a class 2-3 route from Arc Pass to Mt. McAdie

20-22 Sep 2009 - by Bob Davey

I started alone at Whitney Portal on Sept. 20 and headed up to a nice spot just above Trailside Meadows to set up camp for the next 2 nights. My objective was to reach Mt. McAdie by going up past Consultation Lake to Arc Pass on the 21st and then going up to Mt. Marsh on the 22nd. After a night of watching the endless train of headlamps heading up the Whitney trail I woke at 5 and headed up to Mt. McAdie. What a beautiful mountain McAdie is, especially in the early morning daylight.

I planned on doing the middle peak traverse which is the convential route from Arc Pass. I started by going directly from Trailside Meadow to Consultation Lake. From Consultation Lake, going up to Arc Pass, I took the furthest chute to the right and stayed on the more solid rock on the right side of the chute (class 2-3), definitely recommended. As I headed from Arc Pass up the chute to the middle peak, and staying on the far right I got glimpses of the chute that leads directly into the notch itself between the middle and north peaks, off to the right side.

About halfway between the pass and the middle summit it appeared that there was possibly an almost horizontal traverse into that chute that skirted the base of a 30-40' light gray cliff wall with a small notch on the right side of it. I couldn't see around the notch, but I remember reading here,..was it Tom Beckt,..forgive me if I not spelling that correctly, who stated that he did a similiar traverse into the chute that leads directly into the notch. So, off I went, and with amazingly little effort or difficulty, I got to the small notch on the right of the cliffwall. At that point I could see that it was almost a "walk-in" to enter the chute that leads directly up to the notch between the middle and north peaks, the left side of the notch to be more precise.

Off I went,..feeling pretty good about life that this moment. I could see the chockstone that he mentioned, passed it on the left, and I was in the notch "summit" thinking why this route had never gotten any attention, that I was aware of at least. At worst, it's easy class 3, but probably deserves class 2. Tom Beckt called his route class 3-4 but I believe he just chose a higher traverse into the chute, probably above the 30-40 cliffwall. I did see a duck somewhere near that area but really wasn't paying enough attention to be that precise about it's location.

From the notch, I took Secor's directions to the north summit without a hitch. The original summit register dating back to the 70's is no longer there. The newer one only dates back a few years. I was kinda dissappointed not to see it.,..hope it didn't get stolen. On the way back I thought I would try the class 3 downclimb from the middle peak just to experience the horrors I have read about. Except I would climb it, and yep,..I experienced it. Very vertical for class 3, but exc. holds. I could see why some would feel safer using rope here. All in all, this a great mountain and a great climb. McAdie is definitely a Sierra classic and shouldn't be passed up. I do have some pics, but this is my first post here and my typing enthusiasm has expired. I'll try to post them at a later date.

The next day, getting up Mt. Marsh will be another story. I'll save it for later.

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