K6ARK Portable Radio Youtube

Free-Solo SOTA with the Mountain Rescue Team

Every year, the Mountain Rescue Team embarks on trips to the Sierra Nevada to train on technical terrain at high elevations. Each year, I organize a trip that I call Car-to-Car hell. It involves daily climbs up big mountains with overnight car-camping in between. This year, we climbed Laurel Mountain, 11,812′, via the NE gulley (aka Mendenhall Couloir). It’s a 3,000+ foot vertical "easy" 5th class climb. Most would want a rope for protection, but there aren’t many options to place gear, so most just free-solo the route, as we did.
It was a beautiful climb with a bonus SOTA activation at the top. So here’s the story. Hope you enjoy coming along for the climb.