From the end of Highland Lakes Road, I started on a use trail but lost it fairly quickly. Large snowfields on the steep slopes made navigation a touch trickier. Once up on the north ridge of Hiram its a fun knife edge walk on a use trail to the summit. I continued on to Airola Peak, its an easy descent to the saddle. There is one section on the north ridge route on Airola that was tricky, I opted for a chute to the left of the ridge which was very loose and unstable, I was not comfortable with the crappy rock to attempt normal class 3 moves as the rock was breaking off in my hands and chipping away as I tried to stand on it. So I stayed in the chute and bypassed the class 3 section on the ridge, from there its easy enough to make the summit. On descent I had similar problems, the chute is really crappy but I didn't see a way to stay on the ridge proper. This section is only about 50 feet but it really is bad.
I knew there was a use trail that would take me back to the car but I couldn't find it and wound up just going cross county on the slopes of Hiram before finding the trail about a quarter mile from the car.
Five peak day in the Highland Lakes area. Trip Report.
Wildflowers were fantastic! Smell of sage strong coming up the southwest slopes. Summit is a pleasure to stay-for-a-while and take in the view of Airola etc. A must-do for visitors to Carson Iceberg Wilderness.
Highland Lake was just starting to melt out. The road in was closed due to snow around Bloomfield CG which added some extra distance. Folger Peak afterwards.
This is one of the little gems in the Northern Sierra. The peak is in a beautiful setting. It can easily be done in a few hours, with an enjoyable ridge walk and excellent views for minimal effort. Real bang for your buck!
Good, quick hike from Highland Lakes. Fun to be on a less popular peak.
Started from the use trail at the south Highland Lakes campground. Very nice morning for an quick climb. The easy knife edge ridge was fun. Nothing harder than class 2. Headed over to Airola afterwards. Good views.
Running out of easy acclimatization peaks around Yosemite and points south, I decided to head up to Ebbetts Pass to knock off a few in the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness: Folger, Hiram, Airola, and Iceberg. Not particularly good climbs or memorable views, but I suppose they can't all be classic weekends in the mountains. At least this was a short day, because the drive down to Bishop was very long.
Starting at the highland lakes trailhead, I climbed up the western slopes of Hiram Peak. After taking in the summit views I proceeded to Airola, Iceberg and Peak 9366. The return was via Champion Canyon and the Highland Creek trail.
Reached the summit on the second attempt. It was not easy to find the trail at the start but when you reach the ridge behind the campground, you can see where you should be heading. The climb ended up not being as difficult as it looks from below except for maneuvering around the rock outcroppings at the top of the talus slope. Beautiful views from the summit.
From the south Highland Lake campground, a trail leads up and over to the tarns below the east face. Follow up the east ridge to the summit. Nice day hike, (or 1/2 day). North face above west Highland Lake is shattered and loose. I worked to the east on a traverse and gained the summit ridge. Nice views from the top.
Had a great time climbing this peak! Excellent weather, and stellar views. We climbed Folger Peak earlier in the day, but this was much prettier. We were the first to sign the register since early August, and didn't see a soul except for a few hunters camping at Highland Lakes.