Feather Peak lies west of Royce and Merriam Peaks, and features the spectacular Feather Couloir, one of the " 100 Classics " climbs of the High Sierra. There is an excellent view of Mt. Humphreys and the surrounding area from Feather Peak's summit as well. The following climbs are found on Feather Peak -
The Feather Couloir ( aka North Couloir ) which has about 700' of snow / ice climbing up to 60 degrees, followed by class 3 - 4 rock for a short pitch to the summit.
The Northeast Face, a III, 5.8 rock route for those climbers looking for technical rock.
The Southeast Slope, class 3 from the Feather Peak / Royce Peak saddle.
The Southwest Ridge, class 3 from Feather Pass ( stay on the south side of the ridge ).
Please see the climbers guides listed under books for more information.
The easiest way to Feather Peak is via the Pine Creek trail. From the end of the Pine Creek Road, follow this trail 5 miles to the Italy Pass trail. The Italy Pass trail is followed west to Honeymoon Lake, an excellent camping spot. From the bench just west of Honeymoon Lake, follow a stream south ( faint trails and cross country hiking ) and easy cross country hiking ( class 1 ) to Royce Pass ( 11,760' ), which leads to the spectacular Royce Lakes.
The maps needed are the Mt. Tom and Mt. Hilgard 7.5 minute USGS quadrangles.
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
June - September or October are the best months for climbing.
There are excellent camp sites at the Royce Lakes, one of the most beautiful areas in the Sierras. See the Inyo National Forest website at http://www.r5.fs.fed.us/inyo/ for the most current information.
For the latest information and wilderness permit information, go the http://www.r5.fs.fed.us/inyo/ . Also, www.395.com has excellent information about the entire Owens Valley area.