American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, California, Angel Wings, Just a Rock in the Park

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

Angel Wings, Just A Rock In The Park. In June, Richard Leversee, Ron Felton and I completed a new route, Just A Rock In The Park (V-VI 5.10 A3+), on this large face in Sequoia National Park. Wc had decided to “go light” and forego the hammocks or por-taledges traditionally brought these days on big walls. Near the base, however, we found remnants of a haulbag and gear, apparently dropped and lost by Fred Beckey many years ago. We decided to bring along an old Forrest hammock, just in case.

The route is situated in the center of the main south face, and starts on the left of two ramps that cross and form a distinct “X” a few hundred feet from the base. Two free pitches brought us to the right side of a heart-shaped ledge. Here we found evidence of a previous attempt by Dick Long and company. A pendulum right off an ancient piton led to two pitches of mostly difficult aid to a stance below a sloping bivy. After fix-ing 80 feet of aid up and left off the stance, I returned to the bivy and set up the hammock, while Richard and Ron struggled to be comfortable on the sloping stance. Around midnight I awoke to the faint sound of nylon tearing, and found that my head was lower than my feet, and my foam pad was the only thing keeping me from dropping out of the bottom of the hammock. Perhaps the sloping ledge would have been better.

In the morning, Ron finished the pitch I had started by tensioning off a copperhead and aiding to a small stance beneath an overhanging headwall. More hard aid and bathooking led up right of an ugly chimney, and another long pitch led to our second bivy, also in a sloping area. Above, cleaner but wide cracks went up for two pitches, then I freeclimbed a large ramp up and left to a point just below the top. Richard led past a few more tricky moves to top out, ending our odyssey up this difficult wall in a most beautiful setting.

E. C. Joe, Southern Sierra Climbers’ Association

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