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Start the route as you would start Mendenhall couloir. Climb up the 4th class steps including the crux chimney before you get to a fork about 2/5ths up. At the large red rock bend continue going straight and right towards a prominent rib. Mendenhall Couloir will be to your left. On your right will be a steep vertical drop off to another gully. As you start up the rib at some point the climbing will get steeper. And you will reach a few headwalls. There will be one easier one, and one a bit harder. Exposure at the headwalls is great. One involves stepping on a fairly unstable flake to climb that headwall. I broke the top half of it in order to create a semi stable foot hold. Continue up the rib. Keep on the crest at all times when possible. Climbing is really fun, scenic, and exposed. Most of the rock is actually solid, but use your best judgement. This is a great alternative to the regular route. Great for some cardio. Whole thing took me 4 hours car to car without being in any hurry.
It is a prominent rib right of Mendenhall Couloir
I soloed this route and did not bring any protection. If you are thinking of protecting it bring a few small to medium cams and a 30M rope for a few cruxy steps
Laurel Mountain, reflection in Convict lake
View down from little ways up the rib
Knife Edge ridge a long ways up
BETA PHOTO: Steepness of one of the headwalls
Cool climbing on a ridge
BETA PHOTO: More sharp ridge traversing
BETA PHOTO: Looking back at the top part of the ridge
Ridge is lined with interesting rock spikes, like ...
Summit of Laurel Mountain
|By tom donnelly|
Aug 12, 2013
We started a bit left of the red rock in your line in the picture, and joined it before the upper headwall. The rock is questionable and pro is sketchy at the crux sections, especially compared to something like the west ridge of Conness.
|By Preston Rhea|
From: Mammoth Lakes
Nov 18, 2013
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a
The rock is considerably worse than the regular Mendenhall Couloir. It feels like sandstone in the process of turning back into sand. The climbing is never too hard and the route is fun and aesthetic. All of that said, though fun, I can't see myself doing it again. I don't like feeling like the rock is going to all crumble to dust beneath me.