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North America, United States, California, Sierra Nevada, Lone Pine Peak, Winter Chimney, First Winter Ascent

Lone Pine Peak, Winter Chimney, first winter ascent. On March 11 Scott Nelson and I made the first winter ascent of the Winter Chimney (Carmona-LeMay, July 2005) on the south face of Lone Pine Peak (12,994'). The route starts up the classic Winter Route (Jones-Rowell, 1970) before branching off right up a steep east-facing corner system leading directly to the summit plateau. The Winter Chimney is somewhat of a Sierra oddity in winter and spring because it presents many pitches of excellent mixed climbing high on a 3,000' south face. The route features memorable chimneys, steep snow chutes, rock, and ice, culminating in a spectacular alpine experience.

We completed our ascent in a near 24-hour push from the stone house in the Tuttle Creek drainage, directly below the massive south face. A complicated approach and decent frame the climbing, which was relatively moderate: 5.7 M3 WI3. Under winter-like conditions the climb offers Grade V commitment, with few retreat options once you are established on the face.

Charles Ince