North America, United States, Callifornia, Sierra Nevada Range, The Balls

Publication Year: 1980.

The Balls. There are four main domes at the Balls, an area just north of Bass Lake and Oakhurst. All are immediately north of a dirt road leading to the area. From west to east, the domes have tentatively been named Ski Track Dome, Little Dome, Tempest Dome and Big Red. Since many climbers, including Royal Robbins and his rockcraft group, have visited the Balls but not recorded ascents, it is difficult to know what are new routes. Nevertheless, on July 14 and 15 several members of the Sierra Nevada section of the AAC did a few routes in the area that are most likely new. The most significant routes are on Tempest Dome. On the north side of the rock are Little Froggy, Jerry Koch and Jerry Boch, NCCS I, F7, and Shady Lane, Bruce and Kathy McCubbrey, NCCS I, F7. The first follows a green, lichen speckled wall; the second takes the main dihedral. On the south face, toward the left side, is Odyssey, Tom Higgins, Shary McVoy, Alan Nelson, NCCS II, F9. The route follows a large indenture and arch for two pitches, then a 30-foot flake to a fantastic, steep, knobby wall, F9. Havana Ball, Higgins, McVoy and Nelson, takes the blank face left of the black waterstreak toward the right end of the south face. It begins on a flake, continues past two bolts to a two-bolt belay above a short roof. It then passes the large roof above (F10) about 15 feet right of a break marked by two fixed pitons set for another route.

Thomas J. Higgins