We would venture to say the North Buttress is probably the most fun alpine rock climb of its grade in the High Sierra, which says a lot. We offer a 3-day standard and 4-day porter supported itineraries. For summer 2014 we have scheduled dates at promotional pricing for the porter and camp supported 4-day program at an optimal guiding ratio of 1:1.
We offer these programs by custom private arrangement also, with a maximum guiding ratio is 2:1. Click HERE to request a reservation and get more information.
North Buttress (IV, 5.10b)
Funny story: Bob Harrington, Sierra rock climber and route pioneer, lives down the street from our Bishop office. He first climbed the North Buttress of Merriam Peak with another Eastside climber and climbing adventurer Vern Clevenger in 1976 on a lark. I asked Bob about the quality of it and he said, “Ah, that heap?,” referring to the loose rock. Well, for years I didn’t do it because nobody said anything great about it. Suddenly, I started hearing reports of what a stellar route it is. Turns out a local Sierra hardman who shall remain nameless fixed a rope on the route a few years back so he could run solo laps after working trail crew in Pine Creek. Well, now the route is clean. Go figure. We would venture to say this is probably the most fun alpine rock climb of its grade in the High Sierra, which says a lot. Part of that is the setting at Royce Lakes, which is spectacular. We offer guided ascents in two formats: a 3-day regular climbing program and a 4-day program with porter support.
- 3-Day Itinerary
TRIP ITINERARY: 3-day Merriam Peak DAY 1 Meet in Bishop for a pack check early in the morning. Drive to Pine Creek and hike up to scenic Royce Lakes. DAY 2 Climb the North Buttress of Merriam Peak. Relax, Eat and Sleep in camp. DAY 3 Hike down with an option of cragging at the Brownstone Wall on the way.
- 4-Day with Porter/Camp Support
TRIP ITINERARY: 4-day Merriam Peak with Porter Support DAY 1 Meet in Bishop in the morning for a welcome briefing to review gear and logistics and put together loads for the pack outfitters. Climb beautiful multipitch alpine granite up to 5.10a on Cardinal Pinnacle. DAY 2 (Optional: Rock climbing in Pine Creek with an early morning start.) Hike with light day packs to scenic Royce Lakes. Arrive to camp with food ready to eat prepared by a backcountry chef. DAY 3 Climb the North Buttress of Merriam Peak. Relax, eat and sleep in camp. DAY 4 Hike down with only light rock climbing gear for the option of cragging at the Brownstone Wall on the way.
Scheduled 4-day program includes:
- 1:1 guiding by SMG guide
- Breakfasts, lunches and dinners in the backcountry
- Camp cook
- 1 porter (45# max) per climber to and from high camp
- Individual tent accommodations
- All group equipment
- Personal snacks for hiking and climbing
- Personal climbing equipment (rentals available)
- Camping equipment (rentals available)
- Clothing and personal items
- Tips for guides and staff
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