ROMAIN WACZIARG

m

CRYSTAL CRAG / BEAR CREEK SPIRE


Ascents of Crystal Crag (North Arête, 5.7) and Bear Creek Spire (North Arête, III, 5.8), John Muir Wilderness, CA, with René Renteria, June 25, 2006


Timeline:

June 23, 2006. Crystal Crag. As a warm-up for Bear Creek Spire, we climbed the Crystal Crag's North Arête (5.7). Leaving from our family vacation spot in Strawberry around 10:30 am, we arrived in Mammoth in the early afternoon and were at the trailhead at 2:30 pm. We were back at the car around 6:30 pm.

June 24, 2006. Little Lakes Valley and the Approach to Dade Lake. Fearing a lot of postholing due to the large amounts of snow remaining from a record snowfall winter, we left the trailhead around 9 am, and reached camp at Dade Lake at 1 pm. We spent the afternoon trying to stay out of the sun beneath some stunted pine trees.

June 25, 2006. Climbing the North Arête of Bear Creek Spire. We left camp at 5:30 am, were at the base of the route at 7 am, and at the summit at 4:30 pm. We were back in camp at 7:30 pm.

Pitch

Rating

Length

On lead

Observations

1

5.7

100 ft

Romain

Rated 5.8 on some topos. Straight up a crack / steep flakes from a wide ledge at the base.

2

5.7

165 ft

René

Up steep flakes, angles slightly right, ends on 5.2 terrain.

3

5.4

150 ft

Romain

Step around right (5.4), then 4th class.

4

4th

160 ft

René

Stout 4th class up the arête to the base of the crux pitch.

5

5.8

160 ft

Romain

Off-width and steep flakes (5.8 crux) to a 5.6 chimney/gully. Beautiful pitch.

6

5.4

120 ft

René

Tunnel through to East side (5.4) then 4th class up the ridge.

7

5.4

120 ft

Romain

Exposed low 5th class and 4th up the arête.

8

5.5

120 ft

René

5.5 move on the prow to 4th class ridge traverse.

9

4th

120 ft

Romain

4th class ridge traverse.

10

4th

120 ft

René

4th class ridge traverse (pitches 6-10 can be done in 4 pitches).

11

5.6

80 ft

Romain

3rd class traverse on the West side below the summit block, to a 5.6 face and crack.

12

5.6

80 ft

René

4th class chimney and horizontal walk along the crest to the 5.6 summit block (the last two pitches can be done in one but rope drag would be an issue if placing pro on the traverse).

 

June 26, 2006. The hike out and Horseshoe Slabs. We left camp at 9 am and were back at the car shortly after 11 am. In the afternoon we went to Horseshoe Slabs in Mammoth to do some rock climbing, but the conditions were far from ideal - we had to belay on snow... We ended the day with a big dinner at Angel's.

June 26, 2006. Daff Dome and the Drive Home. On the last day of our trip we wanted to do West Crack on Daff Dome. Getting to the base of that route around 1 pm, however, there were several slow parties on the first pitch, and thunderstorms coming in, so we gave up. We climbed a one pitch sport route instead (Witch o' the West, 5.9, PG/R) and drove home.

Photos:

Please check here.


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