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Merriam Peak

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Direct North Buttress T 
Dr. Bear Love Project T 
Flying Buttress, The T 
Gargoyle T 
Triple Cracks Project T 

Merriam Peak  


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 13,077'
Location: 37.3088, -118.7651 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 23,039
Administrators: Chris Owen, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Chris Owen on Jan 4, 2008
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Merriam Peak on the left - North Buttress goes up ...

Description 

The southernmost of a trio of peaks (Merriam, Royce, Feather) which enclose the west side of the Royce Lakes Cwm - or Hall of the Mountain Gods as I call it. As such the area is unique in the High Sierra, as the peaks immediately west of the official crest are higher than the crest peaks.

Not only is there a classic IV 5.10 on the north buttress of this peak, but there has also been significant new route development there in the last few years, by Peter Croft, Lisa Rands and others.

Getting There 

Take the Pine Creek Road off Highway 395 to the Pine Creek trailhead, by the Tungsten Mill. Hike up an old road switchbacking its way monotonously up to the forest, then round the corner and into the much better scenery at Pine Lake. Head around the north side of the lake and take the trail, past Upper Pine Lake, to Honeymoon Lake, continue to follow the trail to Granite Park but cut south west when above the lake and head cross-country up and over Royce Pass (11,680ft). Head straight west to a wonderful gravel spot just north of the middle (largest) of Royce Lakes. A spectacular place.

Alternate route recommended by Squiddo and more than likely easier:

On the way back we took the alternate approach that heads West from the Southern end of the Royce Lakes Basin and travels across some very pleasant terrain to meet the Pine Creek Pass trail right below French lake above Pine Creek pass itself. The second part of this trail was very well cairned out and obviously used/loved/maintained.

Perhaps 1 hour max from the end of Royce Lakes to the Pine Lake Pass trail.

Climbing Season



Weather station 4.8 miles from here

5 Total Routes

['4 Stars',2],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',1],['5.11',4],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Merriam Peak:
Direct North Buttress   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 1000'   
The Flying Buttress   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 800'   
Browse More Classics in Merriam Peak

Featured Route For Merriam Peak
The Route.

Direct North Buttress 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13  CA : High Sierra : Merriam Peak
The entire route entails some challenging but very fun diverse climbing. The crux 10.b lies on the Seventh pitch. It is definitely a Classic and must DO!Total of seven technical Pitches with an additional 300' feet of Class 3ish to reach the Summit proper....[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Merriam Peak Slideshow Add Photo
Weird evening light on Merriam Peak in some nasty weather.
Weird evening light on Merriam Peak in some nasty ...
Great day... new route?? If anyone has done any FA's on this peak that aren't well known, I'd be curious to hear from you about them.  Regardless, this was a great climb.
Great day... new route?? If anyone has done any FA...
moonlit Merriam
moonlit Merriam
Merriam Peak's North Buttress highlighted by early morning light. Royce Lakes Basin.
Merriam Peak's North Buttress highlighted by early...
The classic triple crack pitch
BETA PHOTO: The classic triple crack pitch
The third pitch headed up towards the corner
The third pitch headed up towards the corner
Looking back down the 2nd pitch, linked easily with the 1st
BETA PHOTO: Looking back down the 2nd pitch, linked easily wit...
Early morning light on Merriam Peak in Royce Lakes Basin.
Early morning light on Merriam Peak in Royce Lakes...
North Buttress of Merriam Peak
BETA PHOTO: North Buttress of Merriam Peak
Some recent inquiries inspired me to post another pic of our potential new route 7/5/08.  My wife and I aimed toward the V shaped roof (hands) which exited to a tapering to fingers splitter crack.  We traversed R at the second roof to gain a R facing corner for a couple pitches (tips to OW).  This led us to a notch (on left) that traversed into the North Buttress route.  5.10+, III ish.
BETA PHOTO: Some recent inquiries inspired me to post another ...
These are the new Croft-Rands routes: <br /> <br />Red is the Gargoyle (5.11b) <br />Green is the Flying Buttress (5.11a)
BETA PHOTO: These are the new Croft-Rands routes:

Red is the ...

Comments on Merriam Peak Add Comment
Show which comments
By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Aug 2, 2012
Great to see so much route activity - well deserved.
By squiddo
From: Mountain View, CA
Sep 7, 2012
Climbed this route last weekend and we had the place to ourselves. Overall a fun route in an incredible area. I do take issue with the description on the approach. We hiked in following the Honeymoon Lake towards Italy pass to the cross country area. Frankly from the moment you step off the trail its a rugged with many rocks/boulders to avoid.

ON the way back we took the alternate approach that heads West from the Southern end of the Royce Lakes Basin and travels across some very pleasant terrain to meet the Pine Creek Pass trail right below French lake above Pine Creek pass itself. The second part of this trail was very well cairned out and obviously used/loved/maintained.

Perhaps 1 hour max from the end of Royce Lakes to the Pine Lake Pass trail.

Of the two approaches, the latter was WAY better and easier. It might be a tad longer but the trail and terrain MORE than makes up for it.
By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Jan 12, 2013
Thanks Squiddo, I've posted it in the main description.
By Rude Boy
From: San Francisco, CA
May 21, 2013
The middle of a trio of peaks (Royce, Merriam, Feather) which enclose the west side of the Royce Lakes Cwm

No, it's the southern most peak. Royce is in the middle. Feather is on the northern edge.
By Chris Owen
Administrator
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Oct 21, 2013
Thank you, it has been corrected.