September Weekend in Tuolumne: N. Ridge of Conness and North Peak Scramble
A few weekends back, Jeremy, Ryan, Matt and I headed up to the high country for another, yet typical, amazing Tuolumne weekend. Late Friday after driving from Berkeley and listening to the Giants, Jeremy and Ryan dropped me off in Ranger Camp. I woke up and met my good buddy Matt and his new home, ready to climb the N. Ridge of Conness. Matt recently sold his car for a home… an old plumbing van, decked out with a futon, kitchen and entertaining/storage area:
Everything ready, we hiked on the W. side of Saddlebag Lake and headed up.
We ascend through the Hall Research Area past the Conness Lakes.
Now we go for the first tower. No need to rope up here. Easy 3rd and a few 4th class moves.
We make a few moves and downclimb a bit before we started heading up to the second tower and rapp. We didn’t pull out the ropes until we reached the rappels.
After the quick rapps, the final push up the summit tower was clearly visible. We stayed close to the ridge on the left to get the best exposure and climbing.
We made quick work of the route after the rapps by simuling. I think if I went back, I’d solo the route. Everything was super solid all the way to the summit.
I couldn’t get enough of the beauty of the Conness Lakes area, so Sunday Ryan, Jeremy and I met up and decided to take a nice stroll up North Peak. It’s September and the Giants are gunning for 1st, so if not talking about climbing, we were talking about Giants baseball.
Coming from Saddlebag Lake, the approach to gain the ridge was similar to that of Conness’ N. Ridge. We scrambled up scree and made a few 4th class moves, then got on a broad plateau. Once there, we hugged the ridge to the right so we could do some easy scrambling and enjoy the views out to the North and East.
Hurrah! We bagged another one!
We scrambled down some 3rd class ledges to the East to shorten our return to Saddlebag. After some scree skiing, we kicked it at the lake for a bit with the hacky sack.
After such a great weekend, we had to finish it right with some beers in the Meadows. Here’s to more great climbs with good friends.