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North America, United States, Colorado, Monitor Peak, East Face, Needle Mountains

Monitor Peak, East Face, Needle Mountains. The second ascent of this spectacular 1200-foot wall, by a more direct route which started north of the original route, was accomplished on September 18 or 19 by Paul Stettner, Jr. and Larry Dalke. Stettner is a nephew of Joe Stettner, who pioneered the first route on August 9 and 10, 1947 with John Speck and the writer. (See A.A.J., April 1948, 7:1, pp. 5-14.) Stettner and Dalke alternated leads and completed the climb in 6½ hours, compared with 16 hours over 1½ days for the three-man party on the first ascent. A section at about mid-height required direct aid. The 1968 route joins the original route slightly below the 1947 bivouac site. Just above this began the “140-foot lead,” a long and delicate pitch which was the key to the upper part of the climb. Discovery of a piton here confirmed that the original route had been reached. The 1968 party used 15 pitons and two nuts.

John F. Fralick