American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, California, P 11,920 ("The Nameless Pyramid")

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1994

P 11,920 (“The Nameless Pyramid”). In October, Richard Swayze and I approached this formation intent on repeating the original route on the east face. We knew that the normal route followed a very prominent crack several hundred feet to a huge horizontal ledge that traverses the upper peak and ends on a shoulder a few hundred feet below the summit. We noticed on our approach that rising from the left end of this ledge is a long, beautiful crack that rises to just below the summit. We decided to explore the crack. We followed the regular route for 300 feet. At the second of two horizontal ledge-systems we traversed up and right for two pitches (5.8) to the base of a spectacular upper crack. The next pitch follows a right-leaning crack that starts from fingers to an off-width. Ceilings, flakes and hidden handholds place this among the best cracks in the Sierra back country. The final pitch has two sections of vegetation that forced us to use a point of aid, but if some one cleaned this out, it would go at moderate 5.10. This route is more difficult, but much more enjoyable, than the regular route. An abandoned Friend caused us to believe that a prior ascent of the “direct crack” had been done, but we saw no sign of climbers on the traversing pitches.

Bart O’Brien

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