Clouds Rest, Half Dome
By: Rick Jali
Yesterday, 20 August, I just got back from a lovely day trip to one of the most spectacular view points in the entire Sierra. A friend and I hiked to the summit of Clouds Rest from Tenaya Lake, an easy day trip with 14 miles round trip and about 2000' gain. The weather was perfect and the views almost unbelievable. On both sides the sheer granite faces of Tenaya Creek and Little Yo- semite were awesome, Half Dome was very close, and all around were other Sierra Peaks like Starr King, the Clark Range Lyell and Raclure, and even Matterhorn and the Sawtooths, And all this without touching a backpack!
I remembered another trip I took years ago, which was one of the greatest one-day trips I have ever done. With Mike Raudenbush, whom some of you remember, I started out from Mirror Lake in Yosemite, and scrambled up to the base of the Great North Face, and stared up in'awe at the overhanging summit so far above us. We then moved along under the face to the east, and around to the base of the cable. This is all Class 3. We went up the cable to the summit and enjoyed the view. We then returned the "normal" way past Nevada and Vernal Falls to the valley floor, and back to Mirror Lake (not as far as it sounds).
Thinking about the sore ligament in my foot, which I got on a heavy backpack last summer and re-pulled on Iron Mountain a week ago, I find myself more and more interested in day trips (however long) from base camps instead. I have just described two Sierra Peaks which have great views, but which don't require packing in. I would be interested in knowing about others (for example, the five northern-most peaks on the SPS List are day trips). Is there anyone else interested in making up a list of SPS Peaks that can be done by.SPS'ers who are of "average" Fitness? (Note I didn't say "normal"; no SPS'ers are "normal".) At least at first I'd like to keep it within limits; I know there are those who bo whitney in a day, or maybe even Coyote and Angora, but that leaves out most of us.
This could lead to a whole new class of SPS "Climbing Camps" with several peaks being done as day climbs out of a base camp. Some "Leisure Trips" are already being done this way, but this would be different. Any interest?
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