With Matthew (below) and Michael. As matthew said, a slog for the most part. Trip Report
Day 5 of the 2003 Sierra Challenge. Ugh, what a slog... I'm not planning on heading back to this one any time soon, even given the stellar summit views. Secor comments that the rock around here is "disagreeably loose," but that's really an understatement. There was a little fun class 3 in places, so as to try and avoid the sandy slopes, but even on that rock there was still loose crap everywhere. The best climbing was actually found on the buttress leading up towards Thompson-Powell Col from Sunset Lake--solid rock, easy, but quite fun.
Babboon Lakes featured some beautiful wildflowers on the return--after reaching the summit, perhaps the highlight of the trip.
I downclimbed this Harrington Couloir in October 1997, after going up the Central (later named Smrz Couloir by RJ Secor) of the three couloirs visible in the Harrington Page picture. This Harrington Couloir has rather steep section at the top where some 200 feet of hard ice needed to be climbed. I faced in, with two tools to downclimb this steep section. I elected to downclimb this, because the regular route off Thompson via the North Ridge looked too difficult (to me) to downclimb solo, without rope, and with fresh snow covering the ground. Several years later, that North Ridge descent proved anything but class 3, especially if one follows the ambiguous decription in all the Climbing Guide Books. Better way is to follow the North Ridge at least 1/4 mile out, over 4th class terrain until easy WALKING gully can be taken down to the Thompson Glacier. If you start down too soon, you will get into difficult terrain and several steep raps. I would recommend this Harrington Couloir as a great ( one day RT from South Lake) training outing, if you know the way down. In mid August, this couloir might have hard neve in it. In October, it usually has fine, hard alpine ice. Enjoy!