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The South Face of Owens Ridge as seen from the app...
Long, huge, and generally chossy, Owens Ridge is about a five-miler, meaning it looks awesome from five miles away, but get closer up and you'll find that the granite is flaky, grainy, and decomposing. Route development on Owens Ridge took place mainly in the 60s and 70s, along with a period in the mid-eighties when harder face routes were put up on the thin edges found on Easter Wall.
If these routes were once cleaned up, they are no longer. Expect crumbly granite, rotten holds that break off, gear placements that are suspect or worthless, and button-head bolts with suspect hangers.
Roads once wound up close to the rock, but wilderness designation of much of the ridge since the routes were developed has made access more difficult, meaning long slogs up over 1,000 feet of loose soil and talus.
All of this means that you will be rewarded with solitude in a stunning area of great natural beauty. Just don't expect bullet-hard Sierra granite. Instead, expect spicy leads in the five-easy and moderate ranges. Other than the bolts, fixed pins, and the Stokes Litter hanging from South Face of Rock II, you will feel like you're on the FA of any route you choose.
Owens Ridge is accessed by driving to the parking area for the Owens Peak Trail, as described in the Indian Wells Canyon area entry.
from the parking area, walk down into the bottom of the canyon, then climb about 1,000 feet on loose soil and talus up ridges and along game trails to get to the rock, always aiming for your intended route (or appropriate notch if you're headed to a north face route).
Browse More Classics in Owens Ridge
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Owens Ridge:
Featured Route For Owens Ridge
5.5 R CA
: Sierra Eastside
: ... : Rock II - North Face
From the end of the rappel to the forest, a huge chimney is visible to the right. El Centro begins pretty much right in front of you, about 40 feet to the left of the big chimney.The route climbs a crack system up to and over the right end of a ragged arch about 200 feet off the deck. Once you're above the arch, traverse above it to the left into a crack that diagonals up and right. Follow this crack up to a system of ledges that you can see go back to the descent route. You could escape the...[more] Browse More Classics in CA
Located on the approach to Rock I, some bouldering...