I climbed this route two days ago and wouldn't have known about this route if not for this page.
* Distance to trail's end at Midnight Lake is much less than 7.8. By maps, it's 5.7, but I think there's an error in one section of the map and that the distance is really closer to 6. It took me 2 hours to get there. Although I can go fast, I cannot do 7.8 uphill trail miles in 2 hours!
* You are right that going north around Blue Heaven Lake is better, but on the ascent, I went south and did not have to lose several hundred feet; I contoured pretty widely and kept the elevation loss minimal.
* The "another climber" who reported that the right side of the chimney is easier is correct. But I would add that it is not a whole lot easier, is less direct, and involves more "pitches."
* The main chute is virtually unclimbable at a certain point unless one does stay well to the right, where there is a tricky Class 4 move to get up what is the crux of that portion of the route. It's tricky and exposed enough that someone has left a nut and carabiner there for rappelling down the pitch, though I didn't use them since I had no rope.
* Some of your pictures here were tremendously helpful!
* There is no register on the summit block, but there is a weathered copy of Darwin's book. I could not find the register near the summit, either, as I did on Bear Creek Spire the day before.
* In dry or late season, one can use a left branch of the left-branching final chute to go over, slightly down, and then slightly up to the easier side of the summit block without the exposed steps. I discovered this on the descent, alas...
Thanks for this very useful page!