Forum Index > Trip Reports > Sherpa and Argonaut, Aug 15-16, 2008
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Roald
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Roald
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PostTue Aug 19, 2008 9:33 am 
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Sherpa and the balanced rock
Sherpa and the balanced rock

This one was about the gear.  Or lack of gear, in our case.

Sherpa’s west ridge is supposed to be a moderate rock climb.  John Morrow left a voice message (thank you, John!) explaining that none of the pitches on Sherpa’s west ridge require many placements.  This is a good thing because here is the sum total of the gear between David, Russell, and me:
Classic protection, circa 1907
Classic protection, circa 1907
What the heck are these?
What the heck are these?

If these nuts look “classic” it is because they are as old as dirt.  David, the experienced climber in the group, chiseled these out of solid chunks of iron ore, with his teeth, in 1907.

On the way out of town someone had the bright idea that maybe we needed a few more pieces.  So we stopped at REI and stared through the locked glass door at flashy Black Diamond nuts and cams.  Suddenly I was 8 years old again and peering through Woolworth’s front window display of Matchbox cars.

“Let’s get that purple one.”  I like purple.

“And that hex thingy,” David added.  We have the lingo down.  We’re real climbers.

We ended up picking out three new pieces using the same method I used to pick out my Matchbox Mustang toy car in 1966:  They looked cool.  Just look at ‘em:

Newly-purchased gear!!
Newly-purchased gear!!
Complete set!!
Complete set!!

Thus armed to the teeth, we assaulted Sherpa’s west ridge.  The credit really goes to Russ, who styled the leads.  Who needs pro when you are with a pro?

(Aside:  Although our gear was sketchy for the west ridge, we had Cartman's, Yana's, and Matt’s detailed route description for the east ridge (thank you!).  So naturally, we went with the sketch and headed west.  huh.gif )

Approach to Sherpa
Approach to Sherpa
First pitches on Sherpa's west ridge
First pitches on Sherpa's west ridge
Looking down pitches 1 & 2
Looking down pitches 1 & 2
Russ dancing with the rock
Russ dancing with the rock
Sherpa glacier
Sherpa glacier

The climb was great, although I would rate the crux on the fourth pitch harder than 5.4.  (Do I hear “wimp?”)

Sherpa's summit area - the 4th pitch goes up the middle, left of the overhang
Sherpa's summit area - the 4th pitch goes up the middle, left of the overhang
Rock on Sherpa - we did not go that way
Rock on Sherpa - we did not go that way
Crux on Sherpa's fourth pitch
Crux on Sherpa's fourth pitch
Which is nuttier, Russ or the balanced rock?
Which is nuttier, Russ or the balanced rock?

The next day we headed up Argonaut.  John Morrow’s TR calls the scrambling on Argonaut “classic.”  Dicey’s TR calls it “tedious.”  “It’s all about attitude,” said Russ.  So true.  I said this over and over to myself on the tedious – I mean classic – descent.

Low in Argo's access gully
Low in Argo's access gully
Scrambly up Argonaut
Scrambly up Argonaut
Looking down the access gully
Looking down the access gully
Argo's summit cliff
Argo's summit cliff
Scrambling Argonaut's upper gully
Scrambling Argonaut's upper gully
Colchuk, Dragontail, Russ, and Little Annapurna, on Argonaut's summit
Colchuk, Dragontail, Russ, and Little Annapurna, on Argonaut's summit
Stuart drawfs Sherpa, from Argonaut
Stuart drawfs Sherpa, from Argonaut

From Argonaut we could see how the Jack Ridge fire had blown up.  That’s scary stuff.
Yikes - Jack Ridge fire
Yikes - Jack Ridge fire
Smoke obscures Cashmere Mountain
Smoke obscures Cashmere Mountain

Saturday night, the wind shifted and the smoke from the fire filled the Ingalls Creek valley, where we camped.  We quickly packed and hiked out, but were amazed to see so many day hikers walking into the smoke for the day.

All in all, Sherpa and Argonaut are terrific climbs with airy summits.  You can see why Stuart gets all the attention, however.  It loomed over us the whole trip.  It really is the monarch of the range.
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Mesahchie Mark
Really Useful Engine



Joined: 10 May 2005
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Mesahchie Mark
Really Useful Engine
PostTue Aug 19, 2008 9:38 am 
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Good stuff!  Which route exactly did you take for Argonaut?  It's on the to-do list...

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Cheers,

Mesahchie Mark
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dicey
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Joined: 11 May 2004
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dicey
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PostTue Aug 19, 2008 10:53 am 
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Very enjoyable TR.  Especially liked the method of picking out new gear lol.gif
Glad you enjoyed the tedious....ehem...I mean classic south route scramble on Argonaut.

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I'm not always sure I like being older but being less stupid has advantages.
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Yet
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PostTue Aug 19, 2008 11:09 am 
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Roald, I like your method of picking out new gear as well.

"Ooooh, that color looks great. I want it! What is it?"

Thanks for the excellent TR. smile.gif

Btw, did you know that there is a shirtless dude that keeps popping up in your photos?
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John Morrow
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John Morrow
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PostTue Aug 19, 2008 12:11 pm 
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dicey wrote:
Very enjoyable TR.  Especially liked the method of picking out new gear :lol:
Glad you enjoyed the tedious....ehem...I mean classic south route scramble on Argonaut.

Some Classics sure can be tedious!

J
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mntsun
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Joined: 08 Jul 2007
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mntsun
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PostTue Aug 19, 2008 12:54 pm 
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Great work and a terrific report, as always. It would have been fun to see you out there last weekend.

You are knocking out the harder ones with aplomb!
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Dayhike Mike
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Dayhike Mike
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PostTue Aug 19, 2008 1:38 pm 
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Great report! Love the sense of humor!

BTW - Russ looks a bit like a G.I. Joe action figure, all muscle-bound and shirtless like that.

--------------
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke
"Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment." -Solomon Short
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ActionBetty
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ActionBetty
Im a dirty hippie!
PostTue Aug 19, 2008 1:42 pm 
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picking out gear by color..are you getting in touch with your feminine side ? lol.gif

Nice TR

--------------
"If you're not living good, you gotta travel wide"...Bob Marley
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Roald
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Roald
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PostTue Aug 19, 2008 2:00 pm 
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ActionBetty wrote:
picking out gear by color..are you getting in touch with your feminine side ? lol.gif

Nice TR

Yes, AB, my wife would be so proud of me.  As long as I don't have to pick out the kitchen color.

And Yet, by God, you are right!  That shirtless dude was everywhere.  I couldn't get rid of him.  A couple years ago I could run him into the ground and leave him in the dust.  Now he hauls me up Sherpa.

But the joke's on him.  He probably thought he would meet some women out there. cool.gif   And all he got for company was me and his dad.

MM - we took the standard south route that is in Summit Routes, Peggy Goldman's book, and TRs by Dicey and Randy, among others.  We left the Ingalls creek trail and headed uphill right at the Fourth Creek trail, following Randy's route closer than others by staying high and left (west) until we were at about 6300'.  (Somehow we avoided virtually all of the bushwhacking!!  agree.gif) We then dropped into the main south gulley, filling up water bottles with the trickle still coming down the gulley.

The gulley swings to the east and below Argonaut's broad south-facing summit cliffs.  (Ignore the Summit Routes' direction to take a left fork in the access gulley.)  Follow the main gulley all the way until you see the narrow continuation that is pictured here:

Scrambling Argonaut's upper gully
Scrambling Argonaut's upper gully

At the top, turn left and pick your way to the summit (we went through the large tunnel right below the summit).

On the return, Dave kept pushing us to our right (west) as we thrashed down Argo's southern slopes.  This turned out well, as we popped out on the Ingalls Creek trail a couple hundred feet higher than at the Fourth Creek junction.
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Tazz
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Tazz
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PostTue Aug 19, 2008 2:08 pm 
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up.gif  good stuff !  the gear... too funny!
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wildernessed
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wildernessed
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PostTue Aug 19, 2008 2:55 pm 
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up.gif Good stuff ! My nuts are pink. clown.gif

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I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent_Gandhi
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Therussman
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Therussman
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PostTue Aug 19, 2008 8:55 pm 
Stuart Range
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Hey thanks for posting a TR ASS Man!!!

Like I was rambling to you on the phone, Sherpa turned out to be an all around, truly enjoyable day. The approach (with a climber's path), the large boulder scrambling, reaching the col, the rock climb.... all of it. It was simply an amazing day, all the way through.

Oh, and about that "dude" who keeps popping up in the photos...  WHO IS THAT???? Its strange because nearly all the photos I have from the trip have this crazy looking mountain Yeti wearing an orange blazer. I think we might need a shot gun on the next trip. You know, just for protection.

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Ultra violet light is good for you.
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Don
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Don
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PostWed Aug 20, 2008 8:08 am 
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Hilarious!  I love your humble and humorous approach to this TR - thanks for sharing!   up.gif   I've done Stuart, but neither Sherpa nor Argonaut.  Jealousy goes the other way too.  hockeygrin.gif

Thanks for the "gear link" Yana!
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Gregor
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Gregor
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PostThu Sep 23, 2010 10:50 pm 
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"The climb was great, although I would rate the crux on the fourth pitch harder than 5.4.  (Do I hear “wimp?”)"

i agree the last pitch is harder than 5.4. more like 5.7 or so.

its a great climb though, solid rock, really nice route.
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cartman
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cartman
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PostFri Sep 24, 2010 6:46 am 
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At least you didn't climb the tedious classic routes on both peaks.  Like we did.  huh.gif
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Sherpa and Argonaut, Aug 15-16, 2008
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