Mt Barnard (4264m) can be reached from Independence
(the George Creek route) but also from Lone Pine's
Whitney Portal. It is debatable which one is longer/harder.
The route from Whitney Portal is much more beautiful: it goes through Lake Tulainyo (the highest named lake in North America), Wales Lake (3573m) and Wallace Lake (3497m). These are rarely visited lakes.
You start from Whitney Portal and follow the route to the base of Mt Morgenson. Mountains along the way include: Mt Tunnabora (4135m), which lies to the right of Tulainyo Lake, Mt Russell (4294m), which lies to your left, Mt Morgenson (4245m), a little further down from Mt Russell, and Mt Barnard (4264m) further down to the right of Morgenson.
Circle Tulainyo Lake to the left, staying higher so as to take a short cut around the base of Mt Russell. This leads you to a vast plateau that descends gently towards Wales Lake. Stay to the left for best terrain then follow the creek that dives into Lake Wallace. Before the drop, coast Wallace Lake towards Wales Lake. Most likely you will end into the only decent chute that descends to Wales Lake (on the way back, you'll recognize it because it will be just to the right of the black staircases). Here you have an impressive view of Mt Hale. You don't need to get to Wales Lake. At the bottom of the chute, head slightly right and descend the vast slope to Wallace, staying to the left of the lake. There are actually three lakes, Wallace being the first one. After Wallace, you can cross the outlet and you'll be right under the long north side of Mt Barnard. Find a place that is not too sandy and climb to the ridge (laborious but easy class 2), then follow the ridge to the top. While climbing the ridge of Mt Barnard, you'll probably stumble on the Inka-like "citadel" of Mt Barnard (which a geologist told me was nature-made, but you judge for yourself when you get there).
The price you pay for entering this remote region is the Carillon-Cleaver pass (3980m) and bouldering down Lake Tulainyo (3908m).
The citadel is one of the most amazing sights of the Eastern Sierra, whether man-made or nature-made:
Mt Barnard, Mt Versteeg and Mt Tyndall from Whitney PortalOnce you discover this route from Whitney Portal into the Wales-Wallace plateau, it is hard to resist going even further.
Be aware of several dangers...
Note: as of 2008 the unelected officials who run the unelected officials of the Inyo National Forest (paid with your tax money) have extended the "Whitney Zone" to the entire Whitney mountaineering route above the Lower Boyscout lake. Hiking to Lake Tulainyo requires a Mt Whitney permit (yes, even for a day hike). The route that i described here does enter the Whitney Zone briefly. Please petition your Congress representative to dissolve the Inyo National Forest and return the wilderness to wilderness lovers.