Tuesday, September 6, 2011

9-4-2011 White Pine to Lone Peak

Went out for a little WURL recon.  Up White Pine to the Pfeiff, out the ridge to S. Thunder, Big Horn, Lone Peak, down to the "notch" and then out Bells.  
A dry NW couloir of the Pfeifferhorn
Getting to South Thunder took a bit longer than expected.  It was a little over an hour from the top of the Pfeiff.  From there it's relatively easy to get up Bighorn.  Finding the way off  Bighorn and onto Lone was a bit of a search.  There are two carains marking a gully that heads SW off the summit ridge of Bighorn.  I heard that was the easiest way off the peak, definitely isn't.  After a bit of down climbing I felt it was a little above my on-sight, down-climb solo comfort level.  I turned around at a sand covered slab right above a pretty good drop off.  I'm guessing it could be down climbed but it looked less than ideal.  After that detour, I headed back to the ridge with hopes of following it out towards Lone.  That's the way to do it.  All you have to do is bounce back and forth from the south side of the ridge to the north side following the path of least resistance, backtracking when needed.  No moves were harder than 4th or very easy 5th class. 
A few moves before I aborted the gully
Once onto the shoulder of Lone it's not hard to find the way up.  The summit ridge that leads down to the "notch" was easier than expected as was entering the notch.  The gully down into Bells was loose but easy with a fair amount of hard snow in it.  The Bells exit was overgrown, not too bad though.  6:56 total time was a steady pace but not fast.  The WURL is BIG.

Climbers on the Center Thumb, look hard
Question Mark Wall

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