Forums TR Archive California Eastside 2.8.2008 Eastern Sierra – Hogback #4
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    525 Posts

    Hogback creek drainage to bowl below Tunnabora peak, Eastern Sierra, CA. 2.8.2008

    Im calling this one #4 because there are about 4 different drianages you can go up once you ascend the Hogback drainage to the area below Tunnabora. This is an amazing drainage but its very hard to get to and probably should have been an overnight trip. I think I left my sanity back at the TH. On the topo’s it looked pretty sweet and also looked like it had a clean ascent to Tunnabora’s peak. Unfortunately I got nowhere near the actual peak but it was a great adventure and now I have the route all dialed in.

    this place is right off the whitney portal rd.

    now thats an alpine start!

    still powder down low hiding in the trees. i had been this way once before so was familiar with the lower route, and planned to go slow till sunrise, when i would hit uncharted territory.

    it was pretty deep in some spots.

    that was where i was aiming – the area below those cliffs is the start of the 4th and northernmost drainage/bowl up that way. even though its hard to see there were lots of little terrain features, some thick brush, and steep sidehilling. all of my favorite elements 😉

    anyone up for a bushwhack? this stuff was thick! the snow was rotten. postholing to about waist deep, with thorns and briars lurking beneath the snow. it was fun. of course i looked for an alternate route but it was cliffs below and above. it seemed the only way to go was thru that brush!

    made it thru that stuff, finally almost there….

    finally the bottom of the route i had planned. at this point i was so stoked to be there! it was hard work and i felt like it was about to pay off big. the route to the right looked pretty alluring, will save that one for another time!

    skinning up the drainage it looked like the snow would be very good. the high cliff walls on both side of this drainage as well as the geography above i think helped to keep the sun and winds from destroying the fresh snow here.

    lower reaches of the drainage

    slowly making progress up – you can see the top of the route there on the left. really there is about 2500ft of mtn above that point but i never made it up there, maybe next time.

    you can see hogback creek rd way down there…

    i was pretty stoked to be looking into this bowl

    still some good powder up there…

    nearly 12 hrs later, way behind schedule and moving at a snails pace. i was planning to be back at the truck by this time, but after all that work it it was way too nice to turn around!

    this is not an ad for glasses but a cheesy self portriat.

    getting late almost turnaround time

    alabama hills

    this was the 1st of 4 amazing sunsets. every night the sky would light up like this.

    so in the end this was an amazing run but when i got to the bottom i was still about 2-3 hrs from my truck. also tex was coming from the south and bgnight from the north. we were planning to meet somewhere in the south for sat. it took me forever to get back to the road where i parked. on the way down i got really sick, threw up, killer headache, etc. finally i got back and drove down to lone pine. getting to the lower altitude was really helping and i finally met tex who was freaking about the local sherrifs, who were swarming around town like killer bees. day 2 is the armstrong canyon TR, days 3 and 4 will be forthcoming.

    aloha for now…

    753 Posts

    F2oh, you are a night stalking snow assasin man. Great TR and you rock the early or late (depending on perspetive) starts under cover of darkness. You trying to keep the crowds down? Keeping the scurvy out of your skin track? Got night vision goggles? This is not the first of your TR’s that began at F2oh-dark-thirty. Great pics, thanks for sharing.

    88 Posts

    Good job Dave! Man you get biz Z!!!
    love your TR’s

    2486 Posts

    Dave’s crazy. Always surfs at night. On occasion Dave will call up and want to know if I want to surf Swami’s.

    I dont get a lot of calls from people going surfing at 9pm. We dont have a shark problem…but for the life of me I dont know how you can surf when you cant see the face of a wave

    Dave is a Hellman 😈

    1514 Posts

    He seems to really enjoy a good ‘schwack, too. Nice job, Dave. What was your high point and elevation gain on this one?

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    525 Posts

    @sanfrantastico wrote:

    He seems to really enjoy a good ‘schwack, too. Nice job, Dave. What was your high point and elevation gain on this one?

    high point was just over 11k and tunnabora goes all the way to 13,5k so i still had a long way to go…. started round 6k ft so a little over 5k of gain, although total gain may be a bit more as some of the sidehilling required up then down, then back up again.

    mumbles you crack me up! yeah there is no sense wasting time just cuz its dark. sometimes in the sierra that is when you really should start due to wet slide danger or massive elevation gain (if you are planning to do it in a day) – as another member around here Swanny says “plenty of time for sleep when you are dead”

    capre diem – carpe nocturn.

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