Page Type: Route
California, United States, North America
36.21110°N / 116.355°W
West Face "Direct"
Spring, Fall, Winter
Half a day
Created/Edited: Feb 16, 2008 / Dec 30, 2014
Object ID: 381191
Page Score: 83.1%
- 16 Votes
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OverviewThis is a direct route up the West Face of Eagle Mountain. It provides a great alternative to the main route, with some more spicy scrambling.
Getting ThereSee the main Eagle Mountain page for this info.
Ascending the dryfalls.From the parking area, there are three prominent chutes which pierce the West Face of Eagle Mountain, just north of the summit. They converge at the alluvial fan beneath them. Head across the Amargosa River, and up the bajada to the base of the 3 distinct chutes. This is the same approach as for the main route. (see route topo image on header of this page)
Pulling through the 4th Class section.Instead of using the ramp on the left of the 3rd chute (which is the standard West Face route), find your way to the base of the middle chute. It is the deepest of the chutes, usually in the shade somewhat, with a polished dryfall in the middle of it. There are a few mid-size boulders to be surmounted to allow entry into the chute, but it's Class 2 travel to the base.
Some fun scrambling up the chute will take you to the main event- the dryfall. It's Class 4, honest, though some might call it easy Class 5, but it's fairly easy, with very secure and ample holds on very solid rock. Toward the top there is some exposure (~100') but it never felt sketchy to me- the rock is relatively lowish angle.
Ascending the wide part.Above the dryfall, the chute widens considerably. Bailing onto the standard route is easy here, by traversing left over a rib and onto the main route ramp.
Downclimbing a tower on the way to the summit.In the wider part of the chute, pick your way up. This is more Class 4 rock, and again the rock quality is great, though more solid and smooth in the direct watercourse.
After several hundred more vertical feet, you will meet the standard route on the ramp that ascends after the standard route crosses the white band. Ascend this ramp for a little ways, but continue up to the base of the cliffs. The standard route will continue traversing right toward the saddle on the main ridge. To continue the "Direct" route, go up another set of dryfalls, making a gradual ascending traverse along ribs to the saddle itself. This will add some more Class 4 scrambling to the mix, and is quite enjoyable.
From the saddle, ascend the ridge directly to the South, all the way to the summit. You will go up and down gendarmes and larger towers, but the scrambling never gets worse than exposed Class 3. Eventually, you will come to the summit. Enjoy!
DescentI would recommend descending the Standard W Face route, as this route would be pretty hair-raising to descend, particularly the dryfall.