Attempt on Middle Pal thwarted by snow | High Sierra Topix  

Attempt on Middle Pal thwarted by snow

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

Attempt on Middle Pal thwarted by snow

Postby Quandary » Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:04 am

On Sept. 19th Kim and I hiked up to Finger Lake on a beautiful, sunny day, but with a forecast of snow. The hike up the South Fork of Big Pine Creek was uneventful, but difficult for us since it was our first day at altitude, having flown in from Indiana on the 18th.

After a bit of bushwhacking behind the stagnant pond below Finger, we found the gulley leading to the Finger Lake drainage and hiked up. The water was low enough that it was possible to pretty much walk right up the middle of the creek, on the staircase of boulders.

As soon as I took my pack off at the top, I immediately became ill with a fever and spent the next two hours drinking cup-o-soup prepared by Kim and burning/shivering in the tent. Amazingly, I recovered completely in a few hours, but then Kim didn't feel well the rest of the night.

After the sun dipped behind the mountains the temp dropped quickly, but we were treated to an amazing sunset, including a view of a bizarre cloud formation. Is this the Sierra Wave? Very strange.

The next morning the peaks all around were covered with fog and clouds and it was obviously snowing up higher. Brief glimpses of Middle Pal already showed a dusting of snow. Climbing Middle Pal was out of the question.

Then the snow started falling on us. We decided to pack out then, given that the gulley below Finger was already becoming a bit hazardous and we had full packs to carry down. So we quickly packed up and headed down the gulley. The ice and snow made this descent interesting. (The decision to come out turned out to be an excellent one. We camped that night at Onion Valley in some horrendous weather and I'm sure the Palisades area got it good that night too.)

After reaching the main trail near the pond again the rest of the hike out was uneventful, but definitely a beautiful hike in the falling snow. Middle Pal will be there next time. : )

See pics here:
http://picasaweb.google.com/ph.spanos/F ... Sept192007


Pre-Whitney warm-up hike on Meysan Lakes trail, TR and pics here:
http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum ... #Post42081

Subsequent hike on Whitney main trail TR and pics are here:
http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum ... #Post42082



User avatar
Quandary
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:55 am
Location: Indiana
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby cgundersen » Tue Oct 02, 2007 8:04 am

Quandary:
Those are some mighty bizarre cloud photos that preceded the snow; looks like something that'd spook Darth Vader. If heading into the Sierras immediately after a drive from So Cal is bad enough, I can hardly imagine it after a flight from Indiana............anyway, for those of us who have watched the snows (as in glaciers) disappear from the Sierras at an alarming rate, even if the white stuff was a drag for you, there are a lot of us who are hoping for some big snow years (especially, in the southern Sierra).
cgundersen
User avatar
cgundersen
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 655
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:07 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby Quandary » Wed Oct 03, 2007 11:40 am

I'll just schedule my trip a few weeks earlier next year. :D

Despite not being able to even attempt Middle Pal it was great to see a new area (to me). Finger Lake is an amazing place to camp, and has the BEST water.
User avatar
Quandary
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:55 am
Location: Indiana
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby Snow Nymph » Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:34 pm

Hi Phil!

I can't see your pictures, it just keeps loading and loading and loading . . .

I can only see thumbnails. What am I doing wrong?

It was nice meeting you and Kim, and hope to hike with you two next time!

I'm still a gimp . . . :(
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
User avatar
Snow Nymph
Founding Member
 
Posts: 2041
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 6:43 pm
Location: Santa Barbara & Mammoth Lakes, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby Quandary » Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:51 am

Snownymph, sorry about the pics. I'm not sure why that's happening. I may transfer them to my webshots account and I'll let you know when that happens.

Sorry to hear your leg is still giving you problems. :(

It was great to meet you, too! I'm already planning on returning Sept. 5-14 next year so maybe we can do the MR during that time. :D

Happy hiking this fall...
User avatar
Quandary
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 5:55 am
Location: Indiana
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Postby Snow Nymph » Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:00 am

Looking forward to seeing the pix!

Post the link for your webshots, so I can mark it as a favorite. I like the way it pops up so I know when new pix are posted.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


http://snownymph.smugmug.com/
User avatar
Snow Nymph
Founding Member
 
Posts: 2041
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 6:43 pm
Location: Santa Barbara & Mammoth Lakes, CA
Experience: N/A


Return to Peak Bagging / Rock Climbing / Bouldering



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests