Grizzly Peak

Sat, Sep 2, 1995

With: Eric Smith
Mike Rogers

Etymology Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 Profiles: 1 2

Eric and I had envisioned a visit to northern Yosemite, a region we had heard was very remote and very beautiful. Trouble was, we didn't really know of a good way to get there. Hetch-Hetchy seemed much too hard to hike in from, and we knew nothing of the forest service roads on the west side of this region. So we hit upon going in from SR108 via Sonora Pass. Even better, we found that with a 4x4 vehicle we could drive in to Leavitt Lake and drive a few miles closer to our destination. Mike, a friend from work, provided the vehicle to get us to the lake. With some serious ruts in the road and a non-trivial stream crossing, Eric and I were glad to have Mike's truck to get us through.

From the Lake we hiked up the trail heading southwest and onto the Sierra Crest. It was an overcast day (and remained so for the three days), but at least we had no rain or seriously threatening weather. The views along the crest were fine, down to Kennedy Meadows and Creek to the west, Kennedy Canyon to the east. At one point where the trail followed along a north-facing slope, the trail was still buried under a few feet of snow - it had been quite a snow year in 1995. Half a mile later we came to another section buried in snow, and rather than cross the steep slopes we hiked cross-country up and over the crest to the south-facing slopes. It was easy travelling over talus and scree, then across some mostly flat alpine meadows that brought us back to the trail in the vicinity of High Emigrant Lake.

We had seen Grizzly Peak from the north for the last several hours, and Eric and I grew keen to climb it. As the trail passed the peak on the west side, we left our packs along the trail (with Mike who declined the side trip), and headed east. We found an easy route up the southwest slopes to a notch between the two main summits, then some fun scrambling to the higher northwest summit. Though overcast, the clouds were high enough to give us views in all directions. We found no register on the summit.

After descending, we rejoined Mike and continued our hike to Summit Meadow. We had planned to camp here for the night, but after stopping for less than ten minutes, we found ourselves swarmed by bloodthirsty mosquitoes. It would be too distracting to make camp there. We hiked up a bit higher and another half mile to the west to Snow Lake, where we found the mosquitoes still present, but at least in lower doses. We made camp here, but due to the mosquito herds it wasn't very enjoyable.

Continued...


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