Pyramid Buttes viewed from Sweeney's West Ridge.

Michael Hoyt

Pyramid Buttes viewed from Sweeney's West Ridge.

Backpackers sometimes venture to the base of the Pyramid Buttes (8,867’), generally to camp in the vicinity of Duffy Lake, Holloway Lake, or Mills Lake, not to climb mountains. It’s a pity because this small group of summits and ridges provide very interesting climbing and great views of the surrounding peaks.

The simplest way to reach these summits is to follow the 6.5-mile Sweeney Creek Ridge Trail (past Peterson Lake) to its end at Holloway Lake.

The best routes to the three summits of the Pyramid Buttes all begin from the narrow strip of land between Holloway and Mills Lakes. Ascending the middle summit is an obvious hike up the north ridge. The west summit is best accessed from the middle summit by scrambling west along the connecting ridge. The easiest way to the east summit is across the talus-filled bowl of the cirque between the middle and east summits, then up the east summit’s north ridge. A more airy (and dangerous) approach is along the Class-5 ridge between the middle and east summits. Be careful on this one—a fall WILL break your body!

Michael Hoyt

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