Mount Williamson Climber's Log

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Sam Mills

Sam Mills - Jul 13, 2004 2:59 pm

Route Climbed: III 5.4 North Arete (Long Twisting Rib) Date Climbed: July 10, 2004  Sucess!

Climbed this route with Martin Rolph. Descended the West Face and back to our Bivy in Williamson Bowl in 12.5 hours. This route is rated 5.4, but as Martin stated below, mostly class 3/4 with a few Class 5 moves along the way.

I found the arete wanted to keep leading me to easier terrain on it's east side. However, I tried to stay true to the arete whenever possible for a more challenging climb.

When first arriving at the West Horn and looking at the descent, I had to overcome the urge to wet myself. But after a short down climb and one rapel, Martin and myself found that R. J. Secor's descent beta is very accurate and that the descent off the West Horn is relativly safe.


Misha - Jul 12, 2004 11:54 pm

Route Climbed: North Arete (Long Twisting Rib) Date Climbed: July 10-11, 2004  Sucess!

Wow!! After choosing the start incorrectly and climbing / retreating a couple of pitches on the North face, Etsuko and I finally found the route and climbed it solo until we reached the notch between East and West Horns barely alive and completely exhausted. Fortunately we were able to find a small ledge on the North Arete, about 100' below the notch, where we spent the night. After a super cold night (our space blankets ripped and we did not have sleeping bags), we finished the route up West Horn and then traversed the NE ridge to the summit plateau. Summited at 2pm on Sunday and retreated via West Face back into Williamson Bowl. Packed out and went back to the trailhead the same day. Arrived to the parking lot at 1am completely wasted. What a climb!!


mrolph - Jul 12, 2004 10:44 am

Route Climbed: Long Twisting Rib Date Climbed: July 10, 2004  Sucess!

Climbed the Long Twisting Rib on a 3 day trip with Sam Mills, Misha, & Etsuko. We hauled rock climbing gear all the way but never felt the need to pull it out of the pack. The climbing was mostly class 4 with maybe a few short 5.easy moves. Great trip!

Rick Kent

Rick Kent - Jul 7, 2004 12:15 pm

Route Climbed: West Face Date Climbed: July 4, 2004  Sucess!

Climbed the West Face route on the 4th of July. Weather was great. Route was tedious. The Williamson bowl didn't seem as bad as I expected (at least on the way in). The chimney turned out to be easier than I expected and was the funnest part of the climb. I kinda wish the chimney was longer because it only took about 10 minutes to climb. It's a bit of a surprise when you reach the top of the steep chimney and step out onto the huge plateau. About a dozen climbers were gathered at the summit. I believe everyone who attempted the climb made it. Oh, and there's still no summit register.


dankras - Jun 6, 2004 6:22 pm

Route Climbed: West Face Date Climbed: June 2002  Sucess!

Endless scree and then some snow - not the best of routes, but a beautiful view from the summit.


PellucidWombat - May 27, 2004 9:28 pm

Route Climbed: West Face Date Climbed: May 22nd, 2004  Sucess!

The snow was pretty scarce, but it did cover the important areas such as most of Williamson Bowl and most of the crappy scree in the West Face Chute. The 3rd class at the top was straightforward and free of snow, although there was a lot of ice in the bottom chimney that allowed some fun crampon front-pointing while I used my hands to steady myself.

Sadly I couldn't find the summit register! :-(

Only 3 more CA 14ers to go!

mtnfoto - Jan 27, 2004 11:02 am

Route Climbed: West Face Date Climbed: 1976, 1977 & 1995  Sucess!

In 1976 the register was a stout book from the late 1920's. Lots of Norman Clyde entries!


boyblue - Jan 6, 2004 6:38 pm Date Climbed: Dec 25, 1976

Route Climbed: George Creek and SE ridge  Sucess!

This was truely a mountain of 'firsts' for me: My first solo summit, my first winter summit, my first fourteener, and my first experience using crampons. It had been a dry fall/winter with the snowline at about 12,000 feet. The weather was cold (as would be expected), but clear and nearly windless. What a great Christmas present!

rgmackie - Jul 22, 2003 10:45 pm

Route Climbed: West Face Date Climbed: July 15, 2003  Sucess!

I set off solo from the Shepherd Pass trailhead at 3:00 AM and arrived at SP at 7:20 AM. I first climbed Mount Tyndall on an easy line just to the right of the North Rib, mainly on slabs, then traversed left to the top of the rib and onto the summit ridge. I reached the summit at 9:40 AM and descended the same route. At the bottom of the rib, I turned right and descended into the Williamson Bowl. Boulder-hopping across the Bowl was not pleasurable. Beginning the West Face Route, I stayed slightly left of a/the black stain. To avoid the worst of the talus in the chute, I stayed left on more solid rock for about the first half and right for the second. I made it to the summit of Williamson at 2:55 PM. Since it was 15 July, I was probably the last to summit before the end of Williamson’s ‘regular’ climbing season. I returned to SP and then to the trailhead, arriving back at my car at 8:45PM. This trip started as an attempt at the CA 14ers record.


jimmasonllc - Jul 22, 2003 1:11 am

Route Climbed: West Face Date Climbed: June 29, 2003  Sucess!

I heard someone "Hello" somewhere near me about 12:30 PM. I had crossed Williamson Bowl solo after summiting Mt. Tyndall at 8:00 AM, and was just beginning up the West Face Route. After proceeding a little farther, I saw a familiar figure above me - it was Tom Donnelly who, after summiting Mt. Tyndall just before me in the morning, had traversed the ridge SE from Tyndall, signing two additional registers including Mt. Versteeg along his way. We avoided the small amount of snow in the chute by climbing the easy ledges to the right as others have mentioned. Summited about 4:30 or so, took the obligatory photos including the nice view of Mt. Whitney in the south - and returned across the moraines and glacial debris that make up Williamson Bowl - arriving back at our camp above Shepherd Pass just at dark. It was a memorable 15-hour day with two 14'ers summited! JM.

Joe Hanssen

Joe Hanssen - Jul 14, 2003 10:30 am

Route Climbed: West Face Date Climbed: July 13th '03  Sucess!

Great climb! Solid rock on the right of the chute for the way up, soft stuff in the middle on the way down. One of the better views I've seen in the Sierra from the top. Though the approach is long w/ ups and downs and of course Williamson Bowl, I like it, it's part of the character of accessing the mt. Last year justinfw and I tagged along with snwburd to try it in a day. We made it to the black stain before turning around. I got a bit of heat exhaustion and AMS trekking back through W Bowl. This year I opted for a two day redemption and camped at Shepherds P. I reached the W summit from Shepherds P in 3 hrs 20 min, then made it from W summit to Tyndal summit via the North Rib in 2 hrs.


sierragator - Jul 12, 2003 7:09 pm

Route Climbed: west face Date Climbed: July 11, 2003  Sucess!

WOW! Great climb of a great peak for a great view.

Traversed across the infamous williamson bowl to the area fo the infamous black stains. Just head for the southeast corner of williamson bowl and from there the chute is plain to see. The chimney at the top of the chute was the best part of the climb. 14'er number six.


Felsberg - Jul 11, 2003 4:44 pm

Route Climbed: West Face Date Climbed: July 7, 2003

Everyone complains about the loose rock in the chute above the black stain, but if you stay to the right-hand side of chute, you can just do little class 2 and 3 moves on intact rock and its a really fun route. PICS

Dave K - Jul 6, 2003 10:56 pm

Route Climbed: West Face Date Climbed: July 5, 2003  Sucess!

I had a blast! We camped at Shepherd’s Pass over the 4th of July weekend and climbed on our layover day. The weather was spectacular and conditions in general were great. A lot of slogging, but still a fun climb,


fakaofo - Jun 23, 2003 12:35 pm

Route Climbed: West Face Date Climbed: June 21, 2003  Sucess!

It was a long haul up from Anvil Camp. Williamson Bowl deserves its reputation for a difficult trek. This was a China Lake Mountain Rescue Group training climb. We reached the summit at 3:30 PM after 8 hours from A.C. Nice weather allowed fantastic views from the summit.

I climbed the SE Ridge a year ago, May 12 2002 with Bob Huey of CLMRG, also part of this party. The approach through Williamson Bowl is much harder.

Rinat Shagisultanov

Rinat Shagisultanov - May 26, 2003 2:26 pm

Route Climbed: SE ridge, Bairs Creek Date Climbed: May 10-12, 2003  Sucess!

My wife Elena and I summited the mountain on May 11th via Bairs Creek (South Fork). We had a base camp in cental part of the cirque (10600 ft). Started @ 5:30 am, climbed up the chute to the top of SE Ridge. Then we traversed the rocks staying mostly on the western side of the rigde @ 12000 ft, climbed back to the top of the rigde as became wider an hiked to the base of the south face. Instead of getting towards the horns and then climbing on the snow to the summit plato from the cirque of North Fork Bairs Creek, we chose to climb the snow/rocks via the chute of the left from the gap. There were some cornices and problem snow fields that can be avoided by climbing on rocks (class 2+). The summit portion had a hard-packed snow. The summit was reached @ 4 pm. We couldn't find the register as it was buried by the snow. Returned back via the same route The last chute to the cirque was made with the headlamps on.

Very interesting climb and I would like to come back and do it via the North Fork of Bairs Creek.

Rinat Shagisultanov


dabender - Mar 11, 2003 12:26 am

Route Climbed: West face Date Climbed: June 23, 2000  Sucess!

Beautiful hike. Camped by the lake at the base of Tyndall. It was long but not terribly so. Crossing Williamson Bowl was the only really annoying aspect.


asmrz - Nov 16, 2002 7:30 pm

Route Climbed: Ski up and down via George Creek Date Climbed: April 12-14, 1985

I remember reading Galen Rowell's article in Summit magazine sometime in the 70s, about possibly the greatest ski run in the Western United States, the George Creek of Mt. Williamson. Galen was saying something about the relief from the desert floor to the summit , which made the George Creek one of the longest ski runs anywhere in the world. This was in late 70s, so don't quote me exactly. In spring of 1985, we, Miguel Carmona, Andy Fried,visiting Italian Alpine Club member Corrado De Francesco and I, skied up the George Creek to the summit. From there, we had some 9.000+ feet of downhill skiing starting right on the summit. I remember everybody having such a good time skiing this incredible line. Does anybody ski it nowadays?


asmrz - Nov 16, 2002 7:20 pm

Route Climbed: George Creek Date Climbed: January 8-11, 1981

George Ivy and I climbed Williamson in winter of 1981 via George Creek. We took 4 days to ski up and down the peak. I remember seeing distant Nevada Peaks from the summit, the visbility was hundreds of miles.


bearbnz - Oct 18, 2002 3:21 pm

Route Climbed: Northeast Ridge Date Climbed: July 2002

Climbed this route with ScottyS as a dayhike, and a long dayhike it turned out to be. Read the excellent trip report posted by ScottyS. Overall, an epic day.

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