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| | |-+  06.14.09 Matterhorn Pk, E. Couloir
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Author Topic: 06.14.09 Matterhorn Pk, E. Couloir  (Read 3571 times)
kam
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06.14.09 Matterhorn Pk, E. Couloir
« on: 06/16/09, 02:04 AM »

Matterhorn Peak in the Sierra Nevada was named after the Matterhorn in the Alps. When you first see it, it's obvious how it got its name.  Matterhorn Peak (12,264 ft.) is the highest peak in the Sawtooth Ridge, a craggy ridgeline that is visible from the small town of Bridgeport.  Bridgeport is about 80 miles south of Carson City on 395.




My friend Andrew from Australia was visiting me for one month.  Allyson and I decided to take Andrew out for a pleasant walk in the mountains – just a nice walk to show him around, nothing fancy.  Our first plan was Tioga Pass, but after thumbing through John Moynier’s book, a few photos of the peaks in Sawtooth Ridge caught my attention.  Besides, the drive was a bit shorter from Reno compared to Tioga Pass and we could camp at Twin Lakes.

What do you mean you didn’t bring skis?
Andrew does not ski so we were not planning on skiing, but because of separation anxiety I packed skis anyway.  You know, one can use skis for other purposes, like as a tent pole.  We left Reno on Sat. at 2:15 pm and after a handful of stops for food, espresso, saline solution, etc., we finally arrived at the end of Twin Lakes to find a giant RV resort.  What the?  “You want me to pay how much to car-camp and park here?”  And so we camped for the night.


"What do you mean you didn't bring skis?"  Andrew and Allyson.  Horse Creek drainage behind them.


Just before setting out at 10 am the next morning, I decided to pack my skis for the exercise.  Allyson and I Andrew made the smarter choice by going light and keeping it simple.  We followed the trail from the RV park at the end of the lake up Horse Creek.  After 2200 vf., I found enough snow to help take the weight off my back.  From there we made our way to the base of Matterhorn Peak.  The surrounding view of Sawtooth Ridge was impressive, very craggy and similar to some places in the Cascades.  Andrew and Allyson agreed to wait at the base of Matterhorn Peak while I booted up and skied the East Couloir.  The couloir held good snow, and the snow was supportive enough that I did not have to use crampons.  The steepest part felt like the mid-section. 



About 70 minutes later I joined them and we made our way back down.  The rest of the ski was on good smooth corn, definity worth the exercise.  Finally, the best part of the day came at the end: a relaxing stroll through the RV neighborhood back to the car,


"What do you mean you have skis?"

« Last Edit: 06/16/09, 02:11 AM by kam » Logged

What do you mean you didn't bring skis?
skimac
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Re: 06.14.09 Matterhorn Pk, E. Couloir
« Reply #1 on: 06/16/09, 05:26 AM »

Thanks for the TR from the South. I spent many years in June Lake and love to see these reports looks like a fun trip.
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ron j
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Re: 06.14.09 Matterhorn Pk, E. Couloir
« Reply #2 on: 06/16/09, 06:20 AM »

Nice work, Kamster.
We miss you, Ally.
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"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
Zap
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Re: 06.14.09 Matterhorn Pk, E. Couloir
« Reply #3 on: 06/16/09, 10:20 AM »

Sawtooth Ridge is a spectacular sight while soaking in Travertine hot springs with a "cold one" as the sun sets.  Wink

Did you stop at Buckeye or Travertine hot springs ?
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kath
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Re: 06.14.09 Matterhorn Pk, E. Couloir
« Reply #4 on: 06/16/09, 12:01 PM »

cool .. there's a great story about climbing the matterhorn by gary snyder .. one of his haunts back in the day .. and has always interested me ... skiing it is a new concept  Smiley

yeah dj ... dharma bums .. that must've been it .. thx for jogging my memory .. it's been a while .. i went thru most of jk's books one winter
« Last Edit: 06/17/09, 09:39 AM by kath » Logged
DG
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Re: 06.14.09 Matterhorn Pk, E. Couloir
« Reply #5 on: 06/16/09, 12:32 PM »

Funny, we just read that story last weekend while camped out and waiting for the weather to clear.  It's in the Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac.  Gary Snyder (under the pseudonym Japhy Ryder) scrambles up to the top of the Matterhorn, while Kerouac perches halfway up, paralyzed by the altitude and steepness, until he is revitalized when Snyder comes bounding back down the scree in large leaps, exclaiming that "you can't fall of the mountain!"  Not sure of the route, but I think the E. Couloir may be the main summer climbing route?  Thanks for the ski report!
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Robyn
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Re: 06.14.09 Matterhorn Pk, E. Couloir
« Reply #6 on: 06/16/09, 12:34 PM »

Very cool! How much longer do you think it will be possible to ski that line? I'm heading back down in the Tahoe direction tomorrow, and may be looking for something fun to ski in the Sierra shortly after...

P.S. I live in Kings Beach, so if you guys are in Reno we should definitely go skiing sometime. I'm still looking for partners down there who think that skis are a necessary piece of climbing equipment more or less year-round  Cool
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"We don't stop playing because we grow older. We grow older because we stop playing."
allyson
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Re: 06.14.09 Matterhorn Pk, E. Couloir
« Reply #7 on: 06/16/09, 09:12 PM »

fun day all around!  but i will say this: glissading is no where near as fun as skiing.  what do i mean i didn't bring skis??  exactly.   Roll Eyes
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snowshoe?? why would you??
kam
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Re: 06.14.09 Matterhorn Pk, E. Couloir
« Reply #8 on: 06/17/09, 01:15 AM »

Ron: We missed you too.  Ally and I will be in your area for two weeks in August.  I might bring my skis Smiley.  Hope to run into you!

Zap: I wish we knew about the Buckeye or the Travertine hot springs....  Next time we'll stop for sure.

Robyn: You can probably ski it for a few more weeks, but the upper section is starting to show rocks.  There are more good lines in the area if you don't mind a short hike.  The snow was brillantly smooth and silky up high.

PM us sometime and we'll be happy to make some turns together.
« Last Edit: 06/17/09, 01:19 AM by kam » Logged

What do you mean you didn't bring skis?
ron j
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Re: 06.14.09 Matterhorn Pk, E. Couloir
« Reply #9 on: 06/17/09, 06:24 AM »

Ron: We missed you too.  Ally and I will be in your area for two weeks in August.  I might bring my skis Smiley.  Hope to run into you!

That'd be cool.
The Slush Cup might be ready for you about then!! Bring your bathing suits!!
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"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." - Niels Bohr
"If a given person makes it a priority not to die in an avalanche, he or she stands a very good chance of living a long, happy life in the mountains." - Jill Fredston
JimH
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Re: 06.14.09 Matterhorn Pk, E. Couloir
« Reply #10 on: 06/17/09, 07:13 AM »

That one's a classic. Nice work.

The reaction of the Fishermen and campers by the TH is always the same too, no matter how long this route has been a 'classic.' Part of the traditional experience I guess. So is hitting Buckeye hot springs on the way out.

So where are the rest of your Eastside TRs? Basin Peak? Mt Tom? C'mon, we need your well crafted TRs to inspire a few more trips to the south.


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