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North America, United States, Wyoming, Tetons, Nez Perce, South Ridge, Variation

Nez Perce, South Ridge, variation. The south ridge route (1954) had the defect of bypassing on the right (east) the steepest section of the ridge, a “steep, massive buttress” of some 300 feet. This section was climbed directly on August 10 by Jack Weicker and Leigh Ortenburger who found the rock excellent. The base of the buttress was attacked at its left (west) corner. A tricky traverse across the face to the right up to a black rock band was followed by a climb back left to a white ramp which led to a one-foot ledge below a large flake. A lay-back put the party on top of the flake. Ten feet up from the flake a very delicate friction traverse left, the crucial foothold being a large crystal of garnet, led to the end of the difficulties. This variation, “The Garnet Traverse,” is consistently steep and direct, providing future climbers with an F8 alternative in a class similar to Irene’s Arête.