Scrambling doesn't get any better than this. Backpacked into Upper Baron lake the day before from Redfish. At Baron Divide, gazing across the drainage at the east face of MV - I had my doubts. Next morning, once we started up the face we "followed the green" (general lines of vegetation in the cracks) until they ran out near the upper boulder piles. Soon enough, we were among the many spires, and peering between wind-tunneled towers into lake 9020 and Warbonnet Lakes drainage and beyond...breathtaking! Then we had to traverse below the towers toward the summit. Picked the wrong summit the first time (aka the Perforated Pinnacle), and had to down-climb to traverse further til we climbed the right tower and found the register. GPS track is loaded for reference.:-)
This was an unplanned ascent that quickly came to fruition during a backpacking trip to Baron Lake. After arriving in the beautiful basin, I puzzled out the line that comprises the "Arm and Hammer" route described by Andrew David. (I didn't have the chance to consult the route description prior to the trip. In fact, I was describing the route to my backpacking party as the "Tongue and Tonsil" which doesn't have the same dignity and majesty as "Arm and Hammer".)
The climb was solid 4th class, which turned low-grade 5th in a few sections due to not remaining on the eastern perimeter of the arm. I was able to easily avoid the remaining snowfields (I didn't carry crampons or ice axe) and make the summit in just under 40 minutes from the crossing between Upper Baron and Baron Lake. The views, to say the least, were astounding. Despite the (blind guess) 60-mph winds that were moving in from the South, I could spy Mt Borah to the northeast and dozens of twisted, spiraled peaks that make up the rest of the Sawtooth range. After snapping a few photos and settling for a tap on the hammer and "true" summit, I made my way back down. The total time up and down (starting and ending at the waterfall crossing) was just about 1 hour and 10 minutes. The timing couldn't have been more perfect, as the sky grew dark and bruised, and the basin became ribboned with lenticular clouds.
Such a beautiful climb. Perhaps my highlight climb of the summer. For any that have the chance to ascend this remote peak, you will not be disappointed.
My first mountain of 2013. Played around on this ridge in 2012 too. Crossed along an "arm" dividing Upper Baron Lake and Lower Baron Lake. Great views the entire approach up and over some rock mounds and domes. Snow was in poor condition as I started late. Think I was on one of the not quite high points, but slapped everything I could reach and its one of my favorite mountains to look at or climb. Whole area is amazing.
24 mile RT hike and scramble. Sunny and 60F and I only saw 1 other group on the trails. The steep scramble from Upper Baron Lake was a classic solid rock ascent. The ridge line required route finding over and around the steep towers and the SW side of the ridge dropped off precipitously. Much to my surprise there was no sign of prior ascent even though this is a named USGS peak. I left a new summit canister and small cairns for the next party.