Sunday, August 30, 2009

Matthes Crest

Hi There-
Last Wednesday Jed and I decided to tick off one more High Sierra Classic. Matthes Crest is hidden in the Tuolumne backcountry in Yosemite National Park and you don't even catch a glimpse of it until you are about 6 miles out. A geological oddity, Matthes Crest is a mile long fin of knife edge golden granite and climbing it consists of literally just following the crest and not looking down! The photos pretty much speak for themselves, but I will say a couple of things, it was one of the first climbs we've done helmet-less which was surprisingly liberating (we wear helmets primarily for fear of falling rock but when you are on top of the mountain all day there isn't much to worry about). Jeds helmet is beginning to stink after a summers guiding season and my neck hurt from headbanging the night before so a helmetless traverse suited us. What else, oh yeah, Jed had the camera most of the time and I had the cool glasses so appologies in advance for all the photos of yours truly. Enjoy!

JMT Speed Attempt!

My friend Jeff Kozak is currently trying to do a speed record on the JMT and I spent the weekend helping him out. I ran over Lamarck Col and camped out and then ran with his for 14 miles to meet up with another friend. I wrote a little snippet on the Sage to Summit blog- check it out!
Jeff is running 222 miles in sub four days. I ran 26 yesterday and will spend the whole day recovering!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Dragtooth!!

Jed and I have now been living together in the Sierra for almost 2 years and are pretty psyched to say that we've done a lot of alpine climbing in that time. We've done most of the Supertopo routes and are making a pretty good chunk in Peters book. So occasionally we get a wild hair up our asses and decide to do something different. In this case it was the Dragway route on Dragtooth Peak found in the Sawtooth Mountains outside of Bridgeport, referenced from the Secor book. One of the things that made this route hugely different than any other routes we've done is the fact that we couldn't find anything about it online. Nothing- not on supertopo, summit post, etc. In this day in age, that is just weird if not a bit frightening.

So we went for it! 5.10 OW, 5 pitches, with a topo that was basically on scratched line on a page. And let me tell you- this is one of the very best routes I have done in the Sierra. It is unbeleivable that no one goes up there. The first pitch was a little goofy with pretty cool chimneys and wide cracks seperated by rocky, sandy ledges. The second pitch went up a great 5.7 crack to a flake. The third pitch was where it really started getting good. 5.9 hands to fists with secret holds inside the ever widening crack. Two shitty bolts mark the end of the pitch. Jed led the next pitch which was the 5.10 OW section. This was the tamest 5.10 OW I persoanlly have been on in the mountains and where it wasn't tame is was sexy as hell (except of course for the terrifyingly big and barely attached, perched slab of granite). The final pitch ascended a vertical face with a perfect fingers to hands crack that topped out on the sweet exposed ridge of the famed sawtooth traverse.

About a 1/4 mile of ridgeline brought us to the final 4th class gully which got us the heck out of there. The summit register of the Dragtooth is a cool rusty old can with a couple scraps of papers. I think the names were Norman Clyde, Fred Beckey, and Jason Lakey.

Highly Recommended People!

Annie likes to run.

Last Sunday Karen Schwartz and I ran from South Lake to Big Pine. 14 miles and a trillion amazing views~ read about it on the Sage to Summit Blog. Enjoy!