American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Charlotte Dome, East Face

California, Sierra Nevada

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Christopher A. G. Jones
  • Climb Year: N/A
  • Publication Year: 1971

This superb dome is situated on the west side of Charlotte Creek, some two miles above the junction with Bubbs Creek. Fred Beckey, Galen Rowell and I had only a weekend in mid-October to make the climb, and the closer we came to the east face, the more it looked as if we would have to settle for an easier route on one side or another. The real problem was the smooth 1200-foot central wall, but it appeared so blank and slippery that we expected to have to return in the spring equipped for a hammering affair. The following morning we selected a route that might ease our conscience. It began on the face in a deep recess, but then it degenerated into a leftward bypass. However, while looking for something even easier on the ridges it appeared that our direct start might connect to a dihedral on the upper wall. So, believing it better to retreat off a good climb than to succeed on an indifferent one, we pressed on up the grooves. We were rewarded by some of the finest climbing we had ever done anywhere, all free and on wonderful rock, mostly face climbing on chicken heads with some good cracks thrown in. Every pitch was excellent, none easy, all interesting. In Yosemite the climb would be recognized as one of the best in the Valley. In the backcountry it will probably remain unknown. NCC IV, F8.

Christopher A. G. Jones

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