My initial thought was to go to Dragon Peak and on my way back to go to Kearsarge via Lilly Pass. As I was hiking up the trail towards Golden Trout Lake I kept looking at the Kearsarge and the chutes, trying to determine which one I will come down at the end of the day. One chute caught my eye and I decided it looked to good to pass up the opportunity to climb it. Lucky me; a beautiful, clean class 3 all the way to the ridge. As I ended up to further South, I climbed all false summits until I got to the real one. I went down Lilly Pass, stupefied at the idea that anyone in his right mind would go up that pass; absolutely nothing but scree. It was difficult going down; I can only imagine what a hassle would be to go up on it.
Up via Golden Trout down Sardine with Lou B. Windy.
Nice wildflowers on the way up. Summit crest is interesting. Descent is a slog.
Interesting route - sounds much more fun than Lilley Pass.
Stumbled on this route while checking out a mine shaft just above the waterfall at approximately 10,200 ft. Looking for other mining relics I traversed a couple hundred feet to climber's left and found this chute. The chute is split by a rib and I went up the right fork. Moderate third class on good rock without the rubble so characteristic of Sierra chutes. After 800 feet the chute ends in a broad gully which takes you to Kearsarge. I branched off this broad gully into a narrower chute that looked like it would go to the ridge next to the high point. A hundred feet from the end of this chute a chock stone is encountered which can either be 4th classed or one can squeeze through an opening. I climbed the high point and traversed the couple hundred feet to Kearsarge. Enjoyable route especially compared to Lilley pass which I boot skied on the descent.
Great fun scrambling up the chute climber's right to Lilley Pass then traversing to the ridge. I see a lot of complaints listed below - guess you went the "wrong" way. :)
Secor claims a class 1 ascent via mining roads from the Onion Valley Road. These roads don't exist in reality, only on paper. I found a mostly useless "use" trail over 9800', but it faded out at a mine site around 11,200', give or take. I had to cross a very steep and very loose scree slope to get on better rock to the summit ridge. From here it was just boulder hopping to get to the summit. On the return trip I found a different use trail which went by an old stone shelter, and then disappeared, leaving me to descend on loose, sandy slopes leading to more scree and talus before finally making my way back to the car. Class 1 it wasn't. There seems to be a better way up here via Lilley Pass, according to some other trip reports. I was here only because my intended peak's TH had temperatures in the 100' plus range (New York Butte outside of Lone Pine). It was a 114 degrees in Lone Pine the Friday before!
After a miserable slogfest to the upper ridgeline, the traverse to the highpoint was in snowdrift pockets from the recent storm, some waist deep. After 3 or 4 false summits, traversing talus and falling through many drifts, I finally made it to the top. By then it was after 4 PM. with the sun near the horizon. Not wanting to retrace my steps, I descended straight down the snow free chute directly off the summit's south face, got 2/3's of the way down and then cliffed out. Climbed back up 200-300 ft., traversed across in darkness to an adjacent chute to the east. Groped down the chute on my ass in the dark, not knowing if it would get me down or not. It did, which was a major victory in itself. This chute bottomed into a boulder field that then went on for another 2 hours or so. Finally reached the trail that leads up to Golden Trout Lakes/Dragon Peak. On the way down the trail, saw a brilliant meteorite that looked like it was heading straight in the direction of my parked vehicle. The way things were going, thought for sure it was going to nail it and blow it to pieces but it didn't. At 10:30 I found my car still intact and drove away. Moral of the story- don't do this.
Its important to take the mining trail on the map and not stay in the scree field. We were too far in the scree field and it made the hike up far more exhausting than it had to be. There are several false summits, the real one has both a register and a log sticking up.
From the campground with girlfriend, decided to go for it with-out any info. Easy mountain to read it's routes. First snow came down the night before.
2012 - w/ Xenja Poljakowa and Brooks McClintock, from Onion Valley.
See Ambret's comment and trip report. Kearsarge is a slagheap of a mountain. When you finally slog to what passes for the top, you get a smashing view of the ... Onion Valley parking lot. By the time we got near the summit -- and as far and high as we were going to go that day -- we didn't even bother to take photos of ourselves in the place. Suggested alternative: Kearsarge Pass -- good trail, good exercise, almost as high, and the views are sublime.
Climbed with brother Jon. He thought I was "unusually scared of lightning" because I came down fast when bolts starting hitting the neighboring peaks.
Slogged up Kearsarge from Onion Creek Road with hiking buddy Bruce. We found the trail fading in and out, and the scree loose until we got above 11,000 feet. Reached the east bloc and decided to declare victory, even though the true summit was a bit to the west and perhaps 150' higher. Neither of us found this a particularly fun ascent.
I slogged up Lilley Pass. I also climbed nearby Peak 3877.
Up via Lilley Pass, down the South chute. Damn chilly for June, nothing like hanging out on the summit with the sun shining on you while its snowing and blowing to beat hell.
Hiked up with Richard P via Lilly Pass.
Did this one the day after Gould
Up the miners trail and down Lilley Pass. Good acclimating hike for the next day's torture event to Table Mt
Camped in the golden trout drainage with my sister on her first trip to the Sierra.