Walking toward Vogelsang Lake from Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, your first views of Vogelsang Peak are of a striking line climbing to a seemingly impassible summit ridgeline. The line is Vogelsang's Northeast Buttress. Far from impassible, this is a sporting scramble with excellent exposure and solid rock. It makes a wonderful alternative to Vogelsang's Standard Route.
From the Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, take the trail toward Vogelsang Pass. Cross Vogelsang Lake's outlet stream and leave the trail, climbing southwest for about 300 vertical feet up the forested benches toward Vogelsang Peak's prominent northeast buttress.
Climb the northeast buttress directly. Avoid going too far left, onto the Peak's east face, or right, onto its steep west face. On route, the climbing is sustained class 3 over very solid rock, with at least two 20-30-foot sections of class 4. Off route, you'll find much class 5 rock.
The buttress narrows as it gains the north ridge. For the final exit, you can a) stay directly on the buttress for a short section of fifth class, or b) pop out onto the west face for a few highly exposed class 3 moves.
Once onto the north ridge, simply follow it to the summit, a half mile away. Aside from some boulder scrambling and some nicely exposed travel over a catwalk, the ridge is a walking route. It looks far more blocky and intimidating from below than it is in reality.
Boots or approach shoes recommended over rock shoes--the toughest climbing involves footjamming into crystal-studded cracks which would rip up uncovered ankle bones.
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