Southeast Face

Page Type: Route
Lat/Lon: 37.47980°N / 118.8564°W
Route Type: Scrambling
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Time Required: Most of a day
Difficulty: Class 2-3
Grade: III


Follow the McGee Creek Trail until you are above the north end of Big McGee Lake. Leave the trail heading south, descending a few hundred feet before climbing the red talus band to the unnamed lake in a cirque southeast of Big McGee Lake at 11,100ft. A decent use trail follows the west side of the small creek up to the unnamed lake.

Route Description

The southeast face is a terribly loose talus slog, but it provides the fastest route to the summit of Red and White Mtn. The Southeast Face has two broad chutes split by a rocky arete in the middle. Secor suggests the lefthand chute is the best choice but they look equally tedious. Climb one of the chutes to the saddle northeast of the black summit rocks. From the saddle traverse onto the southeast side of the peak and climb class 3 ledges to the summit, staying to the left of the Northeast Ridge.

The rocky arete in the center offers a class 3 alternative to the 1,200ft chutes on the Southeast Face. The rock isn't great, but it makes for a wonderful diversion from the tediousness of the chutes.

This route makes a good descent route following a climb of the Northeast Ridge, much faster than reversing that route to Little McGee Lake.

Matthew adds:
I descended the right hand chute (left hand from my perspective on the descent), mostly because I could hear water trickling down there and I needed to fill up my water bottles. Needless to say, the chute itself was awful, but the rib to its right (left on descent) really wasn't too bad at all--as I recall, it was class 3, with a few delicate moves and some exposure in places. My memory may be playing tricks on me, but I think the rib was probably more solid than the NE Ridge.

Essential Gear

None needed.

Miscellaneous Info

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