Route Climbed: West side from Helen Lake Date Climbed: October 2000
This was after the first light snow of the season, and no one was in sight for the entire two days we were there. Views of Lyell and Ritter groups were magnificent; unlike in southern Sierra where high peaks are massed together, here the broad intervening spaces lend a feeling of vastness and regal presence to the high ranges.
We ascended from Helen Lake on the west side of Kuna Peak, first overcoming about 2000 feet of steep talus made of sharp metamorphic rocks. On top of the NW ridge of Kuna the thin rock flakes all stick up like a field of knives. The steep 100 foot cleft on the west side of summit plateau was the crux, especially with some snow cover. My partner Vladimir Ulyashin made it to the summit.