The extent of the climbing goes from bottom right to the upper left (the summit) of the photo
As an intern at Project Vote Smart in 2001, about 20 interns and about 8 staff members hiked to Edith Lake and camped for the night. The next day, 5 of us set out for some climbing in the Pintlers, cameras in hand, ready for some excitement. Perhaps we did not exactly know our destination, but where we ended up was exciting nonetheless. We had camped on the side of the lake where the trail comes in (Warren Peak and its major sub-peak are on this side of the lake).
We walked along the side, until we came to the top end of the lake. We took a trail that led behind the lake, in a small valley below a steep ridge. Upon viewing this ridge, one of our crew turned back, not willing to take up the challenge.
The steep ridge was a tricky hike that we had to negotiate. It was over 1500' high, and class 3 all the way.
Here is the ridge (8,906') you take to get up to McGlaughlin Peak. It is pretty steep as you can see. The best approach is the lowest point on the ridge, in the middle of the picture. That part is the least steep, but is still a tricky class 3 in summer, class 4 any other time.
Falling rock would prove it a more difficult undertaking. On the lower portions of the ridge, we used the roots of small trees to pull ourselves up. As we got higher, there were less and less roots, so we had to carefully manuever up small boulder piles. We called out to each other whenever a rock fell, which happened invariably! At one point I was scouting around some large boulders trying to find a way up and suddenly I looked up and there was no blue sky, just a rock, and WHAM! "I hit my head, that hurt, damn it" I thought. Then I looked at my white long sleeved shirt, which had now become my 'red' long sleeved shirt. Actually, the sleeve on my right arm was covered in my blood. I asked my training partners how big my gash was, and they said about an inch. We put a band-aid on it and I kept going. No way was I going to stop! (For you laundry freaks, the stain did come out).
It turns out the rocks jetted outwards, but their extensions were obscured from view, so there was no way to tell how much room I had to navigate around them.
Further up, one of the interns yelled "rock" and an omelet shaped (and sized) rock came tumbling down and slit my hand. I yelled out a slew of cursewords that in other circumstances would have gotten me fired. I think they let it go being that I was a young man who had lost lots of blood from his head only 10 minutes earlier. After nearly an hour of climbing, we reached the top of the ridge. To our delight, a gradual wilderness trail was on the top of the ridge. We noticed that it emanated from a lake below, and must have come from deep in the wilderness.
We took the trail to the right, going up the ridge. At one point, we noticed a large snow pack. We dug in to where the snow was fresh and ate it like a snow cone. That was pretty fresh snow, untouched by anyone or anything. From the top of the ridge to the summit of McGlaughlin Peak was about 3/4 of a mile. The summit was a mesa like green meadow, with beautiful views of Warren Peak (10,463') and West Goat Peak (10,793').
The hike down was tricky. We took the same way, and I carefully slid down the first ridge on my butt. My pants were a different color by the end. I started the day with black wind pants and a white shirt, and ended with dirt brown pants and a splotchy red shirt! However, I survived to bleed another day.