East Face Route

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Half a day
Class 3-4

Route Quality: 3 Votes

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East Face Route
Created On: Apr 2, 2005
Last Edited On: Mar 11, 2016


As an additional reference to the route description, a guidebook was published by Andy Zdon, 'Desert Summits: A Climbing And Hiking Guide To California and Southern Nevada', which contains a fairly accurate description of the East Face Route. Begin the approach to Mopah Point by starting from the BLM trailhead liftgate. The trail heads directly west to the wash, which also leads to Mopah Springs. Follow this old jeep trail for 0.8 miles to unfinished rockwall ruin. Once at the rockwall, head into the wash and follow it roughly southwest as it wanders another 1.8 miles. A smaller wash to the south will appear on the left hand side of the trail. At this point, Mopah Point, as well as Umpah Point, will come into full view to the south. A duck also marks the exit point and into the wash that leads south. Follow this wash for a few hundred yards then leave the wash and head up the western slopes following the wash and aim for gully that leads south along the base of Mopah's East Face. The terrain leading up to the gully gets somewhat steeper and the scree can be an ankle buster. Also be aware that 'Cat's Claw' bushes guard the way and can cut up exposed skin. As one traverses upward and close to the East Face, one will pick up ducks leading into the gully. This begins the start of the East Face Route.

Route Description

Upon reaching the gully, scramble up through broken terrain (ducks mark the way to go but its straight forawrd nonetheless). One section of the gully will reach a notch in between the East Face and small ridge leading up to it. Cross over this first notch and around a corner, leading slightly right. Continue up until another notch is encountered. It is after this 2nd notch, the gully ends and the route turns up and right, toward an amphitheater. Again, there are quite a number of ducks that signatujre the way up into this amphitheater. The route into this section of the climb creates a "C" shaped pattern. As the route reaches higher up into the amphitheater, the way-to-go begins to turn to the right and along a large ledge. At the end of this ledge is a dirty cave on the left hand side. 25 feet to the right of this cave is a 4th class section of rock. As an added feature, there is a rock 20 feet above that has a gray sling around it. Climb up this section, passing this rock to its right (Note: this rock appears to be detachable. This page author does not recommend anyone use it as a rappel.) Once past this rock, continue up toward a slot/chimney that has a desert yucca growing at its base. Climb up this slot to the small notch in the skyline (3rd/4th class). Once at the top of the slot, squeeze through the notch. This may require some to remove their packs and push them through first. Once on the other side of the notch, drop slightly down 10 feet and over to a slopping ledge on the left. Above this ledge are a few slings hanging down. They may be used to rappel or use as aid, if one is uncomfortable with exposed 4th class. In any case, climb this 4th class section up and slightly to the right. Use caution when skirting above this section as there is loose gravel on the ledge above. Continue above into a slotted alcove and climb the remaining section of class 2 to the summit above. The summit is up and to the left another 200 feet. Retrace the route for the descent.
The round trip from the trailhead to summit and back again is approximately 8 miles and 2,300 feet of elevation gain.

Essential Gear

If you are not comfortable with 4th class terrain, a light 30 meter rope, harnesses, belay devices, helmets, a few slings and a light rack of medium sized protection can be utilized. Light hiking boots or approach shoes will do the trick for most.

East Face Route

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