*Note: The Southeast Ridge itself requires about 2 hours of climbing but the trip as a whole to the mountain and back is best done in a 2 day trip.
Because I'm only concentrating on the actual ridge route I have not factored the time required for the hike to and from the mountain into the time required field above.*
The Southeast Ridge of Standhope Peak (11,878 ft.) is probably the most used route to the summit of this amazing peak because it is the most accessible and obvious route. This is the ridge between Goat and Betty Lakes, the trail connecting the two passes over it at a 10,800 ft. saddle. Although it is the most accessible it still has quite an imposing appearence as it rises more than 1,000 ft. in less than half a mile.
The Southeast Ridge Route
Despite its appearence the route is not as difficult as it looks. It is a solid class 3 climb and the rock is very solid for the majority of the route with one exception which can be bypassed without too much added difficulty. The Southeast Ridge is a lot more broad than it looks from Goat Lake and it offers you the opportunity to choose how much exposure you subject yourself to depending on your position on the ridge.
All in all this route is a fun and challenging route.
The best way to get to the Southeast Ridge is via the Broad Canyon Trail. The trailhead for this trail is located off the Copper Basin Loop Road in Copper Basin. To get ther turn West off of Highway 93 a few miles North of Mackay, Id onto the Traill Creek Rd. About 17 miles in turn left toward Wildhorse Canyon and continue til you see a sign pointing you left, and away fron Wildhorse Canyon to Copper Basin. Follow this road til you reach the sign indicating the Copper Basin Loop and turn right (South) at this sign. From there follow the road until you see the Broad Canyon sign and turn onto the small dirt road leading to a primitive campground and the trailhead. A different trail called the Jarvis trail begins just to the North of the Campground sign. This in NOT the trail. The Broad Canyon trail is just a little farther around the campground loop and is down a small road that takes off to the right.
From the trailhead it is 4 3/4 miles to Goat Lake and the beginning of this route so it may be wise to climb Standhope in more than one day. There are a few great camping spots on the smaller Baptie Lake which is only about 300 ft. lower than Goat Lake.
From Goat Lake follow the Betty Lake Trail up to the Goat/Betty Saddle on Standhope's Southeast Ridge. Once at the saddle leave the trail and proceed up the ridge.
Initially the Southeast ridge is not too steep or rocky but about 100 ft. above the saddle things change. There is a semi-visible trail most of the way up to the summit with several branches and variations. Sometimes this trail is not visible at all but if you piece the sections together you'll have a pretty good idea how to get to the top. You also have excellent views of 11,887 to the South and Altair and betty Lake the North the entire length of the ridge.
The route is a mixture of solid craggy rock, talus, and a few small sections of loose scree/dirt that must be negotiated.
In order to avoid more exposure stay to the right onf the ridgetop near where the solid rock and talus field meet. The spine of the ridge is a jagged mess of solid sharp rock that drops quite dramatically on the South down to Goat Lake. After the first 100 ft. or so you'll start climbing up with increasing difficulty and the ridge gets steeper as you go higher. For much of the climb you'll stay on the semi-solid talus just to the right of the spine of the ridge, occasionally climbing up over a solid obstacle.
The crux of the climb occurs about 100 ft. below the summit where the talus becomes too unstable and steep to climbe anymore. There, you'll need to veer off to your left a little bit to the base of small rock wall and climb just below it using good hand holds. Follow the base of the wall back to the right until you enter a small gully just below the summit. The Gully is filled with loose scree and dirt and is very unstable. Cross the gully to its right side using the larger and more stable rocks to place your feet on. Once on the right side of the gully you can follow the edge of the solid rock, using good hand holds to keep your balace, or you can get out of the gully and follow the steep solid rock spine to the top.
The view from the top is absolutely stunning!
All you really need is a sturdy pair of ankle high, leather, hiking boots so as to support you ankles in the difficult terrain and protect your feet from the sharp rocks. Water is easily obtained at Goat Lake but you'll want to bring a couple of liters with you as the climb is quite strenuous.
A windbreaker or a light jacket is also a good idea to bring as it is always windy and cool at the top.
11,887 from the Southeast Ridge of Standhope