Grinnell Mountain, Lake Peak, Ten Thousand Foot Ridge
21 July 1990
By: Alan Coles
Leaders: Alan Coles, Frank Goodykoontz
Thirteen participants made it to the Fish Creek Trailhead despite road directions that were about 1 mile short. The leader waited an extra half hour due to the error and then took off shortly around 7:30am. It was already beginning to feel warm so early in the morning that the early starting time seemed most appropriate.
The water in the streams along this very enchanting trail were lower than usual due to the drought. Many trees had brown needles and some were dying as a result of the lack of water, smog and natural diseases that proliferate when stressful conditions arise. Still, the meadows were green and lush and the every amazing lemon lilies were in full bloom.
Fish Creek Saddle was reached around 10:30 with only one significant rest break. Sitting in the shade made one realize that it wasn't all that warm as it had seemed on the long switchback on the way up. From there it was only a short half hour before the top of Grinnell was reached where our 14th participant in the form of Ray Wolfe finally caught up with us.
From Grinnell, we rambled over to Lake, reaching it around noon. Just as we began to munch our lunches, Frank Atkin and Carol Smetana calmly informed us that this was their 100th peak and then offered to share some champagne with us. We accepted, of course, after informing them of the proper protocol on occasions such as this. Congratulations to them both!
After a good long break on top enjoying the fine views of Dry Lake (living up to its name), we left and headed over to 10K Ridge. It was rather warm walking through this "match stick" forest as Charlie Knapke pointed out (a term often used to describe burned forest). It was a rather hard workout up the final stretch in the rarified air and it wasn't until reaching the top that a few clouds began to shade us and cool things down.
It was before 2pm and there was plenty of time so we lingered an unusually long time on this summit before heading down. From the top, we took the northeast ridge comfortably back down to the Fish Creek Trail just below the trail camp. All were back to the cars around 3pm. A very congenial group!
Thanks to all participants (Janet Phun, Charles Sale, Pete Doggett, Maggie Singleton, Carol Smetana, Frank Atkin, Mitch Helbrecht, Charlie Knapke, George Pfeiffer, Flora Johnson, Liz Varnhagen, Ray Wolfe) for making it a very good day and special thanks (once again!) to Frank Goodykoontz.
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