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Ascent of Cleaver Peak on 2014-09-22

Climber: Daryn Dodge

Others in Party:Keith Christensen
Kathy Rich
Date:Monday, September 22, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Cleaver Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:11760 ft / 3584 m

Ascent Trip Report

Cleaver Peak is a peak along the Sawtooth Ridge near Matterhorn Peak. My goal is to climb all the Sierra peaks on the Western States Climbers list, and this, along with nearby Blacksmith Peak, was one of the last peaks left. We started at Twin Lakes hiking the Robinson Creek trail to Barney Lake. Then on to Mule Pass to camp. On climb day three of us hiked down into Slide Canyon, then east on trail to the base of the peaks just south. About 1300 feet of cross-country gain got us into the bowl between Cleaver and Blacksmith peaks. First up was Cleaver Peak. Secor's Sierra guidebook says it's class 2 to Glacier Col at the base of the peak, then class 3 to the summit. The narrow notch of Glacier Col isn't obvious at first, but it starts just underneath the peak and goes up and left. This seldom visited pass was indeed (loose) class 2.

However, from the col things got tougher. Facing the peak we first moved right to some fractured rock and worked our way up to an obvious ledge that then went back left. This got us around to the NW face which was near vertical but had many hand and foot holds. Staying near the west side, we climbed up to a platform and squeezed around the right side of a big boulder on a narrow ledge over looking the col. Then it was up a chute with a little class 4 move. At the top of the chute, we then went around the right side of the massive summit pinnacle, and scrambled around it counter-clockwise to the NW side to finally climb up to the small summit. A small steel pipe stuffed with loose pieces of paper was the register. The climb went mainly high class 3 with a few short class 4 sections.
Summary Total Data
    Grade/Class:Class 3/4
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
Ascent Statistics
    Route:NW face from Glacier Col
    Start Trailhead:Twin Lakes  
Descent Statistics



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