ApproachOne can go several ways. The shortest, most direct way is from the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and hike up through Tamarack Valley campground. Travel in a north westerly direction from Tamarack to the south east side of the peak.
Route DescriptionAt the south east side of the peak, start climbing up the snow, this can be variable depending on what time of the winter one goes to climb the peak, in a north westerly direction. Snow shoes may be necessary starting from Tamarack to climb up this section. There will be some trees during this portion of the ascent, but they start thinning out and one climbs up through manzanita, which may be covered depending on snow coverage. One may choose to ditch the snow shoes here, which is marked by a lone pine tree that is about 10-12 feet high that does not have alot of branches on it. Look for a rock face that is pretty low angle, about 30 degrees. As long as it is not completely covered with snow, there are very good hand and foot holds. Climb this rock face for about 80 feet of elevation up to the base of the block. There are a few class 4 moves on the east side to get up onto the summit block.
For those that want to climb the summit block and do not feel comfortable with the exposure on the north side of the peak, probably about 700-900 feet, one can use a 21-foot cordelette and sling the horn that is on the north end of the block and belay in a pseudo notch, which may be protected by slinging a natural anchor and possible artificial protection. Now there is a top rope type of anchor to bring up those folks that would like a belay.
For the descent, retrace the ascent route back down to Tamarack Valley.
Count on about 7-7.5 miles round trip and about 1,400 feet of gain.
Essential GearFor winter or early Spring ascent, snowshoes and/or crampons may be necessary.
Summer and fall, nothing more than sturdy hiking boots or approach shoes.
Other recommended equipment include the following: harnesses, a light short rope (30 meters), a very light rack of medium pieces, two 21-foot cordelettes, belay device, several shoulder length slings, some carabiners.
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