TR: Donahue Pass/Mt. Lyell | High Sierra Topix  

TR: Donahue Pass/Mt. Lyell

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: Donahue Pass/Mt. Lyell

Postby artrock23 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:15 pm

After wanting to do this trip with a friend for the past year, I decided to do it solo, as he couldn't make it.

I started-out at Silver Lake on the Rush Creek Trail. Since Donahue Pass is just over 13 miles in, I elected to split it into two days. The first day I went as far as Waugh Lake. It began raining just before I got to the lake, but when I found a good campsite, I was able to get my tent set-up before it got heavy.

Waugh Lake in the evening
Image

I encountered these the next day after turning onto the JMT/PCT. Llamas as packbeasts... love it! :D
Image

A mile and a half below Donahue Pass. Would this turn into a storm? The forecast for Sunday was sunny skies, but I knew better. It ended-up being a mother of a storm: thunder & lightning, large hail, rain.
Image

First night at Donahue Pass campsite (Mt. Lyell visible faintly at top right)
Image


Mt. Lyell, with the approach from Donahue Pass. The cross-country route is up the shadowed valley to the granite slope, then up to a talus field and a notch (at top right) where you see the edge of Lyell Glacier.
Image

At the base of Lyell Glacier. Fresh rockfall (many tons) from the summit area. A couple I met earlier were on the mountain the day before when it happened. :eek:
Image

Tools for the route. I recently upgraded my crampons, ice axe, and gaiters. They worked flawlessly. Comical 'question of the day': after watching me descend the glacier by a combination of plunge-stepping, glissading, and side stepping, a pair of Canadian trail-runners asked "do you think we can do it without ice axe and crampons?" I almost burst out laughing.
Image

My route was up the glacier, to the far right edge of the bergschrund, then a 150ft section of loose class 3 rock to the summit plateau.
Image

The summit block (top center). After getting to a small saddle, an easy -but exposed- class 3 move gets you to the top.
Image

At the summit.
Image

Second night at Donahue Pass campsite (Rodgers Peak in background). The day's excursion to Mt. Lyell took 8.5 hours.
Image

Smoke plume from the Aspen fire. The tip of Banner Peak is visible above the granite ridge. When the smoke shifted shortly after this pic, it made sleeping difficult.
Image

The next day I hiked all the way out. It was a grueling hike. When I got back to my truck -sore and tired- in the afternoon, I decided to get a hotel in Bishop and drive home the next morning. This was a really fun trip, and the climb was awesome.



User avatar
artrock23
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:18 pm
Location: Laguna Beach, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

TR: Donahue Pass/Mt. Lyell

Postby J ney » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:11 am

Wow!!! Great pics! Incredible to see it with all that smoke.
User avatar
J ney
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:55 pm
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: TR: Donahue Pass/Mt. Lyell

Postby giantbrookie » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:11 pm

Nice reports and photos. They bring back some fond memories, for I have not been to Lyell and Maclure since 1975. One thing is for sure, it always seems to be a long way out, whether you're going out to Silver Lake as you did or whether you're going out to Tuolumne as I did back in '75.
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: Donahue Pass/Mt. Lyell

Postby maverick » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:44 pm

Thanks Art, did that same route back in the 90's, fun climb. Wow, that was a lot
of smoke.
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: 8033
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer


Return to Peak Bagging / Rock Climbing / Bouldering



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest