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North America, United States, California, Sierra Nevada, Wells Peak, East Face

Wells Peak, East Face. This face, north of The Smokestack and Adams Rib, resembles Mount Whitney in miniature. Reconnaissance located a good start and some very continuous face climbing. The final ascent was made on February 23 and 24, 1974, by Jack Roberts, Allen Bartlett, and Fred Beckey. Except for a few moves of aid on the second pitch, the entire climb is free, and on generally good rock. Three consecutive steep pitches led from a bivouac at the foot of the wall to a broken terrace. Higher, a long crack system leads to the apex of a pillar. (A weird mantling traverse and an overhanging free problem are the key areas.) Rock directly above proved unyielding, so the party made a short rappel to the gully south of it, then continued several more pitches to the summit. Descent was by a snow gully on the north. NCCS IV, F8, Al.