North Couloir

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 37.50750°N / 118.8692°W
Additional Information Route Type: Snow and mixed
Additional Information Time Required: One to two days
Additional Information Difficulty: 4th class
Sign the Climber's Log


Go to Convict Lake (10 minutes S of Mammoth on 395). Walk around the East side of the lake ( the right side). At the far end of the lake the trail will begin swith backing and then eventually level out near the bottom of the Mendenhall Route on Laurel Mountain (about 2 miles). Follow the trail up to Mildred Lake (5 more miles or so). At this point a stunning valley is reached and scenic flat hiking for about a mile in the valley is the ticket. Once at the other end of the valley work cross country up talus and weave a route to the North Couloir. A nice alpine lake at the base will most likely have to be skirted.

Route Description

Go up the prominent couloir being wary for rock fall. After 1500 feet or so the couloir opens up and some route options are available. Pick the best suiting way depending on snow conditions and bag the sucker. The mixed stuff at the top ( about four pitches) added alot to the route for us. The mixed section is to the right of the couloir proper where the sun is hitting near the top of the route in the photo. Descend the North slope and go back to the canyon.

Essential Gear

One or two axes. Crampons, a rope and a small alpine rack (nuts, a few cams, scews, maybe a picket)

Special Heads Up

The top of the couloir gets sun early, so it is important to get to it early to avoid possible hazards. The rock is also very loose. We are confident climbers and busted the rope out at the top. We also triggered a wet slide from rock fall. Make well thought out decisions.



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