Palisades from Kid Mtn.
R.J. Secor author of The High Sierra Peaks Passes and Trails
called Kid Mountain "the second biggest pile of rubble in the Sierra." Mount Alice across Big Pine Creek drainage from it being "the biggest". I can attest to that claim having slogged the 4,000' north slope from Glacier Lodge and emptying enough sand from my boots on the descent to build a small beach!
Of course the question is why bother?
Well, there are a few reasons to climb Kid Mountain.
The north slope is a good ski run featured in John Moynier's book Back Country Skiing California's High Sierra
and the view of the southern part of the Palisades
is excellent. Not all of the mountain is a sand trap. There are relatively stable routes up the ridgelines of the north slope. Also it's on the way to Peak 3,994m. a mile north of The Thumb. This was my goal. I didn't go there because it was cold and windy and I was in shorts so I settled for Kid.
Big Pine Creek south fork from Glacier Lodge area
From the town of Big Pine along Hwy. 395 in Owens Valley go west on Crocker St. (the Glacier Lodge Road) and drive 11 miles to Glacier Lodge
. The class 2 north slope looms above the lodge to the south.
The class 2 west slope can also be climbed from about a mile up the Brainerd Lake Trail
which heads south .2 miles past the bridge to Glacier Lodge on the Glacier Lodge Road. I have a hunch this route could be a nasty screefest.
Mt. Alice from Kid Mtn.
This peak is in the Inyo National Forest and no permits are required for a day hike.
Birch Mtn. and Peak 3994m from Kid Mtn.
There are several campgrounds along the Glacier Lodge Road by Big Pine Creek below the north slope of Kid Mountain.
and Upper Sage Flat
, Palisade Group
and Big Pine
all between 7,300' and 7,700' elevation.
Weather forecast for the Big Pine Creek area
Owens Valley and Birch Mtn. 13,665' from Kid mtn.
For the weather forecast click here.