Sign Up  |   Log In:Login with Facebook
REI Community
Select Route:
West Chute T 

West Chute 

YDS: 3rd French: 1- Ewbanks: 1 UIAA: I ZA: 1 British: M 1a

Type:  Trad, Alpine, Grade II
Original:  YDS: 3rd French: 1- Ewbanks: 1 UIAA: I ZA: 1 British: M 1a [details]
FA: Tony Watkin, 1997
Page Views: 2,529
Submitted By: fossana on Jul 29, 2010

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (9)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
looking down the West Chute



The West Chute of Cloudripper sports relatively straightforward route finding with enjoyable climbing on solid granite and nearby options for spicing up the Class 3 rating. The total mileage with the Green Lake descent is ~8.5 miles with ~4300 ft of gain, making it an easy day excursion from South Lake.

According to Secor (The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, and Trails, 1999 ed.) the West Chute was climbed by Tony Watkin on June 22, 1997. Given the accessibility of the peak and prominent nature of the gully I strongly suspect the first ascent predates this report.


From the South Lake parking area take the Bishop Pass trail 2.9 miles to the signed Chocolate Lakes trail junction (east/left side of trail). Follow the Chocolate Lakes trail around the north end of Chocolate Peak. Leave the trail at the third (east most) Chocolate Lake and skirt the north shoreline to the reach the talus slopes below Cloudripper, aiming for the base of the obvious right-leaning chute, the base of which is bordered by a band of reddish slabs. A blank-looking slab is visible at the top of the route. Approach mileage is ~4 miles.

The Route
From the notch head up the chute and right, aiming for the summit slabs visible from the base. Various options (from Class 3 to low Class 5) exist for ascending the gully and most of the talus/scree is avoidable by staying on the granite blocks/slabs on either side of the gully. After climbing the upper slabs head left to the summit.

Descend the route, or for variety head north off the summit toward the summit of the unnamed peak to the north. Drop down off the unnamed peak across talus slopes, targeting the west/left side of Green Lake. A trail will be visible on the east slopes above Green Lake heading to the large plateau above the lake; this isn't the direction you want, but it's an easy way to identify the lake. At Green Lake pick up the trail heading west toward Brown Lake. Take the trail to the junction of the 1.0 mile southwesterly connector that heads back to the parking area or alternatively, leave the trail between Brown and Bluff Lakes and contour around cross-country until you hit the parking area. The dam at the end of South Lake (just north of the parking area) is a good landmark.


Class 3
None required

Photos of West Chute Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jascha spicing up the climbing
Jascha spicing up the climbing
Rock Climbing Photo: looking down the chute about halfway up. The solid...
looking down the chute about halfway up. The solid...
Rock Climbing Photo: overview topo
BETA PHOTO: overview topo
Rock Climbing Photo: detailed topo
BETA PHOTO: detailed topo
Rock Climbing Photo: the final slabs
the final slabs
Rock Climbing Photo: the start
BETA PHOTO: the start
Rock Climbing Photo: the route
BETA PHOTO: the route

Comments on West Chute Add Comment
Show which comments
By Aerili
From: Los Alamos, NM
Jun 11, 2012

As of this writing, there is no actual sign for Bull Lake. But the turn-off is the first major left fork you come to, and you can see the trail winding down and around the east flank of Chocolate Peak.
By fossana
From: leeds, ut
Jul 5, 2013

As of July 2013 there is a newish sign for Chocolate Lakes. Description updated.
By Tyler Wick
From: Bishop, CA
Oct 13, 2014

Fun, casual scramble with a straightforward approach! I felt a little sandbagged on the Green Lake descent though. There is required 2000+ ft of heinous, unconsolidated boulder hopping on the final slope down to Green Lake (pic below). I recommend taking the chute on the way back.

Rock Climbing Photo: boulder field to green lake
boulder field to green lake
By Sean Maher
From: Bristol, England
Aug 11, 2016
rating: 3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a

Mostly a talus slog, but with some fun scrambling near the top and rewarding views of many high sierra peaks. On the descent I started following directions towards Green Lake, but soon realized this would require scrambling UP more talus to get over the un-named peak. I liked descents that go DOWN so I went into the notch at the western edge of the lunar-looking plateau between Cloudripper and the unnamed peak. This took me into the next major chute to the climber's left/north of the W Chute and ended on the talus above the third Chocolate Lake. The talus in this chute was a bit sketchy near the top, but judging by Tyler's complaint it might not be much worse than the Green Lake descent.

The Definitive
Climbing Resource

Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run

Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps

Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes

Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!