OverviewWARNING!: This page’s days are numbered. It is my intention to have the information here incorporated within the main Mt. Lamarck page.
“Northwest Lamarck” is an unnamed California Thirteener just 0.2 miles northwest of 13,417' Mt. Lamarck (which does not itself have 300' of prominence). I would have preferred that the name “Mt. Lamarck” be placed atop 14,464' “Northwest Lamarck” instead, as it is the highest point on this relatively broad ridge. Perhaps though, this was just a good-natured jab directed at a brilliant scientist who unfortunately had the wrong theory for explaining the evolution of species (evidence of such evolution was obvious even back in 1815, but it took a true genius to identify the correct mechanism.)
To climb Mt. Lamarck and not “Northwest Lamarck” would seem a strange choice. The ridge connecting them is easy and has excellent views of Mts. Darwin, Mendel and “Steven Jay Gould” to the west, as well as the precipitous drop down the east wall of the ridge itself.
Getting ThereThe obvious access is from North Lake via Lamarck Col. Take 395 to Bishop, then 168 (Lake Sabrina Road) west for 17.8 miles. Turn right on the North Lake Road, follow this to its end, drop your gear and buddies at the trailhead, retreat 0.8 miles to park your car, and then jog back before you get ditched.
Take the Lamarck Lakes trail to Upper Lamarck Lake, then continue on the use trail to Lamarck Col. Scramble up the easy class 2 left (west) side of the ridge, over insignificant Mt. Lamarck, and on to the summit of the ridge.
I highly recommend R. J. Secor’s The High Sierra, Peaks Passes & Trails (now in its third edition). This is the definitive climbing guide to the Sierra and was the source for many of the details on my SummitPost pages.
Red TapeLike most places in the Sierra, you need a Wilderness Permit for overnight camping in the summer. North Lake gets a fair amount of use, so book early.
Detailed information on permits, regulations and trailhead access can be found on Matthew Holliman’s excellent Eastern Sierra logistics page.
CampingI usually spend a night above Upper Lamarck Lake on the day I drive in rather than car camp. From there, it’s easy to move camp up to the lake just below Lamarck Col (best campsites are above and northeast of the lake) and bag Peak 13,172, Mt. Lamarck and “Northwest Lamarck” all in the same day. Although this area is treeless and somewhat desolate, it’s still a nice place to return to from a big climbing day, particularly after the sun heels over.
I’ve seen a lot of people climbing Ice-9 and Mt. Darwin from this lake as well, but I would suggest moving your camp over Lamarck Col to the highest lakes in the Darwin Canyon for those objectives.
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