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#4516 - 05/24/10 03:28 PM Finding a Diamond in Sparkling Powder, 5/22-23
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
"Maybe I'll get warm if I put on one more layer of clothing... oh wait, I'm WEARING everything I brought up here."

The wind bit through everything each of us had on, standing under crisp blue skies and the air feeling like October. If not for the royal hillsides of lupine and purple sage, the burgundy fields of foxtails, the water roaring past icicle-laden willows and crusted rocks, it should have been mid-fall. The sun shone in vain, its meager attempts to warm the air immediately overwhelmed by the gusting wind and clouds descending upon the crest in the late afternoon. We all scattered after a hasty happy hour and dinner to our tents and bags, hunkering down in lofty warmth and drifting to sleep long before the sun went down.

Somewhere in the night the wind blew itself out and the storm settled in, hugging the walls of the canyon as it cried out a few inches of snow. I rolled over to the sound of my alarm at 0500, brushing the door a few times before cracking the zipper and gazing out into a blue morning. The group tromped up to around 11.5K, searching the bowl between Diamond and Black for a less steep option, but the brief window of weak sun closed back around us and sucked the peaks back into the fog.

There are days when the mountains just don't want to be climbed. But I'm still happy with cruising around with good friends, the crunch of snow under my boots, the weighted pack on my back, and watching the fog of a storm breathing up and down the canyon walls. Really, there just are very few bad days up here.


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#4519 - 05/24/10 06:42 PM Re: Finding a Diamond in Sparkling Powder, 5/22-23 [Re: MooseTracks]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Well Laura, at least you got another snow climb in before the winter season fades - assuming it ever will.

Where was this? The names don't ring a bell.

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#4520 - 05/24/10 06:59 PM Re: Finding a Diamond in Sparkling Powder, 5/22-23 [Re: Bulldog34]
MooseTracks Offline


Registered: 11/02/09
Posts: 582
Loc: Bishop, CA, United States
Baxter Pass is north of Onion Valley, a less-used trail, not really maintained, got a lot of damage from fire and flood the past few years. Starts down around 6K, and we hiked to 10K the first day.

I will definitely head back into the area, sooner than we think!
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#4526 - 05/24/10 11:09 PM Re: Finding a Diamond in Sparkling Powder, 5/22-23 [Re: MooseTracks]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
There once was a peak to be had,
a Diamond much more than a fad.
Despite Lupines of norm,
it started to storm,
changing the plans just a tad.
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