By: Patty Kline
With the rain and snow at higher elevations on Friday, I wondered if the peak would be a go. It cleared on Saturday giving us a cool crisp day with no dust on the trail. Jim Raiford, my assistant developed leg trouble a couple of miles into the trip and had to turn back. I appointed the very capable Joanne Andrew to assist me.
The group met at 7:30 am at Glacier Lodge. We were finally under way at 8:15 am due to late arrivals and car parking arrangements. Of the 11 participants, 7 were 1994 WTC students. 3 were from Barbara Cohen's WTC Group. Way to go Barbara. She really promotes our section.
We backpacked via the North Fork of Big Pine Creek 8 miles and 3300' of gain to Sixth Lake. We stopped on the way to see the beautiful stone cabin built by Actor Lon Chaney at Cienage Mirth. This cabin was built in the 1920's and has been spared in the wilderness as an historic site.
Our camp was at the south end of Sixth Lake among the trees. The meadows were turning a pretty yellow-green. Mt. Robinson and Two Eagle Peak towered above us with a fresh covering of snow. By 4:00 pm our community happy hour was under way. The munchies served were so nice, dinner became an after thought. John Alford brought salsa burritos. Peter Petzold had some great French Brandy. Originally this was to be for the pre-celebration of my Senior Emblem on Cloudripper the following day. It was instead the post celebration of my Senior Emblem on Table Mountain on August 3rd.
The next morning when we left at 7:30 am the weather was perfectly clear with no wind, therefore making it easy to do the peak. We encountered patches of light snow on the north side of the peak at 13,000'. Lunch was on top with majestic views south of the Palisade Glacier with Sill, North Palisade and Thunder Bolt. The new dusting of snow made them look like part of a winter scene. Our class 2 route was very straight forward. From the Sixth Lake go around the south shore (north shore is talus like) up to the Seventh Lake, crossing over to the north shore at the Seventh Lake. Ascend the saddle north and very slightly west of Seventh Lake to the east ridge of Cloudripper. We headed west on the ridge, going slightly below the ridge line on the north side of the ridge in easy class 2 terrain. We left the ridge as it turned SW in a flat area just north of the peak. After crossing the flat area we turned south to the summit ( the second bump). It was 2500' of gain from camp and 3 miles round trip. Lunch was eaten on the 13,501' summit. The third class at the top was extremely easy third class, only 2 moves. We got back to camp at 3:15 pm to pack, leaving at 4:00 pm. The aspen trees on the way down were orange and yellow. This is the type of fall color you hope to see each year, but usually don't. We got to the cars at 7:30 pm.
This was a great "Intro Trip". Thank you very much to Joanne Andrew for being my assistant. Everyone had a good time. 3 WTC students got signed off for their final graduation requirements. 7 people did the peak. The participants were: Suzanne Williams, Bill Latvrence, Sarah Brink, John Alford, Ray Soucy, Peter Petzold, Derrick Petzold, Elizabeth Lanski and Margaret Hem.
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