Pirates, Starlight Peak IV 5.10b


High Sierra, California USA

  • Currently 3.0/5
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Doug Robinson

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
Aug 10, 2008 - 12:58am
Way to go, guys! Looks nice.

I did the next route right, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, 40 years ago this summer. Lately starting to want to go back for another look.

Glad you found 5th class rock through the rampy part. For us, right of the little gully, it slowed down to a pitch of 4th and a pitch of 3rd.

We might have crossed your route up high -- hard to tell.

Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Aug 9, 2008 - 08:57pm
From Ryan Crochiere

Pirates IV 5.10b*** (Zero stars for pitch 6, bad rock then a dangerous runout at 5.8 above a ledge add a bolt if ya like the rock is good)

Need an axe, crampons and HELMET. Regular rack maybe an extra hand sized piece and a wider piece for the crux OW.

Approach: Take (From Big Pine) the North Fork Trail from Glacisr Lodge up past third Lake, Follow the trail to Sam Mack Meadow, In teh Meadow you cross a stream and get on the Glacier trail- follow this to the glacier, Get on the glacier and hike up to Starlight.

snow-get up to the lip of the snow field and belay

NOTE The first 4 pitches I believe follow an old route that has never been documented called Boss Moss IV 5.10-

P1- .10- this is the crux of the old unplished route Boss Moss- thanks to them the crack is cleaned of alpine moss and now sports a hand to finger crack. - my topo reads .8 cause it felt that hard.
P2- .4th-5th class up and across a gully to the base of a crack with a plank of granite sticking out of it
P3-.10- Climbing past the plank feels dangerous, I think so long as you don't step on the end of it you might be fine, then continue up and do a minor run out on thin gear breaking right then continue strait up to a belay.
P4- .8go up and right passing an akward overlap/dihedral untill you belay on the left side of a loose gully and you are looking left at a nice double handcrack.
P5- .6 up a hand crack then break left to teh right side of a loose gully.
P6- .8r loose. Go up and slightly right so as to avoid clobering your belayer with loose rock. The first 50 feet are way loose and sport a few death flakes. Continue up a hand crack throught a block then up a suttle dihedral that tapers out and gives you edges (if this gets popular you might consider placeing a bolt as you are un protected here and you will hit a ledge. The rock gets good where the moves get hard and the easy climbing has crap rock. Bring thin stuff for the belay. Arrow in the picture shows where the Crux OW is.
P7- .10b Up and right on nice rock (passing a sweet looking splitter that we didn't know if it continued or not up high). Then you climb the OW with a finger crack (bring a 3.5 and 4 camalot). A resonable belay ledge ends the pitch.
P8- .8r climb a really cool but short chimney then go right of a slabby area to a really neat arete that ends at a minitower.
P9- .7 Up easier cracks to the top
P10- .4 the most amazing 5.4 pitch in the world. Summit Pinnacle!!

Decend by going SE toward North Palisade(this takes a bit of time and ridge navigation). Descend the Gully/Low point in between Starlight and N Palisade. A few rappels and down snow climbing brings you back to the glacier.

Visit on supertopo.com

Starlight Peak - Pirates IV 5.10b - High Sierra, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Red line + the climb. Yellow line is the descent.
Photo: Ryan Crochiere
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