The Clyde Spires are found on the Sierra crest between Mount Powell and Mount Wallace in the Evolution region. These spires offer a variety of climbing routes, none of which are easy. There is a spectacular and fairly difficult ice gully on the North Face of Clyde Spires The following is a short list of climbs -
Southwest side - class 4.
The West Ridge - class 4.
The North Couloir - III, 5.5 or 5.7, ice.
The North Arete - III, 5.10a.
The Northeast Ridge - class 4.
The South Ridge - class 4.
From Bishop, Ca., take highway 168 west to the lake Sabrina trailhead. Follow the trail up Bishop Creek to Sailor Lake. Cross country hiking from Sailor Lake takes one past Moonlight Lake to Echo Lake. The Clyde Spires are directly in front of you!
The maps for this area are the Mt. Darwin and mt. Thompson 7.5 minute USGS quadranges.
Wilderness permits are required for overnight camping. There is a wilderness permit quota in effect from May 1st to November 1st. 60% of the wilderness permit quota is advance reservation ( $5.00 per person ) and 40% is available on a walk in first come first serve basis ( free ). See the Inyo National Forest website at http://www.r5.fs.fed.us/inyo/ for the most current information.
Inyo National Forest - Wilderness Permit Office - 873 North Main Street, Bishop, CA 93514
Reservation Line - 760 - 873 - 2483
Wilderness Permit Fax Line 760 - 873 - 2484
Wilderness Information - 760 - 873 - 2485
When To Climb
For the ice routes, the best time to climb is probably July - October ( will vary due to seasonal snow fall ). For other routes, June - September.
There is excellent wilderness camping in the entire Bishop creek drainage. The usual camping spot for this mountain is Echo Lake.
Wilderness permits are required - see the Inyo National Forest web site and Red Tape section above for more information.
There are also numerous car camping sites available at the road heads ( fee required ).
For general conditions and weather, see the Inyo national Forest website at http://www.r5.fs.fed.us/inyo/ . Also, www.395.com has good information regarding the area and local hotel accomodations.
A note on the elevation listed - the climbers guides have listed the elevation of this peak as 13,240'. However, the latest USGS map 9 Mt. Darwin 7.5 minute quad. ) list Clyde Spires as 12,955', so that is the elevation I am using.