This peak was originally supposed to happen after Mount Langley on Bob Burd’s Sierra Challenge. After Langley I arrived in the area about 8 p.m. and there wasn’t a single campsite available, so I headed home disappointed. I later decided to make it a day trip as a last hurrah for my summer 2004 since I had to go back to work the next day.
I left the house at 5 a.m., stopped for a coffee in Oakdale and headed for Yosemite. I arrived at Saddlebag Lake a little after 8 a.m. There was a great deal of cloud cover with the summit of Mount Conness obscured. The air had a bit of a nip to it. I headed along the west side of Saddlebag Lake at 8:35. As I reached the north end of the lake and could see North Peak my heart sank a bit at the summit was in the clouds. I hoped for the best and turned west along the south shore of Greenstone Lake. As I neared the inlet stream the clouds lifted and I felt better. I crossed the stream and picked up the trail that heads for the Conness Lakes.
Rather than head along the trail toward the cascade and Conness Lakes I made for the ridge running east from North Peak. Met and talked for a few minutes with some backpackers coming over the ridge from Cascade Lake. The wind was picking up and I had to put on a light shell as I was getting chilled. Had fun picking my way along the rocks along the ridge. I saw a trail that headed to the SW face but decided to do the SE chute. There was a great deal of scree and sand so I kept right and was able to stay on nice rock. As I got high enough I angled left until I reached the “plateau” area and zipped up to the summit.
It was very windy and cold. I’m glad I bought my liner gloves along to keep my digits warm while I signed to log and had a bite to eat. It was chilly enough that I only spent 15 minutes or so on the summit. My return route went straight down the chute to the Conness lakes and picked up the trail back. I was a 6 hour round trip, 3h 15 m up, 15 m on top and 2 hours back, because I stopped and talked with some hikers. I was an excellent way to end the summer hiking / climbing season for me and I was home in time for dinner!