American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, California, The Domelands and Sierra Nevada, Various Attempts and Ascents

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1997

The Domelands and Sierra Nevada, Various Attempts and Ascents. During a week-long encampment in the mosquito-infested Dusty Basin, in August, 1995, we made one climb and one attempt. On August 19, two friends from Spokane, Steve and Sharon Reynolds, on their first visit to the Sierras, along with myself, climbed a five-pitch romp up the southwest buttress of Isosceles Peak. Approaching from Dusty Basin, we began climbing on the large ramp climb just left of center on the buttress. Easy fifth class climbing ends at a belay at a comer below a blocky roof. At the end of the corner, a rightward undercling (5.6) gains access to the crest of the buttress. Three fun pitches on the blocky crest lead to the top. The summit offers outstanding views of the southwest side of Thunderbolt Peak and Mount Winchell. (II 5.6). (Reference: The High Sierra, R.J. Secor, p. 182.)

The next day, on Mount Winchell in the Palisades Area, Mark Robinson and I attempted Le Donut Shoppe Arête, the first arête to the left of Rowell and Harding’s Southwest Arête. We left camp for a predawn start to climb the Southwest Arête. On the walk up to the base of the route the peak played peek-a-boo amongst the clouds, making identification of the route difficult. Believing we were on the proper arête, we started up a 5.8 comer system just left of the crest for 400 feet. From a belay on a ledge, starting in a steep comer, the next long pitch was the crux. Mark led a poorly protected 5.10 face section to position us to turn the first gendarme on the left. Easy, airy fifth class climbing along the ridge led to a spectacularly exposed but easy (5.5) face to a blocky comer that allowed us to turn the second large gendarme on the right, ending in a notch at a yellow band. This was the high point of our attempt. Beating a hasty retreat in rapidly approaching thunder and lightning, we arrived on easy ground just as lightning bolts and rain reached Mount Winchell. From the high point of our attempt approximately 200 feet of easy fifth leads to the northwest ridge and the summit. The rock on this route is clean and solid. (III, 5.10). (Reference: The High Sierra, R.J. Secor, p. 200.)

Reese Martin

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