South Chute

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Mostly hiking w/ scramble
Time Required:
Most of a day
Class 3

Route Quality: 3 Votes

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South Chute
Created On: Jun 16, 2004
Last Edited On: Jul 13, 2004


Approach ~2.9miles (one way)
Approximate time (car to car) 8 hrs at moderate pace
Altitude gain ~3500ft

This fun and relatively quick dayhike begins at the Onion Valley Trailhead.
From the west end of the parking lot, head for the trail marked "Kearsarge Pass." Note that this trail splits a few hundred yards up; one branch heading toward the Pass, the other heading to Golden Trout Lakes. You'll want the one marked "Golden Trout Lakes."

Continue on this loosely defined trail across the creek and up towards the waterfall. The trail bifurcates many times; follow it up on the climbers right of the fall and you'll be fine. Continue up thru the trees, following the creek. At about 1.5miles, you'll come to the split in the two drainages; the one leading west will take you to Golden Trout Lake, the NE route continues up canyon to two un-named lakes (see accompanying map) and this is the leg you want. Dragon Peak will now be in view. Continue up to the talus field.

Route Description

From the base of the talus field, traipse upwards thru junk until you reach an obvious Cl 3 gully which cuts thru the otherwise formidible looking south side of Dragons armor. Climb.

At the top of the gully I went right and climbed Cl-2 slabs upward and eastward. (This differed from Secors description but I prefer to find my own way.) Continue up until you can start traversing the blocks northward.

Keep heading up and northward until reaching a steep slab which appears to bar the way. On closer inspection you should find a generous ledge for the boots and a rather large crack for the mitts. This is where some may want to rope up but you'll probably be in for more trouble than its worth if you try to protect while traversing (awkward.) Once past, start following the blocks up to the obvious peak and you're there!

Miscellaneous Info

17June 2004 - I had previously listed this as "Southeast Ridge Route" and then found that the Secor book lists that name already. Since the route I've described varies somewhat from the one he describes I decided to change the name here so as not to generate any confusion. SFTI