American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, California, Sierra Nevada, The Bowmaiden, Lucky Sailor's Route

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1982

The Bowmaiden, Lucky Sailor’s Route. This formation rises above the headwaters of the south fork of Cathedral Creek, and is the most impressive of several north faces on the ridge between Mount Hoffman and Tuolumne Peak. Its summit is 10,560+ feet. The route starts in cracks leading to the right-hand of two obvious left-facing books on the prow of the buttress. Midway up the book, exit right and climb to a huge, tree-covered ledge that runs across the entire formation. Walk right and climb towards a large left-facing book, but then move left and ascend a smaller book. From its top move left and climb an F10 overhang, then work up and left to a crack splitting the summit overhang. The final (crux) pitch could easily be avoided. Evelyn Lees, Louise Sheperd and I climbed it in July. NCCS III, F10. Vogelsang Peak, Nightingale Arête. This route ascends the buttress-arête combination leading to the west summit of Vogelsang Peak. Climb slanting cracks on the left side of the lower buttress; the first half is easy Class 5. Higher, several F7 sections lead to Class 2 and 3 scrambling along the horizontal ridge leading to the upper arête. Midway up the arête, an F9 pitch leads up into an obvious corner. Gary Colliver and I climbed it in July. NCCS II, F9. Vogelsang Peak, West Face. This steep route was climbed by Evelyn Lees and me in August. On the left margin of the face are two ominous, right-slanting chimney systems. Our route starts in the most obvious crack to the right of these. Traverses right to gain new cracks were made on the fourth and fifth pitches. The sixth pitch started with a long traverse left, then about 30 feet of aid led up to an overhanging corner to easier climbing. One point of aid was also used on each of the second and fifth pitches. The rock on this difficult route was much looser than we anticipated, and several sections seemed dangerous. NCCS IV, F10, A2. Simmons Peak, East Arête. Five pitches lead up this striking arête to a long, horizontal Class 3 and 4 section. Above this, one more pitch leads up the final prow, involving F8 face moves left of the actual prow. This route, climbed by Evelyn Lees and me in August, reminded us of the climbing on Temple Crag in the Palisades. NCCS III, F8.

Alan Bartlett, Buff Alpine Club

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