American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, California, Yosemite, Wildcat Buttress

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1973

Wildcat Buttress. Six miles northwest of Tuolumne Meadows is Glen Aulin, a two-mile-long parkland through which the Tuolumne River flows. Unlike most other areas on the western slope of the Sierra, Glen Aulin has groves of aspen, scattered juniper and sagebrush. In August Dale Bard and I went exploring in Glen Aulin. We found a large granite wall, Yosemite grade V or VI variety, for which we had neither the time nor the equipment. The second largest wall was a buttress above California Falls, connected to Wildcat Peak by a long ridge.

After several false starts, Dale found a way to free climb the first 75 feet. Both of us took falls trying to lead a shallow overhanging groove above, and I finally used two pitons for aid. Dale was able to follow the lead without aid, staying much farther out of the groove than when he had attempted to lead. Higher, we met two leads of F8 and F9, followed by a short nail-up to the base of a leaning dihedral. Delicate nailing (A4) brought us to a ledge not too far below the summit. An improbable, but easy traverse to the left put us below a crack system that we free climbed (F8) to the top of the rock. Parts of two days were spent on the rock, although the total time was less than a full summer day. NCCS IV, F9 or F10, A4.

Galen Rowell

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