DISTANCE
12.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
7,185 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

rock climbing

views

wildlife

rocky

snow

no dogs

3 months ago

This was a beautiful hike/climb done 8/15 -8-16
We left northgate trailhead at 2:20 pm and arrived at camp (9800 ft elevation) at 5:30. This part of the hike is a 4.5 mile walk from the trail head to where we camped. We enjoyed fresh ice cold water from the glacier that ran through camp , and a nice sunset before catching a few hrs sleep. We awoke at 2 am and began our accent up the mountain , we were able to stay on the moraine all the way up to the step where we needed to use crampons for a short distance up to the rabbit ears. From here we watched a beautiful sun rise over the Smokey valley below. We reached the summit at 7:20 am , had a bite to eat and headed back down at 8:15 to pack up camp to head for the truck . We reached camp at 11:30 , packed up and headed out. The trek back to the truck took 2 hrs. We had the entire mountain to ourselves for 2 days which I’m sure being later in the season and the assumption that air quality might not be good kept people away.

I would like to try this one again earlier in the season when the need to wear crampons on most of the climb is required. This was mostly a lot of climbing on loose rock , gravel and sand with the need for crampons and ice axe periodically once you get to the Step. I recommend this route to anyone looking for something more than the conga line that takes place up avalanche gulch during peak season.