Forums Trip Reports thumb – eastern sierra – 4/15-16/2011
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  • #574742
    96avs01
    875 Posts

    Preface – This trip does not happen without some phenomenal customer service from Spark R and D. On April 2nd while changing over on Rubicon peak I noticed that one of my Ignition II bindings had broken and cracked similar to what happened to treepilot. Called up Jeff @ Spark and told him of the situation and some upcoming plans. Arrive home on April 8th to a box of Blazes on my door step while my old baseplates are en-route to Bozeman. Wasn’t terribly stoked on the softness of the highback, especially since I ride in mountaineering boots, so shot them an email about my concerns. No problem, they offered to shoot me some of the Burner highbacks from next year’s product line. Sweet, I think everything is squared away. A couple days later I finally get some time to adjust the bindings. Gonna have to move the heelcups to center my boots on the bindings, should be easy enough. It was…for 7 of the 8 machine screws. However one was likely cross-threaded and wouldn’t budge. I would eventually strip out the hex head trying to remove it and begin to resort to drilling out the screw. Told Jeff about the situation and he offered to overnight me a loaner baseplate (to arrive on the morning I would depart) to get me through my trip. Excellent, should be all squared away so I shipped them the baseplate with the jammed screw and waited anxiously for the next morning to get things dialed. Well the baseplate arrives, but is sans pin bushings. Shit, shoulda waited on shipping back my problem baseplate as I coulda borrowed some needed parts. Called up Jeff and told him of the situ, closest dealer is Mammoth Mountaineering a bit North of my destination but doable. He gives them a call and they have a pair of bindings in my size, so he arranges for them to hook me up with the pair and he replaces their stock. After rolling North up 395 I grab the goods from MMS and finally feel like my trip is actually gonna materialize. Thus, without the phenomenal customer service what follows would not be possible. Will if you happen to read this Jeff should get a raise!

    A bit of background, this trip was to be my first overnight trip following a back surgery that pretty much squashed all of my season last year. Needed to finally find out if my back could handle the weight of heavy packs for several upcoming bigger splitboard and mountaineering trips in the coming months. So having some gear issues made me more nervous and anxious than usual. Nothing a couple motivational tools couldn’t lessen while getting gear dialed at the trailhead.

    shit, gonna be carrying the split further than i hoped, thumb is in the back

    finally the snow :clap:

    some easterly clouds hampered the alpenglow so sunrise wasn’t as good as it shoulda been

    objective

    sweet chimney next to the ramp, summit to the right

    NW chutes on Birch will go

    thankfully david doesn’t mind breaking trail as I lost much more lower body strength than I had thought

    this is the view I saw on summitpost a couple years back that cemented The Thumb onto the “Hitlist”, plenty of 14er stoke! too windy the previous night to see any remnants of bcd’s tracks on middle pal

    plenty more trips out there

    can’t ride off the summit, but pretty close to the top

    a couple ‘where’s waldo’ images for scale

    took a leisurely pace back to the truck…not quite a sierra wave but still nice

    decided to grab some AM turns on mt alice before rolling home. allowed for a different view of the thumb

    parting shot…summit pano

    more detail available here

    a good way to ease back into multi-day backcountry endeavors, but a wake-up call for just how much strength i need to regain. cheers

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg

    Chris

    #639494
    Ecobrad
    2068 Posts

    Right on dude. Good to see trip reports from you again. Welcome back to the affliction. Just in time for spring.

    #639495
    96avs01
    875 Posts

    thanks eco…oh so true!

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg

    Chris

    #639496
    SchralphMacchio
    474 Posts

    awesome trip man, let’s both try to stay healthy for a year! 🙂

    #639497
    BGnight
    1382 Posts

    Nice dude! I want to get back in that canyon sometime myself.

    #639498
    96avs01
    875 Posts

    @schralphmacchio wrote:

    awesome trip man, let’s both try to stay healthy for a year! 🙂

    agreed

    @bgnight wrote:

    Nice dude! I want to get back in that canyon sometime myself.

    yep, i will be going back at some point

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg

    Chris

    #639499
    jbaysurfer
    947 Posts

    @ecobrad wrote:

    Right on dude. Good to see trip reports from you again. Welcome back to the affliction. Just in time for spring.

    +1

    Stoked to see you back at it! Let’s meet up before spring is up eh?

    You mentioned the legs..hoping the back held up well?

    #639500
    96avs01
    875 Posts

    ^^^ definitely. back feels pretty good, though still riding pretty conservative stuff this year as a precaution.

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg

    Chris

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