current conditions as of this November:
1. trail from camp in very good shape; recent limited clearing undertaken by someone; last segment toward lower ramp still overgrown.
2. dirt road toward camp in poor shape (relative to a few years ago); ruds and washouts; unsuitable for most passenger vehicles.
3. camp in good shape with functional toilets and running water; probably not portable though.
4. there is no longer a fee charged for use of the camp/trail; there is liability form to be filled out at the district office however it is fair to say that there seems to be limited interest/enforcement for this waiver by the tribe.
5. I discourage leaving 'gifts' at the summit; the place is starting to luck trashy; remember 'leave no trace' ethics.
6. free solo'ed Forbes (up and down) and do not agree with the 5.6 classification; this is hard 4 maybe 5.1 with perfect hand and food holds when dry.
... no place to put 'em. Some nice shiny bolts and hangers in March 2012. Lots of holds, but they are becoming polished and less grippy.
I was fortunate to have someone else lead the ladder pitch. But if you head left near the base, and DO NOT try to go directly up the smooth, stained waterfall, it is more like 5.3. I wore approach shoes with sticky rubber, the leader wore rock shoes.
The route described on this page is the trail constructed by the CCC circa 1930s and only shares te Ladder Pitch with te Forbes Route, the route followed by Dr. Forbes during his first ascent in the 1890s. His diary makes this clear.
From the north saddle, climb to the conspicuous skyline notch to the SW. There are several variants, all low fifth class. Traverse west at the top of this pitch to a shot wall and climb up. The Ladder pitch (the "crux" is just west though a patch of scrub.
Forbes' route was resurrected in 1960 after reading his diary and meeting with him.
I agree, the Ladder Pitch is low fifth class, not at all 5.6 in anything like decent conditions.