This thin ridge of a peak wraps northeastward from Mt. Carillon around Tulainyo Lake. The massive southeast face is mostly clean, and mostly unclimbed.
Northwest Ridge - Class 3, Norman Clyde 7/16/1931.
Southwest Ridge - II 5.6, Galen Rowell, Dennis Hennek, Dave Lomba July 1973.
South Face - III 5.9, FA Arthur Killian, Tom Condon Sept. 1961, FFA Bill St. Jean, Allan Pietrasanta, Alan Bartlett June 1980.
- III 5.10 A1, FA Kostas Stamatiou, Nate Ricklin 6/28/2008, FFA Scotty Nelson, Lin Pearson 7/19/2008
South East Arete
- II 5.7, Nate Ricklin, Scotty Nelson 7/11/2008
- III 5.10-, Gil Weiss & Matt Othemr, Sept 12, 2010. More info here
The massive Southeast face of the Cleaver The Cleaver from Cleaver Col, showing the backside and the NW Ridge
Easy cruise up from the N. Fork Trail
Take the North Fork of Lone Pine Creek from Whitney Portal until just below Lower Boy Scout Lake. Turn right and hike uphill (north) up a very light use trail which you might not find (and don't need anyway), then head up meadows and talus northwestward into the cirque, with Carillon on your left (west), and the Cleaver to the north.
The approach is slightly shorter than from Whitney Portal to Iceberg Lake. About 3.5 hours with overnight packs.
Standard North Fork of Lone Pine Creek red-tape/BS. See Mt. Whitney page or go to this NPS page
to see if there are any permits available. Whoops, everything's full. Better luck next year. Sucks to be you.
There are excellent bivy spots from the N. Fork of Lone Pine Creek trail all the way up to the base of the Cleaver, all with nearby running water.
There is a beautiful sandy bivy site just below a tiny lake at the base of the southeast face.
There are even some decent bivy spots right at Cleaver Col, if you wanted to sleep that high.
Either downclimb the northwest ridge or make a single-rope rappel off the backside (northwestward) toward Tulainyo Lake. From there descend from Cleaver Col: Take the 2nd
gully southwest of the Cleaver, first staying on the plateau to skiiers right then dropping into the gully.