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North America, United States, California, Sierra Nevada, Lone Pine Peak, South Corner

Lotte Pine Peak, South Corner. On May 26–27 Miguel Carmona and I established the South Corner (V 5.9 C1) on Lone Pine Peak. Our route takes the most direct line to the area where all of the routes on this part of the south face (Direct South Face, Winter Route, Land of Little Rain, Summer Ridge, Wind-horse, Pathways Through To Space) intersect, climbing 12 pitches before joining the Direct South Face (Beckey Route) for its last six pitches to the summit plateau. It is the obvious huge left-facing corner just left of the start of the gully of the Beckey Route and right of Pathways Through to Space. Our climb follows the corner to its top, joining the Beckey Route at a prominent pine tree below the Eye of the Needle.

Miguel and I made four trips in 2006 to see if the route would go, pushing up to pitch 9, where climbing difficulty and a lack of wide gear stopped us. Then in 2007 we made it to our high point, and spent the rest of the day aiding through the crux. The wall was near vertical there with a 6" wide, slightly overhanging corner crack. Aid gear was 2"x3" pieces of wood, cut on lead. We then retreated to a cave at the start of pitch 8, which provided a cramped bivy spot. The next morning, we climbed to pitch 12, where we joined the Beckey Route just below the Eye of the Needle and the Sandy Ledges. We rappelled from there, as we’d previously climbed the easier remaining six pitches of the Beckey Route that continue to the summit plateau.

The route starts on 3rd-class ledges that lead into the corner. Climb the corner to a sloping platform, and after a ropelength, traverse right into a big open chimney. Continue up on face holds and wide cracks to a platform with a pin. Up wide cracks, then up the corner. Continue to a foot-wide ledge. To the right of the ledge is the bivy cave where we spent a night. Climb the dirty corner over grass steps and brush to a belay, then up the brushy corner, then aid (Cl) the corner (up to 9" wide) past a bolt, and continue on difficult terrain to a ledge. Continue up the brushy corner over sustained terrain to a platform and cave. Climb in the chimney, out past a bolt, then left out the roof to a big platform. An easy pitch leads to the tree at the intersection with the Beckey Route.

Joe LeMay, AAC