The shortest and easiest approach is via the Shadow Lake Trail starting from the Agnew Meadows Trailhead. An alternative approach can be made from Devils Postpile via the Minaret Lake Trail.
If coming from Agnew Meadows, follow the excellent use trail from Ediza Lake to the outlet of Cecile Lake. Cross the lake at its outlet, and climb the 1000ft of class 2-3 rock (mostly solid) between the lake and the start of the route. In early to mid-season, a steep snowfield must be crossed to gain the ledge above it. In low snow conditions you can bypass the snow on wide, sloping ledges. At the ledge (not discernable from below, but once above the snow this ledge becomes more obvious), follow the rubble-strewn path west to the start of the route.
If coming from Minaret Lakes, the trail peters out as it climbs the steep rubble mess leading to Cecile Lake. Climb the rocky slopes heading up to Clyde Minaret found on the south side of Cecile Lake. Your route should follow to the right of the prominent red-colored rocks found on the east face. This takes you up to the middle of the north side where you can traverse west and upward towards the ledge. Follow the ledge west to the start of the route.
This is the easiest route up Clyde Minaret, an exciting and exposed (mostly) class 3 climb.
The regular start of the Rock Route is where the ledge meets the deep groove cut into the northwest buttress. The route can be climbed from the very bottom (below the ledge), but is a difficult class 5.5 chimney. It does, however afford a way to bypass the snowfield in mid to late season.
Where the ledge meets the groove, climb the narrow passageway up for about 500ft. The climbing is most difficult and the exposure greatest in this first half of the route. The holds are generally great along the whole route. As you reach the top of a gendarme rising to your left, climb up and left around the top of it. Some easy face climbing up from the small saddle here leads to the next chute over where it joins with Starr's Route
. Climb this to the summit ridge.
Follow the ridge east to the summit, with a single 10-foot class 4 down climb
along the way.
In early to mid-season ice-axe and crampons are advised for accessing the permanent snow fields found on the north side. Check on conditions before you go, or plan to carry axe and crampons.
A rope is not necessary unless someone in your party is uncomfortable on exposed class 3. Most of the route is class 3 and the exposure is sustained at times - not a beginning class 3 route! The class 4 down climb along the summit ridge is not really very hard, and has little exposure - don't let this part frighten you off.
Helmets advised, particularly for parties following others or for members following the leader. Rockfall can be minimized with careful lead climbing, but not avoided altogether.
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