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North America, United States, California, Sierra Nevada, Split Mountain, East Arête of North Summit

Split Mountain, East Arête of North Summit. This long ridge is not as continuously steep as its neighbor that leads to the south summit, but the total climbing distance is greater, due to several gaps and a long knife- edged section in the middle. In October Fred Beckey and I set out to climb it from Red Lake. After a few hundred feet of climbing, Beckey felt ill and decided to descend. He rappelled down and I continued alone with a few nuts and runners that might have helped in a tight spot. For several hundred feet no moves were harder than F7 and the climbing went very quickly. Then I came to an F8 squeeze chimney, which although strenuous, was quite safe. Above, the angle lowered and I scrambled easily along a narrow ridge crest for hundreds of feet until I reached an area of large gendarmes. One seemed to be sheer on all sides and a route I tried to the left wouldn’t go. After considering a retreat, I found a traverse to the left via a short F8 layback above a small ledge. From there the route went up and down over great gendarmes until it gained the summit edge. The 2000-foot climb took an hour and forty-five minutes from the point where Beckey turned back. The rock was overall quite sound and similar to that of the main Palisade Group. Only on the first few pitches were their any number of loose blocks. NCCS III, F8.

Galen Rowell