One last climb before the snow
This was a very enjoyable climb. Just enough technical to be challenging (for me) with a great climb along a ridge and some significant exposure to the summit a little above 13,200'.
We started out from my camp in the Buttermilks outside of Bishop at 5:00 am. We were hiking in by 6:00 am, so not a terribly early start. The approach is easy, on a very good trail nearly all the way to the start of the route at the bottom of the face.
The route is the obvious chimney just to the right of the center of the photo.
Start of the technical climb
We were climbing the start of the face by 7:30 am. The climb up the face is class 4 to class 5.4 on and off up to the ridge.
Up the chimney
We gained the ridge by 10:00. The exposure is breathtaking and the views are amazing. The climb along the ridge is fun and if you're not used to exposure, can be a little unnerving. The couloirs run down more than 2,000 vertical feet on both sides.
We reached the summit by 11:30 and enjoyed the view as we ate lunch.
The descent is straight forward off the ridge to the north requiring only one very short rappel and a little bit of down climbing. There is a lot of slipping and sliding down the gully to the south over loose gravel and rock for more than 2,000' down to a small lake and the trail. From there the trail back to the car is the well maintained mule trail that got us back around 3:00 pm.
Despite the fact that it was early November, the weather was excellent and there was almost no snow, as the entire route is in the sun.
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