Choices, choices, choices... Approaching the North Couloirs of North Peak
North Peak (12,242 ft.)
II, 50+ degrees North Peak is a unique and special alpine peak of the Sierra. The three North couloirs hold fantastic alpine neve and later in the season, pure alpine ice. The climbing is perfect. The right couloir is the most consistently good and it averages just over 50 degrees, which feels plenty steep when the ice is bullet hard, but there is a bergschrund that to cross often involves near vertical ice climbing. It is around five pitches long and at its top you emerge into the sun and climb pleasurable 3rd and 4th class rock to the plateau just below the summit. At that point, welcome to the scenic boundary of Yosemite National Park!
There are many couloirs in the Sierra as enjoyable to climb as this one, but none are so accessible. Thanks to the road to Saddlebag Lake we start the journey above 10,000 feet and can get to the couloir in a few short hours of hiking. This makes a perfect alpine experience and a great peak traverse. If you are up for the challenge, try enchaining North Peak with the North Ridge of Mt. Conness for the ultimate big Sierra alpine day.
course will never be cancelled due to lack of
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