Uphill run from white mountain ranch gate to sparkplug mine camp. scramble up to south spur of west ridge, snowy slug to summit while cutting trail with crampons. snowline around 8 or 9,000 ft. summit around 3 pm with a long snowy slog down to the remaining 5 miles of somewhat runnable terrain. there is a bright light by the white mountain ranch gate that is visibile from a significant distance. this provides an excellent focal point for nighttime orienteering
Late season storm hit hard on the summit (big gusts & white-outs, snowing most of the day, but not sticking until the last quarter mile). Didn't use crampons, but the axe gave some assurance crossing the thin ice cornice between the 3rd & 4th towers from the summit. Excellent x-country training route, especially if you're a scree/talus masochist. 2.5 liters of water, 15.5 hours car-to-car, solo. (Then Lone Pine Peak the following day for a "cool down.")
Perhaps the most memorable day hike, and most amazing day in the mountains in my short career. 20 hour push through thigh-deep postholing between 10-11K, gorgeous cramponing snow along the ridge, making the Cl3 a bit tricky and slow but totally doable. Solo days should all be this good.
Dayclimbed up and back starting from around 4750 ft elevation. Brought crampons and ice axe but didn't use them. I brought only 1.5L of water but with the cool temp I didn't need any more. Scree slope above 11,000 feet was truly memorable. Lacking acclimation it took 10 hours to summit with a round-trip time of 18 hours. With a light pack and proper acclimation and more daylight I would expect to shave a few hours off that.
10k' of gain through trailess heaven. brought a gallon of water.
This is a great training route if you enjoy long scrambles, BIG elevation gains (10000 ft), and solitude. My roomate and I climbed this during spring break 2001. Since it was the end of winter, we experienced some deep snow wallows (6'), but mostly lots of loose tallus. There were some class 3 sections. We spent 2 nights on the mountain (if you plan on 1 day you better be very fit!!), starting from the sparkplug mine and ascending the ridge (south spur variation). Once gaining this crest it is a simple route heading east for miles.