Checkered Demon is easily overlooked from Humphreys Basin, overshadowed as it is by Mt Humphreys. It's also better known in climbing circles for it's two north facing snow couloirs. However, the West Face route makes for an easy day hike from North Lake or as a warm-up scramble for those venturing to climb Mt Humphreys.
The approach to Checkered Demon's West Face is from Humphreys Basin. To reach the basin, take the Piute Pass Trail to the top of Piute Pass (approximately 5 miles) from the North Lake parking lot. At the top of the pass, you will see the top of Mt. Humphrey's imposing SW face rising above the granite benches to the north. Climb these benches until you see Checkered Demon to the east (right) of Mt Humphreys. Go cross-country across a number of benches towards Checkered Demon. There are several lakes at the foot of the mountain that can provide a last minute water fill-up. This peak sees few ascents, especially from this side.
The summit of Checkered Demon, as viewed from Humphreys Basin, is not the high point on the center right of the mountain. Instead, it lies furthest to the north adjacent to the low point between the mountain and Mt Humphreys. However, better climbing is experienced by climbing the chute immediately south of this false summit and traversing the gentle Class 2 on the east side to the actual summit. The true summit can also be climbed to directly from the west over tedious boulders and scree with some class 3 scrambling near the top. This route makes for a better descent than ascent.
None in the summer or fall. During the winter and spring, standard winter gear is required.
The Eastern Sierra Logistical Center
provides more detailed information on the trailhead and permit procedures.