My original objective was just to climb the West Ridge of Mt. Conness. I talked myself into making a rather long day out of it. I began at Saddlebag Lake and walked around North Peak and up to North Peak's Northwest Ridge. The climb up North Peak was pleasant, but the 5.3 rating is a joke. It's just a walkup with a few third class moves for interest.
From North Peak, I headed over to Mt. Conness and climbed the North Ridge, which I had climbed several times before. Next, I downclimbed the West Face of Mt. Conness, mostly on third class rock just north of the West Ridge. I accidentally downclimbed about 200 feet too far and had to climb back up to the start of the route.
Both prongs of the West Ridge looked inviting, but the left one looked easier than 5.6. I started up the right prong and found excellent 5.6 climbing. Several times, I encountered moves I didn't want to solo, so I backed down a ways and found something more to my liking. I stayed on the crest of the ridge as much as I could and reached the summit 55 minutes after starting up. This climb definitely deserves Croft's "Awesome ***" rating!
Finally reached the summit after turning back a couple of years ago. Great day, great adventure, great company. A short trip report.
A very enjoyable climb with Matthew on a near-perfect day. As the Saddlebag entrance wasn't open, we did a dayhike out of Tuolumne Meadows. Trip Report
Climbed with Dave on Father's Day.
Dave's first alpine climb and only his second rock climb.
This is really a great intro route to alpine rock.
3:48 from the car via the Couloir of North Peak. I soloed the North Ridge in ice-climbing boots. 5:29 car to car.
What an awesome climb! The approach is magnificent through alpine meadows and past alpine lakes. After working your way up several tiers of alpine, you arrive at a beautiful view of Mt. Conness. Even the steep scree field to the base of the North Ridge seemed relatively easy going with such beautiful surroundings. We did the first three to four pitches unroped and in hiking boots--quite easy, just lots of exposure. Enjoyed the climb and the manditory raps midway through. With the exception of one other party quite a ways ahead of us, we had the entire mountain--including summit--to ourselves. One of our most favorite climbs to date!!
A solo climb on a great fall day in Northern Yosemite. IMO, one of the best peaks in the area to climb.
Climbed what I thought was a new route on the wide face north of the classic W Ridge route. Great climbing with superb rock.
Always an enjoyable summit. Led group of kids with Matt Biers in '86. Did North Ridge with friends Hugh Sakols and Mara Dale in '01. Returned with John Pfeiffer to brave the chilly late Oct. winds that same year.
Beautiful hike, awesome views
A great day hike from Saddlebag Lake. Route was fun. Mostly easy scambling up slabs and talus. Most scree in final climb to summit plateau is avoidable by scrambling on nearby rock. Summit views back into Yosemite are worth the effort required to get to the top.
This was my third climb up Conness--this time, via the North Ridge Route, which is truly a classic climb. Lotsa' fun!
It took longer than expected so we finished the last pitch in the dark and bivvied at the top. Fortunately, it wasn't very cold out.
The lower part of the East Ridge around the East Buttress was fun. The rest of the route is overused, especially the stairs built into the summit pinnacle. 3 hours to go up from the dam, 2 hours 40 minutes to go down via Alpine Lake. A shorter hike than I was expecting.
Ascended glacier route with loopperu, got into some messy rock and sand on the rock wall. Went into the bergschrund, and dislocated my shoulder when my front point came out on hard ice. Some glissading landed me face first in the stream. All in all a great trip! PICS
Kept from the summit due to wrong route from Alpine Lake. Stay right !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, so close! Climbed with my buddy, Brian, and was going to meet our friends Mark and Natasha up top as they climbed the North Ridge. From Alpine Lake, we searched for the "notch" in the east ridge and headed up. We should have known things were not right when we ran into 4th class exposed stuff. Scrambled up over the ridge to find the south ridge converging with the one we just climbed. Scrambled up 3 dead ends on the back side of the spires before we gave up and descended scree to the meadowed valley below. Enjoyed beautiful flowery meadows on the way back. Caught the wrong trail back and ended up a bit south on the road in to the trailhead.
Finally got through to Mark and Natasha on the radio who were just reaching the summit (10 hours after they started). Figured out later we had climbed the wrong ridge. There are two that jut out east, you want the northern one. We climbed the toothy one with spires and although we only got to about 11,800 feet, we had a nice hike and scramble. The soft meadows on the way down really revived us and made the climb for me. Got some food at the cafe at Saddlebag Lake then headed back to Tuolomne. Mark and Natasha showed up about 9 pm that night with their tales of the summit. I'm going to have to go back and finish this one up sometime.
8.8.'15: North ridge
Started from the parking lot at 10.41. Made decent, but not spectacular progress to the saddle ('beginning' of the route), which I got to at 12.55. Passed 2 couples who descended due to various reasons. Ridge just kept getting better & better! After the notch, it was easier to go up than down, so knew my fate at that point. Excellent rock & extremely enjoyable climbing! Summitted at 15.14. Hung out on the summit for a while, soaking it all in. Incredible views (also cool to see things I'm so used to seeing from such a different perspective)! Finally took off at 15.49. Way down pretty chill, except for the dirty downclimb from the notch, & then the extra .9 mile from the campground-road intersection to the dam >:( Beat upon finally arriving at truck. Phenomenal day!! Stark contrast to the last time I was here :) , but lent perspective, & makes memories of the first time even fonder.
Word up, 'wombat. One of my more interesting epics. Four.25 mile approaches, including bushwacking, X-country, & several thousand feet vertical gain, should not be underestimated. Neither should a 1500' high technical route (I don't consider this a II or III- definitely a IV in my book!). On the bright side, the rock was clean for the most part (sorta flaky & mungy at the bottom, and parts later on, mostly really good farther up), the views spectacular, & the position awesome (above the SW face, in the true sense of the word!!!)! Climbing at night, hearing the coyotes howl, seeing Lyell & its glacier from one aspect, & the lights of Oakdale from another, was surreal. Seeing the sunrise at the summit was pretty cool (& pretty cold!) too. A great peak & awesome route. Give yourself plenty of time (if you're going with a rope, anyway)!
REALLY long 'day' for a climb. After leaving a little late and getting a slow start on the ridge, we got caught in the dark after the first 3 or 4 pitches and had to climb the rest of the ridge in the dark. As a result, we belayed all of the pitches until the final 300 feet of 3rd class scrambling, with us summitting at 5am the following day. By the time we got back to the car, we'd been on the move for 24 hours.
My very first free solo! It was awesome! We climbed North Peak first, from Saddlebag Lake, then hiked down its south ridge and up Conness' north ridge. Killer!
Summitted with my girlfriend Etsuko via East Ridge. We took the variation between East Ridge from Alpine Lake and East Ridge routes. It turned out to be an easy Class 3 going and more direct and pleasant than from Alpine Lake. We made it to the top in ~3 hours from the parking lot at Saddleback Lake. Weather was surprisingly stable and rain-free after many days of violent thunderstorms above the Sierra crest. Views from the summit are incredible! On the top we've met a chef of Tioga Pass Resort who free-solo'ed West Ridge.
On the way down, we took some harder Class 3 - borderline Class 4 slabs to Alpine Lake where we spent an hour enjoying the sun!