Correction to Secor
Mt Williamson (NE Ridge)
by Scotty Strachan
Starting from the end of the road leading to the mouth of Shepherd Creek
canyon (6200'), cross the creek to the south side and ascend 1.5mi through
3000' of sand to gain the crest of the ridge. Decomposing outcrops are
encountered during the next mile, with plenty of gendarmes and brush mixed
in. Pass most obstacles here on the south side. Around the 10,300' mark,
the real rock starts, with the ridge making three large undulations that
are difficult to negotiate (each lasting a couple-hundred yards each).
The first one may be passed on the north side by dropping onto some
3rd-class slabs via a narrow notch, and contouring to the far side.
The second involves a few places with exposed class 4 moves along the
crest. The crest is reduced to a knife-edge at the end of the second
undulation, and at this point the talus slopes on the south side can
be reached via a short steep chute/ledge system. At the end of the third
undulation (~11,000') the ridge turns almost 90° to the south, and is
broken by a large, highly visible v-shaped notch. In order to pass this
obstacle, traverse up the face on the right of the notch from right-to-left,
staying slightly below the crest on small ledges. Some careful route-finding
is needed to keep the difficulty low on these ledges. Negotiate a couple
gendarmes just before the notch, and then cross it (with decent exposure).
After this notch, take a small rocky ramp down on the right side of the
crest. Contour using a series of these ramps (class 3-4) along the right
side of the ridge towards a long talus slope facing northeast. Climb this
talus to the top of the slope (0.5mi), and get ready for one more technical
spot before the Horns. Stay on the crest and negotiate some more 4th class
moves, passing obstacles on the right. After a couple-hundred yards of this,
the base of the slope to the East Horn is reached (~12,800'). Ascend this
talus to the East Horn's summit. To negotiate the Horns, some rappels may
be desired. This description stays on the north (right) side of the crest,
and involves light 5th class downclimbing. Drop off the East Horn on the
west side, just to the left of a prominent vertical block. Follow some
slippery slabs around a corner to the right, and rappel (or downclimb)
a 30-40' chimney/chute. Look for class 3-4 slabs and ledges contouring
west towards the second Horn, passing two notches in the crest along
the way. The West Horn is easily ascended via 3rd class rock from the
second notch. Drop off the West Horn on the west side, on the right side
of the crest leading towards Williamson's summit plateau. A pair of
notches in this crest beckon, and follow a steep chute to the first
(and smaller of the two). The other side is an easy class 3 slope to
the base of the plateau. Traverse south (left) below the plateau for
less than a hundred yards, and then turn right up the sandy slope to
gain it. Cruise across the level ground to Williamson's summit.
The information provided in these pages is provided by
interested volunteers and has not been field checked.
R.J. Secor, The Mountaineers, the Sierra Club and climber.org
are in no way responsible for the accuracy of any route
advice on this web site.
Safe climbers must be able to understand the terrain
and topography of the area they travel in, and they
must make wise route finding choices based their own
knowledge, experience and observations.