I traversed the east side of the ridge from the saddle, bypassing many pinnacles, and losing only about 40’ of elevation in the process. Four earlier 2017 parties made the use trail fairly easy to find, and there were plenty of cairns. Once on the ridge north of the summit, the scrambling was enjoyable. I was neither hurrying not fiddling around, and it took three hours from the PCT to the summit and back. Following the PCT from near the campground is really straightforward.
Nice loop from the PCT trailhead to the west after visiting Sawtooth Peak in the morning. From the trail at the saddle I didn't find the routefinding to be difficult at all. Plenty of ducks, just traverse over until it feels like you are in the last chute heading towards the summit (visible from the saddle). Nice scrambling along the ridge. Slab wasn't bad (though it looks worse coming down) and the step across is trivial, not even really exposed. Went to Owens the next day.
This one is hard. Used Lamont Meadow Rd as approach.
Finally made it to the summit after more attempts than I'm willing to say. I think a better route description for this peak would simply read "from the saddle traverse as far as safely possible before heading to the crest and following the ridge to te summit." That would remove all the chute counting and random route finding errors that I encountered through the years.
For a sub 8000 footer this peak offers a mix of route finding, tedious side hilling, crossing multiple decaying ribs and unstable gullies, burrowing under trees and some awkward class 3 climbing.
Like several others have commented, finding the correct chute up to the ridge is very difficult. It took me four hours from the saddle after going up one wrong chute to nearly the summit of North Needle, coming back down a sketchy cliff section, going up another wrong chute and back down, and then finally reaching the crest somehow. I thought the difficulties of the exposed slab and step across at the top were way overblown.
At least the weather was nice (t-shirt all day) with just a few sprinkles towards the end. Wanted to climb Sawtooth too, but ran out of time after all of the shenanigans enroute to Spanish Needle.
Nice day out with my buddie, Jim, traversing from Lamont Peak and East Lamont, followed fresh bear tracks to the PCT. Got a bit turned around in all the damn gullies, but summit and off before the thunder started to roll.
Climbed up by way of the slab, friends did the chimney, we all came down the slab. Had a glider come in for a close look while we were on the summit. Good Times
Lamont Meadow Road is blocked by fallen limbs at the creek crossing. It was a bad winter for the cottonwoods. Too bad, because the road is verry ddriveable after that.
We turned around at the saddle, the west and north sides were coated with ice.
I climbed to Spanish Needle with some friends. We measured the leap on the peak, and got some great pictures.
Just solo climbed this gem last weekend. I figured what the hell - do it in temps close to 100 degrees by myself and see if I still had game. *The heat did make it much tougher and I don't recommend it.* I had my share of the usual route finding difficulties; thought I had traversed enough..but all in all a great time except for those annoying Black Flies on the approach and in Chimney Creek Campground.
Found the slab to be mellow - there was plenty of friction and features on it that I never felt uneasy.
Thanks for the beta SP community!
Took longer than expected do to a silly mistake. The large bump visible from the saddle is the summit. The 6th chute has several branches and we took the right one due the mistake. Popped out just south of the North Needle which led to an exciting two hours on the ridge with plenty of class 3 & 4 action plus some brush work. Chose the class 4 chimney to summit (vs. the class 3 friction slab) and it went easy. There is a pretty good use trail crossing the chutes from the saddle but you don't need to drop 100' down like the TRs describe. Just begin the traverse at just below the saddle and you'll pick it up.
Participated in a SPS trip. Very tricky route finding to find the correct chute.
Solo hike from Lamont "Meadow". The internet is amazing. I followed the directions exactly and had no route finding problems. The summit register (back to the 1960s!) is rife with difficulties and vengeance climbs. If you drop exactly 100 ft from the PCT saddle, the traverse is not bad at all. I came back about 30 ft too high and it ate me up. Blech. I was planning to include Sawtooth, but halfway over I ran out of water. Over 2 liters by noon! The slab was easy, over before I knew it, but very heady on the descent.
Climbed with Jeff (Desert Solitaire) on a perfect November weekend. Noticed that the USGS topo appears to show the PCT wrong in this area, but we were only delayed a few minutes by the error.
Fun scrambling along the ridge. Part of a loop from Lamont - Spanish Needle - Sawtooth. Perfect for those Indian Summer days in the waning fall season.
With Matthew, below. Trip Report
I was turned back by snow back in March (or rather, I gave up without even really trying when I saw how much snow was on the peak--and general disgust at the tedious traverse from the PCT didn't help). I came back with Bob for redemption in October from Rodecker Flat, to tick off my final unclimbed peak from Section 1 of the SPS List. The approach from Rodecker Flat is a nice hike.
The peak is basically a big psychology test--the climbing is technically easy, but the exposure can play with your head. Spicy.