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Post Peak is not "class-1"

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Post Peak is not "class-1"

Postby xharv » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:01 am

I don't know if Post Peak, on the southeast Yosemite border, had already been mentioned on this forum before, but I was amazed to see that even the latest edition (2009) of Secor's "The High Sierra" repeats an old misinformation that route to the summit is "class-1 from Post Peak Pass". A few days ago I came over that pass on my way from Lyell Fork to Clover Meadow, and used the opportunity to climb both Post Peak (11009 ft), and its unnamed neighbor (10880+ ft) on the other side of the pass. Post Peak is not "class-1", it is a solid class-3. The route goes over a short, steep, and quite narrow ridge formed by huge blocks of granite stacked atop each other. At times I had an unpleasant feeling that some of those blocks are not in their final position yet, and that one of them could slip taking me with it to the abyss on one of the sides of the crest. Perhaps just my imagination. The ascent has a somewhat disappointing ending: as the ridge flattens, you realize that the highest point on the summit is an "unclimbable" 20-feet high obelisk. As if somebody had placed it there to spoil the fun.

It is hard to tell how many people visit Post Peak, because there is no register at the top. I only found one remark on the Web about a Post Peak ascent: Bob Burd climbed the peak as a side trip during his amazing 18-hours hike from Fernandez Trailhead to the top of Mount Ansel Adams and back. I don't suggest that everyone should add Post Peak to their peak-bagging lists now, but if you are already in the area, and can choose, e.g., between Post Peak Pass and Isberg Pass, take the former and convince yourself that Post Peak is an interesting experience, far from being a class-1 walk.

By the way, Secor is not the only one who has the "class-1" misinformation about Post Peak. The same description can be found in Roper's "The Climber's Guide" (1976). The source for both authors may have been a misleading statement printed in an article in the "Sierra Club Bulletin", in 1951.
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Re: Post Peak is not "class-1"

Postby Bob Burd » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:52 am

xharv wrote:By the way, Secor is not the only one who has the "class-1" misinformation about Post Peak. The same description can be found in Roper's "The Climber's Guide" (1976). The source for both authors may have been a misleading statement printed in an article in the "Sierra Club Bulletin", in 1951.


The Sierra Club Bulletin collection was reprinted into Hervey Voge's classic guide in the 1950s. Andy Smatko teamed with Voge to update the guide in the 1960s, Roper updated and improved it in the 70s, then Secor in the 1990s. In all of them, if they didn't have any new information they simply repeated the original. So there are many such cases of Secor simply quoting the information from the 1950s. Post Peak is obviously one of these examples. I'm curious if you climbed the summit block which I was remiss on. As it was still nighttime and it looked like a hard class 5 problem, I left it unmolested.

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Postby xharv » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:30 am

No, Bob, I didn't even try to climb the monolith. Way beyond my skills. I wonder if Ansel Adams and Frank Holman, who are credited with the first ascent in 1922, made it to the top of that rock, or did the honor belong to somebody else? Will try to find their original trip report in the 1920s issues of the Sierra Club Bulletin.
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Postby bearflag » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:34 am

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Postby bearflag » Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:01 am

"Comments Upon and Record of Ascents of Major Peaks of the Sierra Nevada" by Walter A. Starr, Jr. - 1928-1932.

This appears to be the source, maybe. At the Bancroft and perhaps with the Yosemite Climbing Assoc.
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