5-Jul-90 (How not to climb it)
By: Vi Grasso
Do not go to Mud Lake. (Old echo write-up 20-2). Good friend of mine suggested "leaving car east of Mud L. hike due east on road to NE corner of Sec. 21 on topo. Cross-country it SE to slope below skyline then toward Cole Creek Lakes. Follow faint trail extending NW from Cole Lakes which runs out below ridge on E side. Pass Cole Creek L. on NE which then picks up good trail to Munson Mdw. and on to saddle." I did. "Return by same route." I didn't.
There's only one reasonable 1-day hike to this isolated peak. After hearing from other sources that the key to this peak is to locate the "right road," (and there are a few confusing ones) a passenger car can manage the dirt road: Going SW on 88 past Silver Lake to Alien Ranch, continue up the road to Plasse Trading Post (Sec. 20 old topo) a distance of approx. 7 mi. from Hwy 88. (About 5+ mi. in and you should observe Allen Ranch entrance to your eight.-Most useful, USFS map.) There's another dirt road that approaches the Trading Post junction from Caples Lake at a distance of 11 mi.
No cross-country, and no Cole Creek L. At Plasse T.P. is the entrance gate to the Mokelumne Wilderness and parking. Follow the Squaw Ridge trail So. (old wagon road) 'till you come to a 3-way junction post indicating Cole Creek L., Long Lake & Munson Mdw. Good visible trail all the way to the saddle with the peak always in sight. Since this is the way I eventually returned. I crossed Alien Ranch W. to get up to the dirt road junction of Mudd L./Tragedy Springs where I left the Jimmy. Just to see how much 4WD could take, exited via Tragedy Springs -- and that's what it is -- heck of a tragedy. After that thrill, headed for Caples L. to meet Mantle, Hicks & Co. for an excellent dinner at Caples Lodge Fri. night.
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