Mount Conness (Private Trip)
By: Wayne Norman
A nice leisurely weekend is what Iwanted. And of course a fun, picturesque peak. Mt. Conness via Young Lakes offered this and more. An easy backpack, fish filled lakes, great views, and of course Mt. Conness. Two friends also thought this would make a fun weekend, Alan Pendley and Mitch.
After waiting too long to pickup our permit (why can't they just leave the blasted things in a box like the Forest Service???) we drove to the trailhead and headed out. A pleasant backpack and a little searching brought our group to a good camping area. Three people, three two man tents (no light backpacks in this group), and all the tents situated out of snoring range of the each other. A civilized start the next morning found our group following the use trail (Ive seen "maintained" trails in worse shape) up towards Conness. The peak is really a class 1 trail walk except for maybe a few class 2 moves near the summit. There was minor disappointment on the top, and a lot of searching, due to a missing summit register, (Larry Tidball replaced the missing register later in July) but that couldn't dampen our spirits to be alone on the summit with clear skies and fantastic views.
After almost two hours on top, eating, sleeping, taking pictures and exploring we headed back down. On the plateau below the summit there were a couple of fun rock formations that made for some great bouldering and photos opportunities. Bouldering at 12,000' and with hiking boots is quite exhausting. On the way back to our camp we visited all the Young Lakes watched some attempt to bathe under a cold waterfall. (I had nice warm shower thanks to my handy solar shower.) The next morning brought an early start that had Alan and me out of the Park by noon. Mitch stayed longer taking more pictures. On the hike out we ran into some real climbers (as opposed us scramblers) who were going to one of Mt. technical attempt Conness's routes.
Some questioned taking three days to do a peak that can easily be done as a day hike. All I can say is this is the type of trip that started my climbing career and I never want to get so wrapped up in bagging peaks that I forget to enjoy the mountains.
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