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North America, United States, California, Sierra Nevada of California, Mt. Humphreys

Mt. Humphreys. During the past summer an ascent of Mt. Humphreys, 13,972 ft., loftiest mountain in the Sierra Nevada north of the Palisades, was made from the east up a great cleaver like ridge, involving an excellent rock climb of several thousand feet. The route follows the narrow crest, flanked on either side by precipitous drops of 1,000-1,500 ft. In places it is sharply dentated and about three-quarters of the way up the mountain there is a difficult pitch of about 75 ft. In order to surmount this with safety it is necessary to traverse to the left around a buttress, along a ledge which leads to a platform on the sheer south face of the peak. Several crevices leading up the steep wall above this enables one to gain the crest above the pitch.

From this point for several hundred yards the arête is jagged, involving interesting but not excessively difficult climbing. This is followed by another several hundred yards of rounded ridge leading up to the summit of the second highest peak, which drops down to the west into a notch from which a fairly difficult rock climb of several hundred feet up the east face of the final pinnacle brings one to its narrow summit.

For about 1,000 feet the descent was down a large chute descending in a southeasterly direction. A traverse was then made along a shelf to the crest of an arête running southward from the second highest peak of the mountain. From this a rather difficult headwall was descended to a deep and somewhat dangerous couloir which was followed to a small glacier in a cirque on the southeast face of the mountain. From the crest of the south arête to the glacier the route followed was an original one.

Norman Clyde.