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North America, United States, California—Yosemite, The Gold Wall

The Gold Wall. Tom Fender and I climbed a new route near the Ribbon Fall amphitheater in May. It lies on the steep wall just left of the entrance to the amphitheater. The climb began in the center of the face. The first two leads were all aid, with eight bolts used over blank sections. Free climbing above led up shallow grooves to a belay at a tree. A mixed pitch took us to a small ledge, from which we nailed a thin crack and made a 30-foot pendulum to the right. This took us to another crack system. We fixed one lead above, all aid, before settling down for our bivouac, 800 feet above the ground. The next morning we continued up the crack system, using aid to turn a giant roof visible from the valley floor. Above, very strenuous cracks led upward to a large tree. From here we climbed up and left using several aid pitons, to the tree-covered summit. About 65 pitons were used on the one and three- quarter day ascent. Fifteen bolts were used, some of which were in place from earlier attempts. Grade V, F9, A3.

Layton Kor