West Ridge 5.6
Trip Reportfour days of superhuman effort, and West Ridge of Conness falls....
Left Berkeley after class late Thursday. Got as far as Oakdale when I remembered my "don't drive sleepy" pledge. Had to pull over till sunrise. Drove the rest of the way to Tuolumne, wasted a bunch of time, ate breakfast, shopped at the tent grocery store, got a wilderness permit, debated (with myself) about gear to bring, packed by pack, and photo copied the route description. (by the way - anyone else notice the West Ridge topo in the High Sierra book is different than the topo in the Tuolumne book?). Anyway, ended up finally leaving my truck at 2:00. Seems the hike in to Roosevelt lake is a bit longer than my quicky estimation from looking at the map. 6.5 miles to Youngs Lake than maybe another 3 cross country to get to Roosevelt. As it happens I wasn't moving real fast having just come from sea level and now approaching 10k. Finally was benighted maybe a half mile short of Roosevelt. Found some water and that was good enough for me. Hint - hike up to higher Youngs lake before heading "off trail". There is a good climbers path taking you at least to the creek crossing. On my way in I headed out too early and ended up wrestling with boulders, tight twisted alpine firs and willow thickets for a good ways.
Anyway, early day two I got to Roosevelt Lake but felt like sh#t - headache and weak - so I called it a rest day. Did some hiking and a little skinny dipping. And worked on lightening my food stash.
Next morning felt ready to go. 1 hour to the base, and two and a half on the route. Fun climbing but easier than I expected. I trailed a light cord most of the way in case I climbed my way into trouble and wanted to back down a bit - but it wasn't necessary. Actually the whole thing wasn't much different from the North Ridge which I had done a couple of years earlier. Passed a couple of parties en-route. Watched a team working the Harding Route on my way down. Hiked out the following day. 72 hours alone feels like an eternity. All in all fun was had by all.
On way in; I believe that is "Jagged Peak" in background. Looks worthy of a route or two to me.
West Ridge from first nights bivy (route pretty much follows shadow/sun line up left side of peak.
Passing a party at the first tower.
The upper ridge:
The Southwest Face; there is a party up there (half way up, just below reddish dihedral) - see my earlier thread for better blow up of picture.
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