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North America, United States, Wyoming, Mount Owen, Serendipity Arête

Mount Owen, Serendipity Arête. A new route on the west side of Mount Owen was climbed on August 8 by Sterling Neale, Rick Medrick, Frank Magary, and Bill Buckingham. The route lies on a steep ridge or corner which runs diagonally across Mount Owen’s west face and culminates in the final black tower of the north ridge. From a camp at the lovely little meadow in Valhalla Canyon, we scrambled up a confused maze of couloirs, shelves, gullies and slabs, more or less along the lower part of the West Ledges Route, to a point where our ridge began as an indistinct rib leading up to a great, smooth, yellow, vertical tower. This tower was climbed via a series of slabs on its west side and then around the corner to the right, where several direct-aid pitons were used in the lower part of a chimney. Two more rope-lengths brought us to the spectacular knife-edged summit of this first tower. The second tower provided two fairly difficult pitches, and the third tower, really a short vertical step, was easily climbed by traversing out to the north and back, bringing us to the foot of the final tower. A series of cracks and huge, loose flakes on its north side served to get us started here; several hundred feet of easy scrambling led on to the top of the highest tower on the north ridge, from which we climbed the summit knob via the regular Koven chimney.

William J. Buckingham