Southwest Slopes

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Summer, Fall
Time Required:
Less than two hours
Rock Difficulty:
Class 3

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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Southwest Slopes
Created On: Sep 19, 2004
Last Edited On: Feb 22, 2006


From Mineral King, follow the Farewell Gap trail over the pass and angle left for Bullfrog Lakes. The lakes can be reached either by descending to the 10,000 foot level and following a spur trail to the lower lake, or by contouring more directly from a short way below the pass. The former option requires more elevation gain/loss, albeit all on trail, while the latter involves tedious and seemingly endless sidehilling on loose scree.

Route Description

From the uppermost of the Bullfrog Lakes, hike up tundra and easy slabs, aiming for a weakness in the cliff band as shown in the following picture. Passing the cliffs is the only real class 3 of note on the route; once past this short obstacle, you can zig and zag your way up easy sandy terrain to the summit. The uppermost portion of the face around the summit is steeper, but still no more than class 2-3 with a little care in route-finding. Aim just to the left of the summit block for the easiest route.

An easier but longer option is to head left towards the saddle west of the peak, bypassing the cliffs/slabs entirely, and then angle up and right towards the summit, keeping below the crest of the ridge for the easiest climbing. (The ridge consists of large blocks).

If using the southwest slopes for a descent, keep in mind that the cliffs/slabs are not visible from above, and may come as a bit of a surprise once you reach them. Once down off the summit, it is simplest to angle to your right (west) to avoid them entirely; taking a more direct path to the lake requires some route-finding to keep the difficulty down.

Essential Gear

None required.