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North America, United States, Wyoming—Wind River Range, Northeast Face, Squaretop

Northeast Face, Squaretop. Layton Kor and I started our climb up a steepening slab system on the northwest face, between two converging couloirs. This section had about six leads, two of which had some quite difficult free moves protected by pitons.No aid was used. The rock was excellent. From this converging point, which was actually a short arête leading into a central couloir between great vertical walls, we followed the couloir and its right side for about four leads, then struck directly upward on a steep wall that was well broken with cracks and flakes. A number of pitons were used in this wall for protection, and again there were various strenuous technical problems. Once on the summit rim, it was a few minutes’ walk to the curious top. Both our party and Cooper’s reached the summit shortly before evening and made the descent to the valley by the southern slopes. The long walk to camp was featured by moose and moonlight. Although the approaches are tedious for this region, we feel that Squaretop has great climbing possibilities. These two routes are the only continuously difficult and long high-angle problems accomplished in the northern Wind River Range, to my knowledge, and give proof to the surmise that classic alpine rock climbs of difficulty exist there.

Fred Beckey