Mount Leconte Southwest Ridge

Lone Pine, California

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The summit of Mt. LeConte is the tallest spire on the ridge, and it contains the striking Corcoran Pinnacles. Norman Clyde wrote of the peak, “If it is impressive when seen from the Owens Valley, it is much more so when seen from nearby peaks across deep cirques which greatly enhance the striking appearance of these giant pinnacles that rise sheer for hundreds of feet.” The peak is named for Joseph LeConte (1823–1901), a professor of geology at the University of California at Berkeley in the late 1800s. LeConte accompanied a number of his students on a university field excursion to Yosemite Valley in 1870 where he met John Muir. Impressed by Muir’s geologic observations, LeConte published several articles in agreement with Muir’s theories of Sierra glaciation. His son, Joseph N. LeConte (known as “Little Joe”), became one of the most determined and successful Sierra mountaineers.
Climbing California's High Sierra

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Climbing California's High Sierra

by John Moynier & Claude Fiddler (Falcon Guides)

The summit of Mt. LeConte is the tallest spire on the ridge, and it contains the striking Corcoran Pinnacles. Norman Clyde wrote of the peak, “If it is impressive when seen from the Owens Valley, it is much more so when seen from nearby peaks across deep cirques which greatly enhance the striking appearance of these giant pinnacles that rise sheer for hundreds of feet.” The peak is named for Joseph LeConte (1823–1901), a professor of geology at the University of California at Berkeley in the late 1800s. LeConte accompanied a number of his students on a university field excursion to Yosemite Valley in 1870 where he met John Muir. Impressed by Muir’s geologic observations, LeConte published several articles in agreement with Muir’s theories of Sierra glaciation. His son, Joseph N. LeConte (known as “Little Joe”), became one of the most determined and successful Sierra mountaineers.

©  John Moynier & Claude Fiddler/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Climbing
Nearby City: Lone Pine
Class: Class 5.6 - 5.8
Local Contacts: Inyo National Forest; Sequoia National Park
Local Maps: USGS Mt. Whitney, Mt. Langley Cirque Peak, and Johnson Peak
Grade: Grade II
Driving Directions: Directions to Mount Leconte: Southwest Ridge

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May 2018