Yes, its a long slog up to Red Lake, but an interesting climb from there with a bit of route finding involved. Had a nice hiking companion for the first part of the hike up to Red Lake. Long day for me.
On the 4X drive in we listened to Metallica. We then hiked up to Red Lake, almost entirely in the dark. The song 'Sad but True' kept going through my head.... HATE! I'm your HATE! I'm your hate when you want love...DO! Do my work! Do my dirty work scapegoat!... That pretty much describes hiking up to Red Lake in the dark. This was the 2nd time I had an altitude headache on all the 14ers I've climbed, so it was fitting that the same song returned during the 'class 1' final talus slog with the little man in my head stabbing my eyes with an icepick everytime I jolted my steps.
I must return and climb Split Mtn again under better 'conditions'. The graceful ridges and multihued faces are not to be missed. The first snow had fallen above 12,800 feet, and this added character to the faces and ridges.
Yikes, I hope Metallica doesn't sue summitpost like they did napster for illegal use of their lyrics.
Started from Southfork Trailhead, hiked up East Face of Middle Palisade, then down the west side. Traverse to Mather Pass, ascend the West Face of Split Mountain. Met fellow climber on top Split and descended to the Red Lake Trailhead in the dark. All in one long day.
Drive to Red Lake Trailhead 4WD only! Approach to Red Lake from the trailhead was long and hot. The trail is pretty steep in about 3 sections. Got amazing views of the mountain from our campsite at Red Lake. The next day hiked up through the endless boulder fields of the North Ridge. The gulley to the summit ridge involved some Class 2-3 climbing with heavy rockfall. After that, relavitely easy trek to the summit. Incredible views of Whitney, Palisades and Owens Valley/ White Mountains in all directions.
A long dayhike from the Red Lake Trailhead. Day 8 of the Sierra Emblem Challenge 2001. 6.5 hrs from the trailhead to the summit, but I think I could have done 5.5 hrs going solo. Still, Russ McBride's 4hr16m shames me.. :)
This was the seventh peak of my CA 14er Speed Tour.
I couldn't make it all the way to the trailhead in my car, so I parked it and hopped on a mountain bike. When I got to the trailhead, I stashed the bike in the bushes and started up the the steep, sandy, overgrown trail to Red Mountain Lake. After I got to the lake, the climb became much more enjoyable. I hiked up the endless Class 2/3 talus (very loose in spots) to the Prater-Split Saddle. From there it was a quick jaunt to the summit.