Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mt. Judah Loop Hike

Donner Lake

At Donner Summit, off Old Hwy 40, is a beautiful 6 mile moderately difficult hike which passes three peaks - Donner Peak, Mt. Judah, and Mt. Lincoln. All three peaks are slightly over 8,000' can be reached from the main trail. The total elevation gain is about 2,000'.

Today, the Sac. County Hikers escaped the hot valley temperatures and did some peak bagging and enjoyed the cooler temperatures and spectacular views of Donner Lake, Castle Peak, and surrounding High Sierra mountain range.

Click on pic for enlarged view

Across Old Hwy 40 and to the north is Castle Peak

Our hike leader Rich Blackmarr and Donner Lake

L-R Rick, Don, Rich, and Frank taking a break on the way up to Donner Peak

Historic Rainbow Bridge and Old Hwy 40 (Lincoln Hwy) lies below Donner Peak

Heavy sedimentary rock comprise the top of Donner Peak

Multi-pancake layers

Don climbing to the top of Donner Peak

At the top of Donner Peak (8,019') with a grand view of Castle Peak

The Smith Bros. - Don and Ward

Group foto at the summit - Susan and Karen (front), Rick, Rich, Ward, Don and Frank

Hiking to our next peak, Mt. Judah (8,243')

Brisk winds at top of Mt. Judah

Bagging Mt. Judah - Rick, me, Rich and Ward

Rich, Karen and Frank approaching Mt. Judah

Three chicks from Marin and Truckee

Across the canyon is Mt. Lincoln (8,383') which is the high point for Sugar Bowl Ski Resort

Off to the east on the Pacific Crest Trail is Anderson Peak - 8,683'

Off to the distant and below Mt. Lincoln is Royal Gorge, the northern fork of the American River

Resting at the top of Mt. Lincoln

At the summit of Mt. Lincoln are the ski chair lifts of Sugar Bowl. It's all downhill from here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

4th Annual Eastern Sierra Trip

Musubi rides again!

The annual Campo-Velo-Hiko to the Eastern Sierras took place over 8 days during the week of August 16th. On this trip we camped at the New Shady Rest Campground in Mammoth Lakes at 7,800' elevation. This was a great base camp for all our biking and hiking excursions.

Over 8 days, we cycled 4 days and hiked 2 days. The cycling and hiking in the Eastern Sierras are grueling since the slope of the mountains rise abruptly from the Owens Valley. A magnificent string of canyons and peaks rising to over 14,000' border both sides of the valley. Quite literally, there are no flat land in this region. But this is why we go there!

On this trip, the core group consisted Bob Anderson from Santa Rosa, Jay Okada and Harvey Cohon from San Luis Obispo, Herb Lee and myself from Sacramento.

During the week, a large contingent of hikers joined us for shorter periods. These included Bob Tribe, Jim Burton, Art Godwin, Rich Blackmarr, Mike Donahue, Mark and Julian Manoff, Jesse, Paul Gunkel, Barb Bravos, Bonnie Hankins and Jean Alford.

Rich organized and led two great hikes to Duck Pass and Mt. Goode. The gnarly cyclists rode 150 miles and climbed 11,650' over 4 days.

As all our previous three trips, it was another grand time in the big mountains.

Duck Pass Hike

Julian, Harvey, Jesse, and Barb

The Duck Pass trail-head starts at the south-end of Lake Mary and rises 1,800' over 4 miles to a 11,000' summit. The trail passes several beautiful alpine lakes on the way to Duck Lake.

For enlarged view, click on pic

The young guns - Jesse and Julian at Skelton Lake

Skelton Lake is quite luv'ly

Mark, Paul, Harvey and Herb taking 5

Golden corn lillys glow in the morning light

Arriving at Barney Lake

The trail begins to zig and zag up toward Duck Pass

Looking back toward Barney Lake with Mammoth Mt. in the horizon

Trail rising toward Duck Pass. Can you spot the hikers on the cliff?
Click on pic to enlarge.

String of lakes from a higher elevation

Cresting the 11,000' summit. Duck Lake below.

Looking down on Duck Lake after cresting the summit

Feeling "duckie" at Duck Lake

Julian and Duck Lake

Made in the shade - Lunch time for Harvey and Jay

Rest of the bunch lunching at Duck Lake

Mammoth Ridge (the dark wall) lies beyond Duck Lake

With my SLO bud - Jay

Harvey, Jay, Herb, Mark and Mike pose in front of Duck Lake before heading back down

Biking the Eastern Sierra's

Jay, Bob, Herb and Harvey

The hard core cyclists tackled the mountains with gusto. Four big rides all starting from New Shady Rest - 150 miles and over 11,650' of vertical.

Herb at Twin Lakes

Harvey, Jay and Herb in front of Twin Lake Falls

With Harvey and Jay

Looking down at Twin Lakes

Lake George

At Horseshoe Lake where high concentration of CO2 gas leaking from ground killed the trees - an unusual geologic phenomena

Breath-taking views at Horseshoe Lake

A forest of dead trees. Deep sniffing can kill ya'. Strange but true.

Bagging Mt. Goode-Enuf

View of Mt. Goode, elevation 13,085'

Our goal for the day was to bag Mt. Goode which is located west of Bishop Pass. A beautiful 5-mile trail takes you past several alpine lakes before you divert off trail between Saddle Rock and Bishop Lakes to scramble the remaining 2-miles over rock and rubble to the summit.

It took us 8 1/2 hours to complete the 14 mile (3,000+' gain) RT hike and scramble.

Part of the group attempting to climb Mt. Goode - Jesse, Mike, Herb, Harvey and Jay at South Lake at the trail-head sign

In front of Long Lake and Hurd Peak

Passing a picturesque little lake soon to become a meadow

The north-face of Mt. Goode looms above Long Lake. We will circle around the mountain and approach the summit from the south-side.

The trail begins to climb from Long Lake toward Bishop Lake

Jay near a waterfall

We divert off trail between Saddle Rock and Bishop Lakes

Seep-Spring Monkey Flowers

Rich and Jay slogging up through rock field toward south-side of Mt. Goode

Above 12,000'. Can you spot the lads?
Click on pic to enlarge

View of Saddle Rock and Bishop Lakes where we diverted off trail between the two lakes

Off to the east is Bishop Pass - 11,972' - located at bottom of slope

Rich and Jay continue to slog on up

Is the peak on the right Mt. Goode ?. . . or

. . . is it the peak on the left? This one looks higher so let's go for it.

Crossing a maze of rock and rubble to reach the top. The footing became very treacherous.

The lads below me continue to slog on
Click on pic to enlarge

Where's Waldo? Try to find the lads.
Click on pic to enlarge

Picking a safe way to the top is anyone's guess. I say stay low and go left of the sharp ridge. Climbing really becomes hairy at this point.

Looking west to Le Conte Canyon

Yikes! Sharp drop off knife edge.

View from the top looking east. Bishop Lake lies below magnificent mountains. Bishop Pass to the right.

The lads approaching the top

View to south toward Ducy Basin

Close-up of lake in Ducy Basin south of Bishop Pass

Dark saw-tooth ridge south of Mt. Goode. I believe this ridge is called the Palisades.

Oooh Nooo! We went to the wrong peak! Mt. Goode (the flat top) is at the other end of the ridgeline.

Heck with it! This is Goode-Enuf! The lads climbing over last big obstacle.

Yeah! We made it to the top of Mt. Goode-Enuf!! Still a 13.

Jay and Rich summiting

Jay and Rich on summit of Mt. Goode-Enuf

Right on!! Bagging another big Sierra peak.

On the way down, I spotted a petrified owl