American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, California—Sierra Nevada, P 13,520 and "Bateman's Tower" (P 12,880—One-Half Mile East of the Thumb)

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1981

P 13,520 and “Bateman’s Tower” (P 12,880—one-half mile east of the Thumb). In June, 1979 our party made two first ascents in the Birch Creek area of the Palisades. Peter von Gaza and Lars Mollor completed a snowy couloir on the north face of P 13,520 (F4-5). Del Johns and I later made the first ascent of “Bateman’s Tower,” a very prominent pinnacle seen from Birch Creek (named in honor of Paul C. Bateman,of the USGS, who mapped the geology of the Palisades area in the late 1950s). The route begins just left of the black dike splitting the center of the west face and traverses into the dike at the end of the first pitch. The dike is then followed for 600 feet to the top. Stemming and off- width problems on the third pitch form the crux. There were no signs of earlier ascents. There is no walk-off route. Descend by down-climbing to the notch, continuing down the north side until reaching a large slab with a rappel anchor. A 150-foot rappel ends in a snow-filled gully. (NCCS II, F9.)

Wayne N. Sawka, USGS

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