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Mt. Darwin

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Evolution Traverse T 
North Face 

Mt. Darwin Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 13,831'
Location: 37.1669, -118.6715 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 38,600
Administrators: Chris Owen, M.Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer, Justin Johnsen, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Chris Owen on Dec 8, 2006
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Mt. Mendel and Mt. Darwin from the outlet of Sapph...


King of the Evolution Valley - a massive mountain with many long routes. The summit lies detached from the summit plateau, on its southeast side.

Getting There 

Eastern Approach:
From Sabrina Lake up to Blue Lake, then Dingleberry Lake. Bear right at the sing for Hungry Packer Lake and head up to Midnight Lake - campsites here. For a shorter approach on the day of the climb keep going and camp/bivi at Blue Heaven Lake.

Darwin Canyon can be reached from Blue Heaven Lake by crossing Darwin Col (12,800ft+). Take the obvious chute just left of a pointed peak - can be snow or scree depending upon the season. This provides access to the North Face routes if you don't want to take the northern approach. The summit day will be correspondingly longer.

Northern Approach:
Getting to Lamarck Col with heavy packs is a whole day event. This is a 6 mile hike with 2,600' elevation gain. Obtain wilderness permits at the ranger station in Bishop (get there early, it's a popular trail and only few passes are given on a walk in basis). Take route 168 to North Lake. Car may be parked at an overnight parking lot 0.5 miles from the trailhead. Begin with 2 miles on well-marked Lamarck Lakes Trail until Upper Lamarck Lake. Continue on X-country trail on the south side of the lake (the lake should be on your right as you pass it). The trail starts with the slight descent into a 100 yard rocky groove, climbs up its southern end, winds and goes up and down for a while until climbing steep slopes towards the plateau before Lamarck Cole. Most bivy sites are located on the western slopes of Lamarck Cole but convenient and less populated bivy sites are also located at the lake just below the Lamarck Col on its eastern side.

Climbing Season

For the High Sierra area.

Weather station 5.3 miles from here

2 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Mt. Darwin

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Mt. Darwin:
North Face   Steep Snow     Snow, Alpine, 1500'   
Evolution Traverse   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 5 pitches, 12000'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Mt. Darwin

Featured Route For Mt. Darwin
Rock Climbing Photo: overview

Evolution Traverse 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  CA : High Sierra : ... : Mt. Darwin
This route is considered the best of all the traverses in the Sierra. It is a great, long, and sometimes intimidating outing.The rock is mostly excellent, with a couple loose spots in between.Getting down from Darwin is the most dangerous and difficult part of the climb, with either a manky rappel or a 5.9 downclimb.The number of pitches you belay greatly depends on how comfortable you are soloing 5th class. Simulclimbing is not a good idea.The most challenging section from both a technical and ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CA

Photos of Mt. Darwin Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Leaving the Evolution Basin after an evening storm...
Leaving the Evolution Basin after an evening storm...
Rock Climbing Photo: Darwin from Haeckel
Darwin from Haeckel
Rock Climbing Photo: Blue Heaven Lake, east of Mount Darwin.
Blue Heaven Lake, east of Mount Darwin.
Rock Climbing Photo: Kris Gorny's photo of Darwin from the north (Lamar...
Kris Gorny's photo of Darwin from the north (Lamar...

Comments on Mt. Darwin Add Comment
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By Chris Owen
From: Big Bear Lake
Dec 8, 2006
Supporting text for this area originally posted by Kris Gorny under Darwin Canyon. I have copied it here verbatim.

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