Mount Lyell

Member descriptions, photos, and map locations of peaks above 13,000 feet in the High Sierra. This forum is for information only - discussions should be kept in the appropriate categories.
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Mount Lyell

Post by artrock23 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:11 pm

TITLE: Mount Lyell

GENERAL OVERVIEW: The highest peak in Yosemite National Park, Mt. Lyell is located at it's southeastern border. Lyell Glacier is the second largest glacier in the High Sierra. This peak is frequently climbed, although a considerable distance from the nearest trailhead. There are great views of both the Ritter Range and Kuna Crest from it's summit.

CLASS/DIFFICULTY: From Lyell Glacier (the most popular route), Class 3. Class 3-4 from Lyell-Maclure Col. The Southwest Ridge and South Face are Class 4. The West Face is Class 5. The East Arete is Class 4.

LOCATION: Yosemite National Park (Yosemite Wilderness).

ELEVATION: 13,114 ft.


ROUTE DESCRIPTION: The most commonly used routes (Lyell Glacier and East Arete) are approached by a cross-country route (2.5mi.) at the head of Lyell Canyon, below Donahue Pass, after an approach from either Rush Creek or Tuolumne Meadows trailheads. From the Rush Creek trailhead, it's 14.1 miles to the turnoff from the main trail (JMT/PCT). Using the Lyell Canyon approach, it's 13.2 miles from Tuolumne Meadows to the turnoff.


Mt. Lyell from just below Donahue Pass

The summit from the base of Lyell Glacier

The Class 3 'Lyell Glacier' route (to right side of the bergschrund) from the upper part the glacier.

The summit block seen from the summit plateau

Mt. Maclure from the summit block of Mt. Lyell

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Re: Mount Lyell

Post by Vaca Russ » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:43 am


Thanks for posting this information. I climbed this peak back in the 80s but I didn't quite make the summit. I hiked in to the Lyle Fork of the Merced. It took two days to get there. I bagged Ansel Adams the day before.

The southern approach is a pretty easy class 2 scramble until you get just below the summit, then it turns technical. I was solo so I chickened out. :)

I wish I would have thought to climb over the pass and complete the climb from the north, but I was young and even dumber than I am now. :D

Thanks again for the great informative post! :nod:

"...Or have you only comfort, and the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host and then a master?"

Kahil Gibran.

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