North Ridge from Erhnbeck Peak

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hiking, Scrambling
Summer, Fall
Time Required:
One to two days
Class II / IV

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North Ridge from Erhnbeck Peak
Created On: Aug 11, 2004
Last Edited On: Jul 11, 2008


This route begins on the summit of Erhnbeck Peak. The best trailheads to take to get to the mountain are located at either Twin Lakes, or Leavitt Meadows, as described in the main peak page.

Route Description

From Erhnbeck Peak, follow the sandy gently-sloping ridge to the south and west towards Wells Peak. (See photo 1.) The ridge dips down a bit and then starts to rise again when you reach the peaklet that separates Wells from Erhnbeck. Do a lateral traverse around the peaklet, trying not to lose any elevation. (See photo 2.) This requires a bit of scrambling, but it is failry simple Class 2 terrain.

Once you reach the north ridge, the route flattens out a bit. (See photo 3.) Continue along the ridge towards the summit, staying slightly to the west side of the ridge. As you get closer to the summit, there are some short, easy Class 3 sections that need to be navigated.

The route follows the large vertical crack (or chute) that rises up on the right side of the summit block. (See photo 4.) I believe this chute to be Class 3, though it may possibly be Class 4. There are several boulders wedged in the crack that make it fairly easy to navigate.

Once above the chute, there is one more maneuver required which is the crux of the route. Just below the summit on the north side are 2 perpendicular chimneys. The first chimney is approximately 20" wide by 20' deep and points westward with several hundred feet of exposure down towards Stubblefield Canyon. The second chimney is roughly the same dimensions as the first and leads up to the summit. It also starts right above the first chimney, making the ascent rather awkward and exposed. The surrounding rock to the summit is vertical with the first chimney directly below it. I choose to ascend the sqeeze chimney rather than attempt the exposed exterior vertical rock unroped. It was a tight sqeeze though and not an entirely easy maneuver without protection! I believe this maneuver to be Class 4, but it could possibly be 5.0. (I'm not a good judge of route ratings.)

I was in a hurry because of an approaching storm from the north. However, I believe it is possible to traverse left before you reach the chute, to the east and south side of the summit for an easier ascent.

Essential Gear

A good pair of climbing boots, like the Nike Air ACG, with sticky soles are very helpful for the Class 3 & 4 sections. No other special equipment is needed during the summer.

Miscellaneous Info

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