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North America, United States, Wyoming—Wind River Range, Squaretop

Squaretop. The right skyline of Squaretop when viewed from the Green River Lakes presents a 1800-foot sweep of excellent rock. When we arrived below the buttress after a hard approach, my brother Greg, Kent Christensen and I looked up in despair. There was a beautiful line in a giant dihedral just right of the buttress crest, but we were ill-prepared for what looked like the summit dihedral of the Nose of El Cap and we had only the afternoon and the next day to climb. We decided to “have a look anyway” and ended up making one of the finest free climbs we had ever done. Three or four hundred feet of third class at the bottom of the buttress led to the base of the dihedral. We made the mistake of staying left of the dihedral in cracks on the wall for the first pitch and had to make two aid moves on the third pitch. The next party will do well to stay in the bottom of the dihedral from the start where it appears very reasonable. We bivouacked on a good ledge at the top of the third pitch, and the next day climbed varied and always challenging free climbing to reach the summit at seven P.M. We placed a handful of pitons, but future parties should find a complete assortment of nuts will do the job. NCCS V, F 9.

Jeff Lowe