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Four Gables, Peak 12,801' & Peak 12,808'

California > High Sierra > 07 - Humphreys Basin,…

Description

Four Gables is a mildly confusing mess of a mountain, and lots of misinformation about its name and location exists on the Web and in some guidebooks. This is a feeble attempt to clarify some of that. What I will refer to as the "Four Gables Massif" is the stretch of ridgeline from Peak 12,801' to the south, then north over the plateau marked "Four Gables" on the map and onto Peak 12,808'. At one point, the Four Gables summit register was actually on the highpoint of the named plateau, but was moved to the higher southern Peak 12,801' (hereby referred to as Four Gables South). To add further confusion, some guys at the Peaks for Freaks website took it upon themselves to name it "Horton Peak". Peak 12,808', just north of the plateau, was called "Four Gables North" by Fred Beckey in his 1975 AAJ writeup. This is the prominent pyramid-shaped peak that is visible from Bishop, located between Basin Mountain and Mt Tom. Those same Peaks for Freaks guys called this one Gable Lakes Peak... whatever. Go ahead and rename them as you please, its a free world!

A sampling of some routes:

Four Gables South / Peak 12,801'
East Face III 5.8 (Rowell/Neale 1971)
Direct East Face III/IV 5.10+ (Nettle/Reed 2012)
The Beagle IV 5.9 (Evans/Hechtel 1978)
Stevia Mama 5.11? (Clark/McCrea 2018)
Hashtag Training 5.10? (Clark/McKee 2018)

Four Gables
East Ridge cl.3 (Jali 1963)
Northwest Ridge V 5.6/5.7 (Crljenko/Fiddler/Selters 1991) - continues on to Four Gables North

Four Gables North / Peak 12,808'
Northeast Buttress II 5.6 (Beckey/Levine 1974)
North Ridge cl.3

Getting There

The Four Gables Massif can be approached via a number of different trailheads depending on your objective.

Approach the east side of the massif from the Horton Lakes Trailhead off Buttermilk Road. High clearance is helpful.

Approach the northern aspects of the massif from the Gable Lakes Trail out of Pine Creek Road.

Approach the western and southern slopes (the walk-up sides) out of Pine Creek Pass and French Canyon.

Routes from Left to Right

5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b R
 1
Direct East Face
Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 1
Northwest Ridge
Trad, Alpine
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Direct East Face
 1
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b R Trad, Alpine 10 pitches
Northwest Ridge
 1
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

mining cabins found along the Horton Lakes Trail
[Hide Photo] mining cabins found along the Horton Lakes Trail
East Face of Four Gables South as seen from above Upper Horton Lake
[Hide Photo] East Face of Four Gables South as seen from above Upper Horton Lake
Four Gables South as seen from the long tedious descent. The summit plateau of "Four Gables" can be seen to the right.
[Hide Photo] Four Gables South as seen from the long tedious descent. The summit plateau of "Four Gables" can be seen to the right.
Map showing the Four Gables Massif. Approach and descent for the technical routes on Four Gables South shown in green. The Northwest Ridge (V 5th class) shown in red, with Gable Lakes approach and descent in blue.
[Hide Photo] Map showing the Four Gables Massif. Approach and descent for the technical routes on Four Gables South shown in green. The Northwest Ridge (V 5th class) shown in red, with Gable Lakes approach and…