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October 2005 


Day Two -- Bear Creek Spire, NE Ridge



After a mellow Saturday on Cathedral Peak, Sunday's agenda was a bit more ambitious -- a dayhike of the classic NE Ridge of Bear Creek Spire.  While eating dinner at the Tioga Gas Mart, I had a fine stroke of luck when my Blackberry picked up an email from Eric O, Truckee resident and local climbing and skiing maven.  He wanted to join Joe and I on our run up BCS.  Perfect.  Plans were made to meet at Mosquito Flat by first light.  At the trailhead, I crawled into the back of the trusty wagon and called it a day. 

Joe and Eric were there as planned in the morning, and after a few pleasantries and nutella-slathered poptarts, we were off for the long but flat hike to the base of Bear Creek Spire.

Note:  clicking on any photograph will present a full screen version.

Heading out.  Joe and Eric at first light.  Bear Creek Spire in the center of the photo, looking quite a long ways away... 

Long Lake.  We stopped for awhile at Long Lake to just gaze and the incredible reflection of the peaks on the glassy surface.  Quite simply the most amazing lake reflection I've ever seen.

Got Talus?  After picking out various ski lines on the surrounding peaks, we finally hit Gem Lakes and then the endless talus slopes above.  We would be on talus for about the next 8 hours.  Oof!

Dade Lake.  The amazingly blue Dade Lake at the base of Bear Creek Spire.





Eric O.  Thank god we had Eric with us.  He kept us on route and calmed me down when I thought we were going to get cliffed out on at least ten separate ocassions :-)


(photo: J.Stewart). 



Starting up the NE Ridge.  Eric and Joe start up the ridge.  Class 2 boulders soon yield to consistent class 3 scrambling, which then leads to steep class 4, and even a little big of class 5 (this route is a classic old Sierra sandbag in my opinion). 


Il Duomo?  Right near the first tower, there are some really cool rock features along the ridge.  The straiations in the rock reminded me of the Duomo in Sienna. 


Resting.  Eric O waits for the other two slowpokes.  The pointy summit of Mt. Dade in the background. 


Getting harder.  Joe steps around a gendarme about halfway up the ridge.  The exposure here is getting more serious, but the views are getting better too. 




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