Southwest Face, Mt. Conness 5.10c

 
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Tuolumne Meadows, California USA

  • Currently 4.0/5
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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (3.7)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
7 Total Ratings
5 star: 14%  (1)
4 star: 43%  (3)
3 star: 43%  (3)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
hamik

Mountain climber
Pasadena, CA
Jun 20, 2013 - 01:44pm
 
Vitaliy and I did indeed take the variation on P6 through a wet, mossy, flared hand crack with an old piton. It would be about 10c when dry; I recommend the 10b traverse lower. Don't continue up the corner until it ends in a roof; start the traverse lower.

You don't need crampons for the approach or descent; in the morning you can walk up suncups in tennis shoes, and in the afternoon it's soft enough to run or glissade.

There was tame icefall from above the corner where the face funnels into an overhang. The ice shouldn't be a problem unless there is a long cold spell which allows the ice to come in thicker.
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Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
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   Jun 17, 2013 - 08:34am
So this route is totally awesome.

Face itself does not get sun till about 9:15 am. We left the trailhead at 5:15 am, got to the plateau around 7:45, and sat there for hour and a half waiting for the sun (it was a cold morning).

Pitch 1 was wet but there is a variation on the right (5.9 per topo) that avoids all the water.

P 2 very sustained and quality is great

P 4 really cool, OW is not as hard as I expected. Run out after placing a 6 is long, but you are in a squeeze chimney. Would be hard to fall out. Hands in a corner section before the OW is awesome too.

P6 was moist (for 30 ft) but doable. Not sure if we took the variation shown in the topo. Was a really hard hand crack filled with moss and moisture (just right of the big roof).
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Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
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   Jun 11, 2013 - 08:11pm
Oh tinker b, I am planning to replace those bolts this weekend! I heard they are way too old. What if someone falls on one and it pulls out?


jk, don't even know how to put in bolts. :) Just want to climb the route.
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tinker b

climber
the commonwealth
Jun 11, 2013 - 11:06am
 
it has been a few years since i climbed this route, but i remember it being really cool to see the original bolts up there. i would hope nobody would replace them. i think i got a blue alien in at some point. there is gear, please do not take away history on that route. if you can climb the rest of the route, those old bolts will not be a problem.
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RP3

Big Wall climber
Sonora
Jun 11, 2013 - 09:27am
 
Looked at it yesterday. Approach is good to go. 1st pitch is quite wet. 5th and 6th pitch look wet too
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Scott Thelen

Trad climber
Truckee, Ca
Jun 10, 2013 - 04:18pm
 
I did the north ridge 3 weeks ago. I looked at the SW face it looked good with no snow on the top.

Gun it!
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Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
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   Jun 10, 2013 - 03:14pm
Anyone has an idea of how wet the route is at the moment, or how doable is the approach?
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gonzo chemist

climber
the east coast, for now.
Feb 26, 2013 - 04:21pm
 
The old bolts on the OW pitch have not been replaced. They probably never will be, and with all the fancy modern gear we have these days can just be ignored. A #6 Wild Country cam is useful.

I climbed this with a friend on the last Sunday of August, 2011. First pitch is wet, a little spooky, kind of loose near the top, and just plain crappy. But the second pitch (and the rest of the route) is unbelievably good.

AWESOME APPROACH BETA: http://www.dreaminvertical.com/2009/09/mount-conness-approach-beta/


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LongAgo

Trad climber
Feb 26, 2013 - 02:52pm
 
Off width not too tough if you don't rush it. We used tube chocks in the old days which, surprisingly, worked pretty well here. Bigger issue in my memory of 20 years ago is quite junky first pitch, if still the case. Be careful there.

Tom Higgins
LongAgo
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ericandlucie

Trad climber
Santa Fe, NM
Aug 6, 2012 - 12:59pm
 
FYI: carrying full gear for this route as a team of 2, the approach can be expected to take ~4.5 to 5.5 hours to the base of the route.
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Texplorer

Trad climber
Sacramento
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   Aug 3, 2011 - 07:33pm
As of 8/3/2011 there is a good deal of snow up there. Snow travel is required and can be somewhat technical if traveling when snow is hard. We were required to travel over snow three times on the approach with the most difficult being descending the gulley to the route's base due to the snow being hard at that time of day.
Looking up to notch where upper plateau is reached.
Looking up to notch where upper plateau is reached.
Credit: Texplorer
Ridge on approach to upper plateau.
Ridge on approach to upper plateau.
Credit: Texplorer

We took a standard rack of doubles to #3 camalot and one each #4 & #6. That seemed to work well. The first pitch is wet for about half of its length but doable and takes good pro. Original bolts seems to be in place and in good condition despite age. The #6 can be pushed along through most difficult section of OW on pitch 4. The SuperTopo topo worked well and we linked both 5-6 and 8-9.

Descent from the summit to the upper plateau can be made without snow travel down the south (skier's right) side of the snow on the ridge.

Overall a stout route with generally good rock but dirty in many places. I felt this route is a big step up from the Red Dihedral because of altitude, seriousness of climbing, and difficulty of pitches.

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jedster

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
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   Sep 1, 2010 - 06:01pm
This post isn't necessarily beta, will I get yelled at? Anyway, has anyone ever looked at a map of Mt. Conness? You ever notice that the "SW Face" route is on a wall that faces exactly South? Like, exactly. No western bias at all. Now, I have a theory about how it got the name, hear me out... From the Meadows, at first light, the wall is shaded by the summit plateau of Conness. And it remains shaded until 10am or so. And there's nothing blocking the afternoon sun, gets light 'til sunset for most of the late summer and fall. It's my thinking that it got its name because of this phenomenon, observed from a distance. Hardly an important topic, but we hashed it out while climbing up there yesterday. As for beta, well, there's a smashed up Blackberry device at the base right now.
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cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
Sep 21, 2009 - 05:55pm
 
We used a double rack to #2 camalot + a #3 and a #6. We brought a #4 but it wasn't used on the OW pitch and was unnecessary.

Approach beta can be found here:
http://dreaminvertical.wordpress.com/2009/09/21/mount-conness-approach-beta/
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clustiere

Trad climber
berkeley ca
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   Aug 21, 2008 - 11:45am
great route, a # 6 protects teh steepest OW section then you have ooolllddd bolts to pro you the rest of the way. Pretty physical, I should have taped my ankle.
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OhYeah!!!

Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
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   Oct 22, 2007 - 12:22pm
I did this route a few months ago and felt it to be pretty fairly rated. There is only one 10c move and it has great gear. I brought a #6 for the off width but left it near the bottom as it is actually pretty secure. When you go right side in there is a crack out left that makes it easy to almost chimney up the thing. I thought that the pitches got better as you went up and that the first pitch was just crap. It was wet, loose, and difficult to protect. All in all it was an OK route with great views on an imposing face.

PS. Cool old bolts are still there.
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HalHammer

Trad climber
CA
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   Oct 10, 2007 - 11:48pm
Burly. Don't climb the "5.9 hands" variation on the offwidth pitch I tried that at it just gets harder and thinner and harder than it looks with less pro etc as you go. I took a 45 foot fall onto the slab there lucky to walk away from it, my buddy led from there out it sucked I had to climb on one leg and I still have purple bruise on my butt 6 weeks later.

This climb is stout. Stout for a guy who's done Steck Salathe, DNB, and the Lost Arrow Chimeny kind of stout not worse than those maybe but right up there in burly factor the pitches aren't easy. The approach is quite long. Wet and windy climbing summarized about half of the day.

3rd pillar and red dihedral are sidewalks in comparison.
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spidey

Trad climber
Berkeley CA
Jul 18, 2007 - 09:55am
 
Any more recent beta on this route?
Have the ancient bolts been replaced?
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crackedribs

Trad climber
Portland, OR
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   Sep 19, 2005 - 12:39pm
Just completed the SW Face, good conditions, it is starting to get really cold though. In general I thought the climbing was challenging, bold and in your face. I recommend taking big gear for sure, we took a new 5 and 6 BD and a #4 big bro to protect the off-width. The old bolts are the originals and they do not protect the crux of the off-width, nor would you want to rely on them to hold. I like Chris's recommendation of equalizing them for greater security. You can use the 5 and 6 on the 200ft section after the off-width as well, and I personally was glad to have them for that bit alone. I think this was a really good route, much harder than I was expecting. Be prepared for some bold, and burley wide climbing!
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Anal C#nt

Boulder climber
Bald Knob, AR
Jun 27, 2005 - 01:53pm
 
Went up there on Friday. Tons of snow on the approach (suncupped, no crampons required, stiff enough boots to kick steps are helpful) and an electrical storm blew in around 3AM on Saturday. Retreated and looked back at a Dana Plateau completely socked in by a snowstorm. We were not thrilled about retreating considering that we humped in a BD #6, a WC #6, and a couple BigBros...

Looks like the SW Face really is better as a late season route.
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BCD

Trad climber
Bald Knob, AR
Aug 20, 2004 - 05:59pm
 
As of two weeks ago the bolts are still original. I was definitely caught off-guard on this route. After reading the Croft Book (Good, Great, Awesome) I was under the impression it was more like a bolt ladder. It ain't. But that's what keeps the spice in life, I suppose.
The offwidth part has three bolts down low that are, essentially, worthless (even if they were brand new). From there it's about 20 feet of sustained offwidth climbing that could be partially protected (maybe the first 15 feet, then the crack gets too big) by a #5 Camalot (the 4.5 is too small). This brings you to a small ledge with two bolts (wouldn't trust them). From the ledge the crack only gets bigger and it's about 60 feet of easier offwidth-squeeze, protected by ONE original bolt (wouldn't trust it) - at the halfway point. I highly doubt a #5 would do any good here. The crack is pretty big.
I imagine it would be protectable with a few big-bros. Even if the bolts were replaced, I would still recommend some big gear. Especially for the sustained offwidth section, since it goes for about 20 feet above a sloping ledge.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Aug 20, 2004 - 01:24pm
 
The wide pitch is pretty sustained. Could probably walk a number 5 camalot up much of the hard stuff. but there are sections that are a little too wide for that.

the bolts are still old. but sometimes they are doubled up... so you could equalize.
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Greg Barnes

climber
Aug 19, 2004 - 06:52pm
 
Bolts are still original (unless someone's been up there recently), and probably not in shape to be aided on let alone fallen on...

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hamid

Trad climber
Berkeley, California
Aug 19, 2004 - 05:58pm
 
Hi there,

I haven't been able to find a lot of info on this route online.

How bad is the offwidtch pitch on this climb? Are the bolts from the first ascent, or new shiny bolts? Are they good enough for free climbing? for aid climbing?

In general, how's the wide stuff on this climb? well protected?
Any crazy runouts?

thanks for your help.

-Hamid
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Aug 25, 2003 - 08:08am
 
The American Safe Climbing Assn. may have replaced anchor bolts on this climb. To find out visit the ASCA Replacement Page

The ASCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to replacing unsafe anchors. To learn about helping the ASCA click here


DONATE NOW
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Mt. Conness - Southwest Face 5.10c - Tuolumne Meadows, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Tuolumne's proudest face.
Photo: Craig Adkins
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