ApproachFrom the lower saddle, head up a climbers path toward a prominent black dike. At the dike hike climbers right. Head for a small saddle that can be distinguished by the convergence of a zone of red and black rock. Hike left towards the steep rock of the Lower Exum Ridge. Rope up at the base of the diffuculties.
Route DescriptionThis route, one of the celebrated 50 Classics of North America, is deserving of the distinction. While not technically difficult, one must start early and climb efficiently in order to beat the evening lighting storms. Many climbers start this route only to bail at Wall Street. August is a good time to climb this route as it is snow free and can be done wearing approach shoes without an ixe axe.
The first pitch climbs cracks to a broad ledge. Be sure to pick the correct line as some will dead end in difficult climbing. From the ledge climb a right leaning chimney past two big chockstones. Belay on a ledge. Climb left through gulleys and chimneys making an awkward, off balance traverse to the left, then back right up a short steep wall to arrive in a nook below the Black Face. Stem up to the Black Face climbing on small holds. Exit left via the wide 'Crystal Crack'. This is typically done in two pitches. Traverse left along loose ledges and climb short walls to arrive at the base of the Upper Exum. Follow the Upper Exum to the summit. Descend via the standard descent route. The famous overhanging rappel requires either double ropes or a 60 meter with tricky downclimbing. This spot has seen its share of accidents, be careful and join with another party if you are not postive one rope with get you down.