My brother and I got to the summit at around 11:15 am. This was my third attempt after being snowed on during the first snow storm of the season on Oct. 31, 2003, and then turning around on the final ascent in July, 2004. Getting to Horseshoe Pass was easily done in a few hours, and the snow patches in the morning were easily traversed, but the final ascent to the summit through all the scree was brutal for me. I felt like I was walking on quicksand. I have lived at Twin Lakes almost every summer since I was a kid, but never knew anything about how to hike this peak until two years ago. Thanks to everyone on this site for all the information about how to do this hike, and keeping me updated on conditions.
My first visit was a fall dayhike (Oct 5, '02) from Twin Lakes via Horse Creek Pass, returning via Burro Pass/Mule Pass. Spent two hours on the summit admiring the views--a gorgeous day! The peak has some of the best views anywhere in the Sierra.
While Horse Creek Pass was clear, Burro Pass was still snowed in from a storm the previous week. This made the loop back around more challenging (scary) than expected as I had to find an alternative to Burro Pass via some steep slabs to its west.
I came back in late June '05 to climb the north arete with Sam. After getting off-route and onto really, really crappy rock almost from the start (necessitating an embarrassing rappel, even before we'd started the roped climbing), things improved... the first couple of pitches had some questionable rock in places, but the last few had some awesome climbing to compensate. By far the coolest bit was the knife-edge arete on the next to last pitch--wow! Airy and pretty spicy 4th class after unroping at the top of the arete, too. Amazing summit views, as always.
Longer approach than expected at this time of year, with axe/crampons needed both to climb the "headwall" part-way up Horse Creek Canyon, and to descend the SE Slopes after we burned a lot of time on the climb. Next time I climb this route or Double Dihedral, I think it'll be in summer or fall.
Well, we MEANT to do the North Arete, but got off-route and ended up on the other instead. Mostly clean climbing (one big loose block) but hard and sustained on the last pitch/es. Fun 4th class run to the summit from the top of the route, too. Also, lots of snow this year made the approach longer. Still, an incredible summit and a beautiful mountain. Be warned - this one takes longer than you might think!
With Matthew H. 16 hours car to car. This route took longer than I thought it would. Fun climbing on the upper pitches.
Reached the summit at 8:15 on a beautiful morning. Snow conditions in the Pass were nearly perfect. Hardest part was looking over the edge at the top. It was a climb I will never forget.
Starting at 2:30 am from the base near the frozen lake (9,000 ft) we quite quickly reached the bottom of the East Couloir. It was extremely windy that day which encouraged us to move even faster. From the ledge of the Matterhorn Peak we scrambled in a total of 45 min to the summit. After quite a short stay at the summit, we decent to our base camp by retrieving the same route. I looked at my watch and could not believe that it was only 8:30 am, which indicated the earliest return time in my life.
A group of three (Zhenja, Olga and Rinat) successfully climbed East Couloir starting from the base camp on 9400 ft at 3:40 am and getting to the summit at 6:45 am. The snow conditions were great - well packed and striing snow. We used crampons from the base camp. We carrie snowshoes, but really did not need them and they were left at the base camp. The couloir is in good conditions and it is 75% covered with snow, the rest is the loose rocks and sand that can be avoided. We had some strong winds up there (30-35 miles/hour). This area is beatiful.
This was a good day to say the least. Very cold but clear weather. 8 hours of snow shoeing got us to the notch and some fun and spectacular snowy mixed scrambling put us on top. The ride down was amaziing and be sure to scope the nice looking chute below the East couloir. This is probably the best winter riding I can remember.
Climbed with a YMCA backpacking group. Beautiful, sunny weather. It was my first Sierra Peak. I was hooked after that.
Summited about noon, with Amit, Ted, Janet, and Alan. See Pictures at http://community.webshots.com/user/langenbacher . Sunny, no snow, a bit chilly and windy on top. Car to Car in 9 hours flat.
Summited at 10:00 a.m with Steve & Russ from Tahoe, Light snow on summit. Beautiful view, will have to try the East Couloir next time.
Very fun, not terribly committing. Beautiful camping, beautiful summit, nice trip.
accidentally ascended to base of east couloir from first drainage/gully seen on HC trail. Not a bad route actually - mostly class 2/3 and allows you to skip talus and drops nearly at base of glacier. glacier itself was easy to cross in just standard hiking boots and is almost completely gone, although there were one or two very easily spotted crevasses. East Couloir is a very loose scree slog with heavy potential for rockslides. I stayed on the right wall for as much as possible - but it was impossible to completely avoid the scree. took one of the many vatiaions of the HC Pass "trail" on descent. Car-to-Car 12 hours.
Great mountain - strenuous hike up from Twin Lakes - especially with all the loose rock and sand in the couloir. Glacier easily crossed in approach shoes- lots of debris. Didn't spend much time on summit with afternoon clouds building - but strom did not break until well down into Horse Creek Canyon.
This was a long, but worthwhile hike. The last class 3 scrambling up the south wall was thrilling. Not a lot of room on the summit blocks. Great view.
A pretty tough day hike filled with many obstacles. From the discriptions I read it looked pretty simple and short so my hiking buddy, Greg Paul, and I spent the evening before boozing it up in Bridgeport. Not a great idea; The use trail is hard to follow, the talus route up the pass is pretty tiring, the summit slope has plenty of scree and there is a bit of exposure towards the top. It was worth it but we agreed that we won't be coming back for seconds... or at least not with a hangover.
Climbed with Gordon(ye) & Mark (Pellucid Wombat). This route intimidated me from our campsite, as steep and bad-ass as it looked. While we never got off route, the route finding I found to be interesting. The exposure on much of the route was intense, the cracks were steep, and the crux dihedral was clean and great! Divying up each pitch into a half-pitch (to use best the 1 rope we had) made things interesting. The last real (dihedral/squeeze chimney) pitch we did as a full one. Great climb with good friends.
Climbed this route with Dirk (Diggler) and Gordon as a finale to my mountaineering extravaganza in the Sierra. After 7 days on the Sierra Challenge w/ Bob Burd, this was an excellent way to finish up the trip!
Climbed with Dirk Summers (Digger) and Mark Thomas (PellucidWombat). My first ever multi-pitch climb. We camped at beautiful Matterhorn Lake, and from there ascended slabs left of the drainage until the top of the moraine of Matterhorn Glacier. Crossing the glacier was easy without using crampons, as the steeper parts could be bypassed by climbing debris piles all the way up to East Couloir. The couloir was snow-free, and we found the start of the route a little ways up the couloir above a big left-facing open-book according to JD's helpful tips. Beautiful climbing and great company!
Great day topping out with perfect alpen glow twilight after a late start.