ApproachThe North Face is the most asthetic side of Hurd Peak, and the one most visitors to the South Lake area take home in their memories. Impressive from a distance, the difficulty is much easier than it looks at first take.
From the Bishop Pass TH, hike south along the east shore of South Lake. At the junction near the south end of the lake, one can use either branch to reach the North Face. The right fork can be followed towards Treasure Lakes, leaving the trail where it traverses west across the bottom of the drainage north of the peak. From here there is 1,000ft of lower angled climbing to reach the base of the North Face as seen from South Lake. Alternatively, one can take the Bishop Pass fork to the left and follow this to Long Lake. Follow the north short of the lake and head west up class 2 slopes to the left side of the North Face. This avoids the less interesting 1,000ft of the drainage below the North Face.
Route DescriptionThere are numerous options available on the North Face. The most straightforward heads up the broad gully in the middle of the face, class 2 nearly to the top.
More interesting, and easier to reach if coming from Long Lake, is the steep rock up the left side, which might be called the northeast arete. The climbing is class 3 with some exposure, but good holds the whole way. Follow this to the turret on the north end of the summit crest, and then follow this south to the summit several hundred yards further.
There is a northwest arete on the other side of the central gully that looks similarly interesting - there are many options available on this peak for exploring and fun scrambling.