The southern ridge is obvious from almost every vantage point along the San Joaquin and Mono Creek drainages. It is a class 2 climb starting from Devil's Bathtub. Total elevation gain from the southern end of Devil’s Bathtub is 2,309’. Time to climb is about 2-3 hours depending one’s speed.
The approach hike begins at the Devil's Bathtub Trailhead
. It is 4.5 miles to Devil's Bathtub. The hike for the most part has a gentle grade and is a pleasant stroll through the wood. Total elevation gain from trailhead to Devil's Bathtub is 1,385'.
From the southern edge of Devil’s Bathtub (where the maintained trail ends) make for the visible ridge line to the east. This lateral moraine is fairly smooth once on top and one can continue northbound. A variation of this is to follow a good use trail around the east side to almost the north end of the lake and then climb the moraine to the top.
When you’re abeam the north end of Devil’s Bathtub the lateral moraine turns to a class 2 steep bush whacking and bouldering hoping experience. Views of the surrounding area are mostly blocked from large Jeffery Pines
(or what I believe it is), which is unfortunate because the route itself is pretty lame with no views of the summit while ascending.
About 2,300’ later one will top out on southern (lower of the two) summit. Yeah, I had a good time too....
Unless it is really warm which is can be on that slope, I might pass on shorts becuase of the brush.
Another route which is much steeper but saves on a long drawn out boulder and brush whacking slog is to ascend the one of the gullies on the southwest face on the mountain. While I was coming down, I realized much for fun would have been if I came this way up. Food for thought….
The southwest gully is a steep class 3 with loose rock so wear a helmet. From the north end of Devil’s Bathtub walk north through the trees gaining about 500’ until you get to a small meadow about 9,600’. From here you should be able to see the SW gully. Climb up the boulder field to attain the gully. Between 9,800’ – 10,000’ there is a band of class 4 cliffs.
However I believe that with a better look from below one could find a 3rd class route up this. Ascend the edge of the gully (exposure is less) and make a run from the southern ridge. I believe the gully tops out around 11,000’.
Good old cell service...
Good service on the ridge thanks to the cell tower at the White Bark Vista near Kaiser Pass.