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North America, Mexico, Sierra Juárez, El Gran Trono Blanco, East Face

Sierra Juárez, El Gran Trono Blanco, East Face. Through the eastern escarpment of Baja’s Sierra Juárez runs Cañon Tajo, largest of all the Juárez canyons. In Tajo’s upper reaches is a granite wall known as El Gran Trono Blanco, a 1600-foot high block set between the north and south forks of the canyon. Starting on January 23, 1972, Karl Karl-strom, Scott Baxter, and I ascended a fine, natural, non-direct route on this wall which went nearly all free. The right side of the east face is slashed by several right-leaning fractures, contrasting to this are several less pronounced crack systems leaning left. Our route starts up a ramp rising from the central base and ending high on the north buttress. Several hundred feet of easy rock on this ramp leads to an obvious bush-topped slab (halfway up the wall) from which climbing begins in earnest. From the slab-top we ascended the left of two parallel cracks (A3) ending as a niche which gives access to a ledge running left. From the end of the ledge, many fine pitches of free climbing lead along a left-trending crack system which leads to the top. This is a tremendous route with less than 200 feet of direct aid. Protection was with nuts, the only exception occurring on the aid pitch where a few pitons were used also. NCCS IV or V, F9, A3.

LEE DEXTER, Unaffiliated