Forum Index > Trip Reports > Cali: Cinder Cones, High Sierra Rambles, Yosemite Famous Domes Oct 26-31, 2018
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John Morrow
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PostMon Nov 12, 2018 7:31 am 
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November rain, time to head for the desert.
Initial impetus to travel, however, was a wedding of special friends in Convict Lake, Sierra East side, by Mammoth CA.

Oct 26:

Began the drive landing in Lava Beds National Monument with enough time to search for pictographs and stretch my legs on a cinder cone and a lookout trail.


Picto 1
Picto 1
Picto 2
Picto 2
Picto 3
Picto 3
Picto 4
Picto 4
Picto 5
Picto 5
Schonchin Butte
Schonchin Butte
Schonchin from Hippo Butte
Schonchin from Hippo Butte
Lava Beds Country
Lava Beds Country
Schonchin Lookout at Shasta
Schonchin Lookout at Shasta
at Schonchin Butte Lookout
at Schonchin Butte Lookout

Oct.28th:
After the wedding on the 27th, I took advantage of good Sierra weather to drive the Tioga Pass Road to Saddlebag Lakes TH near the Yosemite NP and Inyo NF divide.  My goal was a scramble of Mt Conness 12,590' via its Class 2 East Ridge and White Mountain 12,051' via its Class 2 North Ridge.  A fine loop!  Despite constant 25 mph winds and the fact that the altitude was seriously kicking my ass.

Heading for Conness first on a user trail toward the gap between the two.  Then heading up to Airplane Lake in open granite country, finishing on the east ridge.

At the TH:  White and Conness
At the TH:  White and Conness
Saddlebag area meadows
Saddlebag area meadows
Airplane Lake
Airplane Lake
Over at White
Over at White
East Ridge Conness
East Ridge Conness
On the East Ridge
On the East Ridge
Looking towards the Toover Wilderness
Looking towards the Toover Wilderness
Mount Conness 12,590 summit block
Mount Conness 12,590 summit block
final scramble
final scramble
View North
View North
Toward Toulomne
Toward Toulomne
Some fun scrambles over there
Some fun scrambles over there

Then to the saddle and up the North Ridge of White.  By hugging the base of ridge gendarmes I found great slabby and blocky scrambling.  Much preferred to the rubble out on the NW slope.  Descending out of the col back to Saddlebag was awful granite gravels on slab and deep sand and giant scree.  But it was over fast.


North Ridge of White Mtn 12,057'
North Ridge of White Mtn 12,057'
Fun scrambling against buttresses
Fun scrambling against buttresses
Near the top
Near the top
View SE
View SE
Mt Conness/White col
Mt Conness/White col
below the descent col
below the descent col

Oct. 29 and 30:
Little Yosemite Valley of the Merced River overnight with scrambles of Half Dome and easy crosscountry to the two Quarter Domes in a nice loop from camp.

Yes, Half Dome, really!  Trick was that after Oct 15 the cables come off their posts and lie on the rock for a perfect rope to prusik into!  Class 3/4 Friction and a bit of pulling on the cable leads right up to the top of infamous Half Dome 8836' with no climbing permit required!!!!
Tommy did the research on this and what a find he pulled off!  We both wanted to get back into the Sierras after looking up at them from the wedding. He was happy to hear the conditions I found the day before.  Starting in on the Merced River trails (Mist Trail) to the falls and a backcountry camp in the Little Yosemite Valley in 4.5 miles:


Merced River
Merced River
Vernal Falls
Vernal Falls
Domes
Domes
Nevada Falls
Nevada Falls

Daybreak start to Half Dome:


the goal
the goal
Tommy's psyched
Tommy's psyched
Tommy ties into cable
Tommy ties into cable
With prusik to aid a fall
With prusik to aid a fall
I'd call it Class 4 friction
I'd call it Class 4 friction
Classic View!
Classic View!
Tenaya Canyon
Tenaya Canyon

Crosscountry along the ridge over Tenaya Canyon to the Quarter Domes and then pack up and out to pizza and a hearth in the Yosemite Valley floor.


On to Quarter Dome
On to Quarter Dome
West Q Dome
West Q Dome
Clouds Rest
Clouds Rest
From East Q Dome
From East Q Dome
Clark looks awesome for future!
Clark looks awesome for future!
scene
scene
Sequoias
Sequoias

Driving back to Lee Vining we stopped at a famous photo viewpoint:


El Cap sunset
El Cap sunset
which fall is this?
which fall is this?
El Cap from valley floor
El Cap from valley floor

We were anxious for more Yosemite but no overnight parking is allowed on the Tioga Road this late in the year, and it was getting COLD!
At some point I'll get to the desert!

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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”-Mary Oliver

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”
― MLK Jr.
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Sculpin
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PostMon Nov 12, 2018 8:30 am 
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Great stuff for November.  You sure have a knack for finding petroglyphs!

I'm stuck doing family business in the heavy smoke in the North Bay.  And now I'm jealous!   frown.gif

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Even my best friends, they don't know, that my job is turning lead into gold. When you hear that engine drone, I'm on the road again, and I'm searching for the philosopher's stone - Van Morrison
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sticky buns
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PostFri Nov 16, 2018 8:59 pm 
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Sweet stuff. You have a few especially nice photos in there -- Hippo Butte, Nevada Falls, "scene," and sunset, however classic.

I'm shocked at the lack of snow. I was at Saddlebag in mid-Nov two years ago, and it was mostly white. Give Cali some snow!
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MojaveGeek
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PostSat Nov 17, 2018 6:57 pm 
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I am drooling over the clear blue skies (and current lack of snow) on Conness and White.  It wasn't so pretty when I was there in August.  Well I didn't hit White so I guess a good excuse to go back, not that one needs much of an excuse to get to places with views like that.  Thanks for bringing back the memories.
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some names
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PostSun Nov 18, 2018 11:33 am 
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Nice trip report. Thank you. Your pictures are really good! We particularly liked the ones of the cables on Half Dome.

Mt Conness is such a good scramble.

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DIYSteve
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PostSun Nov 18, 2018 1:49 pm 
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up.gif
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ScottP
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PostMon Nov 19, 2018 5:37 pm 
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That's Bridalveil Fall.
To the Ahwahneechee, it was Pohono.
which fall is this?
which fall is this?
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Cali: Cinder Cones, High Sierra Rambles, Yosemite Famous Domes Oct 26-31, 2018
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