Altitude 3962m a.s.l
The upper section of Sun Ribbon © Peter Coward
This is a huge and impressive mountain in the Palisades region of the High Sierra hosting a collection of long moderate rock climbs which mostly follow the striking aretes that form this mountain. Up close, the mountain is not quite as solid as it appears from afar with slightly less good rock quality than is typical for the High Sierra. Nevertheless, while there is plenty of loose rock around, the well travelled lines are reasonably solid. Descent for all climbs is via Contact Pass and involves a couple of short rappels and plenty of unstable scree.
The routes are between 300m-650m in length and all are approached via the North Fork of Big Pine Creek. The trailhead is accessed by taking the Glacier Lodge Road west out of Big Pine (15 miles south of Bishop on Hwy 395). Follow the hiking trail until Second or Third Lake and then pick up climber use trails to the crag. In early season a snow field guards the approach to all the climbs and crampons and/or an ice axe may be useful. In later season it is usually possible to approach the climbs avoiding snow travel. Many parties do these routes car-to-car, but bivvying, either at 2nd or 3rd Lake, or at the base of the crag, is also an option. The whole region is beautiful and it is worth spending time in.
Temple Crag is located in the John Muir Wilderness Region. Overnight stays in this region require a backcountry permit which are administered by the Inyo National Forest Service. Permits can be reserved online, or can be obtained at Inyo National Forest Service Visitor Centres. Limited numbers of permits are issued each day and it is worth reserving in advance, particularly if your stay is during a summer weekend. Also, if staying overnight, all food must be stored in bear proof canisters. These can be rented at Inyo National Forest Service Visitor Centres. There is a reasonable chance that you will encounter a ranger in this region and that you will recieve a fine if you don't have a permit or a bear canister. Permits and bear canisters are not required for day use in this region.
It is worth noting that this region is heavily travelled and all visitors should make the utmost effort to help maintain the pristine nature of this region. Carry out all rubbish including toilet paper and make sure to properly dispose of human waste.
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