Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
Ideal for the spring during stable conditions.
Expect a fairly easy 4 mile slog through the forest to begin with before reaching Thomas Lake. This can be muddy—recommend hiking shoes or boots, then switch to snow equipment at Thomas Lake. Then, depending on snowpack, cross directly over the lakes, in the late spring you'll have to circumvent. In this route, you'll head directly up the gut of the mountain, as opposed to ascending the ridge.
Then the uphill portion begins and is definitely more strenuous. If the steep top third has firm icy snow, or a soft fresh overlay, ski crampons or boot crampons may dramatically lessen work of skinning up which is still generally preferable (safer) than bootpacking. Once on the ridge, you'll have to throw on some layers because the wind will probably be howling. It's another 15 minutes to the summit.
We came back down the way we climbed due to unfavorable conditions farther out towards the west summit.
Shared By: Powder Project Staff