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North America, United States, California, Yosemite, Mount Watkins, South Face, Hook, Line, and Sinker

Mount Watkins, South Face, Hook, Line, and Sinker. In May Mike Munger, Steve Larsen and I finished the second route on Watkins’ south face. From the top of the 800-foot, left-hand buttress, the first technical pitches gain the left-tending ramps to the first bivouac. Above a long, left-arching roof the next two pitches diagonal up and right across a face with many hook moves and a pendulum right. From our bivouac on a flake—the Cat’s Eye—two more pitches, including hook moves and a swing right from a bolt, lead to the big central ledges. From the right end of the ledges climb the left-hand and smaller of the two arching dihedrals. The second pitch off the ledge goes through the roof of the dihedral and up more cracks to a small ledge. Two pitches, one involving more A3 hooks and the other predominantly free climbing in wide cracks with a pendulum left got us into the great summit dihedral that parallels the last pitches of the original route. The remainder of the climb follows the dihedrals to the summit. NCCS VI, F10, A3+.

Angus M. Thuermer, Jr.