Mendenhall Couloir [Edit]
Avg: 2.8 from 43 votes
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 3000 ft, Grade III|
|FA:||John Mendenhall, James Van Patten, 9/7/1930|
|Page Views:||5,486 total · 43/month|
|Shared By:||Tavis Ricksecker on Dec 1, 2007|
|Admins:||Chris Owen, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes|
This is the huge gully on the east face of Laurel Mountain, easily visible from the hot tubs down in Long Valley. The route starts at the Convict Lake parking area. Take the lake trail around the north side of the lake. At the far end of the lake there is a junction, stay straight (right) as the lake trail drops down to the left. After half a mile or so, the trail crosses an old creekbed. You can see it leading up to the gully above to your right. Follow the creekbed to the gully, and proceed up the gully. Depending on season the bottom of the gully may or may not be full of snow. I had to bypass the snow and ice by climbing choss on the gully's right side. Eventually, I was able to come down to the bottom of the gully again. The rock in the bottom of the gully is quite good, blue limestone, very unusual for the sierras. The climbing comes in steps... 20 feet of steep (though always easy) rock, then flat for a while, then another rock step. After a while, the gully steepens but stays easy. It winds to the left and then back to the right again, shooting straight for the summit to the right of a very steep buttress. Eventually the gully opens out onto the scree slopes that lead to the summit proper. Whew! Descebd to the north, then down snow and scree slopes to the east, eventually picking up a faint trail through the brush that leads south back down to Convict Lake. Now buy yourself a beer and go soak in the hot tubs!
None needed. You could bring a rope but there's no pro anyway.