With Casey. Approach took us 3 hrs to Minaret. less than one hr from there to the base of the climb. Went in the night before and made it out to the Shuttle by 7 no worries. We camped at Lake Minaret and I advise that, zero reason to hike your packs up to Cecil. We did the 5.10a variation start. It will feel more like 5.9/8 to most. We did the upper dihedral in two long pitches with a 70m rope. Both pitches had to be simul-climbed just a little to make that happen with a 70m. 8 pitches total counting a couple of junkers, one pitch at the top of the dihedral to get you on the right side of the ridge and another that traverses left to connect the 5.10a variation with the original line. Did not place gear on either. I led another one that we simul-climbed with a 70m. Casey got lost on the pitch after the traverse in from the 5.10a. He went too far right on pitch 4. I brought him back left after we were both about 100' above the top of pitch 3. Then I led 300' to the chockstone flake mentioned in most of the beta. I think some beta on line has that chockstone flake as pitch 4 at 200'. It is about 400' above the top of pitch 3. Good one to simul, but he got lost because he was looking for that flake too early I think. The descent descriptions are just horrible, but it really is a simple descent by most alpine climb standards. So here is my version. Simply continue from the summit along the ridge, maybe 15 minutes. The first, well worn, gully you come across on the left, take it down and look to cross over the ridge on your right to the next gully over. Mostly 3rd class, maybe some 4th. From there, descend that gully angling left until you drop down into a narrow gully that aims back to Cecil (there is a lake down and right, do not descend to it, you are heading left). Once in the narrow gully, descend looking for a slung rap on the right. Take that short rap into an even narrower portion of that gully. Descend a little and take another slung (there is a piton one on the left, the slung on the right is better) rap (with a 70m it reaches all the way) down to scree. You are home free back to Cecil. Hope this helps.
With Robert Somoano. Very good climb, real epic on the descent. Robert almost bought the farm on the last rap in the Ken Minaret gully, but we were lucky that day...Memorable climb.
The route finding was difficult and there was loose rock coming down from above. It was terrifying--you could hear it coming and all you could do was cling to the rock and cringe. I found the crack sizes to be very challenging for my hand size. They seemed to be all off-hands, wide fist or small offwidth cracks. I'll admit I didn't like this route. I didn't lead any of it either. There was a section near the top with large rocks that were so loose, you'd brush them gently with your hand and they would shift towards you. Once we got to the top, we thought we were going to have to spend the night--we couldn't figure out how to get down. We eventually discovered some people in a gully and decided to rappel it. We left a lot of slings behind. We arrived at our campsite just as it got completely dark.
got off route at the start. started off too high I believe and got into rotten rocks. got maybe 3 pitches of the route higher and topped out.
Since I climbed this just a few months before becoming "fatdad" (at least the dad part), unfortunately, this is the last long technical route I've done in the Sierras. But what a way to go out.
Really a remarkable route with a great setting and enough loose stuff to keep you on your 'A' game. That upper dihedral has some amazing climbing. I'd love to go back and do the direct start
A great climb, but an incredible thunderstorm caught us at the summit and we were forced to bivy in a small cave ~60m below the top. My only unplanned bivy to date-Erik got the pack, I got the rope to sit/curl up on.
With Charles Ince. Hiked in on Sat, climbed the route and hiked out Sunday. Approach is 1.5 hours from Minaret lake with a lot of snow. 6 hours en route, a few on the descent. Tyrone was acting up but didn't beat us up too bad.