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The Redline Traverse

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  • The Redline Traverse

    Dostie, do you have any idea where one might find an account of the Redline?

    All I'm able to find online is some discussion in a Supertopo thread by Doug Robinson and others, a reference in your October 1997 Couloir obit for Allan Bard, and a handful of other tidbits. Moynier references it once or twice in his High Sierra ski guide.

    A buddy mentioned an article by Bard in the November '83 issue of Powder. Any other thoughts?

    Anybody else?
    Last edited by LightRanger; 14 October 2014, 01:41 PM.

  • #2
    LightRanger,

    FYI - It's the late Alan Bard, not Dale Bard. Dale's alive and well. I already edited your post ('cuz I could).

    Beyond that there isn't a whole lot of documentation to the route. I suspect Alan had that as a long term task that he didn't quite get to.

    If you wanted specifics on which passes and the exact line taken you'd have to get ahold of Tom Carter. Bela Vadasz with ASI has done portions of the route. I don't believe it has ever been repeated, or if it has, no one has made the public claim. That's a tour worth attempting IMNSHO.

    ain't no turn like tele!

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    • #3
      Doh. I knew that. Freudian typo. Thanks for the fix.

      Thanks also for the other info. I have a SB pass this season, so I'll be around ASI much more often. Maybe I'll pop in for a chat with Bela about his adventures on it.

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      • #4
        It's Allan, by the way. Not trying to be picky, just thinking the right spelling could help with a search.

        Most of what I know is from having attended the slideshow Bard & Carter did in Berkeley in the 80s. This is all pre-web, so I'd expect online evidence to be thin, unfortunately. I remember their descent of Whitney's infamously icy north face (on rather skinny gear, natch) was one of several remarkable parts of the traverse.

        "Redline" referred to the idea of "redlining the fun-meter", and also that the Sierra Crest showed up on a conventional map as a red line.
        Last edited by bobs; 14 October 2014, 01:41 PM.

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        • #5
          Thanks Bob. I thought you might have something to add.

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          • #6
            Those guys posted maps in publications following their trip. Bard, Carter, and Cox.

            Remember the purpose was to "redline the funmeter" and stay as close to the ridge line as possible while nailing super good descents...

            ... perhaps finding your own route would be more in the spirit of their adventure.

            Repeats are not the same.

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            • #7
              Interesting project. It'd be cool if you could post the references here that you do come across, LR.
              backcountry in northern New Mexico

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Todd Eastman View Post
                Those guys posted maps in publications following their trip. Bard, Carter, and Cox.

                Remember the purpose was to "redline the funmeter" and stay as close to the ridge line as possible while nailing super good descents...

                ... perhaps finding your own route would be more in the spirit of their adventure.

                Repeats are not the same.
                Thanks. Yeah, I got the rationale behind the name from my limited research. And I get where you're coming from. But then whenever you find anybody talking about it now, they always note that it's never been repeated. That seems, to me, to invite the challenge to try.

                Anyway, my interest, at this point, is mere curiosity about the route. Not likely to work on repeating it or doing something similar in the immediate future. We need non-drought winters to work on a project like this too, so it's moot at the moment.

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                • #9
                  I remember McLean planning for it many years ago.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LightRanger View Post
                    ...my interest, at this point, is mere curiosity about the route. Not likely to work on repeating it or doing something similar in the immediate future. We need non-drought winters to work on a project like this too, so it's moot at the moment.
                    Keep in mind that even in a regular year there will probably be portions of their actual route that wouldn't go. The section between Whitney and Onion Valley was done during the winter of 82/83. I spoke to Tom Carter about it and he thought a lot of the specific lines they took wouldn't be repeatable unless it were done during an exceptionally big winter. So for a "normal" season the best one could hope for would be to parallel their route as snow allowed.

                    ain't no turn like tele!

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                    • #11
                      ...like the jmt. ...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dostie View Post
                        Keep in mind that even in a regular year there will probably be portions of their actual route that wouldn't go. The section between Whitney and Onion Valley was done during the winter of 82/83. I spoke to Tom Carter about it and he thought a lot of the specific lines they took wouldn't be repeatable unless it were done during an exceptionally big winter. So for a "normal" season the best one could hope for would be to parallel their route as snow allowed.
                        Yep. I'm aware. 2011 or 2006 would probably have worked. Both were top 10 years.

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                        • #13
                          I imagine Allan would be most stoked by a party employing the spirit of the Redline rather than the exact route. We carry different ideas of what constitutes a great route and arrive with differing conditions, skills, and experience to an adventure. Always remember, an act of creativity like route finding in a natural setting can be deeply satisfying, even when following a generalized route. Don't forget the whimsy and fun of adventuring as conditions allow...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Todd Eastman View Post
                            I imagine Allan would be most stoked by a party employing the spirit of the Redline rather than the exact route. We carry different ideas of what constitutes a great route and arrive with differing conditions, skills, and experience to an adventure. Always remember, an act of creativity like route finding in a natural setting can be deeply satisfying, even when following a generalized route. Don't forget the whimsy and fun of adventuring as conditions allow...
                            I got your point the first time you said it. Like I said, I'm not looking to repeat it. I'm just curious how it went down.

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                            • #15
                              FYI:

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