West Ridge 5.6

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Mt. Conness

Tuolumne Meadows, California USA

Trip Report
four days of superhuman effort, and West Ridge of Conness falls....
Wednesday October 7, 2009 1:03pm
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.

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West Ridge from first nights bivy (route pretty much follows shadow/sun line up left side of peak.

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Passing a party at the first tower.

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The upper ridge:

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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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West Ridge coming down from top toward camera
West Ridge coming down from top toward camera
Credit: rockermike

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About the Author
rockermike is a trad climber from Berkeley.


Trad climber
Erik O. Auburn, CA
  Oct 6, 2009 - 02:25am PT
Cool report, thanks
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
  Oct 6, 2009 - 11:36am PT
i never have seen a photo of that camping spot below conness... looks awesome.

Oakland, CA
  Oct 6, 2009 - 03:37pm PT
Nice stuff, Mike!

Which start did you do? Small right facing corner on the right (south) toe of the buttress, or around north?

Trad climber
Author's Reply  Oct 6, 2009 - 06:33pm PT
I took the more leftward option - as shown in CMac's High Sierra book. In the picture with my tent in it (above) there are a couple of slivers of light just hitting the top of the rib I followed on the first couple of pitches. Then moved over to the edge of the Southwest Face for the remainder of the climb.

Social climber
Lida Junction
  Oct 7, 2009 - 08:39pm PT
thanks for the tr. tried the west ridge about three years ago. wasn't feeling well. need to go back as it looks like fun.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Mar 15, 2012 - 01:33am PT
Nice photos. That campsite does look awesome.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Mar 15, 2012 - 03:27am PT
Feckin' AAAA dude, more pictures!! I love that peak!

(Jeremy insert) WOOOO HOOOO !!!!

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Mar 15, 2012 - 05:45am PT
Nice! I've never done West Ridge, have to head up there this summer. Maybe time for revenge on Harding Route too.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Mar 17, 2012 - 08:01pm PT
Schweet alpine!
Bruce Morris

Trad climber
Soulsbyville, California
  Apr 8, 2012 - 01:53pm PT
Now I know where to camp on the way in there from Tuolumne next summer! Thanks a lot!

  Apr 8, 2012 - 04:17pm PT
Woo Hoo!
Mt. Conness - West Ridge 5.6 - Tuolumne Meadows, California USA. Click to Enlarge
One of Tuolumne's finest ridge climbs.
Photo: Greg Barnes
Other Routes on Mt. Conness
Mt. Conness - North Ridge 5.6 - Tuolumne Meadows, California USA. Click for details.
North Ridge, 5.6
Mt. Conness
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Mt. Conness - Southwest Face 5.10c - Tuolumne Meadows, California USA. Click for details.
Southwest Face, 5.10c
Mt. Conness
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Tuolumne's proudest face.