Mt Tyndall / SuperBowl Trip Report

Made the pilgrimage to the Eastside this past weekend.? Went down w/ my brother Eric who despite living in Truckee for 10 years had never experienced the truly High 14er area Sierra ? they are different worlds and our respective young families and careers/etc. have always kept us from making the trek together.? This year we made it happen!

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In addition to just enjoying the magic of the Eastside I?ve been trying to specifically tick off a new 14er climb/ski each year (this is the realistic approach for me vs. the 1-2 week post up get 5 at a time/etc. at least so long as I have young kids/family + full time career not related to skiing)

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This year?s objective was Mt Tyndall.? Justly known more for being a lot of work to get to and proximity to the epic SuperBowl ski than anything else but a 14er all the same.? Plan was as follows:

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Day 1: Drive to Sheppard?s Pass (SP) TH (6k?) outside Independence, approach and camp Mosquito Flats (MF) (9.5k+?)

Day 2: Climb SP (12k?) and N face Tyndall to summit ridge/summit (14k+?), Ski N Face (2k? descent), Climb to SuperBowl entrance (~13k?), Ski SuperBowl to camp (4k? descent), pack camp and exit to car

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Here is how it went down:

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Day 1

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10am: Bro picks me up we leave Truckee ? unfortunately ?chasing? the major winter-like storm that has been pounding the Sierra . . . viz is crap all the way down 395 but forecast is for clearing so trying to remain optimistic . . . still sketching in my head from the spring storm pounding I took high on Langley last year . . .

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Noon: Pick up sandwiches in Gardnerville ? get confirmation from buddy Chris Crossen he is going to join ? he is in Bishop with family including 4-week old son . . . sleep deprivation would cost him later

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3pm: arrive TH to Sheppard?s Pass trail ? weather is ok . . . flurries but clearing ?still looking pretty socked in up in the crevice

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3:45: shoulder the pigs (i.e. heavy overnight packs laden w/ skis *and* boots cuz we?re starting in running shoes on dirt) and head out . . . at least we are on a great trail for this early approach unlike say, N Fork Bairs Creek approach to Mt Williamson which I?d done a couple years ago . . . or much of the Langley winter/ski approach from last year

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4:15: hit trail junction with the *HIKER* trail and trailhead DOH . . . my bad yo sorry about the extra 500? climb and mile on trail cuz we parked and started at the *Pack Trail* (i.e. animals/etc.) TH . . . I suppose I could really clarify this and how to avoid it but nobody else does so consider it all part of the game (finding the TH/starting point for your Eastside adventures is almost always the first crux of the trip . . . don?t fight it just accept it as part of the adventure) . . . even w/ a trail it is all about creek crossings and rockslides/deadfall/etc. far from just cruising . . .

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Aforementioned creek crossing w/ PIG ON BACK?

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6pm: crest the ridge between Symmes Creek and Shepp. Creek at 9100? . . . first view of Williamson N Face and SuperBowl . . . sick light playing out w/ new snow, etc. ? found myself wishing I had a legit camera and skills . . . switched to ski boots and left shoes . . . Eric and Chris had stopped to swith to boots on the N facing climb in snow out of Symmes (I did it in my trail shoes) and were just slower/etc. so ended up waiting 40 minutes . . . my brother?s inexperience w/ the Pig and this kind of approach/etc. was gonna get us/him, no way around it

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Super Bowl:

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N Face Williamson:

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Owens Valley / White Mountains:

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6:45pm: Head down into Shepp Creek drainage . . . hour of ?real? daylight left . . . nervous about making Mosquito flat but we are on the side of a hill so have no choice can?t camp till we get there anyway . . . start really hustling and drop the 500 feet sigh this is kind of a mental up/down blow . . . fill water during a creek crossing not sure what MF water access in the dark and higher el snow coverage will give us this is a good call . . .

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7:45pm: Gorgeous half-moon and headlamps light the way

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8:45pm: Make camp MF ~9400? . . . my brother gets really cold really fast stuff him in sleeping bag in the tent . . . Chris proclaims he is ?wasted? and is in tent/bag by 9:30 . . . get in tent w/ some hot food/drink and work on getting my brother warm and us fed/hydrated/etc . . . I feel great and am excited about tomorrow but clear both of my partners are not in great
condition right now

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10pm: take this shot before finishing prep for the next day and heading in tent . . . plan is for 4am wake-up / 5:30 camp departure

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11pm: hear Eric asleep this is good . . . it is cold?a cold night this is feb weather not late april weather love the Sierra! . . . I rack hard for 4 hours then scuffle for an hour listening to some worrisome wind rolling/roaring down . . . .? feel pretty good when 4am rolls around

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Day Two:

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4am: boiling water/etc. for hot drinks and oatmeal . . . yell to Chris to see if he is awake . . . he calls it right then and there realizing the huge day ahead is just not going to happen for him . . . I ask Eric how he is doing and feeling about the day . . . he says he?ll head out and take things as they come and see how he is doing after a couple hours . . . spirit is willing yes!

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5:45am: leave camp ? clear and cold as the Low continues to exit to the East, slowly . . . make way up the drainage which is pretty scoured and blown out ? like Langley a lot of heinous scree covered w/ 4-12 inches of fresh duff . . . a big mental game to sort out the route at least it is interesting . . . Eric is doing OK, not great but making good progress . . . we are on radios and in eye contact but I feel I?m ?draggin? him a bit which is not good and natural for patners . . . around Pothole 10.8k? based on time/progress we agree that we may not reconnect again if he decides to call it and to stay in close radio contact as we approach SP . . . oh yeah the wind has started to RIP at this point combining w/ the fresh light snow to create pretty miserable conditions . . .? I am looking/listening up towards SP and pretty bummed about what that wind might do to the day ? but the fx was not calling for big winds and I?m thinking this is more about the L to H pressure transition and general warming and hopeful it is an early morning thing and things might calm before/as I? get higher and the day gets later . . . at least things are cold, cold, cold and we weren?t dealing w/ massive warming and shedding of new snow, stability on everything is great

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8am: radio crackles, Eric says he?s done and confirms I?m going to keep going . . . wishes me good luck and be safe and he?ll see me in camp/etc. . . I am bummed for him knowing how much the cold night and overall ?newness? of the these kinds of trips in the High Sierra have taken their toll . . . but as with everything there is no substitute for experience and he is just paying his dues . . . we confirmed that my plan was Tyndall and SuperBowl descent . . . I realize at this point I am going to attempt to climb/ski a 14er solo . . . I mean this isn?t like I was trying to solo k2 or something duh but I did go into a bit of a different place mentally at this point as if somehow I got more focused and zoned in what was happening around me there was nothing else but me and the situation as nature presented it? ? no other people . . . I?ve read about this from ?soloists? and can kind of relate a little more now . . .? again not trying to overstate what I was doing it?s not like this route was crazy technical or something but when you are 15 miles from a road and high in the mountains w/ fresh snow and less than perfect weather and a route/peak I hadn?t done blah blah ? it was exciting and net is I was jacked this is that drug you can?t buy . . . I also had this overwhelming sensation of not wanting to screw up and make my brother deal w/ worrying or coming to find me/etc.

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9am: above SP hiding behind a rock from howling wind coming out of SE and absolutely blasting N face of Tyndall . . . decide to climb R of the NW rib (vs. N rib) in the lee of that rib to maybe get some wind shelter . . . again hoping that the wind dies down not sure I can manage the summit in the current state . . . amazing contrails ripping off everything it sure looks like the big big mountains . . .

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Realize I need to put a caption/space between photos or they load together at bottom of blog post . . . so a repeat ? did I mention it was windy? Oh yeah, I love that sign at 12k feet for Inyo National Forest . . . dudes are serious about marking territory

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10am: going is very slow in super challenging climbing conditions ? I just can?t find any consistent surface and winds are positively nuking.? Rock is covered in 6 ? 24 inches of bottomless blower that you step right through to uneven rock terrible . . . snow surface ranges from bullet proof ice to 36 inch wind drifts . . . too steep to skin . . .? just settle in and slog finally opting for crampons and trying to link together the bulletproof sections . . . pop through the NW ridge to the n face and have to drop about 100 vert and traverse across the slope to find the access to the true summit ridge via a fairly obvious and not too steep chimney? . . . get the summit ridge and again the new snow on rock sucks to travel on but starting to feel good about topping out and the wind is mellowing out this is good

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Summit Ridge .? . . or maybe a false one, can?t remember (summit ridge looked like this, maybe a little flatter)

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11:30am: summit . . . take some photos . . . huge drifts around the summit boulders can?t find register who cares . . . scamper up on the summit boulder for a few shots, stoked!? Amazing views . . . Williamson just incredible I almost can?t believe I was up there 2 years ago . . . flip it for the ridge scramble to finally ski!

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On summit boulder that hangs in space ? see, space! Williamson bowl below . . .

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Noonish: skiing N face . . . pretty good skiing!? Not perfect but reasonably fair and soft and carvable and stable . . . skiing from 14k to 12k is cool . . . as always just feels amazing to put tracks in remote area like this . . . oh yeah did I mention that the number of people I saw = ZERO . . . like the anti-Shasta back there or something . . .

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This is the line I?m gonna ski hold the lurking pepper please

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First few turns? . . . pretty good!

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This shot is looking back from the ridge that gets you to the Super Bowl . . . my track is lookers right of the rock rib / N Rib center-left of the N Face, center of photo . . .

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12:30?: back on the huge plateu between SP, Williamson Bowl and Tyndall . . . looks like 50 miles to SuperBowl damn! . . . I?m not even positive where the entrance is but I know if I enter too low I?ll go to Williamson drainage and be really f?ed . . .? so of course you want it to be low cuz you?re tired of climbing and are more in ?down? mode than ?up? — but you can?t let yourself be convinced ?it will work? . . . sigh, slog, if you space you go from firm to 4 feet drift/post hole and fall on your face like this hog wallow:

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. . . pretty tired . . . get the peaklet/right entrance I know is super bowl and stoked . . . this is sick skiing, sick.? Top 5 backcountry ski run cruiser on wind blown pow mellow terrain.? Here the radio crackle it is Eric!? Once I got over the ridge his transmission could get to me . . . I radio back I?m skiing SuperBowl and should be back in camp in minutes . . . SuperBowl goes on forever like Shasta West face (but powder not corn!) . . . just an amazing cirque that thing is

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Aspect mattered a ton because of wind .? .? . traversed over the wind board (13k feet after all there is gonna be windboard somewhere) and found the butter . . .

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Those tracks above are literally 10% of SuperBowl like 400? vert . . . one of those BC runs that just goes on and on and on . . . the shot below shows tracks way, way in the background . . . best practices should captions be on top or below in blogs?? I think on top!

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2pm: finally wind/contour high skier?s left out of the bowl to make the traverse to camp and see it and the tent . . . ski literally pretty much into camp save a quick creak crossing and scramble up the other side of the bank . . .? money! Warm, calm in camp.? See Eric, stoked.? He has recovered quite a bit and is master of camp break down while I refuel and focus on recreating the pig for exit . . . spy the wee yellow tent down there in Mosquito Flats . . .

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3:30pm: exit camp, pretty elated, tired . . . but mental strain is gone I know we have a slog out and it is not over but I am with Eric again and we know the route out (or do we?)

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5pm: at the 9200? foot pass, I think.? The fresh snow has melted and everything looks different and the day is taking its toll I am not as mentally sharp as I should be . . . I dump my pack to get our shoes but can?t find them . . . Eric shows up and we look for our shoes for 30 minutes and can?t find them . . . finally say screw it leave the shoes we need to get exit . . . put on skis to head down to Symmes crk on N facing side of ridge / snow ? but the slope we are on is not the slope we climbed in on . . . confused ? go back to ridge / pass to try to figure it out . . . actually get turned around a bit hard to believe looking back on it now but this is what can happen . . . we finally decide to ski down a bit on this slope thinking it funnels into our ascent route . . . this is dump of course it doesn?t even though there are some other tracks . . . snow ends and we start to scramble down a drainage that is getting steeper and rockier and sketchier .. STOP! . . . finally pull my head out of ass and call ball that we are climing back to the ?pass? and if don?t find our ascent route immediately pitching a tent and spending the night . . . I am bummed and frustrated and disappointed in myself for not having this exit route dialed this should be easy . . . but happy we have a plan that is safe and known and we aren?t going to do anything stupid like climb down an unknown drainage . . . so start scrambling/setting a booter out tacking another 700? on to the day and kind of wondering how my body is producing energy at this point the human body is really incredible . . . on the climb up of course I see the *real / actual* pass we need to be on and how we missed it/etc. . . . sigh . . .

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7:30pm: get shoes, right where they are supposed to be, put on skis, decide we can make the ski down before it is dark and do the trail by moonlight/headlamp.?? Take a final photo of Williamson/SuperBowl and say goodbye to that zone and hope we can keep it together ok and just get out I am hungry and thirsty . . . stop taking pictures bummed at myself now cuz the photoblog kind of dies here (you know you are truly tired when you?ve been taking pictures all trip, then just stop . . . I?ve noticed this in me and partners . . . when everyone has energy and is stoked grabbing quick shots here and there is easy and doesn?t take time and then you can tell when a person blows up by the point at which they forget about their camera only to ask themselves later ?why didn?t I take more pictures? . . . note to self to always quickly / efficiently take lot of pictures from beginning to end of trips and share quickly / efficiently w/ partners . . . one of those IMO ?below the line? good partner rules like not bogarting (i.e. skiing over and through) your partners beautiful aesthetic line and track on otherwise untouched snow) . . . I digress wow I am a crank

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9:00pm: pass junction for hiker trail, curse myself that we are at pack station TH.? Idiot.

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9:30pm: hit the truck, crack a beer, hug a brother

?Here is a topo from the trip . . . i cribbed this from some other dude’s TR for Williamson (note: the Williamson routes on this map are not reccomended for skiing/ski mountaineering . . . it is a hiking route — the Williamson ski routes are on the N?and E sides . . . this is the standard slog/climb williamson route) . . . anyway our trip color legend is:

Color:

Orange: Day One Approach

Blue: Day Two Ascent Tyndall

Flesh (?what color would you say? pregunta?): Tyndall Descent/Plateau Slog/SuperBowl

Black: Exit w/ shoeshank redemption — don’t do this except for extra credit. Combine w/ pack animal trail head for ubr credit + confirmation brain is in fact size of pack animal.?

Tyndall_topo1

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Nutrition, May Skiing, Bike Racing . . .

A. I love Nick?s nutrition post (http://cwcracing.org)?. . .it makes me want a list of the top recovery and generally ?healthiest? meal options for all fast food chains/mini-marts broken down by carb/prot/fat mix + total cals ?. . . this might exist.? Where is everybody?s favorite ? The Burrito!

B.?B. ????? I have a a less committing and aggressive final ski weekend planned for the weekend of May 22 . . . probably a ?Shlassen? combo (Shasta + Lassen) w/ relatively mellow climbs, easy and fun car camps, known routes ? and world-class corn skiing . ?. . I?ll send out a note for the team if anyone wants to link up for some or all or what not . . . note the Eastside is in absolutely phenomenal condition so the May 22 weekend gaze may head back down there we?ll see what the weather and conditions do between now and then and whether I?m able to sneak back down to get another taste or not . . .

C.?? First bike race of year is tomorrow Cat?s Hill in Los Gatos . . . talk about shifting gears my shins are destroyed from the huge and never-ending winter of climbing and skiing . . . they look like somebody beat them w/ iron pipes scary and bruised and swollen and lumpy . . . I?m kind of embarrassed to show them in public young kids may need to avert their eyes

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Eastside here we come!

Getting ready for an Eastside mission this weekend and seeing about ticking another new Cali 14er climb/ski off the list . . . I’m generally trying to pick off a new one each year and figure by the time I’m 45/50 maybe I’ll have them all – this is the approach for the dude w/ a non skiing job/career and young kids vs. a pro skier or dirtbag which of course I still fantasize about being who doesn’t who loves to climb/ski!  Anyway, from a bike racing/training perspective, call this the Eastside training block – last year I did Langley and Emerson the week before Sea Otter and was pretty destroyed but wouldn’t trade the Langley adventure for anything  . . . this weekend is about ski mountaineering not the bike.  Headed down w/ my bro . . . stoked . . . looked back at Mt. Williamson TR from 2008 and got even more stoked (scroll down the page if you don’t see the TR at the top) . . . also a link to Flickr photo set from the trip . . . Eastside is sick, sick, sick and nobody (relatively) goes there given it is smack in between about, what, 50M Californians?

http://realdeepsnow.com/?p=214

Here is a typical High Sierra shot . . . high on Williamson about 13k in a 35 degree chute/coolie, great corn, w/ partner PJ visible (tiny) for scale, and town of Independence, CA about 8k feet below . . .

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Eastside Here We Come!

Getting ready for an Eastside mission this weekend and seeing about ticking another new Cali 14er climb/ski off the list . . . I’m generally trying to pick off a new one each year and figure by the time I’m 45/50 maybe I’ll have them all – this is the approach for the dude w/ a non skiing job/career and young kids vs. a pro skier or dirtbag which of course I still fantasize about being who doesn’t who loves to climb/ski! Anyway, from a bike racing/training perspective, call this the Eastside training block – last year I did Langley and Emerson the week before Sea Otter and was pretty destroyed but wouldn’t trade the Langley adventure for anything . . . this weekend is about ski mountaineering not the bike. Headed down w/ my bro . . . stoked . . . looked back at Mt. Williamson TR from 2008 and got even more stoked (scroll down the page if you don’t see the TR at the top) . . . also a link to Flickr photo set from the trip . . . Eastside is sick, sick, sick and nobody (relatively) goes there given it is smack in between about, what, 50M Californians?

http://realdeepsnow.com/?p=214

Here is a typical High Sierra shot . . . high on Williamson about 13k in a 35 degree chute/coolie, great corn, w/ partner PJ visible (tiny) for scale, and town of Independence, CA about 8k feet below…

Damn I fixed it

Many phone calls, e-mails and software updates later . . . power set up is fixed . . . no more 64k watts . . . am mortal, perhaps less than. My experience is *the standard* for setting up power — if the $$ don’t scare away the average cyclist the other implementation barriers will . . . industry needs plug and play to bring power to masses once you have it like crack but just so hard to get

Here is active recovery in TD finishing w/ 5pm pick up of Keira at Little Rascals — this is the flattest ride from my house that actually goes anywhere wtf

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/30647715?sms_ss=email

Damn I Fixed It

Many phone calls, e-mails and software updates later . . . power set up is fixed . . . no more 64k watts . . . am mortal, perhaps less than. My experience is *the standard* for setting up power — if the $$ don’t scare away the average cyclist the other implementation barriers will . . . industry needs plug and play to bring power to masses once you have it like crack but just so hard to get.

Here is active recovery in TD finishing w/ 5pm pick up of Keira at Little Rascals — this is the flattest ride from my house that actually goes anywhere.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/30647715?sms_ss=email

64k watts — Thanks Garmin!

Check it 64k max watts call Johan! Garmin software = garbage . . . have been updating their crap across firmware, connect and TC and regressing to ie7 for connect . . . stoked though i am getting there

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/30494424?sms_ss=email&sms_ss=email


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