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Drive to Yosemite, September 10, 2009 - Photos of sunrise on the drive out of the San Francisco Bay Area and of the aftermath of the Big Meadow forest fire that was still smouldering as we drove through.
Liberty Cap, September 10, 2009 - David and Bill left home in the SF Bay Area early, drove to Yosemite Valley, and hiked up the Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Fall. David got as far as the top of Nevada Fall, but Bill pressed on to the summit of Liberty Cap.
The class 2 route up the back side of Liberty Cap has a bit more bush-whacking than I like and one short class 3 move over boulders at the crux. But, the view from the top, although limited by the adjacent higher points, is as spectacular as expected. The main trails were crowded, but once I started up Liberty Cap I saw no one and had the peak to myself.
(distance: 10 miles; climbing: 3300 feet)
Gaylor Peak, September 12, 2009 - Ron Bobb, Stella Hackell, Frank Paysen, David Bushnell, and Bill Bushnell hiked from Tioga Pass up to the summit of Gaylor Peak. A day of scattered thunderstorms was in store and made for an interesting sky.
(distance: 2 miles; climbing: 1000 feet)
Lembert Dome, September 12, 2009 - Ron, Stella, Frank, Bill and David hiked the Lembert Dome loop. The day was cloudy with an occasional shower or thunderstorm passing overhead. The sky was as interesting as the landscape.
(distance: 4.3 miles; climbing: 1000 feet)
Duck Pass, September 13, 2009 - David, Stella, and Frank started from the Duck Pass Trailhead near the Coldwater Campground and hiked up and over Duck Pass. They stopped for lunch at a nice spot overlooking Duck Lake. After lunch they hiked back to the trailhead.
(distance: 7.5 miles; climbing: 1910 feet)
|Power Gold Rush
June Lake Loop, September 13, 2009 - I rode from our condo in Mammoth Lakes via the "Scenic Route" over to US-395 and then north to the June Lake Loop that I rode south to north and back again. I ran into Ron Bobb on my way back, and we rode together until we reached the southern junction with US-395, where he had parked his truck. I then proceeded back to Mammoth Lakes, taking CA203 into town.
Morgan Pass, September 14, 2009 - David, Stella, Frank, and I got a relatively late start on a lovely day for a hike up to Morgan Pass, with a stop at Gem Lake for lunch. Stella wasn't up for the whole distance, so she turned around at the turnoff for Chickenfoot Lake, but took an easy pace that saw her back at the car a bit over an hour before the rest of us.
(distance: 7.7 miles; climbing: 1000 feet)
Horseshoe Lake, September 15, 2009 - We took a short drive up to Horseshoe Lake to see the trees poisoned by CO2.
Earthquake Fault, September 15, 2009 - Frank, Stella, David, and Bill visited the "Earthquake Fault" a mile uphill of the Mammoth Village on CA203. This is really more a fissure than a fault, but it is an interesting and unusual geologic feature and worth visiting.
Mammoth Mountain, September 15, 2009 - This was our day off from long hikes, so we (Frank, Stella, David, and Bill) took the gondola ride to the top of Mammoth Mountain to enjoy the 360-degree view of the High Sierra.
Devil's Postpile, September 15, 2009 - We (Frank, Stella, David, and Bill) had a few more hours to kill this afternoon, so we drove in the StellaFrankConvertimobile over Minaret Summit to Devil's Postpile and walked the short trail around and over the postpile.
North Peak, September 16, 2009 - The big hike of the week. Recalling the last time I climbed North Peak in 2006, I don't remember a particularly arduous climb. Certainly the steep, sandy slope I can recall, but my memory must have repressed the difficulty.
We (Frank, Stella, David, and Bill) started later than ideal, but since Stella and Frank had celebrated their 9th wedding anniversary the night before with a dinner out, a heavy dinner, apparently, we gave them as much time to sleep and get ready as we felt prudent. To their credit we all managed to be out the door by 0930 and on the trail by 1030.
David was determined to get up North Peak this year after being thwarted by a small thunderstorm last year, but it was not to be. Only a few hundred yards further up the slippy, slidy route this year he was stopped by an inability to stretch his legs far enough to lift himself up the steep parts. So, he waited halfway up the southeast slope while Frank, Stella, and I pressed on to the summit, reaching it just after 1500, a late time to summit on most days. But today no ugly weather to ruin our day, only the threat of our weary feet stumbling under star light that we just managed to avoid.
Once on the summit we took photos, ate snacks, and signed the register before heading down at 1530. The view is spectacular from the summit, blocked only to the south by Mt. Conness some 350 feet higher.
I noticed with some annoyance that my peak register entry from 9/13/2006 was missing, although there didn't appear to be any entry in either of the two books currently in the canister prior to 9/16/2006. Perhaps the older books had been archived somewhere. We were the only documented party on the summit that day.
The trip down was easier but not without its pratfalls. Each of us slipped at least once. Through carelessness and fatigue I managed to slip on a short muddy section of trail near Greenstone Lake on the easy part of the descent. My tailbone was bruised for more than a week afterward.
By the time we got to the north end of Saddlebag Lake the sun was fixing to set. The last water taxi had already left the dock, so we had no choice but to hike the last 1.3 miles back to the car.
The weather that day couldn't have been better: not a cloud in the sky all day and short-sleeve weather on the summit. Sunset was just as spectacular as we enjoyed the golden reflection of Tioga Ridge on Saddlebag Lake as we neared the end.
(distance: 9.3 miles; climbing: 2000 feet)
Miscellaneous, September, 2009 - These are various photos from our holiday worth sharing that cannot be categorized in the usual manner.
Frank and Stella's Mammoth 2009 web pages - For a different perspective see Frank and Stella's web pages of the same holiday.
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