By: Patty Kline and Jim Fleming
This was a fine trip led as an SPS Intro Trip into some spectacular scenery. Our group of four met at 8:00 am on Saturday morning. Due to last minute cancellations, five other people couldn't join us. We took a leisurely pace over Piute Pass to camp at Lower Desolation Lake about 8 miles from dirt parking lot #1 at North Lake. It was about 2,000' of gain. Camping was on the East side of the lake, a little away from water because it was hard to locate a level spot without boulders for four tents. What an awesome location with the stark beauty of the Sierra above timberline. No bears too! An elaborate happy hour with a prize for the best appetizer dish was the main event of the afternoon.
On Sunday morning there was a concern for thundershowers from threatening clouds when we left for the peak. We took the trail from Lower Desolation Lake to Desolation Lake where it ended. Then we went North in open country to the South headwall of Four Gables. This peak has several headwalls. The gentler West slopes of the South headwall were taken. The summit at UTM 499299 is deceptive. It is natural to want to climb the class 2 false summit just to the South of the true summit. The true summit is class 1 all the way. We got up there about 11am. The view to the east was great, and it looked like you could spit half way down to Bishop from 12,720'. We didn't stay long because of the threatening rain. Back in camp that afternoon was about the only rain we got, fortunately. It failed to dampen our extended happy hour. It was a pleasant hike out on Monday. Our two participants were George Thomas and Spencer Berman. Many thanks to Jim Fleming for helping me lead this trip. Jim is again an active member of the SPS, having last climbed with the section in the early 80's.
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