Mount LeConte, Mount Mallory, Mount Irvine, University Peak, Mount Morrison

12-Jul-02

By: Allan Conrad


Coloradans’ Sierra Odyssey

Being a Colorado resident makes it impractical to get to the Sierra on a regular basis. Due to the insistence of a couple of other Colorado Mountain Club members, three of us spent a week peakbagging and rain-dodging. The end result was that I had finally climbed my fourth peak in Area 18 and qualified for the Master Emblem.

Another objective was for me to finish the list of Mountaineer’s peaks, but Mt McAdie had to be postponed until another day as very threatening weather dissuaded us from getting much beyond the saddle between Mallory and Irvine. The gully above Meysan Lake leading to this saddle was traversable with little snow travel; fortunately so, because we had left our ice axes in the truck. Found ourselves going up and down this gully on the day we scrubbed McAdie and climbed Irvine. The following day we climbed LeConte via the NW chute [traversed the cliff containing the chockstone on the left, rather than around the chockstone] and then did Mallory before finding a path down into the gully for the trek back to camp. A visitor to our camp was Will McWhinney, there with a WTC group.

After goofing off for a day, we climbed University via the route described by Selke (ECHO, Vol 38, No.3). We’d describe the destination notch as the “notch shaped like a W without the middle peak to the right of the false summit as viewed from the moraine north of University Pass.’ We thought is was a great route! (This peak was particularly satisfying in that my first attempt was in 1970 from Center Basin, when my ten-year old ran out of gas about 12,600’.) The next day found us on the ridge approaching Dragon when thunder forced our retreat. After waiting 200-300 feet below the ridge for a while in hopes of clearing weather, we descended to treeline where the subsequent lightning display was magnificent and the graupel pelting was numbing. We found the Toyo Miyatake photo exhibit at the Eastern California Museum portraying the Manzanar internment period to be commendatory.

After getting to Convict Lake the next morning and seeing many thunderheads, we headed for Mono Lake, Bodie and Bridgeport. Storms continued the whole day and the prospects of clear weather on the next did not seem too prospective based on the weather report. However, the next morning was clear and the climb to Morrison went off without a hitch. Even this senior citizen was on top in five hours. Having descended the rib immediately above the rest room at the end of the Convict Lake road. this may be a preferred route, with appreciably less bush-whacking, for gaining the elevation up to and to the left of the hanging valley. From the road at the top of the rib to the summit there is a veritable path.


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