SOUTHEAST FACE, MT. EMERSON // JOHN MUIR WILDERNESS, INYO NATIONAL FOREST
Trad, 5.4, Grade II // Elevation: 13,225' // Trip Length 1-2 days
The perfect beginner route for the budding alpine climber, Mount Emerson's South East Face, also known as the Waterfall route, comes in at a modest 5.4, Grade II. Most of the technical climbing is done right off the deck for the first 2-3 pitches, followed by a class 3/4 gully scramble on immaculate granite for a lung inducing 1500'. Once you gain the ridge proper you're forced to navigate towering gendarmes and negotiate a knife edge traverse, eventually landing you on the summit. With a short approach and relatively low technical climbing grade this route is quite popular with many climbers and is typically done in a single day.