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Little Lakes Peak
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NE Ridge direct T 
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NNW Ridge direct T 

NE Ridge direct 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 900'
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
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Submitted By: kenr on Aug 10, 2017

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BETA PHOTO: Little Lakes Peak seen from NW, with some ascent a...

Description 

Offers some interesting fun class 5 sequences (even more class 3 + 4), not far from high parking. Ridge has two or three signifant towers which can be crossed up and over. Rock is mostly featured fractured granite often turned in unusual angles.

Nice climbing but short -- likely makes more sense to do it (in the downward direction) after first climbing up the NNW Ridge (? or SW ridge?) of Little Lakes Peak.

warning: The ridge is exposed to weather erosion and not climbed much (yet), so be very careful of loose or breaking rock.

difficulty: The idea of this route is to seek out more difficult moves which offer more fun interesting climbing, by trying to stay on the crest of the ridge and by going over the top of gendarmes fairly directly (rather than avoiding difficulties and bypassing gendarmes). Seems like there are several 5.6 moves along the obvious line of the route.

Since some of those difficult sections could be avoided, this route likely is do-able at a lower grade.

approach: From the Mosquito Flats trailhead parking (GPS lat long ~ N37.4352 W118.7470) - (altitude 10240ft / 3122m) take the Morgan Lakes trail SSW about 1.5 miles / 2.5km. Just S of Box Lake turn Left (E) off the trail (at GPS lat long N37.4127 W118.7563). Cross the creek and hike around the end of Box Lake, then SE up (no trail) through open forest about 0.5 mile / 0.8km from the maintained trail (to around GPS lat long N37.4093 W118.7500) - (altitude 10775ft / 3285m) on the NNW ridge.

Next start aiming more SSE - (trend more left for more meadow + creek, more right for warmup rock-scrambling sections) - for about 0.35 mile / 0.6km (to GPS lat long N37.4054 W118.7468). See the break or col down left from the Little Lakes Peak summit, and aim for that, SSE about 0.5 mile / 0.9 km.
. . (total approach effort: uphill about +2250 vertical feet over distance 2.8 miles
. . . / uphill +685 meters over distance 4.6 km).

climb: Overall navigation is simple: Aim SW up the ridge to the summit.
. . (uphill about +460 vertical ft / +140 vertical meters).

descent: The "normal" descent would be down the South face to reach the trail a bit E of Morgan Pass (about 1670 vertical ft / 500m of talus+scree over a distance of 0.6 mile/1km), then NW + N on the maintained Morgan Pass trail about 3.5mile/6km to parking.

Or it's shorter to just go back the same way.

Location 

Little Lakes Peak (GPS lat long ~ N37.3959 W118.7417) - (altitude 12785ft / 3897m) - [ see on map ]
in the midst of the Rock Creek valley, between Box Lake, Chickenfoot Lake, Morgan Pass, and Mt Morgan.

The ridge climbing starts at the break or col (N37.3985 W118.73895) . (12356ft / 3767m) at the bottom of the SW Ridge of Mt Morgan South.
Instructions for approach hike, see above.

driving: Rt 395 to Toms Place (GPS lat long ~ N37.5618 W118.6773) - (north of Bishop + Mt Whitney, south of Mammoth Lakes + Yosemite). Turn SW onto the Rock Creek road and continue SSW about 10.5 miles / 17km to its end at the
Mosquito Flats trailhead parking (GPS lat long ~ N37.4352 W118.7470) - (altitude 10240ft / 3122m).
Snow is not plowed to the end in winter.

Protection 

No fixed protection.
Suggest light trad rack, since any belayed pitches are fairly short.
Additional long slings for wrapping around horns.


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