American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Colorado, Notchtop Mountain, East Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1975

Notchtop Mountain, East Face. The first ascent of the exposed, seven- pitch “White Room” route was made in June by Roger Briggs and me. It meanders up the very steep and featureless wall to the right of “Optimus,” finishing in a prominent dihedral. The climbing, route-finding and protection provided varied but fairly continuous challenges. We had to traverse a full rope-length, first left and then right, to avoid a large ceiling halfway up the wall. The route was done without hammers in nine hours. NCCS IV, F10. To the right of this route the east face terminates in a large, broken buttress, the lower half of which is formed by a detached, pinnacle-like rib. In August Dakers Gowans and I ascended the indistinct northeast corner of this rib after several hundred feet of steep third-class climbing in a prominent gully and chimney system. Two long complicated leads (F6 and F7) took us to a ledge below the smooth, east-facing summit headwall. The final pitch ascended the headwall until a hand traverse rightwards gained a dihedral, up which we jammed. We used nuts up to three inches. NNCS II, F8.

Lawrence Hamilton, Unaffiliated

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