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Mt. Conness

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Mt. Conness Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 12,590'
Location: 37.9672, -119.3192 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 21,723
Administrators: M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: M.Morley on Jun 24, 2007
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southwest face from the start of the descent gully...

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Description 

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.

Getting There 

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.

Climbing Season



Weather station 5.1 miles from here

4 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',2],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',2],['5.11',0],['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]

Classic Climbing Routes in Mt. Conness

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Mt. Conness:
North Ridge   Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c     Trad, Alpine   
West Ridge   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 10 pitches, 1500'   
South West Face (Harding) Route   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 9 pitches, 1200'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Mt. Conness

Featured Route For Mt. Conness
Rock Climbing Photo: On the West Ridge of Mt. Conness

West Ridge 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b  CA : Yosemite National Park : ... : Mt. Conness
A fun back country route. Just stay on the ridge as much as possible for the best climbing on the best granite. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Mt. Conness Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Approach to North Ridge of Mt. Conness, absolutely...
Approach to North Ridge of Mt. Conness, absolutely...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking back down the Conness Lakes drainage to th...
BETA PHOTO: Looking back down the Conness Lakes drainage to th...
Rock Climbing Photo: These waterfalls are not only pretty, they also ma...
These waterfalls are not only pretty, they also ma...
Rock Climbing Photo: SW Face of Mt. Conness
SW Face of Mt. Conness
Rock Climbing Photo: Conness Lakes reflection
Conness Lakes reflection
Rock Climbing Photo: The SW Face of Mt. Conness
BETA PHOTO: The SW Face of Mt. Conness
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt. Conness SW Face
Mt. Conness SW Face
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt. Conness in warmer days
Mt. Conness in warmer days
Rock Climbing Photo: One of the streams that cuts through a meadow just...
One of the streams that cuts through a meadow just...
Rock Climbing Photo: North Ridge, Mt. Conness at day break
BETA PHOTO: North Ridge, Mt. Conness at day break
Rock Climbing Photo: Conness Glacier
BETA PHOTO: Conness Glacier
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt. Conness from a distance, Tioga Peak in the for...
Mt. Conness from a distance, Tioga Peak in the for...
Rock Climbing Photo: Conness summit and top of west ridge, from near th...
Conness summit and top of west ridge, from near th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking back at the lakes from the start to the No...
Looking back at the lakes from the start to the No...
Rock Climbing Photo: East Ridge of Conness as seen from the summit.
BETA PHOTO: East Ridge of Conness as seen from the summit.
Rock Climbing Photo: From pitch 7 (perhaps) high exposure on West ridge...
BETA PHOTO: From pitch 7 (perhaps) high exposure on West ridge...
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt. Conness on the approach from Saddlebag Lake.
BETA PHOTO: Mt. Conness on the approach from Saddlebag Lake.
Rock Climbing Photo: North and East Ridges of Conness seen from North P...
BETA PHOTO: North and East Ridges of Conness seen from North P...
Rock Climbing Photo: North West face of Coness
North West face of Coness
Rock Climbing Photo: From about half way up the stellar ridge.
From about half way up the stellar ridge.
Rock Climbing Photo: The notch at upper right can be seen from the flat...
BETA PHOTO: The notch at upper right can be seen from the flat...
Rock Climbing Photo: Conness Lakes and the start of the North Ridge, as...
Conness Lakes and the start of the North Ridge, as...
Rock Climbing Photo: This view on the approach is why I recommend the l...
This view on the approach is why I recommend the l...
Rock Climbing Photo: Taking in the views of Mt. Conness from the Connes...
Taking in the views of Mt. Conness from the Connes...

Show All 27 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Mt. Conness Add Comment
Show which comments
By Luke Stefurak
From: Seattle, WA
Sep 21, 2009
Approach beta from Sawmill Campground at Saddlebag Lake can be found here:
dreaminvertical.com/?p=1793
By Laine
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.
By Murf
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.
By kenr
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 .
By Nick_M
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.
Rock Climbing Photo: Get psyched!
Get psyched!
By Peter Valchev
From: Truckee, CA
Aug 7, 2015
Here's another photo of the approach, showing the rough location of the descent gully with respect to where you hit the summit plateau from the "notch" (in Luke's description). At the end of July, the climb didn't get into the sun until 10am - I wouldn't rush to get there early!

Rock Climbing Photo: Conness SW face, approximate route in red. In gree...
Conness SW face, approximate route in red. In green you can see the approach/descent after you go over the "notch" to the summit plateau. We left our backpacks at the blue dot and racked up there. (Photo taken from the air, above Young Lakes)

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