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North America, United States, Wyoming, Mount Roberts, East Face, Wind River Range

Mount Roberts, East Face, Wind River Range. The mile-wide east face of Mount Roberts connects the nearly level summit erosion surface and the fringe of two glacial basins that drain into unnamed lakes above timber line. A reconnaissance several years ago established only two feasible routes and a close inspection suggested the central one, a slight rib on the face. In August Doug Randall, Mark Meng and I made the arduous hike in over Bears Ears Pass, and on the second day we camped in a pine grove and inspected the projected 1500-foot route. The next day we came to grips with the first three full pitches. The rock was superb granitic gneiss. Just one crack system provided flaws which enabled us to move in good fashion. The hardest part was a strenuous layback crack; there was one 20-foot aid section. On our final day we took advantage of our ropes to get back over the hard spots and continued up a steep arĂȘte of magnificent rock. One pitch was particularly difficult before the climbing became more broken. High on the face we bore right to get water from rock seepage; we then continued on a second rib just north of the main line we had been following. The rock here was steep but well jointed. Once over the edge we unroped, then hiked over acres of fractured blocks to the summit.

Fred Beckey