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Grinnell-Hopkins ridge

Posted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:04 am
by cgundersen
TITLE: Grinnell-Hopkins ridge

GENERAL OVERVIEW: This is a class 2 alternative to Grinnell Col to connect the Grinnell Lake area with Hopkins Basin


LOCATION: John Muir Wilderness HST Map

11,650 ft

USGS TOPO MAP (7.5'): Mt. Abbott

This route is a relatively "easy" alternative to Grinnell col for transit between Hopkins and Grinnell basins (I've never done the former, but it looks appreciably more challenging than this route both on the map and from what I've seen in ascending this hillside). To reach the starting point of the ascent from the west side, you need to work your way over to the prominent peninsula that juts into the southeast segment of Grinnell Lake. From there, it's just a long slog to the ridge with ample opportunity to switch back and forth between the gravel/boulders in the chute and the vegetation on the south side of the chute. The footing is solid and there's nothing tricky about this approach; just make sure to have some water, because it's a long way down to get refreshments on the other side. That said, once you reach the ridge, it's a broad, gentle plateau. The Hopkins side has plenty of stretches of marble-sized gravel that can make for a "dry-skiing" descent. Obviously, if you're coming up from Hopkins, you'll want to aim for firmer ground. Either way, it's a pretty easy stroll from the Hopkins side. Here are a few photos. I may be able to dig out additional shots from an early season trip, later.

Re: Grinnell-Hopkins ridge

Posted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:38 pm
by cgundersen
Here are the additional photos looking down the Hopkins side and looking back up from Hopkins basin to the low point of the ridge:

Re: Grinnell-Hopkins ridge

Posted: Thu May 24, 2018 7:25 pm
by SSSdave
I would not describe your route as "easy" or not tricky though indeed looks from below to just be difficult class 2 if one chooses a good route. From below I could see plenty of ways someone could find themselves into class 3. The ridge line crossing is at these cross hairs.,-118.84351&z=15&t=T

Very much a class 3 slope gradient however there are a lot of whitebark pines on that face one can make use of. I have several telephotos of that slope.

Re: Grinnell-Hopkins ridge

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:48 pm
by BigMan
Isn't the crossing Cameron's describing at the "A" on this map?,-118.84351&z=15&t=T

Re: Grinnell-Hopkins ridge

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:10 pm
by cgundersen
Hi gents,
This may be superfluous, but the "easy" comment was relative to Grinnell col, which to me looked to be a more-challenging route than this one. But, I've never done the col, so I cannot confirm that hunch. What I do know is that regardless of what the top map shows, there is no part of that climb that requires hand holds for safety/stability. Sure, the trees do make it easier in places, and they're nice for a breather. And, this does offer a great way to get into or out of Hopkins basin. Cameron

Re: Grinnell-Hopkins ridge

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:11 pm
by erutan
I got the gist of "easy" being relative to the col - I was eyeing that ridge on a trip a few years back (going from mott lake to fish creek so I had a view from ~little grinnel). Good to know it's not as bad as it looks, even if it's not a casual stroll. I cut Hopkins out of a trip in that area last summer due to smoke, and was thinking of trying to add in Laurel/Grinnel whenever I revisit that area next.