Route of the Week: South Face of Charlotte Dome
Route Type: Traditional
Formation: Charlotte Dome
Long known as one of the great climbing routes of the Sierra Nevada and the state of California we would be remiss if Charlotte Dome was overlooked. A long approach from the Eastside of the Sierra brings climbing parties deep into Sequoia National Park. Here this 1,500ft dome feature is a spectacular sight of majestic rock.
Find It: From the town of Independence on Hwy 395 drive up the Onion Valley Road to the Onion Valley Trailhead. Take the Kearsarge Pass Trail for approximately four miles over Kearsarge Pass. Take the trail down and right for two miles until it meets up with The John Muir Trail (JMT).
Shortly after meeting up with the JMT break off the trail to the West around the Northern edge of Charolette Lake and follow the boundary around to Charolette Creek. Follow the creek along towards the monolith. Following well-beaten climbers trail gives multiple campsite options before getting to the rock.
P1: (135ft)Climb from a flake to face and finish at the first obvious tree
P2: (150ft) Easy 5.5 face climbing over a block just past a horn to a belay
P3: Climb 150ft of run out face climbing to a ledge.
P4: (150ft) Easy run out face climbing traverses right into a chimney and onto a belay ledge
P5: (80ft) Climb up and right a crack system from the belay ledge. Crack gives way to a short 5.7 lie-back. Move right to a small ledge at the base of a crack.
P6: (100ft) The route steepens into a stellar hand crack through the first crux sections of the climb. As the route lets off move right out onto a pink dike.
P7: (100ft) Continue moving up and right over easy climbing to the base of a right facing crack and belay from here.
P8: (150ft) 5.8 crack with huge exposure. A mixture of face, crack and chimney climbing belay from a good stance at the end of the corner
P9: (160ft) 5.7 run out face climbing below large runnels and fins.
P10: (150ft) Tons of options up the runnels and fins finishing at a good stance in an alcove.
P11: (120ft) Very easy run out face climbing past a small overhang up to a massive ledge system
P12: (140ft) One last pitch in a marathon of fun climbing. Take a 5.7 crack system up a steeper section of wall.
Finish on easy 3rd and 4th class terrain to the summit.
High Sierra: Peak, Passes, And Trails. RJ Secor
High Sierra Climbing by McNamara