Mount Winchell Southeast Face

Big Pine, California

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Elisha Winchell named Mt. Winchell for his cousin Alexander Winchell, a professor of geology at the University of Michigan in the late 1870s. Elisha was a judge and one of the pioneers of Fresno County. His son, Lil A. Winchell, accompanied Frank Dusy on his extensive explorations of the Kings River drainage and made the first ascent of Mt. Goddard in 1879 with L.W. Davis. There are two routes that gain the peak’s classic knife-edged east ridge. Both offer some of the best climbing at their grade in the range. The southeast face approach is the most popular route on the peak, featuring challenging climbing and thrilling exposure. The north face provides a fine mixed climb. From the small glacier climb slabs to reach the summit ridge. The jagged northwest arete (IV 5.8) offers a technical alternative. This route, first climbed by Yosemite climbers Chris Fredericks and Tim Harrison in August of 1971, follows the knife-edged crest south from Agassiz Col before making a long rappel into a prominent notch. Beyond this notch lies the crux, which tackles a steep headwall leading to the summit. These two climbers excelled on the steep face climbs of Middle Cathedral Rock in Yosemite Valley and the domes of Tuolumne Meadows. Harrison was later killed on the Glacier Point Apron when his anchors failed.
Climbing California's High Sierra

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Climbing California's High Sierra

by John Moynier & Claude Fiddler (Falcon Guides)

Elisha Winchell named Mt. Winchell for his cousin Alexander Winchell, a professor of geology at the University of Michigan in the late 1870s. Elisha was a judge and one of the pioneers of Fresno County. His son, Lil A. Winchell, accompanied Frank Dusy on his extensive explorations of the Kings River drainage and made the first ascent of Mt. Goddard in 1879 with L.W. Davis. There are two routes that gain the peak’s classic knife-edged east ridge. Both offer some of the best climbing at their grade in the range. The southeast face approach is the most popular route on the peak, featuring challenging climbing and thrilling exposure. The north face provides a fine mixed climb. From the small glacier climb slabs to reach the summit ridge. The jagged northwest arete (IV 5.8) offers a technical alternative. This route, first climbed by Yosemite climbers Chris Fredericks and Tim Harrison in August of 1971, follows the knife-edged crest south from Agassiz Col before making a long rappel into a prominent notch. Beyond this notch lies the crux, which tackles a steep headwall leading to the summit. These two climbers excelled on the steep face climbs of Middle Cathedral Rock in Yosemite Valley and the domes of Tuolumne Meadows. Harrison was later killed on the Glacier Point Apron when his anchors failed.

©  John Moynier & Claude Fiddler/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Climbing
Nearby City: Big Pine
Class: Class 4
Local Contacts: John Muir Wilderness; Kings Canyon National Park
Local Maps: USGS North Palisade, Coyote Flat
Driving Directions: Directions to Mount Winchell: Southeast Face

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May 2018