Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 8, 2007 - 01:13pm PT
Did this route yesterday (7-7-2007) with Charlie. Hiked in from Sawmill Campground. As mentioned in the topo, the approach is a bit tricky but if you bring a compass and a copy of the map in the supertopo guide, you shouldn't have much trouble. It's a big approach...start early or be in good shape.
Lots of variations but we stayed on the ridge the entire route. That's where the best climbing is and where you'll find the most exposure. One series of moves about 3/4 the ways up up is particularly good....thin but easy finger crack that leads to the outside of the ridge where you'll do a super exposed but easy hand-sized crack traverse. There's also one cool diving board section that you can look down and see the entire SW face..awesome.
Drove home this morning and saw Owens Valley was on fire.
Great views of Fairview, Cathedral, Half Dome, etc. Lots of water available all the way to the the plateau above Alpine Lake.
It is indeed a fantastic classic route, aesthetically beautiful in so many ways. I simul-climbed it a few years ago with two friends on about 100ft. of rope. It's the perfect route for protecting with a few pieces and slung blocks between each climber. Like a lot of alpine routes, it can take longer than expected with the approach and descent. We hit the trail from sawmill campground at 7:30am, and returned to the car by 9:00pm.
We simulclimbed most of the route in about 4 pitches. I lead the first block of about 400 feet and then charlie led the rest to about 300 feet from the top. Then we unroped and 3rd classed to the summit.
The approach was the crux. The climbing was cool and easy.