started out with four adults, a two-and-a-half year-old toddler and a dog. The father of the toddler (also the dog owner) and I summitted while our good friends who had summitted this one years earlier, babysat. Afterwards we visited Robinson Lake, and I got in, which at 47 degrees, provided brisk relief from the gravel slog up and down this peak.
I climbed Independence Peak as a loop, coming down from University Peak. Unfortunately, the chute I needed was not visible from Robinson Lake, so I ended up very far West from the summit. I went up on solid rocks, however. The traverse to the summit is class 3, but at one point I got into a very risky climbing when bypassing one of the lower summits. From the summit I came down the brown scree slope to the trail right from the notch. I realized that this way is a very brutal hike up on all that scree.
The scree was horrible on this route, lot's of loose rocks. The third class ridge was enjoyable, but too short.
The name and description of this route (here and in Secor's book) confused me, because it didn't feel like a ridge at all--just a cluster of loosely connected buttresses/towers/gendarmes on a steep scree apron. I couldn't solo many of these towers, because they were class 4-5 with very lose (and coarse) rock. And there wouldn't have been much reason to climb them anyway, because you'd just have to rappel the high sides (they didn't lead anywhere useful and didn't connect directly to each other, in most cases). Consequently, most of the climb was loose and not particularly fun class 2 (weaving around the base of the towers). The only part of the climb that I'm pretty sure was "on route" was the last little bit that led to the summit. This was exposed class 4, and the rock quality was actually pretty decent compared to the coarse crud everywhere else on the route. That was the only redeeming part of the climb. To access this part, climb a steep and narrow chute with cracks and horns on the northwest side of the summit head-wall. This chute is just right (south-southwest) of the head-wall's north face.
Why on earth Secor called this a "nice climb" I'll never know. I'd give this route 1 star if it weren't for that short final section, which was actually mentally challenging and fairly interesting. I do agree that the west face makes for an excellent descent route: deep and soft scree; got down in less than an hour.
Went on my own from Onion Valley. Quick but not that memorable.
Nice view of Owens Valley on a windy clear day.
a fun day hike! jean enjoyed as well.
Although only four miles round trip (give or take), this peak packs a lot into it. I hit the 2nd notch more to the right, and had to traverse back to the peak over the exposed ridge line. I found Secor's notch on the descent. A much better route!
A bit of a loose slog after leaving the trail, but the class 3 summit area was enjoyable, as were the outstanding views. A storm came in the following day, so the timing worked out well.
I didn't get the opportunity to finish this peak earlier with the CLMRG Mountaineering Class due to inclement weather. So this was my opportunity to finish the job! Used Robinson Lake trail. I left the trail well before the lake.
North ridge scramble, fun, more than was expected. Very quick descent due to hail and lightning.
I owe Bob Sihler one for pointing out the joys of the south ridge on this one. On the way out from Center Basin I dropped my pack at Robinson Lake and slogged up the west slope, keeping a good bit south knowing that the ridge would go. The ridge looks exposed from up top but most of the going was quite easy if you looked around. I found it quite enjoyable and it made the trip up to the summit very worthwhile. Nice view of University too!
At the west face chute described on SP I traversed to the left
and climbed a class 3 rib for approximately 300 feet. An airy step across the rib put me on the north ridge 100 feet north of the summit. Met CA 14teener record holder SeanO on top.
My plan to climb one of the rocky ribs was dashed when it started to rain on me. Slippery granite forced me into the crappy scree slope but the views made up for it. Much cooler than Onyx had been in the morning.
SC 2012 day 8 alternate peak with Jeff Moffat
I wanted something relatively quick and easy for a day between two bigger climbs, and this was perfect. I followed the trail to Robinson Lake, but instead of heading up the west face to the summit, I left the trail where it crests above the lake. This meant less talus and gaining the south ridge. Then I followed the fun Class 3 ridge to the summit. Where it gets harder than that, it can be bypassed, but I stayed high for the extra challenge and fun. For the descent, I did go directly down the west face to regain the trail.
I was going to go up to Golden Trout Lake, but as soon as I set up camp in in Onion Valley I noticed the trail sign to Robinson lake right by my campsite, at which point I looked at the map and decided to head up independance peak. I went up the west face to a nice notch leading up to the Ridge, where I headed up. Great fun!
Solo from Onion Valley.
I have climbed it solo four times. The ridge is fun; the west face is tedious.
Shredded the E gully, had to drop at 11AM without a trip to the top as the 'corn bomb' was going off and clouds were beginning to build on the crest. Recommend this line, will definitely be back for more spring sliding.