As you turn north between Castle Crags and Crater Rock, entering the West Crater Route, you can ascend directly to a snow ledge on the Western rim. Of course in order to do so you have to go up some steep snow, climb some very loose rock and get over this little waterfall. I was not going to try it alone, risk a fall or get stuck halfway up. Downclimbing this was scary enough. Another option is to just stick to the main route which skirts Hot Rocks or wait for the route to get some serious snow... (December 7th, 2002)
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