I have an Eastern Sierra scrambling tour planned for the end of August. Trying to finalize my peak list and routes now. I just read the praise of Mt. Johnson's northwest ridge, and would love to add it to the agenda. But I'm anti-snow, so it sounds like the standard route via Treasure Col isn't an option. (Or might it be in a low-snow year like this?)
So I'm trying to ascertain if there's another way. The page seems to indicate that you can climb Mt. Gilbert first, and get to Johnson's NW ridge that way. But I'd like to have confirmation. And if I go this route, do I get the entire NW ridge scrambling experience? Or are you already a certain distance up the ridge by the time you get there?
I haven't climbed that route up Johnson, but I went to Mount Gilbert via Treasure Col earlier this year. I think your plan would work, and avoid any snow. At the time Treasure Col was a nice snow climb, and I'd expect you could climb it from the other side and pick up the beginning of the route there instead.
Hell... you may even be able to scramble up the rocks on the left side of Treasure Col (taken June 9).
I did the N ridge during a heavier snow year and the couloir's top half was already melted by July. Maybe this year by Aug it will be completely melted. That said, I heard that Col is kinda nasty when dry - really loose. The N ridge is a great scramble, though.
Thanks folks. To make sure I'm properly oriented -- Treasure Col is immediately north of Johnson, right? If I come from Gilbert, it looks like I'd stay to the west of it up on the ridge. Mrchad -- just trying to make sure I understand what you mean by "climb the other side".