The glacier turned me back at ~13,000ft. It only had an inch of soft snow with glare ice underneath. There are also open crevases as of Aug 10th. One fall = you are screwed without an axe. My backup plan was the "red and white" route. Unfortunately, I got lost below Finger Lake and wasted an hour. Didn't like the look of the "red and white," so I'll come back another day. Took approx. 11.5 hours RT for this first timer. Expect 12 hours RT if you are fast and know the route.
Day hike, really enjoyed the chute. Looks a lot more challenging from the approach.
Climbed the NE face with four others from SoCal. A very fun climb with solid handholds throughout. We went up the "Main Chute" and came down the "Secor Chute". The Main Chute has solid handholds but loose rock, and the runout is a bit intense. After that the route has some great class 3 climbing for 1,000ft.
Great climb w/ the wife. ONe of the most beautiful summits in the Sierra.
Solo climb via East Face - beautiful day in the mountains! Ran into Tomcat and friends along the way.
Aug ?, 2001
Using several trip reports, we stayed completely class 3 or lower. A bit loose but great fun.
Solo from camp at Finger Lake. Lived up to all the advertisment - loose rocks down low, fun ledges, awesome summit views, lots of elevation gain. Used Bob Burd's lower entrance chute instead of Secor's - loose crumbly rock, but a straight forward route to find.
Climbed with Ryan . Great view north -- Mt Agassiz, which we had climbed the day before, was just peeking through between Mt Sill and North Pal. Pictures
You know, after looking at pictures of the route, I'm still not sure what the heck Secor was talking about. I understood Bob Burd's instructions, though.
Fun 3rd class climb with my brother. Camped at the north end of Finger Lake and enjoyed the views.
NE "Face": As of Aug 6, one could travel up the middle moraine and cross over to the "red band" (brown-red?) in summer boots (non-goretex vasque catalysts for me). We crossed about 20' only of high-angle snow, and it readily admitted kick steps.
That chute to the top has plenty of class 3 holds, but is otherwise a shooting gallery for loose rock. If there are more than 2-3 closely-matched people in the party, consider taking helmets. I probably spent 80% of my energy trying NOT to kick up loose rocks; but rocks 1' distant from my boot would let go at the merest suggestion. I ended up climbing down every talus-free rock rib I could find, and we spread laterally across the gully to avoid beaning each other.
I was initially surprised at the number of people who did that trip as a dayhike from the Pine Cr Campground. However, the round trip is about 14-15 miles, with about 6500' elevation gain, half on semi-decent trails. If you start early at the parking lot, it should be "easy" enough.
Great climbing day - firm snow for crampons from the inlet of Finger Lake all the way up the glacier. Ledges to the face were easy to find. A slushy snowfield covered what I believe to be the "standard" route, up the left branch of the main couloir, and I climbed the right branch of the couloir instead. Good rock and good climbing, but some definite 4th class and some interesting routefinding near the top. Great fun!
Climbed the Clyde Rt. on the E. Face: first came 2 MI2 (e.g., feel like 5.6) pitches directly below the central chute (e.g., just N of the rib dividing the glacier) going around the right end of the glacier's high pt. to get onto the bergshrund, then traversed left and up into the steambed cut into the chute. Fun technical work - crampons, axes, & good rock pro. We tried the snow field above but it was shallow with ice beneath so climbed alongside and onto the rib on the left, thus avoiding the 3 avalanches that cut loose from the snowfield later in the morning. After an airy step around the tower on top, we moved up and left to the next rib. Climbing this became progressively harder up to the summit, where at 1:20PM we discovered it was storming over on Winchell/Agassiz. We hustled down and luckily had no lightning, just graupel after we found the easy part of normal route when halfway down (2nd chute left of the main chute when facing the pk.). Altogether an interesting climb in these conditions (2006 is a big snow year in the Sierras).
Still LOTS of snow left. Didn't have a great weekend and fatigue+a huge gap between the glacier and the face, made me turn around. More luck next time I guess.
Easier climb than it looks on the approach ... great summit !!!
Beautiful day hike/climb. The entrance traverse from the top of the glacier was surprisingly easy
Went up some class 4 (with ice & snow) at the end of the west glacier that took me 3 hours then tranverse back to the class 3 chute described by Bob Burb. Summited around 2pm with Patrick Bauman Nobody else was on the mountain except two Russian dudes, Igor & Vladamir I think. It was a beautiful cloudless day.
With Don Huntress