American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, California—Sierra Nevada, Wheeler Crest, Stormy Petrel Route

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1984

Wheeler Crest, Stormy Petrel Route. Quite prominent among the line of granitic walls and towers between the desert floor and the top of Wheeler Crest is a pink-toned cliff on the left flank, above Wells Peak. Mike Warburton and I had tried a line near the center of the cliff one winter, but fresh snow in the cracks became unduly frustrating. On a cold May weekend in 1982, Bryce Simon, John Feder and I hiked the scarp to the base of the dihedral that begins the route and reclimbed the first pitches. Our several old bolts on the second pitch made a blank leftward traverse possible. Thin face-climbing led to a crack system, the logical route on the wall. We retired to our sleeping bags for the night, then did the climb the following day. A tiring squeeze chimney, a pitch of layback cracks and an airy traverse led to the top of a pedestal. The final headwall was marvellous face-climbing up various thin cracks. Two cold pitches during snow flurries brought us to the top. The climb would be a classic in Yosemite. III or IV, 5.8.

Fred Beckey

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.