Aiguille Extra, East Buttress, near Mount Whitney. This hiding giant surprisingly had only one route on it, which follows an obvious large dihedral. Kenny Cook and I hiked on July 1 from Whitney Portal to the base of our proposed route, the unclimbed east buttress. The first pinnacle we fourth-classed from the right under a constant barrage of ice and rock from the walls above. The climbing began with a pitch of loose, friable rock (F6) to a good crack at the right of the base of a chimney. Kenny led up the crack (F9) to a good ledge. I climbed up a thin crack and then tensioned into an off-width crack (A2, F9). Kenny went up left (F7) through a slot below a ledge system, up a short F10 section. A little third-classing brought us to a comfortable bivouac. In the morning, the fifth pitch (F7) tended right and ended on a ledge. Some third-class scrambling to the left took us to the large ledge at the bottom of a headwall. A large block on the left formed a perfect hand-crack for 25 feet. Kenny led this vertical wall (F10). I moved up a flaky layback to small footholds and traversed right for 30 feet to a good hand-crack (F8) which ended at a good belay atop large blocks. Kenny led the last pitch from an ice-covered corner to the right. A few aid moves took him up an overhanging wall to F4 climbing and a pedestal just below the summit. NCCS V, F10, A2.
Werner R. Landry