American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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North America, United States, California, Sierra Nevada, East Fuller Butte, Walking with Walt

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2004

East Fuller Butte, Walking with Walt. After three false starts over 18 months, two due to 110°+ summer temperatures and one due to a “10% chance of light, scattered showers” that turned into a blizzard in September 2002, Sigrid and Lynnea Anderson, Kenny Rose, and I finally completed this route (V 5.10d C2) in mid-October 2003. This route features 11 pitches of enjoyable, clean rock in the wilderness setting of the upper San Joaquin River and has fine views of the upper San Joaquin River Gorge and the Sierra high country It also features a one-hour downhill approach, a mostly level one-hour return, and a year-round spring at the base of the climb. Although the free-climbing is rated 5.10d, andmuch of the route either does or will go free, there is no mandatory free-climbing over 5.5. We used three Lost Arrows on each of the first two pitches, but after a few ascents the route should go entirely clean, and all but pitch eight are Cl. The route was named for the late Walt Shipley.

The climb begins several hundred feet downhill and to the left of the Fred Beckey Southeast Face Route (IV 5.8 A2), done in 1972. It starts just right of a small left-facing corner and follows a perfect, straight-in, right-arching crack leading to a large left-facing corner system. From there the route follows the only possible line.

There is a poor bivy ledge for three or four people at the end of the fourth pitch, but excellent por- taledge bivies at the end of pitches five and seven. Please check with the Sierra National Forest North Fork office for possible Peregrine Falcon closures lasting through midsummer. For topo and additional information, e-mail

Jerry Anderson, AAC

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