I climbed Mount Williamson with Dave Johnson on Sunday via the North Fork Bairs Creek route. Williamson is just north of the famous Mount Whitney, but is considered by many climbers to be a more impressive and superior massif. The peak is the second highest summit in California and the sixth highest in the contiguous United States at 14,375 feet, but is guarded by long and arduous approaches. It is a huge mountain with 10,000 feet of relief right out of Owens Valley. Complete trip report here.
The North Fork Bairs Creek route is the most direct to the summit, although not the easiest with a rugged, brushy, trail-less approach. It is also very scenic passing through a glacier-carved amphitheater and a super fun couloir providing access to the upper slopes. The weather was idyllic with bluebird skies and unseasonably warm temperatures. The views of the southern high Sierra were amazing from the summit with superlative clarity.
A routefinding error cost us an hour and an additional 1,000+ feet of elevation gain, but we still made good time in 12:43 roundtrip. Check out the complete trip report with many more photos!