Already some rain in the morning. Good workout to get to the S-ridge, then a fun scramble. Wanted to continue to University but the weather didn't cooperate.
Rain started just after I left the summit which made for some sketchy climbing back along the ridge and in a few spots near the top of the west slope. The ridge itself is a fun climb but the west slope getting up to that point is a pretty brutal slog. Climbed after Kearsarge Peak in the morning.
Warm up for Williamson weekend.
Fun climb, nice scramble along the ridgeline to the summit
Attempted to climb the North Ridge. We were able to drive all the way up Onion Valley Road, which is apparently plowed on occasion despite being advertised as closed. Talked to some NFS employees who suggested that people contacting the county and letting them know that there is a great deal of recreational interest (tourism dollars) in having access to trailheads would help a ton.
Very short approach from the 9200 foot trailhead/campground. A short snowclimb of about 30-35 degrees led to a flat scree covered area just above the gendarme at the bottom of the ridge. From there we attempted to stay on the crest of the ridge as much as possible. At the top of a tough 4th/low 5th section we decided to rap off to the east side of the ridge. The east side is a nice snow gully, probably about 40-45 degrees at most.
Hiked the gully back up to the crest of the ridge and switched over to a scree/small talus hike on the west side of the ridge. Decided to go up to a pinnacle that we thought was the summit, but we couldn't quite be sure. Did some 5th class climbing to the top of it, and found that we were one pinnacle north of what looked to be the true summit, the summit looked accessible from there, but conditions were getting pretty nasty. Rapped off in very cold, windy, and snowy conditions. Called off the climb and descended the snowy west slope, which was pretty mellow despite the storm.
All in all, you could probably turn it into a 3rd class with some 4th class as Secor suggests if you are willing to part ways with the ridge at the right times. Otherwise, there is plenty of low 5th class terrain on the ridge. All if it would be pretty mellow with good conditions and rock shoes (or even approach shoes probably).
Standard class 3 route
Terrain was much more complicated than I expected. I'm not sure if I found Secor's 4th class, but the last push up the west side, which got us to 11700', certainly seemed to fit the bill. The descent down the 3rd class west face chute was OK-- but I can't believe this is ever a popular route for ascent -- that loose crap must be horrible.
I ran up the N ridge several times looking for a route that didn't leave us on top of a peaklet or gendarme. Best equipment: an accurate altimeter. Don't take a route that just starts at 11400' on the "true" ridge; it will be at the limits of class 4, and will leave you hanging in the middle of nowhere.
The last 300' of ridge N of the peak is interesting; a real knife-edge feeling at times. Nothing is really hard, but the exposure is substantial, and hanging over the edge is often the best option.
I didn't see the 3rd-class rib, mentioned in Bob Burd's TR, till we were at the summit.
Pretty easy side trip on the descent from University.
As the youngest member of a 28-person group (yes, just like the old days, I suspect), I joined a Sierra Peaks Section list finish party for my friend Randall Danta. Along with several other list-finishers and well-aged Sierra Club climbers, I had a great time chatting, talking Sierra history, and recounting first-ascents, Norman Clyde stories, and general Sierra lore. Good times.
Slogged up from Robinson Lake after tagging University. Going along the ridge towards the summit was fun. Perfect day.
I guess I expected more out of this ridge than was led on to believe. Deb and I had a great time seeking out the 4th and 5th class on this route. Just when the excitement level was rising, we'd run into either chossy/exfoliating rock or we'd encounter a break in the excitement (2nd class scree :P). All in all, we had a wonderful day! Nice views over to University Peak and to watch Jeff's "little Matchbox jeep" (aka salad) driving down the OV Road after completeing his tag on Gould car-to-car in a little over 4 hours.
Too bad Vlad, my name is the last one in the summit log for this slog heap. Had a great time once raeching the ridgeline but I sure think this mountain is skinnier now after me and Blair choo-chooed down the scree! Perfect weather, lots of laughs.
This was a exciting climb! Good exposure, great partner! It was a beautiful day in Onion Valley with Deb on my first one-day trip to the Sierra Nevada.
Climbed the North Ridge of Independence on Saturday, Nov 25. Waking up late after my Olancha marathon the day before, I decided to forgo my ambitious plan to climb Le Conte. I leafed through Secor's book for something to do on a short day and found this. Secor claimed that only last 200 feet of the ridge were class 4 and even that could be easily bypassed. As it turned out I had a lot more class 4 and low class 5 climbing to do than
I expected. Should have checked out Bob Burd's description here on SP... Class 4 climbing started in earnest from the middle of the ridge. A bit later when I found myself stemming and doind laybacks, I thought that something must have been wrong with Secor's rating. It seemed like most of the hard climbing could be avoided by staying on the east side of the ridge but it wasn't an option for me as the east fase was covered in snow . Still I had to drop down a few times there and on the west side to avoid the most challenging parts of the ridge. Climbing each tower I kept thinking that it was the final one. Each time I was treated to the view of yet another tower higher up. It got to the point when after reaching one false summit, I laughed out loud seeing more rock up ahead. I spent more than half an hour on the true summit enjoying the sunshine and the fabulous views. Could I be the last person to climb the peak this year? Quite likely so... A quick jog down the west face brought me to the car five and a half hours after I started.
Fun Ridge scramble, cloudy with temps 38 on the summit, brand new register our group was first to sign.
Some fun class 3 on top, scree was fun downhill(bad up). Overall a good short afternoon hike as a warmup for the Sierra Challenge.
Climbed West Face from Robinson Lake. Can't say I enjoyed the volume of scree, but there was some 3d Class rock to enjoy.
Surprisingly nice route up the North Ridge. Super fast descent down the West Face. Something like 3 1/2 hours car-to-car. My shortest day in the Sierra yet.
Day hike in winter
Day hike from Onion Valley.