Kris Gorny's picture of Mount Mendel seen from the...
The steep north face of Mt. Mendel, visible from Lamarck Col, hosts two High Sierra ice climbing testpieces: Right Mendel Couloir (AI5) and Left Mendel Couloir, aka Ice 9, (AI5+).
Getting to Lamarck Col with heavy packs is a whole day event. This is a 6 mile hike with 2,600' elevation gain. Obtain wilderness permits at the ranger station in Bishop (get there early, it's a popular trail and only few passes are given on a walk in basis). Take route 168 to North Lake. Car may be parked at an overnight parking lot 0.5 miles from the trailhead. Begin with 2 miles on well-marked Lamarck Lakes Trail until Upper Lamarck Lake. Continue on X-country trail on the south side of the lake (the lake should be on your right as you pass it). The trail starts with the slight descent into a 100 yard rocky groove, climbs up its southern end, winds and goes up and down for a while until climbing steep slopes towards the plateau before Lamarck Cole. Most bivy sites are located on the western slopes of Lamarck Cole but convenient and less populated bivy sites are also located at the lake just below the Lamarck Col on its eastern side.
Weather station 4.4 miles from here
1 Total Routes
['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Mt. Mendel
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Mt. Mendel:
Featured Route For Mt. Mendel
Right Mendel Couloir 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
WI3 Steep Snow CA
: High Sierra
: ... : Mt. Mendel
The north face of Mt. Mendel is cut by two twin gullies (see photo). The one to the right is the route. The gully to the left is the harder Ice Nine. Cross the chossy bergshrund and ascend 400' of steep snow to the bottom of the ice section. Continue past an ice bulge into the couloir. Follow the 60 degree ice for about 4 pitches. Another 2 pitches in the mixed terrain lead to the notch below the summit, on the western side of the mountain. From there, a short 10 feet rap from a bolt to the ledg...[more] Browse More Classics in CA
By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
Dec 8, 2006
Description and supporting text for this area originally posted by Kris Gorny under Darwin Canyon. I have copied it here verbatim, and added his Right Mendel Coulior route submission also. Thanks for the submission Kris - I just want to keep the routes with the peaks they're on.
Jan 9, 2011
Although you'll get less ice, I believe this route is best done earlier rather than later in the season when the bowl is nicely filled with firm snow. Think June-ish most years. I've done the route three times in this fashion. The good part is that the lower angle climbing is all snow, and then when it gets steep, you're on ice. Also, early season, the ice is likely to be in better shape.