|Whitney Portal Buttress
Mean Streak is a 10 pitch route up far the right margin of the buttress. Great rock and a variety of stellar cracks and thin face climbing make this a worthy adventure for the experienced climber. Begin to right of the highest pine at base of wall, up right from Clouds route. Look up and left for 1st bolt leading to small roofs, three more bolts lead to a ledge (a bit runout). The route is named for the second pitch; a long left leaning, left facing corner with a dark streak running down through it (bolts on this pitch added by some wankers after we did the FA! The crack takes gear all the way). Route finding and a short aid pitch (hooks in holes) above this leads to a horizontal edge left to a steep, thin right facing crack. Traverse back right across a steep face (bolts)and and then up more cracks. At the top of the 7th pitch two options present themselves. The recommended route continues straight up the wall on steep looking cracks and face. The arete out right (look for bolt), while faster, is not much fun. Rap the route (two ropes) or walk off.
Decent standard rack should do. Draws, micro to large stoppers, smallest TCUs to #3 camalot, hooks for 5/16' holes.
Looking down on the double cracks, P6
BETA PHOTO: Whitney Portal, Whitney Portal Buttress, Mean Stre...
Amy jugging up the aid pitch, P4
Amy finishing up P9
|By Richard Shore|
May 5, 2014
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b A1 R
SUPERB! As Bill noted above, be solid at 5.10+ before jumping on this rig. Excellent and varied climbing, runout knobs, splitter cracks, glassy slab, chimney, thin potato chip flakes, so good! P1 is the most runout hard pitch, and seems contrived when there is an obvious 5.7/8 variation just to the right - up the left-facing corner, then step left into a right facing corner/flake up to the belay. P2 is one of the toughest "5.10b"s you'll ever do, ENDURO hands up the overhanging/leaning corner with the eponymous "Mean Streak". Bring two talons for the aid pitch. P6, the double cracks, is one of the finest crack pitches in the portal, on bulletproof stone. Maybe one of the best crack pitches I've done anywhere. P8 and P9 are both very heads up climbing on wafer-thin flakes with slightly dubious protection. Fixed pins are missing on P8, but gear can be found in their absence. It's good enough when you need it, but don't expect it to come easily. Runouts with some routefinding are the name of the game! P10 is a hard 10+ thin face crux off the anchor to a short corner crack and then 50' of the most rotten rock imaginable to gain the summit. We topped out and scrambled off to the north/east, but the route can be also be rappelled from the top of P9. Bring lots of leaver webbing or rap rings/links, as none of the bolted belays are equipped for rappel. All bolts are 3/8" button heads, and in decent condition. We felt every 5.10 pitch on the topo was off by at least a letter grade (sandbag!). Rumor has it this thing has seen maybe 5 ascents. Go do it, you will not be disappointed!
May 28, 2014
Hey Richard, Good to see someone finally climb and comment on this route. Good pics, brings back many memories!
Mark and I saw that start out right, but we were really into face climbing at the time and saw the face as a good challenge and more direct way to the Mean Streak pitch. Are there still bolts on the Mean Streak pitch? Some a$$holes added a couple after our ascent. That crack eats cams and didn't need the bolts. We always meant to go back and find a free variation around that aid pitch. Glad you had a good time and sorry about the sandbagging - we were climbing a lot back then...