Cloud Peak, East Face
United States, Wyoming, Bighorn Mountains
During the first week of August of 1986, Steve Petro and I made the first ascent of the east face of Cloud Peak. The face is about 1,000 feet high and consists of generally smooth solid granite with several ledge and dihedral systems. The route begins 80 feet left of a prominent left-angling black dike. The climbing went all free and had occasional run-outs on easier ground. The first three pitches went at 5.10 on steep slabs leading up to the first 5.11 pitch. This fourth pitch, the crux, was the steepest; it was the last on the slabs and connected the route to the dihedrals. It involved delicate face climbing and traversing on small edges. Two moderate pitches above led to grassy ledges and a bivouac after the second day. The last two pitches (5.9 and 5.11) were done on the third day during a building storm. An average free-climbing rack of RPs, Friends and stoppers is adequate for the route. Six bolts were drilled on the climb. We approached from above and needed ice axes to descend the northernmost couloir.