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Routes in Mount Starr King

Southeast Face T Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c
West Face of Mount Starr King T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
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Type: Trad, Alpine, 350 ft, 2 pitches
FA: George Anderson, James Hutchings, and Jean Baptiste Lembert, 1877
Page Views: 2,401 total · 38/month
Shared By: Justin Johnsen on May 28, 2013
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


Follow the path of least resistance - or whichever variation catches your eye - up two pitches, to where the summit can be approached by a class 3 scramble.


At the gap between the middle and north domes of Mount Starr King. The obvious path of least resistance is the Southeast Face.

May be rapped with one or two 60+ m ropes. Another belay station was out of order when I visited; your mileage may vary, so as always have some slings and leaver gear handy.


Standard rack. Not a lot of pro, but adequate and pretty typical of an alpine climb in the easy 5. range.


ahh. starr king! hope future entries are vague to keep the adventure alive out there.

Was able to rap this with 1 70m rope/3raps. temporarily got the rope stuck trying to pull from under the small roof. had to extend a couple alpine draws from sling anchor to harness to swing out right and get the rope to move. May 28, 2013
Justin Johnsen
Sacramento, CA
Justin Johnsen   Sacramento, CA  
Fine point, S., anyone who'll climb this will have the orienteering chops to find it. May 28, 2013
Worster than you
Lafayette, CA
Worster than you   Lafayette, CA
Everyone sees a route differently, but I thought it went much closer to the 5.2 to 5.0 range. I also remember having placements where I wanted them so I didn't go with the PG13 rating. I'm not some stud climber, but just wanted others to know this route shouldn't cause too much intimidation. Starr King being what it is, Justin may have gone a totally different line from me that truly was 5.6 PG13! Jun 29, 2013
Justin Johnsen
Sacramento, CA
Justin Johnsen   Sacramento, CA  
Hey W., thanks for the input. I actually saw this same kind of spread happening among online reviews of the route, and between my parties (which wandered off-line and thought it 5.6ish) and our friends' party behind us that went directly up, and thought it so easy that they weren't thinking about protection (class 4 or easy 5.).

Since this route is public domain, I'll update my description and rating soon to reflect the FA party's and historical majority's ratings based on the typical route, not base on my fringe experience of it. Jul 2, 2013
Worster than you
Lafayette, CA
Worster than you   Lafayette, CA
BTW, I think the third FA guy was "Lembert" Jul 7, 2013
Justin Johnsen
Sacramento, CA
Justin Johnsen   Sacramento, CA  
Thanks W. can't believe I missed that connection! I just saw pictures of Lembert out the Parsons Lodge in Tuolumne the other week. Sep 24, 2013
Los Angeles, CA
hikingdrew   Los Angeles, CA
We were able to do this comfortably with 2 raps of ~170' on two 60m ropes tied.

First rap anchor emerged out of blocks at the bottom of the 2/3 class scramble to the summit. Second rap anchor hidden behind triangle shaped block at the big belay ledge. Both look recent, blue 1" webbing on second rap marked 7/13.

The other intermediate rap anchors looked sketchy, one underneath the overhanging slab and the second at a small block down and to the right of the big belay ledge. Sep 1, 2014
jt newgard
Ventura, CA
jt newgard   Ventura, CA
Best part about this route for us was visiting the Yosemite backcountry. We backpacked it and didn't see anyone else the whole time ... in Yosemite ??

We bivy/camped at the saddle between the two lower bumps which made for a very fine evening. Bats were heard fluttering at dusk.

Just wish the climb was a little longer as the friction bits were quite exciting for a new leader. I was pleased to find some comforting gear placements here and there. Sep 6, 2017

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