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Northwest Ridge

4th, Trad, Alpine, 800 ft (242 m), Grade II,  Avg: 3.6 from 15 votes
FA: Jack Riegelhuth - 1933
California > High Sierra > 08 - Bishop Pas… > Mt Haeckel

Description

A steep and exposed scramble on good rock with a Class 4 section at the start of the route, before leveling off near the summit, after which it's superb and exposed Class 3 along a ridgeline.

Has a reputation for being a classic route, with good exposure and rock to a very small summit.

Location

Approach from camp at Hungry Packer Lake, follow the broad ridge north of the lake, first through small trees then rock steps and boulders, and Alpine terrain to a prominent notch on the high col north of the peak, at about 12,700 feet. The route is the broken ridge right of the shallow gully which runs almost to the summit. Near the start of the climb the approach snow can be fairly steep ice in late season of a good snow year.

I did not go the the notch but started the route lower down where the shallow gully met the snow - seemed like an easier start and cut short the slogging.

Without the snow it's a monstrous talus slog - so early season is recommended.

Descent is by way of the South/East slope at Class 3 into the basin south east of the peak, stay high so as to pass over the low point of the long broad East Ridge and back to your approach route.

Protection

Non required - heady solo. Or small diameter rope and a few nuts/slings. Crampons and Ice Axe seasonal.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Looking over to Haeckel
[Hide Photo] Looking over to Haeckel
Rock on the upper ridge, solid.
[Hide Photo] Rock on the upper ridge, solid.
Looking down from the top of the gully from the low point on the east ridge. This is where you head down to meet with your approach route (from what I understand). The gully was loose but is short and over quickly.
[Hide Photo] Looking down from the top of the gully from the low point on the east ridge. This is where you head down to meet with your approach route (from what I understand). The gully was loose but is short…
Looking down from a little below where the ridge takes a left turn toward the summit - just above the second mini notch in the ridge crest.
[Hide Photo] Looking down from a little below where the ridge takes a left turn toward the summit - just above the second mini notch in the ridge crest.
About halfway up the ridge.
[Hide Photo] About halfway up the ridge.
Approach to start of climb - unpleasant.
[Hide Photo] Approach to start of climb - unpleasant.
High on the route
[Hide Photo] High on the route
Getting onto the ridge
[Hide Photo] Getting onto the ridge

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

GCC
Reno, NV
 
[Hide Comment] Highly recommended route with great rock! Jul 16, 2016
Kayla Truong
Santa Ana, CA
[Hide Comment] From Echo Lake to the saddle between Wallace and Haeckel (approximately near 37.150359, -118.659026) the terrain is 3rd class rock scramble. From that saddle and ascending on the Northeast Arere of Haeckel is 4th and 5th class. Do-able, yes, but definitely harder. Friends and I did this approach only because we camped at Moonlight only to find the route from our approach was a little more than we bargained. Going behind Haeckel in order to even start the climb from Northwest looked steep and very loose. But if anyone wants to try it let us all know how it goes. :)
Aug 15, 2016
FrankPS
Atascadero, CA
[Hide Comment] ^^^^

From the Wallace - Haeckel col to the summit of Haeckel, the route is the South Ridge. South Ridge is mostly Class 2, with a couple of short Class 3 sections. Aug 20, 2016
Fat Dad
Los Angeles, CA
 
[Hide Comment] Stellar climb on a beautiful peak. Wonderful campsite at Hungry Packer as well. Talus isn’t any worse than your average Sierra peak. Jul 2, 2019
JJ Klingler
CA
  4th
[Hide Comment] This is a very reasonable day trip from Sabrina Lake in summer. The approach and descent go quick for the mileage and the climb is pretty short (took about 40 minutes).
The climb is solid and enjoyable staying on the very crest and the peak has a cool summit.
The summit register (metal cylinder) is missing its lid and the pad was wet even though it was in a ziplock bag somehow.
If you come across a register missing a part, damaged, new pad needed, no register etc. there is a pages to report it to to hopefully get it fixed.
Summitregister.org Jul 18, 2021