North Ridge

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Summer, Fall
Time Required:
Most of a day
Rock Difficulty:
Class 4

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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North Ridge
Created On: Nov 29, 2004
Last Edited On: Feb 27, 2006


The route starts on the crest of the Cathedral Range where it is joined by the Southwest Ridge of Amelia Earhart Peak. It is most easily reached from Parsons Pass 1/2 mile to the northwest, via Lyell Canyon and Ireland Lake. Parsons Pass can also be reached from Gallison Lakes. One can also approach the start from Lyell Canyon by climbing the east side of Amelia Earhart and following the ridgeline south to the start. All of the above are class 2 approaches.

Route Description

The North Ridge is nearly a mile long, circuitous, and sports several false summits along the way. This is one of the most challenging sections of the entire traverse along the crest of the Cathedral Range in Yosemite NP - most of it is class 3 with several very short class 4 sections. It can be done with many variations. The route can be cut in half if approaching from Gallison Lake by climbing east to the end of the canyon to the low saddle along the ridge, up much crappy class 2 talus and boulders. An interesting class 3-4 option is the NE Ridge that starts just north of Lake 11,275ft and joins the route along the Cathedral crest.

The most difficult section occurs right near the beginning after downclimbing a short ways southeast from the local highpoint at the start. There is a small notch that must be negotiated, but it can be done at class 4. This can be bypassed by downclimbing on the southwest side of the ridge. Stick to the ridge as much as possible for the most enjoyable climbing and the more solid rock. There is more class 4 climbing to be found upon reaching the false summit where the route turns to the southwest.

If returning to Lyell Canyon, the class 2 Southeast Slopes offer the easiest descent. If heading to the west side of the crest, the Southwest Slopes are the easiest way down.

Essential Gear

None needed. Rock shoes and rope only if uncomfortable on sustained class 3 with short class 4 sections (very little exposure).

Miscellaneous Info

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

North Ridge

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