Yesterday (May 12th) I climbed the East Couloir route on Matterhorn Peak in Hoover Wilderness on the northeast border of Yosemite National Park. Matterhorn stands 12,279 ft and is the high point of the rugged Sawtooth Ridge. It was my first climb ever in the high Sierra and it was quite the introduction! The East Couloir route was very cool with some steeper snow and the views of from the summit and camp were sweet. The first photo is of me from our campsite this morning and the second photo is of the sunrise a few minutes earlier (click for enlargement).
We drove to the start of the climb Saturday morning via Sonora Pass. We started at 10:20 am up the Horse Creek Trail and then up the snow covered slopes to our camp at ~10,500 feet on the moraine of the small glacier below Matterhorn Peak. After a break, we continued on to the summit, reaching it at 4 pm. The views of the Sierra mountains were spectacular and a few marine clouds swarming around made for some dramatic photos. We descended from the summit back to camp and enjoyed a spectacular sunset. The night was quite windy and cold, but it was well worth the sunrise we were treated to in the morning. Once the sun came up at 6:30 am, the temperature skyrocketed and the winds diminished. We enjoyed the morning and took off at 8:40 am and cruised down the snow slopes and valley trail to the trailhead, reaching it at 10:30 am.
Matterhorn is a relatively easy objective for a day climb, but the sunset and sunrise made this outing special. My 23rd birthday was on Friday (May 11th) and this was a superb personal present! I couldn’t ask for a better introduction to the high Sierra. Look for several photos from the climb and a trip report in the coming days.