South Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 36.70397°N / 118.39569°W
Additional Information Route Type: Mountaineering, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Summer, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Less than two hours
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: Class 3
Sign the Climber's Log


Mt. Stanford's South Ridge was the route used by Bolton Brown on his first ascent of the peak in 1896. The route looks intimidating from Gregory's Monument, the peak's lower south summit, but is surprisingly easy.

If heading out here for Mt. Stanford as one of your primary objectives, consider climbing the East Face and descending the South Ridge. Both are worthwhile scrambles, but the climbing on the East Face is far more intricate and sustained than the relatively short and easy scramble along the South Ridge.

Getting There

Make your way to Gregory's Monument. This is most easily done by following the East Face approach to the moraine below Mt. Stanford's East Face, and then heading southwest from this cirque to Andy's Foot Pass (4160m+), 0.2mi SSE of Gregory's Monument. Ice axe/crampons are required to climb this pass.

Gregory's Monument can also be reached easily from Harrison Pass. Harrison Pass is a relatively difficult cross-country route from either Lake Reflection or Vidette Creek. From the former, follow an old unmaintained trail shown on the 7.5', traces of which may or may not be found now. For the latter, follow the approach to Deerhorn Mountain, and continue south (over miles of talus) over Deerhorn Saddle and up to the pass. This pass also requires an ice axe/crampons; steep frozen snow and considerable ice was encountered in early June 2007.

Harrison Pass is an easy hike from the Upper Kern River Basin, but a looong hike over Shepherd Pass is required to make it out here...

Route Description

From the summit of Gregory's Monument, proceed a short way north along the ridge. A short downclimb along the crest of the ridge is encountered, followed by a slightly awkward (overhanging) wall that must be descended towards the east side of the ridge.

Below the short wall, descend an obvious, improbable class 3 ramp/ledge on the east side of the ridge for about 100ft or so. As soon as practical, climb a steep class 3 chute (loose blocks!) back up to the ridge, at an obvious notch between Gregory's Monument and Mt. Stanford.

From the notch, follow the knife-edge ridge north to the summit, keeping to the east side as needed to avoid difficulties.

Your choices on this route are either easy class 3, or vertical cliffs, so route-finding should be fairly straightforward. (Route-finding is trivial if descending this route.)

Essential Gear

Ice axe/crampons are required if you plan on using Harrison Pass or Andy's Foot Pass to reach Gregory's Monument. (An approach from the Upper Kern River Basin requires no special gear.)



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