By: Ursula Slager
We called Campy the night before, andhe interrupted his weeding and gardening activities tojoin us on an early spring morning for a day-hike. We got to South Lake by 6 AM and took the pipe line (rather than the trail which starts behind Parcher's Camp) which saved about 1/2 mile and considerable elevation. There were snow banks in the trees, but the trail to Green Lake was fairly clear. Green Lake was just about half thawed out. We took the trail up toward Baker Lakes, because it was free of snow and rubble albeit slightly longer than the direct route up the scree. Then we left the trail and the remainder of the trip was mostly on firm snow. A beautiful, sunny and cool day.
We tried going around the peak 13,301' ridge on the right but found only loose rocks and steep ledges. Concluded that the fastest and easiest is to go over the ridge and down again, no matter ho distasteful. The final 500 feet were on snow. Ice axes were not essential but added to our confidence and safety. The final summit ridge had some unpleasant ice and steep snow, which we avoided by going down slightly to the right onto some friendly and dry rocks. After that, it was easy to regain the ridge and final summit. We were the fust to sign the register this year. The view was absolutely spectacular. Bishop Lakes, below, and Bishop Pass were all still pretty arctic and frozen over.
By now there was a halo around the sun and sundogs in the sky, and we left the summit for a leisurely trip backdown, while it got colder and nastier by the minute. Nevertheless, while Campy and Ursula managed to stay on top most of the time down, Don did a lot of pst- holing in the softening snow. Never got any (much needed) precipitation. The outlet of South Lake shows the bottom rocks and you can almost walk across it.
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