ApproachThis is a 5600’+/- ascent day.
Proceed up the Hamilton Lake Trail west of the Emerald Lake parking area. Ascend 6kms+/- to the outlet of Hamilton Lake. I did the first 2000' elevation gain in an hour. At the lake, cross over the outlet and head straight up the steep meadow (left) to the direct south ridge of Mount Carnarvon.
The landscape up on the ridge at 8300' is desolate and windswept. Tackle the ridge head on (north). There are a few cruxes with enjoyable solid rock to climb straight on. It would be safer no doubt to head left at each crux to deal with less steepness and/or exposure.
Eventually you will approach the headwall to the summit. This is for sure the most difficult climbing of the day.
Look for cairns (there might not be many if at all) that show your traverse left to the west side. Once you have circumvented to the west, work your way up one of several loose gullies to the top ridge. Then continue trouble free to the summit alongside Mount Carnarvon’s dying glacier on the northeast side.
The close up views peering into the President
Range are spectacular. The fires of 2003 precluded me from getting any far away views, but I did get good shots of President, Vice President, and their intervening glacier (Emerald) as well as Mount Burgess
across Emerald Lake. Mount Marpole is also an interesting peak to the north. I observed a golden eagle up on the ridge, two deer on the trail and an interesting banded leg spider (photo-please identify if you can, I give up) towards the summit.
Return the same.
Helmet, particularly for route finding through the summit headwall. Alpine Ax and/or hiking poles. Bear Spray. Map. Compass.