Pipsqueak Spire & Mount Dade via Hourglass Couloir

Where: Sierra Nevada, California
When: July 2006
Partners: Rick Kent
Route: Hourglass Couloir (Class 2-3 w/5.4 Summit Block on Pipsqueak Spire)

Heading up the Hourglass Couloir

Over the last few years, I've made a few trips to the Rock Creek area of the Sierra Nevada. It's a beautiful area of high mountains with easy access to charming lakes and stunning routes.

After previous climbs of Bear Creek Spire, Mount Starr and Lookout Peak, I was itching to explore the area a bit more. Rick Kent and I got together in summer 2006 for a combination climb of Pipsqueak Spire and Mount Dade via the Hourglass Couloir.
On the summit of Pipsqueak Spire

As it turned out, the climb was fantastic. Pipsqueak Spire has a stunning summit block rather reminiscent of the 'Milk Bottle' on Starlight Peak. From there, we traversed over to Mount Dade, a huge but simple endeavor with great views of the entire region, not the least of which was nearby Mount Gabb.

Rick and I talked about traversing over to Mount Gabb next, as it was still early in the day, however, there was a considerable drop between the two peaks that would have to be again on the return. Not only that, but we were uncertain of the route, and, well, I wished Rick well and headed down.
Frozen lakes!

Heading back down the Hourglass Couloir, I made good time back to my vehicle. I learned a day or two later that Rick had returned shortly after me, having given up on the attempt at Mount Gabb after dropping only a few hundred feet down the backside of Mount Dade.
On the summit of Mount Dade


*Photos courtesy of Rick Kent