Start from Sawmill Creek Campground on the way to Saddlebag Lake. Follow the obvious trail/road through the campgrounds, past the Carnegie Institute storage shed, and up to the foot of the East Buttress*. There is a class 3 rock slide before getting to the base. From here you can climb the class 3 East Buttress itself for excellent views of North Peak and Mount Conness or skip the buttress by heading northwest to gain the East Ridge more gradually. You can also summit the East Buttress by taking a class 2 route up to the ridge crest just west of the buttress and then hiking up the back side (good descent route).
* NOTE: I'm calling this the East Buttress b/c I don't have a better name for it. Please let me know if there is one :-)
From the base or summit of the East Buttress, your immediate objective is the ridge junction heading west on the East Ridge which leads to the summit plateau. There are multiple routes along the south side of the East Ridge with some class 2 routes lower on the ridge and a class 3 route higher up but still below the actual crest. Follow either of these until you get to the "notch in the east ridge" which affords excellent views of the Conness Glacier to the north. After this ~20'x20' notch you can easily walk along the ridge crest itself that will take you to the base of the class 2 climb to the summit plateau. Once you gain the summit plateau, the class 3 route to the summit is obvious.
Note: You won't see Alpine Lake until you reach the "notch in the east ridge." Climbers using the Alpine Lake route can join the East Ridge at this point. From the western end of Alpine Lake look northeast for the ridge notch and hike up to it.
None during the snow-free season.
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