Mt. Conness (named after former California senator John Conness) straddles Yosemite National Park and Inyo National Forest, forming the eastern border of the Park. It is the third highest peak in Yosemite National Park (first is Mt. Lyell at 13,114 ft, second is Mt. Dana at 13,061 ft). The Conness Glacier lies to the east.
The most direct way to approach both the North Ridge and West Ridge routes is from the trailhead at Saddlebag Lake (10,060'). A longer approach from Tuolumne Meadows to Young Lakes is also possible. Allow a minimum of 2 hours for the approach.
4 Total Routes
['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Mt. Conness
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mt. Conness:
Featured Route For Mt. Conness
South West Face (Harding) Route 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b CA
: Yosemite National Park
: ... : Mt. Conness
Considering the rock quality in a couple sections, a few insecure moves and the wide crack, that would be a burly solo! I can't decide what is more sick...Peter Croft's onsight solo or Walt Shipley's after doing the route roped and knowing what to expect!!The route is exciting and physical and a must do for the High Sierra tick list. Pitch 1: 3 options...Center option is a groove to a roof (slightly loose) (9+, 115').Pitch 2: Easiest free version is to step down and traverse right on the lower c...[more] Browse More Classics in CA
Local Information for Mt. Conness
Latest Regional Forum Messages
From: Reno, NV
Sep 6, 2011
I found Stefurak's beta useful, however, we found that we had to hike at least 5-10 mins downhill, south of the plateau before we found the correct descent gully to the base of the SW face/ W ridge. The cairn marking the trail down the gully was not visible until we were directly on top of it.
Sep 6, 2011
Laine has a great point. Luke's beta is spot on until the end. I don't believe there is any reason to go all the way to the cemented Geo Survey windbreaks. The correct descent is just to the right of the left snowbank in this photo.
On the sandy plateau, continue towards Conness dropping slightly. There are a couple of bivy windbreaks well lower than the high shoulder with the Geo Survey ones. From these, drop into the sandy wash and then back up to the area between the two snowbanks in the photo above tending toward the left notches.
Aug 8, 2013
Approach details also in the Comments on the MP West Ridge page.
GPX file containing key latitude/longitude waypoints and some useful tracks for approach is linked from this page .
Aug 21, 2014
My recommendation for people who don't hate hiking and love the mountains beyond just the climbing route to be done. Appreciation for views, route finding, and off-trail sub-alpine and alpine travel required.
I'm much more fond of approaching Conness from the South (Lembert Dome). The standard Saddlebag approach basically summits the mountain, and then descends down to you're route. This felt a bit silly.
Approaching from Lembert Dome is longer distance, but much less elevation. 5-ish miles on trail lead you to the incredibly beautiful Young Lake, from which you can drool, froth, and do whatever else you do when confronted with the head-on view of Conness' South Face, framed by a sub-alpine lake. This perspective on the approach makes this method, to me, 100x more enjoyable than Saddlebag. From here, head cross-country through the forest, aiming at Conness. Travel is fairly easy as far as off-trail goes, as vegetation is sparse in those forests. A map and compass bearing helps, but it's kinda hard to miss that mountain. Walk straight up to the South Face or West Ridge, and climb it! Descending Saddlebag to a stashed car could make for a really cool, aesthetic day of travel in the mountains.
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