Two days earlier I went up The Box, and as an afterthought tried to get up Big Basin Peak but picked the wrong notch from the east side and got cliffed out. So I returned to the scene with the goal of getting up Big Basin and traversing over to McIntyre. Knowing where it's solid in the upper East Fork basin is key. A general strategy is to stay on the gray rock, and avoid the reddish rock. I did this and made great time to the base of Big Basin in just over an hour. I was amazed how in 2 days most of the snowfields had melted- warm nights. Here, instead of scrambling up to the obvious low notch, I went to the notch just to the north of it. It didn't look promising until I got on a really easy and clear ramp to the ridge.
At the ridge I stayed close to the top, perhaps just 20 feet or so on the west side. The scrambling was Class 3 on solid rock. Further up the ridge there's a short down climbing section to bypass another notch. Beyond here the route steepened. I chose to stay very close to the ridge, avoiding some really loose gulleys. The problem was I got sucked up into a very steep chimney. I thought if I can get up this chimney, it may take me to the summit ridge. Some Class 4 moves on the ridge took me close to the top. I crossed over 3 steep and loose chutes and obtained the summit.
To my surprise there was no summit register to be found and also the southwest slopes were really mellow and easy looking compared to what I just came up. To get over to McIntyre, I opted to take the southwest slopes down to Big Basin and then ascend to Point 11020 and follow the ridge up McIntyre. Down the southwest slopes I went and had tremendous views of Cobb, Old Hyndman, and Hyndman. I followed this slope in a counterclockwise direction and reached Big Basin where I spotted 3 mountain goats, including a kid.
Big Basin was a beautiful valley and after being on the ridge with some impending weather, it was nice to be down here. My ice-axe buzzed on the ridge a bit, but the weather passed and the sun came out. From here I followed a prominent west ridge up to Point 11020. My thought was to follow this ridge all the way up McIntyre. After reaching Point 11020, I follow an increasingly thin ridge southeast until it dropped off precipitously to a broad saddle. I had a short rope, but I was in no mood to do a double rap solo down this unknown. So I backtracked and found a steep chute leading down to the southwest. A scree slog then lead me to the broad saddle just south of Point 11020.
The north ridge of McIntyre went surprisingly well and although it looked improbable the going was just Class 3 on steep, loose, but ledgey cliffs. Just below the summit, the rock steepened, and it looked like I could traverse east and get into a really loose scree gully, but I opted for a the ridge proper and an easy 4th class finish. The summit had terrific views and just a tiny film canister existed along with an orange bottle, completely destroyed by weather and according to what I read this contained the original signatures. I looked over at Jacqueline, but it was getting late (I started at 12:30p) and the going on the NE ridge looked challenging. From the summit of McIntyre, a rather easy scree slide down the south slopes led to a cliff band that was easily bypassed. Lower down I found a rock pile that led to the trail, fairly close to the start.
Trip Stats: 9.1 miles, 5557 ft, 8 hours