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Laurel Mountain
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Mendenhall Couloir 
SE Rib 

SE Rib 

YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ British: MS 4a

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 3000', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ British: MS 4a [details]
FA: Vitaliy Musiyenko solo (maybe)
Page Views: 928
Submitted By: SirTobyThe3rd on Jun 9, 2013
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Laurel Mountain, reflection in Convict lake

Description 

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.


Location 

It is a prominent rib right of Mendenhall Couloir


Protection 

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



Photos of SE Rib Slideshow Add Photo
Summit of Laurel Mountain
Summit of Laurel Mountain
Cool climbing on a ridge
Cool climbing on a ridge
Looking back at the top part of the ridge
BETA PHOTO: Looking back at the top part of the ridge
View down from little ways up the rib
View down from little ways up the rib
Knife Edge ridge a long ways up
Knife Edge ridge a long ways up
More sharp ridge traversing
BETA PHOTO: More sharp ridge traversing
Mendenhall Couloir and SE rib
BETA PHOTO: Mendenhall Couloir and SE rib
Ridge is lined with interesting rock spikes, like ones on a dinosaur's spine
Ridge is lined with interesting rock spikes, like ...
Steepness of one of the headwalls
BETA PHOTO: Steepness of one of the headwalls
Comments on SE Rib Add Comment
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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.

By SirTobyThe3rd
Jan 28, 2014

Did you guys do the mantel from a semi unstable flake by any chance? That seemed pretty awkward/scary to me. Wonder if there is an obvious way to get around that..
The rock on this route is not like West Ridge that's for sure. But what can you expect from a pile like Laurel? It is not granite. But I thought the position, the original sandy rock, and the knife-edge ridge up there were pretty cool. I don't think I will go back, but only because there is SO MUCH more to do in the Sierra. What an awesome range we got here!

By Preston Rhea
From: Mammoth Lakes
Feb 19, 2014
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a

I was soloing and climbed up that flake a couple times, but never committed to the mantle. It freaked me out and I couldn't tell what the holds above it were like. Instead, I downclimbed a bit and traversed climber's left to a line that looked less insecure. It wasn't really any better, but I was a bit more committed at that point so I climbed on from there.