My friends were there to climb Granite so we headed up to Sky Top Lakes and I saw them off up the southwest gully, then turned around and headed for an alternate peak to climb, since I had my dog with me on this trip. Headed up some loose stuff to the little saddle on the north ridge of Cairn Mountain and on up to the summit. Pretty darn nice. My friends made their summit on Granite and had the route to themselves. On the way out 2 days later we must have passed 50 climbers heading for the peak and we started to wonder if this may cause some problems...... and then we checked the news the day after we got home......
Base camped at Upper Aero Lake. Climbed up and over the pass down into the Skytop Drainage and then up the west slopes of Cairn.
Highlight was 4th class scrambling between the N and S plateaus. Lowlight was the scramble down a gully on the SW ridge - steep and loose. Cool summit though!
West face gulleys. It wasn't as bad as the south gully on Villard. No sliding backward and I managed not to send anything airborne.
Hiked into camp at the north end of Upper Sky Top Lake and climbed the south ridge of Cairn Mountain. Fun, solid class 3 scramble. I descended a chute on the west face...bad idea!
My route finding and navigation to Granite Peak was suboptimal so I clambered up the scree slopes of Cairn and had a good look at my target for next time, plus I signed the cute black forestry service scroll tube at the summit cairn. Some of the dates in there went back eight years or more. There was a nice snow bridge on the saddle between Cairn and the mountain to the west which I think was Villard.