Does anyone know whether you can ski the west chute of Williamson all the way from the top down into williamson bowl? I'm having a hard time finding any pictures of this route with snow on it, and I'm debating whether to tag both Tyndall and Williamson in the same trip.
Also, I found this picture in another forum, and I'm assuming this chute is SE facing. Can you get to it easily going up N. Fork Bairs and dropping to its base off the summit plateau?
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:11 pm Posts: 125 Location: Los Angeles, CA
Once you are over Shepherd Pass, the easiest way to tag both Tyndall and Williamson would be to hit the west face of Williamson (Bolton Brown route), ski down that, head over to camp next to the lake at ~13000' near the base of Tyndall's north face, skin up that in the morning, descent, head over to the top of the Superbowl, descend to Mahogany Flats, then hump it out. Minimum 3 days unless you are a beast. If you are a monster maybe 2 days for both. One or the other could go down in a day (the Mammoth Mountaineering crew has pulled off Big Willy in a day) but not both.
According to Dave Braun you can ski down the west face of Williamson to Williamson Lakes, but that's Dave Braun. I have no idea if a mortal can do so, nor what the snow conditions are like on the west face right now.
My experience is that you can make it to Shepherd Pass in a day (and beyond, if you push hard) from the Symmes Creek trailhead, though you may want to camp elsewhere if it is windy (and it will get really, really windy on the crest if a storm is coming). Getting to the base of Williamson or Tyndall from Shep's Pass is at most a couple hours. I've been stormed off of Tyndall once, and underestimated the time to get over Shep's Pass on a previous attempt, but I intend to bag at least Tyndall (and more likely, both, in a 3-day weekend) before the season is out.
It is a long, long slog to get up there. Don't underestimate it.
Nice pics on your links. I gotta say, I love this self-belay downclimbing technique:
Looks a little steep.
So where is this Giant's Steps couloir in relation to the west chute that you climbed up?
That's Dave Braun demonstrating his technique. When I told him I posted pictures online, he asked me not to disclose details of how to get the Giant's Steps. Out of respect for his request, I'll have to refrain.
I will say this, as big as the North Face is, it is relatively easy to find the main North Face coulouirs once you are there; provided you studied the North face while on approach up Shepherd's pass. You get a good view of the North Face from Symmes Saddle. That's a good location to get familiar with the NF.
Given the difficulty of the approach drainages (Symmes, Williamson, NF Bairs, SF Bairs, and George) I doubt there will ever be a rush to go ski them. But I did give my word to Dave not to publish details. I hope you can respect that. Sorry.