MT LYELL - NORTHWEST RIDGE ~ (72) imagesJune 8-12, 2021
The last big effort of the 2021 season. Seems like May is already a distant memory now that the crowds, heat and bugs have arrived in the high country. On my long but scenic approach via Rush Creek / Spookey Canyon I lost count of the huge numbers of PCT thru hikers - some doing sections, others going for the full enchilada. One thing I did not see this entire season is another climber. Kind of odd. Anyway, the std route on Lyell is a real classic. As usual it seems at odds with the Secor description of the route rated at class 2-3. While the summit ridge is indeed class two, the fine solid rock found on the face just left of the upper col is not class 3. If it is, it's 3+ no fall climbing. Steep, solid and gifted with holds in all the right places. Most likely there are other ways to go, but the intuitive way was even marked by several small cairns. Down-climbing the route is definitely the crux. The view from the top is not to be missed.