This is the long ridge running from Gabbot Pass to the summit. Gabbot Pass can be readily reached from Lake Italy on the south side, or from Second Recess to the north. If coming from Cox Col, it is advised to first lose about 500 feet of elevation before traversing north around the broad canyon. If you traverse too high you will encounter cliffs on the west side of the Sierra Crest.
Secor describes this route as class 3 from Gabbot Pass if you pass difficulties on the south side. This is true for about 3/4 of the route. Eventually you will encounter class 4, then class 5 rocks as the broken ridge becomes dominated by larger and larger granite blocks. If you insist on staying on the ridge to the summit, bring good solo skills, a rope, or both. If you are less brave or less prepared as we were, it is still possible to reach the summit without retreating. Angle down to your left, losing elevation until you encounter the easier chutes of the Southeast Face. These are still difficult class 3 in their upper reaches, so you get no picnic by using this alternative. The climbing is highly enjoyable on good granite.
If staying on the ridge, it is advised to bring a rope and some protection. Staying flexible in route choices to keep the climbing below class 5 means you can forgo the rope and accompanying gear.
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