Ragged Peak via the north couloir
(ugly from afar, but charming in person)

19 Sep 2012 - by Robert Walton (view roster page)

Michael Russell and I left the lowest of the Young Lakes at 9:30 on a perfect Sierras morning. We began climbing Ragged Peak's north couloir on its west side following a faint climber's trail. The footing was good and we quickly gained several hundred feet of height. We traversed left into the lower couloir's main bowl through some large, easy boulders. We exited this bowl on its west side and climbed between boulders and disconnected slabs. We reached the upper bowl and decided to stay high on its west side, again following a climbers' trail. Large boulders just before the saddle provided a few easy (and not obligatory) 3rd class moves. The south slope trail was obvious from here and we reached the summit before 11:00 even with a long sightseeing break at the saddle.

Spectacular views of Banner, Ritter, Lyell, the Clarks and the Cathedrals made this one of our favorite summits. The scramble to the register was also not without interest. We took a different descent route down the north couloir, staying to the east. This route was mostly dirt and decomposed granite. It was considerably looser than our ascent route, but fine for descent.


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