Peak(s):  "Thunder Pyramid"  -  13,932 feet
Date Posted:  06/03/2019
Modified:  07/15/2019
Date Climbed:   05/31/2019
Author:  WildWanderer
 Racing the Sun  

#78 "Thunder Pyramid" 13,932

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RT Length: 11.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 4697’

I did a ton of research on this one, as I didn’t want to have to attempt it twice. I’d been watching the weather for the past few weeks for this peak, and now that the road was open into Maroon Bells I figured this would be my best chance of making this peak a snow climb this year. The night before the attempt I was re-reading previous conditions reports and someone mentioned they’d have liked to have had 2 ice picks for this peak. This seemed curious to me, but if someone’s going to give honest advice I was going to take it. The only problem: It was 6pm and I didn’t have a second ice axe. I gave it some thought, and a wild idea came into my head: I wonder if I could use a hammer? Probably not the best idea, but maybe just bring it along just in case? I went to the garage to find a hammer and found a very cheap adze hoe I’d bought at the dollar store last year. It had three prongs, was very lightweight, and I thought this looked even better than a hammer! I had no intention of relying on this as my only source of stability (I brought along my ice axe) but I thought I’d have it “just in case”. I got out some paracord and made a quick leash for it and attached a carabineer to it and put it in my pack, never intending to actually use it.

When I made it to the trailhead there were two other vehicles in the lot. I got my gear together and as I was ready to go I noticed a young man getting his gear ready, so I went over to talk with him to see which peak he was climbing. He was a bit surly (which I attributed to it being 2:30am) and he told me he and his friends were going to snowboard down Pyramid. I wished them luck, put on my helmet (so I wouldn’t forget to later) and was on my way.

I was surprised to find they’ve recently roped off Maroon Lake (on my way out I saw dozens of people step over the rope for pictures, so unless they have personnel there monitoring visitors I don’t think the ropes are going to make much of a difference).

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The trail was dry until I hit 9950’, about half a mile before Crater Lake. Luckily the snow was firm so I didn’t need to put on my snowshoes. Crater Lake was covered in recent avalanche debris, but even in the dark it was easy to navigate through.

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After Crater Lake the trail pretty much stopped: it didn’t look like anyone had been out hiking past Crater Lake yet this season. There was a thick layer of snow and what seemed like avalanches everywhere the trail was supposed to be, so I just worked my way through the willows and followed Maroon Creek as best I could. I postholed a bit in the camping area, but otherwise the snow was firm. It was about here I turned around and saw someone’s headlamp in the dark. It looked like someone as hiking North Maroon Peak this morning, and making good time. Cool!

I never saw the creek crossing as it was covered in snow, and in the dark I accidentally went too far and had to backtrack. When I made it back to the correct spot to ascend the first access gully I noticed an avalanche had occurred here as well. The good news is it makes it easier to see your entire route. Here’s the route I took up the first access gully.

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This was much steeper than it looked. At the base I put on my crampons and looked for a good route. Boy, was that steep! The snow was consolidated enough to need crampons, but the slope angle was so steep I couldn’t just walk up it either: I needed to kick in steps. I decided to take out that adze I’d brought with me and try it out. Kicking in steps was difficult because the snow was so hard. I’d kick about 15 times for each step.

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However, the adze was amazing! In fact, I liked it better than my ice pick. It wasn’t practical for self arresting, but those 3 prongs were great for traction! I had the adze in my left hand, and once in the snow it felt more secure than my right hand did holding my ice axe. Wow!

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It’s really important to pick your line from the base of the mountain because once you’re climbing the terrain is very steep and it’s hard to tell where the actual summit is. This is the route I took.

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From the top of the first access gully I needed to ascend a band of cliffs. This is the route I chose to take

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After the cliff bands there’s over 1500’ of gully to climb. This sounds straightforward enough, but the route was really, really steep. Added to that there were unavoidable frozen roller balls and avy debris littering the whole route.

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It wasn’t lost on me I was climbing up a slide area, but the entire mountain was a slide area. The debris on the mountain was actually helpful while upclimbing because it gave my feet stability (most of the time, when it wasn’t sliding out from underneath me). I knew I was climbing on a ticking time bomb: as soon as the sun warmed up the mountainside all this debris would become slush and slide (hopefully after I’d made it down). I tried to decide if it was safer to hike down the slide areas or on the firm snow on steeper terrain that looked like it was about to slide. I wasn’t sure?

Progress was very slow going. If I were to lose my balance and fall self arrest would be difficult at this angle, and I was going to slide a long, long way if that happened. So I couldn’t fall. I made sure each step was secure, having at least 3 points of contact at all times. This entire stretch required kicking in steps, often times on terrain that fought against me. Did I mention the adze? It was amazing!!! I didn’t care how silly I looked, I was so glad I’d chosen to bring it along.

I was in a race against the sun, and kept reevaluating my current situation. The snow was firm and I was making good (if slow) progress, but I told myself to stay out of harm's way I needed to make it to the top of the gully before the sun crested the saddle. If the sun made it before me, I was going to have to turn back for safety reasons.

Most of the trip reports I’d read said to take the right gully, but that wasn’t an option for me as the safer terrain today was to the left. I topped out of the gully at a small saddle between Point 13,820 and Thunder Pyramid. Here I stopped to catch my breath. I’d done it! I’d beaten the sun! Woot! It was now a quick 300’ or so climb to the summit. But was that really the summit? I took out my phone and pulled up Peakbagger. Yep, that was it: I needed to go right. I put my phone away, took off my crampons for the climb, crossed the saddle and sank up to my arms in soft snow.

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Drat! I seriously had to hurry! The sun was going to warm up the mountainside fast. Here’s the rest of the route

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Whoops, my camera was still covered in snow from that unexpected dip. Here’s a better picture of the route I took

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It looks steeper than it is. I’ve heard this is class 4-5, but I was able to keep it at class 3-4.

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I made it to the top, took a quick selfie (my gorillapod is still broken: another’s on its way so hopefully this DSLR-selfie thing can stop soon)

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And booked it back to the saddle. Pyramid is looking wonderful this morning

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As are the bells

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The sun was heating things up fast but Thunder Pyramid was still (mostly) in shadows

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I put my crampons back on, grabbed my ‘tools’, and began descending. I descended a little more to the right than I’d summited, with the intention of climbing the smooth snow instead of the avy debris (which I was worried would fall). Solid line is how I summited, dotted line is how I descended. Neither was better than the other.

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I had to turn and face the mountain the entire way down, and wouldn’t you know it? Slick as snot. This side was no better, and probably worse.

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If anything, there seemed to be more avy debris here, none of it stable.

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I tried to avoid the areas that had recently slid because they were very, very slick. I was also happy to see some of my kicked in steps on the way back down!

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Evidence of wet slab avalanche

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Downclimbing was just as hard as climbing up, with the added anxiety of making it down (safely) before things started to slide. I made it to the top of the cliff bands and was finally able to turn around and walk down

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The snow was seriously starting to soften up fast. I kept increasing my speed until I made it to the cairn at the top of the first access gully. Here was where I could finally breathe a sigh of relief: I was out of the danger zone! I figured it was time for some self care: I reapplied sunscreen (knowing on my way down I’d already done some damage), took off my gloves (it was warm here!), exchanged my crampons for snowshoes, and looked back at the route I’d taken down the cliffs.

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I also took a picture of my ‘tools’. I was so thankful for the conditions report that suggested I bring 2 ice axes! The adze wasn’t an ice axe but it had proven extremely useful. I was glad to have had it with me.

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Just as I took this picture I heard a loud pop and then a crash that sounded like thunder. It startled me at first, until I realized one of the waterfalls had warmed up and dropped a bunch of ice down its chute. Then I heard it again, and again, and again. The entire basin had warmed up at the same time and was filled with icefall. I’d made it down in perfect time! Woot! I sat there and waited for the crashes to stop, just enjoying the experience while I was there.

But I wasn’t out of the woods yet. I’d thought I could descend via the avalanche area and skip going back down that steep access gully, but when I made it to the avalanche area it cliffed out

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Ugh! I had to backtrack up to the cairn and get out my tools one more time. The snow was very soft at this point, and I should have just glissaded down the access gully, but I didn’t want to take off my snowshoes (etc) so I turned and faced the cliff and descended in rapidly softening snow.

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After heading down I turned right (instead of left, the way I’d initially made my way in the dark) and was able to safely descend via the avalanche area. This will probably be the new route

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Here’s looking back on the route

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And now to head back down the basin to Maroon Lake.

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The willows were much easier to navigate in the daylight, but unfortunately I was postholing in the snow. There was avy debris hugging the base of the mountains, so I tried to stick to the creek as much as possible.

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Maroon Creek is beginning to thaw

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And the avalanche area covering Crater Lake didn’t look so intimidating in the daylight

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Oh, and you haven’t experienced spring snowshoeing in Colorado until you’ve snowshoed over avy debris. There’s no other experience like getting a pine branch stuck in your snowshoe. And don’t bother removing it: another one will take its place with your next step.

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It was really nice to hear all the birds chirping on my way out. After Crater Lake the crowds picked up and so did the slush. I was very thankful to have my snowshoes. Every tourist I passed commented on how ‘smart’ I’d been to bring them. Ha!

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The last part of the trail was over a path with just enough rocks to slow you down, but at least it was snow free.

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I started at 2:30am and made it back down at 1:30pm, making this an 11.5 mile hike/climb in 11 hours.

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Disclaimer: I’m NOT advocating the use of garden tools in place of proper mountaineering equipment. There are tons of reasons why this was a bad idea, but in the end it worked out well. The next day I went to REI to buy a second tool. I asked an employee for help, and she couldn’t recommend anything to me at the moment (apparently ice climbing gear isn’t in season in June). The only thing she could recommend was a second ice axe, exactly like the one I currently have (which I thought was overkill, too much weight, etc.). So I’m currently in the market for an ice pick for my left hand and keeping the adze in my pack until that happens. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Added photos as requested:


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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45


 Comments or Questions
d_baker

Climbing (w/crampons) technique
06/03/2019 13:54
I suggest learning some climbing technique with crampons so you don't have to expend so much energy kicking steps going up slopes. Peruse Freedom of the Hills or take a class.
Would also be useful to learn some options on how to carry and use your axe effectively for self belays.

Sounds like your garden tool came in handy and could have been used as a second (e.g., dagger position) with your primary being an ice axe.

Best of luck to you on future snow climbs!


WildWanderer

Thanks
06/03/2019 14:28
for the advice


SnowAlien

Congrats !
06/03/2019 15:24
Way to stick with it, it's hard one. TP looked very snowy from the Bells, and the avy debris is so impressive this year! We were down to the parking lot @1pm that day, maybe you saw us


mountainute
ice climbing
06/03/2019 23:28
Hey Laura,

I've been following your stories and endeavors for a while now - so first, my congrats on getting better and better.
You may want a shorter tool for a second tool or actually a hammer (something with a pick on one side and
a hammer head on the other side, costs typically less). The second tool can be 40-50cm, the first maybe 55-65. You could also use simply a very short ice axe for the second. They make tools where you can exchange the hammer head against a second adze or also the picks (cost more). Hammers can also be used to hammer in ice snarks. (i.e. protection).
Consider going w someone who has experience (or take a course) - as things get steeper you may not always be able to wing it.
Best wishes - mountainute


Kevin Baker

route
06/04/2019 06:07
Nice climb, Laura. I was wondering for the benefit of those prepping for this climb if you could post your track? It would be interesting to see where this branch of the white gully diverges from the main route. I messed up and went up that branch in 2009, hitting the ridge at the same spot. We ended up traversing over to the northwest face to a very loose chimney because we thought the ridge proper looked pretty hard. Looking back at Jason Halladay's Pyramid to Thunder TR, he described it as low 5th. The gully worked at 4th class, but we had to tread very lightly and test every hold. We were glad we didn't have to downclimb it!

Gully


WildWanderer

route
06/04/2019 10:42
Mountainute: Thanks for the info! I don't plan on getting into ice climbing, only when necessary, but that's good advice! At this point I just want to stay safe. I've turned around on peaks too many times to count this year.

Kevin: My routes are on Strava, but I have the free version, so I'm not sure how to share/use them (I can pull it up it to look closer but I'm not sure how to share/follow it again, so I just take a screenshot of what it gives me, posted above and below). There was a lot of snow below the small saddle, obscuring the exact terrain. I felt the rock was pretty solid about halfway up after this point. I've outlined my approximate route on a topo. The right side route never seemed obvious. I don't feel comfortable making my tracks public for liability reasons. Hope this helps!



Kevin Baker

track
06/04/2019 09:43
Laura, if you go to your track in Strava on a desktop, you can easily export the .gpx file under Actions and upload here. You could also more easily just post the Strava link here.


WildWanderer

Good Info
06/04/2019 10:42
Thanks for the help Kevin. I've never logged into Strava on a computer before, but was unable to find "actions" after a quick search. Give me a bit to try it out when I get home and I'll PM you later.


JQDivide

attempt it twice
06/05/2019 10:14
"as I didnât want to have to attempt it twice."

Laura,

Just as an FYI⦠based on your route, your report and your photos, there are a few people that believe you are mistaken about your summit of Thunder, and missed it, reaching another high point on the north ridge instead of the true summit.

I think this is a concern because of the history Dr. Jon, and the Capitol claim this winter. Just wanted to give you a heads up. If you have any more data, photos, gps, etc. that can prove the summit, it would relieve the doubters.


WildWanderer

Thank you for the heads up!
06/05/2019 10:51
What other high point on the north ridge would they be referring to? I have screenshots that I believe show I summited, but if I'm wrong or if it offends people that I won't share my GPX file I can take the information down.





RyGuy

Summit photos?
06/05/2019 11:32
Hello Laura,

Iâll go ahead and speak up. I certainly have some serious doubts that you reached the summit of Thunder Pyramid, and while you have posted screenshots of a track, it doesnât seem to line up very well with your summit selfie.

Do you have any other photos from the summit by chance?

-Ryan


WildWanderer

Nope
06/05/2019 12:38
Sorry, this is what Iâve got. Like I said before, if I was wrong and I didnât summit Iâll take the info down because I donât want to provide false information. However, I truly believe I summited.

Ryan, are you suggesting this isn't my track?!?!?


SnowAlien

Tracks
06/05/2019 11:49
To me looks like Laura did make the summit? I only did the ridge traverse from Pyramid to Thunder in summer conditions, but I don't recall the final bit to Thunder from the saddle to be too difficult. Of course it could be a totally different story with snow.


RyGuy

Summit photo accuracy
06/05/2019 23:55
Hello Laura,

I didnât suggest anything about your track in my comment above. I did mention that I have serious doubts that you reached the summit of Thunder Pyramid Peak as you claimed and specifically donât think that it matches with your track.

Before I address the picture you posted and why I have issue with it, I think itâs important to preface my response with a couple things.

First- some of the most important things in this community of hikers and climbers are trust, honesty and integrity. These things are also paramount to me as a person, and I will fight for them and confront anything that threatens them. From looking at your blog, you state in your about section that you value adventure, growth, courage, wisdom, integrity, accountability, and family. Of those, integrity and accountability stood out to me in relation to this Trip Report. So I hope you will keep that in mind in responding to me.

Second- You made it very clear some time ago you had the goal of doing all the 14ers solo, and now the Centennials. You have written detailed trip reports about most of your climbs and make it no secret you want to climb all the Centennials solo. Itâs a great goal and I commend you for going after it. However, when someone sets out on a very ambitious goal that is difficult to achieve, and then is very public with the goal and progress, you are going to get scrutinized. Why? Because you are attempting to not only match a feat accomplished only by a small group in this community, but then trying to set an even higher bar. So you are submitting yourself to be measured and compared with others here. Since that is the case, we need to measure everyone equally. This is where the integrity comes in. If you claim you have climbed a peak, you need to have climbed it completely. Plain and simple. This isnât me being a bully or anything of the sort. This is holding you accountable to your claims. I would do the same with my closest partners and know my partners would do the same for me.

So why donât I think you summited Thunder Pyramid?

You claim you âœmade it to the top, took a quick selfieâ¦And booked it back to the saddle.❠You also checked the box for Thunder Pyramid on your list. So I can only take that to mean you stood on the summit of Thunder Pyramid Peak.
Problem is, I can tell you clearly didnât reach the summit by looking at the picture you posted.


RyGuy

Summit photo accuracy part 2
06/05/2019 23:55
First- you can see a steep snowy slope clearly reflected in the left eye of your glasses. You wouldnât see that slope if you were on the summit of Thunder. You would only see the reflections of Keefe and Hunter Peaks plus the sky and horizon. So that alone tells me you arenât on the summit. But I suppose maybe itâs just an odd angle and I could be mistaken.

Second- When I looked at your photo, something looked off. Iâve stood on Thunder and that just didnât look right. I recall being able to see a lot more of the Colorado River valley behind the Bells. Now, my memory might be off, so I decided to go look at my own photos from last year to see if I could figure out why your photo seemed odd. Sure enough, I can see a lot more of the horizon in my photos. I took a quick look at several other photos from Trip Reports that have photos from the summit of Thunder. Those photos all looked virtually identical to mine in the angle at which the horizon appears to touch the west shoulder of Maroon Peak. Conveniently, that spot is almost exactly at the same apparent height of the prominent bump on Maroon Peakâs west ridge. Even a little change in elevation would make the horizon change its apparent position up or down since Maroon and Thunder are fairly close in elevation and location compared to the horizon. This is basically parallax, but in a vertical sense. Given how much less of the horizon is visible, and how much lower it appears against Maroonâs west shoulder, I would guess you are roughly 100-110 feet below the summit of Thunder Pyramid when you took that photo. Which would be just a bit above the saddle you said you topped out at. Iâd guess roughly 13,820â or so. It also would explain why I can see the steep snowy slope in your glasses. Now, me just guessing at numbers isnât really fair. So I wanted to confirm my thoughts with some science. Caltopo.com is a wonderful tool, and with it, you can select any point on a map, and then see the apparent view from that place. When I put the marker on the summit and compare the view with my summit photos or summit photos from other Trip Reports, they match very nicely. Especially where the horizon touches Maroon Peakâs shoulder. When I put the marker on the saddle where I think you were for that photo you claim is from the summit, I see an image that looks nearly identical to the view of the Bells in your claimed summit photo.


RyGuy

Summit photo accuracy part 3
10/27/2020 07:28
Below are 3 photos with markups to show visually what I just explained.

So that brings me back to the accountability, honesty and integrity.

Are you still claiming you successfully made it to the summit of Thunder Pyramid Peak at 13,932 feet?

-Ryan

WildWander claimed summit photo with markup showing the horizon:



(b)RyGuyâs summit photo from Thunder Pyramid last year with markups:



CalTopo.com view comparison of summit view vs ~13,820 on the north side of the summit:


WildWanderer

Yes
06/06/2019 06:44
I do value integrity and honesty. I donât doctor my reports or post false information. You are accusing me of doing just that. Iâm not convinced your photos prove anything except you spent a lot of time trying to make me look like a liar. Mine prove I summited.
I believe I summited the correct point and while you certainly spent a lot of time trying to âproveâ I lied about something, I did not. Iâm sorry you donât believe me, but my track proves I made it to the summit. This is the downside of hiking solo.

I also do not like confrontation or conflict. This is why I like to hike solo. I will respectfully take down this report later today, so I guess you win! Itâs unfortunate others will not benefit from my information, as I know itâs accurate, helpful, and that I indeed summited.


JQDivide

inconsistencies
07/16/2019 09:29
I think Ryan might have proved science wrong... that you can prove a negative: your photo is NOT from the summit.

The horizon line / parallax theory holds water, especially when you look at summit photos from other TRs.

Youâve been around this site long enough to know when people make claims, they get scrutinized. (Dr. Jon) Especially after your "I'm First" thread, that was a that mess. If you truly want to get credit for something these days, you have to prove it.

Iâd think Thunder would be a highlight of your climbing accomplishments, so you would want to make sure things were provable.

To paraphrase, DeNiro from "Ronin"⦠when there is doubt, there is none. An attorney will use inconsistencies to show doubt. Your TR has a lot of inconsistencies.
1. The Horizon line is obvious.
2. You almost always have a Summit Video in your TRs. Not for this one.
3. You almost always have a "Full" Summit photo in your TRs. Not for this one. You could have used your backpack or a rock instead of your "broken" tripod.
(Interesting that you had a full summit photo the next day on Bull Hill.)
4. You almost always have a link to your GPX track in your TRs. Not for this one.
A screen shot with vague detail of a GPX track only proves you were in the vicinity.
5. Have read many of your TRs, it seems you usually exaggerate or over rate climbing classes, Class 3 moves are Class 4, etc.
But for this one, you said the Class 5 route was a Class 3-4.

And if you think you can post TRs with vague summit information for Vestal, Dallas, Teakettle and Jagged, there will be no doubt you didnât summit those. Which brings up the question... do you have other TRs with vague info?

You can take down this TR, but everyone knows once something is online, it never dies. Maybe taking down the TR might be a good idea, since using garden tools isnât something others will truly "benefit" from. That discussion could be an entirely different thread.

So, yes, you will have to "attempt it twice" if you want to claim the summit. Because your photos and screen shot donât prove anything other than you were on the mountain.


WildWanderer

Reactivated
07/15/2019 18:01
At the request of JQDivide Iâve reactivated this post. I fully anticipate getting roasted by him and his hiking buddies. I will not be commenting.
https://wildwandererlmc.wordpress.com/2019/07/11/lifes-not-a-competition-i-hope-we-all-win/


d_baker

My experience has been wrecked
07/15/2019 20:34
My thunder has been stolen. My own personal experience on Thunder Pyramid is now tainted because *gasp* someone else may or may not have reached the summit as claimed. Oh shit. My checklist will never be the same. If I summit, and check it off the list, then damn it, everyone that checks it off had better reach the summit too, otherwise mine just doesn't seem as important anymore.
sigh....

I really don't care. I understand points made by JQ and even saw the same things. But, I don't care.
My summit experience really doesn't change, and the day I had with my two climbing partners remains intact.

And, I've seen video of a guy using tent stakes for a self belay on Lambs Slide.
I've climbed with plenty of people that back in the day they've used a rock for a spike to get across a short snow slope. Oh shit. I might have been part of that group on Hagerman to Snowmass Pk traverse. Hmmm....
So using a garden tool? I don't know, not the end of the world. And if it makes her feel safer, than so what. Looks silly? Maybe to a righteous mountaineer.
Hobnails seem pretty silly to me. Hemp rope on a belay?! damn.

Carry on. I just wanted to type stuff.


FireOnTheMountain

well shit
07/16/2019 14:30
if you gonna fabricate about summitting least make it a Himalayan peak like the real pros do


Broken Knee

Height
07/16/2019 15:00
If WildWanderer is extremely short, like maybe 3'10" and RyGuy is 7'10" tall, there's part of your parallax.


d_baker

never met RyGuy...
07/16/2019 19:16
...but I think he's midget. Not meaning to disrespect little people with that comment.


FireOnTheMountain

this is why you post summit photos like this
07/17/2019 13:10


Somewhat of a Prick

Congrats Abe
07/18/2019 08:43
On your K2 summit!


Wentzl

Refraction?
07/18/2019 14:49
Could this explain the shift in the horizon against the Maroon Bells ?

https://www.atoptics.co.uk/fz458.htm


RyGuy

Refraction
07/18/2019 18:14
Heya Wentzl-

Refraction certainly is a thing, but you need LONG distances (90 miles in your example) for that to happen, a plus an inversion layer. With Thunder Pyramid, it's only just over 2 miles away from Maroon Peak. So in this situation, it wouldn't be possible.

There are also other factors in this situation that tell me she certainly did not stand on Thunder Pyramid's summit. (Joel covered most of them pretty well above.)

Additionally, this isn't the first time she has done this, so there is a track record that doesn't work in her favor.

-Ryan


Wentzl

Refraction
07/19/2019 06:41
Not defending anything. Just a cool visual.


KC Aakhus
Superimposition
09/12/2019 19:14
Wow, stumbled upon this looking for a recent trip report to serve as typical "beta" for upcoming Thunder Pyramid opportunity.

Regardless of summit result, a nice outing, and report.

But, it's hard not to get at least a little bit sucked into RyGuy and JQDivide's analyses/critiques. (Who doesn't enjoy some amateur cyber-13er-forensics??)

So in that spirit, I'll merely point out that the blue, non-contoured tracklog (posted 06/04/2019 10:42) appears to have truncated/omitted the summit stretch that does get included in the contoured, red tracklog (posted 06/05/2019 10:51). Below is the former superimposed on the latter:


cnlevan

Sad
09/29/2019 15:09
It's not like a person wins an official trophy for summitting all of the centennials, so why the heck does everybody care so much?
I've been told time and time again to "hike your own hike" and if she didn't officially summit, who TF cares? She is only competing with herself here so honestly, whatever she did or didn't do, its on her. Sad to see so much effort wasted to try and discredit her efforts. And is disheartening to see this community (which I thought was super supportive and encouraging) becoming so nitpicky and snobbish.

I get the honesty and integrity thing and all, but geez guys.... seriously?

Summit or no... keep rocking it girl!


CORed
Refraction
10/01/2019 15:08
I hadn't seen this when it first came out, but I would like to respond regarding refraction /superior mirage. I am by no means an expert on the topic, but, IMO, atmospheric refraction is a plausible explanation for the small discrepancy in the apparent position of the horizon between Laura's summit photo and RyGuy's. Note that it would be the apparent position of the horizon that was altered, not the apparent position of North Maroon peak, which, as RyGuy noted, is likely too close to be affected greatly. In any case, I think the difference between the photos is mighty flimsy evidence on which to base an accusation of lying about reaching summit.



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