ApproachOn the west side of Echo Peaks, there are two main talus fans. Both can be approached from the JMT in the vicinity of Cathedral Pass, or from the Budd Creek drainage. If coming from Budd Creek, climb to the broad saddle between Echo Peaks and Cathedral Peak and follow the wide, sandy bench south along the west side of Echo Peaks until past the west side of Peak #1, the first prominent peak seen from the Budd Creek area. The left talus fan rises just to the right of Peak #1. Continue south past Peak #3 (highest of the Echo Peaks)to reach the talus fan on the right.
The northernmost (left) talus fan rises between Peaks #1 and #3 (#2 is almost indistinguishable from below). There are two routes that Secor lists as "West Face of #1" and "West Face of #3" that are really just variations of the same route up this talus fan.
The southernmost (right) talus fan rises between Peaks #3 and #4.
Route DescriptionPeak #1- #3 - Left Talus Fan
The lower two-thirds of this route are straightforward class 2 sand and talus slopes. Follow them up towards the highpoints marked by scrubby pines. As the talus narrows above, it opens up into a wide, rocky amphitheater.
The left side is shorter, but more difficult. It rises to the gap between Peaks #1 and #2, with a short (30ft) section of difficult-looking class 4 at the very top to reach the gap.
The right side is longer, but easier and enjoyable class 3. Many variations can be taken, following steep ramps and flakes towards the north side of the summit of Peak #3. This is really a fun climb - though steep, it has very little exposure. The holds are plentiful and easy to find.
Peak #3 - #4 - Right Talus Fan
The talus fan on the south end of the West Face leads to the notch between Peaks #3 and #4. Most of the route is easy, though tedious class 2. Only the last bit offers any technical challenge. Jack Daniels comments:
It's easy class 3 for about 15 feet. From the notch, you can easily access the class 4 route on #4 or the class 4 ridge running up to #3.
This may be the easiest way to reach the summit of peak #4.