American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Beau-Te Cache Dome, Fantomas; Hamilton Dome, Ophelia

California, Sequoia National Park

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Vitaliy Musiyenko
  • Climb Year: 2017
  • Publication Year: 2018

In October 2017, after working a 12-hour shift at the hospital, I rested in bed for a few hours then got up at 2 a.m. when the cardio machine Chaz Langelier showed up at my door. Our goal was to set out from Crescent Meadow, hike approximately 17 miles and climb a new route up a previously unclimbed (to my knowledge) dome just west of Hamilton Dome. That day we found an amazing moderate route with a mix of face and crack climbing that went at approximately 5.8, without huge runouts or the need for bolts. On top, we found no evidence of human passage. Since Chaz is fluent in French, he dubbed the formation Beau-Te Cache Dome (or the Hidden Beauty) and I dubbed our route Fantomas (1,100’, III 5.8), since it is my favorite French movie. Back in camp we enjoyed the beautiful sunset in an incredible location.

The following morning we got up half an hour before dawn and after a quick breakfast approached the southwest buttress of Hamilton Dome. We climbed approximately 1,200’ of stellar rock to the left of previously established routes on the south face, with a good mix of crack and face climbing (like everywhere else on this aspect of Hamilton Dome). We named the route Ophelia (1,200’, III 5.9+), so that she could make company for the nearby Hamlet Buttress. 

For both of the routes, we descended the gully that separates Beau-Te Cache Dome and Hamilton Dome. This requires a few raps with a 60m rope, but if descending from Hamilton a 70m rope would work better. After the second route, we were back to camp ready to hike out by 12:30 p.m. We were back in Visalia by 7 p.m.—the following day Chaz had to give an important presentation at UCSF, and I had to take a test for a medical training course. Fortunately both of us sent!

– Vitaliy Musiyenko

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