North Peak - Conness Traverse
RCK 3MTN 1What is this?


North Peak - Conness TRAVERSE: Fun, moderate climbing with two cool summits in a long day.  Beautiful back country hiking, 3rd & 4th class scrambling, climbing up to 5.6, rappelling, and maybea boat ride!  Traditional protection and belays and simul-climbing skills required. Loaner gear is available to paid members. Minimum: 2, maximum 6. Recommended SMC proficiencies: MTN 1, RCK 3 or equivalent experience. For SMC paid or free members only. Not a member? Join here.


  • HOW TO JOIN THE INTEREST LIST: Please read all the content of this posting, then if you are interested in attending, please sign in and join the interest list on this page, orange box top right. See section below titled "How to Join the Interest List"
  • COST: Free.  
  • DATES: 5:30 AM, Saturday July, 22 2017
  • LOCATION: Meet at the Saddlebag Lake trailhead just east of Tuolumne Meadows, California.  
  • ROUTE: IV, 5.7
  • EVENT LEADERS: Rich Hamilton,, 775-315-8161
  • MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE: Minimum 2, maximum 6.
  • CLIMBING SKILLS REQUIREMENTS: MTN 1, RCK 3. In order to be best prepared to climb safely and effectively, participants should be able to hike fast and efficiently over complex terrain over 10,000 feet with a light pack, back country navigation including hiking out in the dark, simul-climb on 4th and easy 5th class terrain, Lead/follow up to 5.6.  Overview all SMC Training Courses here.
  • PERSONAL GEAR: Members are encouraged to use your own equipment. If you're missing something, club loaner gear may be available (except footwear). Please let the event leader know if you need something. All paid members receive significant discounts off ALL gear at Bobcat's Outdoor Adventure Sports,, (916) 505-7964, located at 1805 Tribute Rd. Suite H, Sacramento, CA 95815. Brands include ArcTeryx, Black Diamond, Petzl, Mountain Hardwear, La Sportiva, Outdoor Research, MSR, Grivel,  Beal, Osprey and more.
  • FITNESS AND DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Overall, this outing best fits in the "MODERATE" category.
  • GETTING THERE: Meet at the Saddlebag Lake trailhead (~37-52-24 North x 119-22-57.75 West). From the West: Take HWY 120 ~2 miles east to Saddlebag road (Tioga Pass Resort is located just west of the road). Take Saddlebag road ~2.5 miles north to the trailhead on the east side of the road just before the dam. From the East: Take HWY 395 to HWY 120 in Lee Vining, CA and HWY 120 ~7 miles west to Saddlebag road. Informal camping along HWY 120 East of and outside the park, or another location for those coming from the West, via discussion on the website prior to the event.
  • EMERGENCIES: Mammoth Hospital, 85 Sierra Park Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546, 760-934-3311.  Mono County EMS/YOSAR 911. This information is for you to have handy should it ever become necessary


Day 1: We will meet at the Saddlebag Lake trailhead promptly at 5:30 AM for a comprehensive gear and safety check.  Our climb will depart from the trailhead by 6:00 AM.  Hike along the west side of the lake (possibly take the water taxi across the lake to save time cost ~$10.00) then follow the old mining road to the north side of Steelhead Lake.  From Steelhead Lake, take climbers trails to the north ridge.  Climb the north ridges of both North Peak and Mt. Conness.  Descend the old survey trail to the the summit plateau then follow the east ridge past Alpine Lake to the trailhead.  The goal of being at the cars around 7 PM. We will climb free on terrain up to 4th class, simul-climb 4th & easy 5th, and pitch it out on harder stuff or as needed for safety.


Club climbing events are free of charge and open to all who have either a paid or free SMC Membership. After a conservative self-assessment, if you believe you will contribute to the safety and success of this event and would like to be considered, please sign in. Then indicate your interest by joining the interest list on this posting, orange box, top right. We invite you to become a Full Member for $18.99/month and get much more. 

HOW SELECTIONS WORK: A few weeks prior to the event, the leaders will select team members based on relevant experience, skill level, fitness, and teamwork, while keeping an eye toward achieving a balanced mix of individuals. We only consider those who are on the official interest list on this website, not the default "waitlist" on Meetup. Those that are selected from the official interest list on this website will be notified via email from Meetup and RSVPed to the final list on Meetup. Out of courtesy, if you are unable to attend after being RSVPed, please change your RSVP on Meetup and removed your name from the official interest list on the SMC website. You can check the status of your attendance on the event posting on Meetup, and the available spots on the posting on this website.

If you experience difficulties during the registration process, please send an email to our webmaster at


All paid members receive significant discounts off ALL gear at Bobcat's Outdoor Adventure Sports,, (916) 505-7964, located at 1805 Tribute Rd Suite H, Sacramento, CA 95815. Brands include ArcTeryx, Black Diamond, Petzl, Mountain Hardwear, La Sportiva, Outdoor Research, MSR, Grivel,  Beal, Osprey and more.


  • Wicking, breathable base layer, top and bottom
  • Insulating, weather-resistant mid layer, top and bottom
  • Wind and waterproof shell layer, top and bottom
  • Socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Warm hat and/or balaclava, light gloves, possible light insulating jacket
  • Sun hat or covering


  • ~30-liter daypack - save space for group gear
  • High energy food, snacks and drinks
  • One small water filter for the group may be helpful
  • Strong headlamp with fresh batteries
  • Map and compass
  • Sunscreen
  • Small personal first aid kit with blister supplies and space blanket
  • Optional items for consideration: altimeter, trekking poles (3 section you are comfortable climbing with attached to your pack), camera, small knife or multi-tool, bandana


  • Mountaineering boots or approach shoes
  • Rock shoes*
  • Harness*
  • Climbing helmet*
  • 2 locking and 2 non-locking carabiners*
  • Two tied slings or sewn runners, 24" to 48"*
  • Loop of 5mm cord as a prusik*
  • Cordellette or quad, 5mm - 7mm, 15' - 20'*
  • Auto locking belay device*
  • Nut tool*
  • Note: If you will lead climb, please discuss rack with EL

*If you are without some of this important safety gear, it may be available for loan upon prior request, first-come, first serve (paid members only).

For help in selecting the appropriate item, please refer to the SMC Detailed Clothing, Equipment and Gear List


  • This event is free of charge and available to the public. In order to attend, you must have a free or paid membership with the Sierra Mountaineering Club so that you can place your name on the interest list.
  • Event leaders are board-approved volunteers.
  • The club receives no direct financial gain for organizing and supporting this club outing. Donations are not solicited on club outings, nor is any exchange of money a requirement for participation. The outing is free to all qualified persons.
  • Non-commercial wilderness, camping and /or backcountry permits have been acquired within the posted group size limits for this area, and will be carried with our party in the backcountry. Should you wish to inquire about such permits, please contact SMC Executive Director at
  • Any fees associated with this outing are those that individuals would have incurred had they planned this event themselves, or are legitimate group costs such as lodging and pre-arranged transportation.
  • All SMC outings practice Leave No Trace principles to be good stewards of our public lands and especially wilderness areas.
  • Participant safety is our top priority. The itinerary described is the plan; however, circumstances beyond the leader's control may necessitate changes.
  • The outing begins and ends at the trailhead. SMC does not insure ridesharing arrangements and assumes no oversight for them. Carpooling, ride sharing, or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among the drivers and riders.
  • SMC carries communication devices and a medical kit, and requires leaders to have current first aid and CPR training as well as climbing, leadership and SMC policy training.

Recommended Guide Services in California

We have worked with and recommend the following certified guide services:

Sierra Mountain Guides -

Alpine Skills International -

For more information or questions about this outing, please contact the listed event leaders.