American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Contiguous United States, California, Sierra Nevada, Temple Crag, North Peak, The Crystal Way, Previously Unreported

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2000

Temple Crag, North Peak, The Crystal Way, Previously Unreported. The Crystal Way (IV 5.10a) provides a day-long adventure up the 1,500-foot wall of North Peak (upper buttress) on semi-difficult ground. Scott Scully and I climbed the route in June, 1996. Find two crack systems immediately left of the Northwest Couloir. Climb the right one for two pitches. Here the route crosses the lower buttress descent route. Climb up 400 feet on fourth-class ground. On the right is a 300-foot tower that is detached from the upper north face. Traverse right to the base of the tower and climb a vertical jam crack, avoiding an obvious loose alcove on the right. Belay on a large ledge, then climb a left-facing corner and traverse up and right onto the right edge of the tower. Belay in a sandy gully between the tower and the north face. Continue up the arête of the tower to its top. At this point you are at the base of the arête that forms the prominent left-facing dihedral (Mendenhall Route) on the left side of the north face. Ascend directly up the arête (5.10a) and gain a shallower dihedral just right of the prominent dihedral. Climb this to its top and move right onto the face of the upper buttress. There are many crystal pockets in this area of the face; please leave them in place. A final pitch leads to the summit ridge of the north peak. A few fourth-class

pitches lead to the summit of Temple Crag.

Michael Strassman

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