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Little Bear - SW Ridge - Sunday 12-12 ?

Need a climbing partner? Trying to form a hiking group for an outing?
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Little Bear - SW Ridge - Sunday 12-12 ?

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:39 pm

I'd like to get LB via the SW ridge this month, and would love to have some company.

Sunday may be ok as far as weather. Will need to check forecast daily, as this is not one to be on in wind. Also, if this is fair, hoping to find a a strong partner as it's a fairly arduous route. Fifth class skills also a plus. There is no fifth class in summer, but I'd like to have the option to rope up for two little spots on the SLB-LB ridge, if they're icey. Preliminary reports and personal observation suggest there should be fairly low snow right now, but there is no way to know the ice factor till there.

Please post or pm if interested.

Thanks,


Jim

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Re: Little Bear - SW Ridge - Sunday 12-12 ?

Postby FCSquid » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:33 pm

Be careful on that bad boy. My palms still get sweaty thinking back at the SLB-LB traverse (and you get to do it twice!).

That route reminds me of what it's like when you approach K2. It's nice, pleasant Class 2/3 hiking that instantly converts to 1,000 foot drops as soon as you turn the corner. Winter climbing that route would be beyond my abilities, for sure.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
-Benjamin Franklin

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Re: Little Bear - SW Ridge - Sunday 12-12 ?

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:50 pm

FCSquid wrote:Be careful on that bad boy. My palms still get sweaty thinking back at the SLB-LB traverse (and you get to do it twice!).

That route reminds me of what it's like when you approach K2. It's nice, pleasant Class 2/3 hiking that instantly converts to 1,000 foot drops as soon as you turn the corner. Winter climbing that route would be beyond my abilities, for sure.


Thanks; appreciate the concern. If it's covered in snow and ice, may be beyond my limits as well.

However, we were in the area three weeks ago, and things were pretty dry. A friend just sent a photo of the east side of the SLB-LB traverse, still looks good. Might get as far as the SLB summit before I whimper and tuck tail, but it's worth a look, given current conditions - as long as the winds stay out of the forecast.

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Re: Little Bear - SW Ridge - Sunday 12-12 ?

Postby FCSquid » Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:49 am

Dancesatmoonrise wrote:However, we were in the area three weeks ago, and things were pretty dry. A friend just sent a photo of the east side of the SLB-LB traverse, still looks good. Might get as far as the SLB summit before I whimper and tuck tail, but it's worth a look, given current conditions - as long as the winds stay out of the forecast.


The southwest ridge was one of the longest, hardest, most miserable approaches I've ever made to any summit. I couldn't imagine how demoralizing it'd be to get to the south summit and turn around given the level of effort required just to get that far. The west face conditions are what you really want to focus on (and you'll get an excellent view as you approach the trailhead). The vast majority of the traverse is done on the west side of the summit ridge with only one brief foray onto the east side.

I tried as best as I could to document the traverse route in my TR, so hopefully it provides valuable info for you to prep for the climb: http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=8565&parmuser=FCSquid&cpgm=tripuser. If conditions allow you to get past the initial downclimb from South Little Bear and catch the ridge that passes north, you'd probably be in good shape to make the summit. Good luck, be safe!
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
-Benjamin Franklin

Re: Little Bear - SW Ridge - Sunday 12-12 ?

Postby LynnKH » Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:41 pm

I would LOVE to seek revenge on Little Bear SW Ridge. I attempted over the summer and had to turn around more than half way across the traverse due to weather.

But with that said I'm not sure I would be up for it on Sunday. Ice or snow would make me pretty nervous on that route, and like FCSquid mentioned, it's actually the west face conditions you have to be concerned about. Plus, I'll be honest, I haven't hiked in about three months and I'm sure I'm not as strong as I was over the summer.

PM if you need directions to the trailhead. I know at some point someone posted directions based on road signs, but those signs have since been taken down. I don't recommend getting lost, especially in the dark, in that area.

good luck!

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Re: Little Bear - SW Ridge - Sunday 12-12 ?

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:26 am

"...I thought you brought the rope."

:shock:



Image
Matt Strauser on South Little Bear summit, December 12, 2010.

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Re: Little Bear - SW Ridge - Sunday 12-12 ?

Postby tmathews » Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:34 am

Dancesatmoonrise wrote:"...I thought you brought the rope."

:shock:

Matt Strauser on South Little Bear summit, December 12, 2010.


Nice, Jim! Did you traverse over to LB?

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Re: Little Bear - SW Ridge - Sunday 12-12 ?

Postby randalmartin » Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:58 am

Very nice Jim! =D> =D> I am looking forward to that trip report. :D

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Re: Little Bear - SW Ridge - Sunday 12-12 ?

Postby Johnson » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:28 am

:shock:
In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. - Psalm 95:4

"I would be doing myself a disservice and every member of this band if I didn't perform the hell out of this." - Gene

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Re: Little Bear - SW Ridge - Sunday 12-12 ?

Postby sgladbach » Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:42 am

Well, we know the San Juans and the Sangre de Christos had poor visibility and ice. I know there were nine on Yale with most or all summiting, but I haven't heard about the conditions.Was there any pleasant place to be climbing that day?

Congatulations on some tough scrambling in poor conditions; glad you used your heads.

Is South Little Bear the peak that climbers were calling "Mama Bear" before Roach got a hold of it?
"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?

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Re: Little Bear - SW Ridge - Sunday 12-12 ?

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:58 pm

Terry, can I keep you in suspense till the TR comes out? :lol:

Randy, thanks!

Barry, I couldn't agree more. :shock:

Steve, Mama was good to us. Turns out we actually had a rope and rack. We had a great time. Conditions were really very good except for the winds. More to follow...hope to get a TR out this week.


Jim

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Re: Little Bear - SW Ridge - Sunday 12-12 ?

Postby globreal » Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:28 pm

Holy cow! You did it...didn't you? You dog you. Can't believe it! Bring on the TR. And be honest on the difficulty. (I want to learn about that route to SLB.)

So glad to hear you are back and safe. Way to go.
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die."
~John 11:25

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