South Chaffin Peak (9,486’) requires more technical skill (Class 5) than any other on the rim surrounding Chaffin Canyon. Because of extreme exposure, ascending this peak is not recommended for any but the most experienced climbers.
From the Chaffin Creek Trailhead, head west through stately Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir along the well-used trail. The generally well-maintained trail stays just north of Chaffin Creek as it makes its way westward to Hart Lake.
Cross the lake’s outlet and follow the sometimes-maintained trail around the left (south) side of the lake before climbing west-southwest up the ridge which begins at the lake’s western end.
At 8,350’, traverse (Class 2+) west, staying just below obvious cliff-bands on talus and grass to the Chaffin High Lakes. Go upstream along the creeks connecting the several Chaffin High Lakes, then climb to the saddle between West and South Chaffin Peaks.
This summit of this peak is usually reached by climbing either its west ridge or traversing (from the west) up the south face.