Type: Trad, Alpine, 6 pitches, Grade II
FA: Jerry Gallwas, Wally Kodis, Don Wilson. September, 1954
Page Views: 16,534 total · 108/month
Shared By: Abandoned User on Jun 25, 2006
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

You & This Route

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From Twin Lakes hike south along the Horse Creek Trail, when it heads up and left keep going south along Horse Creeek, at about 8600' cut right and head up steep terrain towards the peak. Limited campsites.

The climbing difficulty is fairly consistent throughout. The first pitch involves some rotten rock and is poorly protected. The last two pitches below the summit ridge are probably the hardest, and feel more like 5.8 than 5.6, but they also have the sweetest moves and the best rock. Once on the summit ridge, move toward the southwest and trend up toward the summit.

About 7 pitches. (A direct start start, 5.9, begins at the toe of the buttress). Hike up left of the toe of the buttress and follow a CL4 corner and ramp to a large ledge at the top of the direct start (2 pitches, 5.7).For about 2 pitches stay right of the buttress (5.7), then pass through a notch, and trend left towards the finishing corner (see photo, or climb arete to left to avoid masochism), left of the main arete (3 pitches 5.7). Final steep crack is the crux.

The ridge to the summit is then followed for about 2 pitches.

Descent: Head down to the east gully, and follow it either on loose scree, or nice snow depending upon the season.


There are no bolts or fixed anchors. Bring a full rack, up to the size of a #3 Camalot.
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
Jake, I've upgraded it to 5.7. There used to be a fixed pin in the final crack, perhaps it's gone. Jul 26, 2006
San Jose, CA
rhyang   San Jose, CA
Note that Fiddler & Moynier's Climbing California's High Sierra: The Classic Climbs on Rock and Ice has a diagram that shows this route starting from the opposite couloir (west) instead of east. Secor and supertopo show it starting from the east couloir, so that's what we did.

Having a #4 on the last pitch was good, as it widens out in places, but I'm sure the more accomplished wide fetishists can do without :) Aug 1, 2010
N California
grabski   N California
Felt harder than 5.7 in places, but maybe that's because we couldn't feel our fingers due to the biting gusts. A BD #4 was nice to have for a couple of moves including the short section of off width on pitch 4, which isn't shown in this mtn project topo photo.

Approach and start beta: No snow on the approach in Sept 2015 (low snow year). For the last section of the approach going up the loose east gully stay on the far left (east) side of the gully as long as possible, then cut right to the NE face of Matterhorn below the start of the climb. This keeps you on more solid scree. The start is indistinct. It's ~75 ft up the gully from the big corner. Scramble ~15ft up 4th class to the ramp shown in the photo by rhyang on Aug 1, 2010. Sep 8, 2015
Chris Owen
Big Bear Lake
Chris Owen   Big Bear Lake  
Interesting in that a lot of people seem to climb the dihedral all the way - I remember traversing out left to the arete. Jun 26, 2017
Pulled off a big flake near the top of the third pitch. It's a bit harder now, still not the crux of the route. Watch for loose rock and fragile flakes! Jul 3, 2017
Lon Harter
Lon Harter   Reno
They don't call it the" Dihedral route" Get out on the arete the exposure is awesome and so is the climbing! Leave the safety of that crack and get some face time. So beautiful out on the arete I couldn't image climbing it any other way. Don't get me wrong I love a good crack but it's not that often that you can find a arete like this one to get out on. May 30, 2018
we're slow hikers but here was our rough times:
car to alpine lake - 4.5 hrs
alpine lake to base of route - 2.5 hrs
base of route to summit - 4 hrs
hide under a rock and wait for thunderstorm to pass - 1.5 hrs
summit down to lake - 2.5 hrs
lake down to car - 2.5 hrs
also: McNamara's squiggle over a picture is slightly off. descent is really chill for sierra's standards.
As of 7-14-2018 the books in the summit register are all full. bring a new one up and earn some precious karma. Jul 16, 2018