TR: Mount Emerson, Four Gables, and Pilot Knob 7/3-7/5 | High Sierra Topix  

TR: Mount Emerson, Four Gables, and Pilot Knob 7/3-7/5

Topics related to peak bagging, rock climbing and bouldering in the foothills and high country of the Sierra Nevada. Be sure to also check out the Information Booth forum category to learn from / see if you can contribute to a profile for High Sierra 13'ers, 14'ers and cross country passes.
User avatar

TR: Mount Emerson, Four Gables, and Pilot Knob 7/3-7/5

Postby peaksandpotatoes » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:21 am

Leo, Cherry, Peter S, Drew, Janice, and I put together a trip to Humphreys Basin for some peak climbing. From North Lake, we hiked to near Loch Leven where some of us dropped our packs and slogged/scrambled up Mount Emerson's south slope. The class 3 south face route was not easy to find. We were just about to give up when Cherry spotted a way to correct for our route finding mistakes. Others of our party continued onto Desolation Lake in Humphreys Basin, not interested in the slog up Emerson. We met near the south end of Desolation Lake and camped. On the second day, everyone climbed up Four Gables and went over towards Peak 12350'. Some of us contouring, some dropping down then climbing up again. It was about midday now, and some of us decide to return to camp. Peter then goes over to tag Peak 12225' on his own and then joins the remainder of the group heading over towards Pilot Knob. We contour around the bump east of Pilot Knob until we are just below (south) the saddle east of Pilot Knob. The scramble up Pilot Knob was solid and fun, even though we were all pretty beat (the contouring had been challenging and we were moving fast). We then return to Desolation Lake by dropping down from the saddle, but still staying above Knob Lake, then aiming for the north end of Square Lake and then the south end of Mesa Lake. On the third day, we hiked out from Desolation Lake. It was a fun trip! We were lucky with perfect weather and the mosquito situation was surprisingly not bad at all.

Awesome flower display along the trail to Piute Pass:
Image

Emerson Lake comes into view as we slog up Mount Emerson on the other side of the valley:
Image

The one snow field at Piute Pass:
Image

Fantastic view of the Glacier Divide all trip long, this one from the north end of Desolation Lake as we head up towards Four Gables:
Image

Some snow in the bowl below Four Gables, no crampons or ice axe needed though:
Image

Sweet view of French Canyon from Pilot Knob:
Image

Looking back at Pilot Knob from near our camp, it was a long day:
Image



User avatar
peaksandpotatoes
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:28 am
Location: Oakland, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: Mount Emerson, Four Gables, and Pilot Knob 7/3-7/5

Postby maverick » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:03 pm

Love the views from Pilot Knob, though the last time in the basin there were very high winds which made getting to the summit to dangerous, next time. Thanks for the TR and pictures P&P. :)
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8029
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: TR: Mount Emerson, Four Gables, and Pilot Knob 7/3-7/5

Postby ianrb » Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:12 am

You were on Pilot Knob on the 4th? I and two others summited Pilot Knob on the 4th as well. We hit the peak around 3:30 and were the first entries on the new register. Amazing view from the top.
User avatar
ianrb
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 9:20 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: Mount Emerson, Four Gables, and Pilot Knob 7/3-7/5

Postby peaksandpotatoes » Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:45 am

oh cool, we missed you by about an hour and a half I think. Which way did you come from that day?
User avatar
peaksandpotatoes
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:28 am
Location: Oakland, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: Mount Emerson, Four Gables, and Pilot Knob 7/3-7/5

Postby giantbrookie » Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:43 pm

Neat combination of peaks for a 4th of July trip. Of of curiosity, when you did Emerson, did you originally end up too far west before correcting to the better route?

The reason I ask is years ago I really goofed the route ascending from Piute Lake years ago. I got onto the west ridge ridge, then headed E toward the summit before getting blocked by step in the ridge (gendarme/pinnacle). I think at that point I should have descended a bit to the south and worked my way to a chute or chutes further east. Instead I tried to finish on ledges on the funky N. face (in part because I didn't have to lose very much elevation). That worked out to very sketchy stuff on loose 4th class and I conceded when faced with a mantle move over a set of holds I didn't totally trust. My nerves were rather frayed at that point. I've always wondered if I could have traversed eastward on the southern slope to a better summit finish.
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
User avatar
giantbrookie
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 2439
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:22 am
Location: Fresno
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: Mount Emerson, Four Gables, and Pilot Knob 7/3-7/5

Postby peaksandpotatoes » Fri Jul 15, 2016 11:42 pm

Yes we did get too far west as well. I think it is easy to do because people like to follow that scree chute to an apparent low point on the ridge. The pain of slogging up this slope just makes you do this natural movement even though my whole group had the Secor description in their heads and the warning to angle east! In order to get up to the correct area, you need to climb up over a rib on the slope. Which just looks really unappealing from the bottom. Obviously, in hindsight, it would have been the easiest way. We got lucky on the ridge and found a way around the pinnacle (I think we might be talking about the same big block up on the ridge). We found it on the north side, but just right near the top of the ridge. Cherry spotted this tiny opportunity, a very short, high class 3 downclimb (slightly exposed to a chute... hard to tell looking at it from above) then up some more (less freaky) regular class 3 stuff which we were able to follow around the pinnacle and boom. From the top, the regular south slope route is very clear. From up there it looked like the yellow brick road (as my friend Mika would say) it was so obvious haha.
User avatar
peaksandpotatoes
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:28 am
Location: Oakland, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: Mount Emerson, Four Gables, and Pilot Knob 7/3-7/5

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:30 am

Thanks for your detailed reply. That gives me a very good picture of how to correct my errors. I may go back and do Emerson one of these days because it is a very nice peak. It has been 19 years since my route finding gaffe resulted in me being so thoroughly freaked out that I swore never to return to the peak. I had actually had entire ledge systems (not talus blocks) give way beneath my feet and rumble hundreds of feet down the face as I did some quick hopping and readjusting to not follow the failing rock. I think this happened at least twice, which is why I did not trust the last mantle move that turned me back. In my many years of climbing loose 3rd class I had had handholds pull out but I'd never seen what seemed to be firm, bedrock ledges, collapse as I did on Emerson's north face. If I go, I will stay south and east the next time.
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
User avatar
giantbrookie
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
Founding Member & Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 2439
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:22 am
Location: Fresno
Experience: N/A


Return to Peak Bagging / Rock Climbing / Bouldering



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests