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North America, Mexico, Pico Candela, Northwest Ridge

Pico Candela, Northwest Ridge. In January 2006 Ralph Vega and I established the first technical route on this obvious 1,000' granite spire off Highway 1, north of Monterey. After a four-hour hike to the base, we started up the northwest ridge for two long pitches, then traversed right into a crack system, which we followed for 400' to a ledge. One long pitch off the left end of the ledge took us to the summit. Eight pitches, 5.10+, summit elevation 6,200'. Rappel the route to the ledge, then five 50m rappels straight down the west face, using a lucky combination of oak trees. Full rack to three inches.

Alex Catlin