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Postby will_jrob » Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:58 pm

Here are some photos from a dayhike/scramble to Excelsior Mountain from Virginia Lakes. Left the full parking lot at ten, a clear breezy day. There were quite a few hikers/backpackers on the trail, but managed to miss the horsepackers. Still some snow banks left starting just below 10,00 ft, and streams were flowing nicely. There was a good display and variety of wildflowers at all elevations. Followed the moderately graded trail to Summit Lake pass, then headed south partly on use-trails, across mostly small talus/scree to the shoulder and ridge of Excelsior, and then around the ridge/rim to the summit(Class 2 at worst). Good views all-around, particulay liked the reflective Mono Lake, south Sierra Crest (Dana,Banner/Ritter, Lyell/McClure, Conness), and the perspective of Cathedral Peak. Whorl and Virginia stood out to the north. No mosquitos to mention was the day was plenty breezy.There were no problems with smoke/haze, views good into Nevada and to the coast range.Yosemite area was clear but White Mts., and Owens Valley and south Sierra under dark clouds.



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