Dayhike with Abbot
Lots of snow, choke-stone was disappeared.
I see that someone below described this route as a "sucky suckfest." I think there's no better description than that. I took the right variation described by Secor (above the couloir on a ridge of sorts), and even that was loose and pretty uninteresting. I don't think there's much reason to do this route except to bag the peak and be done with it. The chockstone was not class 3, btw. It was harder than anything I encountered on the NE Ridge of Bear Creek Spire--including its "5.6" summit block. It was also harder than the summit block of Pipsqueak, and anything on the NE Buttress of Abbot.
Relatively good snow conditions in couloir but still treacherous with loose rock/grit between snow patches. Climbed tower at notch to avoid loose snow on traverse and found a few Class 5 moves. Definitely earned this peak!
An enjoyable romp to the couloir followed by a loose gully of death ascending the couloir. We went down the rock route to the north of the couloir which was much preferable.
Long, tricky ridge, but some fun climbing. 2h20 from Ruby. Trip report.
Initially tried the couloir with the chockstone, thought the heavy snow this year (snowline still 11,500 feet) might make this a walkup... wrong!
When I got to the chockstone it had 3-4 feet of snow overhanging the top, and a large moat from there to the lower portion when I stood. Not passable.
Headed over to the second couloir 100 feet to the south, followed steep snow nearly to the headwall, then managed to cut over on rock to the normal chute a good ways above the chockstone. Had my lightweight crampons, would have been much better with a larger pair, also next time I won't forget my gloves.
Tough scrambing, loose rock, superb views.
Climbed with a friend doing Mills as his alternate peak for the 2010 Sierra Challenge. Nothing fun about this route, as far as I am concerned, except the approach. The East couloir is a class 3 chute with deep sand/scree = ugly. Even the relatively solid stuff is sandstone that crumbles when you brush it, or is actually a large rock about to slide away. Life is short, and there are so many better mountains out there to climb. I recommend skipping it. If you find you must, I advise trying route earlier in the season to get snow in the couloir. Maybe the North Ridge is better?
Not much to add to what everyone else has said, except: Never again!!
The traverse took Tom Becht (below) and I five hours where I thought it would take two - a much bigger adventure than I'd expected. But it turned out to be great fun and great company. Trip Report
Day 2 of the 2008 Sierra Challenge. The couloir is awfully loose, one of the worst I have climbed in a long time. Beautiful views from the summit. Tagged Lookout peak on the way back as well.
The highlight of the 2008 Sierra Challenge for me. The traverse from Ruby Peak was thrilling and nerve racking -- and this is one week after successfully doing the Palisades Traverse (T-Bolt - Sill). Thanks to Bob Burd for talking me into it.
Day of Sierra Challenge, very loose going up the coulier. Did my best to not send rocks careening down the mountainside, but failed. Nice views from on top.
Above the chockstone I stayed far right on some hard cl 3 rock to avoid the loose scree..fun stuff
5.5 hours car to car at an easy pace. This route is loose and I would not do it again. Suggest North Ridge instead. Solo it and bring your helmet in case someone is descending while you are headed up.
In hind sight I guess I appreciate this climb more than I did at the time. Went up the left fork and bailed to the rock when the snow became mushy/inconsistent by 8am, seriously WTF? Bailed back to the snow after pulling on several loose blocks and finding several holds covered with ice. I eventually made the summit in a pretty bad mood after postholing to my thighs on the upper parts of the couloir. After enjoying the views/cursing the mountain I left to decend the right fork hoping it would be better....I was wrong. The upper part felt like 50 degrees (steeper than the chutes above the notch on Whitneys MR) so I faced the slope and down climbed it. Several times I sank into my crotch when stepping down-each followed by odd combinations of profanity. After scrambling down some more crappy rock I made it to the "safety" of the lower slopes. I bidded the mountian a single finger solute (by that time I couldn't think of any more novel curses) and plunge-stepped from there.
Day 3 of the Sierra Challenge was for a peak I'd climbed, so I headed out here to settle a score. My first two tries on this route this summer had ended in abject failure. The first saw me misidentifying the summit, climbing another couloir further to the north, and subsequently enjoying my first unplanned waterless bivy somewhere off Mills' North Ridge. The second avoided a bivy at least, but saw me try the wrong fork of the couloir, leading to loose, scary class 4 climbing.
This time, I identified the correct couloir. For a class 3 climb, the crux moves past the chockstone are surprisingly tricky--they were harder than any of the 4th class stuff I scrambled that week, with loose rock, poor holds, and endless sand pouring down in my face to blind me while I thrashed about. Not too much fun at the time, but highly amusing in retrospect. I've never encountered anything quite like it anywhere else.
The couloir is dangerously loose, but really no more than class 2 once past the chockstone. I descended the rib to the north; this involves more class 3, but isn't quite as loose. (It still requires descending the difficult chockstone though).
IMHO, this is one of the more dangerous routes I've climbed. Lotsa loose rocks on this one!
A very pleasant solo outing - very loose rock and tricky route-finding - what more can one ask? Trip Report.