Echo Ridge and a Few of the Echo Peaks

Where: Yosemite National Park, Sierra Nevada, California
When: July 2008
Partners: DB
Route: Variable (Class 3 & 4)
Mileage/Gain: 6/2,500

Heading toward the Echo Peaks as Cathedral Peak looks on

Heading up the Budd Lake Trail one morning, DB and I set out for Echo Ridge and perhaps a few of the Echo Peaks. Tucked away behind the more visible Cathedral Peak and Unicorn Peak, the "Echo" massif is another striking nunatak feature well worth visiting.
Nearing the base of Echo Peaks

Reaching the base of Echo Peaks first, we weren't sure which of the eleven or so "peaks" were the so-called 9 "Echo Peaks." So I started heading up to get a better look at the cluster. Bagging what turned out to be Echo Peak #1 first, I dropped back down to DB and then we both headed up the steep and funky class 4 east face of Echo Peak #3, the highest of the Echo Peaks. Above the face, it was easy scrambling to the saddle between Echo Peak #3 & #2.
Echo Peaks #1, #2 & #5 from the saddle north of #3

Looking across to Echo Ridge from below the summit of Echo Peak #3

From the saddle between the two peaks, enjoyable class 3 scrambling led to the highest of the Echo Peaks.
DB on the sweet summit of Echo Peak #3

Eventually heading down from the summit, we made our way to Echo Peak #2.
Descending Echo Peak #3

The exposed, class 3 traverse to Echo Peak #2 was terrific!
DB nearing the summit of Echo Peak #2

Looking over to Echo Peak #3 from the summit of #2

While DB headed back down to flat ground east of the knife-edge ridge that comprises the Echo #1-4 group, I continued along the ridge back to Echo #1...for another photo of the awesome and exposed ridge leading back to Echo #3.
A wonderful, narrow ridge traverse connects Echo Peak #1, #2 & #3

Heading down to DB, she and I wrapped around the north side of Echo Peak #5, which I decided to climb while DB headed over to the top of Wilts Col. The ridge up Echo #5 went class 3, and the views over to Echo #3 from the summit were incredible.
Echo Peak #3 from the summit of #5

Although it was only 3rd class, I found the climb up the northside of Echo Peak #7 next to be stimulating. An exposed, very narrow knife-edge ridge lead to the tiny highpoint of the peak.
Part of Echo Peak #7's knife edge ridge

For a little extra fun, I next headed up the class 3 north side of Echo Peak #8. The easiest of the peaks I'd done that day, the much more challenging Echo Peak #9 seemed so close (yet so far).
Echo Peak #9 from the nearby summit of #8

To my delight, as I was heading down Echo Peak #8, DB called up and announced that she was gonna head on up Echo Ridge, the 11,168-foot highpoint of the cluster of nunataks in the Cathedral Peak region. Dropping down to Wilts Col, I followed her up.
Nearing the summit of Echo Ridge

The summit of Echo Ridge approaches

Reaching the summit, the views were astonishing.
Summit views north/northeast to Tuolumne Meadows

Summit views south to Matthes Crest

After enjoying the summit for awhile, we headed back down toward Budd Lake, catching some nice light on the surrounding peaks as afternoon clouds wandered into the sky.
A final look up to Echo Ridge from near Budd Lake