Forum Index > Trip Reports > 24 peaks in 9 days, Sierras and Whites, July/Aug 2020
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Gimpilator
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PostTue Aug 04, 2020 9:13 am 
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Having never visited the Sierra range in the summer, this seemed like the right year to go.  We started in the White Mountains to ease acclimatization.  After driving through the night, in the early morning we pulled into the random starting point for our first peak.  There was one other vehicle there.  I noticed a very old woman alone in a truck.  At first I thought, “what is this lady doing up here at this time in the morning” and it creeped me out a bit.  I was afraid she might be a nut job and I didn’t want to park the car next to her truck.

Then it dawned on me and I told Frances that it could be Barbara Lilley.  We started talking to her about the easy little peaks in this part of the Whites.  It was obvious that she was a peakbagger because she had memorized summit elevations.  I asked her name.  Barbara Lilley!  I almost fell over.  She is one of the most most accomplished peakbaggers in the world and a true legend in this sport.  Several times during this trip we would be signing registers on peaks she climbed in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  It has been a dream of mine to meet her someday.  After talking with her for awhile, it is clear that her drive is as strong as ever.


7-24
Peak 9080

South Ridge.  Open easy travel.


Sunrise Mountain – 10,640'

Walked the old Mexican Mine road to cabin ruins and then ascending traverse to the southeast.  The fun part about these high elevation peaklets is passing through bristlecone pine forest.  There is not a lot to say about them as they are pretty straight-forward.  Most are only about 500 feet of gain.


Clem Nelson Peak – 11,040'

Up the south ridge from the saddle.


Discovery Peak – 10,792'

North ridge.


Peak 10,920

Southwest route from the saddle.

Silver Peak – 10,840'

Drive up.

Peak 10,600

West ridge.  A bit of thick sage in the first part.


7-25
Peak 10,920

South ridge.


Campito Mountain – 11,560'

South Ridge.

Sheep Mountain
Sheep Mountain

County Line Hill – 11,240'

North Ridge.

Blanco
Blanco

Blanco Mountain – 11,280'

We descended off County Line Hill eastward into thick unpleasant sage.  In the valley, an old road curves around the north side and we ascended from there.  On the way back down we found an old miners cabin.

Acme stove
Acme stove
Acme Bala Club!
Acme Bala Club!

Bucks Peak – 10,868'

Followed a nice trail southwest through a narrow draw with a creek and lush grasses.  No trace of the old road on the map.  From the marshy valley I turned southeast to a saddle and then southwest up to the summit.


Station Peak – 10,316'

This was our favorite peaklet in the Whites.  Very interesting rock formations in this area, and scenic.  It might be a volcanic plug.  Basalt talus scramble at the top.


7-26
White Mountain Peak – 14,246'

Frances went off to solo the main event, but I had done White in 2017, so I bagged a few smaller objectives instead.

Sheep Mountain – 12,497'

Parked at the road highpoint and traversed around a false summit.  Plenty of nice flowers.  This is a pleasant peak.


Piute Mountain – 12,560'

North ridge.  I developed an altitude headache despite all the time spent acclimatizing.

WMP
WMP

Peak 10,800


7-27
Grouse Mountain – 8083'

Mount Tom was the original plan for the day, but 40 percent chance of thunderstorms stopped us.  We needed something which could be done early in the morning.  The bad weather didn’t happen, of course.

Tom
Tom

We didn’t like this consolation-prize peak.  Cows and cowpies, bushwhacking, steep loose sand, and crappy scrambling at the top.  Not recommend.

7-28
Mount Tom – 13,652'

Started in the dark to avoid heat.  The cabins and upper lake basin are very scenic.  Fish were visible jumping in the lake.


We followed the old road to Tungstar Mine, which has rusty curiosity relics.  Nice flowers growing all over the road.  From the mine a climbers trail ascends a loose gully which is unpleasant.  Chunks of talus, large and small are poised for movement.  If you do this peak, please exercise care on the last thousand feet.


We descended the southwest ridge which has a better use trail and less talus hazard.  From the shoulder at 12,400 feet, we dropped over the southeast slope onto scree.  This descent was quick and efficient, however the second half degrades from scree into larger rocks, so it’s not completely great.

down this way
down this way

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http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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Gimpilator
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PostTue Aug 04, 2020 9:13 am 
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7-29
Mount Dana – 13,057'

Trail hike.  This peak was recommended to me.  Good views and straightforward.

Tuolumne Meadows
Tuolumne Meadows
Mono Lake
Mono Lake
Dana summit
Dana summit
Lyell
Lyell

7-30
Mount Conness – 12,590'

Probably our favorite peak of the entire trip.  Hiked the Sawmill Campground trail and followed the climbers path to the saddle between White and Conness, then followed more trail on the south ridge to the scramble finish on the east ridge.  The end is a little narrow and exposed briefly, but very fun!

Conness
Conness
Half Dome over there
Half Dome over there
Ritter and Lyell
Ritter and Lyell
Dana
Dana
Conness summit
Conness summit

White Mountain – 12,057'

Not nearly as loose as it looks.  Northwest slope with a short scramble finish.

White
White
White summit
White summit

7-31
Tioga Peak – 11,526'

Took the trail toward Gardisky Lake and then unofficial trail on the west ridge.  Frances just had to swim in the lake.  She’s always getting into cold lakes and snow-melt creeks, every possible chance.

Tioga
Tioga
Conness
Conness
Dana
Dana
Warren
Warren
Conness
Conness
Gardisky Lake
Gardisky Lake

8-1
Mount Ritter – 13,143'

Started in the dark to avoid heat.  Ediza Lake was a dreamy sight after hiking several hours through the night.

Ediza
Ediza

We followed the climbers path up towards the little tarn east of Ritter, then turned southwest onto a scree alluvial.  A steep ledge goes under an overhang and behind a large boulder.  Above that some nondescript heather slopes take you to the base of waterfall slabs.  There are numerous ways through these slabs and steps.

east buttress of Ritter and Banner
Banner
Banner

The entire route is Class 2 and just a tad of 3, with good route finding.  Above the slabs we came onto some small receding glaciers.  There were a couple icy spots and we were glad to have crampons and ice axes, but zero crevasse danger on the route.


Near the western head of the glacier a steep talus slope threads around the cliffs.  An upper bench had a snowfields riddled with sun-cups.  The last talus slope was steep and loose.  Ritter does feel a bit long for the day trip, but we were glad to have lightweight packs.

the summit up there
the summit up there
Minarets
Minarets
Ritter summit
Ritter summit
key ledge
key ledge
Ediza is a nice lake
Ediza is a nice lake
Ritter above Shadow Lake
Ritter above Shadow Lake

After Ritter we had another week of core Sierra peaks scheduled, however smoke from the Apple fire blew into our camp spot, so we drove home in the dark.

--------------
https://www.youtube.com/c/Zogador
https://www.summitpost.org/users/gimpilator/25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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Jake Robinson
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PostTue Aug 04, 2020 9:22 am 
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Great job you two! I agree, Conness is really fun, one of the most enjoyable quick easy scrambles I've done. I have a pathetic failed attempt on Ritter so I still need to go back for that one. Good work on the day hike, that's a looong day.
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Frances B
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Joined: 09 Jul 2020
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PostTue Aug 04, 2020 1:20 pm 
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It could be a nice romantic over nighter. Bring a fishing pole, camp at the lake. Eat fish, swim, get Ritter easily. I would not have minded over nighting  this one and enjoying the lake. (Secretly wish we would have 😳) The hike up to the lake is so low key.

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Frances Barbour
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Bosterson
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PostTue Aug 04, 2020 4:09 pm 
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Nice.  up.gif  So you followed the climber path up the S aspect of Ritter that shows on the Mapbuilder layer in Caltopo? Banner and Ritter have been on my to-do list since 2003 (argh) when I first found them in an old Bob Burd report. Going up to the Ritter-Banner saddle, tagging Banner, and then doing the "Sierra class 3" north face of Ritter looks super fun. The closest I've gotten was passing by Shadow Lake while doing the JMT. Maybe I will have to finally pencil them in for next year. (argh)

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Follow the river until it turns to ice. Follow the ice until it turns to rock. Follow the rock until it turns to sky. Then we will be there.
--Woodrow Wilson Sayre
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Gimpilator
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PostTue Aug 04, 2020 4:21 pm 
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Good question.  I have not seen the map layer you speak of.  But we did the same route as Dean Gaudet's map on peakbagger.  I was eyeing Banner and Volcanic Ridge pretty hard while we were up there.  It might be worth a return trip.  This area is more scenic and fun than we expected.  My friends Sean and Asaka did the combo you mention and spoke highly of it.  North face looks steep from Ritter summit.

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https://www.summitpost.org/users/gimpilator/25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

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Eric Hansen
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PostWed Aug 05, 2020 6:54 pm 
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Thanks Gimpilator and Frances B

Gotta love those bristlecones. If you are ever in the Snake Range most magical grove I've seen is on Mt. Washington's east ridge.
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Fletcher
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PostWed Aug 05, 2020 7:50 pm 
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Excellent job Adam. Seeing you and Frances happy makes me happy. But.... why can’t we see you in your bikini?
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Gimpilator
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PostWed Aug 05, 2020 8:06 pm 
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moon.gif  When I swim, it tends to be naked.  Such photos must be against NWH rules, I'm guessing.

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https://www.summitpost.org/users/gimpilator/25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostWed Aug 05, 2020 8:30 pm 
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Gimpilator wrote:
It might be worth a return trip.  This area is more scenic and fun than we expected.

Granted I haven't seen anywhere close to everything in the Sierras, but so far the area around Thousand Island/Garnet/Nydivers/Ediza and the lakes below the Minarets is right at the top of my list for favorite places in the Sierras.

Curious if you had not seen any pictures/TRs for this area.  It gets a few hits here and there on NWH.
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Gimpilator
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PostWed Aug 05, 2020 8:35 pm 
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Well, that makes sense to me.  This northern part of the Sierra range was more impressive than the little bit I've seen in the central and south parts.  I have to admit that I did very little research before this trip.  I looked into Mount Tom years ago, but that's about it.  We're bummed we had to abort the second half of our trip though.  We'will be back for those peaks in the future.

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http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostWed Aug 05, 2020 8:46 pm 
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Gimpilator wrote:
This northern part of the Sierra range was more impressive than the little bit I've seen in the central and south parts.

Most of my poking around there has been more northerly.  Yosemite some, and then several outings from Mammoth Lake and Bishop.  South Lake to Dusy Basin area is great too.  Plenty of peaks around there, including a concentration of 14ers.  I think some of them are a bit technical, but some are probably scrambles.
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