Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eastern Sierras

The all quartz corridor leading to the summit
              After spending so much time in Yosemite valley, it is a refreshing change to come over to the nearby Sierras. Much higher in elevation, the sierras are home to spectacular alpine climbing in cool temperatures. You won't find crowds over here as the approaches to the classics can take multiple hours. Basing myself from the small ski town of Mammoth provides great access to much of the regions climbing. Yesterday we got acquainted with the area by climbing crystal crag. The route was easy and wandery with a lot of loose rock, but the views were amazing and its a nice way to get yourself back into this particular style of climbing. This route gets it's name from the unbelievable amount of pure white quartz that makes up the summit. Its really strange to climb pure quartz like this as I have never experienced it any where else. Therefore I didn't really know its friction properties. It didn't much matter though because the climbing was extremely moderate. All along the route and at the base you find hand to boulder size chunks of quartz that look like snow; its really cool. 
Colleen with Mammoth lakes down below

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