Owens Ridge North Face Rock Climbing
North Face of Rock I
The massive North Face of Owens Ridge can be seen from Highway 395, teasing northbound climbers on their way to Eastern Sierra destinations. Access to this beautiful rocky face is a lot more work than it appears, as you must scale the south face of the ridge from behind, then descend loose, steep gullies to get to the start of the numerous, long routes on the various rocks of the North Face.
The granite, while beautiful from a distance, is pretty horrific up close and in person. From grainy, crumbly rock that rolls away under your feet, to flakes and horns that come off in your hand, to saucer-sized peeling layers of seemingly sunburnt slab that disintegrate into gravel when touched, all difficulty ratings should be taken with a grain of salt, and climbers should limit themselves to routes a few number grades below what they would normally lead.
Established routes have indications that they were once "clean" and the occasional clean smear can be had, but most of the rock has little sign of climbing activity.
Owens Ridge is accessed by driving to the parking area for the Owens Peak Trail, as described in the Indian Wells Canyon
From the parking area, walk down into the bottom of the canyon, then climb about 1,000 feet on loose soil and talus up ridges and along game trails to get to the rock, aiming for the appropriate notch in the ridge between the rock you intend to climb and its neighbor. See specific rocks for detailed approach directions.
Climbing Season For the Sierra Eastside area.
Weather station 9.6 miles from here
1 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Owens Ridge North Face
El Centro 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
: Sierra Eastside
: ... : Rock II - North Face
From the end of the rappel to the forest, a huge chimney is visible to the right. El Centro begins pretty much right in front of you, about 40 feet to the left of the big chimney.The route climbs a crack system up to and over the right end of a ragged arch about 200 feet off the deck. Once you're above the arch, traverse above it to the left into a crack that diagonals up and right. Follow this crack up to a system of ledges that you can see go back to the descent route. You could escape the...[more] Browse More Classics in California
The North Face of Owens Ridge, as seen from a priv...