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North America, United States, California, Sierra Nevada, Mount Hale Pinnacles and Mount Hale, East Face

Mount Hale Pinnacles and Mount Hale, East Face. On the ridge of Mount Hale that extends toward Mount Whitney, before ending above Arctic Lake, there are two very prominent towers separated by a gap of 100 feet. I climbed them in June with a belay from Jeff Campbell. The southerly tower is F6 and the northerly, F8. They are classic needles of monolithic rock that appear vertical from all sides. The east face of Mount Hall, a 1500-foot wall, is a Sierra classic. My first attempt in June with Greg Henzie and Jeff Campbell failed because of difficulty and acclimatization (Hale is 13,440 feet). In July I returned with Dennis Hennek and Dave Lomba. Dave was hit by the altitude on the approach, which crosses a 13,000-foot pass, and he didn’t make the final climb. Dennis and I left very early and soon found ourselves on continuously difficult rock. Five pitches in a row were F8 or harder. A few pitons were used for direct aid on an overhanging off-width crack, but otherwise the climb was free and clean. We tried to climb quickly as possible and reached the summit at 6:30 P.M. The climb is comparable in length and difficulty with the north wall of Sentinel Rock in Yosemite and is rated NCCS V, F9, A3.

Galen Rowell