Awesome scramble up from Castle Lake. Solid fun class 3/4 rock to climb on the way up which gave me no problems. Triggered a massive rock slide on the descent. Luckily we were alone on the route and there was nobody below. Steepness is the major danger factor here, but the route is "safe" if you are careful. WOW is the only way to describe the view. You can see everything! Note: Big Gully beta thread
What a wonderful trip from San Francisco to Sawtooths and White Clouds in August 1974 and again in 1976. My ex wife Evelyn and I backpacked both Sawtooths and White Clouds and hiked/scrambled several summits along the way. We loved the Clouds.
Eight of us made it to the top. Hiked in from Fourth of July TH and camped on the ridge coming into Chamberlain Basin the night before. Made it to the top in good time for such a big group (I'd advise not going with such a big group due to the looseness of the rocks in the gullies) and then hiked back to the TH that day. It was nice to finally climb the one peak that dominates the sky in the SNRA.
XC over Pk 10,707, down into chamberlain basin and contoured around to S face. Went up standard gully on left side of S face. Had steep snow in top 500 feet of gully so opted for class 3/4 climbing on steep rocks of right side of gully. Summit is awesome commanding view of Pioneers, Boulders, Smokys, Sawtooths, Salmon Rivers, and Lost Rivers. Many lakes to see. Beautiful day, 100 mile visibility and I had the entire upper mountain to myself. Went out by standard trails to 4th of July TH. Did Hyndman yesterday so I was bushed (over 10,000 vert. ft. in 2 days)! Castle proved to be tougher than expected.
Decided to trail run the trail portion which was 12-14 miles total plus the actual scramble. It was steep and the top had a good firm boulder hopping section.
Unlike the Chamberlain Basin Route, this is a scramble from the lake up. This is an easy route to get off of, and can be dangerous with lots of exposure if you do. Summited but with a lot of problems on the way (dislocated shoulder, class 4-5 stuff, etc...). It is still a truly great area with beautiful scenery. My hardest earned summit.