2014 Sierra Challenge: A rare social summit for a change! I summited Slide Mountain with Bob, Eric, and Jonathan, waving to Greg as he began his descent after speeding to the top ahead of us. I lounged at the summit and enjoyed talking with a few of the others who streamed up. After some discussion, Mason settled on Kettle Peak for the next objective, Bill stuck with Bath Mtn., and I wavered between Crown Point or being social and heading down to try to catch legendary Bob and speedy Jonathan (Eric and Greg seemed likely far out of reach). I chatted with Tony and a few others on the way down to the trail and large tarn, including a backpacker who found us a little crazy amidst his dream trip to and through Matterhorn Canyon down to Tuolumne Meadows. Crown Point stubbornly beckoned as I neared the junction that would have taken me back to Barney Lake. I headed on a use trail up the creek a bit toward Snow Lake, crossed over the trail that would have taken me to Rock Island Pass and then worked my way up the talus, sand, and rock of the south slope to the saddle above the north gully. I climbed class 3 rock up the East Ridge, avoiding class 4 options until eventually reaching the class 2 summit area. I took in the great views for awhile wondered who the helicopter heading toward Twin Lakes was for, and tired, opted to take the long way down around the west side of Peeler Lake to meet up with the trail at the Yosemite border. As I approached and returned to Mono Village, I could hear the helicopter up Horse Creek Canyon. It was later confirmed that the man rescued was someone I had spoken with briefly as I approached the group photo along the beginning of the Barney Lake Trail that morning. I was glad when he was confirmed alive by SAR folks after a rude introduction to the indifferent Sierra.
Day 1 of SC13.
From Peeler Lake to Snow Lake
Dayhike with Slide Mountain, day 1 of sierra challenge
East ridge was a nice scramble, offering a bit of challenging 3rd, low 4th class.
Great day in the mountains! Traversed over from Peeler and climbed the North Gully with Art and Mike from SMG. Snow conditions were good and weather was perfect. About four hours from base camp to summit.
From camp on the west shore of Peeler Lake, I climbed the class 2 northwest slopes to the summit. The route is pretty easy and there were lots of options to navigate through the carpets of Whitebark Pine. I descended the trough that flows into the lake, and enjoyed circumnavigating the lake on my way back to camp. Made it back just as it began raining - good timing! It stormed for 5 hours and then cleared for a nice evening.
Peeler Lake is such a great camping lake... beautiful sandy beaches! Crown Point is a good scramble to make you feel like you weren't totally lazy the whole time.
Was camped on the south side of Peeler Lake where I caught several nice rainbows. Then at midday climbed up to the top of this peak right behind the lake where I met some others.
Did a quick overnighter from Twin Lakes, camping at Snow Lake while thunder boomed in the distance. Tagged this one the first evening, then Slide Mtn in the morning (hands down, the most spectacular view of Sawtooth Ridge I've ever seen), before hiking back via Mule Pass to Twin Lakes. Still a good deal of snow from Robinson Lakes onwards.
Awesome views from the summit, of one of the most beautiful areas in the Sierra.
A nice morning scramble from the lake, followed by a hike around it. Expansive views of Northern Yosemite.