North America, United States, California, Sierra Nevada, Birch Mountain, North Ridge, Attempt

Publication Year: 2005.

Birch Mountain, north ridge, attempt. In the summer, Seth Dilles and I were back again to do the first ascent of the complete north ridge, which we planned to call the Kramer Memorial Ridge [for history, see AAJ2004, pp. 170-171]. I invited Doug Robinson to join us, only to learn that he had just climbed Birch [see above]. He climbed it with a client, spent a night at our 2003 high point, and continued. However, to avoid another bivouac, they bailed off the ridge and climbed another ridge to the summit. This left our prize, the complete 2,500' north ridge, unclimbed. We decided to go on a 24-hour alpine-style push. The climbing was challenging and adventuresome. Beautiful granite, interspersed with loose bands of granodiorite. But we ran out of water at about 3 p.m., ran out of food at 4 p.m., and ran out of energy at 7 p.m. We bailed 500' from the summit.

Mike Strassman

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