American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Idaho, Elephant's Perch or Sawtooth Dome, West Face, Sawtooth Range

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1971

Elephant’s Perch or Sawtooth Dome, West Face, Sawtooth Range. On July 18 to 20 Dick Forster and I completed a new route on the west face of this peak, 1¾ miles southwest of Redfish Lake. Our route lies 500 feet to the left of Beckey’s. We approached up a series of ledges and a ramp slanting left and climbed the small right-facing dihedral in the vertical to slightly overhanging wall above. Pitch 1: Nail up the dihedral, using short thins and many knifeblades. Steep with consistently difficult nailing. 140 feet, A4, belay in slings. Pitch 2: Continue up the corner on aid with somewhat easier pin placement but with slight overhang for most of the lead. 130 feet, A3, belay on a good ledge. Pitch 3: Climb the short dihedral above the ledge to another ledge, step left and climb a second short dihedral to a long narrow ledge. Traverse 25 feet left and nail up the open face above. 140 feet, F7 A2, belay in slings. Pitch 4: Climb cracks in the wall, aiming slightly right for a large left-facing dihedral. 100 feet, A2, belay on a large ledge. Pitch 5: Enter the corner and nail and free climb. 130 feet, F6, A2, belay on a narrow exposed ledge. Pitch 6: Free climb up the corner for 40 feet and continue with aid to an overhang, which is passed via a crack on the wall to the left. Reenter the main crack and using bong-bongs, climb 60 feet up and right, then 15 feet down and right. 150 feet, F8, A3, belay on 2-foot ledge. (We placed a bolt here to secure our bivouac.) Pitch 7: Return to corner and nail 50 feet to a small pine. Scramble up ledges to the right to another tree. 150 feet, F5, A2, large ledge and tree for belay. Pitch 8: Scramble up and right along ledges for 80 feet. Class 4, belay on large ledges. Pitch 9: Climb a short chimney for 20 feet and nail directly up to the large tree. 130 feet, F8, A2, belay at the tree. Pitch 10: Scramble up and left along ledges. At the seeming dead end, step around the corner to the left and climb an 8-foot crack to a ledge. 150 feet, F5, belay on ledge. Pitch 11 : Climb the obvious crack above the ledge up moderately strenuous jam-cracks and over loose boulders. 150 feet, F7, Al, belay on narrow, exposed ledge. Pitch 12: Climb jam-cracks for 30 feet and then scramble as angle eases. 150 feet, F6, belay on smooth slabs below summit overhangs. Pitch 13: Traverse left 110 feet and climb up 30 feet to the notch. 140 feet, belay in the notch. The summit is reached from there by a short scramble up the north ridge. We descended the first couloir on the southeast side, making two short rappels near the bottom. NCCS V, F8, A4, 14 hours.

Russell Oberg, Unaffiliated

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