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North America, United States, California—Sierra Nevada, Mount Tyndall, East Face Couloir

Mount Tyndall East Face Couloir. Mount Tyndall’s rather expansive and sheer east face falls from a long north-south summit ridge. Strangely, it has not seen climbing except at its extreme south end, quite distant from the summit. On May 31, 1970, Charles Raymond and I traversed soft snow slopes, coming from Shepherd Pass on the north, below the face to seek an interesting one-day route. A direct rock route to the summit seemed feasible, but because of dubious looking cracks on the upper section, and our lack of preparation for much technical work, we chose the deep couloir that splits the heart of the face. For about 1000 feet the climbing was steep and mushy. Then several leads of quite steep snow, very consolidated, led to a final couloir headwall. Raymond led this, pulling off a number of shattered handholds on a very difficult and unpleasant final pitch. Protection was hard to place and of really doubtful value. Frost action had riven the rock quite badly and the nearby faces did not look especially promising, but no doubt a more direct route can be found. NCCS III, F8.