The Other Matterhorn

Belay in the shade, about halfway up.

A couple of weeks ago we combined a technical climbing route with a backpacking loop by carrying as-light-as-we-could-make-it climbing gear and camping crap up to the summit of North Arête of Matterhorn Peak, part of Sawtooth Ridge and the beginning of the “High Sierra.”

Monkeyflower along an alpine stream.

We continued the loop by continuing over the ridge, carrying our [now] camping gear and [now] climbing crap down the backside of the peak and through the alpine country of northern Yosemite, south of Sawtooth Ridge where the Matterhorn lies. The peak bears no real resemblance to the venerable Swiss mountain, but it was aesthetic nonetheless.

Thanks to a great weather forecast, we didn’t even carry a shelter, which made our packs even lighter. We got a classic route on beautiful golden granite, plus alpine lakes, wildflowers, the aftermath of a huge fall windstorm, and no crowds. What’s not to love?

Sawtooth Ridge From Bridgeport
Sawtooth Ridge From Bridgeport, CA. (Photo credit: Averain)
Approaching the base of the North Arête of the Matterhorn (center) over softening snow.
Traversing out, admiring the rock and the view to the north.
Having a larger pack definitely made the climbing more challenging!
Bagel with a view (chive + onion cream cheese on whole wheat).
Mike leads up a sub-arête next to the main arête..
The summit! Time for lunch. And now, about getting down …
I was very psyched to be carrying our horrendously expensive but comically light titanium cookpot. The light stuff is worth every penny when you’re carrying it on your back!
We were amazed at the number and size of healthy trees that went down in a windstorm last fall.

3 thoughts on “The Other Matterhorn

  1. see now, if it weren’t for your screaming yellow his-n-hers backpacks, we wouldn’t’ve seen you against the rocks.

  2. “Climbing crap” –is that a climbers term??? Never heard it before, but I guess it fits the situation. Great pictures as usual–you guys amaze me at the places that you find. I think it’s great!!

    Love Dad

    1. Thanks, Dad! Climbing ‘gear’ becomes climbing ‘crap’ once you no longer need it for travel, but you have to carry it on your back anyway. It was a fun trip … I’m sure there will be more to come! Love, Carolyn

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