Rest and Be Thankful, IV+, 5.10 A

Rest and Be Thankful, IV+, 5.10 A

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 36.52330°N / 118.238°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Time Required: A long day
Additional Information Difficulty: IV+ or V, 5.9 or 5.10A
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 15
Sign the Climber's Log


Approach from the Stone House. To reach the Stone House, make a left turn on the only light at Lone Pine and drive up the Whitney Portal Road to Horseshoe Meadow Rd. Make a left onto Horseshoe Mdw.Rd and follow it to Granite view Rd. Make a right turn on the road. Drive the slightly uphill road till the only structure/dwelling around. Just before the structure another dirt road branches right and uphill. There is a nice parking area about a mile or so along this road (for cars). If you follow the road up (high clearance might be required) in about one more mile, the road ends at the un maintained trailhead to the famous Stone House, a structure in the Tuttle Creek Canyon. About an hour walk gets you there. From the Stone House take the left, South fork of Tuttle Creek. An old, indistinct trail leads to Keyhole Wall ( see Secor's 2nd Edition). The trail ends at Keyhole Wall. Cross the creek to the south and climb up talus and slabs to the base of the North Arete.

Route Description

In January 1983, 18 years old Bill Krause  and I were packing our gear to do a one day ascent of the Winter Route on Lone Pine Peak. We just woke up at the lower parking area of the approach to the Stone House. It was from there that I saw the incredible arete on a peak, south of us. Bill, who knew way too much about the Sierra for his age, told me it was the North Arete of Langley. He said he went up there in the summer and that the arete looked really good. He felt it was most likely Grade V with a lot of crack climbing. Next summer Bill left California to go to college in New Hampshire and today works as an emergency room physician in Vermont.
The route sat there un-climbed for years.
I talked to a few people about it but nobody wanted to hike and scramble up the canyon over boulder fields and scree slopes just to get to the base of the route. 

Miguel Carmona and I did the First Ascent of the route in 1999 after looking at it for over 15 years and talking about it every time we drove through Lone Pine to other Sierra destinations.

The route follows the first, most obvious arete of the North Face. At the start, there is a large tower that separates the ridge. The route starts at the notch between the tower and the arete at a yellow colored wall. We build a cairn there, showing the start. The route follows the arete for 15 pitches on good rock and ends at the summit register.
The route was first climbed in September 1999 and we bivied on it once.
In July of 2002, it had a second ascent. The 2nd ascent party (guys from Santa Barbara??) managed to climb and descend to camp in one long (16+ hours) day.
July 10, 2013- Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright soloed the arete as part of their successful technical solo ascent (mostly 5.10 and harder) of all the California 14ers in one push (10 days) while unsupported and approaching all of them on a mountain bike. This might be the third ascent of the route and the first solo ascent.

August 23, 2015- Lone Pine and Bishop locals Amy Ness and Richard Shore climbed the route on August 23rd. This might be the Fourth Ascent. Richard sent me a short note about their climb which I reprinted below.

Amy Ness and I climbed the route yesterday, Aug 23. A bit loose and gritty but there were also some good quality pitches (Yellow wall cracks, brown corner crux). We swapped leads the whole way. At the start of the fourth pitch, Amy was checking out different options to gain the traverse ledge and accidentally dislodged a 100+ lb block that slipped onto her hand. No broken bones fortunately, but some pretty deep flesh-wound gobies on her wrist and palm. She insisted we continue and wrapped it up with some tape and a painkiller and called it good. 12 more pitches to go! 

We hiked up Saturday morning and set up camp alongside the creek directly below the Tuttle Obelisk. We did the Alan Bartlett - Schools Out III 5.9 route on the Obelisk that afternoon. Left camp for north arete of Langley 0630am Sunday, base of route/notch 0830, climbing 0900. Summit of Langley 4pm, back at camp 6pm, and all the way back to the car by 830pm. I have some good pictures I can send to you if you give me your email address.'

-Richard Shore

Regarding the above August 2015 ascent: These two individuals are some of the strongest alpine climbers presently active in the High Sierra. The times that Richard posted are very fast and unless you are truly first rate alpinist, your times will be much slower.
The long, curving gully that goes down and east from the summit was used for descent. Please note: It takes about 2.0-3.0 hours to get down via this talus and scree slope. Not recommended if you might get cought in it at the end of the day. I would not want to descend this in darkness. I have posted TR and couple of pictures of the best pitches.
50 meter rope was used on FA.
Pitch 1 From the Notch, climb up past a short, left facing dihedral, go up into easier terrain (5.7) to the base of a large chimney capped by a big block (165').

Pitch 2 Climb up hand cracks (5.9) on the steep, yellow wall left of the chimney. Move up and toward a high right leaning ramp and follow it to the end (165').

Pitch 3 Climb up and left, then over and around cracks and chimneys (5.7/5.8)toward the left side of the prominent arete above you (165').

Pitch 4 You are now on the left side and at the base of the Third Tower. Traverse to the right on a ledge that takes you past the edge of the arete. Find a hidden crack (not visible from the belay), climb it to the top of the Tower(160', 5.7/5.8). Lower each other down to the notch of the Tower.

Pitch 5 Traverse left about 20', go up (5.8) to the base of the brown cracks (100').

Pitch 6 Climb the brown hand crack to a ledge 80' up. (5.9/5.10 Sustained).

Pitch 7 Continue up the brown crack to the top of the Fourth Tower (120', 5.9/5.10 Sustained).

Pitch 8 Traverse on the left side of the arete for 165', 5.3.

Pitch 9 Step around to the right side of the arete. Climb up an short awkward chimney, continue up to reach a large ledge at the base of the Fifth Tower. This is the best ledge on the route. (60', 5.8).

Pitch 10 Climb around the right side of the Tower (easy 5th) for 140' to the base of a chimney/crack system.

Pitch 11 Climb up the chimney (5.8) for 165' to the top of the Fifth Tower.

Pitch 12 Climb easy terrain on right side of the arete, then cross to the left side (165', 3/4 class)

Pitch 13 From here you can see the huge and smooth summit headwall of Langley. The route goes to the right, on the north side of the arete for 140'.

Pitch 14 Go up over large blocks and around the north face (140', 5.7).

Pitch 15 Climb up to the right side of the smooth summit headwall and directly to the summit of Mt. Langley (120', 5.7).



Essential Gear

Set of wires, Set of SLCDs (Friends), 3 small TCUs, many slings, 2x 8.5mm, 50 m ropes. The approach is free of snow by mid June. There is water at the top of the basin, flat spots for camp. Three day trip would be the norm. It takes about 5-6 hours to hike to the base from your car left at the Stone House TH (The lower one). If you manage to get your car to the upper TH (high clearance vehicle might be needed depending on time of year),deduct about an hour from the approach.

Miscellaneous Info

Regarding the name: From the late 1800's all the way to the 1950's, a famous mountain run was held every year up a steep hill in Scotland. It was on such a tough terrain, that the annual event was joyfully nick-named "Rest and be Thankful". We thought this route on Langley, with some hard climbing (for us) close to 14,000 feet, had a similar feel to that old Scottish hill run. So be Thankful and Rest (here and there).



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