American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Wyoming, Wind Rivers, Southern Section

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1960

Wind Rivers, Southern Section. On August 28 William Plummer and I did a new route on the east ridge of Wolf’s Head from a camp at Lonesome Lake. The ridge begins at the col between “Tiger Tower and Wolf’s Head, which would most easily be reached by climbing over “Tiger Tower” from the notch between it and Pingora. However, we reached the start of the ridge by climbing directly up the south wall of the Wolf’s Head-Tiger Tower col by means of a series of diagonal ledges and cracks.

The first couple of pitches on the ridge were gentle and easy but very exposed, as the ridge is here less than two feet wide and drops abruptly for several hundred feet on either side. Above, the ridge rose more steeply for a few rope-lengths of pleasant climbing to where it became a fairly horizontal cockscomb of blocky granite gendarmes. The first of these was bypassed easily to the south into the open chimney separating it from the next. Passing through this chimney onto the north side of the crest, we reached the crux of the climb, a 15-foot traverse with no handholds across the 70° face on a half-inch ledge. The next few towers were easily climbed or traversed until our progress was nearly stopped by another great, overhanging block. However, this obstacle was overcome by descending a short rotten chimney to the south, followed by a balance traverse into a corner ; then an airy downward hand-traverse into a strenuous chimney, by means of which the crest was regained. This completed the difficulties, and the summit was easily reached in two or three more moderate pitches.

A few days previously, on August 25, we climbed a new, direct variation on the east face of Warbonnet Peak, and on the descent, via the south slopes, made what we believe is a first ascent of the easy pinnacle near the base of the south ridge, which we called “The Gray Feather.”

William J. Buckingham

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