TR: Red and White Mountain, Red Slate Mountain, 6/18-20/15 | High Sierra Topix  

TR: Red and White Mountain, Red Slate Mountain, 6/18-20/15

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TR: Red and White Mountain, Red Slate Mountain, 6/18-20/15

Postby ExploreABitMore » Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:46 pm

I've been trying to visit new areas in the Sierra I hadn't been to yet. McGee Creek was one of those areas and with a little time coming up I thought I would spend a few days up there going up Red and White and Red Slate. For some reason, I wasn't expecting too much from this area, but I ended up being super impressed. The Sierra never seems to disappoint, that's for sure. Except for one other guy the first night, I felt like I had the place to myself. He left on Friday morning at which point I really did have the place to myself, until hiking out on Saturday when I ran into several folks coming in. Felt nice to enjoy the solitude for a little while in this beautiful area.

The hike in to Big McGee Lake - my home for a few days - was a little longer than expected, which according to my GPS track was around ~8 miles. But, the hike in was neat, going through several different regions in altitude each with it's own feel and magic - started down low in high desert chaparral, followed by delightful aspen groves, soon covered under forest canopy, which eventually gave way to high alpine meadows and lakes, and finally entering the high and barren, but very colorful, rocky world of the McGee Pass and nearby peaks.

Red and White is probably one of my new favorite peaks. There was some loose rock, but it wasn't that bad overall. I went up the NE ridge route and had a blast. There were a couple spots where I wondered if I would make it. The first was where you have to bypass a false summit. The bypass had hard frozen snow blocking it and I figured if one normally wants to bypass this bump on the ridge, there must be something like Class 5 on the far side. It actually turned out to be a fun Class 3 scramble right up and over this small tower. Afterwards, I wondered why the heck you would want to bypass it and miss out on the fun! This brought me to the second point at which I wondered if I might not make it. From the top of this tower Red and White looks a bit intimidating and a Class 3 route seemed improbable. But, sure enough there was a traverse out to the SW that brought me to some chutes that led to the summit, all fairly reasonable Class 3, or easier. The summit was pretty spectacular with dramatic views in most directions.

The next day I hiked up to McGee Pass and headed up Red Slate Mountain. Since the mosquitoes chased me out of camp shortly before 6 and I had a decent pace going I was on top by 8:30 AM. Felt like I had quite a day already, before most folks are even out of bed. The vivid morning light spiced up the expansive vistas from this fine peak.

A great trip to a really beautiful and unique area in the Sierra. Can't wait to return one day.

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Hiking in at the start and enjoying wonderful views of colorful Mount Baldwin

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Found a perfect little camp site nestled in the trees above Big McGee Lake, equipped with a perfect rock for cooking and everything :)

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Enjoyed the morning light on Red and White as I filtered water the next day before heading out for climbing it

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Nice views of Big McGee Lake as I head for Little McGee Lake and the NE Ridge of Red and White

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On top of the ridge and beginning to traverse to RnW

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Climbing over false summit, RnW starts to look a little intimidating at this point

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RnW straight ahead. Class 3, huh? Hard to believe at this point, but it was and not too bad, either

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Exhilarating summit views!

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A perfect spot for lunch on the way down. I was almost mesmerized by Red and White Lake below, so pretty in person

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Heading up to McGee Pass, Red Slate peaking out in the background

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Unnamed alpine lake along the way

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Crazy switchback near McGee Pass

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Quite a few Sky Pilots on the slopes of Red Slate Mountain

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Vistas as far as the eye can see
Last edited by ExploreABitMore on Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sierra Nevada, Mojave Desert, Night Sky Photography: http://www.evanthomasphoto.com/



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Re: TR: Red and White Mountain, Red Slate Mountain, 6/18-20

Postby maverick » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:42 am

Very nice TR, really enjoyed the "alpine lake"shot. Gotta love that area, the colors of the rock really adds a whole other dimension to ones photo's.
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Re: TR: Red and White Mountain, Red Slate Mountain, 6/18-20

Postby copeg » Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:35 pm

Thanks for sharing the TR and photos! Did a similar trip years ago (sans the RnW summit) and like you, we weren't expecting too much but, like most trips into the Sierra, were blown away.
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Re: TR: Red and White Mountain, Red Slate Mountain, 6/18-20

Postby Bluewater » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:31 pm

Wow! Spectacular views from the top and the colorful rocks really add to the scenery. The unnamed alpine lake along the way is beautiful. Thanks


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Re: TR: Red and White Mountain, Red Slate Mountain, 6/18-20

Postby ExploreABitMore » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:53 pm

Thanks guys. Yeah the rock up there really is pretty neat. Made me wish I got up there when we were still having up all the dramatic clouds several weeks back. Really could have made for some neat photos combining that with the crazy geology in the area.
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Re: TR: Red and White Mountain, Red Slate Mountain, 6/18-20/

Postby sparky » Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:07 pm

I love the colors in that area, so beautiful to photograph. And wow some nice views!
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Re: TR: Red and White Mountain, Red Slate Mountain, 6/18-20/

Postby SSSdave » Mon Jun 29, 2015 3:22 pm

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Re: TR: Red and White Mountain, Red Slate Mountain, 6/18-20/

Postby AaronRDavis » Mon Jun 29, 2015 3:33 pm

Wow, those are stunning photos. Thank you for sharing.
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Re: TR: Red and White Mountain, Red Slate Mountain, 6/18-20/

Postby giantbrookie » Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:11 pm

Beautiful report and photos! After many years (I was up Red and White in 1985 and Red Slate sometime in the 70's) Red and White remains one of my favorites. The peak looks nice, the colors are great and the view from the top is one of the best. In addition the routes are fairly interesting. That NE ridge looks nice. I went more or less directly up the SE from McGee L., (mostly) avoiding nasty scree in chutes by staying on spurs and not encountering any real class 3 until the final 50 feet or so.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: TR: Red and White Mountain, Red Slate Mountain, 6/18-20/

Postby ExploreABitMore » Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:21 pm

Thanks again guys and nice photo David, which really makes it clear this peak should be called Red and White and Black Mountain! From some angles, black almost looks like the predominant color. I gotta agree about those views GiantBrookie, I wasn't expecting them to be so good, left me breathless for a moment upon arriving at the top
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