AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, United States, Wyoming, Wind River Range, "Dragon Head," East Face

"Dragon Head”, East Face. One of the most impressive walls I have seen in the range is a triple-buttressed east face in the valley above Middle Fork and Noel lakes, which rises in a 1200-foot sheer sweep to an unnamed 12,140-foot summit. In keeping with many other creature names, we gave it the name of "Dragon Head”. Layton Kor, Dave Beckstead, and I started up the face on July 16 and after a bivouac just under a gigantic overhang, completed the climb early in the afternoon of the next day. The route follows a huge open-book for eight leads, ascends a spectacular overhanging crack which diagonals left to a buttress, then continues up the airy buttress to the summit. Loose rocks in the open-book made the climb very dangerous, since the leader had to take great care not to dislodge them. Layton led most of the climb and managed the overhang in great style, using a wide variety of pitons and runners. Dave, who inherited the task of prusiking the pitches with a trailing load, had the finest thrill of the summer when gravity swung him 30 feet horizontally, as he climbed up to the overhang. Most of the open-book was difficult and exacting free climbing, with the exception of three overhangs that required aid. The great overhang began as a 20-foot ceiling and both Kor and I agreed it was one of the most sensational roofs either of us had encountered. The final few leads on the buttress were delightful, exposed and on marvelous rock. We used about 75 pitons on the climb.

Fred Beckey