This is one of the area’s great classics, with up to 18 pitches of great climbing, fun exposure, and great position. From the end of the scrambling approach, six or seven fourth and easy fifth class pitches lead to the first real challenge, the first tower, which is passed on the right via an exposed 5.7 traverse. We climb over the tower and descend into the first notch. Above here the route looks very improbable, but we skirt right away from the massive “Ibrium Tower” via a traverse on a quartz ledge. One straight up pitch takes us to a huge jammed block and a great place to relax a while and have lunch. Three pitches, with one rappel, lead up the arête proper to the summit plateau. The summit is a half hour away from the plateau.
For all routes we head down towards the South Fork of Big Pine Creek via faint use trails. We climb over a minor blunt ridge towards Mt. Alice and do a short half-rope length rappel into flat, sandy Contact Pass. For the final section back to the base of the routes we may have snow, which actually makes life easier as it avoids a very loose rock glacier (A rock glacier is a core of ice covered by rock and rubble.) But it is still a glacier so it moves, albeit very slowly.
You can learn more by looking at our unpublished guide to Temple Crag here.