First peak you ever bagged? | High Sierra Topix  

First peak you ever bagged?

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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Postby Timberline » Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:01 pm

"Gee I like these thread topics where I get to reminisce back when I was still young."

:) :) You hit the bullseye, Dave! I guess that's most of what I've got left anymore, but without reminiscences, life would be truly dull.

Hmmmm. . .first peak bagged? Probably Window Cliffs, during the 2nd summer that the Forest Service paid me to go backpacking. I hope that counts, 'cause most of my mountain experience until then, and since, was at or below timberline, although off trail quite a bit. I was working with a college kid from Illinois named Eric. From our field sample plot, we climbed the nearest high point on the ridge south of Funston Lake between Goldlen Trout Creek and the Kern River Canyon, to enjoy the view. Just a few days later, we make it to the top of Kern Peak looking for the bears we had heard were there (found them later on the trail to Siberian Pass instead) but we weren't skookum enough to even look for a peak register there.

Most enjoyable summit was Mono Rock above 4th Recess Lake, where there actually was a peak register, and my oldest son, 14 at the time, and I got to sign our names together. I couldn't have been more thrilled than he was, and that's what it was about.

Two other great summit hikes in memory were in Colorado - - Mt. Sopris, 'cause I lived on its flank, and Notch Mountain, which is the front row seat to Mt of the Holy Cross. Both great trips, but not Sierra.
Let 'er Buck! Back in Oregon again!



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Postby Kerstin » Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:20 pm

My first peak was Mt. San Jacinto at age 16. It was in the fall of 1984 and I was with a school group. It was a long hike up there from our high school in Idyllwild. I think we did the peak via Devil's Slide trail. I remember having a headache up top and knowing it was a touch of altitude sickness. I don't think I drank enough water on that trip.
We checked out that stone building near the summit. I though it was really neat! Besides the spectacular views I still vividly remember the crisp, cool air and that wonderful pine and granite soil smell. :)
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Postby BSquared » Mon Jan 15, 2007 5:49 pm

Well, I might as well chime in here ;)

My first peaks were the Echo Peaks, probably nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4. It was long ago, when it was still legal (I think) to camp at Budd Lake. My buddies, who were *really* climbers, climbed Cathedral in some way or another one day while I sat around and enjoyed the scenery, then the next day we went up into the Echoes and bombed around. They climbed several more interesting routes while I did a bunch of the class 3 stuff. Beautiful place!

Several other friends and I were up in the Echoes several years later, peered over the ridge, and ran like Hell for camp, because we could see this huge storm coming! We got lost in the snow on the way out, and that turned out to be the weekend when two people were lost on Ritter.

Many years later (in the early 80s, I think), I went back and got hauled up the 5.6 north buttress route on Cathedral by a friend of mine. What an experience! I think I prefer sticking to the class-3-and-below stuff now, though...
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Postby cmon4day » Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:31 am

SSSdave wrote: Then in June of 1979 while camped at Spotted Fawn Lake climbed out on Nance Peak at 8664 in order to look down the cliff 2000 feet to Edith Lake below. Although that is a named peak, it is not much more than the high bump atop a long glaciated ridge. ...David


Hi Dave,

I've been to Edith Lake and from down there looking up, Nance Peak looks impressive. I remember looking up and thinking how much it looked like Yosemite Valley.

Vic
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Postby giantbrookie » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:41 pm

cmon4day wrote:I've been to Edith Lake and from down there looking up, Nance Peak looks impressive. I remember looking up and thinking how much it looked like Yosemite Valley.


Yes, few are those that have been fortunate enough to gaze upward at Nance Peak's awesome south wall from the outstanding lake at its base. The huge cleft in the middle of that face is pretty striking, too. I must say also (for Dave): that is no ordinary "first named summit", given how few visit that area.
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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Postby SSSdave » Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:08 pm

Given my previous look down on the lake, in September 1979 I solo crosscountried from Laural Lake down to Eleanor Creek, then managed monkeying through the obstacle course to Edyth Lake where I stayed a couple nights while very wary of the many bears in that drainage. Yosemite used to dump all their bad bears there. Nice rainbow fishing of course. Then I climbed straight up the south canyon wall, went over the divide down to Frog Creek and up to Bearup Lake. :\ After that more crosscountry camping at Ardeth and Brannigan before returning to the trail at Vernon Lake. Although the topography dfficulties in those northwestern Yosemite areas is relatively modest, the large brushy areas and deep forests make them quite a challenge for an adventurer. ...David
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Postby giantbrookie » Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:23 pm

SSSdave wrote:Given my previous look down on the lake, in September 1979 I solo crosscountried from Laural Lake down to Eleanor Creek, then managed monkeying through the obstacle course to Edyth Lake where I stayed a couple nights while very wary of the many bears in that drainage. Yosemite used to dump all their bad bears there. Nice rainbow fishing of course. Then I climbed straight up the south canyon wall, went over the divide down to Frog Creek and up to Bearup Lake. :\ After that more crosscountry camping at Ardeth and Brannigan before returning to the trail at Vernon Lake. Although the topography dfficulties in those northwestern Yosemite areas is relatively modest, the large brushy areas and deep forests make them quite a challenge for an adventurer. ...David


You got that right about the brush. That is why I call that region the "Bermuda Triangle" of Yosemite and regard it as the most difficult cross country region in the range (at least the part of the range we'd want to hike in). Funny about the bear story. That is what I had been told too prior to my 1986 trip (see below). A former Park Service employee told me a several years later that dumping the problem bears in the wilds of Kendrick Creek was an incorrect rumor, given that transporting bears there demanded helicopter transport that was vastly too expensive. She told me that problem bears dropped off via vehicle in places near Miguel Meadow and such, but that their bear drops were limited to places with vehicular access.

On Memorial Day weekend of 1986 a friend and I forced the north side of Kendrick Creek Canyon from Cherry Lake dropping into the main canyon a bit downstream of Bartlett Creek and fighting our way all the way to Edith L. In addition to the hellacious brush, it was peak runoff and we were pinned in the shallows of Edith and couldn't effectively fish it. The crossing of Bartlett Creek was very marginal and Kibbie Creek was fairly rough too. In the places we weren't doing hand to hand brush combat, we found that bear trails were much nicer than deer trails because bears don't vault over stuff, they just weave and power a good path through. In fact the bear situation caused one last problem: the problem bear rumor lead us to go with virtually no trail food, and we hit the wall for lack of nourishment after climbing out of the canyon. I had to break out a stove in the middle of nowhere and cook up Top Ramen (last bit of uneaten dinner food) and have some hot chocolate for us to get our wobbly legs under us again. In early May 1992 I returned with the death march alumnus from the 1986 trip and my wife to attack from the Hetch Hetchy side doing the diagonal traverse from Laurel Lake and dropping in on the unnamed lake downstream of Edith; the brush was very light compared to the north side of Kendrick Creek. We then worked our way up the canyon to Edith before bailing through the gap to Frog Creek, and visiting Bearup and the nice little lakelet downstream of it. With more time we probably would have chalked up Branigan, too, but this was just a 4 day trip and we bailed directly from the lake downstream of Bearup to the trailhead. That was the first of many adventurous trips in what would become my greatest years backpacking with my wife (1992 to 1998). I hope we have enough left in the tank for some more crazy off trail stuff when my wife "un retires" from death marching (she won't do a backpacking trip w/o the kids who are now 1 and 4) when our kids get strong enough to do such trips (a good 10-15 years from now). In the meantime I look somewhat wistfully back at those trips and threads such as this bring back the memories.
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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Postby SSSdave » Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:25 pm

Nice to hear someone else has paid some dues in those remote areas. By 1979 rainbow trout seem to have disappeared in Boundary, Little Bear, and Inferno Lakes. All looked like frog ponds. I saw single large fish in both Spotted Fawn and Ardeth that have long since likely been barren. Arriving at Flora another group related not seeing any fish and then catching a single large fish on bait. Maybe the last one there too. The main deep deep Brannigan Lake seemed to have a low population of fish and I caught a 15 inch bow there. The spawning there is questionable so that too may now be barren. Of course for those that have explored those drainages, we know the secret lakes that have excellent spawning like Vernon where there will always be fine populations that have evolved over decades to exist naturally in those lakes. ...David
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Postby cmon4day » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:48 pm

Hiking in that area gives the term bushwack true meaning.

We made a loop starting from Cherry Lake up to Kibbie Lake, then cross-country up to Bartlett Cr where we camped at a small lake in the Bartlett drainage. Just for fun, tried fishing and believe it or not, caught a rainbow. I had heard that that area (Spotted Fawn etc.) had gone barren so I was suprised when one was caught.

When then we over to Inferno Lake and camped. The next day dropped down into Kendrick Canyon, which was east of Nance Peak, then down to Edith(Edythe) Lake. Fishing there was outstanding. All rainbows, 12" to 16".

You mention bears. Of all the backpacking trips I've been on, I've never seen so much bear scat. It was everywhere. But we never saw a bear.

The trek down Kendrick to Eleanor was quite arduous. However, it was late in September and the creek was low, so we made best headway traveling in the creekbed.

Camped at the old backcountry ranger cabin at the Frog Cr outlet then back to Cherry for the completion of the loop.

That area is probally the most remote area of Yosemite and I haven't heard of to many people going there.

Vic
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Postby giantbrookie » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:20 pm

cmon4day wrote:Hiking in that area gives the term bushwack true meaning. We made a loop starting from Cherry Lake up to Kibbie Lake, then cross-country up to Bartlett Cr where we camped at a small lake in the Bartlett drainage. Just for fun, tried fishing and believe it or not, caught a rainbow. I had heard that that area (Spotted Fawn etc.) had gone barren so I was suprised when one was caught.


Nice loop! Actually, although a number of lakes in northern Yosemite have gone fishless, fish worked their way downstream during the time when there were fish in the lakes and one can find fish in creeks or unnamed lakes downstream of now barren lakes that once had fish. Bartlett Cr is one example. There are other nice examples elsewhere in trailless north Yosemite, including a drainage (will not divulge location, of course) my wife and I have called the Emerald Staircase.
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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