ApproachT get to the base of the climb you take the West Canyon Trail which later merges with the Golden Ears trail. The trailhead though is found in West Canyon parking lot.
For the purpose of this route description I will divide the trail into two sections. The first section follows beautiful Gold Creek and then later you work your way onto the Alder Flats. The trail is clearly marked and very difficult to miss.
Route DescriptionAfter you cross the Alder flats you come to the first serious obstacle... Panorama ridge. From here the trail rises steeply up the left side of the north ear until you reach the top of the ridge 6-700 meters above you. From there you traverse a snowfield and work your way across to the right hand side of the north ear where you can begin the last hike up to the summit ridge.
It is a strenuous hike taking the average experienced person 7 hours one way... (although it can be done in 5) It is highly recommended by park staff that you take two days to do the climb though as I previously mentioned with an alpine start and preparing for a long late day it is possible to do it in a single day. The elevation gain (1500m) and the distance (25km) make this a seriosu proposition. Also its relative remoteness should also be factored in.
Essential GearAll weather gear is a must as the weather can turn on a dime. Rigid. waterproof boots are important... some might even want to bring crampons though they aren't really a necessity.
A single ice axe, ski poles or an alpenstock would be very useful... and of course sun screen and sun glasses are essential for any trip. Also remember to bring lots of drinking water as it can e very dry in the back country come high summer.