10/19/2014 Mt Mildred and Picayune peak 18 miles 6200 elevation gain 1 day solo 9 hours
Started from the 5 lakes trail up the Alpine Meadows road at 7:30 quite cold but as soon as got into the sun it was a beautiful day for a hike. Past the sign for 5 lakes and onto Whiskey creek passing a few other junctions with minimal signs. Last time I was at Whiskey creek it was raining like mad at spent the night in the cabin but this was probably 25 years ago and karma got the best of me as I shared it with my dog and a porcupine.
Anyway took the right turn to pikayune valley yes that is what the trail signs says,
up and then a traverse down to the Shanks cove, greyhorse turnoff, continued to pikayune valley stopping at a rock outcropping to get a view of what was to come.
Down the valley trail which is covered in huge downed trees at the top
down some switchbacks until I could traverse under the willows to work my way up to the saddle between Mt Mildred and peak 8109. The climb up was tedious but not hard as long as you stay out of the willows. Ended up above the saddle closer to Mildred and continued to the peak, some brush but not bad. Signed the register.
Don’t know if it would be easier to go towards shanks cove then peak 8109 and over but I wanted to see the trail into the Picayune valley for future reference. Am kind of bummed I did not get to see the Johnson Monument but oh well.
Traversed down to Heavens gate and dropped off to the right to traverse below it awesome area worth the trip out there,
and then back up to the ridge and over past the other high peak on way to Picayune peak. Traverse took less than an hour even with stopping for some much needed food.
The peak is rarely climbed as per the register that I did not sign as I forgot to bring a pen and none was in there and it does need a new can(s) the one has a hole in it but register was protected enough by the Ziplocs.
Way back stuck to the ridge and dropped off after the other high peak before Heavens Gate to meet up with the Picayune valley trail think this is a good way to shave some time. Oh and on the way in just off the valley trail a grave marker on a tree I seem to find these things (off trail will do that).
Got up on the saddle and as always on my trips hauled ass out of there not seeing anyone all day until 5 lakes then passed probably 15 people before the trailhead. This is a hard day hike but was done at 4:30.
Kristine 38 OGUL’s
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