American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Wyoming—Wind Rivers, New Routes on Cairn Peak

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

New routes on Cairn Peak. From Base Camp of the Rock Climbing Section of the San Diego Chapter, Sierra Club at the Titcomb Lakes, Cairn Peak was seen as a square-topped massif to the southwest. On August 7, two new routes were climbed on its north face. The first of these, the northwest buttress, is immediately right (west) of the prominent north snow couloir which can be seen from the Indian Pass trail or from Fremont Peak. The buttress was climbed by John and Jerry Hooper, Milo Prodanovich and Steve McKinney. The first two pitches were class 4 (Sierra Club classification system); the third pitch was a class 5.1 mantel and was followed by another class 4 pitch. At this point a corner was traversed (class 5.4) to the left (east) to a point overlooking the snow couloir, and a layback led up to two pitches of class 5.0 climbing which were followed left to the flat summit plateau. Fourth class variations of the upper pitches are possible. NCCS classification: II, 5. The second new route was the north snow couloir itself, climbed by Bill Thomas, Ann Paul, and Stephanie Poland. A thin layer of snow overlaid ice, so crampons were needed throughout and a few steps were cut. Belays were established along the sides of the couloir with slings, pitons, or ice screws. About halfway up, the snow was broken by a short waterfall which was passed on the right (west) by a 30-foot class 4 rock pitch. The snow led nearly to the summit plateau, which was gained by class 3 scrambling. NCCS classification: II, 4.

William Thomas, Sierra Club

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