Mt Conness (12,590 ft)

28 Aug 2004 - by Dee Booth

On August 28th, Diane Medrano and I, Dee Booth, ventured forth to Saddlebag Lake to climb the east ridge of Mt. Conness. We crossed the spillway from the dam on Saddlebag Lake and walked a short distance around the lake before starting up the talus slope to the ridge. The top of the ridge is very broad and strewn with shale which makes a nice flat surface to walk on. After a while, there is a drop off which separates the dark shale from the pinkish granite where the ridge begins to climb.

The ridge is easy, fun class two up to a wide plateau. One can take a scree chute to the south and bypass the rest of the ridge or continue west getting back onto the ridge. We chose to continue on the ridge which becomes exposed class three. We ran the ridge until drop offs forced us to downclimb the ridge on the south side about 20 feet bypassing the notches on ledges until we could get back on the ridge. At times it is possible to walk right on top of the ridge, guaranteed to get your heart rate up.

As the ridge begins to climb we moved to the south and followed the many use trails up the scree to a notch and onto the plateau. This is where you get your first glimpse of the lovely, snaking ridge to Conness' summit. There are several ducks marking the point at which you come up onto the plateau. Take note because it is difficult to distinguish this point from a distance. A short walk across the sandy plateau leads to the class two ridge to the summit.

Returning, we crossed the plateau and dropped down where we had come up. We did not downclimb the ridge but followed the use trails to a point below the ridge where we could traverse to the afore mentioned sandy chute. It is a short but tedious climb up the loose sand back to the plateau that divides the ridge. We retraced our steps back down the ridge to Saddlebag Lake.

Round trip time was about 9 hours and 3,400 feet of elevation.

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