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Southwest Ridge
Route

Southwest Ridge

 
Southwest Ridge

Page Type: Route

Location: California, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 38.13960°N / 119.5913°W

Object Title: Southwest Ridge

Route Type: Hiking, Scrambling

Season: Summer, Fall

Time Required: A few days

Difficulty: Moderate

Route Quality: 
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Page By: Alpinist

Created/Edited: Sep 28, 2006 / Sep 8, 2012

Object ID: 230031

Hits: 1093 

Page Score: 71.06%  - 1 Votes 

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Overview

 
SW Ridge of Keyes Peak
 
 
Keyes Peak
 
 
Keyes Peak
 
 
Keyes Peak, Summit Ridge
 

The southwest ridge of Keyes Peak is an enjoyable Class 2/3 scramble over mostly good terrain consisting of stable ground on the lower section of the ridge, and mixed granite slabs and medium size talus on the upper portion. As with most peaks in northern Yosemite, there are also sandy/scree areas and a few White Bark Pine bushes that can hinder your way. However, these areas can be avoided pretty easily leaving you with a pleasant scramble on mostly good rock all the way to the summit.

The route begins on the west side of Keyes Peak from the Pacific Crest Trail in Jack Main Canyon.

Route Statistics
Elevation Gain: 2,000ft
Distance: 3 miles RT

Getting There

Keyes Peak is located in a remote area of northern Yosemite National Park and is usually climbed as part of a multi-day backpacking trip due to the distance involved in getting there. Follow the directions on the main Keyes Peak page for the best options to reach this remote mountain. The SW Ridge ascent begins on the west side of Keyes Peak from the PCT in Jack Main Canyon.

Route Description

Break off from the PCT just west of Keyes Peak and head cross country through Grace Meadow towards the obvious rise of the SW Ridge as seen in this photo. It's about .75 miles to where the ridge starts, but hiking across the meadow is pretty easy.

The initial ascent consists of good ground with mixed patches of conifers and grassy meadows. Follow the rib as it rises gently upwards for a few hundred feet until you ascend above treeline. The terrain then changes from grass/dirt/sand to granite slabs and talus. Continue up the ridge as it winds it way to the north. There are great views of the west face of Keyes Peak along the ridgeline.

The true summit is the north peak which requires a bit of a bit Class 3 climbing to reach. From the granitoid south peak, climb down to the saddle via a steep granite ramp. Here the rock suddenly becomes metamorphic (brown colored). The ridgeline becomes quite narrow at the saddle, but the climbing is easy. Make your way up the talus slope 70 feet or so on the north side to the true summit.

Essential Gear

No special gear is required to climb this route.

Images

SW Ridge of Keyes PeakKeyes PeakSW Ridge of Keyes PeakKeyes Peak, Summit RidgeKeyes Peak