Monday, July 10, 2017

Emmons-Winthrop over the July 4th Weekend

Climbing on the Emmons is still holding strong.  Little has changed on the route since the last post.  This being said, the bridges are becoming wider and thinner with the warm weather.  The crack that spans the alpine meadow at 12,400' is becoming slightly offset and difficult to cross.  Don't be afraid to bump out of the boot pack and find a better way around a feature.  Most of the time this is a wise maneuver, because the previous climbers may have climbed days prior when the span was much smaller.  If you are presented with a crevasse feature, do your best to avoid crossing it where there is a visibly thin bridge.  Instead, try to end run the feature and cross it where it appears to be safer.

Glissade track in the Corridor
The climbing on the Emmons is still fairly direct, and the traverse under the shrund to Liberty saddle is unnecessary.  The safer and easier option is climbing directly up to Columbia Crest from the top of the Alpine Meadow.

Now for a note on descending.  With the warm weather, snow conditions become very sloppy by mid day.  Note that while you are descending to Camp Schurman, you are in glacial terrain the entire way.  this means there are visible and non-visible crevasses present.  Resist the urge to rest your tired legs, sit down in the snow and glissade.  This is VERY Dangerous!  If you are unable to arrest your slide, there is a very high likelihood of sliding over a serac or into a crevasse.

Lastly, please remember that when you are climbing up to Camp Schurman, and Descending from Camp Schurman via the Emmons, please rope up until you hit camp Curtis.  This zone is glaciated and there are crevasses present.  It may seem like a benign zone and it may be a pain to dig out your glacier gear and throw the rope on, but it is no different than the Emmons Glacier above Camp Schurman, So please rope up for this

On a happier note, the climbing has been incredible and the weather, splitter.  We look forward to seeing you up on the mountain.  Safe Climbing!