On July 2 I decided to make my annual day trip up Hiway 4 to the Ebbetts Pass area. Set out from the Ebbetts Pass Trail Head about 9:20. It was a very pleasant hike along the PCT. After about an hour and a half I reached a creek that I thought was Pennsylvania Creek, turns out it was Eagle Creek. I pulled out my map to check and found I had grabbed the wrong one as I headed out the door. I also had not bothered to print out Bob Burd's map or trip report.
I decided to head up the ridge to my left to see what was what. I reached a small saddle and could see Raymond Peak in front of me and a steep gully leading down to what I now realized was Pennsylvania Creek. Rather than retreat to the PCT I slipped, slid, and bushwhacked my way down to the creek. After crossing the creek and making my way through a thicket of willows I found myself at the base of the peak. I thought the route on Summit Post was Southeast Ridge rather than Southeast Face and so started working my way up and to my right rather than straight at the summit. Bad move! The ground was not to bad and made for fairly quick travel. Route finding was pretty easy. When I reached the east ridge I was greeted with great views Freel Peak and the Minden, Nevada area to the north.
As I turned to head up toward the summit I had some large gendarmes blocking my way. I climbed a bit but could not find a route around them and to continue up meant a lot of exposure. I sat down, had a snack and contemplated what do do. I Finally decided rather than down climb and then head back up to the summit, I would leave this summit for another day. I looked south and could see where the PCT came over a saddle in the ridge I had climbed earlier, so I decided to head for that.
I down climbed to a saddle just east of gendarmes and headed down the gully. The ground was soft and made for easy plunge type stepping for awhile. Things then changed. The gully became steep and rocky and required an little more work and route finding. I finally reached Pennsylvania Creek again and took a short break. Rather than head down the creek to catch the PCT, I headed straight up the hill in front of me and gained the trail at the saddle I had spotted from the mountain.
The trip back to the car was very windy but otherwise uneventful. Arrived back at the car at 4:30. I did meet and talked to a couple of people through hiking the PCT from Mexico to Canada. Maybe someday!
"As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls."