Type: Trad, Alpine, 2200 ft
FA: unknown
Page Views: 123 total · 8/month
Shared By: kenr on Aug 19, 2017
Admins: Chris Owen, Lurker, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Certain Peaks: Access limited from May to October every year Details


Interesting sustained scrambling/climbing along the 3rd section the "long ridge" from Lower Boy Scout across Mt Carillon to Mt Russell.
. . (Length of climbing+scrambling about 2200 ft, with uphill +450 vertical ft).

. . For more about the "long ridge", see under the Description section for Mt Carillon.

Starting from the North peak of the Impala, down to a small col or break, then up diagonal right to the crest of the ridge. Follow the ridge (roughtly NW) staying on its crest (or close a possible). Several obstructing rocks or towers ("gendarmes") will be encountered. Most or all of them can be climbed -- most or all going over and down a different way from climing up. But which gendarmes to climb up? by which specific line? which way down? is a choice for each climber.
. . Most of the more difficult sequences on or near the crest could be avoided to the left or right, but that's not the goal of this route.

Where the way ahead looks too easy or lacking a distinct crest (at perhaps two places), can try traversing Right a short ways to another ridge with a more distinct crest or more interesting climbing.

When reach the rock ("Gendarme 3800m") near (N36.5884 W118.2707) . (elevation approx 12460 ft), seems like there is no distinct ridge crest in the next section above for a ways, only easier talus scrambling -- until a more distinct high point (heap of rocks) which is visible. That's the top of this section of the "long ridge" - (and getting up the talus and finding an interesting way to the top of that high point is the next section).

warning: Rocks which are loose or break are a serious risk on or near this climbing route. Even on a sequence well within a climber's difficulty capability, if a rock moves, that could result in a fall -- and even a short fall could result in serious injury or death. Also if more than one person is climbing, climbers below could be struck by rocks dislodged by someone above them -- so need to follow a careful strategy for managing this hazard.
- - Any injury could be serious or become life-threatening on or near this remote wilderness route far from the trail and farther from parking.

escape: There are several points along this section of the ridge where could scramble left of the ridge onto a sand/scree/talus slope, and SE down that to the main hiking trail near Upper Boy Scout Lake.

descent: From "gendarme 3800m", scramble Left off the ridge, then down diagonal left (South) on the big slope (which comes down from the Mt Carillon summit and the Russell-Carillon pass). Join the "herd path" aiming a bit left from Upper Boy Scout Lake and SSE on this until past a steep rock bar, then SSW across small creek and slabs (avoiding difficult bushes) to hit the main North Fork Lone Pine Creek Trail.

wilderness permit required: Hiking or climbing above Lower Boy Scout Lake requires a permit which can be obtained at the Visitors Center along rt 395 a bit south of the town of Lone Pine. Overnight camping near Upper Boy Scout Lake requires a different permit. The number of permits is limited, and can can be reserved six months in advance onrecreation.gov.


This section of the "long ridge" starts by the north peak - GPS latitude longitude approx (N36.5867 W118.2677) - of the Impala.

This can be reached from Whitney Portal parking by hiking + scrambling (3rd class) up the North Fork Lone Pine Creek trail to a little before (600 ft E from) Upper Boy Scout Lake - around (N36.5813 W118.2702), turn Right off the trail and go N about 650 ft across slabs and a small creek (avoiding the difficult bushes), then NE about 330 feet up sand/scree to the right end of a steep rock bar at (N36.5838 W118.2694) -- see the dramatic point of the Impala south peak above right.
. . (or this point could also be reached by hiking from the E end of Upper Boy Scout Lake NE about 850 ft on sand/scree).
The "herd track" toward Russell-Carillon pass turns left here, but instead go slight Right and NNE about 1000 ft steep diagonal on sand/scree with some talus, aiming left of the pointy south peak of the Impala. Next traverse right (ENE) across steep slab, and up more scree/talus NE to reach a col or break (N36.5868 W118.2678) just left of the north (left) peak of the Impala.

Perhaps this point or something near it could be reached by starting near Lower Boy Scout Lake and climbing roughly NW up the lower sections of the "long ridge" (past the Springbok peak) - (untested as of 2017).


No fixed hardware as of 2017.

Protection for trad leading is unknown.