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South Ridge from Tilden Lake

South Ridge from Tilden Lake

South Ridge from Tilden Lake

Page Type: Route

Location: California, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 38.11580°N / 119.5703°W

Object Title: South Ridge from Tilden Lake

Route Type: Hike / Scramble

Time Required: A few days

Difficulty: Class 3

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes


Page By: Alpinist

Created/Edited: Sep 3, 2005 / Sep 4, 2005

Object ID: 166594

Hits: 2403 

Page Score: 71.06%  - 1 Votes 

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The closest trailheads to Snow Peak are located at the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in the south, or at Leavitt Meadows from the north.

(1) From Hetch Hetchy, take the trail north to Jack Main Canyon until you reach the PCT. Continue north until you reach the trail for Tilden Lake. Follow the trail on the western shore past the lake until you reach Snow Peak on the northeast side of the lake. (21 miles total)

2) From Leavitt Meadows Pack Station follow the West Walker River trail south all the way to Tower Lake. Continue south over a low use trail over the saddle to Mary Lake. Follow the use trail along the eastern shore past Mary Lake until you reach Snow Peak to the east. (19.5 miles total)

Route Description

The ascent begins at the base of the ridgeline on the right-hand side of this photo starting from about 1/2 mile north of Tilden Lake. The lower part of ridge is covered with grassy meadows, sandy slopes and pine trees. However, you will soon emerge from the treeline onto granite slabs and mostly stable boulders. Running the ridgeline up is preferable to rest of the west face of Snow Peak which is covered with lose rock and sand.

Ascend the gentle slope of the ridge until you near the top. As it starts to get steep, zip zag your way up a series of ramps and ledges, working your way towards the right (south). The left side is much steeper and requires Class 5 climbing. You can traverse further to the right until you reach a sandy col, or ascend via a couple of short, slightly exposed Class 4 moves.

Once on top of the south ridge, it is an easy stroll towards the summit, with the required periodic navigation of granite formations and scrub pine.

As you near Snow Peak, the ridge becomes steeper. You can hug the western ridgeline for some enjoyable Class 3 climbing and boulder hopping, or you can ascend the sandy slopes to the east, navigating the maze of Scrub pine trees. Either way, the final ascent will require some Class 3 climbing and boulder hopping to reach the summit.

The actual summit is comprised of some vertically leaning granite slabs with exposure that are both fun and challenging to navigate.

Start elevation: 9,100'
Summit: 10,950'
Elevation gain: 1,850'
Distance: ~ 2 miles

Essential Gear

There is no special equipment required for this climb during the summer months.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.


Snow Peak from the south...