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North America, United States, California—Sierra Nevada, Climbs in the Sierra Nevada

Climbs in the Sierra Nevada. The Sierra high country experienced a great deal of climber activity during the summer of 1994, but little energy was expended on new routes. The 1993 publication of Sierra Classics may have inspired climbers to plan trips into the back country to bag previously uncelebrated gems. As the word spreads about the quality of newly climbed routes, fewer climbers may cue on the older classics. Of course, there is the challenge of finding a fine new route. At least a couple of the following routes may deserve to be awarded classic status in the years to come. Thanks to R.J. Secor and others who sent me the following information, some unreported from some years back. Black Pyramid, East Face: first ascent in August, 1979 by Kevin Rivett and David Babich. This route (I, 5.7) climbs the featureless wall to the left of a prominent, loose crack in the center of the east face. After three pitches, it goes fourth-class to the top. Mount Tyndall: first ascent in 1994 by Daniel Roiman, Gus Benner and Sergio Aragon. This route (II, 5.6) ascends the face of sound rock between the chute on the east face and the buttress of the northeast arête. They ascended the middle of the face toward right-facing layback cracks to the north face and class-3 scrambling. Matterhorn Peak, The “Maze:” first ascent by Roitman and Aragon in 1994. The route (II, 5.6) ascends the face to the right of the east couloir. The right (northern) side of the face is steep and smooth and the left is relatively broken. The Maze ascends the broken face, getting its name from the many variations possible. Obelisk, “Poultry in Motion:” first ascent by Ellen Holden and R.J. Secor on September 25, 1994. This route (II, 5.7) ascends the knobby face between Los Polios Locos and the chimney of the south face route. It is mostly vertical fourth-class climbing with a few moderate class-5 moves. Mount Conness: In September of 1992, David Hardy and Paul Goldhammer climbed a fifth-class route on the west side of this peak. The route starts from the south side of the huge tower on the north ridge and traverses up and across the west face to the summit, always remaining below the crest of the north ridge. Mount Darwin: In 1982, Bruce Hendricks and Bruce Watts climbed the right rib on the north face. They followed the crest of the rib for six pitches to the summit plateau (II, 5.8.)

Bart O’Brien