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Mt. Brewer East Ridge

  • Jul 4, 2014 · 7:00 AM

Mount Brewer (13,576’) via the East Ridge.This is a fantastic opportunity to backpack through some of the most fabulous parts of the High Sierra. While not technically difficult, climbing is challenging due to the remote location; however, the summit views and the solitude combine to make Brewer one of the classic Sierra peaks. Maximum 8. This event is rated MTN 1, RCK 1.  This event is open to all climbers, regardless of SMC membership. 

How RSVPs work:  Please join the waitlist here on Meetup or on the SMC website. will selected as they can be determined as qualified by the outing leaders. 

Because this event occurs on public lands it is open to the public - anyone has the opportunity to attend without a fee. Non-commercial wilderness, camping and /or backcountry permits have already been acquired in order to conduct this event. This event is being run in cooperation with federal and state land agencies and is within wilderness limits. Outings leaders have board approval to volunteer to lead outings for the club and do not receive any compensation for their time and effort, and the club receives no financial profit for organizing and supporting this club outing. Any fees associated with this outing are those that individuals would have incurred had they done this event themselves. All SMC outings practice established Leave No Trace principles to be good stewards of our public lands and wilderness areas. 



Dates: Friday, July 4th – Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Location: Mt. Brewer, elev. 13,576ft / 4138m, Kings Canyon National Park

Routes: East Ridge, class 2 scramble with class 3-4 summit block

For SMC Proficiencies: MTN 1, RCK 1 

Fitness and Difficulty Level: Difficult



Mt. Brewer sits on the Great Western Divide to the west of the main Sierra Crest, which in turn results in great views of the bigger summits from Whitney to the Palisades. In addition, Brewer is one of the 15 Sierra Club Sierra Emblem Peaks – a designation with indicates domination over its surroundings. The goal of the trip will be to climb Brewer with a base camp at East Lake.

THURSDAY, JULY 3RD: For those who can, we’ll meet at Onion Valley campground (elev. 9100’) to organize the climb and acclimatize by spending the night. A site in the campground will be reserved ahead of time. Site number will be released only to confirmed team members.

FRIDAY, JULY 4TH: With an early start, we will pick up the Kearsarge Pass Trail next to campground and follow its gradual ascent to Kearsarge Pass (11,723’). We will then drop into Kearsarge Basin by way of the lower branch of the trail, which passes Bullfrog Lake, and meet up with the JMT/PCT. We will descend south to Lower Vidette Meadow, where the Bubbs Creek terminates at the JMT. We will follow Bubbs Creek west to Junction Meadow, where we make the final turn south on the trail to East Lake and Lake Reflection. Find a good location for base camp at East Lake (9300’) and relax. This will be a hard long day: approximate stats are[masked] miles, 4400’ gain and 4200’ loss, all on good trails. Ready for an early start.

SATURDAY, JULY 5TH: Climb the East Ridge to summit and back down. The most difficult part of the route is actually getting on the ridge from East Lake. Team members are expected to read the trip reports below and to do their own research. The approach follows Ouzel Creek to gain the ridge, which is class 2 with trivial route-finding. The crux of the route is a notch where East Ridge meets with the South Ridge; this notch must be used to exit onto the easy south slopes, which then lead to the summit pinnacles. The highest pinnacle is rated strong class 3, maybe even 4 according to some sources. After soaking in the views, descend the same way to base camp. Approximate stats: 6 miles(?), 4200’ gain.

SUNDAY, JULY 6TH: Reverse the hike from the first day and exit via Kearsarge Pass. Return home the same evening.


Calicokat TR (Note: approach from Roads End, not Onion Valley)

Romain Wacziarg TR TR (by Mike McDermitt)

High Sierra Topix Discussion (ascent by Lagenbacher)

SummitPost Discussion


In the interest of fairness, I would like to have half the team from SoCal (counting myself) and half from NorCal. There are a total of 6 permits reserved and paid for, including the EL. Cost is $7/person, payable ahead of the trip. For qualified members who are willing and able to obtain walk-in permits the day before, the team can be expanded by a maximum of 2 more spots to a total of 8. The final decision belongs to the EL.

Transportation and other details will be arranged among confirmed participants. I will be leaving from San Fernando Valley around 6pm on July 3rd and can take up to 3 others in my car.




Wicking, breathable base layers, top and bottom

• Insulating, weather-resistant mid layer, top

• Wind and waterproof shell layer, top and bottom

• Socks, liners

• Sunglasses

• Warm hat - the toque!

Sun hat


• 40-55 liter backpack

• 2 or 3 person 3-season tent, to share with the group

• Sleeping bag and pad

• Trekking poles

• Meals, snacks and drinks for three days

• Water bottles or containers

• Mug / bowl and spoon 

• Headlamp and extra batteries

• Map and compass

• Small knife

• Sunscreen

• Camera

• Personal items, medications, etc.


• Hard shell climbing helmet

• Boots with good ankle support

For help in selecting the appropriate item, please refer to the SMC Detailed Clothing, Equipment and Gear List


For more information or questions, please contact the listed outings leader.

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3 went

  • Mihai
    Event Host
  • A former member

Your organizer's refund policy for Mt. Brewer East Ridge

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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