Northwest Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 36.65560°N / 118.3361°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hike
Additional Information Time Required: One to two days
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 2
Sign the Climber's Log


From the east via Shepherd Pass or from the west via the John Muir Trail.

Route Description

This straight forward route starts close to the base of a prominent ridge that descends from the summit northward to a point approximately a half mile to the west of Shepherd pass. Ascend the west (right) side of this ridge. Near the top of this slope, the ridge joins another coming from the northwest. At the junction of these ridges is a notch which splits both riges from east to west. From this point on climb along the final summit ridge. Go around a large gendarme and stay to the right side until the summit ridge is gained once again. Continue to the summit. The exposure to the east is impressive so exercise caution.

Descend the same route.

Essential Gear

Good pair of boots. Ice axe or trekking poles in early season.

Miscellaneous Info

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

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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kk6yb - Jul 28, 2003 5:01 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

This is not a straight forward route. I've talked to numerous climbers who tried this route and could not find a way (except class 4/5) past the gendarme going to the right of it. We ended up traversing down the N face at that point and then back up a chute to the summit ridge but this is class 3 or 4. If you expect class 2 all the way to the summit you will be disappointed. We tried again to find a class 2 route down from the summit ridge to the NW but ended up at a vertical wall, and went back to descend via the N rib route.


Felsberg - Jul 30, 2003 3:39 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

I concur that this is not a straight forward route, we were expecting class 2 all the way, and ran into the same problems mentioned by kk6yb. We tried first descending the chute to the west, but abandoned that once we realized how much elevation we would have to lose. We were not hot on traversing the ridge line to the summit, since the exposure was formidable. Ended up traversing over the slabs on the north-east face to meet up with the north rib route - all together a massive waste of time, and the traverse was more than class 2. I would definately recommend against this route, it is no easier than the north rib, which is straight forward and just a lot of fun. Ascend and descend the north rib from the second lake (Tarn Juarez), its a blast.


PCHoran - Aug 11, 2003 5:49 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

I agree with the two previous posters that this route is neither straightforward nor really class two. It is a boulder field that requires lots of hand and foot climbing. To compound the issue (think compound fracture) the boulders move quite a bit as you cross them. I will post pictures to illustrate.

Ken D.

Ken D. - Mar 22, 2015 11:30 pm - Hasn't voted


As the description says stay to the climbers right as you ascend, if you get on the north (left) side then it does get into class 3 or class 4 climbing, but if you drop below the ridge on the right side at about the 1/2 to 2/3 way mark up the mountain from the base you will avoid any technical terrain.

awalk93 - Aug 7, 2015 2:25 am - Hasn't voted

Summit Ridge

Gaining the summit ridge is class 2, but bypassing the gendarme at the top is not. I tried passing it on the left and ended up on the seriously exposed class 4 N face. After backtracking, I tried going straight up and over the gendarme. This option turned out to be a quick section of exposed but easy class 3 before continuing on the large talus field to the summit. If you don't mind 5 minutes of serious exposure, I would recommend going up and over the gendarme for a faster route than dropping halfway down the mountain to the right, (and definitely don't go left!)

Viewing: 1-5 of 5



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