North Arete (5.8, Grade III)

June 15, 2003

back to Sierras

We got up at dawn and starting walking in to one of the greatest climbs of the summer! A pleasant walk by several lakes eventually led to frozen snowfields which we followed to frozen lakes higher. The final slopes to the base of the route took a long time due to variable snow, already softening in the morning sun. Another party was on the route already, but they stayed well ahead. From our notes:

We made one rappel from the summit to the south, then hiked down scree and boulders. Some careful downclimbing on loose rock and steep snow got us back down to the base of the route. It seemed to take forever getting down to below the snowline, due to wet deep snow and a broiling sun. We lazed on a rock and drank from a lake with icebergs. We thought of Galen Rowell often as we went by beautiful tarns and boulderfields a few miles from the car. <td width="30%" valign=top>
Pitch Leader Length Description
1 Michael 50 m Led up a 5.7 crack with many flakes to a right-trending groove, then to a belay among big flakes. Had to downclimb a bit after a wrong turn.
2 Aidan 55 m After a false start around the corner on the right, came back and went up 5.7 flakes to easy 5th class to the crest. Nice belay ledge in the sun.
3 Michael 55 m Exposed 5.4 step around to the right, then 4th class to a big ledge.
4 Aidan 55 m 4th class ledges and ramps led right then back left to a small stance below a chimney.
5 Michael 45 m Step left into fantastic handjamming, liebacking and chimney moves (5.8, crux). Wild short walk on a thin flake led to nice 5.6 chimney with loose debris on floor. Belay on crest (good ledge).
6 Aidan 70 m 4th and easy 5th class led up crest to a tunnel to the north side of the Arete (short downclimb). Hip belay on good ledge.
7 Aidan 60 m Moderate 5th class roamed up the crest to a yellow Alien belay.
8 Michael 55 m Face moves left to a short 5.6 crack, then moderate 5th class on crest to nice belay.
9 Aidan 120 m 4th and easy 5th class led to below the summit block. Simul-climbing pitch. 5.6 steep climbing gained crest after 4th class ledge traverse.
10 both 5 m Unprotectable 5.6 soloing up and down summit block. Yay!

The route is on the steep arete

Michael early in the morning

The mountain on approach

Getting ready to climb

Michael on the first pitch

Looking down on the first pitch

Aidan at the 5.8 chimney pitch

Michael high on the route

Aidan on the upper ridge

Aidan on the summit. Yay!

Michael on the summit. Yay!

Aidan rappelling

Aidan downclimbing, the route on the left

Coming down, hate to leave!