We intended to climb up and down the North Face route, but got inadvertantly sucked up the North Couloir, which I would not descend. That led to a joyless crossing of the oft-maligned boulder field, which was inconveniently plastered with unconsolidated snow, in the dark. Here is my trip report: Getting Schooled on University Peak.
Started at Onion Valley trail-head went up to Robinson Lake. With no map or direction to go by, found route by trial and error.
I must of scaled about 4 false peaks before I got the right peak. Lots of class 4 and 5, with great views and great day. 5:50 hrs. car to car
Nice scramble and perfect weather.
Fun route with a short trail approach. The rib on the way up was solid, but took the "sand and gravel chute" to the west of the rib on the way down which was easier than descending the rib. Awesome 360 degree views from the top were maybe the best I've seen from any summit. Took 3.5 hours to summit and the same amount of time on the way down due to some routefinding errors. Beautiful weather all day and I didn't see a single person until I got back on the Kearsarge Pass Trail.
Took a "fun" solo dayhike up the North Face and kept it as Class 3/4 as possible by avoiding the beat down sandy trail. Got a half-expected snow flurry at exactly 11AM just before summitting. Descended via "shortcut variation" chute on SE ridge; really enjoyed the scree skiing but the moraine was totally endless! Have to appreciate the drizzle to keep the exit refreshing. I felt that I deserved that chilly wine cooler at the TH. :)
Climbed with the Sierra Club Peak Climbing Section from Onion Valley. We left the trail to Matlock Lake and went cross-country to the Class 2 ridge on the east side of Bench Lake and then to the bottom of the route. We found the route mostly Class 2 with some Class 3 a few hundred feet below the summit that was avoidable by veering to the climber's left. Just below the summit ridge, we followed ledges on its south side (including through a talus window) until they ran out, then we kicked steps up a snow field that led straight to the top. Everyone was impressed by the views. The summit register notebook was soaking wet. Time: 6 hours up, 5 hours down.
Trip report of our hike up University Peak north face.
Did this as an alternate day hike for the 2009 Sierra Challenge. I did have some trouble finding the correct class 3 route up to the summit. I tried a bunch of different routes and kind of expected that the back side would have a trail going to the top; it does have one but you would need to downclimb on the other (south) side first. Not the best option.
Right before topping out, I did sprain my ankle, making the descent and especially the moraine at the bottom of the shortcut variation a slow and tedious traverse. I think going down University Pass is better since the moraine looks much less of an issue there. The shortcut variation is quite steep as well and seems to hold some hard snow at the bottom.
Quick stop at the top on the way home.
Climbed a random snow chute from below University Pass to the NE ridge, then traversed a few false summits. The sand descent into Center Basin was fast and fun.
Not much snow on the north face
Camped at Robinson Lake, with my wife, 17 year old son, and two of his friends and climbed the peak Saturday. Great Peak but lots of loose rock make the ascent slow and a bit dangerous. The normally impressive Kearsarge Pass and Peaks looked very small. Returned to camp and hiked out on Sunday.
Great day. Perfect weather. Did loop up from Onion Valley. North side main route. Down south over University Pass down the chute and out past Robinson Lake back to Onion. About 12 hours. Took lots of time to contemplate the meaning of life. Great rock. Terrific day of bouldering. Deserted wilderness.
Dayhiked with Independence. Easier than I thought it would be.
fine scramble, class 3 moves, and the zigzag through the upper towers is spectacular, even climbed the upper snow patch to keyhole and summit block. A little disouraging finding a running trail off the south side, but I think I got the better views.
Nice scramble! Fun solo dayhike from Onion Valley. Descended via the Southeast Ridge to make a loop of it.
Did this in preparation for Whitney. Great hike from the Onion Valley route. The chain of lakes are not only great visually but a great place to camp. I am surprised that more people don't visit this area! It was cold and there was a good amount of snow on the ground and it also snowed a little. A group went with us with a broken tent, not such a good time in freezing temps!
Cool peak. I took the north side up and down. It was a long way up from the lake with 6" of snow. When I got to the summit ridge, it took me an hour to find the route to the summit block. For future reference, stay on the snow on the north side, don't cross over to the south. When I reached the summit block, I couldn't figure out which point was the highest. I climbed the three most likely candidates (just in case), but did not find a summit register anywhere (perhaps it was under the snow). One of those points was quite challenge (re: scary) to climb, so I didn't spend too much time on top of that one. Nice views from the top and really cool views of the mountain from down at the lake. My dog cut his toe during the ascent. He waited for me for an hour or so on the summit ridge. Then I followed his bloody tracks back to the car. He's alright now though, no worries.
I thought the pass to the east of University pass was a much better route even though it is farther from the peak.
Fun route. Very hazy out.