East Ridge

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Rock Climb
Time Required:
Half a day
Class 3-4 up to 5.2 if one wants to climb the upper headwall.

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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East Ridge
Created On: Feb 27, 2005
Last Edited On: Feb 27, 2005


Start from the trailhead at the wilderness boundary and hike up a jeep road, which turns into a wash which one follows to the west. One can see both peaks, Umpah and Mopah from one spot in the wash, with Umpah more in the distance to the south of Mopah. Both are spectacular looking, especially Mopah. Leave the wash and head in a southerly direction down and up through more washes traversing the desert landscape. Enroute one gets a good look at the east face of Mopah. At this point, the east ridge of Umpah Point can be seen to the south. Continue traveling across a few more washes and hike up to the base of the East Ridge.

Route Description

The base of the East Ridge route starts on the left side of a knife edged ridge up a class 1-2 gully that is fairly wide. Further up, one encounters a small pseudo-headwall, which has several easy class 4 moves. Above that move slightly to the left, into another gully, which has some class 2-3 rock in it while weaving around bushes, and it is a bit loose. Continue up the gully and went over a rib to the right and continue climbing up another gully, which brings one to the crux of the climb. Another headwall is encountered, which is class 4 to possibly 5.2.

Continue climbing to the left of the headwall, which is easier, where there is a chimney. This chimney is near and to the right side of a block shaped pinnacle, which can be seen from a distance on the East Ridge on the approach. This feature is below the summit about 200 feet of elevation. To get up the chimney, which has two easy class 4 moves, stand on a narrow block and move up several moves up the rock. Be careful here, since the narrow block can wobble a little bit. Once one gets beyond the narrow block, start climbing to the right up about 20 feet of class 3 rocks. Once one climbs past the class 3 rock section, move over to the left up a ramp and there is a solid rock on the ramp where one can get wedged into a solid belay position, where if anyone wants a belay to negotiate the narrow block/chimney moves and the section of class 3 rock, this is a really good belay station.

From this solid rock, continue to traverse over to the left from the last belay station. It is mostly class 1-2 travel with several class 3 moves over a few boulders and on up to the summit. The view is pretty nice anyway with a great view of Mopah's spectacular south face and Castle Rock to the southwest. Out to the east, one can see the Colorado River and out into Arizona. Directly to the north, one can see the South Face of Mopah Peak which has many spectacular walls and butresses on it.

One can retrace the ascent route for the descent. The class 4 headwall that is down lower on the route can be avoided by turning to the left of the gully above it. Keep descending down to the base of the route and retrace one’s steps on the approach to Umpah. Continue back down to the large wash and hike out to the trailhead, which is to the east. It is about 11 miles round trip and about 2,300 feet of elevation gain.

Essential Gear

A 50 meter 8.5mm rope or light rope is recommended for those not comfortable on class 4 terrain. Helmets are highly recommended on the entire route, since there is some loose rock at certain points of the route, along with harnesses and a belay device. A light rack is good to bring with camalots size #1-3 with hexes and stoppers of the same sizes, basically medium sized pieces with some shoulder length slings with carabiners and a 21-foot cordelette and a double shoulder length sling. Mountaineering boots are highly recommended for the climb and for those not entirely comfortable on class 4 terrain, rock climbing shoes can be brought along. I recommend the lighter mountaineering boots that have the sticky rands on them.

Miscellaneous Info

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


East Ridge

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