This route starts at the pass at the base of the Northeast Ridge. If you are camped at Alpine Lake, ascend the possibly snow-filled couloir between Alpen Peak and the mislabeled "Packrat Peak" from the USGS topo. Drop down the other side until it is possible to cross below cliffs to the right. Then ascend to the base of the route, at about 9,500 feet. If you are camped at Warbonnet Lake, ascend the talus to the pass at the base of the ridge. It is also possible to climb the distinct notch just up and right of the the pass as well. This small gully is 3rd, maybe 4th class at most.
Once on the ridge, climb the very crest for several hundred feet, avoiding a few notches and difficulties on the left. The exposure through this section is dramatic. A break in the ridge in an area of white rock marks the first routefinding challenges. The guidebook says go to the tower and make technical moves out one side or the other. We moved left, beneath the beautiful orange granite wall above until we found a break that offered a way straight up. One pitch of 4th class and you should be back on the crest of the ridge. We used a striking chockstone chimney to the left to climb up, then traverse left onto a ledge (low 5th class) between the two summits of Packrat Peak. From here you should see two rap stations above. Follow the ridge, making some airy but easy moves, to the last rap station, just below the summit. The entire summite block has a big ledge around it. I walked around the whole thing with no rope. From the last station, stay left up to a notch behind a flake. The summit register is bolted on the right side. I made a couple of moves up toward the summit to a small ledge. I could almost touch the actual summit block from here, but not quite. I found a cordelette that soomeone probably used to to rap off of the summit, but I didn't feel like going back down and getting the rope.
Make 2-3 single rope rappels down the east until it is possible to traverse back along the white rock to the top of the airy lower ridge. Downclimb the lower ridge to the base of the route. This section could get tricky if wet, so keep that in mind as you climb.
A small trad rack and rope will be appreciated by all but the strongest climbers. We took a set of stoppers, a couple of big hexes and 6 alpine draws and felt that we had plenty of gear. A single rope is sufficient.
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