Morning view of Merriam and Royce peaks from camp. Moon included.
End of L Lake and Pilot Knob
French Canyon. Pilot Knob.
Checking out the view. It was really cold at Steelhead Lake.
Pine Creek Pass
Merriam Peak and French Canyon. Royce peak, yesterday's climb, is a bit cut off on the right
L to R: Merriam Peak, Royce Peak, Feather Peak
Starting off from camp at Steelhead Lake. Summit of four gables is not in sight from here.
Beautiful clear deep lake.
Looking back along the shore. Our camp was in the cluster of trees in the center.
Lots of talus on this end of the lake.
Steelhead Lake shoreline.
We begin to climb up from Steelhead Lake on the eastern side.
Pilot Knob in the distance
Our plan is to take a Secor-described 'sandy chute' straight up to the plateau. We aim for something that looks doable.
Steelhead Lake from a bit higher up
Steelhead Pass and a small tarn. I had read a description of the climb that suggested taking Steelhead Pass and following the ridgeline. But that looks to be out of the way and we decide to take the direct steep chute on the way up.
The chute we decide to follow. The talus was loose so it was slow going.
Looking back down on the lakes of French Canyon. Steelhead, L, Moon, Elba, then Star, Puppet, paris, Alsace in the distance
French Canyon Lakes
This chute required 'four wheel drive' frequently - both hands and feet carefully placed to avoid sliding and loose rocks.
Nearing the top of the chute. This was a tough climb - not too much steeper than Seven Gables, but it was all loose and we had to go one at a time to stay safe from falling rocks and debris.
Sooz in the chute with Steelhead lake far below.
Happy to be on some solid rock for a moment.
Steelhead lake and the sandy chute.
Looking back down the chute. Ugh. At this point we decided that the up was annoying enough - no way we were going down this route. We'd take the Steelhead Pass or alternate pass back, even if it took us a few miles out of the way.
Steelhead, L, Elba Lakes with French Canyon
We made it to the plateau of Four Gables. Awesome view of Humphreys from here - looks pretty easy until that summit piece.
Royce Peak .
We head to the high point on the plateau we just popped out on. The terrain is mercifully easy here, it felt nice after that garbage we just climbed.
Desolation Lake (star lake on right)
French Canyon Lakes
View to the north
Mt Humphreys. We're working our way along the horseshoe shaped ridge to what we think is the actual summit of Four Gables.
Ahhh, the terrain is so easy here. I'm enjoying it.
Summit plateau. Mt Tom peeks out from behind the ridge.