Pile of sand with a nice summit block.
A quick hike up along the old trail to the Sawtooth Pass area, followed by a moderate scramble to the peak and a risky scramble/slide/climb staight down to Upper Monarch Lake to attempt to avoid the potential lightening of an incoming thunderstorm. Take care to try to follow the intended route and stay where the most footprints are so you avoid risking your life free climbing down the cliff bands like I did. The new trail to the Southwest of Lower Monarch Lake made a more gradual hike back down to Mineral King. The views were more than worth the effort!
Trip with Debbie and Fritz (my wife and my brother). ~ 13.6 miles r.t. 4500 ft. elevation gain parked at Timber gap / Sawtooth pass trail head ~8am. 5 hours up (8am-1pm), 4 hours down. Fire a few miles north caused haze which gradually obscured the nice view of Cirque, Langley, Muir, Whitney, Russell, but Mt. Kaweah still visible all day. Deb tried to go east down to Columbine lake from sawtooth pass, but chickened out and waited ~2 hours at the pass for me and Fritz to bag the peak. The route from the pass to the peak was a nice scramble. The very summit block was too scary for us to stand on, so we just put our hands on top of it. Couldn't find a register. Fritz and I hope to go back to Sawtooth pass this summer and climb big Kaweah.
We had a blast running back down the scree from sawtooth pass that day. Nice and easy climb and Monarch Lakes is a nice place to camp. Really cool moonrise over sawtooth peak the nighte before we climbed.
This was the only accomplishment on a two night trip. I got either altitude sickness or a mild flu and so our plans were dampened. The summit was still fun, and I remember the the creek east of Columbine Lake fondly.
Sep 18, 2004, NW Ridge (ascent) / SE Ridge (descent): Sawtooth-Needham-Rainbow-Florence dayhike out of Mineral King. Sawtooth was buried amongst clouds when I arrived up there--the Kaweahs were visible for all of about thirty seconds, then poof!, they vanished into the fog.
Sawtooth is an unusual climb in that the trail approach is sloggier than the cross-country... loose sand led up to the pass, then solid boulders to the summit.
Sep 9, 2006: I never planned to return, but Bob twisted my arm into coming up here again as a warm-up for the Black Kaweah dayhike the next day. It wasn't a classic climb on the second visit, either.
Climbed this with a small group of friends from the Sierra Club. The trail out of Mineral King was blazing hot, and there was no water until we reached Columbine Lake. Yuck. But the peak was worth the effort. Awesome 360 degree view!
My last climb out west. Planned on day hike. Lost trail at Upper Monarch Lake. I scrambled up from there. Ended up at Columbine Lake at sunset. Hiked all night to get back to trail head. Learned lots of things not to do. Great experience.
Slogged up the sand to Sawtooth Pass via old trail under south face of Empire Mtn. , and up the north ridge. Great views. Descent west face with interesting problems to solve. Left Mineral King 0700, return 1700. Sacked out at brother in laws cabin in Mineral King. Lucky to have had such a great base camp.
A beautiful weekend with views of Whitney and the Eastern Sierra's.
Day hike with my buddy Jim. We did the hike in 10 hours flat. This was Jim's first peak and did a great job!
Spent four hours on the summit, three of them alone waiting for my cousin who was suffering from altitude.
Nice view. Wouldn't mind climbing the northeast face (faces the Kern Plateau). Heard it's 5.8 with a small pendy.
Did this summit with Patrick Mathis, Kevin Milner and Aimee Mckee Rollinger.
The view is sweet as you can see everything from the Kaweahs to the Western Divide and then some. The hike to the summit is easy except for the sand. The Peak has a nice flat rock on top perfect for a Sierra nap as well.
Views were outstanding, but the climb was rather marginal. Too damn much sand! We intended to hike in and climb Black and Red Kaweah, but this was the only peak we managed to climb. Trip Report