Left our camp at 10:30am on the point at Relief Res. Bushwacked straight up the hillside until we hit the Grouse Creek Trail. Hit the summit at 3:30pm and descended into Soda Canyon. A little trouble route finding out of the canyon (almost walked right over the 2nd waterfall off a cliff) but eventually ran into the Kennedy Lake trail and took it back to the fork and eventually back to our base camp. A great day hike with some fishing in the morning at the lake. See my photo of the SPOT tracker points
I should have read the summit log before my trip. I made the same mistake as thebeave7 by attemping the ridge directly south of the tarn. I was stopped by the same deep notch and had to go back around the tarn to climb the ridge directly north of the peak. Beautiful day to be on the summit though... This is an extremely dry year. Both Grouse Creek Lake and the tarn west of the summit were completey dry. However, there was ample water in the smaller tarn to the SW of the summit.
Climbed up via Grouse Creek and tried to obtain the NW ridge that goes over point 10659, got blocked by a deep notch at 9800ft so had to descend back to 9400ft and climb the snow slope up the N face. Definately better as a snow climb. Views are spectacular from the summit.
Good area, good views, but it would be better as a snow climb.
Dayhike out of Kennedy Meadows; gained Relief Peak's NE Ridge from Grouse Creek and continued around over Molo Mtn. and Kennedy Peak, returning via Soda Canyon and Kennedy Creek. This was a longer day than it had looked on the map, with some truly awful scree to gain Relief's NE Ridge (a snow climb of the north face would be more enjoyable) and some tedious sidehilling on the way to Molo--but fortunately with some fantastic views that more than made up for the poor climbing.
From a small lake to the west of Kennedy Pk, traversed up sun cupped snow slopes to a notch to the west of the large volcanic spire. Now on the south side of the ridge, I followed the ridge to Relief Pk. I took the ridge back and down to the Summit Creek head.