From the town of Bishop on Hwy 395, head west on scenic Hwy. 168. After approximately 10 miles, turn right on Dutch Johns Meadow road ( behind the old drive thru wilderness information kiosk ) and follow this rough road ( 4 x 4 or high clearance vehicle recomended ) for about 6.2 miles. You are passing thru the beautiful Buttermilk Country! Go left at a fork then head up to the McGee Creek trailhead ( 4 x 4 needed for the last part ). Cross country hike south to the South Fork of McGee Creek and follow this upstream ( west ) to a barren camp below the huge moraine below the Southeast Face of Mount Humphreys.
This excellent climb begins by trudging up sand slopes that lead up a gully that is right of the Southeast face and the pocket glacier at its base. Before reaching the notch in the East Arete staight up the gully, follow a sandy gully that heads left to a notch higher up on the ridge. One can look down on the glacier from this point. Class 3 and 4 climbing leads up to a vertical step. Improbable 5th class moves lead around the left side to a good ledge. A pitch of 5.2 up cracks leads to a ridgetop. follow the ridge line and turn a big rock on the left, then follow the ridge to the plateau below the summit cone. 5.4 climbing uo the face from the right hand side leads up and left to easier ground and the summit. Down climb and rappel the route.
The East Arete can also be climbed from the glacier on the north side, but i have no first hand knowledge of this variation.
this climb is one of the " 100 Classic Climbs of the High Sierra ", and deservedly so!
A rope, and a light rack plus a few slings are all most climbers will need. Early season ice axes may be needed in the sandy gully.
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