Mount Morgan #1
By: Darrell Lee
This trip was led by Darrell Lee and assisted by Ed Lubin. This was a provisional lead for Darrell and was billed as a intro trip with the SPS. 6 participants showed up on time at the trailhead at the Rock Creek trailhead for a total of eight including the leaders. The participants included Mike & Cindy Runyan, James Biggs, Jim Hansen, Howard Gross, Jacques Brunier and the leaders.
We leisurely backpacked 4 miles and about 1,200' gain on trail to Francis Lake where we found a small lake with a flowing stream, many excellent tent sites and a fantastic group gathering area complete with fire circle, wind shelter, wood fire grill, rock gr log benches and a very clean primitive camping area.
After setting up camp, in the late afternoon, Ed Lubin and 2 others got out their fishing gear and fished in the lake and Ed and Darrell caught a total of 3 nice sized wild trout. Afterwards, we commenced with our "garbage bag salad" in which everyone brought at least one type of vegatable and Darrell supplied the dressing. `We gorged ourselves on the delicious salad which included 2 types of cheese, lettuce, mushrooms, brocoli, tomatoes, carrots, celery, green onions, cauliflower and as a special treat, some had wild green onions with flowers that were found in the area all this topped off with a delicious honey dijon dressing. The dinner that followed was also a gourmet's delight.
The potluck dinner featured chips & guacumole, Howard's stuffed grape leaves as appetizers, Darrell's linguine w/fresh mushrooms and wine sauce, Mike & Cindy's gourmet spicy vegetable soup noodles and the group was stuffed before the other dishes (Beef Strogonoff, fresh trout, stir fry vegetables and more) could be prepared so the chefs were asked to hold off so as not to waste the food. The icing on the cake so to speak was the French cheese cake that Jacques contributed brought smiles to all the group.
All the participants headed for the Mt. Morgan South summit at 8:00 a.m. The navigation was very straight forward as the peak was in plain view from camp. The weather was excellent and there was very little snow remaining in the area. The climb consisted of mostly talus and some scree where some contouring to a ridge that we followed for a while then some more contouring to another ridge where we had to climb to the eventual summit before noon. After everyone signed the register and soaked up the fantastic views of the surrounding mountains, lakes and streams, we headed back to camp with visions cold brews and sodas awaiting us at the cars. After signing everyone out, a few of us stopped off at a hot springs for a quick soak before stopping for dinner in Lone Pine and the crux of the climb, the long drive home.
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