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North America, United States, California—Sierra Nevada, Clyde Minaret, South Face

Clyde Minaret, South Face. In June, Chuck Wilts, John Evans, Dick Long and I made the first ascent of this exceptional route, by far the finest in the Minaret area. The face is over 1100 feet high and involves class 5 climbing on each of eleven 150-foot leads. The face is a striking formation, consisting for the first 700 feet of a series of slabs tilted to about 70° which end at a ledge two leads below a huge 250-foot dihedral. The route followed the west edge of these slabs for six leads. Above the ledge, the wall steepened and the climbing became more difficult. At this point a pack was lost containing all our food, water and bivouac gear and it became imperative to avoid a night on the wall. The remaining 5 leads (maximum difficulty consisting of only two 5.8 moves) involved climbing of a most satisfying variety. Thanks to good weather, stimulating scenery, and general cooperative spirit of those leading (considering the difficulty of filming and belaying simultaneously, a short 8 mm. film now remains as a memorial to the trip. Contrary to popular belief, those climbing on the faces and buttresses in the Minarets will find the rock to be sound and generally reliable. (NCCS IV-8.)

Allen Steck