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Mount Morrison (California)

Coordinates: 37°33′41″N 118°51′30″W / 37.5613238°N 118.8584611°W / 37.5613238; -118.8584611
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Mount Morrison
Mount Morrison from Long Valley
Highest point
Elevation12,241 ft (3,731 m) NAVD 88[1]
Prominence164 ft (50 m)[1]
  • SPS Mountaineers peak[2]
  • Western States Climbers Star peak[3]
Coordinates37°33′41″N 118°51′30″W / 37.5613238°N 118.8584611°W / 37.5613238; -118.8584611[4]
Mount Morrison is located in California
Mount Morrison
Mount Morrison
Location in California
Mount Morrison is located in the United States
Mount Morrison
Mount Morrison
Mount Morrison (the United States)
LocationMono County, California. U.S.
Parent rangeSierra Nevada
Topo mapUSGS Convict Lake
Age of rockPaleozoic
Mountain typeMetamorphic rock
First ascent1928 by Norman Clyde or John Mendendhall[5]
Easiest routeScramble, class 2[2]

Mount Morrison is located in the Sierra Nevada, in the Sherwin Range. It rises south of Convict Lake near the town of Mammoth Lakes.



The mountain was named for Robert Morrison, a merchant in the town of Benton, who was killed near Convict Lake on September 23, 1871, while he was acting as member of a posse pursuing escaped convicts from the Nevada State Penitentiary.[6] Nearby is Mono Jim Peak which is named for Mono Jim, a Paiute guide, who died in the same gun fight.[7]



Sources state that Norman Clyde climbed to the peak on June 22, 1928, and that John Mendendhall also reached the summit in 1928 but the month of his ascent is not documented. There are several routes to the summit, the easiest consisting of a Class 2 scramble and bushwack.[5]

Due to its imposing north face, Mount Morrison is also nicknamed the "Eiger of the Sierra."[8] The east face consists of extremely loose rock and one should exercise extreme caution when attempting the face.


Morrison centered, with Mt. Baldwin behind, left

Highly tilted and faulted metasedimentary rocks are exposed on Mount Morrison. Formations include the Ordovician Convict Lake Formation (argillite and siliceous hornfels and slate), the Lower Devonian to Silurian Aspen Meadow Formation (siliceous and calc-silicate hornfels), the Middle Devonian Mount Morrison Sandstone (calcareous quartz sandstone), and the Upper Devonian Squares Tunnel Formation (black chert and argillite). The Mount Morrison Fault passes near the summit.[9]

Fulgurites, natural hollow glass tubes, are found at the top of the mountain. These oddities are formed by lightning acting on certain types of sand or soil.


  1. ^ a b "Mount Morrison, California". Peakbagger.com.
  2. ^ a b "Sierra Peaks Section List" (PDF). Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club. Retrieved 2009-01-21.
  3. ^ "Western States Climbers Qualifying Peak List". Climber.org. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  4. ^ "Mount Morrison". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  5. ^ a b Roper, Steve (1976). The Climber's Guide to the High Sierra. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. pp. 128, 339. ISBN 978-0871561473.
  6. ^ Farquhar, Francis P. (1926). Place Names of the High Sierra. San Francisco: Sierra Club. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  7. ^ "Mono Jim Peak". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  8. ^ Secor, RJ (2009). The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, Trails. United States: Mountaineers Books. p. 364. ISBN 9780898869712.
  9. ^ Greene, DC, and CH Stevens (2002) Geologic Map of Paleozoic Rocks in the Mount Morrison Pendant, Eastern Sierra Nevada. California Map Sheet no 53. California Division of Mines and Geology, Sacramento, California.