings, and climbers finish their days spraying over home cooked meals and the best beer on earth. We should emulate this. On your hike back out of the valley (most likely in the dark unless you climbed the route like Dean Potter) draws to a close as the small town of Kufstein comes into view and the castle that guards it is bathed in light. The peace and stillness of the valley and of the sleepy town that welcomes you back to civilization make a beautiful end to an exhausting day.

Dan Urban (GS-Aero Astro).

August 2004 - Temple Crag, Venusian Blind (IV 5.8,12,975 ft), Palisades, CA.

In August, 2004, Charles Booten (GS-Mechanical Engineering, 2004 SAC President), Joe Cackler (UG, SAC Treasurer), Bryan Cole (GS-BioSci) and I headed up to Temple Crag in the Palisades to climb for 4 days. On the first day we heard the first thunder strike at 7am, and spent the day sleeping and cragging in between bouts of rain. On day 2 it dawned clear, so we headed up to the base of the Venusian Blind route.

We simuled the first 2 pitches until the climbing got a bit harder on pitch 3, although still moderate (mostly 5.5 with a few sections of 5.6-7). The climbing was going well until pitch 5, when I was out on lead. I heard Joe yell, and looked back to see his flailing shadow on the next arete over.

He was leading pitch 4, and was just 3 feet below the ledge where Chuck was belaying me, when a shoebox sized rock came off in his hand, taking him with it. He fell 15 feet to his first piece (a nut), which slowed him slightly before pulling, and then he fell a further 30 feet until his second piece (also a nut) held him, making for a 45 foot lead fall, all told. The rock was not quite vertical, and he did bounce off a few things on his way down, but miraculously did not break anything.

In fact, after realizing where he was, he finished leading the pitch up to Chuck, who by that time had taken me off belay. Chuck checked him out as well as he could, and found that his most serious wound was a rather profusely bleeding lip. At first Chuck thought that he had punched a hole completely through his lip, but instead he had just scraped up both the outside and inside.

Joe Cackler   by Matt Farrell

After belaying Brian up to the bottom of pitch 5, Chuck followed up to me and we decided to continue rather than rap down 5 pitches, especially since it would be extremely hard to build safe anchors for the last three raps. Chuck led all the rest of the pitches, and then simultaneously belayed Bryan and I up (on the twin ropes). While Chuck was leading the next pitch on my belay, Bryan belayed Joe.

When Joe fell, there were just the smallest clouds forming, but by the time we had moved the anchor to the bottom of pitch 6, the clouds were getting quite puffy. By the top of pitch 6 it was already 1:30pm and the clouds had spread over the sky, and by the time Bryan and I were following Chuck up pitch 7 it was drizzling. While Chuck was leading pitch 8 it started raining, and then as we were following the rain turned to hail and thunder.

We moved off the route into the small gully to the right to find easier climbing and less exposure, and followed that for two pitches until Chuck had to French free a 20 foot section of ~5.10 crack to get back on the arete. From there Chuck lowered me into a blind gully, and then followed on a single rap, leaving an old cam and two nuts.

The rain had stopped, so we ate a snack and climbed the remaining 400 feet to the summit unroped through the loose 4th class gully. We topped out at 5pm, took the standard 3rd class descent down, and then pulled into camp by headlamp at 9pm.

Matt Farrell (UG).

August 18-19 - Mt. Whitney, East Buttress (III 5.7, 14,491 ft), Sequoia National Park, CA.

by Dan Urban

Super fun climb. Most of the rock is solid. Watch out for rope drag on the last pitch or two. Total elevation gain: 6,200 ft.

Chuck Booten (GS-mechanical engineering, SAC President), Bryan Cole (GS-biology)

August 18-19 - Mt. Whitney, Mountaineer's Route (II 4th class, 14,491 ft), Sequoia National Park, CA.

Matt Farrell (UG), Joe Cackler (UG).

August 2004 - Lizard Head (5.7, 13,133 ft), Telluride, CO.

Lizard Head Summit

Jared Brown (UG), Jeremy, Micah, and Don May, Casey Youngflesh.

August, 2004 - Tenaya Peak, North Buttress (II 5.4, 10,301 ft) and Matthes Crest, South Ridge to South Summit (III, 5.7), Tuolumne Meadows, CA.

This linkup is super fun and very doable if you move quickly. Beautiful (and straightforward) cross-country hiking between Tenaya and Matthes. Hiking out, we saw a huge mountain lion near Echo Col. Hitch back to Tenaya Lake to retrieve car.

Marshall Burke (BA '03, staff), Polly Fordyce (GS-physics), Matt Lappe (BA '02).

August 2004 - Incredible Hulk, Red Dihedral (IV 5.10), Sierras, CA.


Ashley Laird (BA '01, GS-medicine), Dan Arnold (BA '01, SAC Historian).

September 4, 2004 - Mt. Conness, West Ridge (III 5.6, 12,590), Tuolumne, CA.

Beautiful ridge that ascends the 12,590' peak just outside of Yosemite National Park. Long, tricky approach, but the amazing exposure is totally worth it. Simul-climbed after the first pitch.

Joe Cackler (UG, SAC Treasurer), Chuck Booten (GS-Mechanical Engineering, SAC President).

September, 2004 - Various Ascents, Cathedral Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia and Paysaten Wilderness, WA.

Cathedral Peak (8,601 ft) Southeast Buttress (III, 5.8 var), Grimface (8,645 ft) - Macabre (8,540 ft) - Matriarch (8,563 ft) Traverse (III, 5.8), FA on spur of Deacon (II, 5.7, 8,376 ft), and N. Ridge Amphitheater Mt (II, 5.9 var, 8,358 ft). There are abundant excellent climbs and really fun ridge traverses to be had on solid granite here. The only hitch is the long approach of just under 20 miles into the head of Wall Creek. It's a really beautiful and mellow approach though and can be done in seven hours if you move along. Ideal camping spots are to be found at the head of Wall Creek and at Upper Cathedral Lake.

Kenny Gillingham (GS-MS&E) and Tim Bartholomaus.

Material copyright © 2004, Stanford Alpine Club. All rights reserved.