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North America, United States, California—Sierra Nevada, Obelisk, West Face

Obelisk, West Face. The west face of the Obelisk is a spectacular, orange-colored, knobby wall. On the right side of this face is the only major weakness, a continuous chimney system, which is probably Beckey’s orignal route. About 40 feet left is another, more intimidating crack system. The route done by Richard Swayze, Mike Jaurequi and me on September 2 begins on a narrow ledge at the base of this crack and 50 feet of scrambling above the talus. A fine pitch with one 5.8 move leads to a belay alcove in the chimney. We stepped right and climbed a full rope-length of the best 5.8 face-climbing any of us had ever done in the High Sierra. Three more pitches on big knobs led to the summit. (II, 5.8).

Bart O’Brien