Following the unusual lack of snow in Tahoe, Ben and I did a summer-conditions ascent of Pyramid via the SE ridge on New Years. Great hike, weather, and views, brought me back in touch with my Sierra roots.
My first outing with Bay Area Mountaineers. The original plan was to snowshoe Ralston but there was little snow so we went up Pyramid instead, via Rocky Creek. 14 people. Bright sun, clear air, fabulous views.
Nov. 22 to Nov. 23, 2011. Our group of four planned to climb Pyramid Peak. We started at the Lyons Creek trail head. Wrights Road, which leads to the trail head from Highway 50 is paved but has grades which require an all wheel drive or 4 wheel drive vehicle when snow is on the road. The trail head has level and ample room to park at. The first half mile of the trail is fairly level and the rest of the trail leading to Sylvia Lake has a consistent grade from 6700 ft. to 8060 ft. We hiked when the trail had 12 to 18 inches of snow. The trail was barely visible most of the time. Look for the ends of cut trees that have been cleared as trail markers. Due to getting off course several times, it took us five hours to reach just below Sylvia Lake; carrying 30 lb. packs, 4.7 miles. The temperature was between the upper 20s to low 30s, very light wind and clear sky. Since the going was slow the first day, we decided not to try for the summit the second day and returned to the trail head in 2.5 hours.
From Lyons Creek TH.
Scramble from Pyramid Creek via modified route on East Face, north of the couloir and Gefo Lake. Fun!
Either there wasn't a trail or I didn't find it on my way up Rocky Creek. I have never had to do so much bushwacking on a hike before.
fun dayhike after climbing at the leap
Packing skis and boots, from Horsetail Falls, up east face to south ridge, then to the summit. Skied down Rocky Canyon to 50. Snow wet, heavy, slow.
Came in from Rocky creek with SMG and climbed the West Ridge with the intent of climbing the NW Couloir. Traversed over to the Couloir to take a look but ended up reaching summit using another route. Beautiful day and some great views.
Fought through Manzanita hell with skis on the back to get to the 8k mark. Terrible beta suggesting the hill between Rocky Canyon and Horsetail! Still managed to find the giant though. Excellent descent off the East Face but a lot of yo-yoing back to the epic Manzinita nightmare.
Chad, yer a beast.
Went up Rocky Canyon, camped out and then traversed round to the west side of the mountain to the couloir. Large snow banks and cornices had formed in the couloir. We avoided the steep (>60deg) snowbank by going around it. I measured the last section of the couloir before topping out at 53deg. Fun climb, and a good workout. The bottom section in the canyon was extremely slow going on the way up with waist deep wet snow, and nerve breaking on the way down falling through when snow bridges over manzanita bushes gave way.
My brother and I made a nice hike/scramble of the north ridge from our camp site on Lake Aloha. Be careful in the boulder field on the north face, you can easily dislodge a 200 pound rock inadvertently. Our descent on the NE ridge/slope was much easier.
Headed back to Pyramid via Rocky Creek as part of the day's objective to visit Agassiz and Price. Very windy and below freezing all day. A bit icy on the north side of Pyramid especially. Cloudless and scenic visit.
First trip March 7, 2008
Stayed overnight at the inn in Strawberry, partly to avoid roadside parking issues. Walked up the road a short way to Rocky Creek, and up directly to the summit from there. Tested out a great new pair of snowboots I had, didn't even need crampons the whole way.
We climbed the peak from Lake Sylvia after camping there for the night. Came down the same day. Great peak. Beautiful views. Really cold, though.
First peak of the day, on a traverse of the "big three" from Lyons. Couloir can be a little sketchy near top. More challenging and fun than the west ridge.
The miles seemed to fly by going from the TH to Lake Sylvia cause every time I slowed down I was raped by mosquitos! Nasty scree to climb above the lake, but I made good time to the top. Amazing views toward Lake Aloha! Luckily the wind picked up and knocked the little hell spawns out the sky for the hike back.
Started at Twin Bridges trailhead past Horsetail Falls. Great day of hiking...loved the granite!
Got a late start and were pressed for time. No rest stops along the way, Lyons Lake Trailhead to summit and back. That last mile is a real test, was for me anyways. Great views. Our plan was to then traverse to Agassiz and return to Layons Lake Trail. But a late start prevented that. Started the hike at 12:45, not enough time for Agassiz today. Another trip along with Price
Beautiful, sunny and very windy on the summit.