Day 1: 7.5 hrs, ~6.5 mi hogback to mirror lake, camped east of Mirror Lake in the trees. (decent snow pack, no trail).
Day 2: 5.5 hrs to trail crest. 2.25hrs to summit, 5.5 hrs back to camp w/ glissading down the chute. ~12.5 mi. (ok snow pack, minimal snow cover on trail crest to summit).
Day 3: 2.5 hrs, ~5.1 mi mirror lake to hogback, w/ road shortcut at big switchback.
Road, defined trails, breaking trail, snow fields, high angle slopes, ridge trail traverse, class III scrambles.
Snowshoes, crampons, ice ax, overnight.
Trailhead 7 miles from services (Lone Pine). Winter road closure at hogback road. Whitney portal road appears to be plowed during the winter. 2016 rock slide blocked road shortly after prominant road switchback. Blasting underway in 2017.
Snowshoes required till chute area. Deep powder on exposed slopes. Trail crest traverse to summit trail mostly clear of snow due to predominant winds out of the west. Recent snow storms would render trail crest to summit impassible/long alternative detours required. Talking with Rangers and Guides need at least 2 week window of no snow (high winds desired) to pack snow for the Chute area, and to clear ridge traverse.
-Trip lesson learned (and life lesson)... don't use Fox-Rent-a-Car. You will regret it (my second time). Pay the extra 5 dollars a day for another company.
-If you think you have looked extensively at google earth and topos and think you found a million shortcuts to save time/distance. You did not. Plan on following the road to Whitney Portal and staying on the trail until you go left at the trail split. After this you can start cutting through some of the switchbacks.
-4x4 vehicle is not necessary (I would still recommend it), the road is paved/half ass plowed all the way to Whitney Portal. If there is a recent storm (in which case you shouldn't be doing this) or storm following your trip I would recommend it for safety and guarantee purposes. At a minimum get a vehicle with clearance just incase.
Fly into Los Angeles (LAX). Rent a car and head north out of the city Navigating towards Lone Pine California. I-5 N to hwy. 14 N to hwy. 395 N. Services and food available outside of Los Angeles at most major towns. In-N-Out Burger in Palm Dale off 14, was a good rest spot. Food and gas available in Lone Pine. Small mountaineering store at the Whitney Portal Road Junction store with decent stock of goods if you need something last minute. Park off the road at the gate, there are a lot of people that will park there during the day so don't park crazy (we saw a car parked right in the middle of the road on the way up).
Note: before driving into downtown Lone Pine. Stop at the ranger station south of town, and pull up to the structure off the right side of the road to fill out a permit.
Trail Description (oriented for the accent):
Hogback road gate - Adds 4 miles to the ascent to Whitney Portal, follow the road. 2.9 miles on decent if you cut the switchback. Note, stay south near the creek valley to avoid cliffing out ~ 25' cliff along most of the road. Would not recommend taking the switch back shortcut on the way up unless you have very good snow conditions.
Whitney Portal - Cut right from the architectural wood frame structure and head up the switch back to gain elevation before heading up the valley. Even with snow cover the trail is the best option. Very steep terrain here.
Trail split - Obvious trail split at the top of the bowl above the TH, right takes you to the mountaineers route, left traverses left across the valley to the Mt. Whitney Trail valley. Note without doing technical climbing I believe you are stuck with one valley or the other.
Lone Pine Lake - After traversing across the valley you will will need to continue to gain quite a bit of elevation while traversing up the valley (8 or 9 big switch backs) until you are about even with Lone Pine lake. If the terrain becomes very steep you probably went too high. keep traversing/gaining until you get around to a open chute area. Go to the top of the chute and continue straight up the valley to the right through the trees. You will crest over one or two inclines before getting to a meadow/clearing on the right side of the valley.
Mirror Lake - at the end of the meadow take the right steep gully to get to the next plateau which is mirror lake. I would recommend camping in this area as this is the last place with tree cover before the ascent above Mirror Lake. As you approach Mirror Lake you will take the slope directly to your left and gain a lot of elevation to a plateau before continuing close-wise around the lake. Continue up the valley on the left/directly in front of you into a small bowl where you can do the switch back up the right slope to gain the ridge on the right. Or if the snow cover is good you can go left and get above the bowl to continue up a gully all the way to constitution lake. Note that if you go to far high and right you will need to decend back down before going past constitution lake (we went right up the switch back and then went diagonally up along a rock face/top of a cornice and ended up too high).
Constitution Lake - Continue up the valley towards the ever revealing peaks in front of you. You will come to one last buldge/hill with the option to go left, straight over, or right. Left is probably the easiest, straight over is hard till you get up to the rocks and then easy after that and i wouldn't recommend right.
Chute - This is probably the hardest part of the whole route, with the exception of the 2 mile never ending traverse at 14,000' to the summit. The Chute will go up the low angle slope near the rock face. The normal "99" switch back area will go up the left portion of this cutout where its bare rock. Do not go over there as there is higher avalanche danger. We stayed on the rocky exposed ridge that splits the two areas and went straight up. Aim for cresting left of the last spire and you will hit the trail immediately. If you take the the cut to the right of the last spire you will need to decent some easy 2nd or 3rd class slope/rock.
Trail Crest - The trail will cut right on the far side of all of the rocky spires. The trail is essentially cut into the side of the hill, so if there is snow covering this good luck, you would most likely need to decent the back side and traverse across the back side past all of the spires if the snow conditions were bad on the trail. Note that it was already hard enough hiking on a half covered trail.
Ridge traverse - You will be tired at this point, and now at 14,000 ft. Time for the ~2 miles of low angle hiking to the summit. With never ending wind out of the west.
Summit - After passing back and forth around the spires and across the boulder field, you are aiming for the flat topped slope out in the distance. Don't take the obvious shortest path to the summit. its can get pretty steep near the sides of the summit slopes. Follow the snow fields across the boulder field and do some easy switch backs up the middle of the summit bump. it will continue relatively flat for a bit till you get to the summit hut.
-When hiking this in the dark, there are quite a few options on how to complete this. Good rule of thumb is continue up the valley and stay right if you are past the split in the trail for the Mt Whitney Trail portion. Go hard left around Mirror Lake and continue up the valley on the plateau above Mirror Lake. Then stay pretty straight up the valley aiming for the trail crest peaks.
-On the way out after Whitney Portal on the road, once you reach the big switch continue straight down the hill off the road. Stay far right near the bottom once you reach the road to avoid cliffing out at the road. There is a nice ramp at the road corner next to the gate. Or jump/slide off the road cliff like we did.
-I think this is doable in two long days (12-16hrs of hiking/breakdown of camp), Three if you want three easy ish days, depending on the snow conditions. The hike from Mirror Lake back to the car was a piece of cake.
Should be confident crack climber and gym 5.8-5.9 climber. With a minimal rack, needs to be comfortable with exposure and placing gear to protect followers on traverses.
Followers should have basic crack technique. Should be comfortable 5.7-5.8 climbers with multi pitch experience. Needs to be confident enough to get through exposed areas and problem solving without assistance. Voice commands between climbers can be a problem.
Take the route from Rawlins, North on 287, South (left) onto 28, Right onto Lander Cutoff Rd (long dirt road), set GPS before you loose service and it will take you all the way to the trail head. ~1 hr 27 min (or 45 min if you drive fast) on dirt road, make sure you fuel up at a gas station before heading in. Taking a wrong turn (which we did on the way out) can result in meandering very long distances on un-marked roads.
Park at Big Sandy Trailhead. Take main trail next to pit toilets heading towards the river (north/northeast). Overnight dispersed bivy/tent camping possible in the valley below Pingora. Car to car possible if you want a very long day. Minimal trail signs on the way in. Navigate based land features: Big Sandy Lake, North Lake, War Bonnet Peak, Arrow Lake, Pingora Peak.
Follow signs to Big Sandy Lake. If doing an alpine start Big Sandy Lake will be the long/wide lake on your right without any trees between you and the shore line. After wrapping around the lake a bit and crossing a cobble stream bed, you will come to a wye with a sign post that is missing the sign (see picture), Go left. The trail will switch back up the hill and plateau once you can see up the valley. You will cross a river at the bottom of the valley and work your way along the right side of the valley up to the right side of North Lake. Go to the end of the North Lake and go left, crossing the grassy marsh area. Follow the trail up the slope in front of you for the start of Jackass Pass. War Bonnet Peak will be the massive looming peak on your left after the switch backs. As soon at the trail plateaus War Bonnet is on your left, Arrow Head lake will be in front of you with Pingora just visible up the valley. There will be an unmarked wye in the trail with an obvious continuation to the right and a less traveled trail to the left. See options below.
Option 1 (Suggested): Left at wye at Arrow Head Lake. Boulder hopping, minimal elevation gain. difficult to locate trail. quicker than going right. Aim for hitting the shoreline at the end of the lake. There will be a wye at the end of the lake, recommend going right along the lake to avoid crawling up a steep loose dirt/rock trail.
Option 2: Right at the wye at Arrow Head Lake. takes you over Jackass Pass, excessive elevation gain. easier hiking. follow cairns as the trails disappears. Stay high to avoid getting cliffed out. If near the end of the lake and you get cliffed out there is a 5th class escape gully off the corner of the lake with access to most of the ledges. We did not stay high enough and needed to drop into the escape gully. Not sure what the rest of the pass looks like.
Both options take you to or past the end of Arrow Head lake. Looking at google earth you can follow the trail up the valley to just below Pingora or cut up and over the ridge on your left below War Bonnet Peak to drop down into the bowl below the Cirque of the Towers. Aim for the valley on the left side of Pingora, making sure you are to the left of the ridge line below Pingora. With Pingora on your right proceed up the valley. You can stay low along the stream, or follow the switch backs along the base of the headwalls.
At the base of the wall looking up, from right to left: Pingora, Tiger, saddle, smooth ramp to the top, then a bunch of saw teeth.
Wolfs Head starts below the saddle with Tiger peak just on your right. Walking along the base of the wall, when you are forced to start descending again and the base of the wall starts to look like a slaby ramp stop. Start of the route is the dihedrals and blocky ramps that go up and left above the slab ramp.
Note: We simo climbed the first half until you get into the saw teeth where pitching it out is more necessary. After the long horizontal crack traverse with on the left face to a vertical crack and flat belay ledge you can simo climb the rest of the route to the summit that is visible around the corner.
Light rack if you want to go fast, doubles 0.5-#2 with #3, focus on hand size, full nut set, and a ten (10) or more 60 cm alpine draws. Long run outs will elongate simo climbs with lighter racks. 70 m rope preferred for running out pitches. 60 m doable. No hand tape required.
No fixed anchors that I can recall, multiple rap stations available at the end of the route (or you can just down climb, ~5.5/5.6?).
All belay stations were great. Leaders choice on when and where to setup.
Route weaves between the towers, a lot of potential rope drag issues. Recommend shorter simo rope length till you get to the cat walk. Bring all climbers up to the scree ledge before doing the short pitch to the cat walk. Recommend simo climbing till you get through the crux boulder problem, and before you head up to the slot/chimney, pitch out everything from here till you get past hand traverse at tower four and can see the summit block. Simo the rest to the summit.
Pitch Descriptions (climbers perspective):
Hard to define pitches for simo climbing. List of major sections/obstacles:
-Starts below the saddle with Tiger on your right.
-Work your way along the dihedrals and blocky ramps that go up and left
-Wide scree field ledge, walk right to get near the blocky fisher that splits the face.
-Climbers choice, pick route to get to the top of the saddle. The back side of Tiger will be just to the right.
-Go left at the top of the saddle along the infamous catwalk.
-Continue up the ramp staying high on the crest, good hand cracks with smearing in several spots.
-As crest plateaus and you approach the saw teeth. Drop down and left along obvious line to descend into a gully to a rounded exposed "sandwiched" boulder. Note: stay on the diagonal cracks, don't drop straight down.
-After crossing the sandwiched boulder, go up the obvious gully to the left of the sandwich boulder.
-Go through the slot chimney, (high or low depending on your sizes, recommend taking backpacks off prior). Setup belay at the end of the slot chimney just to the left.
-Delicate traverse with thin hands past the piton, then straight up to an obvious ledge, belay here.
-Hand traverse along crack to the right up and work your way over the ridge and drop into a cut out area, belay here.
-Continue through the end of the cutout and turn right to the hand traverse. Note: you can walk the hand traverse with minimal pro, or use the small features with your hands in the crack. After the main crack drop down a little use the black tipped features for feet. or go high if you walked it.
-Go up the corner/gully at the end of the cracks to an obvious flat block, belay here.
-Drop down off the far end of the flat block. Turn left and work your way up and right (if you are facing the wall).
-Go up chimney with a block at the top just below the summit.
-Scramble up the slabs/ramp to the summit.
Descent (looking downhill perspective):
Overall goal is to drop off the summit and go left, staying high on the far side of the ridge line from Cirque Lake (visible lake that was on your left the entire climb). You can down climb the entire thing, the obvious rappels will be more comfortable than soloing.
-Scramble down the far side of the summit (or rappel) to the next flat area.
-Rappel 3 or 4 times at each of the major ledges. Need to traverse a bit at each ledge to find the next station.
-Rule of thumb is if you can walk it then check it out. Overall keep working your way down and left till you get to the scree field and trails.
-If you stay high walking along the ridge line you will get to your last repel station that will drop you down to the scree saddle above the lake. If you drop too low from the ridge line you either get cliffed out and or have to walk back up to the top of the saddle.
-Loose dirt/scree switch backs and large boulders down to the lake
-Go left along the shore line.
-Walk trails/hop boulders down the valley along the creek.
-Cross the Cirque of the Towers valley and work your way back out to the trail head.
-Last note would be if you cut across the valley and stay high and right, aim for the shallow valley with boulders, you will hit a trail that will take you down a steep dirt path to the right corner of Arrow Head Lake (aka approach wye for option 1 at the end of the lake). Go right around the lake, staying at the same elevation till you hit the main trail.
Should be confident crack climber and gym 5.10-5.11 climber. With hand jam, finger jam, and reverse foot jamming techniques for lie back cracks.
Follower: Pitch 5 and 6 will be uncomfortable with 3+ people. Followers should have basic crack technique. Crux pitch can be skipped by falling or taking tight.
Park at Glacier Gorge trail head or the Bear Lake secondary lot which adds an extra quarter to half mile. Overnight bivy recommended (glacier gorge spearhead bivy). Car to car possible. Follow trail signs to Glacier Gorge and then Black Lake. Once at Black Lake the trail goes left around the lake and follows the river that feeds it. This is the steepest part of the trail. Once on top of the plateau, head toward the center of the bowl where the prominent feature in the middle is Spearhead. I always get lost going through here and end up taking a different path. Note: the farther left you stay the easier it is, eventually hitting a boulder field and traversing right toward the base of the climb.
As you approach Spearhead, the smooth face with the sickle shaped scar in the top left is Sykes Sickle and then to the right of that is an arrowhead shaped block. This is The Barb. Start of climb is to the climbers right of the Barb at the start of the flakey layered rock with a left facing dihedral that becomes more prominent at about 30-40 ft (see picture above).
Double rack #0.3 - #2, single #3, full nut set with focus on small range. Ten (10) 60 cm alpine draws. Nervous climbers bring extra #0.3-0.5, & #1. 70m rope preferred for running out pitches. 60 m doable. No hand tape required.
No fixed anchors or rap stations. Single piton after pulling crux move.
P1/P2 good ledge; P3 small ledge semi hang; P4 good ledge; P5 stop at a good ledge before crux pitch; P6 shallow angle ledge semi hang; P7 good; P8 climbers choice good P9 top out, good
Route wanders a lot with long traverses. Extend majority of pieces at the beginning of each pitch. Protect traverses with directionals for followers. Don't protect primary holds on pitch 4 and 5 as it will make it much harder to follow. If running low on gear, make belay at next available ledge (P5). Voice commands between climbers is possible.
Pitch Descriptions (climbers perspective):
P1 P2 (5.6) Simul climb up flakes into the dihedral. Walk left along the grassy ledge about 20-30 ft to another obvious flake that goes up and left, set anchor here. P3 (5.8) Easy flake climbing, with possible run outs if you do not have a #4 or #5. Protect when possible every 10+ feet to small ledge with a thick square flake above it (possible to get on top of square flake for better belay ledge). P4 (5.9) Left diagonal crack with three back-to-back thin finger moves. P5 (5.9) Money pitch, exit good belay ledge to the left. Follow curve up to a small roof and right diagonal crack on face. Sustained 5.9 crack with poor feet for 20ft. Continue into vertical crack with lie back larger than fist crack and ledges. Before leaving the last good ledge, setup belay or continue up to the horn at the base of the right diagonal crack if you have enough gear (watch out for the left traverse between vertical cracks). P6 At the horn, traverse right toward piton into crux move as you transition into the right diagonal crack. Reach delicate right hand and smearing foot to clip piton (5.10-, committing move) to get into the right diagonal crack. Belay at the end of the crack before continuing around the corner. P7 (5.6) Go right at the same elevation as the belay (just below a little roof) to get onto the upper pitches of the north ridge. Drop into gully, set anchor. P8 (5.6) Go up the gully and get off into the face cracks. You can attempt to climb to the actual route or stay in the first crack system. Thin protection until after you are above the piano block. Some runout 5.7 slab climbing. Setup belay on sloping ledge at same elevation as top of piano block. P9 (5.7) Awesome pitch, get up onto ramp (you will see an obvious belay ledge to your right above piano block), use the left of the two back-to-back dihedrals with a face crack on the left side of the book. Continue up to a chimney and all the way up and top out (for a more entertaining finish, belay at the end of the chimney at the entrance to a tunnel. Go through tunnel to finish).
Descent (looking downhill perspective):
Walkoff. Go down the backside with obvious switch backs, goal is to stay as left as possible. After switch backs start to narrow, go over left hump with large boulders and no apparent trail, go down more tight switch backs and continue left until you can see tight switch backs going all the way down to the scree field. Note: If you can not see all the way down, it cliffs out. Wrap around the face to your right to get back to the start. Stay far away from cliffs as rock fall is common from other climbers.
Confident 5.8 trad climber. A lot of easy run outs with consistently good holds. Study route beta to prevent wrong turns. Recommend learning mountaineering coil for simo climbing, body belaying (shoulder), and munter hitch for quick belays. Click on the technique to see a YouTube video.
All range levels. pick variations based on climber skill levels. Many variations available. Non-confident climbers will require roping up on multiple 5th class sections during scrambles.
Two options Monarch Lake or Pawnee Pass trail. For Pawnee Pass, go to the Brainard Lake Recreational area and continue to the long lake trailhead. From long lake trailhead parking lot head toward Lake Isabelle and Pawnee Pass. Parking lot side of Pawnee Pass has good trail signage (stay right at each of the Wyes). After reaching Lake Isabelle take a hard right at the sign toward Pawnee Pass. Cross the river a few times (this is your last water source before crossing the pass). There is a sign located at the top of Pawnee Pass. Continue past the sign and work your way down into the next valley (do not go up hill again, those are trails to hit the summits of surrounding peaks). There is no signage on this side of the mountain till you reach the turn off for crater lake. Proceed down the mountain and stay right at any trail splits (first trail split once you are in the trees will take you down to Pawnee Lake). Once the trail meets up with the river, cross it to the right. Note: watch out for toe smasher root once the trees start to thin out and there are very large boulders. At the next Wye the left turn will take you to an over look over a river with Lone Eagle Peak directly in front of you (almost perpendicular to the cliff, not the closer right peak). Take a right and continue to the next river crossing, the next junction will have a sign for Crater Lake and Cascade Creek shortly after the river crossing. Setup camp somewhere in the vicinity of this junction for cascade creek or continue to Crater Lake where there are the designated #'d campsites.
At the junction with the sign head toward Crater Lake, Mirror Lake will be the first lake with the iconic view of the peak. Hike the trails to the right to the end of the lake. Cross the river at the log jam between Mirror Lake and Crater Lake. Find the trail near the water (to the right after crossing the log jam) that goes up a ravine between the trees and the edge of Lone Eagle Peak.
Once you get to the top of the ravine (that is between the trees and Lone Eagle) it begins to fatten out and turn into a scree field, look for the 5th class scramble up a ledgy black rock section with a gap in the trees at the top. There is a piton about half way up the rocky section. This is considered P1 (I would call P1 - P4 approach pitches).
No fixed anchors or rap stations. Random pitons throughout route.
P1-P4 good ledges, P5 grassy ledge, P6 grassy/sandy ledge, P7 good ledge, P8 grassy ledge, P9 good ledge, P10 grassy ledge, P11 top out.
Route doesn't get much traffic, there is a lot of loose rock and dirty holds. Multiple variations available, all of which look like they follow about the same grade maybe 5.8 or less. Simo the easy pitches to save time. Body belay easy ramp scramble pitches if required to save time.
Pitch Description (climbers perspective):
P1 (5.7) starts up the black rock and onto a ledge with a piton just above head level. committing move to more jugs and grassy ledge and dirt trail up between the trees. Belay off of tree at beginning of dirt section (if required). After passing through the trees there will be a very wide rocky ramp to your right (this goes right around to the north face and other possible looking routes). To your left there will be a lower ramp mid ramp and upper 5th class looking ramp. P2-P4 (5.6) Take the upper ramp going left around the mountain. This will take you along a 4-6ft wide ramp through trees all the way to the end of the 4th pitch. There are two sections that might require roping up for ease of mind. Continue until you get to a grassy ramp with a long section of 5th class scrambling up rock. Setup belay or Simo from here. get up the scramble and to another ledge with a body width chimney/scramble above you. Setup belay here. P5 (5.7) Two route variations, continue all the way up the chimney to the next big grassy ledge (looked easier to top out on) or get up to the base of the chimney on a sloping ramp that goes right about 20 ft to a corner route with jugs. Top of this pitch is walking on thick bushes on a slope, be very careful as there is no pro here. Suggest going between the tree like bushes on the left and the spikey (ouch) juniper shrub on the right once you get to the vegetation. Setup belay at the blocky ledges. P6 (5th) aim for going between the two peaks up a scree and slab scramble to the base of a ramp that splits the peaks. There is a fun looking chimney and crack (maybe 5.9 or harder) with an amazing looking roof at the top to the left 15-20 ft of this ramp. Pick which ramp variation (left corner, middle slab, or right corner) you want to do and setup belay at the base of the ramp. P7 (5.7/5.8) left variation doesn't look fun, middle variation looked run out, right variation looked fun (we went with the right variation in the corner). Work your way up the crack and ledges to a small bulge (crux). Protect high before going through this, harder than it looks. Get to the ledge where it flattens out. set belay or combine with P8 (4th) continue working your way up and to the right. Setup belay at the base of the vertical wall section near the top of the knoll that you are on. There will be a 5th class scramble down and to the right along the wall to get down to the lower ramp. Looking straight up from here there will be a piton maybe 30 ft up and slightly to the right up some slaby ledges (possible run out route?) With a vertical crack about 15' to your right. P9 (5.8) money pitch, down climb 10-15' to the right to a horizontal crack that allows you to traverse into the vertical crack. Protect at the same elevation as the belay to help with rope drag. Get to decent belay ledge on your left. Setup belay here. P10 (5.7) possible link with P9, two variations, continue straight up and pull spikey roof or go right along diagonal ramp/crack (I went right). continue along the ramp and work your way up to top out on wide grassy ledge below the summit. setup belay. P10.5 (3rd) walk to the left and around the summit to the opposite side. Setup belay at the base of the left diagonaling ramps. P11 (5.7) Work your way up slaby left diagonal corner crack, poor protection in some spots. Get to the top and setup belay at the rectangular catwalk blocks.
Side note: Alternative P11 Option One: Once you top out from the money pitches just below the summit. there is a double vertical crack (looks amazing) leading into a wedged roof block, I attempted summiting with this but got stuck at the roof (maybe 5.10 5.11 section?), and my followers were not capable. Two: there is a single flaring hand crack (looks decently fun) to the left around the corner of the dual hand crack after pulling some blocky ledges. Getting into the crack was at least 5.9 maybe 5.10, I attempted but got stuck before getting into the crack, and my followers were not capable. Before attempting these make sure you bring your belayer up to the grassy ledge for communication purposes. I got myself into a very stupid decking situation after attempting both of these.
Decent (looking downhill perspective):
Your at the top! You're not done climbing yet. Walk along the catwalk toward the rest of the saw teeth peaks, drop down and left along a shallow narrow ramp not too far from where you belay. To ledges and trails. Everything you can see is considered the first valley. Stay high and work your way along caryns and trails to the scree field (150 yards). On the far end of the valley there are two cutouts at the top of the scree field that take you up and over into the next valley. We split up and took both paths. Left path seemed easier than the right. Both have very large loose rocks and 5th class scrambling. Be very careful. Top of both cutouts meet up. At the top go down and left toward triangle lake. Follow trails. In general side hill to the right and don't cut straight down. Eventually you will cut back to the left once you can see a path all the way down.
Get into the trees around triangle lake, looking down the valley go left or right to avoid cliffing out. Get into the boulder fields and work your way down to the grass. To keep from getting wet, stay long the tree line and follow random trails. Once you cross the river get back onto the main trails during the approach.