American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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North America, United States, California, Northeast Ridge of the Thumb, Palisade Group, Sierra Nevada

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 1958

Northeast Ridge of the Thumb, Palisade Group, Sierra Nevada. The Thumb had never been climbed from the east or northeast by any of the nine parties that had ascended the peak prior to 1957. From a high camp on the southern Middle Palisade Glacier, Leigh and Irene Ortenburger noticed a deep couloir leading up the northeast side of the peak to the northeast ridge. This we climbed September 12, 1957. Three chockstones provide interest but no real difficulty. We abandoned the couloir near its head and climbed the wall to the right to gain a knife-edged ridge which led directly to the main northeast ridge. The climbing was exposed and enjoyable until the final step was reached. Here it was necessary to work out onto the left face of the ridge, where an interesting system of ledges led upwards. Once this was passed, we easily reached the summit, which affords an excellent view of the southern portion of the Palisades. On the descent we rappelled to pass the steep step in the ridge.

Leigh Ortenburger

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