Kevin and I beat feet to the west ridge and soloed the route to the summit with the threat of rain. Felt one cold rain drop on an ankle; lovely weather if not for the forceful breeze along the exposed portion of the ridge. Most definitely willing to do this again!
Solo. Not sure I get the hype. I have done a 100 of these kind of ridge climbs throughout North America. They normally only get classic status when the ridge is exposed on both sides. The left side of this ridge offers all kind of options including a 3rd glass gully. The whole thing reminded me more of a scramble than a climb. One poster on MP.com referenced he felt it was more difficult, less secure, a climb than Cathedral. He just felt that way because he was higher up (felt more exposed) and it involved more crack than jugs The cracks are clean and solid. Felt comfortable in good approach shoes for the 5.6 pitches (essentially the first two). I first summitted Conness via the Southwest Face Harding route and used the Saddlebag approach. So this time used the Young Lake approach. Local guide book exclaims "Young Lakes approach is too long for a one day car-car climb". I am 57 and it took me less than 10hrs car to car? The camping beyond the lake, in the alpine meadows would be special though for the romantic warriors.
Perfect weather, amazing rock quality. Tempted to solo, but with an 8.5mm and small rack it felt more secure at that altitude.
Camped at Young Lakes and started for the base at about 0330 hrs. Started 1st pitch at about 0530 hours and pitched out the first 3-4 pitches. Simul-climbed the rest. This is a long beautiful route that we had to ourselves that day. One party was doing the North Ridge, a route that I'll have to return to do. Lots of exposure on the West ridge if you stay on the ridge proper.
This is an awesome climb, although it was a long day for us doing car to car at Saddlebag Lake. We were also worried about the weather but lucked out. I'd love to do this one again and I'm definitely curious about North Ridge now!
Great climb, made it a 2-day trip by bivying at alpine lake so we could beat the crowds.
Soloed with my beautiful wife a couple days after our wedding, 5th time up the route and 3rd time solo. I swear this is the very best rock climb in the world. We ran into a group of 3 who climbed the nice-looking rib to the left, said they thought it was comparable in grade and quality to the west ridge itself.
Long day with a hike out in the dark... fun rock though!
Soloed W ridge and downclimb N ridge... this route is so good I came back 3 days later with a couple partners and repeated the solo traverse. On our way back down the N Ridge we were buzzed by a glider... cool!
linked up NW ridge of North peak, North ridge of Conness and West ridge of Conness in a day.
Car to car solo from Saddlebag Lake on a flawless summer day.
There was still snow in places between Alpine Lake and the summit plateau, and it was firm enough in the morning that I did not regret bringing an ice axe (left it on the summit plateau and picked it up on my way down).
Amazing exposure ! As usual, the register needs a new notebook (forgot to bring one this time).
Long approach... first time dropped into the W face higher up to race daylight, next time ('04?) stayed directly on the ridge all the way. Awesome exposure over SW face.
My first weekend of alpine lead climbing! Car-to-car in a day after leading Cathedral the day before. Solid rock, nice exposure, good company...aaah, I'm happy :)
Solid rock, great exposure. We belayed the first 3 pitches then simul-climbed the rest of the way. Had a great time. Car2car in a day with Tom and Jason C.
Linked this up with the North Ridge and the NW Ridge of North Peak.
August 9, 2006
First time up the West Ridge with D-Mac
Consolation prize as another team was on the Harding Route when we arrived. We ran up this, stashed our gear and returned the next day to bag the Harding Route.
I got lost in the dark, wore to many cloths, roped up on every pitch, and had a grand time.