Clyde Minaret is named after Norman Clyde, the High Sierras most prolific first ascensionist. It is a very fine peak made from, not granite, but a more ancient metamorphic rock, which gives it its characteristic, almost non-Sierra-like shape of a sharp needle (as seen from the ski slopes of Mammoth). Its dark triangular SE face is home to a great classic rock climb.
Red's Meadow is the trailhead. Get their either by shuttle bus from Mammoth during the day, or arrive by car late at night.
Head north on the John Muir Trail at first, then cut left (west) onto an obvious trail which leads to Minaret Lake. On the bench above this lake lies Cecile Lake (10,246ft), where there are limited campsites (7.75 miles, 2,700ft elevation gain).
I believe this to be the most frequently used start for the (sandbagged, imo) 5.8 SE Face Route. While there is a series of easier pitches that traverses in from the left via a series of ramps/ledges, this is a more aesthetic line with reportedly better climbing, more consistent with the difficulties you'll encounter higher up. Corner climbing with some minor overhangs, great jams, and awesome crimps! The SuperTopo book lists the first pitch as being 5.9 and the second being 10a. I found them bo...[more]Browse More Classics in CA