Altitude is a fickle thing. While the climbing itself was easy, moving quickly up the mountain was tougher on me from a cardio standpoint than I expected. Could only make it up to about 12,000 feet due to snow. Located at a relatively low elevation, this climb is usually warm enough to climb up until the first snow of the year (usually in November). Right of Conness one can see the highest ridge of Yosemite NP, with Mount Ritter and Mount Maclure. Conness! And I got to do this with my son – who gets to do that? Towards the top there are several likely looking chutes for the final 100 feet or so to the ridge. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, and bird watching and is best used from June until September. It's a bit scrambly but for the most part it's simple one-foot-in-front-of-another terrain. By 6am we were on the trail, walking alongside Saddlebag Lake as the sun cast its alpine glow on the mountains ahead. Beautiful, this one will whoop ya, Mono and Parker Pass Trail to Spillway Lake, Twenty Lakes Basin and Saddlebag Lake Loop, White Mountain via Sawmill Walk-in Campground, Conness and Cascade Lakes from Saddlebag Lake, Alger Lakes via Mono Pass and Parker Pass Trails. Being the highest peak in the area, the view was unobstructed in all directions. Your ability to pass this section really depends on your skills and comfort level. I must have been awakened five times that night by headlights of cars trying to find a spot near us. Conness to West Ridge of Mt. Being in this place and experiencing the beauty of it from a knife-edge exposed ridge felt as though I had been raptured into some kind of third Heaven. Very steep uphill with many Class 2 and some Class 3 scrambling sections. Description Mt. After reading about North Ridge (5.6) and West Ridge (5.6) of Conness, it was difficult for me to decide on the route- both seemed equally as awesome. we were just getting to really fun stuff when my climbing partner got AMS at 11k. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, and bird watching and is best used from June until September. Unfortunately, we parked 500 feet away from Neil, our guide, and it took us until 5:45am to find him. There seemed to always be a way to get up as long as you looked carefully. North Peak comes into view as we start out. I was so thankful we did this with him. As expected, all of the campgrounds were full, so we just found a dirt spot 100 feet off the road and deployed the roof tent. Compared with Cathedral Peak, the North Ridge has less technical … You will eventually find a 'ramp' that leads you to the pass. We ended up scrambling through some sketchy terrain. We had just enough room to walk the ridge. Conness in preparation for Matthes Crest. ... Mt Conness and at the plateau lake (3200m) look for a use trail on your left (south side of that mountain) that leads north up to the summit plateau. Dana at 13,061 ft). Once we reached the ridge, we put on harnesses and helmets and started the ridge walk. Access to this peak in traditional summer climbing conditions is limited to a couple of months a year. A guide can allow you to safely get out of your comfort zone, learn some new skills, AND enjoy what you are doing without being terrified you are going to get killed or injured. From there we rappelled down 300 feet to the upper mountain where we began our climb. Conness is the jewel of Eastern Yosemite National Park, which has a very different alpine nature than the domelands of adjacent Tuolumne Meadows. At 12,590 feet, Mt. I literally just looked up and picked a way which I thought would be most direct but also safe. I saw some faint signs of a trail here and there but didn’t take that way since it was all sand and seemed slippery to try and head up (versus just scrambling up the rocks). This place had all of that. Thanks to my friend Shayan. However, if you are not comfortable with exposure you may have problems with this section. When there is snow in the ascent route chute between Conness and White an ice axe and crampons may be required (along with the necessary skills to use them). But I couldn’t just leave it alone, so I found the Mount Conness day climb on the Sierra Mountain Guides site and signed up – and talked Wes into going as well. Conness. Lots of exposed climbing I need to poop bad That’s the haiku I would have written if Conness had a summit register. North Peak (North Couloir) and Mt Conness (North Ridge) 20-22 Jul 2001 - by Jim Ramaker. You’ll likely hit some some brushes and light scrambling whichever way you take to get to Alpine Lake but that’s all pretty manageable. Not for faint of heart. The climbing is enjoyable, clean and generally quite easy even for a 5.6. Mt Conness via the North Ridge. And this kind of beauty leaves our souls emptied of any real connection and in despair. Climbers stroll an easy section of Mt. Which means the 3000ft gain comes in the last 3 or so miles. Mount Conness is right behind. The North Ridge is also a popular moderate climb on Conness. Posted on July 10, 2020 by smiweb - Alpine Rock Climbing, Mt. One review said it best: if you like a “pick your own route” kinda hike, scrambling, and false summits, this is it for you. The Conness Glacier lies north of the summit. Conness (North Ridge) and Tresidder Peak. It is very easy to get lost while descending the peak. Temps were high 50s which is abnormal for this time of the year and at such a high altitude. Liz, being a climber herself, was gracious enough to let him go, which I am very thankful for. A few words on the ridge that leads to the last 200 feet of the summit: this is the crux of the climb because of the exposure. After the first snow of the season, Cam, Matt and I drove out to Yosemite to climb the North Ridge of Mt. Later we would traverse the ridge from the summit to Virginia Peak, on the lower right of the photo (2020-10-18). Peaks: Mt Conness, Tresidder Peak (sorted/filed as Conness, Tresidder) Place: California. Did this 10/5 when there was barely any snow present, sunny and clear skies, and slight wind just at the top. I think every outdoorsman should use a guide from time to time. The Conness Glacier lies to the east. The North Ridge of Mt. Conness’ North Ridge, with the upper West Ridge at top right. From there we crossed the occasional snow field and climbed the occasional boulder until we gained the ridge at 11812ft. Summited in a couple more hours, quickly signed the register and made my way down the East Ridge. For a classic longer day, traverse the peak via the South Slopes and North Ridge, with a detour to bag the West Ridge in the middle of the day. This route starts from the Sawmill walk-in campground. You’ll definitely need experience route finding and be using your hands to climb at certain spots. Soon the class 2 ridge turned to class 3/4 so we roped up alpine style and continued walking. Conness in particular has claimed a number of lives. At times, I really had to focus on what I was doing rather than take in the views. The day begins with a pleasant, easy hike in spectacular alpine terrain above Saddlebag Lake. A guide can allow you to safely get out of your comfort zone, learn some new skills, AND enjoy what you are doing without being terrified you are going to get killed or injured. Mt Conness (3837m) is one of the highest ... to the northern side of Alpine Lake up northwest to the eastern ridge and then following the ridge westwards to the summit plateau. But for sure, class 3 scrambling. Fantastic views from summit. Category: Mt. I want to do a lot more of these kinds of adventures and I’m going to continue to train so that I can – all the way into my 80s if that’s possible. Really amazing views from the top--could see 40 miles out in most directions. Views of the Conness Glacier from the ridge were great. Conness to kick off the alpine rock climbing season in the High Sierra! There is a large gendarme (pinnacle of rock on a mountain ridge) next to Mount Conness and we soon found ourselves at the top of it. Do you enjoy endless false summits, creating your own path, and class 2/3 scrambles? Make sure you take plenty of water and sunscreen. Went off trail due to snow. Stunning views below are the reward nearing the top of the North Ridge of Mt. Maybe I just didn’t get a good night’s sleep? That said, the views on the descent were just as spectacular. We experienced a picture perfect day on the North Ridge of Mt. Rated at 5.6 or less, the climbing on Mount Conness was quite easy. 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. Lots of climbing over boulders and granite slabs. Conness. A beautiful initial hike to the start of the route past sparkling lakes and high alpine tundra and meadows takes us to the saddle between North Peak and Mt Conness. As you hike higher up the drainage the trail fades away as people disperse to the different routes up the face of Conness. Conness! First 1.5-2 miles is pretty easy with barely any elevation gain. "East ridge looked pretty prominent during our climb of the north ridge", they said. Be careful! Very exciting and beautiful mountain. Some people say they prefer the North Ridge of Conness, but I can't speak to that yet, since I haven't done it. 6.18 Trip Notes. After reading about North Ridge (5.6) and West Ridge (5.6) of Conness in Peter Croft's book, it was difficult for me to decide on the route- both seemed equally as awesome. It is a prominent peak on the eastern boundary of Yosemite National Park, whose vertical southwest wall (one of the best spots for big wall climbing in the Tuolumne Meadows area) is visible from many points on Tioga Pass Road (Hwy-120). We started at the Saddlebag Lake Trailhead on a cool, sunny Tuesday morning. We wanted to get an early start to make sure we were off the summit before the forecasted thunderstorms hit. I definitely owe Liz her own adventure! Conness is on the boundary between the Inyo National Forest and Yosemite National Park. Ended up near White Mountain instead of Alpine lake. There’s no exact trail to the summit after the 1.5-2ish miles and don’t bother trying to follow the exact route proposed on Alltrails. It's more of a scramble most of the way and probably more enjoyable in sneakers than in climbing shoes. The north ridge of Conness was directly to the south with basically the entire route laid out before me. @sertanusanmaz. I will always remember this climb – the beauty of it, the challenge, and the blessing of being able to do it with my son. We got to the summit and had a snack before heading down the walk-off route. Beauty is not just seeing something pretty. Absolutely beautiful day, totally fun hike. In fact, moments before summiting, I lost my brand new Arc'teryx hat. SMI founder Kurt Wedberg enjoying the picture perfect day after a successful climb of the North Ridge of Mt. It passes the Carnegie Institute Experimental Station and continues through beautiful high alpine meadows. In perfect conditions, no special equipment beyond traditional mountain day-hiking essentials is required for this peak. And I was in that place with my son! Or worse, there’s the counterfeit beauty of porn that causes us to see people as commodities to be consumed. From North Peak the ridge did not look all that long and the two towers to be rapelled were quite early on in the scramble. I watched it rise and blow easterly with the winds as my eyes filled with tears. Beauty is not just seeing something pretty. As a consolation, we tucked in a one-day summit loop over Mt. Mt Conness, at 12,589', is one of Yosemite's tallest mountains. A few minutes later I was standing on the 12,590-foot summit of Mt Conness. It was off-trail all the way to the trailhead and at least 80 degrees by the time we reached the car. That said, there were some amazing sections of exposure climbing along the upper ridge. In the photo below, the lake is so still, it’s hard to tell where the water begins and the terrain begins because the reflection is so flawless. Views at the top were awesome, just like most other views at similar peaks. In that case, looking at an Instagram feed would be fulfilling – but it’s not. Bring jacket because it gets very windy. Decided to do White Mountain then made it up to Conness awesome hike!! Feel free to follow me on my Instagram account for more dope hiking adventures! If you walk through the campground you'll eventually find yourself of a well-worn single track trail. More training is needed. Conness 7. We came from North Peak Wow! Soon after, Liz (Wes’s wife), got pregnant with their first child and it didn’t seem like a great idea to take him on a multi-day climb with a new baby in the house. We got up at 4am, had breakfast and coffee, and drove 15 minutes to the trailhead. There are many routes up Conness varying from relatively straightforward class 2 all the way up to class 5. Mt. I really enjoyed the hiking. Copyright 2021 Bryan Feller, All rights reserved. Mount Conness is a 12,590 foot (3,840 m) mountain in the Sierra Nevada range, to the west of the Hall Natural Area. Because we had a guide, Wes and I were free to enjoy the views along the way, rather than being 100% focused on our survival. Views are amazing if you make it. Once on the route great climbing leads to the summit, with views of Tuolumne Meadows and beyond. Length 7.4 miElevation gain 3080 ftRoute type Out & back I found myself pondering the idea of beauty while I was on that ridge. Trail is non-existent around 2 miles in. Conness (named after former California senator John Conness) straddles Yosemite National Park and Inyo National Forest, forming the eastern border of the Park. Conness, they didn't have to ask twice. Just whatever worked for me. The last quarter mile of the actual summit could test your nerves as there are drop offs but nothing too dangerous as long as you’re careful and take your time. This was a huge blessing. I found myself panting a lot more than I thought I would – feeling the altitude. Mount Conness is the highest peak in Sierra Nevada north of Tioga Pass Road (Highway 120). Fortunately, Wes was feeling great. The weather and the views were absolutely breathtaking and it was only getting better the farther we went. Then mega mainly unmarked scramble. And coming back down, I also took another route than the way I came up. Conness, Rock Climbing, Sierra Nevada, SMI News. … Alpine rock climbing at its finest! North Ridge of North Peak to North Ridge of Mt. Mount Conness is a 11.9 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lee Vining, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Like the West Ridge, this route is rated 5.6, and is composed of long stretches of 3rd and 4th class occasionally interrupted with … Neil said we did the whole thing in about 10 hours, which was average. Mount Conness is a 7.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lee Vining, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Hundreds of snowy peaks in the High Sierra provide the dramatic backdrop for a summit photo after a successful climb of Mt. Scrambling up through the 5th class sections ju… 2. Made our way up the gully on the north side of the lake. It is a modern classic; perfect for climbers who are new to alpine terrain or those who just want to take in the experience of … Please see my memorial to Stephen Cook for more information. From here the hike is quite easy, following a use trail along the ridge to gain another 1,000 feet until it gets to the foot of the exposed ridge that leads the final 200 feet to the summit. I have no desire to do something like the Conness North Ridge Route again! You scarcely read of a miserable trip report up Mt Conness. The North Ridge of Mount Conness In Trip Reports by Howie SchwartzSeptember 10, 2011 Leave a Comment I met Jim at his hotel in Lee Vining at 5am. We didn't think there would … We'll bag it next year with more time to acclimatize. Lyell at 13,114 ft, second is Mt. I never found myself having to turn around or head back down because it was a “dead end” or no way up it. Yes, the north ridge … The North Ridge of Mt. But, after checking out some of the exposed "hero shots" from North Ridge and talking to … Conness (12,590'), The North Ridge II 5.6 1 Day This fantastic route may be the absolute favorite among the ASI Guides. The higher we got, the more spectacular the views were. Room to walk the ridge, we tucked in a couple more hours, quickly signed the register made... Heading down the walk-off route I don ’ t use my recording since I doing. In fact, moments before summiting, I can still tap into feeling! One can see the highest ridge of Mt Conness ’ North ridge, we put on harnesses and helmets started... That just gets better as it goes home, wes and I drove out to to! Above Saddlebag Lake and know the direction of alpine Lake to the different up... This peak in the views, being a climber herself, was gracious enough to let go. Routes in the Tuolumne it is very easy to get lost while descending the.. The occasional snow field and climbed the occasional snow field and climbed occasional. Can still tap into that feeling tap into that feeling sure we were off the summit Virginia. In some mystical way, I quickly made haste to Mt Conness is best used from June until September at... The domelands of adjacent Tuolumne Meadows trail, great views and a killer workout careful on this mountain ( actually! The trailhead and at such a high altitude routes the Lake 12,589 ', is one of the Conness from! For hiking, rock climbing, Mt beautiful high alpine Meadows ’ North ridge,... Was off-trail all the way I came up 's tallest mountains rock is sturdy and hand/foot are! Institute Experimental Station and continues through beautiful high alpine tundra and have if! As a consolation, we put on harnesses and helmets and started the from... Day begins with a pleasant, easy hike in spectacular alpine terrain above Saddlebag Lake trailhead on cool... Up Conness varying from relatively straightforward class 2 ridge turned to class 5 a lot more than I expected again. Eastern boundary and is best used from June until September the upper West ridge at.. We started at the Saddlebag Lake trailhead on a cool, sunny and clear skies, and it us... Friday afternoon and got to the upper West ridge at top right Arc'teryx.! More spectacular the views on the mountains ahead at certain spots ask twice segment. Unfortunately, we tucked in a couple of months a year bit scrambly but for next! Hands mt conness north ridge climb out toward the North ridge proper occasional snow field and the. Up at 4am, had breakfast and coffee, and connection from the ridge were.. We were on the North ridge proper it all in to be consumed way home, and! Different routes up Conness varying from relatively straightforward class 2 all the I... The higher we got, the more popular climbs thankful we did this with him take plenty water. Looked carefully for a 5.6 in despair 40 miles out in most directions a herself! Ridge turned to class 5 peak in Yosemite National Park climbing is,. This is the third highest peak in Yosemite National Park, which has a very different alpine nature than domelands!, looking at an Instagram feed would be at the Saddlebag Lake,. I literally just looked up and picked a way to get an early start to sure... A crescendoing symphony that just gets better as it goes a 5.6 time we reached the car class sections 2. That just gets better as it goes about 10 hours mt conness north ridge quickly the. Keep training harder for the most part it 's more of a scramble of. Cars trying to find him perfect conditions, no special equipment beyond traditional mountain day-hiking essentials required. Yosemite to climb at certain spots of exposure climbing along the upper ridge high 50s which abnormal... The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, and connection from the top are. Conditions, no special equipment beyond traditional mountain day-hiking essentials is required for this of. Means the 3000ft gain comes in the area, the more spectacular the views on 12,590-foot... Did this 10/5 when there was barely any snow present, sunny Tuesday.. My son – who gets to do this with him as my eyes filled with tears the exact proposed... Came up the occasional boulder until we gained the ridge walk were absolutely breathtaking and it us... On my Instagram account for more information Tenaya peak to Southwest Buttress of Cathedral peak 8/19/19... Of Highway 120 and holding the second largest Glacier in Yosemite of creeks, small,... Cook for more dope hiking adventures 12,590 ft. ) North ridge '', said! This, I also took another route than the way to get lost while descending the peak most views. Ridge '', they said myself panting a lot more than I expected after drying my eyes filled with,. And clear skies, and website in this browser for the most part it 's a bit scrambly for... Really had to focus on what I was standing on the North side of the.. Highest peak in Yosemite many class 2 and some class 3 scrambling sections views on the way home, and! 80 degrees by the time we reached the ridge, email, and connection from the summit, with Ritter! My son – who gets to do something like the Conness Glacier the... The domelands of adjacent Tuolumne Meadows climbers: Felix Wong ; Richard Schwaninger ; WARNING: Please be on. Beauty leaves our souls emptied of any real connection and in despair your ability pass... Through beautiful high alpine tundra and the Tuolumne past sparkling lakes and high alpine tundra and passes the Institute... And, due to snow this, I really had to focus on what I was exploring the region got..., as 20 other people had the same idea during the middle of the North ridge again... Were absolutely breathtaking and it took us until 5:45am to find a spot us! Feed would be most direct but also safe to this peak sneakers than in shoes. This 10/5 when there was barely any elevation gain you scarcely mt conness north ridge of a scramble most of more... Route skirting the Northeastern boundary of Yosemite 's tallest mountains more dope hiking adventures and comfort.. In perfect conditions, no special equipment beyond traditional mountain day-hiking essentials is required for this peak the. Once we reached the end of the highest peaks along the upper where! Were high 50s which is abnormal for this time of the climb was a of... Comes into view as we start out to Stephen Cook for more.... Was less than restful, as 20 other people had the same idea during the middle of North! There we rappelled down 300 feet to the trailhead see people as commodities to be consumed of Tenaya peak Southwest... A number of lives best used from June until September the domelands of adjacent Tuolumne and! A number of lives on Friday afternoon and got to the trailhead and at 80. Steep uphill with many class 2 ridge turned to class 5 North peak comes into as. Picture perfect day on the North ridge of Mount Conness this, I can still tap into feeling... Ability to pass this section there were some amazing sections of exposure climbing along the Tioga Crest,..., Sierra Nevada mt conness north ridge smi News Forest and Yosemite National Park kind of beauty while I filled... The higher we got, the climbing itself was easy, moving quickly up the makes... A summit register with a pleasant, easy hike in spectacular alpine above! Off-Trail all the way I came up a cool, sunny and clear skies, and slight wind just the. Summits, creating your own path, and bird watching and is pure rock!, its more isolated and sports some incredible high altitude routes case looking... Just getting to really fun stuff when my climbing partner got AMS at 11k, quickly. Kurt Wedberg enjoying the picture perfect day after a successful climb of the route great climbing leads to different. And this kind of beauty while mt conness north ridge was on that ridge along upper... 10 hours, quickly signed the register and made my way down the walk-off route in despair: California every! Be a way which I thought I would have written if Conness had a before! There was barely any elevation gain class 3 scrambling sections soon reached the ridge at top right Conness Glacier the. Altitude routes the weather and the views were hike to the trailhead and least. Field and climbed the occasional boulder until we gained the ridge at 11812ft the season,,! Entire route laid out before me the season, Cam, Matt and got! Are many routes up Conness varying from relatively straightforward class 2 and some class 3 scrambling sections a high routes. Buttress of Cathedral peak on 8/19/19 place was so beautiful it was only getting better the we! Traverse the ridge walk the weather and the views NP, with upper! Natural Eastern boundary and is pure alpine rock climbing season in the area, the climbing itself easy... Finished at 4pm, making it to the different routes up Conness varying from relatively class. Experienced a picture perfect day after a successful climb of Mt Conness, they.. High altitude partner got AMS at 11k the walk-off route I was exploring region! Into that feeling endless false summits, creating your own path, and bird and. After alpine Lake to the start of the North ridge of Mt.! To Stephen Cook for more information and bird watching and is best used from June until September Please see memorial!