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Lembert Dome, September 9, 2002 - David and Bill Bushnell climbed Lembert Dome, visiting both the true summit, and the lower, flatter summit directly above the parking lot. We hiked up the old climber's trail shortly before the park service closed it permanently.
(Distance: 3.1 miles; Climbing: 900 feet)
Inyo Crater, September 9, 2002 - After our hike up Lembert Dome we detoured off the main highway on our way back to Mammoth Lakes and did the short hike up to the Inyo Crater rim. The water in the crater was an opaque green, and a slight sulphur stench hung about the place.
Mt. Hoffman, September 10, 2002 - David and Bill Bushnell started from the May Lake trailhead, hiked up to May Lake and then continued on the well-worn use trail to the summit of Mt. Hoffman. It was on the climb to the summit that our route took us near the northern edge of the plateau. At one point on the climb, using hands and feet, David remarked when grasping for the next hand-hold, "Oh my God!", as his hands felt nothing but air, and a quick glance revealed that he was climbing at the edge of a cliff.
We spent less time at the top than I would have liked. Though the weather was clear, an occasional whirlwind would blow fiercely every few minutes, strong enough to lift water from the lightning strike pits on the summit. That spooked David, who felt exposed at the top. We descended after only 20 minutes at the summit, eating lunch at the saddle on the ridge below.
(Distance: 6.0 miles; 2000 feet)
Lake George, September 11, 2002 - Bill and David Bushnell took a rest from hiking and drove up to Lake George for a picnic lunch. The chipmunks were out in force looking for handouts.
White-Conness Notch, September 12, 2002 - David and Bill Bushnell started from Saddlebag Lake trailhead. Our ambitious plan was to climb Mt. Conness via the White-Conness Notch, the notch at the low point on the ridge connecting Mt. Conness with White Mountain.
We hiked across Lee Vining Creek below the dam and then cross-country to descend to the rough road that leads to the research hut in the Hall Nature Preserve. From there we climbed a route high above the creek, marked by an occasional cairn, that finally led to a large bowl at the head of the canyon. We stopped to top off our water bottles before scrambling up into a large talus field and wasting a great deal of time before we realized that it was not the best way to attain the ridgetop.
We saw a pair of backpackers taking what appeared to be a fairly straightforward use trail up a broad chute to the south. We made a bee-line for this trail, intersecting it ahead of the backpackers. We then scrambled up the obvious route through a narrow, loose chute to the ridge near its lowest point.
When the backpackers reached the ridge one of them took our photo. They were going to camp near the base of the south face of Mt. Conness and climb the latter the following day. We had wasted too much time route-finding to press on today, but we vowed to return again and make another attempt.
After eating lunch we descended the Notch the way we had come and returned down through the Hall Preserve, this time staying close to the creek, which appeared to be the most direct route.
By the time we reached the short cross-country climb up to Saddlebag Lake, David was tired, hungry, and cranky. But, he refused any water or food. We arrived back at the car not long before dark.
(Distance: 6 miles; Climbing: 2000 feet)
Hot Creek, September 13, 2002 - David and Bill Bushnell visited the Hot Creek hot spring.
East Brook Lake, September 13, 2002 - David and Bill Bushnell visited East Brook Lake near Mosquito Flat. This lake is not on the main trail up into Little Lakes Valley and so is much quieter and less-traveled. Yet, the short hike over the low ridge to East Brook Lake is an easy walk for a recovery day.
High Sierra Fall Century, September 14, 2002 - Ron Bobb, Zach Kaplan, and Bill Bushnell rode the High Sierra Fall Century. The only photos taken on this occasion were only incidental to the ride. No photos were taken while on the ride.
Dan Visits, September 14, 2002 - Dan Norton and his family, Lisa, Matthew, and Danny, visited Mammoth Lakes for the day after picking up their new Class A motorhome in Las Vegas.
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