Mount Gilcrest, Mount Warren

5-Sep-92 (SPS Introductory Trip)

By: Gordon MacLeod

A storm Thursday night had dusted the Sierra with snow above 10,000', but all traces had melted away when the 15 participants (remarkably, there weren't any no-shows!) met at the trailhead at the east end of Lundy Lake on a clear, windy Saturday morning. This weather prevailed all weekend. The 2000' backpack up spectacular Lake Canyon was mostly on an old mining road. The picturesque campsite at Lake Oneida, in a scenic hanging glacial valley, was reached in time for lunch. A "free" afternoon provided opportunities For exploring the upper canyon, checking out the evidence left from historical mining activities, gathering wood for the welcome campfires and socializing.

On Sunday, the gully draining westward into Crystal Lake was used to access Mt, Warren's southwest slope. All l4 starters reached the summit, and ten of us continued on to Mt. Gilcrest (11,560'), a mile and a half to the north. The First-time participants did very well on this moderately strenuous trip, developing their rock-hopping skills on the seemingly endless fields of various size talus encountered on this approach to Mt. Warren. They rightly celebrated their achievement at the evening campfire and expressed their intentions to climb more peaks!

Most chose to backpack out leisurely on Monday, while six climbed Pk. 11,911', the high point of the Tioga Crest, via the approximate route of the Dare Pass trail, west of the head of Lake Canyon. Although this trail shows on the 1950 edition of the 30' Mt, Lyell tape, little trace remains. (In 1882, 16,000 pounds of heavy mining equipment was hauled on snow over this pass to Bennettville, a mining camp near Tioga Lake. The Tioga Pass road was built from the west to this town the following year as a better route!) Several bighorn sheep were spotted some distance away along the Tioga Crest. The originally scheduled Mt. Scowdan, while of historical mining interest, is better approached from the northwest. Information on these and other Inyo-Mono county mines can be found in "Mines of the Eastern Sierra" by Mary Dedecker.

In addition to the leaders, participants were Tom Brazell, Sally Frumkin, Bill Gray, Keats Hayden, Barbara Lilley, Dale Matsuda, Susan Miller, Sherry Miyazono, Ryan and Bill Ransey, Leah Russ, Boris Savic and Les Zak. About half were non SPSers. Special thanks go to Roy Magneson, who handled all the paperwork:, while Gordon and Barbara were away for the summer bagging peaks in Colorado and Utah.

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