East Gully/Laughing Dolphin

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 36.54160°N / 118.2509°W
Additional Information Route Type: Snow/Ice
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: 3rd/4th
Sign the Climber's Log


Approach this route via Tuttle Creek Trail. The creek splits into two drainages at around 10500 ft; one leads to Langley, the other to the bowl to the east of Comb Ridge.
A few options exist for getting to the bowl. The fastest is to go straight up the creek/gully to the base of the waterfall and ascend via ledges to the rock ribs above. Follow the ribs NE to the bowl.
A friend chose to ascend the scree slope straight up - do this and you'll probably burn time and energy and not get any peaks.

Route Description

From the bowl look towards the peak of LeConte - just to the left of the summit block you'll see a small pillar at the top of a narrow gully which looks like a laughing dolphin. This is your landmark.
Ascend easy sastrugi snow up narrowing terrain until you reach a chockstone. This can be passed just to the right via 4th class holds.
Be wary of the platform beneath as it is likely ice underneath the snow (depending on season.) I just about bought the farm here so be careful!
Once you clear this obstacle there may also be very steep snow/ice just above. Continue over saddle and down approx 100ft and traverse north to wind up just below the top of the Waterfall Pitch. Continue up to summit block - done deal!
To make a decent day of it, hit the LeConte-Corcoran Traverse.

Essential Gear

Bring your axe if you suspect any probability of snow on the route. Depending on your ability you may desire a belay getting around the chockstone as a fall could be very serious (and very long.)
Bring a haul line and leave your pack below the chockstone as climbing with the pack is a tight squeeze.
The area is a low level bowling alley; helmet may be desirable

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.



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