Spanish Mountain, Three Sisters
By: Patty Kline
We had a great weekend of Indian Summer weather. This was to be my last trip to my favorite mountain range until next June, so savored all the more.
After a 6:30am meeting time Saturday, we got under way at 6:55am. Originally 22 people signed up for the trip, but the almost 8 hour drive from LA to Shaver Lake and then beyond to Wishon Reservoir must have scared a lot of people off. We had a total of 7 for Saturday, with one no-show at the roadhead. Our roadhead was 6,700 feet.
Spanish Mountain was our peak for Saturday in 18 miles round trip and 3,500 feet of gain, mostly on trail. It took us 10 hours. Our route was slightly different than the one reported by Bob Sumner in the Echo from his 10-10-92 trip. Our route was as follows: At the first trail junction (under a mile) we stayed right in order to go on to Statham Meadow. At the very beginning of the meadow (we mistakenly went to the cabin and beyond before going back to the correct trail) go left up the trail which takes you SE towards Spanish Meadow. This trail has an intersection at the Spanish Lake Trail. Continue SE about a mile to where the trail turns south and continue 2/3 of a mile Then go cross-country SW, then SE to Spanish "Mountain. We were all having lunch on the peak by 12:30pm. We spent an hour there admiring the view. The Palisades looked like you could reach out and touch them, and was especially moving after having walked so many hours in deep forest. Spanish Mountain is at 10,051 feet and offers a spectacular drop off and view to Kings Canyon.
We were back at the cars at 5:00pm for an extended happy hour. The Spanish Mountain roadhead has a convenient wide unpaved and dusty camping/parking area where we spent the night.
On Sunday morning we left the camp for a drive over to the Three Sisters roadhead at the west end of Courtright Reservoir at 8,400 feet. This day was 15 miles round trip, about 2500 feet of gain and took us 8 hours. We started at 7:45am, arriving at the peak at 11:45am. We hiked on a trail to Cliff Lake. There we headed west about 10 miles cross-country to the peak. At the base of the peak we ascended a rocky gully, then north to the summit. The register is located on the most southerly and highest of the 3 sisters at 101619 feet. At 12:30, after a great 45 minute lunch with great views of the Palisades, we retraced our steps to the cars, arriving at 3:45pm.
Those joining us for Saturday and Sunday were Bob Michael, Donn Cook and Dan Ehrenfried. Brian Smith and Rhoda Gilson did Spanish Mountain with us on Saturday and went off to do Tehipite Dome privately on Sunday. Mary Motheral joined us for Sunday. It was a great weekend. Thank you to Ron Young for being an excellent co-leader.
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