Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Conness North Ridge Beta

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Golden State. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the California Climbing Partners forum.
 

Conness North Ridge Beta

Postby AriehDavid » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:57 am

Hi...

So, having done a fair amount of research on various pages, and having read a great deal of conflicting information, I'm unclear about some details about the North Ridge of Mt. Conness and would be grateful to anyone who can answer the following:

Quickly, before going into the questions, I'll give you context of who is going: myself, been climbing my whole life, many technical and non-technical ascents in an Alpine environment, but rarely harder than 5.8. I am recovering from a shattered leg from a bike accident 10 mo ago, and this will be my first climb since the accident. I am going with my father, who taught me to climb, but will have just turned 69 yrs old. Still a badass, but definitely aging. So, we will be a slower moving, cautious party.

It is rated 5.6, but that is just because the rappel?
The upper portion of the climb (after the rappel) is 4th or 5th class? Is this dependent on how one chooses to get to the summit?
It is one or two rappels?
Some places suggested you can even (safely?) downclimb the rappel without a rope. True?
In one video I saw, the rappel looked very short. Do I need to bring a full 60m rope, or can I bring a shorter (therefore lighter) 45m rope?
The 'downclimb' is a walk off, no?
In some vids, people are carrying ice axes. Is that just for early season/high snowfall years? Is it safe to assume that in the beginning of Aug. of this year, I will not need an ice axe?

Thanks so much for any and all help in this matter. I'm really looking forward to getting out onto a mountain again. It has been too long!
User Avatar
AriehDavid

 
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:30 am
Location: Arcata, California, United States
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

The following user would like to thank AriehDavid for this post
anita

Re: Conness North Ridge Beta

Postby mariomolina » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:43 pm

It's been awhile.
It's a short rappel, maybe 40-50', you can downclimb,though it might be wet.
I would lean towards a longer smaller dia. rope myself, as it's more a traverse and around 5.5/6.
An ice axe would't hurt, you could get away with a ski pole and hiking boots.
Mario
mariomolina

 
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 4:35 pm
Location: Gardnerville, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

The following user would like to thank mariomolina for this post
AriehDavid

Re: Conness North Ridge Beta

Postby sharperblue » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:03 pm

The route is definitely an easy but technical one, and not just b/c of the two raps - two if you have a shorter rope, but can be done either short or long. The raps are offset a bit laterally. If your question boils down to 'do I need a rope and light rack?', the answer is yes, if there is any question at all. I think I placed 2 pieces on each of the last
3 or 4 pitches, but was glad to have the confidence. You won't need an axe at all, imo
User Avatar
sharperblue

 
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:05 am
Location: san francisco, California, United States
Thanked: 63 times in 46 posts

The following user would like to thank sharperblue for this post
AriehDavid

Re: Conness North Ridge Beta

Postby bobpickering » Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:50 pm

The first time I did it, I had just done the right couloir on North Pk., so I was wearing heavy boots. I brought rock shoes and a rappel rope for Conness, but never got them out of the pack. I did the whole thing in the heavy boots. Most people rappel the notch, but many just downclimb it.

There are many ways to get from the notch to the summit. If you follow the exact crest of the ridge to the summit, you would go over a couple of towers that are probably at least 5.8. If you go just a few feet to the right, it’s mostly class 4 with a sprinkling of class 5 moves. You can pick your poison. Many people solo it or use minimal protection.
User Avatar
bobpickering

 
Posts: 279
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2002 1:06 pm
Location: Reno, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 14 times in 9 posts

The following user would like to thank bobpickering for this post
AriehDavid

Re: Conness North Ridge Beta

Postby Bob Burd » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:02 pm

The two raps aren't all that long, but they aren't trivial. Downclimbing is not for the faint of heart (like myself).

The first rappel:
Image

The second:
Image

bobpickering wrote:There are many ways to get from the notch to the summit. If you follow the exact crest of the ridge to the summit, you would go over a couple of towers that are probably at least 5.8. If you go just a few feet to the right, it’s mostly class 4 with a sprinkling of class 5 moves. You can pick your poison. Many people solo it or use minimal protection.

This was our experience too. Here's the toughest section we found:
Image
User Avatar
Bob Burd
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 4107
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 10:42 pm
Location: San Jose, California, United States
Thanked: 462 times in 237 posts

The following user would like to thank Bob Burd for this post
AriehDavid

Re: Conness North Ridge Beta

Postby fatdad » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:09 pm

In the last photo Bob posted, we pulled out a 9 mm we used for the raps and simulcimbed. It was probably 4th class, easy 5th, which I'm pretty comfortable soloing, but the climbing was rather slabby and grainy and not as secure feeling as I would have liked. We were, however, further right of where the climber is in the last photo. Simulclimbing, we kept pace with another pair of climbers soloing the route.

Keep in mind that it is a pretty long day. We took the ferry across Saddlebag, did the route then walked back to Saddlebag along a use trail that started around the Carnegie Institute or whatever that place is called. It took about 10 hrs. and, though both of us routinely did a lot of hilly road riding, our legs felt it by the time we got back to the car. You and your dad might be totally solid on this, but I'd probably recommend a less involved objective if you're just testing your leg after an injury. Though it's just a hike, Mt. Dana is one of my favorite peaks anywhere.
User Avatar
fatdad

 
Posts: 1387
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
Thanked: 85 times in 59 posts

The following user would like to thank fatdad for this post
AriehDavid

Re: Conness North Ridge Beta

Postby AriehDavid » Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:29 pm

Thanks for all the info, peeps, although, you can see from people's varied responses how beta on this can be a bit unclear. I'll definitely be brining a rope and a light rack.

@fatdad, thanks for the concern and mention of the long day and my leg. I'm doing some good exercising these days: have been hitting stairs, pull-ups at the jungle gym, biking again, and the climbing gym, and my dad is about to do that run in the Yosemite backcountry that is two 20 mile days. We're going to be doing some light backpacking for 3 days prior to our climb, so will be well acclimatized and I'll be able to feel any issues by then. So, I think we'll be able to hang in there even if we'll be feeling it by the end of the day :).

Thanks again to everyone for the feedback.
User Avatar
AriehDavid

 
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 7:30 am
Location: Arcata, California, United States
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post

Re: Conness North Ridge Beta

Postby anita » Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:19 am

how light of a rack?
will a few cams & nuts suffice?
User Avatar
anita

 
Posts: 213
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:33 am
Location: Montreal, Canada
Thanked: 890 times in 565 posts

Re: Conness North Ridge Beta

Postby Bob Burd » Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:20 am

yes.
User Avatar
Bob Burd
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 4107
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 10:42 pm
Location: San Jose, California, United States
Thanked: 462 times in 237 posts

Re: Conness North Ridge Beta

Postby fatdad » Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:20 pm

^^^
And slings, lots of slings.
User Avatar
fatdad

 
Posts: 1387
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States
Thanked: 85 times in 59 posts

The following user would like to thank fatdad for this post
anita

Re: Conness North Ridge Beta

Postby steeleman » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:11 pm

At the risk of beating a dead horse...

It is rated 5.6, but that is just because the rappel?


I never saw a mandatory move even close to 5.6 other than the rappel.

The upper portion of the climb (after the rappel) is 4th or 5th class? Is this dependent on how one chooses to get to the summit?


I am a middling climber and a complete wuss and I solo'ed the entire thing (in rock shoes) and felt completely comfortable the entire way. It is a truly thrilling route that is not "too thrilling"

It is one or two rappels?


Two

Some places suggested you can even (safely?) downclimb the rappel without a rope. True?


I suppose anything can be safely downclimbed with the appropriate skills, but there is no way I would downclimb those raps. I was pretty gripped even on the rope. The exposure is significant here.

The 'downclimb' is a walk off, no?


Yes. There is a very brief section off the very top that requires some handholds and scrambling, but if you've gotten this far it will be easier than most anything you've already done. The crux of the descent is probably routefinding off the plateau (hug the left edge high above the glacier and don't be tempted to descend the plateau to the right) and stamina more than technical challenges.

In some vids, people are carrying ice axes. Is that just for early season/high snowfall years? Is it safe to assume that in the beginning of Aug. of this year, I will not need an ice axe?


I would be very surprised if you would need an axe this year in August
User Avatar
steeleman

 
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2001 1:57 pm
Location: Northern California, United States
Thanked: 2 times in 2 posts

The following user would like to thank steeleman for this post
AriehDavid

Re: Conness North Ridge Beta

Postby steeleman » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:47 pm

I climbed the route again this weekend, so the beta is very fresh in my now feeble old guy mind. We brought a skinny 60m rope and an extremely light rack -- basically just a few nuts and a lot of (light) slings. We pulled the rope out about halfway up the first tower, as there is a tricky little move with tremendous exposure where the ridge kind of pinches together sharply and heads more vertical. The move was easy, but I am out of practice and my partner was a first timer, so the rope came out (didn't carry it all that way for nothing!). After that, we used the rope for the two raps but then it stayed in the pack the rest of the day. There are tons of horns and flakes on the ridge, so I think you can protect almost anything with well-placed slings. Even had we pitched out the entire thing I do not feel we would have needed a greater range of pro.

The second rap took nearly the entire length of our rope, so I would be wary of a 45m cord if you want to ensure that you get all the way down to the nice sandy ledge seen here.

Image

As you can see, it isn't that difficult to stop the rappel earlier and climb out to the right, but the ledge is a nice, safe and natural spot to come off rappel. so personally i would bring the longer rope.

From the bottom of the rap, with careful routefinding you can easily keep it to a thrilling fourth or easy fifth class route all the way to the summit. In Bob's third photo above, we took the crack/ledge just below and right of the climber and found it provided an easy way up towards the higher part of the ridge.

No ice axe needed this year. Some snow on the descent to Carnegie is easily avoided. None to speak of on the approach.
User Avatar
steeleman

 
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2001 1:57 pm
Location: Northern California, United States
Thanked: 2 times in 2 posts

The following user would like to thank steeleman for this post
AriehDavid

Re: Conness North Ridge Beta

Postby aran » Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:55 pm

Enjoy! You'll have a blast. For starters, I HIGHLY recommend adding North Peak in the morning on the way to N Conness. It adds only a little time, is a very compelling and beautiful line/ link up, and leaves you right at the small saddle to begin N Conness.

With that said, I echo a lot of what Steelman said. As someone not emboldened to solo, I soloed the whole route in approach shoes with no disconcerting feelings at all. (I lead 5.8 trad, pretty meager, for reference). A rope for the rappel would be a wise choice, but each of the two rappels is hardly over 30 feet, there's even an intermediate rappel spot for the shorter roped. If you have a light 30 meter line for rappelling and as a backup line in case you want to belay your father, I'd bring a handful of nuts and slings and leave it at that. I had an amazing day with my friend, but would have enjoyed it more not lugging climbing shoes, 60meter rope, and rack on my back the whole day. It really was overkill.

I'm not advocating danger by any means, just that the lightest of belay supports is the most you will need. Enjoy!
User Avatar
aran

 
Posts: 98
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:40 pm
Location: berkeley, California, United States
Thanked: 4 times in 4 posts

Re: Conness North Ridge Beta

Postby JD » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:11 am

bobpickering wrote:The first time I did it, I had just done the right couloir on North Pk., so I was wearing heavy boots.

Me too! In fact, the first time I did it I ran into Bob on the way to the start of the couloir and we climbed together. Bob told me that I'd have no problem doing the N. Ridge in my boots and he was right. Those photos make it look so serious but it isn't that hard. However if you fall it is. So take a rope if you have doubts.
JD

 
Posts: 2604
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2003 4:46 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post


Return to California

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.