The Northwest Ridge in my opinion is mostly class 2/3 with some class 4 moves sprinkled in. The class four seems to be concentrated in the first quarter of the climbing. The rock was of course loose, and it seems far too dangerous for much off ridge exploring. Saw some destroyed cordelette up there and couldn't imagine the party that decided to even try to protect or build an anchor in that rock.
Car to car in 5 hours.
Accended the northwest ridge from Convict lake with an SMG team of nine climbers at 6:15 am. Returned back to base camp via the east slope at 7:15 pm. The loose rock and exposure on the accent route made for an exciting and dangerous climb. I think everyone should climb this route at least once. It's tedious that for sure but very rewarding at the end of the day.
I am the first to sign the log? NW Ridge is great practice for climbing loose (and early in the season) mixed snow / loose rock ridges. Views are excellent and the altitude gain formidable at over 4500' from the lake. Climb carefully, wear a helmet, take a camera.