North Arete 5.7

  • Currently 3.0/5

Matterhorn Peak

High Sierra, California USA

Trip Report
TR: Matterhorn Peak
Tuesday May 13, 2008 12:00pm
I so enjoyed last month's Matterhorn Peak TR that I decided to go do it myself.

Saturday I drove over the newly-opened Sonora Pass to Bridgeport, picked up my wilderness permit, then proceeded to Twin Lakes. I parked on the road and hiked up the Horse Creek trail.

Armed with supertopo GPS coordinates (tm) I caught a glimpse of Matterhorn's north side while sloshing through the patchy snow.

I headed up the col, which was pretty much solid snow. There were a lot of tracks. Popular destination. Looked like someone had passed through in the morning. I took a look down-canyon.

Around 9400' I decided to camp in the trees, since I hadn't quite made up my mind about the east couloir vs. the southeast face. I waved to a guy who was descending from Horse Creek Pass. The evening scenery was pretty nice.

The night was not particularly cold, but it was breezy. My alarm went off at 3:30am. I turned it off, then went back to sleep. Woke up again at 4:45, and decided to go sightseeing. Started moving around 5:30.

The lake at ~9600' was still frozen, barely.

I kept going up, aiming for the moraine, mostly still under snow.

The Ski Dreams couloir looked good, the west couloir looked good, and the east couloir looked kinda melted out. I was not feeling up to the west couloir, and hadn't really read much about the SW side, so up the east couloir I went.

I stopped for some gu about midway, and finally got to the couloir exit around 9am.

Now for the rock scrambling .. I really wasn't feeling up for anything hard, and anyhow my surgeon would not approve :) So I hunted around for the 3rd class ledges .. made a couple of false starts, downclimbed, then found a more likely route. Finally atop the summit ridge I scrambled up, signed the register, took some pics and downed a chocolate bar in celebration.

I believe this is Whorl Mountain, something for later in the season ..

Aliens checking out Virginia and Stanton peaks :)

Around 10-ish I figured descending might be nice, so I headed down the SE side towards Horse Creek Pass. The snow higher up on this side was obnoxiously suncupped, but soft. I was really glad I hadn't decided to slog up the sand and loose crap on this side.

Headed down the pass, lots of tracks to follow. Obviously a popular destination. Looking back up ..

Got back to camp before noon, and returned to my car by 3pm. I should have driven over Conway summit to the Mobil mart deli... oh well, next time.

  Trip Report Views: 3,961
About the Author
rhyang is a climber from SJC.


Trad climber
new york, NY
  May 13, 2008 - 12:04pm PT
beautiful. and nice work for someone who recently got all tangled up!

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  May 13, 2008 - 12:11pm PT
Good stuff!

Mountain climber
Northern NV
  May 13, 2008 - 12:19pm PT
Nice trip Rob.

Trad climber
Lee, NH
  May 13, 2008 - 12:22pm PT
One helluva comeback walk. Looks like fun.

  May 13, 2008 - 12:22pm PT
Not too bad for a guy who can probably legally park in a handicapped zone. How long has it been since you broke your neck?

Very, very well done my friend.

  May 13, 2008 - 12:28pm PT
Great shots, esp that next peak over, from above. Good on ya.
(I'm sending your neurosurgeon a link - you're sooo busted.) Dale

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  May 13, 2008 - 12:40pm PT
noyce, way to start the spring off right!

Trad climber
Top of the Mountain Mun
  May 13, 2008 - 01:17pm PT
Way to go Rhyang nice to see you back in action.

Nor Cal
  May 13, 2008 - 01:29pm PT
bump for quality.....nice work

Gym climber
It's not rocket surgery
  May 13, 2008 - 02:18pm PT
Thank You.

Author's Reply  May 13, 2008 - 03:19pm PT
Thanks all !

Gene, it will have been nine months this Saturday. Thanks again for your hospital visits and encouragement !

I do have a disabled parking placard (permanent), but I obviously don't need wheelchair access ... I've met enough people who do need those spaces to know better.

Speaking of which, on the way back through Oakdale I stopped for a sandwich. An obviously able-bodied couple pulled into a nearby disabled parking space and I gave them a piece of my mind. Probably not very smart, but oh well ..

Social climber
Lida Junction
  May 13, 2008 - 04:18pm PT
nice to see you back out there.
F10 Climber F11 Drinker

Trad climber
  May 13, 2008 - 05:14pm PT
Thanks for the uplifting TR

Glad your recovery has progressed well enought to be out and about.
I can't wait until my back injuries have healed and I can be back outdoors.


Ice climber
  May 13, 2008 - 05:53pm PT
Glad to see I'm not the only one who hits the snooze button more than once when the alarm goes off. Way to take it easy and still get the job done!! Great to see you're out and about. You are amazing Rob, way to go!!

Trad climber
Any island that has waves
  May 13, 2008 - 05:57pm PT
Great trip report!

The snow pack in California looks pretty weak this year.rg

Social climber
  May 13, 2008 - 07:04pm PT
hey there rhyang... say, wow, and way to go....
say... i just love the matterhorn.. and the alps...hey, even the valleys...

i go the matterhorn, near everyngiht, when i can----WEBCAM wise, that is....

i see the sun rise, or set.. .depending on the time.... just love it.... also, look at the pics on the website...

i did not get to see all the pics unfold, so i will be back here to see them....

there IS a webcam, too, for to view the CIRCLING RESTAURANT up above the whole range, somewhere.... forgot where... oh, my...

thanks for the great share... and so veryyyyyy glad, you used wisdom, too, as to your past injuries... :)
J. Werlin

Social climber
Cedaredge, CO
  May 13, 2008 - 08:03pm PT
Excellent--way to get out there.

Congrats on your recovery.
the museum

Trad climber
  May 13, 2008 - 08:47pm PT
Congrats on your superb recovery! And the superb TR!

right here, right now
  May 13, 2008 - 09:03pm PT
Welcome back!
Solo too...'way to stretch back into your skin.

Author's Reply  May 13, 2008 - 09:14pm PT
Thanks all for the encouragement !

F10, I hope you are feeling better and stronger each day !

Chris, thanks and hope to climb with you again sometime !

neebee, I was really hoping to find a Starbucks or a Jamba Juice or New York Bagels up there :D Hope you enjoy the pics whenever you get a chance !


I have no clue
  May 13, 2008 - 10:49pm PT
I did it round trip in 16 hrs only to find a ticket on my windshield.
Good job dude.

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
  May 14, 2008 - 01:21am PT
Rhyang, Beautiful pics..amazing to think -a short while ago you were in a must feel so blessed..good job!

Author's Reply  May 15, 2008 - 12:29pm PT
Thanks Nita - blessed indeed .. I doubt I would be doing this if it were not for the help of my dear friends !!

Author's Reply  May 15, 2008 - 12:47pm PT
Just for you Jeff :)

Santa Monica, CA
  May 15, 2008 - 12:59pm PT

Awesome pictures and good on you for the trip. It looks like it was both peaceful and revitalizing.

Reference your telling off the f***s who parked in the handicapped space - you absolutely SHOULD have. My Dad was severely physically handicapped from a stroke and absolutely needed those spaces when he went out. Nothing fries my pinata worse than people who don't care and park there anyway. My Dad was stubborn as all get out and tenacious as Hell, but he had lost his ability to walk safely for more than a few steps and he spent most of his time in a wheelchair over the past year or two. He passed away 3 weeks ago, so I'm probably being overly sensitive to this, but I want you to know that I for one, feel it was entirely appropriate for you to say whatever you said, and thank you for doing so.


Trad climber
Hustle City
  May 15, 2008 - 01:25pm PT


Author's Reply  May 16, 2008 - 12:03pm PT
Crusher, I'm sorry to read about your father's passing :( and hope you and your family are doing well !

My dad passed away in '89 after a long battle with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Talking about it still chokes me up.

Santa Monica, CA
  May 17, 2008 - 01:47am PT
Hey Rob,

Condolences to you too. It's that da** diabetes. Type 1 especially.

Anyway I spent a week on the Eastside two weeks ago and that helped, as I expected being outside and in nature would. Need to get back up there soon.

Keep at it yourself and stay tough!

Social climber
WA, NC, Idaho Falls
  May 18, 2008 - 08:47pm PT
Nice TR Guys!

Trad climber
  May 18, 2008 - 09:53pm PT
Nice pix. Looks like a great outing.

Boulder climber
Institute of Better Bouldering-DirtbagDad Division
  May 22, 2008 - 01:32pm PT
Beautiful photos and story. Gotta add that area to the list! Thank you for sharing it.

I'm sorry to hear about your father's passing, crusher.


Social climber
  Feb 25, 2009 - 08:35am PT
hey there rhyang... had to bump your miracle trip...

Matterhorn Peak - North Arete 5.7 - High Sierra, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The route as seen from the approach.
Photo: Brad Goya