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Mt. Muir
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East Buttress (w/ variations) T 
From the John Muir Trail T 
from trail by W + N ridge T 

from trail by W + N ridge 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 350'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
Page Views: 130
Submitted By: kenr on Aug 4, 2016

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Access limited from May to October every year MORE INFO >>>


Some very interesting moves on interesting rock to a nice summit of a much-desired peak. The sculpted granite in the bottom section is remarkable.

Start a bit left from the bottom of (northerly) West sub-ridge and scramble up diagonal right on talus about ten feet to get onto the crest of sub-ridge. Next up the remarkable sculpted rock of the sub-ridge, sometimes more on the right side of its crest (difficult around 5.4). Continue up on the crest a few more feet, looking left to find a point you can reach with not more low 5th class moves which also offers a way to exit left.

Next exit from the ridge crest Left down to the steep big talus field on the north side of the ridge. Up the talus, parallel to the left wall of the sub-ridge, until meet a steep short W-facing wall. Through the wall at a weakness about ten feet left from the left wall of the sub-ridge, and meet the North ridge of Mt Muir.

Turn right and up the north ridge: First a small overhang with a protruding rock like a gnarly tree branch (5.6). Then a gap about two feet wide and six feet deep, can be a taken with a somewhat dynamic move (5.6).
. (These first two moves are fairly outrageous to down-climb, especially if have not rehearsed them first going upward).

Continue up the North ridge with interesting-enough moves and navigation. But instead of continuing this directly all the way to the summit, drop down a few feet and traverse South across the west-facing slab, toward the _other_ (southerly) west sub-ridge (and thus join the "Normal" west side route). Up a little along the left side of this, then up Right onto its crest through a short wide crack. Finish up right side of summit block to the summit.

Descent: There are no known rappel anchors anywhere near the summit, so best to be prepared to down-climb back to the hiking trail. Least difficult is the Normal west side route. Traditionally said to be 3rd class, but a couple of moves more like 4th class with enough exposure to be scary. Also some non-obvious navigation. So if not sure about your on-sight down-climbing capabilites, might want to go up (and down) the Normal route first ahead of time, before trying this "W + N Ridge" route.

alternate Descent: Down-climb this route "W + N Ridge".
. (fairly intimidating if have not first climbed it upward, like if down-climbing this route as a variation in the Happy Cowboy edge traverse).
Might be tricky in lower section to find the best place to get up onto the crest of the sub-ridge, so instead could just continue scrambling west down the talus to reach the hiking trail.


Looking eastward up to Mt Muir from the hiking trail, two sub-ridges rise up from west up east to meet the main north-south ridge of Mt Muir. In between is a talus field going up to a west-facing rock slab. The summit is at the top of the right (S) of those sub-ridges. The left (N) sub-ridge is longer and more pronounced and looks like a slanted stack sculpted pancakes. It rises up steeply immediately from the hiking trail (latitude longitude appprox N36.5650 W118.2924). Start on the John Muir Trail about ten feet left (N) from the base of this (northerly) West sub-ridge.


Standard rack up to 2.5 inches. Plus various opportunities for slings in rock constrictions and horns.
No fixed equipment on the route.

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