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5th Great Traverse Proposal

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5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby stevevets689 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:00 pm

As a climber who has at least completed the Little Bear-Blanca traverse, I propose that we add a 5th Great Traverse.

This route is, of course, the Mt. Harvard to Mt. Columbia traverse, and I don't even care if you actually do the ridge or traverse lower. This route took my girlfriend and I more than 5 hours to get from one peak to the other. The house-sized boulders and committing nature of the route makes it into a very grand proposition indeed.

It's not like we're slow, either. We started at 4:00AM from a camp near the turn-off to Columbia's standard route and were on Harvard's summit before 7. With good weather and energy, we started on the traverse. Hours later, we found ourselves descending Columbia in a thunder/hail storm. I felt my eyebrows stand up moments before a lightning strike.

Obviously, I jest about this actually being a grand traverse, but I wish to warn any soul who might look down on this route as "just a class 2 peak-to-peak hike" that it's really an adventure. I can at least say that I was much more afraid for my life on this route than I was on LB-Blanca.
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Re: 5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby sgladbach » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:11 pm

stevevets689 wrote: This route took my girlfriend and I more than 5 hours to get from one peak to the other.


What did you stop to do along the way? :wink: That may be your problem.

Steve (spelled forwards!)
"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: 5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby Doctor No » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:14 pm

It's a long one, alright - we had to drop down into the lower bowl because of ice/snow, and ended up missing Columbia by 150 vertical feet due to incoming weather. Sigh.

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Re: 5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby shelly o » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:57 pm

I think that by "Mt. Columbia," you actually meant "Bastard Peak" [-(

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Re: 5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:00 pm

I'm glad we're not the only ones that took 5 hours on that traverse. I still don't know where the time went, we must have fallen asleep during lunch.
Climbing at altitude is like hitting your head against a brick wall — it's great when you stop. -- Chris Darwin

Re: 5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby Bean » Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:01 pm

How is Capitol-Snowmass not on the list?
"There are no hard 14ers, but some are easier than others." - Scott P
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Re: 5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:03 pm

Because almost nobody does it. There's also Massive-Shavano (i.e. Nolan's 14), which at least has had a number of documented finishers.
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Re: 5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby TravelingMatt » Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:58 pm

shelly o wrote:I think that by "Mt. Columbia," you actually meant "Bastard Peak" [-(


Yeah, I believe one requirement for a "great 14er traverse" is that both peaks be nonsucky.
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Re: 5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby stevevets689 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:23 pm

TravelingMatt wrote:
shelly o wrote:I think that by "Mt. Columbia," you actually meant "Bastard Peak" [-(


Yeah, I believe one requirement for a "great 14er traverse" is that both peaks be nonsucky.

Good point.
Oh and shello o, how are things in Toronto? :P
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Re: 5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby shelly o » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:31 pm

TravelingMatt wrote:
shelly o wrote:I think that by "Mt. Columbia," you actually meant "Bastard Peak" [-(


Yeah, I believe one requirement for a "great 14er traverse" is that both peaks be nonsucky.


Indeed. Harvard is a lovely little excursion. Columbia is a big pile of rock vomit.

And Toronto is great, stevevets689! Ha, you caught me.

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Re: 5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby ajkagy » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:31 pm

Bean wrote:How is Capitol-Snowmass not on the list?


mad props to anybody that can complete both the summits of capital/snowmass while staying on the whole ridge proper in a day...i bet this has only been done a handful of times

Re: 5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby SnowAlien » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:34 pm

Someone recently explained to me that for the traverse to be named "great", the easiest route across has to be at least class 3. Columbia -Harvard do not fit the description. Otherwise, a fine route indeed.

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