I've done that Rowell-Farrell route on Chamberlin. Really cool, thirteen pitches sounds about right. It follows a straight-up straight-in chimney line for a bunch of pitches, then when the way gets blocked by a big gory overhang, the route kicks out right, a bit of 5.9, and you're up. This route was the first on the N. face of Chamberlin and we did what was probably the second ascent as a recon to see what else was out there. There was lots more to be done: the buttress to the left is bigger and broader, so it's what you would consider to be the main feature of the peak. But the Rowell-Farrell is really an attractive route - long with a steep plumb-bob line, reasonable grade, decent rock (especially considering how trashy things can get in the Whitney area when you venture off the beaten path). You guys looking for unknown gems - this route should be more popular. Sort of a Steck-Salathe of the high country. If I can find a topo, I'll scan it.
It's got a long approach, which would be complicated by permit issues these days. I note above that Galen and Mike did it in two days round trip - that's bookin' - we probably took three.
Just came across this doing a web search for the great photo of David Wilson on Mt. Langille, Elliott Robinson and I repeated that in a long day from the car, including a hail storm.
I've asked a few people about a repeat of the Columbia Finger route that is mentioned in the AAJ list of 1989: "Columbia Finger, a prominent spire near Cathedral Pass."
It was my first longer excursion with Galen. It began with stashing packs at the Ahwahnee, driving up to the Meadows and sneaking with sleeping bags into the trees by the trailhead. "Galen Rowell does that too??" In the morning we biked down the the Valley and Galen politely tried to hide slowing his pace a bit to keep me in sight. On the mist trail the conversation turned to the possibilities of digital photography, Moore's law vs the density of film, and Stewart Brand's recent at the time Whole Earth Review piece on the end of photos as legal evidence: http://www.oss.net/dynamaster/file_archive/040324/f98095dd2c6a93a397662cfd97a246e5/WER-INFO-69.pdf
Definitely seems ahead of the times in retrospect.
So after a night at Sunrise with lots of the guests (and me) enjoying a spontaneous sunset photo session/lesson with Galen, when we did a new route up a Finger crack on Columbia Finger that made our digits sore, the obvious name to record the experience and the conversation was Digital Manipulation.
No one I've spoken with about it has repeated it or heard of repeats. I was blown away by his lead on the crux. Onsight, steep tips layback corner, placing small wires, little granite flakes chipping off under his shoes. I barely followed without falling. The previous week I had followed Wayne Burleson on Arch Rival and Immaculate Deception (11bs?) in the Meadows and this seemed harder. He didn't seem to think much of it and asked if I thought it was difficult. I knew his reputation as a mountaineer, but was wondering if even he knew his ability on rock...He was almost 50 that year.
I clumsily led a little 10b overhang to just below the summit, knocking off a two-foot torpedo from the lip that nearly bonked him in the process. Ooooops, Sorry Galen, I'll try be more careful.
Then back to the truck at the trailhead for the legendary exciting drive back to the Bay Area with Galen at the wheel. `I know exactly how long it would take a car behind that curve to get to the point I get back in my lane...' We stopped and he showed me the spot where he'd almost gotten banned from the Park for reporting that the rangers weren't flying tranquilized bears to the backcountry as they said, they were dumping them off a cliff.
That was my introduction to Galen, and my admiration for him as a person only kept growing. I'll see if I can scan a picture of him at the base of the route. I'd be interested to hear if someone has done it again!