Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 37.30330°N / 118.5242°W
Additional Information County: Inyo
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 7000 ft / 2134 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Frontier is a rock formation in the Little Egypt area of the Eastern Sierras.

Frontier, right side

Because of the magnitude and complexity of Frontier, I divided the entire formation into two separate sections. I have already submitted a page on the Frontier, left side
. This page is dedicated solely to the middle to the right side. You will find the following subjects withing this page: a brief history, routes topo, route names and ratings, weather information, camping possiblities and directions.
Mid section

Of the three major climbing areas in the Little Egypt rock formations, The Frontier contains the largest concentration of routes. The main reasons for this concentration are ease of access and rock quality. Frontier is the first rock formation you arrive at when you make the approach to Little Egypt. In contrast to Lambada Dome
and Mussypotemia
the rock quality is by far better. It was these facts that brought most of the activity to the Frontier area.
Close up of Middle section

Although the approach to the Frontier formation is steep at first, it soon turns into an easy set of switch-backs that take you straight to the top of the ridge. From the ridge-top, you will get the best views of Mount Tom, Basin Mountain, Mount Humphreys and Mount Emerson I have seen. Besides the great mountain views, you will find yourself in a secluded area full of rock formations and small hills and valleys. Unfortunately, during the winter months the approach trail gets buried under several feet of snow. But during the spring and summer seasons, Frontier turns into a great playground for rock climbers.

Routes of the right side

Routes of the right side

Although most of the classic lines were established during the late seventies and early eighties, the route development did not stop there. At the present time, you can find a number of more difficult routes on bolted faces leading to excellent anchors for lowering or rappelling down. The old days of finding your way down the back side or making scary rappels off of ratty tree trunks or rattly rock horns are long gone. The fact of the matter is that if you are good enough to crank 5.12 and 5.13s in the back country at seven thousand feet, you should, at least, have the luxury of not having to trudge through obscure trails covered by sand and brush just to get back down. Many old climbers, such as this individual, have come to accept and even embrace the realities of modern day tactics.

Not to be left too far behind the left side classics, the Frontier’s right side has its own share of classic routes dating back to the late seventies and early eighties. One of the early pioneers on the Frontier was none other than Alan Bartlett with his first ascent of “Pyramid Power,” a dihedral crack rated at 5.9. Another crack system that was done in the early days and definitely qualifies as a classic is “King Tut’s Tomb,” rated at 10c.

Creme del Este, 13b...Creme del Este, 13b, climbs the orange colored face.
Far Right sideFar right

Although it was the crack systems that received most of the attention at the Frontier during the early years, sport climbing made its own impact soon after. Two of such highly recommended face climbs are “Caravans, 10a” and “Welcome to The Dark Side. 10c.” And finally, for those looking for a challenge in a much higher difficulty level, there is one climb to name, and that is “Creme del Este, 13b,” a masterpiece established by the visionary climber, Kevin Thaw.

The Frontier, right side
ACannibal, 11c, Standard rack
BPyramid Power, 5.9, two pitches, standard rack, pro to 3 inches
CCreme del Este, 13b, bolts
DKing Tut's Tomb, 10c, Standard rack, pro to 3 inches
EJammin With Jane, 5.8, Standard rack, pro to 3.5 inches
FCaravans, 10a, bolts
GWelcome To The Dark Side, 10c, bolts
HArabesque, 5.9, bolts, standard rack


There are many campgrounds along Bishop Creek. There are also many places in The Buttermilks are that are close to a creek that are suitable for camping. Please do not camp in The Buttermilks bouldering area. That area is very crowded and is suffering from the impact unregulated camping has caused.

The following links should help finding a good campsite

Horton Creek Campground

Rock Creek Canyon

Inyo National Forest

Bishop Creek and vicinity camping

How to get there

Utility Building at the power plant
Bridge over Bishop CreekBridge over Bishop Creek
From the town of Bishop, California, drive about eleven miles west on Highway 168 toward the mountains. This highway, will intersect with a small road used as an access road to a power plant seen from the shoulder of Highway 168. Turn left onto this road and drive down till you see a small brick building. Refer to the photo. Park your car in any of the wide dirt spaces at the end of this service road. Walk past the brick building on a dilapidated road that parallels a pipeline for a few hundred yards. At one point, you will see the pipeline disappear under the dirt. This is where you will see a small bridge going accross the creek. Drop down the steep slope and cross Bishop Creek here. After a steep but short section you can easily follow a nice climber’s trail zigzagging up the hillside. Once you reach the ridge-top you will see Frontier. There is a large boulder in the middle of the basin Go past this boulder up the valley to get to the base of Frontier. The approach should not take much more than thirty minutes from the creek crossing.

External Links



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Little EgyptMountains & Rocks