American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, California—Sierra Nevada, Lost Brother, Northwest Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1964

Lost Brother, Northwest Face. On the morning of June 10, after 3 days of climbing, Al MacDonald, Dave French, Gary Westernoff and I completed the first ascent of this spectacular 1200-foot face. On June 8, we reached a small but adequate bivouac ledge about 500 feet above the ground. The climbing to this ledge was largely direct aid, plus one fifth- class pitch. From this bivouac we continued up the huge, prominent, vertical open-book, over 300 feet high (excellent angle-piton crack), that had first drawn our attention to the climb. Three esthetic leads, the last from a belay in slings, brought us to the top of the open-book, where we traversed upward to the right in two pitches of mixed direct aid and delicate friction. By a dangling pull-up on a shaky-looking horn, we reached a spacious ledge, an ideal site for the second bivouac. In the morning, a direct-aid crack (belay in slings) and easy friction brought us to the west ridge, where we built a cairn and coiled the ropes before continuing to the actual summit. We climbed 10 pitches of direct aid and 3 of fifth class. Three bolts and 150 pitons were placed. Descent was by the west gully.

Jeff Dozier, Sierra Club

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