The first bit was moderately steep, but wide and composed of solid, minimally-fractured granite. We had just enough room to walk the ridge. Under crystal clear skies and still air, I started up the ridgeline. On the opposite side of this mini plateau I could see a small knob of highly-fractured granite. This was "Alpine Lake" - an important waypoint along the easier south-eastern route. Conness? Conness. From the ridgeline's little mini-plateau, I could also now see - off to the south - a little body of water perched on the southeastern slopes of Mt Conness. Nasty traffic resulted in a seven-hour drive from the Bay area to the start of my chosen route, in the Saddlebag Lake area on the eastern border of Yosemite National Park. I tickled my alpine itch this weekend by heading up highway 120 and climbing the North ridge of Mt. Above, another few hundred feet of crags and talus would bring one to its crest - but instead I chose to start traversing along at a constant elevation, hoping to avoid unnecessary elevation gain and loss. Peaks: Mt Conness (sorted/filed as Conness) ; Place: California Difficulty: glaciers, skis . Conness, North Peak, Twenty Lakes Basin, Greenstone Lake, Saddlebag Lake, Mt. Conness. Sarah and I met up with Andrea in the parking lot of the Home Depot in Pleasanton as usual. Right of Conness one can see the highest ridge of Yosemite NP, with Mount Ritter and Mount Maclure. The east side approach is shorter but a bit more difficult. If you look down you can practice your thousand… 5. Conness, from near Cockscomb. The climbing is enjoyable, clean and generally quite easy even for a 5.6. Its standard class III climbing with a mercifully minimal amount of scree and boulder fields. Looking down the precipice from the knife-edge ridge leading to the summit. Mount Conness offers challenging technical rock routes on its north ridge and southwest wall. We chose to get some garlic noodles but he made the wiser choice with Chick-fil-A. Is it very dangerous? Hiking Las Vegas.com 1 Hike: Mt. Reminding myself that Secor et. Easy walking mostly on the level allowed me to enjoy the scenery and make good progress. To the west, the angle of the ridgeline afforded me my first view of the 12,591-foot summit of Mt Conness - bare, solid, and still about 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) away. Please see my memorial to Stephen Cook for more information. It's rated 5.6 which seems petty accurate. Armed with a favorable snow report from the guys at telemarktips.com, I made plans to head back to the backcountry skiing mecca of Tioga Pass -- specifically, to climb Mount Conness and ski the chutes and bowls on its east ridge. It is a scenic climb with not too much vertical gain and can be done in 1/2 day. North Peak juts into the sky across the valley containing Conness Lakes. The summit block itself was very prominent, rising up another few hundred feet into the sky a short way to the west. West Ridge of Mt. Conness is one the best moderate alpine climbs in Tuolumne. Mount Conness is right behind. Summited in a couple more hours, quickly signed the register and made my way down the East Ridge. I took a little break when I had finally fully descended the chimney. (. At Middle Conness Lake, we left the trail and ascended granite ledges to gain the lower east ridge of Mt. I reverted to the nearby Sawmill walk-in campground, but I discovered (as I was walking in with my gear) that it too was full. In fact, moments before summiting, I lost my brand new Arc'teryx hat. Conness, the Conness Glacier and the long, serpentine ridge forming the right skyline. Credit: rhyang. Sure enough, the ground soon dropped away sharply on both sides, and what had previously simply seemd like a little bump at the end of the plateau turned out to be an airy perch. It took me quite a while to figure out how to safely descend the chimney. Conness has been on tick list for a long time, but I was thwarted twice before, despite the route being very easy. Conness and the thin ridge leading to it. Pleasant, super-scenic ridgecrest walking brought me to a high bump along the ridgeline, roughly at about 11,700 feet. CMC members Paul Morash and Ron Norton climbed the west ridge of Mt. We experienced a picture perfect day on the North Ridge of Mt. Next section between the ridge and Conness plateau is a steeper class 2 section of dirt/rock mix. I watched it rise and blow easterly with the winds as my eyes filled with tears. By most accounts, the East Ridge/Buttress is the shortest route up Mt Conness. Conness - East Ridge Route Trailhead: Sawmill Campground - marked Distance: 9 miles – up and back Elevation gain: 2,900 feet Elevation peak: 12,590 feet Time: 6 to 8 hours Difficulty: 4 Danger level: 3 Class: 3 – a few spots How easy to follow: 3 Children: No Map: See Page 6 Fees/Permits: None Waypoints (WGS 84): See Page 5 It would certainly be easy to access, as you could definitely land a helicopter here. Pretty cushy for an off-trail route! Conness, Rock Climbing, Sierra Nevada, SMI News. Easy walking, therefore, up grippy bedrock. The day begins with a pleasant, easy hike in spectacular alpine terrain above Saddlebag Lake. After about thirty minutes and four hundred or so feet of climbing, I popped out onto the so-called summit plateau - a broad southward-slanting plain of barren gravel and rock (or snowfields early in the season) that connected the east ridge route with the summit block. Home » Blog » North Ridge of Mt. Although afternoon clouds had begun to form, it was still mostly sunny and only slightly breezy on the summit. The lake sits beneath a rounded buttress that forms the ultimate termination of Mt Conness' eastern reach. After passing beautiful alpine lakes, we get a view of the North East face of Mt. I chose the northern Sierra as my target, but something a bit off the beaten path: a climb of Mt Conness, highest of the Sierra Peaks north of Tioga Pass and full of interesting routes, from easy to challenging. I wasn't sure what the knife-edge would bring, but for a few more minutes the going was easy as I walked across the firm gravel of the "mini-plateau". Tutlumne County: West tojust east of Eureka Valley and eastward nearly to Sonora Pass, at 9,000 feet; on WhiteMountain, Mount Conness, ridge between Dlngley and … Specifically the east ridge approach? Beyond the dam, a few hundred yards of easy trail walking brought me to a point beneath the buttress that seemed to offer the best possible ascent line, and I turned off, heading uphill over loose, blocky talus. From here you can climb the class 3 East Buttress itself for excellent views of North Peak and Mount Conness or skip the buttress by heading northwest to gain the East Ridge more gradually. Posted on July 10, 2020 by smiweb - Alpine Rock Climbing, Mt. Conness in particular has claimed a number of lives. I then came to the first of the 'clefts' - gaps, perhaps 20 or more feet deep, that cut across the ridgecrest. There's one section of particularly significant exposure, however the rock and route quality remain consistently good. The Conness Glacier was a fairly small sliver of its former self, hiding from the sun under the northeast-facing walls. Nearly a thousand feet of rather tiring talus ascent (sometimes a little steeper, sometimes a little gentler) brought me to a reasonably flat shoulder of the buttress. Since it was now fully dark, I decided to simply continue a little ways up and off into subalpine terrain until I found a flat bit of unvegetated ground. Conness. We found this route to offer various terrain, with some class 1 through class 4 stuff. Send feedback or leave comments (note: comments in message board below are separate from those in above message board), Web Page & Design Copyright 2001-2020 by Andrew Lavigne. The West Ridge of Mt. Gradually, the terrain on the south side of the ridge began to merge with the main southeast bulk of Mt Conness. In addition to offering relatively easy side-scrambling, this route also had the advantage of not having to deal with the clefts along the ridgeline, since it ran at roughly the level of the base of the clefts. The emergence onto the plateau also meant that I had entered into the territory of Yosemite National Park. Mt. All Locations > California > Yosemite NP > Tuolumne Meadows > Glen Aulin Area > Mt Conness West Ridge 5.6 YDS 4c French 14 Ewbanks V UIAA 12 ZA S 4b British West Ridge of Mt. It reminded me at this point of the knife edge on Katahdin in Maine. Conness August 2008 . Left of Conness one can find Mount Ritter and Banner Peak. A few minutes later, three more hikers arrived at the summit. Brett scrabbling up the NOrth Ridge 3. A five-minute drive brought me back up to Saddlebag Lake, where I stopped at the large trailhead parking area. I had hoped to camp at the Saddlebag Lake campground, but that was full by the time I arrived (on a Thursday evening, no less). It was exhilarating, and - for the first few minutes - not all that bad. Peaks: Mt Conness (sorted/filed as Conness) Place: California. The bump drops off sharply to the east and south in ribbed cliffs; to the west, the bump gently merges with a small, gravelly mini-plateau. The traverse idea worked out fairly well - the terrain at the roughly 11,000 foot level on the southern slopes of the buttress was fairly good - compacted gravel, or nice little stretches of subalpine grass or low scrub. Eventually I was forced to take off my camera bag and pack and squeeze myself and each of them through the narrow bits one by one. Conness. Roosevelt Lake is a trudge from Tuolomne Meadows, but there's great scenery along the way. Fantastic views were now available both north and south off of the ridgecrest; to the north, the Conness Lakes Basin, and to the south, the basin of the Monroe Hall Research Natural Area, plus many craggy and high peaks of Yosemite National Park beyond. Alpenglow on the approach. With such suitable conditions and given the near-noon time, I took off my pack and had a nice lunch break. On the north side, the sheer cliffs continued westward, transitioning to form the headwall cliffs of the Conness Glacier. North Ridge of Mt. But I had promised myself nothing more than class 3 while alone, so I began looking for alternatives. This climb is found in Peter Croft's the Good, the Great the Awesome book and if I'm not mistaken it gets an Awesome rating by Sir Peter. The scrub was the only thing that caused a bit of obstruction, but a bit of searching usually revealed an easy way through. The objective was not the top of the buttress, but rather the start of the east ridge beyond it. "East ridge looked pretty prominent during our climb of the north ridge", they said. At this point the ridge was only about two feet wide, and carefully peering into the gap, I didn't see any class 3-ish way to get down. 23 Aug 1998 - by Harlan Suits. It's more of a scramble most of the way and probably more enjoyable in sneakers than in climbing shoes. ;-) After drying my eyes, I quickly made haste to Mt Conness by following the North Ridge proper. Fortunately, I didn't feel sick (but I was definitely experiencing a reduction in aerobic capacity - hence the 30 minutes to climb 400 feet!). Our objective summit came into view as we scrambled along the blocky ridge crest. Ascent via class 2 east chute between Conness and White. To do the entire stretch of Mt Conness' east ridge, one starts at Saddleback Lake - a roughly 10,000-foot high body of water not far from Tioga Pass, and accessible via a short intermittently gravelled road off of highway 120 near Yosmite National Park's east entrance. To do the entire stretch of Mt Conness' east ridge, one starts at Saddleback Lake - a roughly 10,000-foot high body of water not far from Tioga Pass, and accessible via a short intermittently gravelled road off of highway 120 near Yosmite National Park's east entrance. al. Conness to kick off the alpine rock climbing season in the High Sierra! We didn't end up pulling up to Saddlebag lake road until around midnight. (. The North Ridge of Mt. More Articles About California Hiking ... totally wiped out and fell asleep in the cold wind. Although the forecast was good, I wanted to get a nice early start to minimize the chance of encountering afternoon showers or thunderstorms. Trip: Mt Conness - East Ridge from Saddlebag Lake Date: 7/26/2008 Trip Report: On Saturday we climbed the complete east ridge of Mt Conness (myself and friends Randy and Ken). I had thought this part might have been class 3 also, but I didn't use my hands at all, even on the steeper upper part. 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