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5th Great Traverse Proposal

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5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby stevevets689 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:00 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 4:11 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 4:14 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 6:57 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 7:00 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.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of white blood cells.

Re: 5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby Bean » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:01 pm

How is Capitol-Snowmass not on the list?
gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

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Re: 5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:03 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 7:58 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.
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
-- Alexander Pope

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Re: 5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby stevevets689 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:23 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 9:31 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 9:31 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
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Re: 5th Great Traverse Proposal

Postby nkan02 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:34 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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