Peak Climbed: Pingora Peak

Peak Height: 11,884'

Route: Northeast Face

Difficulty: 5.8+, 1200 ft

Location: Wind River Range, Wyoming

Trailhead: Big Sandy

Mileage & Gain: 2.5 mi & 1,800 ft RT from camp

Date Climbed: August 17, 2020

Pingora's Northeast Face is one of the famed 50 Classic Climbs of North America. It was the biggest objective of our nine day visit to the Cirque. The route ascends 1200 feet of beautiful, well-featured granite, typically in about 10 pitches. Marc and I brought a 70m rope and did it in 8 long pitches. There is a significant amount of steep, sustained climbing and we were both getting tired by the top.

Expect company. When we arrived at the base just after dawn we found ourselves fourth in line, with the first party not yet started! Given the absolute bluebird weather forecast we decided to stick it out and waited an hour and a half to get started. Another party arrived after us but gave up and left.

Although the route follows a more or less continuous crack system, it wasn't the sort of crack climb I'd expected. A lot of the harder sections involved funky, not-so-secure finger cracks. Flakes and other features kept it fun. The "crux offwidth", though a bit strenuous, isn't much of an offwidth. There are good hand jams to be had deeper inside. All in all a great climb!

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