Tuesday, August 26, 2008

eluding the t-storms

Why is it that every weekend Jascha is in town the clouds roll in? With the crappy weather this summer I have to continually remind myself that I live at the base of the Sierra now, not the Front Range. Two weekends ago was no exception. 20% chance of t-storms for the prior few days had translated reliably into afternoon showers over the mountains, sometimes spreading over the Owens Valley.

Saturday we entertained ourselves by
bouldering in the Buttermilks. My hardcore boulderer housemates were appalled by our ability to boulder in the middle of summer, but the cloudy skies provided a respite from the heat in addition to a few drops of rain. It also helps when you aren't good enough to work V12 problems or anything remotely close in grade.

After a small amount of deliberation we decided to do a shortish peak on Sunday. Even though we had done it earlier in the year Hurd seemed like a good option given its short approach and multitude of ascent options.

As we turned
off of the Treasure Lake trail for the willow bushwhack we started scoping out potential routes. The slabs on the NW side just to the left of the prominent dihedral looked interesting and there appeared to be a bailout chute to the right in case things got too dicey. Our initial plan was to get up to the start of the slabs and make sure we weren't in over our heads.

As we approached the base of the slabs we notice that they weren't as smooth as they appeared from a distance. The surface was riddled with cracks and edges. There was also an escape option of pulling over the dihedral. We decided to take the plunge and headed up. The featured face continued for the majority of the route with a few very short more challenging sections.

Once on top we cruised over the various false summits, enjoying various boulder problems along the way. Amazingly the active t-storm cell remained to the northwest of us the entire time.

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