We have been wanting to climb one of the lines on this part of the face, and knew these would be good day climbs. Planning for a supply of water along the way, we completed this on June 21, 2008.
First climbed in July 1973 by Henri Agresti and Tom Birtley, it was initially called the South Southeast Face in the American Alpine Journal. It was rated 5.9 A1 and the description said there were two points of aid. We found neither of these and believe it to be Grade IV, 5.8, and 10 pitches long.
From a historical perspective, the AAJ description follows as such:
Lone Pine Peak, South-Southeast Face. From the Stone House the south-southeast face of Lone Pine Peak presents the following features: a large couloir starts to the right of the lowest point of the face and ends very high beneath a steep step through which the route finishes; to the right of the large couloir a huge ledge can be seen in the middle of the face; last, still on the right, the wall is limited by an ill-defined ridge with many pillars. On July 12 and 13, 1973, Tom Birtley and I climbed a new route. It starts below the left side of the huge ledge, to the left of an overhanging cascade. Ascend some short walls, tending to the left, to reach a gully and the huge ledge (F2). Follow the ridge above the left comer of the ledge (Fl ) and descend easily from a small col to reach the large couloir ending in F4. After 300 easy feet in the couloir the route goes on the right on excellent rock, following a deep cleft in the main face for most of the 14 pitches to the summit plateau.
The first overhang is climbed by its left chimney (F7), the second and third with aid to the left (Al, 3 pitons and Al, 10 pitons). The last is avoided by a traverse to the right (F6) which leads to a very hard chimney (F9, 1 piton). From the couloir to the plateau, the climbing is fairly sustained. The roundtrip from the Stone House takes about 18-20 hours. In all, 25 pitons and 25 nuts. NCCS IV, F9, Al.
Henri Agresti, Club Alpin François
I searched for information on this route but could find nothing other than this American Alpine Journal listing in 1974 and the route description in Secor. There was no fixed gear on the route. We are curious if this was the second ascent? Has anyone else completed the route?
Club Alpin Francais is on the orange face on the eastern part of the south face of Lone Pine Peak. This is the same face that Dynamo Hum, Autumn Ledges, and Summer Solstice and on.
We approached from the trailhead and completed it in 15 hours car-to-car.
From the Stone House, traverse horizontally along the north fork of Tuttle Creek. Stay high until it is time to cross. Cross the creek at the large drainage from the eastern part of the south face of Lone Pine Peak. You will be directly across from the orange face.
Ascend the drainage leading toward the orange wall. Look first to the left for the path of least resistance. A rope is not needed for the approach to this wall.
When at the base of the wall, on the left is a huge right facing corner that is Dynamo Hum. Then to the right is a left facing corner/chimney that marks the Club Alpin Francais. Just to the right of the French route corner, there is a lone triangular symmetrical fir tree that marks the start of the Autumn Ledges.
At the wall gain a ledge, then move left to bypass around a steep wide crack protected by a chockstone. A few more 4/5 moves and you will be in the base of a chimney that marks the start of the route. Continuing above you will be the left facing chimney/corner that goes up and right.
From the base of the chimney climb around a chockstone and continue up easy terrain in a couloir for 300 ft. Pass an overhang on the left that may be slimy and dripping in early season. Where the crack grows very wide, we traversed almost horizontally left on a ledge then back into the corner. At pitch 9, move up into a huge chimney that becomes a tunnel and exits on a large ledge. Move left 30 ft. and lieback the final section to the summit ledge.
Do the standard descent back to Tuttle Creek using the East Slopes route.
Camalots to #4
It may be best to climb the route after all the snow has melted from the summit snow fields. We found the first overhang dripping with slimy water. We did however find a 6” stream 50 yards from the end of the climb at this time of year. The prior year, the stream at the base of the canyon had dried by this time, so water is an issue in a low snow year.