South Face

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 40.48780°N / 121.5039°W
Additional Information Route Type: hike/scramble
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 1-3
Sign the Climber's Log


Following directions given on the main page, drive to the large parking lot just west of the summit, above Helen Lake.

Route Description

If it's summertime, you have little choice but to take the trail that starts from the north end of the parkinglot, as most of the South Slope is very loose sand and scree, and not very fun to climb. The trail winds its way up to the SE ridge and follows this to the crater rim, then goes north to the summit. It involves 2,000 feet of climbing and can easily be done in a few hours.

In spring you may have trouble finding the trail. Good. That means there is plenty of snow on the south slope and you have more options. Look NNW to the large outcrop of rock near the top, on the left side of the South Slope. This is the most interesting feature on this side of the mountain and is open to a variety of scrambles to add some excitement to the climb. On the right side of rock outcrop there is some excellent class 3 scrambling on great rock with excellent holds. On the left side there are several chutes that offer some moderately steep, but short snow climbs. These also make for fun ski & snowboard descents.
Once above the rock outcrop, the climb to the summit is rather tame. Add some excitement by circling the crater rim - there are several locations along the route open to class 3 variations.

Essential Gear

For summer and fall, just bring your hiking shoes. For spring, take your choice of snowshoes, skiis and/or snowboard. Climb early before the snow gets too slushy around noon.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.