North America, Mexico, El Gran Trono Blanco, Sierra Juárez

Publication Year: 1980.

El Gran Trono Blanco, Sierra Juárez. Werner Landry and I made the second ascent of the superb route, the “Giraffe,” in March, 1978, during three days of poor weather. The previously unreported first ascent was done in two-and-a-half days in 1975 by John Long and Hugh Burton. We were stopped on our first attempt in January by cold weather at the end of the second pitch. We came prepared for the worst in March and succeeded despite high winds and sporadic rain, including an all-night deluge on our second hanging bivouac. The route bisects the blankest part of the 1600-foot east face in a diagonal line between the two most prominent roofs. Unfortunately we found it necessary to place some additional bolts, but except for two placed to protect hard moves 50 feet out on a friction pitch, which was nearly impossible in the rain, all merely backed up questionable belays. The principal difficulties, three pitches of A3 and three of A4, have no new bolts. We added a new first pitch that starts slightly left of a plumb-line dropped from the start of the second pitch, which is more direct. Amazingly, Burton and Long climbed the route, the hardest yet done on the Throne, without prior reconnaissance. NCCS VI, F9, A4.

John Vawter