We were going to go up Convict Creek, but in the morning changed plans to start from Laurel Lakes Road. Its was a good choice. We would have had to turn back at the washed out bridge. Mono SAR had to get 3 people across the raging creek that had come out from the backcountry.
Our route started high and we had to go up and down 3 valleys to get to the start of our climb. Which means going up and down 3 valleys going back. SnowDude had altitude issues that ended with wheezing, any longer it would have turned into HAPE (from past experience, he's had it 4 times). Because of this we ended up coming out way after midnight.
First time on this peak for the guys, my fourth time. This was the best I've felt on this hike! No altitude issues.
PHOTOS: http://snownymph.smugmug.com/Sierra-Nev ... 47_sd9PKQC
View from just past the Laurel-Bloody Saddle., we will descend about 150', then ascend 300' to the ridge with the trees (Photo by SnowDude)
Lake Genevieve (10,000'), taken from ridge at 10,800')
Corn Lily flowers at Lake Genevieve
Mildred Lake below (9,800'), Mt Baldwin to the right (12,615'), after going by Lake Dorothy
We had to wade across the creek, but at least it wasn't as gnarly as the one from Convict Lake (3 hikers helped across by SAR that day)
Wildflowers were amazing, see Smugmug (too many to post here)
The climb up Mt Baldwin
Descent to the meadow
Mt Baldwin, upper left
Alpenglow on Mt Baldwin (Photo by SnowDude)
Alpenglow on Red Slate Mountain (Photo by SnowDude)
Apparently the toads like hopping around at night
Gnarly drive out took 1 hr in the dark, fun during the day, but not after being up for 23.5 hrs, and hiking 18 hrs of it.