Temple Crag Dark Star

Big Pine, California

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To the right of the Celestial Aretes is the great north buttress of Temple Crag, which is characterized by two obvious features: the massive lower buttress and the steep upper arete leading to the summit. The parallel routes Dark Star and Barefoot Bynum climb the face of the lower buttress. Doug Robinson made the first free ascent of Dark Star and considers it “the most classic route in the High Sierra.” He cited the spectacular location, excellent climbing, and stunning exposure of this route. “The character of the climbing changes abruptly at the bivy (the top of the lower buttress). Up to there, the rock is reminiscent of Middle Cathedral Rock in Yosemite: fine face and crack climbing on dark granite. After the ledge, it is a pure alpine ridge—long, intricate and full of surprises.”

Temple Crag: Dark Star Professional Review and Guide

"To the right of the Celestial Aretes is the great north buttress of Temple Crag, which is characterized by two obvious features: the massive lower buttress and the steep upper arete leading to the summit. The parallel routes Dark Star and Barefoot Bynum climb the face of the lower buttress. Doug Robinson made the first free ascent of Dark Star and considers it “the most classic route in the High Sierra.” He cited the spectacular location, excellent climbing, and stunning exposure of this route. “The character of the climbing changes abruptly at the bivy (the top of the lower buttress). Up to there, the rock is reminiscent of Middle Cathedral Rock in Yosemite: fine face and crack climbing on dark granite. After the ledge, it is a pure alpine ridge—long, intricate and full of surprises.”"

Activity Type: Climbing
Nearby City: Big Pine
Class: Class 5 - 5.5
Local Contacts: John Muir Wilderness; Kings Canyon National Park
Local Maps: USGS Split Mountain
Grade: Grade V
Driving Directions: Directions to Temple Crag: Dark Star

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May 2018