A fine looking peak located on the Kings/Kern divideand within the boundaries of Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park. A bit castellated looking from below, very blocky and stacked. Its twin summits give the appearance of a medieval tower. The higher southern summit was first climbed in 1936 by Sierra Club parties led by Carl Jensen and Lewis Clark. The long step across to the south summit is not to be missed! Great camping and fabulous fishing are found in the high lakes of the kern river headwaters located to the east of the peak and south of the divide. [img:17883:aligncenter:medium:]
Located in the heart of the Sierra general approaches can be made from anywhere. Shepard Pass and Kearsarge are the nearest east side trail heads. From the west approach from Kings Canyon via Bubbs cr. to Lake Reflection. To reach the Kern headwaters from Kearsarge hike up Vidette cr. and cross Deerhorn saddle and Harrison Pass.
Most commonly from the east to the saddle between the summits. You gotta try the long step across to the south summit! Can be climbed from north up from Lake Reflection and also from the west. All routes are cl.3 with the S. summit block cl.4
|Route ||Difficulty* ||First Ascent Date ||First Ascent Party Leader |
|East Slope ||Class 3 ||1936 ||Lewis Clark and Carl Jenson |
|North Face ||Class 3 ||1940 ||Art Argiewicz|
|West Slope ||Class 3 ||1940 || Art Argiewicz |
*The summit block is class 4.[img:17884:aligncenter:medium:]
Wilderness permits are required for an overnight trip in the area. You only need a permit from the agency which controls the trailhead where your trip begins. This means even if you corss wilderness or national forest boundries, only one permit is required.
For the Onion Valley or Shepards Pass Trailheads, go here
For a trailhead originating in Kings Canyon National Park, go here
Bear canisters are required in the area. Also check fire restrictions, as they can change depending on the conditions and the time of year. Generally, there are no fires above 10,000 feet. There is no camping at Bullfrog Lake and a two night limit at Kearsarge Lakes. Of course there is a small fee for a permit, from $5-$15 per person depending on where you enter.
When To Climb
The usual June-September season. This peak is a serious challenge in the winter due to its distance from any road.
There is a campground at the Onion Valley Trailhead. Information about all Onion Valley Campground and other Inyo National Forest Campgrounds can be found here
Kings Canyon National Parks campground info can be found here
Mountain ConditionsInyo National Forest Conditions
Kings Canyon Weather Forecast