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Re: Hiking along Matthes Crest

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Hiking along Matthes Crest
August 10, 2017 03:54PM
I will finally get to spend some time in the Tuolumne high country next week. There are so many peaks and ridges to choose from. The plan is to see how they look (after previewing with topo maps) and always allow turning back as a real option if uncomfortable.

Matthes Crest looks exhilarating - and the entire length of it is undoubtably beyond my current skills and comfort level. See this video for an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvvPVMdrzw8

So, I'm wondering if it is a ridge that could be approached from the north (from Echo Peaks/ Cockscomb) and followed south - maybe 1/2 or 2/3 of the way to the summit (10918') or if it's too narrow, and the views just as good from not too far south of Echo Peaks. The climb up from the south looks too much from the topo map.

BTW, I eventually noticed climbing carabiners (not attach-to-your-pack 'biners) and chalk bags dangling off the guys in the video linked above. That explains how they had the ability to just watch their footsteps and ignore the exposure. It makes Angel's Landing in Zion look like walking an aircraft carrier IMO.

Thoughts? Thanks.
avatar Re: Hiking along Matthes Crest
August 11, 2017 09:46PM
Yes, yes, yes. The ridge north of Matthes Crest is quite accessible going up from either Matthes Lake, Echo Lakes, and while Echo Peaks are easy to get to from the Budd/Cathedral saddle It does get a little trickier getting from Echo Peaks on over to the ridge north of Matthes. Last year I came down from the ridge down the drainage east of the Cockscomb...I would avoid that one. Looked benign enough on the topo...but it was, well, interesting.

That part of Matthes Crest Ridge is one of my favorite places in the park ( don't tell anybody....).
Bonus....when I was up there last fall I got spotty cell reception from the Sentinel Dome area so I could text pictures to friends and make them jealous!
The traverse of Matthes Ridge itself is on many climbers bucket lists. Experts only!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/11/2017 09:51PM by Bearproof.
Re: Hiking along Matthes Crest
August 21, 2017 12:50PM
We made it up to the Matthes Crest area and spent a few days exploring. The crest is spectacular - and I did get a bit south -- just to the first large granite block -- but not very far. The ridge between MC & Cockscomb is fun and simple. We didn't get from MC to Echo Peaks; it looks like there is an obvious ledge below (south) of the ridge top itself, but it is still covered in snow, so we skipped it. There was still plenty else to do.

From my turnaround point the view of the crest proper was wonderful. There were climbers on the ridge all week we were there. Watching them traverse the northern section hanging from the top of the knife-edge by hand was exhilarating just to watch.

I ran into several climbers at Tressider and Columbia Finger (warming up) that were later planning on heading over to the crest. Seems a popular climb, as you say. It's remarkable to me that there are *that* many people that can climb *that* difficult a route.
Re: Hiking along Matthes Crest
August 13, 2017 08:03AM
Yikes! That video made me queasy sitting on my couch.
avatar Re: Hiking along Matthes Crest
August 13, 2017 09:03PM
The people complaining about Clouds Rest should watch this!
Re: Hiking along Matthes Crest
August 23, 2017 04:48PM
Silly trees up there!
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