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Mt. Humphreys

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
East Arete T 
Hutchinson Route T 
Southwest Slope and Northwest Face T 

Mt. Humphreys Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 13,986'
Location: 37.2705, -118.673 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 9,179
Administrators: Chris Owen, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: brucelacroix on Jul 26, 2009
Forecast:
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Mt. Humphreys in the evening from the outlet of La...

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  • Description 

    At 13,986 ft., Mt. Humphreys is the 14th highest peak in California. It is also ranked number 70 in the contiguous US. and one of 15 Sierra emblem peaks. The regular route is class 4.

    Getting There 

    Humphreys Basin:
    To get there, from Bishop, take Route 168, to North Lake. Past North Lake there is a campground. The Piute Pass trail leaves from here. Take the trail to Piute Pass. Five miles, 2,100' el. gain to 11,423'. From Piute Pass, you can see Mt. Humphreys to the north. Hike over Humphreys Basin to the base of the southWest slope, there are campsites at one of the numerous little tarns.

    East Face Approach:
    The best approach is via Buttermilk Rd. off of 168. Turn right on to Buttermilk Road which is a dirt road. This road leads to the buttermilk bouldering area and is drivable in most vehicles. However, once you reach the Buttermilks the road quickly deteriorates. Drive over a cattle guard, there will be a left and right turn but head straight. Now the fun begins. Good clearance is highly recommended. Essentially you want to stay on the main road till its end. There will be turns and roads that branch off and it wont always be obvious which way stays on the main road. At 2.3 miles from that cattle guard at the bouldering area the road starts to curve significantly to your left. At 3.5 miles you reach a fork , go right. Drive through an aspen grove past some campsites drive over a small creek where the road turns hard left and heads up a hill. This hill can hold snow depending on time of year. At about 4 miles the road forks, go right, and then very quickly the road forks again, go right again. At 4.4 miles stay right, shortly after you see a turn to the right stay straight and then shortly after a left turn, stay straight again. Continue on and at about 5.5 mile you head up a steep winding section. Follow the road to its end in a small parking area at about 6 miles.

    Climbing Season

    For the 07 - Humphreys Basin, Pine Creek and Granite Park area.

    Weather station 4.8 miles from here

    3 Total Climbing Routes

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

    Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Mt. Humphreys:
    Southwest Slope and Northwest Face   4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b     Trad, Alpine, Grade II   
    East Arete   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, Alpine, Grade III   
    Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Mt. Humphreys

    Featured Route For Mt. Humphreys
    Rock Climbing Photo: Sketch of the route.  Obviously not to scale.

    East Arete 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c  CA : High Sierra : ... : Mt. Humphreys
    This is a nice ridge with a ton of 3rd/4th class climbing and a few short 5th class sections mixed in.Follow the ridge towards Peak 13,151’ staying on the ridge as it tries to spit you off to the left (South). Climb fun 3rd and 4th class and walk the cool knife edge ridge as pictured in Croft’s guide. As you near Peak 13,151 you are forced off the ridge to the South and must make a few 5th class moves and meander back and forth to reach the summit of Peak 13,151’. From here you descend the...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

    Photos of Mt. Humphreys Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: The "side walk" on the East Arete
    The "side walk" on the East Arete
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mine and Jonathan's Winter ascent 2008!!! :)
    Mine and Jonathan's Winter ascent 2008!!! :)
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mt. Humphreys from the Buttermilk Country. Photo b...
    Mt. Humphreys from the Buttermilk Country. Photo b...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The Southwest Face of Mt. Humphreys.
    BETA PHOTO: The Southwest Face of Mt. Humphreys.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mt Humphreys emerging from the storm clouds
    Mt Humphreys emerging from the storm clouds
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mt. Humphrey's. Photo by Blitzo.
    Mt. Humphrey's. Photo by Blitzo.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Humphreys reflected in Tadpole Tarn.
    Humphreys reflected in Tadpole Tarn.

    Comments on Mt. Humphreys Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Chris Owen
    Administrator
    From: Big Bear Lake
    Sep 13, 2010
    This is one of the more difficult "main" peaks of the High Sierra and it's visible from many parts of the mountain range.
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 15, 2013
    No boy scout troops adding inane comments to this summit register, that's for sure! ;-)
    By John Stackfleth
    Mar 29, 2014
    Fantastic routes. However, if you plan on climbing the technical routes on the east side of Humphrey then ignore the posted directions on this site. The best approach is via Buttermilk rd. off of 168. Turn right on to Buttermilk road which is a dirt road. This road leads to the buttermilk bouldering area and is drivable in most vehicles. However, once you reach the Buttermilks which is obvious due to the masses of crash pads and the field of giant boulders the road quickly deteriorates past this point. You will drive over a cattle guard, there will be a left and right turn but head straight. Now the fun begins. Good clearance is highly recommended but I have seen a Subaru outback make the trek with patient driving and navigation. Essentially you want to stay on the main road till its end which seems like eternity. There will be turns and roads that branch off and it wont always be obvious which way stays on the main road. I can tell you at 2.3 miles from that cattle guard at the Bouldering area the road starts to curve significantly to your left. At 3.5 miles you reach a fork , go right. Drive through an aspen grove past some campsites drive over a small creek where the rd turns hard left and heads up a hill. This hill can hold snow depending on time of year. At about 4 miles the rd forks, go right, and then very quickly the rd forks again, go right again. At 4.4 miles stay right, shortly after you see a turn to the right stay straight and then shortly after a left turn, stay straight again. Continue on and at about 5.5 mile you head up a steep windy section. Follow the rd to its end in a small parking area at about 6 miles. If climbing the East arete continue reading. From the parking area follow the trail up the shallow wash for about a 1/4 mile. At this point the trail fades away and flattens out. Begin heading leftish through sage brush. You will see a shallow ridgeline in front of you that meets up with a small outcropping of granite. This is what you want to aim for. ***Do not go over that ridge and down*** Instead head around the rock outcropping to its left or right. Either way you have some steep loose terrain to hike for about a 1/4 mile but it will feel much longer than that. Head more or less straight up this hill till it flattens out a bit and the vegetation clears up. When you top out this small hill you will see a small lake and a drainage coming off of it. It will appear more or less to your left as you look up at humphrey. Laying just behind that will also be a chossy looking ridge line which is not the East arete. Instead head rightish and above that lake towards a notch. You will be traveling in some very sandy terrain on a gradual slope. When you reach that notch you are at the base of the East arete. Head left, staying higher on the ridge holds better rock and more exposure. Follow the ridge to the summit. Plan on a really full day to complete this route.
    By Chris Owen
    Administrator
    From: Big Bear Lake
    Nov 3, 2015
    John I have added an abridged version of the eastern approach in "Getting There", thanks for your write up.

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