What's the Burliest Approach You've Ever Done?

What's the Burliest Approach You've Ever Done?

Post by Mad Do » Fri, 12 Sep 2003 03:24:06


Some friends were emailing opinions about hard approaches and I tried to think
of the hardest ones I've ever done.  Then it dawned on me that I've never really
done a truly hard approach.  So, take your pick - what's the hardest approach
you've done for any type of climb - backcountry expedition, single day trad,
single day ice climb, sport climb, toprope, etc?

I'm thinking that some of the routes on K2 must be in the upper percentile range
for expeditions.  I've done the Chasm View approach to the Diamond before.
That's maybe about 6 miles and 4K vertical, but that nothing compared to what
people do these days.  Probably my biggest approach days were for soloing
moderate ridges in the Colorado backcountry - maybe 16 miles and 8-10K vertical?
I bet Mark Twight owns the record and that's why there is such obvious pain
etched in his brow...

 
 
 

What's the Burliest Approach You've Ever Done?

Post by meliss » Fri, 12 Sep 2003 03:39:39


Quote:

>Some friends were emailing opinions about hard approaches and I tried to think
>of the hardest ones I've ever done.  Then it dawned on me that I've never really
>done a truly hard approach.  So, take your pick - what's the hardest approach
>you've done for any type of climb - backcountry expedition, single day trad,
>single day ice climb, sport climb, toprope, etc?

I'm light and rarely climb outside of Yosemite.  If I do, it's someplace like
Joshua Tree or the Grotto where the approaches are even easier.

To date my hardest approaches are

1.  Snake Dike via the Mist Trail.  Groomed but long, with a two hour off route
bush wack exposed scramble detour on the back side of Half Dome.

2.  Two solo trips on a July day to Washington Column with all of my wall gear
with no idea that there even was a nice trail through the talus and loose dirt.

3.  Royal Arches + North Dome Slabs.

My worst desent:

11+ miles off the top of El Cap on a mystery road that we never intended to
take.

NDG in the dark.

These are necessary evils to get to the rock.  I can't imagine mountaineering
the climb is much more about "the approach".

 
 
 

What's the Burliest Approach You've Ever Done?

Post by Mike Garriso » Fri, 12 Sep 2003 04:47:33

Quote:

> Some friends were emailing opinions about hard approaches and I tried to think
> of the hardest ones I've ever done.  Then it dawned on me that I've never really
> done a truly hard approach.  So, take your pick - what's the hardest approach
> you've done for any type of climb - backcountry expedition, single day trad,
> single day ice climb, sport climb, toprope, etc?

By most rock climbers' standards, all I do are
approaches....

I guess Olympus is the "burliest approach" I have ever done,
even if it is all on-trail. Either that or maybe Eldorado
via the Sibley Creek route. Or possibly Mt. Constance.

For sheer pain of approach compared to the time involved and
the magnitude of the climb proper, perhaps it might have
been my recent trip to try and climb Unicorn in the
Olympics. (There's a range made for *** approaches.)

-Mike

 
 
 

What's the Burliest Approach You've Ever Done?

Post by Brutus of Wy » Fri, 12 Sep 2003 06:02:50

Mad Dog asked:

Quote:
> what's the hardest approach
> you've done for any type of climb - backcountry expedition, single day trad,
> single day ice climb, sport climb, toprope, etc?

Castle Rock Spire, Sequoia National Park.
4,000 ft. elevation bushwack gain through
rattlesnake-and-tick-infested poison oak. Add a 95-pound pack. in
winter.

Tuttle Creek to Windhorse, S. Face Lone Pine Peak.
Normally a 3/4 day hike, x-xountry, but this time with a 105-lb haul
bag.

Mt. Alberta, Japanese Route, including fording the Sunwapta River.
Twice.
Wouldn't have been bad except the unusually high water and the 75-lb.
packs.

SE Chimney route on Mt. Waddington.
Like climbing Mt. Rainier (4,000 ft+ elevation gain) with a 70-lb.
pack through icefalls and snow-covered 5th class rock in bottomless
sugar snow to reach a multi-pitch rime-encrusted rock summit tower.

Here's one of the easier ones: Crossing the High Sierra (Onion Valley
to Road's End in King's Canyon N.P. in a day and climbing the S. Face
of C***te Dome along the way.

 
 
 

What's the Burliest Approach You've Ever Done?

Post by Dave Schulle » Fri, 12 Sep 2003 06:05:30

Quote:

>Some friends were emailing opinions about hard approaches and I tried to think
>of the hardest ones I've ever done.  Then it dawned on me that I've never really
>done a truly hard approach.  So, take your pick - what's the hardest approach
>you've done for any type of climb - backcountry expedition, single day trad,
>single day ice climb, sport climb, toprope, etc?

>I'm thinking that some of the routes on K2 must be in the upper percentile range
>for expeditions.  I've done the Chasm View approach to the Diamond before.
>That's maybe about 6 miles and 4K vertical, but that nothing compared to what
>people do these days.  Probably my biggest approach days were for soloing
>moderate ridges in the Colorado backcountry - maybe 16 miles and 8-10K vertical?
>I bet Mark Twight owns the record and that's why there is such obvious pain
>etched in his brow...

Rainbow Wall at Red Rocks with full haulbag and sick Bushmills hangover.
Dave
 
 
 

What's the Burliest Approach You've Ever Done?

Post by swamp » Fri, 12 Sep 2003 06:32:29



Quote:
> Rainbow Wall at Red Rocks with full haulbag and sick Bushmills hangover.
> Dave

done that one and it's a ***...however...the approach to the base of
Trono Blanco is much worse (and it's all downhill).  Picture a canyon
choked with house sized boulders and scruboak.
 
 
 

What's the Burliest Approach You've Ever Done?

Post by Jason Liebgot » Fri, 12 Sep 2003 06:39:41

I remember Em mentioning something about a some special suits that you
procured so as to defend against the poison oak somewhere??? But they didn't
breathe at all and it was a hot one? what the hell was that all about?

j

 
 
 

What's the Burliest Approach You've Ever Done?

Post by Jason Liebgot » Fri, 12 Sep 2003 06:49:45

hmmm...

CA Needles - we tried to find an obscure route about a mile down from the
main notch. Trail ended and the gully became a shin deep loose river of
leaves, dirt and sharp pokey things. I thought for a while that I would not
be able to go back up because with every step I would slide back to where i
started. I was swimming up the dirt, pulling out the flimsy bushes that I
was praying would take some of my weight.

AND if I never see another stinging nettle again, I'll be a much happier
man.

jason

 
 
 

What's the Burliest Approach You've Ever Done?

Post by Brian in S » Fri, 12 Sep 2003 07:02:43

Quote:

> Some friends were emailing opinions about hard approaches and I tried to think of the hardest ones I've ever done.  

Hmm...havin' a poor memory is of some use, then...

SW Ridge of St. Elias.

NE Buttress of the Mountain of Mystery in Zion.

Day of ice climbing in the early eighties in Jellystone.  We saw this
route way off in the hinterlands, hiked for a number of hours, did an
ugly traverse, rapped down into this gully, walked over, and...was the
wrong gully.  Well, at least it warmed up to minus 10F and we got to
climb the frozen ropes back up...for a nice 8 hour day of takin' the
ice tools for a hike...

Another time, spied some ice off in the distance (this is a theme for
me...) in Maple Canyon.  Couple 3 hour approach.  I was convinced the
thing was huge, proud, we'd be famous, folks be askin' for
autographs...  We hike up a ridge, rap down into this hole, and,
voila, there it is.  Uhhh, that don't look so big.  Must be the wrong
ice.  Nope.  15 feet of proud.  We didn't bother to pull the rap rope
to lead on, and decided just to solo it.  My partner blew off one of
his crampons, I sheared out both of mine...  That'd a been sweet.
Rescued after failing on a fif*** footer.

I remember skiin' into Hylite to ice climb, and two out of three of us
forgot our climbing skins for our skis (I'm blamin' it on the barmuda
triangle).  Seemed like an all day approach, and, once at the ice, way
too tired to climb much.  Another all day sucker with not much done.
What's that Tami Knight sez about ice climbers?

Approaches never seem that burly if the climb is good or goes well...

Brian in SLC

 
 
 

What's the Burliest Approach You've Ever Done?

Post by Eugene Mi » Fri, 12 Sep 2003 10:11:11


Quote:
>I'm thinking that some of the routes on K2 must be in the upper percentile
>range for expeditions.

Getting out into the middle of the Ross Ice sheet.  Learned how to drive
a fork lift and a bulldozer to load LC-130s.
 
 
 

What's the Burliest Approach You've Ever Done?

Post by swamp » Fri, 12 Sep 2003 09:27:48


Quote:



> > Rainbow Wall at Red Rocks with full haulbag and sick Bushmills hangover.
> > Dave

> done that one and it's a ***...however...the approach to the base of
> Trono Blanco is much worse (and it's all downhill).  Picture a canyon
> choked with house sized boulders and scruboak.

Greenland...9 mile approach with the last 1/4 mile being 2000' of el up
a snow couloir, 80+ pound packs, 3 round trips in 2 days.  And no
climbing due to 3 weeks of horrendous weather.  That sucked.
 
 
 

What's the Burliest Approach You've Ever Done?

Post by Christian » Fri, 12 Sep 2003 09:48:19

Quote:

> So, take your pick - what's the hardest approach
> you've done for any type of climb

The Appalachian Trail?

Cheers,
Christian ;?)

 
 
 

What's the Burliest Approach You've Ever Done?

Post by Steelmnk » Fri, 12 Sep 2003 11:25:07

I've shared this with MD, but mine had to be the hoof into climb Zoroaster
Temple in the Grand Canyon. 32 miles round trip, Start at South Rim, 5000' down
to the bottom, 5000' up to the top of Zoro, 5000' back down to the bottom,
5000' back up to the South Rim. And five pitches of climbing. It was excellent.

G.

 
 
 

What's the Burliest Approach You've Ever Done?

Post by swamp » Fri, 12 Sep 2003 12:03:39



Quote:


> > So, take your pick - what's the hardest approach
> > you've done for any type of climb

> The Appalachian Trail?

what about that swedish dude who rode his bike to Everest...
 
 
 

What's the Burliest Approach You've Ever Done?

Post by Fritz Lowr » Fri, 12 Sep 2003 12:31:11

Quote:

> Rainbow Wall at Red Rocks with full haulbag and sick Bushmills hangover.
> Dave

Hell yeah.  That approach gets my vote, but only because a bad parking
job started my partner and I on the wrong path.  The multitude of
bullshit cairnes in the desert washes and hotter than planned temps
did us in.  The hike out was on the casual trail to Oak Creek (?  it's
been a while).

Fritz