This morning did what is, I think, the first free solo of north butt.(I mean I know I soloed the route, just not if any one else has.) Great, great route. Please let me know if you've heard of a prior solo. And yeah, I know you're thinking Croft, I asked him he said no.
More later, gotta eat, and sleep.
A topo for this route can be found at summitpost.org, in the photo section for Merriam Peak, or else in Moynier/Fiddler's "Climbing California's High Sierra". Sounds like the approach is in the 8-9 mile range, but I could be wrong. Haven't done this one yet but it's high on the list.
Merriam IV 5.10b/c ***
From the pine creek trail west of Rovanna head west on then south to Pine Creek Pass, hike west and south again to lower royce lake then hike around the lake and up to the base of the obvious buttress on Merriam's north face. I think the approach may be 9-11 miles, a topo would clear this up.
P1- 5.7 up left of a pedestal
P2-5.8/9link this with the previous pitch
P3-9/10- thin fingers and seams than back left and under the double crack system.
P4-8/9 awesome hands to chimney no particualrily wide gear neeeded. This double crack system is obvious from the base.
P5-9break right in a nice hand crack before the crack gets really steep and incipient
P6-8break back left on fist and laybacks to the base of a OW and overhanging hand crack- link this with the previous pitch
P7-10b/c up steep hands to the left of an OW, continue up through a tenious layback then up a wider crack a few wide fist sized pieces help pro.
p8-go around to the right then under a tower/roof feature.
p9-10 continue simuclimbing to the summit
60 m rope
many finger to hands
The prominent North Buttress of Merriam Peak
Photo: Ryan Crochiere
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