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We had planned to do a climb to Peak 11,220ft near Leavitt Peak, but when I looked at the stats the night before while we were in Kennedy Meadows, it came out to 5,000ft of gain and almost 12mi. Neither of us were too excited about those numbers. After a pretty tough day yesterday, we were looking for something easier, so we started searching out alternatives. When Tom left the decision to me, I settled on returning to the Eagle Meadow area we'd hiked out of yesterday, to do a couple of shorter ones that we'd skipped. Our day would involve much driving between the three summits, but we were happy for the breaks.
Or what we thought was the summit. There is an impressive 30-foot pinnacle a few hundred to the southeast that was clearly taller. Marcus Sierra has a TR on PB that describes this class 5 pinnacle, and I recalled reading it only a few days earlier. Seems I was willfully ignorant when I suggested this as our first effort today. Had we known, we'd have carried up the climbing gear, much as we had the whole previous day (but made little use of it). As it turns out, it would have been more wasted effort because neither of us were sufficiently skilled to climb the thing, even making use of the three bolts at the start of the route. The transition to free climbing above the third bolt was beyond my grade and we could only look at the thing from below. We would have to come back with a skilled climber if we wanted any chance to get up it (and I'm pretty sure I would have to aid the entire length). We went back to the rounded summit that the topo and LoJ would have you believe was the highpoint and left a register there as consolation. The summit offers grand views to some of the rugged summits on the northwest edge of Emigrant Wilderness, including The Three Chimneys and Peak 9,880ft which we'd visited the previous day. One can also see far to the north into the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness and east to the Sierra Crest.
On the return, we began by following the same ridge north along our ascent route, then a tad further to a saddle with Pt. 9,264ft at the head of the drainage our little creek had formed. There was considerable snow in the center of the drainage near the top, but we simply descended the snow-free slopes on the north side of the drainage. This worked out to be an easier route than the ascent, with animal trails helping us down almost half of it. We were back before 10:30a, having spent a little under 3hrs on the effort.
We had dinner at the resort for the second night in a row, then took showers and found a nice place to camp up by Sonora Pass with an hour of daylight remaining. We would sleep well tonight, but not the sleep of the dead we had last night...
This page last updated: Wed Aug 16 13:33:09 2023
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