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From Twin Lakes hike south along the Horse Creek Trail, when it heads up and left keep going south along Horse Creeek, at about 8600' cut right and head up steep terrain towards the peak. Limited campsites.
The climbing difficulty is fairly consistent throughout. The first pitch involves some rotten rock and is poorly protected. The last two pitches below the summit ridge are probably the hardest, and feel more like 5.8 than 5.6, but they also have the sweetest moves and the best rock. Once on the summit ridge, move toward the southwest and trend up toward the summit.
About 7 pitches. (A direct start start, 5.9, begins at the toe of the buttress). Hike up left of the toe of the buttress and follow a CL4 corner and ramp to a large ledge at the top of the direct start (2 pitches, 5.7).For about 2 pitches stay right of the buttress (5.7), then pass through a notch, and trend left towards the finishing corner (see photo, or climb arete to left to avoid masochism), left of the main arete (3 pitches 5.7). Final steep crack is the crux.
The ridge to the summit is then followed for about 2 pitches.
Descent: Head down to the east gully, and follow it either on loose scree, or nice snow depending upon the season.
There are no bolts or fixed anchors. Bring a full rack, up to the size of a #3 Camalot.
Corner pitch near the top of the climb.
Peter Pribik leading the awesome 5.7 finish pitch ...
BETA PHOTO: First pitch - we encountered a stuck cam here, so ...
Crossing the couloir over to the start of the Nort...
Me leading final pitch up 5.7 corner. Pic by Just...
Looking down from near the summit
Peter Pribik on the summit of Matterhorn Peak, wit...
By Chris Owen
From: La Crescenta and Big Bear Lake
Jul 26, 2006
Jake, I've upgraded it to 5.7. There used to be a fixed pin in the final crack, perhaps it's gone.
From: San Jose, CA
Aug 1, 2010
Note that Fiddler & Moynier's Climbing California's High Sierra: The Classic Climbs on Rock and Ice has a diagram that shows this route starting from the opposite couloir (west) instead of east. Secor and supertopo show it starting from the east couloir, so that's what we did.
Having a #4 on the last pitch was good, as it widens out in places, but I'm sure the more accomplished wide fetishists can do without :)