Mount Bago, Deerhorn Mountain, East Vidette, West Vidette
By: Bill T Russell, Bill Gray
What a good trip we had! Delightful people, good weather, interesting climbs, and no bears. We left Onion Valley at 0730 on Thu, hiked over Kearsarge Pass, walked by Bullfrog lake and went down to Vidette Meadow where we had lunch. We crossed Bubbs creek on a large log and went up Vidette Creek, an a use trail on the west side. We made camp at some good sand platforms west of the largest lower Vidette Lake.
On Fri, all but Duane who was ill, walked S up the drainage and than up the NE buttress of the lower NW peak of Deerhorn, The climbing is pleasant 2nd and 3rd class with only moderate exposure. The route goes to an elevation about 30' higher than the saddle between the NW peak and Deerhorn itself and then traverses over and down on easy broken ledges to the saddle. From here the route goes more or less SE straight up to the summit. After signing the register, we descended to the bench at 3500 m and here we split. Barbara, Dan, Dave and Devra traversed over to the chute 300m south of West Vidette, went up it to the main ridge, then over West Vidette and returned to camp via the prominent chute that starts about 600m N of the peak and goes down about 30'. The remaining six who did not "need" the peak returned directly to camp.
On Sat, we hiked back to Vidette Meadow. Here Bill Gray and Duane departed to go home. The remaining nine stowed their food In the local bear box and departed for East Vidette. We went up the Muir trail to about the map edge (762676) where we crossed Bubbs Creek, We then ascended SW over fine granite slabs, thru the mouth of the drainage and Into the prominent broad chute that leads to the ridge just to the left of the peak. The chute is pleasant 2nd class; it tops out on the east ridge at about 3620m (11,900'). From here the route goes up a scree slope for perhaps 300' to a high saddle. It then continues directly up thru easy 3rd class broken rock to the summit. The summit block has a single mantle move where some people wanted a helping hand. The register is in a cairn a few meters beyond the summit block. We enjoyed the super view and then descended to Bubbs Creek where we said goodbye to Gary who left to climb peaks in Center Basin, We returned to Vidette Mdw where we camped in the lovely spot near the creek and the bear box. We were surprised and pleased that bears did not seem to visit us that night.
On Sun, we hiked to the flat area east of Charlotte lake! where we left our packs and climbed Mt Bago. This was the sixth SPS peak for both Devra and Dan so they led us to the top and qualified for SPS membership. On our way out we saw about six bighorn sheep in the grassy area north of the trail about 1 km west of Kearsarge pass. We finished this very pleasant trip in mid afternoon at Onion Valley. Participants: Barbara Cohen, Duane McRuer, David Russell, Ursula Slager, Gary Guenther, Dan Richter, Pat Russell, Devra Wasserman, Bill Gray, Bill T. Russell, Don Slager
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