Foerster Peak, Electra Peak
By: Scott Sullivan
Elena Sherman and I picked up our permit at the Tuolomne Meadows Permit Station, which now opens at 7am. I thought it opened at 8, so it was 8:15 before we hit the trail. We parked by the permit station since I didn't know you could drive a half-mile to a closer parking lot near the lodge. We hiked in approximately 17 miles and 3000' of gain to where the Lyell Fork crosses the Isberg Pass trail, dragging into camp a few minutes after 8pm.
Due to our late arrival and long first day, we left the next morning about 7:30, later than planned. We followed the north side of the Lyell Fork, passing both lake 10217' and the two lakes at 10400' on the north side. From here we left the drainage and headed directly to the small lake just below lake 10999'. At this point we broke out ice axes and headed mostly on snow up the north west bowl of Electra. We eventually climbed out to the west ridge near the summit, which was reached at 2pm. This route is class 2. There was no register, but fortunately Tina Bowman had provided me with a register to take. The canister was still there. Rodgers seemed too far to get back to camp in daylight so we decided to leave it for another time. We returned the same way to camp.
The next morning we retraced our steps up the Lyell Fork, but crossed the creek with some difficulty at approximately 9500'. We headed south to the first saddle immediately east of Peak 11210', then traversed onto the northwest ridge of Foerster. The greatest difficulty encountered was class 2. Once on the summit, lassitude started to set in. Although Florence was beckoning, we lounged for an hour and a half on the summit, then headed back to camp to get a start on the hike out. On the way down, we found a much better crossing just below Hutchings Creek.
Split over two days, the hike out was much more enjoyable. We also had to contend with lots of mosquitoes, including a few even on the summits. All in all it was a pleasant first Sierra trip of the year for us.
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