OverviewA rather neglected peak just south of Pyramid Peak (Sherwin Summit) near the town of Mammoth Lakes. It is a long scramble from many different directions with possibilities for more technical routes on the NE ridge or west face. Steep gullies and accessibility would make for a good ski touring peak in the winter and spring months.
Named Herlihy Peak by R.J. Secor in his book The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, and Trails in memory of Bob Herlihy.
Getting ThereThere are two ways to approach the peak:
Start at Lake Mary at the Cold Water Campground and take the trail to Duk Pass. Near Skelton Lake or Wood Lakes begin the long slog to the summit. Approximate approach distance ~4 miles.
Start at the Valentine Lake/Sherwin Lakes trail head and follow it until it ends at Valentine Lake. Turn southwest from there towards the summit. Approximate approach distance ~5.5 miles.
Red TapeThis is an easy day trip from either trail head and no permits are required.
ClimbingVarious routes up the peak:
West slope: class 2; talus climb to the summit ridge.
West face: class 3; first ascent September 2003 by Chris Libby. Hike to the top of Pyramid Peak from either Heart Lake or Sherwin Creek Road. Descend about 200 feet on the west side of Pyramid Peak over loose rock with downsloping ledges. Traverse south under the deep cleft that separates these two peaks before climbing before climbing to the top. (From personal experience, the 3rd class rating seems an overstatement, it is just a lot of loose talus; and unless Pyramid was on the tick list it is unnecessary to climb to the summit for the route.)
South ridge: class 2; first ascent September 3rd, 1966 by Andy Smatko, Bill Schuler, Ellen Siegal, and Bob Herlihy. This route ends by traversing out onto the west face and climbing a steep scree chute.
Variation: continue up and over the ridge and follow summit plateau to the summit proper from the east side.
Northeast ridge class 4; fourth class start of the ridge may be avoided by joining farther up on the east side. The ridge itself is mostly class 2 and 3 with a couple fourth class sections on the ridge proper that may be avoided again by saying lower on the east side. Once at the summit plateau, continue to summit.
Additional route information taken from R.J. Secor's The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, and Trails.
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