Type: Trad, Alpine, 1500 ft, 15 pitches, Grade III
FA: Walter Hawkins (RIP) & Eric Gabel, early 2000s
Page Views: 1,318 total · 45/month
Shared By: Bruce Morris on Aug 25, 2016
Admins: Aron Quiter, Euan Cameron, AWinters, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Most direct, obvious, long arete leading up the south slope of Lee Vining Canyon to the broad flat summit of Dana Plateau. Eric Gabel called it the "Backbone Arete" because of the long causeway walk in the central section that is shaped like dinosaur vertebrae. At the end of the causeway, there is a big block. That's where the 5.7 is, you lie back up the side of the block, the rest of the route is 5.6 or easier.


Central rib on the south slope of Lee Vining Canyon located above and way to the left of the Dinosaur Crag.


Regular rack, stoppers, and runners. Short rope.
Ryan Huetter
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Ryan Huetter   Mammoth Lakes, CA
Fun route with surprisingly good rock (some loose blocks still abound but mostly on 3rd/4th class terrain). Great airy position above Lee Vining Canyon. Take a good note as to where you want to start from the Green Bridge and the parking area as things get more complicated as you near the base.
We ended up doing an extra ~500' of 4th/easy 5th class as a sit-start to the ridge which was fun and added some good climbing. Jul 7, 2017
Bruce Morris
Soulsbyville, CA
Bruce Morris   Soulsbyville, CA
Great that you did the route and liked it. More established now. Do you have a detailed topo? Info about that sit start. Sounds like that's the way to do it? Jul 10, 2017
Alyssa K
South Lake Tahoe
Alyssa K   South Lake Tahoe
My new favorite training route! Quick approach followed by 2,500 feet of climbing. The route ends with a long class 2/3 summit ridge with spectacular views. The ridge is a bit loose in places, but pretty solid and doable as a solo. If considering this as a solo, it’s possible to bail into the gullies on either side.

The descent is surprisingly civilized as long as you stay left. Aug 26, 2018