Hurd Peak

Wed, Aug 11, 2004
Etymology Story Photos / Slideshow Map Profile
later climbed Wed, Aug 13, 2008

Continued...

Yesterday had been the hardest of 13 straight days out dayhiking, and though not really sore, I was terribly tired. A cozy bed in a motel does wonders that I just can't get from a sleeping bag. I slept in this morning to recharge my batteries then drove from Lone Pine to Bishop and on to South Lake for an easy outing to Hurd Peak. I didn't have the energy to do something more substantial and I'd been saving this easy peak for just such an occasion. Hurd Peak is located just west of the Bishop Pass Trail, a bit less than three miles from the South Lake TH.

I left the parking lot around 9:20a, taking an hour to make the hike up to Long Lake. I left the trail to cross the outlet of the lake and made my way towards the north side of Hurd Peak. The peak is not difficult to approach from any side. Secor mentions routes on the east and south slopes as well as the south ridge. But the peak can be approached from all sides it would seem and I decided to strike out for a route up the north slopes. There is a broad class 2 chute on the north slope that is probably most easily reached from the trail heading to Treasure Lakes. Coming from Long Lake to the east I traversed partway across the north slopes towards the large chute, but stopped when I came to some fun-looking class 3 rock ledges and flakes, about a hundred yards east of the chute. I enjoyed the climb up this rock a good deal, bringing me to a N-S summit ridge that I scrambled along up and down a number of small towers until I finally reached the summit at 11:50a.

The summit register was placed in 1991 by Pete Yamagata, whom Secor credits with the first ascent up the class 2-3 East Face. It seems somewhat doubtful that he was the first to climb this face, but likely the first to record doing so - I guess this is one of the deserved recognitions one is entitled to if they haul the register up to the summit. The summit has a fine vantage point for viewing the peaks encompassing the Bishop Creek drainage: Cloudripper to the east, the Palisades to the southeast, Mt. Goode to the south, Mt. Johnson to the southwest, Mt. Thompson to the west, and a bit of Mt. Darwin to the northwest.

For the descent I headed down the West Face to Treasure Lakes. This side of the peak is more complicated than the other faces, with many chutes and aretes requiring some care in route-finding to keep the difficulty to class 3. Treasure Lakes are a pretty area with lots of wildflowers even late into the summer. Aiming for the small spit of land separating the two lakes, I found the trail here and followed it back to South Lake where I arrived at 1:20p. A short 4hr outing, but it gave me more time to rest in the afternoon back in Bishop (where it was 103F). I went to bed not long after 7p so I could get an early start the next morning. Afternoon thunderstorms were in the forecast for the area the next day and I wanted to try to avoid them if at all possible.

Continued...


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