Third peak on the Black Divide trip with Tommey. Hauled the packs up to the crest from Ladder Lake, dropping them to climb McDuffie, and then followed Steve Eckert's route to Wheel before camping below Rambaud Pass (the lake is there!). Climbed Devils Crag before hiking back down and out the next morning. One heck of an adventure. BTW, the Ladder Lake drainage is so much nicer than Rambaud drainage. Pictures
Awesome climb. Remote and beautiful. Some loose rock for sure, but I don't think it's as bad as its reputation. Climbed Wheel Mountain when we got back to Rambaud Pass, then descended back to camp at the highest lakes in the drainage.
Climbed from a beautiful camp atop the slabs dropping down from Dusy into LeConte Canyon. This is one of the remote, "mysterious" peaks I've dreamed of climbing in the Sierra since first flipping through Secor when I moved to CA a few years back. And it was the most remote and challenging peak I've climbed, truly one to remember. Although the ascent up Rambaud Pass did truly suck.
Standard route on a 2 night outing from South Lake, climbed Wheel Mountain later in the day. Spendid exposure with a great group, and will be great memories... now that it is done!!!
Not feeling the traverse, I stopped at #1 on a daytrip from South Lake. Like others said, exposed climbing on pretty good rock. It was mostly class 2-3, but there were a couple sections of legit 4th class. Trip report.
Climbed this as a three day out of South Lake with Jen Blackie. The approach was a bit of a pain up Rambaud Pass from LeConte but the climb itself was spectacular. As others have mentioned we didn't find the rock to be particularly loose and the route was straightforward though quite exposed.
I'd absolutely do it again.
Incredible route-deliciously exposed and consistently interesting. Ridge line traverse to summit. Attempted as dayhike, but exceeded 24 hours, completed in one 24 hour+ push.
With Matthew and Jeff, a superb outing starting at South Lake. One of the highlights of the summer with two great companions. Trip Report
You wouldn't recommend it? I'd have to rate this as one of the best peaks I've climbed in the Sierra--certainly in the top ten, if not top five. (In fact, offhand, I'm not sure if I can even think of a peak that I could unequivocally say is a "better" peak than DC #1.)
As a peak it ranks very high on my list, but as a climb I thought the loose rock caused me too much stress to really enjoy it. There is a bumper sticker at my shop left by the previous tenants that says "Life's too Short... to climb bad ROCK!" That statement was running through my head during the entire climb.
I asked myself "Would I go back and climb it again?"
My answer is no. Would you?
Yeah, I'd climb it again (although it'll be on a backpacking trip next time).
Frankly, I was intimidated (scared may be a more accurate word) by the peak's reputation before I climbed it, and was expecting a horrifically loose, exposed climb the whole way. But the quality of the rock was much better than I was expecting--in fact, other than a couple of moderately loose parts (some of the lighter rock on a couple of the walls at the notches was a bit unnerving), I thought it was generally quite good. It was better than, say, Table Mtn (which I just climbed on Sunday, and thought was worryingly loose in places)... maybe better than the North Arete on Matterhorn, which I remember being even looser for the first couple of pitches, or a bunch of the rock in the Palisades (Middle Pal, Norman Clyde, Disappointment come to mind). Perhaps it's just my perception since my expectation was so low...
It was definitely worlds better than some of the choss I've climbed in Zion and the OR Cascades--a couple of scrambles in Zion have done a lot for my appreciation of even cruddy rock in the Sierra. :-)
Fair enough. I’ve been on many things that were much looser too. And yes, one’s mental attitude going into something of this nature has an affect as well. I may have been a little over expectant to find more solid rock, thereby being slightly disappointed by what I found. Perhaps my original comment should have been that I wouldn't necessarily recommend it. I am working on a TR that might help explain my situation a bit better. Stay tuned…
With Bob and Jeff, completed the first dayhike of this spectacular peak. The peak's reputation was intimidating beforehand, but the climbing turned out to be superb, and the rock far more solid than I'd feared.
One of the most rewarding ascents I've done in the Sierra. Highly recommended.
First dayhike of Devil's Crag #1 with Bob Burd and Matthew Holliman. As Secor mentions, this peak is truly "a classic climb with much exposure." This climb took just about all the tricks I had in my bag of alpine mountaineering skills to stay alive (negotiating loose rock, testing each hold, 3 pts of contact, and lots of heavy metal music coursing through my blood). Felt solid and comfortable throughout the whole climb. The worst part, for me, was ascending Rambaud Pass due to the loose talus on the steep chute. The NW Arete itself, however, featured fairly good rock, and this was one of my favorite class 3/4 climbs to date. Car to car time: 19 hours. Thanks to all previous ascentionists who provided valuable beta and inspiration.