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Mount Morgan (N)
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Mount Morgan (N)

 
Mount Morgan (N)

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: California, United States, North America

Object Title: Mount Morgan (N)

Elevation: 13005 ft / 3964 m

 

Page By: cottersnow

Created/Edited: Dec 11, 2003 / Jul 16, 2005

Object ID: 152146

Hits: 10401 

Page Score: 73.64%  - 5 Votes 

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Overview


This is a huge ridge that is very dominant on highway 395 about 15 minutes south of Mammoth Lakes that overlooks Crowley Lake. It does not seem like many people climb it, that is why it is such a great peak. The only useful information that I have found about this mountain is Moynier's Backcountry skiing book. The route that we climbed took me two tries, and both of them were in the winter. Both times we followed the East Ridge. The East ridge is unrelenting, and there are alot of false summits. Class 4 climbing should be expected. The ridge offers amazing views the whole time.
The easiest route that I have seen is a large gully North of the East Ridge. It should go at class 2-3, as long as reasonable route finding is done. This gully will lead right to the summit of Morgan. We used this as a decent, and surprisingly it took us right back to our car. This mountain is a great challenge for those seeking a long alpine route that can be done in the winter as long as risk management and route finding skills are thought about.

Getting There


From Highway 395 turn (not exit) onto Crowley Lake drive. If coming from Mammoth Lakes this will be a right hand turn 10 to 15 minutes down the road. At the obvious stop sign turn on to Mcgee Creek Road. Follow this road for roughly 3 miles. A campground will be passed on the left and eventually a pack station will be reached. We parked about a quarter mile before the pack station, and a creek is on the left hand side of the road. Cross the creek and head up to Morgan. If the gully is preferred it will be a slog up and right, if the ridge is preferred it is a mandatory hour slog to get to. The line of least resistance that we found to the ridge was straight up from the campground. Follow the ridge or gully to the highest point on the ridge.

Red Tape


No permits are required unless travelling overnight. I would not recommend spending the night on the ridge because it has been very cold both times we were up there. If a permit is needed they can be obtrained at the Ranger Station at the beginning of the town of Mammoth Lakes.
Safety is a huge concern on this mountain. The rock is not good, it consists of this crappy fractured reddish rock and shale. We did not bring a rope, and it would be difficult to protect anything. Both times on the ridge we encountered some scary class 4 scrambling. This mountain is also known for avalanches, so beware, especially right at the beginng when getting to the ridge. I'd imagine the large gully could also be an avalanche trap, so be careful. The ridge could be very difficult to get off in a hurry, so make sure the weather is good. Some of the SE gullies drain into cliffs and they can be very icy. I would not recommend bailing down them. The first time we tried it we encountered what felt like 100 mph winds, and it was scary. The second time it was bitter cold. It is also important to allow enough time. It took us nine hours to get the summit from the East Ridge, and two hours to descend the gully. It is a full day affair. Half of our descent was also done in the dark. The bottom line is be prepared for anything on this mountain, and it is not easy.
BRING A MOUNTAINEERING AX- during both attempts a member of our party has had to self arrest.

When To Climb


We climbed it in the winter, and it would be alot easier in the summer. In the summer loose scree will have to be dealt with. Make sure snow conditions are decent if attempting in the winter. This is a year round peak as long as preparation is taken. There are some nice looking chutes to ride also that don't look too difficult to get too.

Camping


There is lots of camping around the Mammoth area, it would probably be best to check at the ranger station for the best spots. There is a campsite on Mcgee creek road that is closed in the winter at the foot of Mount Morgan. I have seen campers on the side of Mcgee Creek Road as well. I needed it would be possible to find a somewhat sheltered spot on Morgan, but I would not recommend it.

Mountain Conditions


Rumor has it that sierra snow conditions can be found on www.sierrabackcountry.org. I always talk to the ski patrollers at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and see what the snow conditions are like there. The ranger station in Mammoth Lakes could help you out also. It would be in your favor to be able to asess snow conditions when you are on Morgan as well.

External Links

Additions and Corrections

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Viewing: 1-5 of 5    
Bob BurdUntitled Comment

Bob Burd

Voted 8/10

This is an interesting peak from an etymology standpoint. The other Mt. Morgan located about ten miles south was named for a member of the Wheeler Survey Party. It doesn't seem likely this was named for the same person (USGS members haven't been that greedy), but I couldn't find any info on who it is named for. My guess is that it was named for J.P. Morgan, a hugely successful banker in the late 1870s who helped finance many of the railroad entities (and the the survey parties that scouted the Sierra for routes, naming peaks along the way). Note that the Big Four (railroad barons) were immortilized a few miles to the south in Mts. Stanford, Huntington, Crocker and Hopkins.
Posted Dec 11, 2003 4:55 pm
Bob BurdUntitled Comment

Bob Burd

Voted 8/10

In summer, the easiest route is probably the Southeast Slope from Davis Lake, rated class 2. It is a big sand slog however, and best left for the descent. A traverse from Mt. Stanford is a class 3 classic, an enjoyable traverse on a fine-edged ridge with great views.


The climb from McGee Canyon has been described alternately as either classic or tedious slog on loose rock, depending on the author.
Posted Dec 11, 2003 5:05 pm
ridgeard3230location

Hasn't voted

I think the location will be very helpful for anyone with a GPS.

37.511322

118.779849
Posted Aug 3, 2008 1:12 pm
ridgeard3230route description

Hasn't voted

From the pack station gate on Mcgee Creek road we went back .04 miles to the parking area. There is a trail there but no signage. We took the trail to the creek and along the barbed wire fence we found a log there to cross the creek.

Climb up to the clearing and head south near the tree line for Aprox. 1/2 mile to the canyon on you left. This is the drainage you want to ascend

Note that there is a trail but it is very overgrown and lots of bushwacking is necessary.
Posted Sep 19, 2008 3:51 pm
fogeyDavis Lake route

Hasn't voted

From Davis Lake, the descent described in Bob Burd's trip report is probably the best ascent route as well. There is a use trail of sorts that works its way NW from the flats at the south end of the west arm of the lake, through the trees to the sand slope Bob describes. We didn't know where to start and bushwhacked up farther north along the lake shore--not recommended.
Posted Jul 16, 2011 1:48 am

Viewing: 1-5 of 5    

Images

Mt. Morgan\'s Nevahbe RidgeFrom Long Valley CalderaDavid , Greg, and Barbee on...Mt. Morgan (north)Mt. Morgan North (left) and Red Mountain (right)