North Buttress, Merriam Peak 5.10b/c

 
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High Sierra, California USA

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5 Total Ratings
5 star: 80%  (4)
4 star: 20%  (1)
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Aug 8, 2008 - 11:03pm
 
From Ryab C.

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
1fist
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stella

climber
cali
Aug 9, 2008 - 12:02am
 
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.
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backcountry

Trad climber
Tahoe City, CA
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   Aug 20, 2010 - 01:25am
I just put up a trip report on supertopo of my climb from 8/17/2010.
http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Merriam-Peak-North-Buttress/t10733n.html

my website messageboard post has some more pics and comments
http://www.thebackcountry.net/bb/viewtopic.php?t=1744[photoid=167511]

I LOVED this climb. Does it get more beautiful? The whole approach, the peak itself, the view from the top?
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The Chief

climber
Laughing at all you angry blinded asshat Sheep
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   Aug 20, 2010 - 01:29am
Here is my Topo that I added to SP 4 years ago...

http://www.summitpost.org/album/336059/CALIFORNIA-TOPO-s.html

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x15x15

climber
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   Aug 22, 2010 - 11:05am
The Chief's topo is pretty spot on, however the last two pitches seemed to have the lengths reversed. If you belay where it seems the topo shows on the pitch above the alcove, at the base of a really cool looking crack that heads straight up (right where the line cuts left), the pitch is only about 60 feet. Then if you go all the way to the BIG ASS summit block from there like I did, it is about a 200ft pitch. It does make for a very pleasant, and long crux pitch. Just be mindful of rope drag and use long slings. You could also belay at the base of the crux like many climbers do, but that is not as fun.

Plus, I have been going to this area for about 25 years now, and I think the best way to get into the Royce Lakes basin is heading over the pass above Honeymoon Lake. I can't stand hiking that mule trail that goes over Pine Creek Pass.
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Roadie

Trad climber
Bishop, Ca
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   Aug 16, 2012 - 07:51pm
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.
Steve Seats
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Merriam Peak - North Buttress 5.10b/c - High Sierra, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The prominent North Buttress of Merriam Peak
Photo: Ryan Crochiere
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