This route to the summit of Kessler Peak is slightly longer than the North Route
. The route ascends the east slopes to the south of the peak, then follows the ridge north to the summit. The route is more exposed to the sun, therefore will be free of snow earlier in the season than the North Route.
See the main page 'Getting There' section for directions on reaching the trailhead.
One-Way Hiking Distance: 3.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,940 ft.
Average Gain per Mile: 980 ft.
Trailhead Elevation: 7,463 ft.
Summit Elevation: 10,403 ft.
This route begins approximately 1.5 miles up (south) the dirt road from the Doughnut Falls trailhead. A faint trail (marked with a cairn when I ascended from this route) leaves the dirt road and heads west up the east facing slopes to a pass approximately 0.5-mile south of the summit.
I found this trail to be overgrown and difficult to follow in 2003 - if you lose the trail just continue heading up (west) following the path of least resistance until you reach the ridge, then follow the ridge north towards the summit.
The final few hundred feet of summit ridge is class 3 or 4 scrambling with exposure, depending on your choice of routes, but can be made easier (probably class 2) by traversing onto the south-west slopes before ascending to the summit.
During the summer hiking season no special equipment is required on this route.