Multiple belay options are available and linking of some pitches are possible, but here's the general break down.
Pitch 1 - Climb up a crack system and traverse left into slopey climbing with difficult protection. Belay where convenient.
Pitch 2 - Continue up and slightly right to the base of the obvious left facing corner. Belay from a small tree.
Pitch 3 - Climb the left facing corner to a nice ledge with a tree belay.
Pitch 4 - Climb up and left through cracks ranging from hands to fingers and belaying at a stance below the roof with a deadend chimney. This is not the chimney you'll be climbing.
Pitch 5 - Once at the deadend chimney, traverse right on a small ledge with no hands for 30'(exposed). At the end of the traverse, pull a difficult lieback (one could jam this) and continue up the hand and finger crack. Crux
Pitch 6 - Climb the offwidth above, clipping the a jambed 2x4 for pro and passing two bolts to an alcove above.
Pitch 7 - Continue up the short chimney, which leads to blockier terrain and another offwidth.
Pitches 8-10 - Easier ground leads up and left to a tree belay. Continue up to the top of the formation. A 4th class traverse pitch across a catwalk takes you to the unroping notch.
Park at the pond (south side of highway) that is located approximately 1.2 miles east of the pass. Hike up the trail for 30-45 minutes to the base. There are a couple of options depending on the condition of the snowfield at the base. Option 1 is to go up gully to the left of the east face and get on the rock. Option 2 is get on the rock from the right hand side.
Descent - from the notch below the summit (you don't actually go to the summit), head west and take the gully to the skiers left. There are rap slings down there, but it's 20' of 3rd class, so it's not worth the effort. Once down the gully continue to traverse right(north)until you hit the cattle trail that goes up to Liberty Bell, which will take you to the Blue Lake trail. Once you're able to see the highway and the trail turns left, locate a faint climbers trail that will take you straight to the highway (probably saves a mile or so of hiking). Hike the road back to your car. Alternatively, one could hitchhike or do a shuttle to save on the walk.
Standard rack with gear to 6". We brought and used a #4 quite a bit as well. You could probably get by with out the 6" cam if you feel solid in the wide stuff. It was much easier than I had expected, especially with 2 new bolts.
Looking up pitch 1 of the route. Just above the cl...
Climbing the left facing corner on pitch 3. The p...
Looking out towards Silverstar and the Wine Spires...
Climbing pitch 4.
From: Las Vegas
Jul 7, 2009
The rock quality on the upper couple of pitches isn't nearly as good (grainy), but it certainly doesn't detract from the rest of the route.
Also, a huge avalanche wiped out a section of trail up there on the Blue Lake side, but enough people have been making there way through that it should be fairly obvious.
|By Bryan G|
From: San Jose
Aug 1, 2013
This climb is longer than the 800ft the Supertopo gives it. I wouldn't recommend a #6. The "crux OW" is sport bolted, easy, and has lots of face holds so you don't even need to get in it.
We rappelled the route with two 60m ropes which allowed us to bring ice axes for the snow slope at the base without having to carry them up the climb. But late in the season when the base is melted out it's probably better to go up and over.
Aug 10, 2014
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
The moats were kind of gnarly in approach shoes and we were forced to do a variation off to the far right of the first ledge to start the route.
The "9+" offwidth didn't strike me as the crux of the route. If there was one bit of climbing that I thought was hard and funky and runout it was the 6" offwidth that gets 8+ in the new guidebook after the "crux" pitch. If I'd had a #6 I would have placed it I think. #6 isn't terribly necessary, but if someone had one, and they asked my opinion I'd say bring it.
Really nice route though.