Dicks Peak, Mount Tallac, Pyramid Peak #2, Mokelumne Peak, Highland Peak
By: Allan Conrad
The Sierra along 395 were cloaked in clouds as we drove north. The clearing skies after a dinner at Harvey’s teased me into sleeping under the stars. A couple of hours later. the noise I heard was raindrops which activated my tent-erecting energies. A couple of hours later the noise I heard was that of some banging around. followed by Bob inquiring "Al, why are you messing around with the ice chests?": I was fifty feet from where Bob was sleeping in his Range Rover while a bear family marauded our gear three feet from him!
Signing in on a wet sheet of paper the next morning marked one of the last awkward moments of this trip. Dicks Peak and Mt Tallac were approached from the Glen Alpine TH, south of Fallen Leaf Lake. The low clouds above us seemed to rise as our elevation increased. The variable weather was very active and we did find ourselves in a cold, windy and limited-visibility environment on the summit of Dicks Peak. We could see the skies above the ridge toward Mt Tallac clearing as we descended toward Dicks Pass. After traversing to Tallac, some in the group felt we might have arrived just as quickly had we walked the extra mile down and around on the trail to the summit. The day’s activities took about 9 hours.
After a good meal at Passerati`s near the Tahoe Valley CG and a better night's sleep, we headed for a rendezvous with Greg at the Horsetail Falls TH near Twin Bridges. Here we planned to complete a self-permit for the Desolation Wilderness, where permits are required even for day hikes. With no signs of Greg by 8 am we went a short distance west on US 50 to the starting point for the Rocky Canyon use-trail approach to Pyramid, at milepost 58.96. Parking is on the south side of the road near the electronic highway message board. The use trail begins at the highway on the east side of the trail. One crosses the creek near an aspen grove at about 7300'. The use trail continues on and off all the way to the talus slopes. Only on the way back did we realize this. This being the first day of hunting season, we heard gunfire and saw four hunters hauling out their query. Hiking and lunch rook about six hours. We found a note from Greg on the windshield saving he had gotten a late start because he'd hit a deer the night before and had to wait at Topaz Lake until the: morning to get a rental car. In an hour our group would grow from five to six as Greg caught up with us. having soloed the peak.
The next phase took us to the Plasse Resort CG for a campsite and a shower In preparation for a delicious dinner at Capes Lake Resort. The Tanglefoot TH was our destination the next morning for our hike to Mokelumne. The route to the TH can best be described with reference to the 7.5 Bear River Reservoir map: follow the road past the Bear Valley Group CG to 6651. Where a sign indicates the TH is 6 mi distant. At 6063 turn cast toward "Shriner Lake" TH. At about UTM 46156715, there is a trail sign indicating a spur road to the TH. The cross-country route takes you on the south side of Pk 8628. The round-trip time was about 7 hours.
We ate dinner at the Alpine Hotel in the hike for Highland started from the PCT TH east of Ebbetts Pass. Highland was more of a workout than we had anticipated. The round-trip downs and ups took about 7-1/2 hours. The route took us past an interesting variety of rocks. eventually to a pass on the ridge east of the Noble Lake lakelet. Topping out near Pk 10824 gives one a view of the route to the summit, where Al celebrated his birthday.
Participants were Wyka, Sullivan, Sherman, Stenzel, Girlish, and Conrad.
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