EAST APPROACH: Piute Pass trailhead at North Lake (Bishop Creek). Hike over Piute Pass and down past Lower Golden Trout Lake. Cross Piute Creek and contour into Packsaddle Lake basin. Ascend Packsaddle Pass (notch between Matthes Peak and Peak 12,900'+), which involves very loose moraine travel and some steep snow (can be class 3 snow) or steep class 2 rock in dry years/late season. Northwest ridge is then class 2 to summit.
WEST APPROACH: Florence Lake trailhead. Hike up San Joaquin River to south-bound John Muir Trail junction (~4 miles south of Piute Canyon mouth) and take John Muir Trail into Evolution Valley. After crossing Evolution Creek below Evolution Meadow, head north up the small tributary stream into the basin below Matthes Peak and Peak 12,900'+. Class 2 scrambling leads to Packsaddle Pass, or class 2 scrambling directly up the west/northwest face of Matthes Peak.
From Packsaddle Pass, the northwest ridge is obvious. Class 2 scrambling leads more or less directly up the ridge line. Some detours may be needed to avoid class 3+ terrain, but all is obvious. The summit is the high point on the northeast edge of a convex summit plateau, immediately above the sheer north face.
Ice axe and maybe crampons for east approach. Otherwise, a good pair of boots are all that is needed.
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