ApproachFrom the 395 head west on the 158 towards the town of June Lake. From the junction of 395/158 drive maybe 6-7 miles through the small town and keep going until you reach the closed gate. Park near the side of the road at the closed gate. Note that you can see many of the climbing areas from the place you parked so you might be able to see if it is in condition or not. Hike up through the power plant parking lot to the start of the small cart tracks running up the side of the hill. You can basically follow these tracks up until there's a good place to traverse towards the area you want to go to. Be careful on the approach because there are streams to cross and there may be many places with packed snow that look safe but easily punched through to the streams.
From the cart tracks & looking up, head left for Horsetail Falls and right for Tatum Falls.
There are other areas to the left of the tracks as well (looking up) -- can someone comment on that approach? Be careful -- one area I saw looked like it had sketchy avalanche terrain just above it.
Horsetail FallsThis is a two pitch climb. After crossing the ravine, start up the falls. Beware that the sun can hit the top of the falls in the afternoon -- especially on the left side. If there is water running down the falls, stick to the right side where the sun does not hit as much. If the condition of the ice is less than ideal, you may wish to set up the belay in the rock on the right hand side of the route.
If you're looking for a nice entry-level mixed route, climb the first pitch on ice and then head to the right and up on rock.
There is a rappel station at the top of this climb. Two ropes should get you to the ground.
Note: As described by Brian Frederick, the bowl to climbers' left of Horsetail falls can avalanche. Brian watched a guy descending via the climbers' left bowl and it avalanched on him. Please check snow stability.
Roadside IceNote: Climbing here is technically illegal:
This area is accessible and has produced good ice, but is on private Southern California Edison property and as of this writing is closed. Until an agreement can be reached with SCE please do not climb here.
(Source: SP Parker's Eastern Sierra Ice Guide)
From the end of the plowed road on the June Lake Loop, park and then walk down the June Lake Loop road. Walk for about 10 minutes while looking up and to your left. Look for iced up walls. on the left (west) side of the road. It is possibly to hike a bit farther and climb a gully if you prefer to toprope this area. Please see pictures below...
Good Eats (Open in Winter)
5587 Highway 158, June Lake, CA 93529
2620 Highway 158, June Lake, CA 93529
Places to Stay (Open in Winter)
Rates: From $38 - 189/night (in winter, on the cheap end of this)
Phone: 800-648-7762 or 760-648-7762
Rates: From $50 - 265/night
Phone: 760-648-7712 or 800-655-6545 (reservations)
June Lake Villager
Although it's a little farther away, Lee Vining is another lodging possibility. There are two motels open during winter:
Miscellaneous InfoIf you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.
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