North Ridge

Page Type
Route
Location:
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Scramble
Time Required:
Half a day
Difficulty:
Class 2+

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Created On: Jul 7, 2004
Last Edited On: Jul 7, 2004

Approach


From the Lake Sabrina Trailhead, hike up past Blue Lake (~2.5 mi) to a point midway between Blue Lake and Donkey Lake. The cliffs along the base of the peak are subtly devided into two separate bands, one above Blue Lake and one above Donkey Lake. Leave the trail and cross the creek, aiming for the vague split in the two cliffs. After crossing the creek (near this reflection pool, head northeast up chutes between granite benches to a debris slope. The bottom of the couloir will be visible here.

Route Description


Enter the couloir and climb up unstable sand and rocks (Class 2+). Bushwack up the last 40 ft of the couloir on the right side and exit onto the plateau. Walk northeast to the base of the north ridge. Walk and scramble directly up the ridge, passing difficulties on the left for ease of travel or on the right for fun scrambling, staying left nearer the summit. Pass under the Class 3+ summit blocks and approach them from the south.

Descend the same route. An alternate descent (which I did) can be made by continuing north from the plateau to a very loose chute dropping directly to the outlet of Blue Lake. This route has nice views, but is not recommended as the final chute is dangerous.

Essential Gear


A good pair of boots at least. Ice axe and crampons are needed earlier in the season, but the couloir melts out completely by mid summer.

Miscellaneous Info


The cliffs on either side of the couloir are high-quality granite with stellar cracks. Likewise, the walls of the couloir itself look quite tempting. The (climber's) left wall overhangs beneath the "hawk's head" formation atop the White Tower, with beautiful, strenuous-looking cracks splitting the wall. The right wall is more moderate, with parallel cracks and seams in a more orange colored granite.

The west-northwest slope, directly beneath the summit, is a Class 4 playground of stable, high-quality rock.