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North America, United States, California, Bath Mountain, Tulainyo Tower and Mount Whitney

Bath Mountain, Tulainyo Tower and Mount Whitney. In September, Kenn Kenaga and I climbed a new route up the south side of Bath Mountain, just left of the southeast buttress. Low on the south face are two dihedrals; our route started on the left one above a small formation at the base of the wall (where we also did some one-pitch routes naming it “Bath Dome.”) We exited from the dihedral to the left on the fourth pitch and climbed to the top of a shoulder. Third- class climbing led up and right to the base of an east-facing headwall, which we climbed in its center for three or four more pitches to the summit. The first pitch on the headwall was the crux. (III or IV, 5.10a.) In July, Steve Untch and I made what we believe is the first free-ascent of the east-face direct on Tulainyo Tower, one of the finest we have done in the Sierras. There are several difficult off-width cracks, with the crux on the fifth pitch. One needs some extra protection in the 3" to 4" range. (IV, 5. 10d.) In September, Bruce Binder and I climbed what we believe is the first free-ascent of the old Direct East Face on Mount Whitney.

There was previously only one aid pitch, and the gear is mostly fixed in this section. (IV or V, 5. 10d.)

Patrick Brennan