Route: Sierra Peak Section (SPS) (CA, NV)

Submitted by Jason Hardrath… on Sun, 11/07/2021 - 01:19pm
Location
California, US
Nevada, US
Description

Washington has the BulgersColorado has the Centennials, but California has the Sierra Peaks Section List was established in 1955. It may be one of the oldest, largest, and  most compelling, peakbagging objective in the lower-48. Completing the list is highly prestigious in American mountaineering circles, and climbers who complete the list are often cited as having done so (e.g. by the American Alpine Club, Sierra Club). As of the creation of this FKT route (Nov. 2021), it has yet to be completed in a calendar year.  Do not underestimate the commitment necessary here, the PCT record at the time of this writing is 51 days, averaging one peak per day for this project would be 247 days, even two peaks per day is still a staggering 124 days.

TL;DR: This is not a casual trail run, it will require more than a PCT-sized motivation combined with deep backcountry and rock climbing skills.

Some peaks require substantial rock climbing experience (e.g. North Palisade and Mount Clarence King), and in some cases snow travel skills. Most peaks may require few technical skills, although the commonly cited difficulty ratings of peak climbs in the Sierra Nevada are considered to be understated, or “sandbagged”. The majority of peaks are very remote and require substantial cross-country travel.

The list is an example of a subjective "decision by committee" list with the peaks on the list being determined by the Sierra Club. Peaks are occasionally added or removed from the list due to a variety of factors, such as accessibility, notability, and interest. The list is followed by thousands of hikers and climbers and has been noted in numerous books and guides on the Sierra Nevada.

There are 15 Emblem peaks, 35 Mountaineers peaks, and 197 general peaks, for a total of 247 peaks. The number of peaks was traditionally set at 248, but is and has recently been 247 due to the suspension of Pilot Knob. However the number changes at times due to issues such as legal access or higher interest in one peak over another.

Due to the enormous, season-crossing, nature of this 247 mountain undertaking, utilization of any form of human-powered, multi-sport travel (ie. ski, mountain bike, snowshoe, etc) [so long as done according to land use laws] will be considered an acceptable and normal part of this FKT undertaking. No distinctions will be made since part of this FKT is deciding which peaks to do in which seasons, though attempters/completers should write clearly and honestly about what means they used. GPS data and Geo-Time-Stamped Photos are a must, live satellite check-ins from each summit are recommended.

Full list

Area 1: Southern Sierra

  1. Pilot Knob (suspended)
  2. Owens Peak
  3. Spanish Needle
  4. Lamont Peak
  5. Sawtooth Peak
  6. Rockhouse Peak
  7. Taylor Dome
  8. Sirretta Peak
  9. Crag Peak
  10. Smith Mountain

Area 2: Mineral King and Kern River

  1. Kern Peak
  2. Angora Mountain
  3. Coyote Peaks
  4. North Maggie Mountain
  5. Moses Mountain
  6. Homers Nose
  7. Vandever Mountain
  8. Florence Peak
  9. Sawtooth Peak
  10. Needham Mountain

Area 3: Olancha to Langley and west

  1. Olancha Peak
  2. Cartago Peak
  3. Muah Mountain
  4. Cirque Peak
  5. Mount Langley
  6. Mount Guyot
  7. Joe Devel Peak
  8. Mount Pickering
  9. Mount Chamberlin
  10. Mount Newcomb
  11. Mount Hitchcock

Area 4: Corcoran to Whitney

  1. Mount Corcoran
  2. Mount LeConte
  3. Mount Mallory
  4. Mount Irvine
  5. Mount McAdie
  6. Mount Muir
  7. Mount Whitney
  8. Thor Peak
  9. Lone Pine Peak

Area 5: Whitney to Williamson

  1. Mount Young
  2. Mount Hale
  3. Mount Russell
  4. Mount Carillon
  5. Tunnabora Peak
  6. Mount Barnard
  7. Trojan Peak
  8. Mount Tyndall
  9. Mount Williamson

Area 6: Kaweahs and west

  1. Alta Peak
  2. Mount Silliman
  3. Mount Eisen
  4. Lippincott Mountain
  5. Eagle Scout Peak
  6. Mount Stewart
  7. Lion Rock
  8. Mount Kaweah
  9. Red Kaweah
  10. Black Kaweah
  11. Picket Guard Peak
  12. Kern Point

Area 7: Great Western Divide

  1. Triple Divide Peak
  2. Glacier Ridge
  3. Whaleback
  4. Milestone Mountain
  5. Midway Mountain
  6. Table Mountain
  7. Thunder Mountain
  8. South Guard
  9. Mount Brewer
  10. North Guard

Area 8: Kings–Kern divide

  1. Mount Jordan
  2. Mount Genevra
  3. Mount Ericsson
  4. Mount Stanford
  5. Deerhorn Mountain
  6. East Vidette
  7. West Vidette
  8. Junction Peak
  9. Mount Keith
  10. Mount Bradley
  11. Center Peak
  12. Caltech Peak

Area 9: Kearsarge Pass vicinity

  1. University Peak
  2. Independence Peak
  3. Kearsarge Peak
  4. Mount Gould
  5. Mount Rixford
  6. Mount Bago
  7. Mount Gardiner
  8. Mount Cotter
  9. Mount Clarence King
  10. Dragon Peak
  11. Black Mountain
  12. Diamond Peak

Area 10: Baxter Pass to Taboose Pass

  1. Mount Baxter
  2. Colosseum Mountain
  3. Mount Perkins
  4. Mount Wynne
  5. Mount Pinchot
  6. Pyramid Peak
  7. Arrow Peak
  8. Striped Mountain
  9. Goodale Mountain
  10. Cardinal Mountain

Area 11: Western mid-Sierra

  1. Mount Ruskin
  2. Marion Peak
  3. State Peak
  4. Goat Mountain
  5. Kennedy Mountain
  6. Mount Harrington
  7. Tehipite Dome
  8. Spanish Mountain
  9. Three Sisters

Area 12: South Palisades

  1. Split Mountain
  2. Mount Tinemaha
  3. Mount Prater
  4. Mount Bolton Brown
  5. Birch Mountain
  6. The Thumb
  7. Disappointment Peak
  8. Middle Palisade
  9. Norman Clyde Peak
  10. Palisade Crest

Area 13: Mt. Goddard vicinity

  1. Observation Peak
  2. Giraud Peak
  3. Devil's Crag #1
  4. Wheel Mountain
  5. Mount McDuffie
  6. Black Giant
  7. Charybdis
  8. Scylla
  9. Mount Goddard
  10. Mount Reinstein
  11. Finger Peak
  12. Tunemah Peak

Area 14: North Palisades

  1. Temple Crag
  2. Mount Gayley
  3. Mount Sill
  4. North Palisade
  5. Thunderbolt Peak
  6. Mount Winchell
  7. Mount Agassiz
  8. Mount Goode
  9. Cloudripper
  10. Mount Johnson
  11. Mount Gilbert

Area 15: Evolution area

  1. Mount Thompson
  2. Point Powell
  3. Mount Wallace
  4. Mount Haeckel
  5. Mount Fiske
  6. Mount Huxley
  7. Mount Darwin
  8. Mount Mendel
  9. Mount Lamarck
  10. The Hermit
  11. Mount McGee
  12. Emerald Peak
  13. Mount Henry

Area 16: Humphreys Basin and west

  1. Mount Goethe
  2. Mount Emerson
  3. Mount Humphreys
  4. Basin Mountain
  5. Four Gables
  6. Mount Tom
  7. Pilot Knob
  8. Gemini
  9. Seven Gables
  10. Mount Senger
  11. Mount Hooper

Area 17: Bear Creek Spire area

  1. Merriam Peak
  2. Royce Peak
  3. Mount Julius Caesar
  4. Mount Hilgard
  5. Recess Peak
  6. Mount Gabb
  7. Bear Creek Spire
  8. Mount Dade
  9. Mount Abbot
  10. Mount Mills
  11. Mount Morgan

Area 18: Mono Creek to Mammoth

  1. Silver Peak
  2. Mount Izaak Walton
  3. Red and White Mountain
  4. Red Slate Mountain
  5. Mount Stanford
  6. Mount Morgan
  7. Mount Baldwin
  8. Mount Morrison
  9. Bloody Mountain

Area 19: Ritter Range and vicinity

  1. Iron Mountain
  2. Clyde Minaret
  3. Mount Ritter
  4. Banner Peak
  5. Mount Davis
  6. Rodgers Peak
  7. Electra Peak
  8. Foerster Peak
  9. San Joaquin Mountain

Area 20: Clark Range and vicinity

  1. Merced Peak
  2. Red Peak
  3. Gray Peak
  4. Mount Clark
  5. Mount Starr King
  6. Half Dome
  7. Clouds Rest

Area 21: Mt. Lyell and north

  1. Cathedral Peak
  2. Vogelsang Peak
  3. Mount Florence
  4. Mount Maclure
  5. Mount Lyell
  6. Koip Peak
  7. Mount Gibbs
  8. Mount Dana

Area 22: Tioga Pass to Bond Pass

  1. Mount Warren
  2. Mount Conness
  3. North Peak
  4. Excelsior Mountain
  5. Dunderberg Peak
  6. Virginia Peak
  7. Twin Peaks
  8. Whorl Mountain
  9. Matterhorn Peak
  10. Pettit Peak
  11. Volunteer Peak
  12. Piute Mountain
  13. Tower Peak

Area 23: Bond Pass to Lake Tahoe

  1. Black Hawk Mountain
  2. Leavitt Peak
  3. Stanislaus Peak
  4. Disaster Peak
  5. Highland Peak
  6. Mokelumne Peak
  7. Round Top
  8. Freel Peak
  9. Pyramid Peak
  10. Dicks Peak
  11. Mount Tallac

Area 24: Northern Sierra

  1. Granite Chief
  2. Tinker Knob
  3. Castle Peak
  4. Mount Rose
  5. Mount Lola
  6. English Mountain
  7. Sierra Buttes
  8. Mount Elwell
  9. Adams Peak

 

Further Resouces:

Peak List on Peakbagger

Sierra Club - obviously

Completion List on Peak Bagger

Completion List on Sierra Club

Bob Burd - one of the first to prove these peaks can all be done as day hikes, he is very open and supportive to see what can be done on these peaks

https://www.sierraclub.org/sites/www.sierraclub.org/files/sce/sierra-peaks-section/files/sps-peaks-list-26-2020April.pdf - current list as of 2020

A google map

https://caltopo.com/m/917A - great starting map to build your own routes on


Submitted by Nathan Longhurst, Travis Soares, and Jason Hardrath (IG) (with inspiration from Dan Cervelli) with deep respect to all those who came before.

FKTs

Comments

Starting today, 2/20/22, I, Nathan Longhurst, will be attempting to set the FKT for the SPS list. My goal is to complete the list in under 6 months. 

Where is the live tracking link?

Where can I follow this effort?

Is this real?

Randy,

I can vouch here. This 248 peak FKT effort is for real. Nathan did actually start today on Rose, near Lake Tahoe.

Nathan certainly has the resumé to take on such a project, as he is the youngest finisher of the Bulgers List (Washington's 100 tallest)

The team has an amazing website here:

https://www.sps2022.com/

Social media to follow is 

@nathan358

@travis.soares

 

Good luck out there fellas! This is next level!

With stoke and gratitude, 

Jason

Do the FKT requirements dictate that for any overnight travel that the appropriate backcountry permits are obtained from the land manager?

Yes, permitting is in the guidelines. To me that is the logistical insanity of projects like this.

User Picture
Profile picture for user Travis.Soares

Howdy yall mountain folk,

Tomorrow (4/17/2022) I am attempting the FKT of the SPS list. My goal is 5 months, we will see how the journey unfolds! 

Follow along via:

Website

Social Media

Strava

and while you are at it, please consider donating to the Fundraiser!

Thanks and have a great day!