Mount Carence King, Mount Rixford
By: Larry Tidball
Our group of 9 hikers started out for the 3 days from Onion Valley for the hike over Kearsarge and Glen Passes. As I recall we were at the top of Kearsarge Pass at 9:30, and some of the participants were boldly talking about modifying the planned objectives of C.K., Bago, and Fin Dome to include: Rixford, Cotter, and Gardner. Arriving at the top of Glen Pass for lunch, we decided to climb Rixford. Six of the group did the climb, heading right out from the pass, we traversed the SW slope of the pinnacle next to the pass, arriving at a small notch, and then continued East to the main saddle West of Rixford. From here we climbed straight up the West ridge to the summit (12,890'). Back at the pass we picked up our packs to head on to camp to join the 3 who had gone ahead. This route up Rixford isn' t mentioned by either Roper or Voge, but it goes very easily with just a touch of 3rd class. Round trip from Pass to Peak to Pass was only about 60 minutes.
From 11,600' on the North side of Glen Pass we left the trail to head cross-country for our campsite in the drainage SSW of fin dome. From the trail we crossed the ponds and headed NW over a low divide and then dropped down to the lake basin. Camp was near the outlet of the round lake at 11,000'. This is 1/4 mile south of where the 60 lakes basin trail comes over the crest South of Fin Dome. This camp is off the trail, and is a nice spot. The cross-country route from Glen Pass has a use trail for some of the way.
The original plan to climb Fin Dome in the afternoon was scrapped after doing Rixford, and we settled in for happy hour and hers d' oevres, The 2 Reads of lettuce had inadvertently been left at the top of Glen Pass, so instead of tossed green salad, we had fresh vegetables with salad dressing dip, along with many other goodies.
Up early the next day we headed off for Clarence King. We almost lost Tina when she stood up too soon undr a low overhanging rock on the exposed traverse below the saddle South of the Peak, but a quick grab saved the day. At the saddle we met a group that include Pete Yamagata. They had wanted to join our trip, but my permit was full, so they came on their own permit, and climbed the summit with us.
We climbed to the summi t block following the usual route with Richard Fritsen helping with the belaying on the lower pitch, and Henry Arnebold acting as the summit block anchor and belayer . On the summit block Pete Yamagata, Tina Stough, and I all received our Senior Emblems.
We didn't spend too long on the top. Although it was clear overhead, lightning was dancing on the peaks on 3 sides of us, so we scampered back to camp, putting off thoughts of Cotter in the lightning in favor of the party planned back in camp. The party was perfectly timed around the brief sprinkle that came with the lightning storm. Included at the celebration was a fruit salad, and a fresh pie.
The next morning some of us made an attempt a Fin Dome, but failed to find the 3rd class route, and opted to hike out instead of spending more time trying to make it go. Funny thing, no one wanted to climb Bago on the way out.
Participants were: Richard Fritsen, Henry Arnebold, Terry Cauicchi, Brian Smith, Tina Stough, Scott Sullivan, Joy Fagart, Steve Thaw. --Larry
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