Everyone complains about the loose rock in the chute above the black stain, but if you stay to the right-hand side of chute, you can just do little class 2 and 3 moves on intact rock and its a really fun route. PICS
I had a blast! We camped at Shepherd’s Pass over the 4th of July weekend and climbed on our layover day. The weather was spectacular and conditions in general were great. A lot of slogging, but still a fun climb,
It was a long haul up from Anvil Camp. Williamson Bowl deserves its reputation for a difficult trek. This was a China Lake Mountain Rescue Group training climb. We reached the summit at 3:30 PM after 8 hours from A.C. Nice weather allowed fantastic views from the summit.
I climbed the SE Ridge a year ago, May 12 2002 with Bob Huey of CLMRG, also part of this party. The approach through Williamson Bowl is much harder.
My wife Elena and I summited the mountain on May 11th via Bairs Creek (South Fork). We had a base camp in cental part of the cirque (10600 ft). Started @ 5:30 am, climbed up the chute to the top of SE Ridge. Then we traversed the rocks staying mostly on the western side of the rigde @ 12000 ft, climbed back to the top of the rigde as became wider an hiked to the base of the south face. Instead of getting towards the horns and then climbing on the snow to the summit plato from the cirque of North Fork Bairs Creek, we chose to climb the snow/rocks via the chute of the left from the gap. There were some cornices and problem snow fields that can be avoided by climbing on rocks (class 2+). The summit portion had a hard-packed snow. The summit was reached @ 4 pm. We couldn't find the register as it was buried by the snow. Returned back via the same route The last chute to the cirque was made with the headlamps on.
Very interesting climb and I would like to come back and do it via the North Fork of Bairs Creek.
Beautiful hike. Camped by the lake at the base of Tyndall. It was long but not terribly so. Crossing Williamson Bowl was the only really annoying aspect.
I remember reading Galen Rowell's article in Summit magazine sometime in the 70s, about possibly the greatest ski run in the Western United States, the George Creek of Mt. Williamson. Galen was saying something about the relief from the desert floor to the summit , which made the George Creek one of the longest ski runs anywhere in the world. This was in late 70s, so don't quote me exactly. In spring of 1985, we, Miguel Carmona, Andy Fried,visiting Italian Alpine Club member Corrado De Francesco and I, skied up the George Creek to the summit. From there, we had some 9.000+ feet of downhill skiing starting right on the summit. I remember everybody having such a good time skiing this incredible line. Does anybody ski it nowadays?
George Ivy and I climbed Williamson in winter of 1981 via George Creek. We took 4 days to ski up and down the peak. I remember seeing distant Nevada Peaks from the summit, the visbility was hundreds of miles.
Climbed this route with ScottyS as a dayhike, and a long dayhike it turned out to be. Read the excellent trip report posted by ScottyS. Overall, an epic day.
A long day hike. Finally summitted at 4pm and back to truck at midnight.
Tim Winiarski, Bob Lathuras and I climbed this route and found it very enjoyable, but long! Most of the climb is 3rd class, but there were about 4 pitches of moderate class 5 to the top of the West Horn. From there it looks hard to the top, but isn't ( bring a copy of the Secor guide description of the West Horn ). We brought bivy gear and spent the night on top to enjoy a glorious sunset / sunrise! Also videotaped the whole climb with 3 digital camcorders. Reccomended!
Started from my friend's car at 5am, made the summit around noon. The day was very calm and sunny. Descended the same way, the normal route, and headed towards Tyndall; summit it, and back at the car at nightfall.
Started from Mahoganny Flats, took my time trying to find the right way. Went up the wrong chute, to far south. Met some other hikers on top and watch what way they descended. I descended the normal route and was back at Mahoganny Flats as the sun set.
Dayhiked with bearbnz up the NE Ridge from Shepherd's Pass Trailhead and down the tourist trail. Free-climbed all 4th and 5th on route, and was thankful for the snow between the Horns. Not recommended as a dayhike, since route-finding keeps it scary.
Round trip time ~19hrs 50min.
Second attempt at dayhiking this bad boy, first time just 3 weeks earlier. 16hr20min CTC from Shepherd Pass Trailhead. I had fun for all but about 3 hours of this climb: the two hours climbing the class 2 chute were brutal, as was the last hour coming down from Symmes Creek Saddle. The weather was outstanding, 70F when we started at 4:20a, 70F at the summit at 2p. Just light breezes and a few isolated clouds throughout the day. Climbed with phomchick who made it as far as Shepherd Pass. On the first attempt June 15, climbed with Joe Hanssen and his friend Justin, but we only made it as far as the Black Stain. Trip Report
After not being able to summit Mt Williamson in the winter via the NE Ridge, I went back in summer with partner mdostby to climb via the class 3 West Face. Hiked most of the day on Saturday, July 13th. After Shepherd's Pass, we set up camp near the second lake at ~ 12,500 ft. Next day got an early start, crossed the Williamson Bowl. Got below to the beginning of the climb at 7:00am (below the black stains). Partner mdostby turned around because of fatigue. I continued on and reached the summit at 8:57am. Stayed nearly an hour at the summit having an early lunch and talking to the 3 other climbers. Hooked up with one of them (Shasha from the Ukraine) for the descent and swaping cameras for picture taking. Got back to camp, rested for 2 hours and then headed to summit Tyndall via the North Rib. Hiked out from camp next day at 7:00am. Reached the trailhead parking area at 11:30am. Home in LA by 4:00pm.
Did not summit. :-( Got as far as just below the water marks and made a very hard decision to turn back. I was extremly exhausted from the long hike in the day before. Wish I had planned a rest day. This is a tough mountain! The approach is enough to wear you out. My buddy, forjan, did make the summit and then came back to camp and 2 hours later climbed Tyndall. My hat is off to him. I guess I just bit off more than I could chew this time.
I climbed Williamson around July 4th, just before the Bighorn Sheep closure last summer. I made my base camp down at Anvil Lake (mosquitoe hell hole) so it was a long hike to start the climb. The climb was wonderful and I met a very fast well conditioned climber from SLO on the way up. A tropical weather system from the south was sweeping up through central CA, making for some tremendous lightning and hail while I was on top. When I heard a buzzing in my shoulder on the summit, I dove into a rock cave to let the squall pass. Coming down the class 3 chute there was 2-3 inches of hail on the holds. It was a religous experience
The approach to the actual climb is the most tiring part of the whole climb. However, when we finally arrived at the base of Williamson and started climbing, the nasty approach seemed worth it.
The snow was in perfect shape for going up the colouir, and we made good time. After the colouir, there was some 3rd class, a short ridge, and finally the summit.
The weather gods were with us that day...there was not a cloud in the sky, and we could see several of the other 14'ers from the top.
This is definetely a climb worth doing if you don't mind long approach hikes.
It really is too bad that Williamson is a little lower than Whitney, 'cause it sure is a bigger and badder mtn (and approach). Conditions were great in the coulior, I highly recommend climbing when it's full of snow, for an easier ascent, and a much speedier glissade descent. Icy climbing getting out of the coulior, and a couple wierd (for 3rd class) moves, and we were just below the summit. Next time, we'll try a ridge that summits the East Horn.
A good varied climb! Starting with loose scree down low, then a nice snow chute in the middle section, & finally, a short easy chimney section near the top, to round it out. I wanted to make sure I did both of these mountains in one go, for two reasons: #1- the short time frame you have due to the bighorn sheep. & #2- I didn't really want to come back over Shepherd Pass again!