I've seen this many times on several mountains, and most especially in the Wasatch. Lady bugs seem to gather on top of the peaks to mate, but I don't know what the reasoning is behind it. From what I've expereinced, the most common seems to be in June, right after the snows begin to melt, but I've seen them at other times of year as well.
Yeah, at the end of December I saw numerous dead lady bugs in the cracks underneath rocks... frozen to death apparently.
One interesting note about Mt. Wrightson is that at certain times of the year it seems to be a magnet for ladybugs. I have been on the summit several times in November, and found the top swarming with the little critters. I'm not sure if the mountain attracts such colorful visitors every year or if I was just lucky, but it was quite an experience!
Trails to the summit of Mt. Wrightson are closed due to the Florida Fire of 7 to 21 July 2005. Trails will probably remain closed until Summer 2006.
Due to extensive damage caused by a fire in the summer of 2005, both the Old Baldy and Super trails have been closed. As of this writing (10/12/05) they are still closed.
The Old Baldy Trail is open to the summit as of March 2006. Expect severe fire damage visible on the east side of the mountain.