This little-known route has become our favorite fall ice climb over the past few years. The approach from South Lake is reasonably short and takes but half a day. They gully we ascend is about 1,500’ long and up to 65º steep before it ends with a pitch and a half of mid fifth class rock climbing. The summit view is outstanding, featuring peaks of the Evolution region, Mt. Goddard and beyond. The descent is not unpleasant and goes fairly quickly back to camp. What more could one ask for in a gully ice climb? This ascent can be done on our scheduled dates, as a private program or as a part of our Alpine Ice Climbing Seminars.
Guidebooks include Secor’s “The High Sierra; Peaks, Passes and Trails”, and “Sierra Classics” by Moynier and Fiddler. The best of course is “Eastern Sierra Ice” by SP Parker. Also check out our unpublished guide to Mt Gilbert here.
We highly recommend that you spend at least one night at moderate altitude (higher than 8,000′) just prior to the trip. Spending a night in Mammoth would do the trick or better yet, camped at an even higher trailhead, such as the South Lake/Bishop Pass trailhead for a night just before the trip. Cardinal Village Resort in Bishop Creek near North Lake is also a good lodging option. Please refer to our Planning for Success info sheet for more info.