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North America, United States, California, Yosemite Valley, Goodrich Pinnacle

Goodrich Pinnacle. Don Goodrich was killed while attempting the first ascent of the west face of Mount Conness, a peak in the high Sierra. As a tribute to him, an 800-foot exfoliation slab on Glacier Point Apron in Yosemite Valley was named "Goodrich Pinnacle.” An excellent but very difficult free-climbing route goes up the east side of this formation. On May 30 T. M. Herbert, my wife Liz, and I made a new route up the west side. This is perhaps the most beautiful of the many fine routes on Glacier Point Apron. The problems are challenging, but never harrowing. And, although one must risk a long fall in two places, it’s not a death- defying matter. The result of a slip in these places would be 30 to 50 feet of rolling and bouncing down smooth granite slabs. The climber with good technique, good judgment, and experience can manage the climb with a quite reasonable degree of safety. Despite some of the severest friction climbing in the country, and some poorly protected leads, the west side of Goodrich was repeated five times in the summer of 1964. This fact testifies to the quick growth of this route’s reputation as an exciting climb on excellent rock, Tahquitz-like in places. It also indicates the large number of extremely competent climbers frequenting the Valley these days. On the fourth pitch one must make some delicate moves 20 feet above a piton. For half an hour I made repeated starts here, carefully backing down each time until I had the combination worked out. After that the problem was to control the emotions so they did not interfere with the technique. Higher, TM led the crux pitch, a traverse as delicate as any I have seen. We placed 16 pitons and 3 bolts. NCCS III, F10. Route description: Start around corner from east route. 60 feet of roped scrambling leads to a good ledge with stunted Douglas firs. 2nd pitch: follow a flake up right to second good ledge. Move right and straight up to large broken area. 3rd pitch: ascend gully 60 feet to small ledge on left. 4th pitch: follow crack leading up left to small ledge, then climb right side of flake and traverse left to shallow ledge. Move diagonally right 20 feet to flake. Wander up face to first bolt. 5th pitch: move right, then climb up to ledge. Traverse right to bolt. Climb up to ledge, then move up left to third bolt. 6th pitch: traverse left to near skyline, and go straight up. Last two pitches ascend chimney on right. Allow 4 to 6 hours for ascent, one to two hours for descent (rappel).

Royal Robbins