The Good, the Great, and the Awesome: The Top 40 High Sierra Rock Climbs


The Good, the Great, and the Awesome: The Top 40 High Sierra Rock Climbs
Page Type Gear Review
Object Title The Good, the Great, and the Awesome: The Top 40 High Sierra Rock Climbs
Manufacturer Maximus Press
Page By fossana
Page Type Jan 29, 2008 / Jan 29, 2008
Object ID 4694
Hits 19603

Product Description



  • Written by one of the most amazing and experienced High Sierra climbers (e.g. sub-24 hour tour of Evolution Traverse)

  • Routes range from Class 2 to 5.11a and grades II-VI with the bulk of the book focused on grade III-IV moderates.

  • Topos

  • An entertaining read with history and humorous Croftesque tidbits

  • Amenities listed for each of the E Sierra towns

  • YDS rating and gear list in overview for each climb

  • Mileage breakdown includes terrain type (e.g. cross-country v. trail)


  • Route descriptions may be a bit light on detail for some

  • No color photos inside

Biased Opinion
This is a must have book for any E Sierra alpine climber. It lists some of the finest routes in my all-time favorite climbing location.

The Routes

Grade VI

  • Palisade Traverse, 5.9**

  • Evolution Traverse, 5.9***

  • Minaret Traverse, 5.9***

  • Sawtooth Traverse, 5.8*

Grade V

  • Palisades (Temple Crag/Gayley/Sill), rating depends on route ***

  • Dark Star on Temple Crag, 5.10c**

  • Keeler Needle on Whitney, 5.10c*

  • Positive Vibrations on the Incredible Hulk, 5.11a***

  • SW Face of Conness, 5.10c**

Grade IV

  • Sun Ribbon Arete on Temple Crag, 5.10a**

  • Palisades (T-bolt to Sill), 5.9***

  • Red Dihedral (aka Ygdrasil)on the Incredible Hulk, 5.10c***

  • SW Face of Clyde Minaret, 5.8*

  • Moon Goddess Arete on Temple Crag, 5.8*

  • Venusian Blind on Temple Crag, 5.7***

  • Matthes Crest, 5.7***

  • Western Front on Russell, 5.10c**

  • W Ridge of Conness, 5.6***

  • Cathedral Traverse, 5.6*

  • E Face Direct of Outguard Spire, 5.10d*

Grade III

  • Mithral Dihedral on Russell, 5.10a**

  • Fishhook Arete on Russell, 5.8**

  • N Buttress on Goode, 5.9*

  • S Face of Charlotte Dome, 5.8***

  • Regular Route on Third Pillar of Dana, 5.10a**

  • NE Gully of Laurel, 5.2**

  • E Face of Whitney, 5.7***

  • E Buttress of Whitney, 5.7***

  • N Ridge of Lone Pine Peak, 5.5**

  • N Arete on Bear Creek Spire, 5.8*

  • E Arete on Humphreys, 5.5*

  • N Ridge of Conness, 5.6**

  • NE Ridge on Bear Creek Spire, Cl 4***

  • SE Buttress of Cathedral, 5.7***

  • E Face of Middle Palisade, Cl 3***

  • E Chute of Basin, Cl 4*

Grade II

  • Swiss Arete on Sill, 5.7***

  • E Arete on Russell, Cl 3***

  • N Arete of Crystal Crag, 5.7**

  • NW Slope of Agassiz, Cl 2**



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Bill Kish - Aug 11, 2008 8:01 pm - Voted 5/5

one of my favorite sierra guidebooks
This is one of my favorite Sierra guidebooks. Croft's great sense of humor really comes through in many of the accompanying vignettes. The route info is generally pretty good. I particularly like that he provides elevation gain/loss info for each route along with the approach mileage breakdown.

WML - Aug 31, 2010 5:13 pm - Voted 5/5

Great guide book! As Bill states, this book gets Croft's sense of humor across very well. Probably the most helpful guide book I own, gives you the useful info as well as history, which is outstanding. In all, highly recommended as a part of the collection of Eastern Sierra guidebooks I have.

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