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 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.