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10 - Kearsarge Pass to Cedar Grove

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Bubbs Creek Wall 
Castle Dome 
Charlotte Dome 
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10 - Kearsarge Pass to Cedar Grove Rock Climbing 


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Location: 36.77144, -118.40447 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Chris Owen, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Chris Owen on Aug 5, 2015
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Charlotte Dome from the eastern approach. Descent ...

Description 

This area encompasses the big lake basins north of these two trailheads; Rae Lakes, Sixty Lakes and Gardiner, the scenic approach to Golden Trout Lakes and Dragon Pass, plus the immaculate dome west of Charlotte Lake which can also be accessed from both trailheads and the fabulous 2000 foot wall on the north side of Bubb's Creek Canyon. Rae Lakes and Sixty Lakes are famous for their beauty, and the former is a very popular spot on the famous back packing loop starting at Cedar Grove. Charlotte Lake is also a very popular camping spot, and there's a backcountry ranger hut here.

While Rae Lakes are very popular Sixty Lakes can be empty, perhaps because it's harder to get to, but it's well worth the trip, it's very remote and beautiful with Mount Cotter and Mount Clarence King being spectacular peaks. Further west lies the even more remote Gardiner Basin.

This whole area is infamous for bear activity.

Getting There 

Western Trailheads
Cedar Grove - take Hwy 180 through Grant Grove Village to Road's End - a long and scenic drive, if it isn't dark. From here you can access Road's End and Bubb's Creek which will take you to Charlotte Creek and then cross-country north to camp spots beneath Charlotte Dome - you can also continue farther east to hook up with the faded Gardiner Basin Trail. Sphinx Lakes and Avalanche Pass is accessible by a trail at the top of the switchbacks heading up to Bubb's Creek. Continuing along the Bubb's Creek Trail past Charlotte Creek will get you to the Bubb's Creek Wall.

Eastern Trailheads
Kearsarge Pass: Take the Onion Valley Road west from Independence to the large parking loop at the trailhead (there's camp sites here too). Kearsarge Pass allows quick easy access over the main crest, for Charlotte Dome head down and past Charlotte Lake, do the same for Rae Lakes and Sixty Lake Basin, but stop and camp at the lake because the next day you'll be heading over Glen Pass, then either down to Rae Lakes or over Sixty Lake Col to Gardiner or Clarence King.

Either way and whatever your destination these are long and arduous hikes, especially toting climbing equipment.

Golden Trout Lakes/Dragon Pass: From the Onion Valley Parking Loop there's a trail which runs north, up into the Golden Trout Lakes, and Dragon Peak basins, from the loop there's a big waterfall, the trail heads up old scree and passes this on the right, then crosses it's top and follows a depression until a meadow is reached, Golden Trout Lakes is to the left and Dragon Pass is to the right. This meadow is very scenic, with large towers to the north, there is camping at the two lakes beneath Dragon Peak. For Dragon Pass head for the low point to the right of the large square tower right of Dragon Peak, the pass itself is a high plateau to the right of this, followed by a long scree descent to Dragon Lake and thence Rae Lakes - don't attempt the obvious low point between Dragon Peak and the square tower. This offers a one-day route to Rae Lakes, but it's not easy.

The trail also give access to Sardine Canyon via the 12,000 foot pass west of Kearsarge Peak, which is a ski mountaineering objective and one of the coolest ski descents in California.

Permits:
For the western approaches are available here.

For the eastern approaches are available here.

Climbing Season



Weather station 11.0 miles from here

16 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',8],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',5],['5.7',3],['5.8',3],['5.9',0],['5.10',2],['5.11',0],['5.12',3],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in 10 - Kearsarge Pass to Cedar Grove

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for 10 - Kearsarge Pass to Cedar Grove:
South Chute   3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a     Trad, Alpine   Dragon Peak
East Face - Right   3rd 1- 1 I 1 M 1a     Trad, Alpine, Grade II   Mt. Gould
South Face   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Alpine, 12 pitches, 1500'   Charlotte Dome
Southeast Arete    5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 1100'   Castle Dome
The Emperor   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13     Trad, Alpine, 18 pitches, 2200'   Bubbs Creek Wall
What's Up Bubb?   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, Alpine, 15 pitches, 1800'   Bubbs Creek Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in 10 - Kearsarge Pass to Cedar Grove

Featured Route For 10 - Kearsarge Pass to Cedar Grove
Rock Climbing Photo: Route overlay

The Golden Bear Tower - Polemonium 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  California : High Sierra : ... : Mt. Gardiner
The climb is a very fun moderate sustained with 5.8-9 pitches and a few 5.9+ to 5.10- cruxes. This climb is enjoyable and has incredible views from the summit. Pitches:1. Climb up from the low point of the buttress following good cracks over a few overhangs and a belay a full rope out. 5.9 180 feet2. Climb over a short corner and overhang (5.8) and scramble up 4th-5th class following the crest of the ridge till you run out of rope. Good belay ledge. 190 5.83) Climb straight up following good cra...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

Photos of 10 - Kearsarge Pass to Cedar Grove Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The ramp traverse.
BETA PHOTO: The ramp traverse.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt Clarence King from 60 lakes basin.
Mt Clarence King from 60 lakes basin.
Rock Climbing Photo: First morning light on the SE face of Mt. Clarence...
First morning light on the SE face of Mt. Clarence...
Rock Climbing Photo: Charlotte Dome at sunset
Charlotte Dome at sunset
Rock Climbing Photo: Nearing the end of the westside approach
Nearing the end of the westside approach
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian begins to follow the 9th pitch - the key to ...
Brian begins to follow the 9th pitch - the key to ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Summit ridge
Summit ridge
Rock Climbing Photo: Traversing on pitch 3
Traversing on pitch 3
Rock Climbing Photo: Fin Dome seen from Mt. King.
Fin Dome seen from Mt. King.
Rock Climbing Photo: Charlotte Lake
Charlotte Lake
Rock Climbing Photo: Sara on the Kearsarge Pass Trail.
Sara on the Kearsarge Pass Trail.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking west from Kearsarge Pass.
Looking west from Kearsarge Pass.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking back to Onion Valley from Kearsarge Pass.
Looking back to Onion Valley from Kearsarge Pass.
Rock Climbing Photo: Big Pothole Lake, on the way to Kearsarge Pass.
Big Pothole Lake, on the way to Kearsarge Pass.
Rock Climbing Photo: Onion Valley in winter.
Onion Valley in winter.

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