Northeast Ridge

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Most of a day
Class 3-4

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Northeast Ridge
Created On: Sep 3, 2003
Last Edited On: Sep 3, 2003


To access this route, start at the Barney Lake trailhead as described on the Incredible Hulk main page. Proceed up the trail from Mono Village, which is actually a road at this point, and watch for a sign marking the turnoff to Barney Lake. Do not take the turnoff, proceed onward and across the bridge over Robinson Creek. The road continues on and passes the waterworks for Mono Village. At the end of the waterworks (Dams, screens, and pipes), follow one of the numerous use/game trails up the drainage. The start of the route is easily visible on the right as you emerge from the trees and start clambering over the large talus.

Route Description

The toe of the NE Ridge descends nearly to the bottom of the drainage, and is the only major formation on the northwest side of the creek. The route described here is not listed in Secor's book, but more than likely has been ascended before, like everything else in the Sierra.

Scramble up a small drainage that runs into Blacksmith Creek for 200 yards, and veer left up steep slabs and gullies, traversing when necessary to keep the climbing reasonable. As you top out on this 1st buttress, head southwest for the next much more spectacular section of steep, well-featured granite.

This buttress is split by a very steep couloir frequently blocked by large chockstones. Pass these on either side, and aim for the most prominent spire. From here the climb becomes a true ridge climb, with many gendarmes and spires to traverse around and over, and many false summits. The last false summit before the true summit proved to be too commiting for me, and I backtracked a short way, downclimbed a steep gully, and then slogged up the sandy/rocky slope to the next high point on the ridge. From here the summit is nearly directly above you, and you should descend into the notch separating you from the summit, traverse up and left, and just before the summit, traverse east to north to west to finally gain the summmit.

For the descent, I backtracked to the notch, and then descended a steep sandy gully to Glacier Lake, and then followed Blacksmith Creek back the way I came.

Essential Gear

Sticky Rubber approach shoes are ideal for this route as there is a lot of quality granite to scramble on. Water is available for over 3/4 of the ascent, so you don't have to tanker too much. If hard 3rd/easy 4th makes you nervous, bring some gear (mostly big) and some rope.

Miscellaneous Info

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

Northeast Ridge

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