Newman Peak

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We try a different route up Newman Peak.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Dave picked this peak and route, but I wasn't convinced it would go. Big Dan had climbed it from a different ridge, and I had studied it from Norton Peak (picture from that trip is on the right, with our ridge on the left and the summit on the right). From those sources, Newman Peak's north ridge looked sorta gnarly. Newman Peak

 

But it appeared to be an awesome ridge approach. I was in. That highpoint in the center is not our peak, but we would have to climb over it on our way out the ridge.

 

Trailhead

As we were getting ready, it was hard to ignore the snow plumes flying off the top of the Boulders.

Wind

We also noted a few signs of somewhat recent snow instability. If you can't see the slide in the upper left, click for a bigger version of the picture.

Avy

We thought about all that stuff, but agreed that if anyone was uncomfortable with conditions, we'd turn around.

With that, we were off, walking on the hard crust. After about an hour and 1000' of gain, we started postholing. Time to don the slowshoes.

Snowy ridge
Here we were perhaps 2000' above the valley floor. You can see the highway down there. Valley

Right at noon, we topped out onto the upper ridge. The wind was cranking (note the very-horizontal flag on this point), but the views were amazing.

We hopped off the lee side for some lunch and discussion. I wasn't feeling that great and had been suffering. I thought I should turn around, but encouraged Dave and John to carry on. After a bite to eat and some rest, I decided that the highpoint on the ridge, on the right here, wasn't that far off. So we were off again, all three.

Route

Although the near ridge didn't look bad at all, the summit, shown above by the red arrow, looked gnarly when zoomed in on the right.

But one bite at a time....

Peak

I slowly plodded my way out to the end of the ridge, and I'm glad I did. But that was the end for me... and it was going to be a loonnngggg way back to the car.

So we agreed on a firm turn-around time for the guys, John gave me the keys, and we parted ways. I was greatly disappointed to abort the adventure, but sometimes you have to know when to call it quits. Even so, I had gone about 4.5 miles and climbed to over 10,000'.

Ridge

I took my time going back down, greatly enjoying the views from the ridge top. I got back to the car at about 2:15 and did the math. If the boys went to the turn-around time, they'd arrive at the car at about 8pm. Hmmmm.

I read and napped, and finally at 7:15 the boys arrived. I'll let them tell their stories:

White Rock

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