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#41110 - 12/02/14 06:00 AM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
I've done plenty of peaks in the Sierra but I don't think my list is all that impressive compared to so many others. I have only done like 80 peaks in the high Sierra. I've always thought it would be good to have a website on the Sierra broken down with images of every place. Maybe even a system where if a lake is listed but has no photos people can upload their own.

The funny thing is that route from week 8 is such easy terrain to me now. I went back to allot of that area this past summer and it was such a huge relief to be on such easy cross country terrain.

Last summer I left the trail in Goddard Canyon and went up North Goddard Creek past Davis Lake, crossed Wanda Pass into Ionian, climbed on top of the Ragged Spur and traversed it to the small lake way out on it. Went back across it to Chasm Lake, down the Enchanted Gorge to Goddard Creek and then up over Rambaud Pass and down to Leconte Canyon. It was 11 days with no trail on the worst terrain possible with horrible misery day after day! The guy that was foolish enough to follow along with me kissed the trail when we reached it.


Edited by RoguePhotonic (12/02/14 06:04 AM)
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#41111 - 12/02/14 01:40 PM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
> The guy that was foolish enough to follow along with me kissed the trail when we reached it.
grin grin

> I've always thought it would be good to have a website on the Sierra broken down with images of every place
I think Google Maps has the capability to upload pictures linked to a location, but then it covers the entire world, so I'm not sure I would use it.

The above report is from 2012, right? Did you do any major hiking this past summer?

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#41112 - 12/02/14 04:57 PM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Yeah I did 130 days in 2013 and this last summer shorter at 86 days. This coming summer I probably will not do more than 75 days or so. Already have most of it planned though.
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#42301 - 04/23/15 08:58 PM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Week 9

MAP

Every time I leave Parchers I have a bad habit of eating way too much due to their all you can eat buffet breakfast and then socializing with people inside that leaves me hitting the road quite late feeling so full I wish I hadn't ate so much. So by about 10PM I literally hit the road and began walking the mile or so to the trail head. Like any resupply of 14 days the pack weighed me down as I began back in for a section of rugged cross country. The Bishop Pass trail is well graded and the 7 miles to the top of the pass is generally easy and filled with beautiful views. Once over though the miles begin to set in as the pounding down hill through Dusy Basin always leaves me extremely worn out. My goal had been to reach the junction at the Muir Trail but by the time I dropped to the camp below the 10,000 fire line sign I had had enough and set up camp.

Resuming the next day my route took me through the Ranger stations location. I knew George Durkee was supposed to be there and I had wanted to meet him. When I reached the junction there was a prominent sign detailing that the new cabin was being built and not to bother them unless it's an emergency that was under lined 3 times. I thought about giving George crap about getting too old to deal with all these JMT tourists asking the same questions for 30 years but I decided to pass on by the cabin with just a wave. I thought maybe they wondered where the hell I was going as I took one of their use trails to a place that clearly one of them camps out. Luckily this lead me right to a downed tree that took me across the Middle Fork.

The initial hill side was extremely steep and fatiguing yet was a clear open forest. This generally continued until the grade began to lessen and I made my way up the creek to a flat meadow area . I took a break and enjoyed the views of the triple drainage coming down marked by two water falls. I began up into the drainage that was fairly straight forward until you get into the steeper narrows of the chute. The water levels were low so I did not get wet but I took note that if this route was taken early season you likely would be fighting your way up water falls. As I climbed my final pitch up a cliff side and reached the top I suddenly became aware that I was surfing! The rock I had climbed on was going over the cliff with me on it! I quickly leaped off as it went crashing over the edge and roaring down the chute below.

From here it was mostly smooth sailing as you talus hop along to the smooth slabs heading up to Hester Lake. When I reached it I admired the beautiful blue water in what can mostly be considered a rather dull and desolate lake . Other than the spectacular views looking back at the Palisades that is!

I began looking for evidence of the plane but could find nothing at the moment other than a human crafted piece of wood near the outlet and what looked like battered clothing in the water. A bit of an ominous reminder of people dying here.

The lake offers little camping but I found a nice rock to lay out on and staked my claim for the next two nights.

Come morning I began moving along the NE shore on my way towards Langille Peak. I quickly began seeing pieces of aluminum scattered along the shore line. Mostly small pieces with some glass, wiring, netting and general small pieces scattered around the area. A year later I would learn there is a register at this crash site but I never located it.

Once I was satisfied here I began angling towards the low saddle on the West ridge of Langille. Although a bit tedious at times it was fairly easy to reach the ridge line. From here it was a different matter though. Once I had crossed the hump on the ridge it turned into a rather technical class 3 traverse that slowed me down quite a bit but in a reasonable time frame I reached the summit . An old rusty can held a register left from a Leconte Ranger. I checked the entries to find one a month old and then wait what!? After not being signed for a month someone had signed it today! A single person noting they climbed the East face. So they came up signed it and left before I made it up. I spent some time soaking up the awesome views and began making a better route back. I dropped down the SW face on mixed talus and sand and hooked back to camp.

Leaving Hester I went to the lake just South and began making my way through the large talus field between lakes. While out in the middle of a huge mess of talus I found a random cairn. The type of cairn the just makes me wonder since it marks absolutely nothing other than another person has passed by this exact spot.

I made decent time passing the rugged yet scenic lake below what I call Ladder Pass. The North side of the pass itself proved very easy aside from a few loose sections of rock. I slowly made my way down the South side until I reached a more level section below. From here your presented with two route options. Head straight towards the lake or go right and follow down the drainage. I decided on the straight shot. All through this option I saw cairns marking all sorts of needless paths.

Finally I made my way down the last talus filled slope into the trees on the North shore . I took lunch and scouted camp sites without luck. I passed around to the South shore taking note of the fact that this lake was beautiful from all shore lines. On the South side was a number of camp sites but they did not appeal to me. I wanted to have a view perhaps after being spoiled of my view from camp at Hester Lake. So I climbed out on a large outcrop over looking the lake and found a mostly flat rock to just lay out on. It was so early I seriously thought about just climbing the Citadel today but I never mind just laying around camp soaking in all the beauty so instead I decided to go for a dip. I went down to the shore and began to strip when suddenly I heard voices. I look up to see two people coming down the hillside towards the lake. What? Really!? I thought. I never thought I'd see anyone up here but here they came. When they reached camp I went and said hello. One of them was Elizabeth Wenk author of a JMT guide book and a completer of the SPS list so I had plenty to talk to her about. The two of them set off to climb the Citadel as I went for my swim.

The next morning I made my climb up the Citadel which proved extremely easy with some fun class 3 just before the summit. It had taken me about an hour and a half so I just sat on top and enjoyed the views for awhile. On my way back to camp I found the typical Sierra balloon .

Leaving Ladder Lake I decided to take the drainage route which was easier than the way I had taken. In fairly decent time I climbed my way back up Ladder Pass and rounded the shore of the lake below. I began up the slope I call Black Divide Crossing which in the beginning was easy enough on small to medium talus. The closer you get to the top the larger and more technical the rocks become. I was still sporting 9 days of food so my pack wasn't exactly light. After plenty of technical class 3 I topped out on the ridge offering great views and an extremely satisfied feeling of conquering a route that I had absolutely no information on. I was simply going on topo maps and visual confirmation. For all I knew I was the first to climb this ridge so I couldn't have been happier that I hadn't been shut down horribly. Dropping down the West side of this route is tedious at best. Rock too large to be scree and too small to me talus. Perfectly stable and unstable at the same time yet without issue I found myself at the bottom and then making the climb up the 3rd pass of the day which I call Ionian Pass. Luckily this time around it was class 1 to the top. Dropping down was just more tedious all the way to Lake 11,828 .

Getting there I found some sites that were not good enough to effectively set up my tent. To my despair the weather had begun to turn and the rain began to fall. I had tried and failed to set up my tent free standing. I then decided to climb in and just lay in the downed tent but it did not take long before I decided this was not going to work so I kept messing with it until I got a half assed tent set up long enough to weather the storm and then I broke it back down and slept on top of it.

Setting out for Charybdis I really had no information on climbing it other than to take the North ridge to the summit. This starting simple enough on the easy slopes . I just kept climbing the North ridge looking up at what I thought was the summit.

When I got to the top of this scramble I certainly was not on the summit yet. A high point of rock had to be passed and I decided to go left. Doing this involved a rather strange move with allot of exposure. When I had passed this obstacle I kind of laughed that a cairn was marking to take the other way. Next I had to round another high point on the ridge. This time I went right onto some tiny ledges. These went left then right as I had to make use of hand holds that were far above my head and shimmy inverted a bit with allot of exposure below me. Once beyond this I found myself at a cliff face that dropped down about 10 feet. At first I could not find a way down and knew that I had taken the wrong way in general to maintain the class 3 rating of this climb. I climbed out onto the face of this wall and began down what I can only describe as the most difficult down climb I had ever done. From here it was an easy class 3 climb to the top .

The summit itself was an aggressive mess of rocks that offered no comfortable place to sit. The views all around were wonderful to see. It was so early I had nothing better to do for awhile then sit and enjoy the view.

I decided to hike to the Eastern most bit of the summit in order to get an unobstructed shot looking East. When I got there my camera while still in it's padded case slipped from my hand and smashed down on a rock. When I took the camera out it had impacted directly on the corner of the LCD screen and broke it completely. I could see nothing more than colored lines! This was horrible to say the least since I could no longer see any data when taking a picture or even knowing if they were being taken at all. I switched to auto mode and made use of the horrible eye glass piece.

Leaving the summit I made my way off the NE face and then cut across to the North ridge which although had plenty of class 3 remained as such.

Back at camp I sat and felt such despair at this turn of events of breaking my camera. Taking pictures out here was so important to me and things had been going so well in this rugged section. The last thing I wanted to do was head out but it had to be done. I would re plan the rest of this section and tomorrow I will begin making my way out to Florence Lake to deal with this problem.


Edited by RoguePhotonic (04/23/15 09:20 PM)
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#42400 - 05/02/15 07:16 PM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Week 10

MAP

After hatching a plan to get a new camera I set out across the rugged landscape of Ionian Basin heading for Goddard Creek Pass. Other than the tedious drop down from Lake 11,828 it was an easy trek past a small lake then after passing Chasm Lake my route was slowed down a bit by taking the route directly in the creek up to Lake 11,582. This involves allot of class 3 boulder hoping that is stable but slow going. After doing this a second time in 2014 I finally realize that climbing the Western slope of this drainage offers a far easier way. Once at the lake thankfully it was much easier to pass around Lake 11,582 and on up to Lake 11,837 both showing off the pure desolation and harsh geology of the area. This lake however is much more tedious to get around with a number of class 3 moves and a horrendous population of shore flies that threaten to give you some extra protein for the day.

After passing the particularly annoying sections on the South Western shore I topped the saddle here and passed another nameless body of water . At this point I was rather annoyed that the conditions for the day were providing for excellent photography and at the time I had no idea of knowing whether my camera was even still take pictures or not.

As I dropped down to Lake 11,818 with Goddard looming before me I once again cursed that I was on my way out rather than climbing up that beast! I'll be back for you yet!

Reaching Lake 11,951 from it's outlet I once again was pushing around a tedious shoreline of perhaps one of the most desolate locations in all of the Sierra. Hardly a blade of grass can be located as you tramp along a forgotten land. One final push to the pass remains and thankfully it was an easy one as I neared the top admiring a shore line in which I will never traverse.

As I began down the easy West slopes of the pass I made use of a faint use trail. Dropping to the lake below I was debating on which shore line to take. A potential cliff which I would have to climb around or a nasty snow slope offering disastrous consequences if one should fall. I chose the former and was not disappointed.

This choke point of the route is the most obvious yet tedious on sharp rocks. It's not until the final drop to Martha Lake that you have to make a decision about how to drop down past a small mess of cliff bands. While on my way down the rain finally began to fall and I caught site of a lone man hiking quickly along Martha Lake. From this distance he looks like Aragorn from Lord of the Rings since he had a large cape like rain coat on as he moved quickly along.

As quickly as the rain came it went as I hiked along Martha Lake. I came across a nice pair of trekking poles leaning against a rock. I thought perhaps Aragorn was camped near by and they belonged to him so I left them.

I made my way down the San Joaquin to the same campsite below the fire line I had used the year before. Before getting there however I caught up to Strider who had returned to camp and his wife. Chatting it up with them they asked me if I had seen some trekking poles and they weren't too happy about hiking miles back to the lake to get them in the morning.

The next day was far less eventful as I figured making my way all the way out to Florence was not practical in regards to getting anywhere on the road so I just hiked down to the Blayney Hot springs. In the evening I put a change of clothes on a rock outside my tent and set out for the springs. When I got out in the river I looked up to see the sky had clouded over completely again. That is not good I thought...Maybe I should return to put my clothes away but decided to keep going. While in the hot spring by myself all hell broke loose! Rain and hail began pouring down. Lightning bolts were flying right over head! What an awesome place to watch the storm I thought as a massive bolt struck the hill side in front of me and the whole area around it glowed for a second. I couldn't have been happier until I returned to my camp in the dark to find my clean clothes soaking wet.

The next morning I made my way out to the Ferry landing and tried to radio for a pickup but there was no response. Over the next couple of hours a group formed and I secured a ride with them at least to the junction heading for Vermillion. Once there I took to the road. Although plenty of cars drove past me in which I would step off the road since their was no room I made no effort to signal for a ride. Once I had passed the junction to Mono Hot springs a car came pulling up with a familiar face in it. The young girl asks me "are you Chris Ryerson?". It took me a moment to remember Marie from VVR the year before. Her and Brian gave me a ride the rest of the way getting me there by lunch time.

Since it was Saturday other than the food logistically it was not ideal. I decided to order a Canon G1X and use over night mail. When ordering a 40 dollar spare battery it cost 50 dollars to ship over night! This still meant that it would not ship until Monday, arrive at my house Tuesday and my grandmother brought it up Wednesday. When she arrived she exclaimed that if she had known the road was that horrible to get here she would never have came. I got her a trailer to stay and tomorrow I would return to my route with a fresh new and better camera and 1600 dollars less in funds.

On her way out she gave me a ride to Florence Lake and I caught the Ferry across. Sky Crane helicopters were battling a fire burning near by from the lightning the night I was in the hot springs. Due to how all the mileage worked out I only made my way back to the Blayney Hot springs and ended another week in the Sierra.
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#42403 - 05/03/15 12:52 AM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
Nice, Chris.

I made it back to Mt Goddard one time years ago. So long that my friend had his first cell phone, and we were able to make a call from the summit -- analog days. I doubt the digital service these days could punch out that far. I remember thinking the fishing in Martha Lake should be good.

Funny about your grandmother and the camera. That road up to VVR is so long and torturous, especially if she came from Bakersfield! Poor woman!

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#42404 - 05/03/15 04:30 AM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: Steve C]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2243
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
I remember being driven over that road... Driver stopped the vehicle & treated us all to a technicolor yawn. Very unusual for the driver to succumb to motion sickness.
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#42421 - 05/05/15 07:10 AM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: wagga]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1029
Loc: Madison, WI
The road up to VVR it is my favorite road in this country - at least for entertainment value, and the destination is well worth it. Don't complain about it being tight until you've driven in places like Corsica, where the locals drive like they have no strong desire to continue living, while you are dodging their speeding Citroens all puckered up, hoping not to drop over the edge of a cliff while avoiding these maniac Sebastian Loeb wanna-bes. sick

The guy who delivers fuel to the generators up at Florence and VVR really impressed me one year when I had to follow him for the final part after Kaiser Pass. He is driving this big old tanker truck that appears far too large for the road. In many places he sits hanging over the abyss as he makes turns with the truck's front wheels turning behind where he is sitting in the cab, barely on the road. His dog is always riding shotgun smile

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#42799 - 05/31/15 08:36 PM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Week 11

MAP

Once again I find myself on this stretch of trail. Hot, dusty and crowded with people. How many times have I hiked this? How many more times will I? Too many I think as I trudge along past the bridges and on up canyon . It's not until you pass the junction heading for Evolution Valley that you can enjoy any sort of solitude and will begin climbing back out of the heat of the lower levels of the range. I made my way back up to the same camp below the fire line just before a small shower came and went.

Retracing my steps determined to resume what I had began I went up canyon back to Martha Lake and on up Goddard Creek Pass. This time when I had reached the small lake below the top of the pass I took the left option.

When I reached Lake 12,280 I saw a single location to camp. It did not look big enough for my tent and it was so mixed into the rocks I did not think I could even set it up anyway so I kept going around the Southern shore looking for a place without luck. Once I had reached the East shore I managed to find a single rock that was just big enough to lay my body on. I thought this would have to do and hopefully it wont rain but that notion lasted about 2 minutes as the rain began with large drops. I quickly took out my tent and laid it over the rock and stuffed all my gear into it to protect it. Before I knew it the rain was ripping down and lightning was sounding with ear deafening cracks over head. I was completely exposed up here so I just hunkered down as close to the ground as I could get and sat in the rain getting soaked. I had my rain shell on but my pants were not even water resistant. At one point I was just laying on my back on a flat granite rock staring into the raging abyss above me. I was cold and miserable as the storm raged around me for the next 2 hours while I helplessly lay out in it. When the madness finally stopped I checked my gear which had got quite wet from condensation inside the tent due to rocks warmed by the sun earlier. I decided to hell with this and packed up my stuff again and went back around the lake to that crappy little spot I had seen. When I got set up there however it proved to be quite nice and I actually was able to drive almost all my stakes into the ground. If I had just set up here in the first place I would have avoided all this trouble! But then again I would have missed all that fun!

Next to this spot there was a few rocks tied together with a rope. When I looked at them closer I found a small medicine bottle under it with some paper inside. It was the first lake register I had found before.

When I tried to get water from the lake I could not get any that was clean. The water fleas were out in the millions! As far as I could see out into the water was clouds of large water fleas. Closer to the shore they were too small to see until after they were in your bottle. The Red Copeopods were also out in force. I tried everything I could to not get any in my bottle. I even tried to run water through my shirt but it would not work. I finally gave in an drank the damn fleas.

When it was getting closer to sunset I decided to hike over to a small hill looking out on the basin. Looking South towards the Middle Fork of the Kings earlier the storm that was raging was so black it was like an abyss of destruction. "My god, who ever is over there is getting fucked up!" is all I could think as lightning bolts sprung from the darkness left and right. The sunset came and I ended this chaotic day.

Come morning I set out to climb Mt. Goddard. The entire way around the shore and beginning up the East slope of Goddard can only be described as tedious. It's small sharp rock plenty loose but technically easy. Far off I could hear talking. It was not until I had topped the ridge and was on my final push that I spotted a large group of people on the ridge line described by some guides as a way to climb Goddard from Wanda Pass. Ludacris is all I could think when I looked at the route from many different viewing angles.

On top the view was certainly all encompassing as I had heard. Unfortunately for me most of the view was washed out by the early morning light and plenty of haze. I sat on top for as long as I dared while the storm clouds steadily grew. I retreated back to camp and made it before all hell broke loose once again. Hail, lightning and plenty of rain for about 3 hours but thankfully this time I was dry.

Leaving this lake I took the route down the outlet and on to 11,951 . I decided to go straight through a hump in the terrain which led directly to 11,818 . The only difficult part was the steep chutes here you had to take down to the lake. I was supposed to be heading to the lake below Scylla in order to climb it but the weather was turning fast once again. I knew I would not be able to climb it today as planned and the thought crossed my mind whether I would find camping or not at the lake and to my surprise this lake offered beautiful sandy places to camp. There were actually a couple trees clinging to life. Not only are they the only trees I have seen anywhere in Ionian but after four trips this clearly is the best camping in all of Ionian also so I set up camp before lunch and stayed dry.

Climbing around the shore that evening I was fascinated by the nature of the geology. I examined every bit of the terrain and enjoyed the setting sun. I floated along in some sort of strange Dr. Seuss induced state making a rhyme story as I glided seamlessly along the harsh terrain. " Ms. Grouse she was near, I said do not fear I am going to the view that is near over here! - She seemed upset but did not fret as I went to the left over the cliff in which she sat". And on it went as I hopped along increasing my pace as the alpine glow was going to peak soon. I reached a nice vista looking out on the White Divide and Goddard Creek. I stared into the marvelous scene in front of me only I could hardly say I was me anymore. I was lost in the moment so completely until I snapped out of it and realized I need to return since I had no flashlight on me. Suddenly I found the terrain more difficult to travel now that I was not possessed. I stumbled back into camp at the last bit of useable light and closed another day.

I crossed the isthmus of the lake which lead to a nice easy slope up to the lake below Scylla. I debated heavily on climbing it but the weather was turning again and I had along ways to go. I was a bit burnt at leaving the last named peak of the basin unclimbed but I would see it's summit in 2013.

After I had traversed it's harsh shores I topped out on the small saddle that connects the two lakes together which offers a beautiful view of Scylla and the Three Sirens. Once down the tedious slopes and back at Lake 11,837 I rounded to it's outlet and begin up the slope in an effort to avoid dropping down any and doing a continuous traverse to Wanda Pass. Other than some large class 3 rocks before the summit this plan worked out quite well.

As I dropped down the primary chute of Wanda Pass I stepping onto a rock which gave out beneath me like I had stepped into air. I fell about 4 feet down and landed perfectly on my feet. Yikes I thought that certainly could have been much worse! I had a brief chat with a couple on their way up the pass. I would run into them again in about 4 days and run into the girl again in Leconte Canyon in 2013. Just one more of the many people I have encountered multiple times over the years.

Once off the pass I climbed up to the saddle known as Davis Lakes Pass. From here it began to rain and thunder boomed over Mt. Darwin. Before long the slopes of Mt. Haeckel were covered in hail . I had intended on climbing the small peak at about 12,220 but the weather once again stopped me. Instead I traversed along it's Eastern slope and down to the small unnamed lake here. The rest of the way to McGee Lake was easy going but by the time I had found a nice camp on the Isthmus of the lake it had started raining hard and I had to throw up my tent in a hurry and just throw everything inside. By sunset all was calm and I was treated to one of the rare sunset lake reflections .

Rounding McGee Lake it was nice to be back onto typical Sierra terrain rather than the harsh nature of Ionian. This made for easy travel as I dropped down through the dip of McGee Canyon and back up to an unnamed Lake that offers beautiful views of The Hermit, Mt. Darwin and Mendel. I was curious if this lake had any decent fish but I could see nothing in the water until I walked over a rock and a large fat trout went swimming off fast. After toping the next small hill I got my first look at what I now call Emerald Pass. Piece of cake I thought and made quick work getting to the top . I stopped here and stared up at the small unnamed Peak 11,751 which is incorrectly listed as Peak 10,751 on National Geographic maps. I faced my typical laziness dilemma. I wanted to climb it but the thought of just going down hill was strong. Luckily this time the call of the peak won and I set out for the summit. Other than a couple class 3 moves and some annoying trees in the way it was a simple task getting to the top.

The peak offers a fantastic view of Evolution Valley and Emerald Peak but I was disappointed by the hopes of finding a register or any evidence of a previous ascent at all. Once back down at the pass I began down the West side which was far less straight forward. A tight mess of shelves, chutes and tedious loose rock. I could not identify a class 2 route.

Lake 10,918 turned out to be a nice little hidden gem that I doubt large amounts of people ever climb up to see. After the easy class 1 drop down to Lake 10,554 I was not disappointed by the beauty of this lake either. But the time came to leave all the amazing lakes I had hiked by today and bail off into Evolution Valley. Before the plunge I found some snow markers and there were a large number of felled trees in the area but I could not locate the log cabin most likely present in the area.

Although not technically difficult the drop into Evolution was very steep and taxing. By the time I got to the bottom and had to ford the river it was a welcome dunk into cold water. More than once I have come off the mountain side onto the JMT and I start getting asked questions about the trail ahead. I always enjoy saying I don't know I came from up there and point.

I ended the day in solitude at the horse camp of Evolution Meadow.

My final day of the week ended where I began as I made my way back down to the Muir Trail Ranch and the Blayney hotsprings where I camped with some cool people and got my resupply. Ready to push further North into the range and conquer the rest of my planned route. Or so I thought...
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#45639 - 04/02/16 07:47 PM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Some day this trip report will be over!

WEEK 12

MAP

PHOTOS

After a late morning discussing gear with fellow hikers I found myself on this stretch of trail yet again. Up past the bridge but this time not entering the park again but heading up Piute Creek. The seemingly continuous storm was rearing it's ugly head once again. This however provided some shade from an other wise very hot and exposed section of trail.

Along the many cascades I tested out my cameras built in ND feature. But among the pleasant hiking and playing with photos the rain came once again and thunder was sounding over head. When I reached Hutchinson Meadow a group of guys were enjoying a block of cheese and offered me some. We then leap frogged most of the way up the uneventful climb into Humphreys Basin. By this time the storm had broke and everything was calm and peaceful.

When I reached the creek that drains the Desolation Lakes I began cross country. I came across an area that was littered with trash and had a fire pit in between some rocks with melted up pieces of metal in it. The worst trash was some sort of tarp and poles.

When I reached Lower Desolation Lake I was once again treated to the rare calm evening with beautiful reflection shots.

After the easy stroll up to Desolation Lake it was time to find a camp after this long day of climbing but the lake surprising had little in established camp sites on the West shore so I picked a random spot and got set up but I was unable to spend much time handling business when there were so many beautiful photos to take!

After an amazing sunset I finally took to cooking in the last light where I was startled by a rabbit that snuck up behind me wishing to share dinner. Having returned to Humphreys Basin two more times since this first visit I can say that it has the most abundant population of rabbits I have ever seen in the Sierra and also the largest!

The next day was my layover and gladly so since the weather turned bad early and rained on and off nearly all day and into the evening so I did very little beyond laying in my tent.

The journey from Desolation Lake to the top of Puppet Pass is an easy class 1 stroll. The nice views were only marred by the threatening clouds the once again showed their ugly face. After nearly two weeks of rain it was just getting old.

I made the easy talus hop to the bottom and did a small lake tour by going around Paris and down to Alsace Lake before moving down to the NE.

I had yet to reach the valley floor before the rain had caught up with me. For whatever reasons I decided to not push on further than about where you begin up to Merriam Lake. But on this stretch of canyon I had a hard time finding a place to camp. Every 50 yards I would find a fire pit with absolutely no place to set up a tent until I finally located a nice campsite which had a few Rangers hiding under trees. After a nice chat with them I asked if they were staying at this site. They were not but they said it was illegal due to how close to water it was and that they planned to destroy the site. Great I thought so they directed me to a less than ideal yet adequate location.

After hours of rain I set out to collect what wood I could to build a fire. Not an easy task after two weeks of rain but I got a nice blaze going and two girls camping near by who clearly did not want to deal with all the trouble I went through came over and joined me for the rest of the night by the fire.

One more day down and I set off up the hill towards Merriam Lake where I picked up a nice use trail that took me into the flats of this idyllic cirque. Reaching Merriam I found it to be a very beautiful lake with unnamed peaks just begging to be climbed.

Pushing on past one lake after another up to Feather Pass the terrain was a beautiful and easy stretch of Sierra landscape that show cased some of the best the range has to offer. Reaching the top I toyed with the thought of climbing Feather Peak but the intimidating looking class 3 ridge was more than I wanted from an unscheduled run to the top.

Feather Pass proved to be fairly easy with only a small section of shelves to navigate down before reaching the typical talus hop and onto pleasant terrain again passing Bear Paw and Ursa where I took a gully up to the SW side of Black Bear Lake. Only here did I have slight trouble getting down to shore level where I met two guys fishing on a day hike.

Black Bear Lake thankfully had fabulous camping on it's NW shore and I went for a dip in the small tarn lake next to it.

Climbing White Bear Pass wasn't much more than a hump to climb although the top had me into some easy class 3 rocks because of the way I went. Before crossing it however I went to the West shore of White Bear Lake to get a view lower into the basin.

White Bear Pass was a bit like Feather in navigating a section of shelves before getting to easier terrain. I made the mistake of staying too far left and had to take plenty of class 3 but none of it was a problem and before I knew it I was trolling along the shores of Brown Bear Lake with Mt. Hillgard looming in the background.

The terrain throughout this area was an idyllic class 1 stroll out to the Hilgard Branch past beautiful small cascades and up to Italy Lake which is rimmed by large and beautiful peaks. I continued the class 1 stroll with the occasional small field of talus to hop until I strolled into a camp at Toe Lake for lunch. This was supposed to be my destination for the day but it was so early and I felt fine along with it being a class 1 walk up to Gabbot Pass I decided to just push on up.

The North side involves much more talus work yet is still a beautiful journey while you pass the drainage displaying glacier flower colors. Once I had reached the view point looking into the Second Recess it was a glorious sight. I had to pry myself away from the view with each step as I made my way down to Upper Mills Creek Lake. A place fit for a king where I thought about just staying here due to how awesome it was but I decided to go ahead and push further down canyon.

I decided the zig zag down the slabs to Lower Mills Creek Lake which also proved to be an amazing place. Although there was a nice place to set up my tent close by I felt like laying out on the granite and enjoy the beautiful view and the night sky. I should be safe I thought as there was not a cloud in the sky by the time night fell and it had not rained in two days. I woke up at 1am to small drops starting to hit me. You have to be fucking kidding I thought! Flashes of lightning were coming in the direction of Lake Edison. I jumped up and ran over to the flat spot and quickly set up my tent and got all my gear inside. Before long a full blown thunderstorm was under way in the middle of the night! I ignored it and tried to sleep.

Making my way down the Second Recess wasn't very difficult but also not completely straight forward. At times I found a use trail until I steadily followed it down the steep section of canyon by large cascades offering nice views. Once in the forest below I found the proper maintained trail and began making good time. A group of older ladies gave me some nice candies and I steadily made my way down canyon. Once I had grinded my way all the way down to Edison I decided to try walking around the lake. At first it was great strolling along on solid ground but as the lake rounded a corner I was cliffed out and was forced up. I ended up friction climbing some class 5 slabs cursing that I had gone this way until I finally got back onto the trail and made the final grind out where I ended the week at the best rest stop in the Sierra. Vermillion Valley Resort.


Edited by RoguePhotonic (04/02/16 08:09 PM)
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#45641 - 04/03/16 10:49 PM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
Rogue, thanks for another installment! The pictures are awesome!

I am sure puzzled about this one: "I took a gully up to the SW side of Black Bear Lake. Only here did I have slight trouble getting down to shore level where I met two guys fishing on a day hike.."

Where in the world would someone hike in from to get that deep into the Sierra in one day?

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#45647 - 04/04/16 05:00 PM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Hah well I didn't clarify day hike as in they were camped lower in Bear Lakes Basin and they were just hiking around and fishing the lakes for the day.
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#45649 - 04/04/16 05:31 PM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
Ah, thanks! That's what I sort of assumed.

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#45669 - 04/05/16 09:02 PM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Week 13

MAP

After having my belly well fueled up I set out on the hike around the lake once again on what was turning into a very pleasant day. On my way back up Mono Creek I decided to make a short cut and avoid climbing up and then down into it as the trail does and cut directly around on Mono Creek. Although it turned into a nice little hike past nice granite pools the nature of the terrain really didn't save me any time or effort.

I camped at a random location on Mono Creek where I enjoyed a VVR burrito and some Korean hot noodles for dinner. Come early morning the alarm clock of hot Korean noodles had me up and ready to go much earlier than normal.

After the hike up canyon this time I entered the Third Recess and followed the trail until it ended at a nice little meadow. I strolled into camp at Third Recess Lake at a decent hour and decided I was tired of my beard so I used scissors to chop it off the best I could.

My next goal was Third-Forth Crossing which other than a section of small loose and tedious talus before the top it was a very easy pass to get up. My planned route was to make an unknown crossing North of Mt. Mills and drop down the other side. I examined the wall ahead and decided it was passable but it looked quite tedious so the thought of going over Mono was quite appealing because I had never entered the Fourth Recess before and decided exploring it was just as worth wild to me.

I strolled down past the desolate yet beautiful Snow Lakes with their milky glacier flower water and kept on down the easy terrain trying not to step on any yellow legged frogs along the way. Finally I reached the wall looking down at Forth Recess Lake. Hmm I thought how to get down now? The terrain to my left looked passable but a bit long and tedious. Close by on my right was a deep cut couloir. I stared off into it and thought hell I can get down this way so I make a mostly vertical down climb into it on loose nasty rock. I carefully pick my way down trying not to cause any landslides until I reach a large chockstone embedded in the chute. I think ah i'll be able to get down this so I tie my pack onto my rope and lower it over the rock. However the slope below was so steep that it took nearly all 48 feet of my rope for my pack to come to a stop. I decide it's not smart to tie the rope to me as if the pack goes it could pull me off the rock so I toss it down.

I carefully climbed out onto the face of this rock trying carefully not to dislodge a massive pile of loose rock directly above me and haul myself out onto it's face. I try everything I can but holy crap this is not working I think. I climb back up in defeat and stare down and decide to give it another go. While on the face I begin shaking a bit and actually feel scared which is a way I only feel when something is extremely bad. I finally decide that without rappelling that this down climb cannot be done by me anyway.

Looking below at my pack I was more than dismayed. Oh good god what have I done? I climb back up and out of this col and move further to the east where a larger more open col showed itself. I made my way down here which was a loose and difficult descent with many tense moments.

Finally I reach the bottom and round a corner to enter back up into my dreaded col to retrieve my pack.

It was so steep and lose that I could barely climb up. I grabbed onto a 300 pound boulder and it came lose and I was able to stagger back just in time for it to miss landing on my foot but then it kept coming so I had to leap out of the way as it missed me by inches. Then I got to another vertical section that was almost impossible to climb with every hand and foot hold covered in a layer of sand which blasted me in the face and eyes from the wind funneling up the chute. Over all just climbing up without a pack on was extremely difficult to almost impossible and now I had to make my way down with a heavy pack? For the first time I was completely confident I was going to die in this couloir. I pulled out my camera and did a final entry to a video journal noting that I was probably going to die and stating that I have no regrets. As I picked up my gear that poem from the movie The Grey came to mind and I spoke out loud as I buckled my pack on saying "Once more into the fray... Into the last good fight I will ever know... Live and die on this day... Live and die on this day..."

The slopes were loose and steep enough that as I would step down sideways I would rotate my body back into the slope to make use of my hands as well. At times I considered doing some technical climbing up the walls to try and escape this Col. but I just kept going down one horrible step at a time. Finally I reached the vertical section I had so much trouble getting up. I made an attempt at it and failed. I tried to hook left around a large rock that was directly in the center of the chute to see if I could make it down another way but as I was trying to get a view below both my legs suddenly slipped out from beneath me. My hands had some what of a hold on the walls on both sides of me but were half bent down so the weight of myself and my pack was too much. I struggled to gain footing but I could get nothing. Finally in an effort of every bit of strength I had I pushed myself up right with my arms while suffering some injury in doing so and managed to get my feet back on the ground. After staring that bit of death in the face I knew the vertical section was the only way. I sat down at it's edge and made a series of moves twisting my body in ways that were more strange than I could really describe. Regardless they worked and I was down the obstacle. From here it was just a matter of meticulously picking your way down until the steepness began to let up. I slowly made the last slog down until I was standing on the shore line of Forth Recess Lake. I was mentally fatigued but still possessed a feeling of victory over the natural forces thrown at me.

I set out around the Eastern shore which was a nasty mix of talus. Many of the blocks were huge and required some technical moves to get through. Finally I reached the easy shores and I past a group of guys camping. I didn't bother mentioning my little experience getting here so I went on and found my camp ending a rather...challenging day.

At this point I was back to sailing down a maintained trail back over Mono Pass with all it's beautiful views of Ruby Lake and Mt. Morgan. Every time I stare out at Little Lakes Peak I think my trekking pole is up on the side of that mountain. Lost over a cliff in 2008.

My route had me simply dropping to the junction and going straight to Morgan Pass but I thought to myself that the Pie in the Sky Cafe was only 2 miles down the road and that I think i'll make and unscheduled stop for some goods.

As I neared the trail head I ran into two woman and chatted to them about my hike. They offered me a ride down the road and even offered to buy me some pie. So after picking up lots of goodies to pack in with me and having a nice lunch with the two ladies they drove me back to the trail head and I resumed on my way. Wow I thought that couldn't have worked out any better.

The hike up Little Lakes Valley is always an easy and beautiful one as I easily made my way up to Morgan Pass and down to the Lower Morgan Lake for the night.

Resuming in the morning I once again found myself moving through this old mining area intrigued by the nature of all the work done here over the years. Making my way down the road I located a point where I could enter the primary Pine Creek mine so I made my way in and climbed down a ways but decided I did not want to go on because the mine was simply too large to explore while passing through so I kept the entrance in mind for a return trip some day. I actually plan to go batshit crazy and enter the mine for 2 or 3 days before exiting.

Making my way down the beautiful drainage of Morgan and Pine Creeks I finally got a good view of the main facility at the bottom and took note that a large number of buildings had been removed since I was here two years ago.

The bad thing about this route was dropping back down into more heat. I strolled past the trail head and began straight up the old road to Brown Stone Mine. I powered through it but was feeling heat stroke coming on by the time I got to the nice pipe spring coming out of the wall where I cooled down.

Reaching my planned camp at the mine I was surprised to find a small couch built beautifully out of rock in front of a fire pit. The thing was actually quite comfortable. Unfortunately there was no good place for a tent so I had to make one by moving allot of rock. Once set up I made my way into the tram room which was not flooded like on my last visit in 2010. I located the ladder at the back of the room and was happy to see it still here and in some what decent shape. I climbed on up and found myself again in the Brownstone Mine. Although I rather enjoy it I will admit that alone in the dark hallways under ground with only a flashlight is extremely creepy. My recording large amounts of my exploration helped focus my mind and I made my way back to the room with the deep raise bore and played around with throwing rocks in. It was about 14 seconds before impact. I then made my way back to a section of the mine that was completely flooded in 2010 but was dry at least in terms of not having 12 inches of water on the ground held back by a dam. I made my way to a vertical ladder and climbed up but while climbing in a bit of a squeeze with ladders running up at about 50 degrees they began breaking under me from being rotten so I turned back. I then made my way back up a set of ladders to more ladders still that I did not climb in 2010. I began up and complemented myself again on how crazy I was as one ladder would take me up to another that was supported only by a 2x4 wedged in between two walls. Then up to more of the same. After much more exploring I left the mine after about 2 hours under ground and still didn't come close to seeing everything. At this point I felt though that I was done with the inside of this mine for good.

Leaving Brownstone I made my way up past the Pine Lakes and onto some of the old trail past Honeymoon Lake and on into Granite Park. Although this basin is rather interesting with allot of scattered and jagged peaks I felt like I was passing through in a more detached manor. Never feeling like it was all that great though it clearly is. Italy Pass lay ahead with 4 guys nearing the top as I closed in. I had a bit of a chat with them on top and began down without a sign at all of the trail that once came through here. It's not until your close to Jumble Lake that you pick it up solid but only long enough to take you through the mess of talus here which was plenty welcome. I dropped on down and once again enjoyed the beautiful shores of Italy Lake which was my intended camping destination. However I felt good and had time left in the day so I began down the Hilgard Branch for about a mile before setting up camp on top of solid granite where a few rain drops teased me forcing me to free stand my tent with rocks.


Edited by RoguePhotonic (04/05/16 09:14 PM)
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#45671 - 04/05/16 11:47 PM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
RenoFrank Offline


Registered: 08/06/11
Posts: 428
Loc: Reno, NV
Originally Posted By: RoguePhotonic


Great pics! I particularly like the cynical comment "No one cares"

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#45672 - 04/06/16 12:14 AM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2243
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
One of my friends on a TSDH called Mills Creek valley the "never-ending elastic valley of infinity". That's from Summit Lake to St. Thomas Edison lake...
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#45674 - 04/06/16 06:04 AM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RenoFrank]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
Originally Posted By: RenoFrank
Originally Posted By: RoguePhotonic


Great pics! I particularly like the cynical comment "No one cares"


Haha yeah I figured that no one would care if I had something profound to say in my last moments.
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#45717 - 04/10/16 08:54 PM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
WEEK 14

MAP

The weather first thing leaving the Hilgard Branch looked like it would rain but it never came. It was a uneventful stroll aside from stopping to urinate where I thought there was no one but a hundred yards ahead a naked man was standing so I went a bit further on. Once again back on the JMT super highway in Bear Creek until I reached the creek crossing and began climbing up for Orchid Lake. The route I followed up was a bit strange in the fact that the trees were marked with cairns like there once had been a trail when I don't believe there ever was. The hillside here offers wonderful views of Seven Gables and Recess Peak. The lake itself was small but big in charm. I spent the evening watching an Osprey fish the lake.

My route through this area was to hook around the ridge to Cirque Lake but before I had even lifted my head off the pillow I was like tonight is BBQ night at VVR and I am going down to that!! So I hooked over to get a view of Apollo Lake and dropped into Bear Creek which was no problem. Much further down creek I ran into a group of Rangers that I had talked to weeks before. I made them a bit jealous that I was headed to the BBQ.

After about 13 miles of grinding out I was walking the road where I had only gone about half a mile when one of the pack station folks told me to jump in the back. Unfortunately I think when I sat down in the back of his truck my pad was pushed off of my pack and was gone for good.

Being a day ahead of schedule I believe this was the first time I had taken a double layover day at VVR but loving it I later adapted it as the semi norm.

So after all was said done and eaten it was time to get back on trail. Before leaving someone had left a half torn sun visor on the ground in the parking lot which I took to have at least some insulation under me at night.

I set out past Graveyard Meadow and up to the Lowest of the Graveyard Lakes for the day. I think the two days of VVR bogged me down as I was rather tired by the time I got there. I located a decent camp but was some what startled at seeing a beach chair and a hammock hanging right next to the shore line. I thought maybe someone was around but they were not. Upon closer inspection under the beach chair I found that someone had dug a small trench and put 5 cans of food and a can of cheese wiz in there. I decided finders keepers since it was illegal anyway and ate a couple cans and took the cheese wiz with me.

Leaving out of here I hiked past the next lake up and to the largest of the Graveyard Lakes where what I labeled as Graveyard Pass lay ahead. Nothing more than a class 2 hop to the top and short small talus field to the bottom. Here a nice set of meadows and tarn lakes filled the area. Next stop Peter Pande Lake for lunch all this terrain was exceedingly easy as I past Anne Lake and began up towards at I now call Beetlebug Pass. I decided to avoid the low saddle on the ridge and continue up higher on nice slabs until you top out and can pass into easily into the head wall of Long Canyon on continuing slabs. I took down the primary drainage here for the lake until I could pass around a rib of rock sticking out on my left and make my way around the North shore to the outlet where good camping was. Over all I was very impressed by this lake. It reminded me heavily of Hamilton and I considered it to be on the list of places worth revisiting.

The end of the week was exceedingly easy as I left Long Canyon and just went to Iva Bell Hotsprings which I reached by lunch time and secured my favorite spot with the best pool right in my camp.
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#45718 - 04/10/16 10:49 PM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7583
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thanks for the report.

I need to put Iva Bell on my bucket list.

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#45748 - 04/12/16 08:23 PM Re: 111 Days In The Sierra [Re: RoguePhotonic]
RoguePhotonic Offline


Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 558
Loc: Bakersfield CA
WEEK 15

MAP

Hiking along Fish Creek I was amazed by the destruction of trees from the windstorm that had happened the following winter. Nothing but a tunnel of trees where 800 had come down in this short stretch. The rest of the hike out normally is hot and sandy in places but there are plenty of nice watering holes to dunk a hat into and stay cool.

As I passed the Rainbow Falls junction I decided to go take a look from the top to see what the water levels were looking like on this dryer year. I set up camp just at the boundary of the pack station outside the national monument in order to save 20 dollars for camping.

Continuing a trend for the third year in a row I had planned the most luxury resupply and layover of the whole trip by staying in the Sierra Nevada Lodge in Mammoth for 2 nights. Since the shuttles were not running I made the hike over Mammoth Pass which is a rather easy hump. I secured a ride into town saving myself another 5 miles of walking. Naturally I ate all the food I possibly could and left having spend 500 dollars.

When it was time to get back on trail I walked the road back to the trail head and made the slog back up and over Mammoth Pass down to Reds Meadow store where I took a break and enjoyed some refreshments before taking the trail into King Creek where I set up for the night.

On this day it was time to do a lake tour so I took the trail up to Fern Lake and over to Anona where I took cross country past Gertrude Lake and up to Ashley where I took lunch. Ashley is probably the most scenic of all these lakes. Now time to visit Noname and Holcomb. Leaving here I stayed high on the hillside above Superior Lake and up to the first of the two Beck Lakes. I decided to take the North shore and it was a rather tedious mix of talus to get around. The upper lake was my destination for the night as I found a poor campsite at this scenic yet some what bland lake.

Leaving these lakes in the morning I decided to try the South shore of the lower Beck Lakes which wasn't much better and had one location where I had to shimmy along a vertical wall with my body flat against using hand holds high as I could reach above.

My next goal was Nancy Pass which was a rather straight forward walk to the top offering nice views of the more extreme end of the Minarets.

I continued onto Minaret Lake leaving Deadhorse Lake as the only unvisited one. This whole region of the Sierra seems to offer one amazing lake after the other with such a dynamic background. This having been my third trip from Minaret Lake to Cecile Lake I decided to try and take the standard route on the far NW shore rather than up past the little tarn lake. It worked well enough and had me talus hoping the shores of Cecile in short order. When I got to the outlet area I peered down at Iceberg seeing a rather different contrast than the snow covered mess from the year before. Thankfully I was able to locate a nice campsite on the NW shore among one of the only patches of trees here. As I relaxed that evening I saw a Douglas Squirrel working the tiny amounts of trees here. I felt bad for the poor little thing with such a tiny food store so I put some peanuts at the bottom of his tree and waited. Finally he came down and inspected the bounty and promptly turned his nose up at my peanuts and went on his way. Hmmph I thought...Too proud to take hand outs.

Day 7 of this week could not have ended with a greater task as I stared up at the mighty Clyde Minaret looming above me. Time to take on a peak greater than any that had come before!

I decided to first go straight into the walls above my camp. This immediately led me into high level technical class 3 with possibly some easy class 4. Once up this though it was a nice stroll up the slope with the cut over ramp being obvious. Once I was on it I made my way up to the chute where the rock route begins. But I had a problem. The chute before me was obvious but so was a path that crossed directly over the chute. I had no idea which way I was supposed to take. I made the wrong judgment and crossed over the chute and took to the NE face. I came to a section of rock that was semi inverted which I thought I could not get up. I decided to give it a try and was successful but with a price. It had been so difficult that there was no going back. This clearly was not the rock route as the move had been class 5 and my only choice was to push forward. I began climbing up a very narrow ledge system and took a video of me leaning against the wall on a 6 inch ledge with about 1000 feet of air below me.

The next move involved making a step up which was higher than my knee with only a small piece of rock to hang onto. Luckily another 20 feet of mostly vertical class 5 took me back into the chute where it clearly was all major class 3. From here it was a continuous scramble of class 3 until you reach the top of the ridge. Traversing the ridge I reached the only piece of class 4 that you must navigate if you don't lose your way and it did not give me any trouble. A few more paces and victory!!! Talk about a summit where you feel on top of the world with how steep down the views are.

After soaking up the views for as long as I could I made my way carefully down. 3 points of contact is a must on this descent as more than once I had multiple holds break at the same time with both foot and hand holds going together. What I remember most about this descent is getting past one difficult obstacle after another and looking down and being no where near finished.

Once I had made my way back down near the wall I had first come up out of my camp I had no interest in going back down it so I began trying to make my way down some grassy hillsides but I was lead into extremely dangerous conditions and I turned back and climbed my way further South where I believe the traditional route up is and made my way down and back to camp feeling a sense of accomplishment and ending another week.
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