Type: Trad, Alpine, 2500 ft (758 m), Grade IV
FA: 2001 - Bob Harrington, Darla Heil
Page Views: 79 total · 41/month
Shared By: Colin Sander on Oct 3, 2023
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurk Er, Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Description Suggest change

The 'East Arete' of the Citadel follows the long east-facing ridge to the summit. It is a mostly 5th class & 4th class ridge, interspersed with short, steeper crux pitches on relatively clean rock. 

It is the easiest climbing route on the Citadel, and remained in relative obscurity until its recent mention in the Roger Putnam & Vitaliy Musiyenko 'High Sierra Climbing' book, (volume 2). Although the terrain is 'mild', it's a long ridge with several towers- similar in size/feel to the North Ridge of Lone Pine Peak, but more remote, and with uniquely beautiful views.  

Find the start by visually locating a clean left-facing corner, low on the ridge (near the last of the bushes/trees) during the approach. Getting to the first pitch can be a bit perplexing, especially in the dark or dawn. We climbed an additional 5.7 handcrack pitch that preceded p1, then moved left over some 4th class terrain, to reach the base of the first pitch. There is probably a 4th class / unroped way to reach the bottom of P1, but we did not find it. 

Climb up the mild left-facing corner, eventually gaining the arete through some shrubby but steep terrain.

Once on the ridge proper, you never move more than 10' or so to either side, and most headwalls are passed on the North Side (darker rock) or directly straight up.

It's hard to estimate the number of pitches, but there were no more than 4 or 5 sections to truly 'pitch out', the rest is pleasant simul-climbing terrain.

Take care to avoid loose blocks, & belay attentively. though the rock is clean, there are several stacked blocks on bushes, and wedged blocks in the steeper pitches that could move. 

Location Suggest change

This route is on the east arete of The Citadel, in LeConte Canyon. 

Protection Suggest change

No bolts, or pitons. Traditional gear from small, to 4"

A standard double-rack is plenty, plus many slings/runners. Competent parties looking to move fast could use a lighter alpine rack to save weight. #3 & #4 helpful. 60 meter rope.