Dog Ascent of Kettle Peak

Hiking up a slot gulley we found. It looks solid but is really loose.

On a weekend trying to find activities outside of the closed Inyo National Forest I picked another random peak. This time a 10 mile day with 3,500 ft of elevation and dogs. [Map]

Five humans and two dogs started hiking out of Twin Lakes on the Robinson Creek Trail until we turned towards Little Slide Canyon on the well established climbers trail towards the Incredible Hulk climbing area.

Hiking on Robinson Creek Trail

We went up this for an hour and a half before we spotted a slot on the right side of the trail.

The slot as seen from trail

We originally were going to ascend via the South but this slot looked like we could ascend more quickly and make a loop out of the day. It was reasonable reaching the slot and then required some solid 3rd class to get through a 45 ft rock section. (We had to put our 9 lbs dachshund in our backpack for this section.)

After the rock section, the slot opened up into a gulley and to steep scree with loose baseball-football sized rocks that easily were sent tumbling down.

Ascending loose scree among bigger rocks after leaving the slot gulley

This loose stuff brought us into a tree’d section with mild bushwhacking until reaching the summit plateau. For the true Kettle Peak summit it looked like it was most easily ascended by 3rd class on the South aspect.

View of Peeler Lake from the summit plateau

From the summit we traversed sand to a saddle to reach another sand field. From here we were able to speed descent down the lake by running, hopping and sliding down to Ice Lake in one hour.

Walking around Ice Lake after the descent

From here we went high above Ice Lake back past the Incredible Hulk and then down the approach trail. Our timing was about 2 hours on trail, 3 hours ascent, 1 hours descent and 2.5 hours back to the car.