Avg: 4 from 26 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 12000 ft, 5 pitches, Grade VI|
|Page Views:||35,228 total · 413/month|
|Shared By:||Ben Lepesant on Mar 18, 2011|
|Admins:||Chris Owen, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes|
DescriptionThis route is considered the best of all the traverses in the Sierra. It is a great, long, and sometimes intimidating outing.
The rock is mostly excellent, with a couple loose spots in between.
Getting down from Darwin is the most dangerous and difficult part of the climb, with either a manky rappel or a 5.9 downclimb.
The number of pitches you belay greatly depends on how comfortable you are soloing 5th class. Simulclimbing is not a good idea.
The most challenging section from both a technical and route finding standpoint is the traverse between Darwin and 13,332. There's a obvious manky 5.6 down climb right below the summit block. From here depending on which way you go you will encounter down climbing/traversing up to 5.9. The Mendel headwall is 5.6. There are a number of ways to go up Huxley, but most people have encountered climbing up to 5.7 or 5.8.
Water is a problem, unless you go early in the season, which is recommended if the snow year was not big. The closest water source is a lake a few hundred feet below Haeckel.
Good bivy spots are not abundant. The top of Darwin is excellent, and around Haeckel there are a few. After the descent from Darwin you can drop down the ridge a little, and find reasonable spots.
LocationWalk to Darwin Bench over Lamarck Col. From there start the traverse at the toe of the buttress.
For more detailed information refer to the Croft Guidebook, the Good, the Great and the Awesome.