After Dennis and I climbed Boundary Peak
, it was time to move on to our next objective, the county highpoint of Alpine County, Sonora Peak. That's the thing with peakbagging or county highpointing, you are always looking forward to the next one and not behind you at the one you've just done.
After a dinner in Lee Vining, we headed up US 395 to the turnoff to Sonora pass. Since we were ready for some rest, we pulled off at the first campground we found, Sonora Bridge and called it a day. I put up my little K-Mart cheapie tent and Dennis slept in his vehicle. The morning came quickly and at the first light, we were ready to rock and roll and were soon at the TH for St. Marys Pass
, the gateway to Sonora Peak.
We knew we didn't have much of an effort to deal with, less than 5 miles round trip and about 2000 feet of elevation gain to deal with but we were looking forward to another hike and another peak. This would be Dennis's 9th of the week, a pretty impressive total and my 6th. I had taken two days off with my wife who was ensconsed in a timeshare near south lake Tahoe. Yeah, she is tolerant of my mountain passion but there is a limit so those two days were important to spend with her.
Fortunately her brother and his wife spent the three days with her that Dennis and I spent chasing after Middle Sister, Boundary and Sonora. Enough of that, back to the story at hand.
We covered the distance to the peak in about two hours, typical of our 1000 foot per hour pace that we like so well. There were still some snow patches on the trail to St. Mary's pass but all were easily negotiated. From the pass we headed directly at the peak and having lost the trail in snow fields, and went right up the side, eventually finding the trail again near the upper reaches of the peak.
There was no snow on the summit and the stone wind shelter on top had absolutely no snow in it at all. The can register was signed and put back in it's place and after a quick snack and a few photos, we made our way cross country back to the vehicle, covering the distance in about 40 minutes. A few snowfields on the way down aided our quick progress as did some of the scree covered (which we boot skied) hillsides. Dennis had decided to head for home and after dropping me off at the timeshare, did indeed head for home. I did the highpoint of Calaveras county a day later and Freel Peak the day after that but Sonora Peak was a sweet little dayhike that I can recommend highly to anyone. Next time I'm in the area, I'll go climb up Stanislaus peak, located just to the north of Sonora Peak. Oh, did I mention how killer the views were from the summit. You better believe it, a great viewpoint on another great California day.
I'd post some pics but for some reason I kept the camera in my daypack and forgot to get some that would be worth sharing.
Go figure. .
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