Mount Izaak Walton
By: Greg Gerlach
I left Los Angeles at 2:45 p.m. for the long drive to the western side of the Sierras, arriving at the Bolsillo campground at 9:30 p.m. The campground is conveniently located adjacent to the ranger station, which put me in a good spot for picking up my permit the next day.
The next morning I waited anxiously for the ranger station to open at 8:00 a.m. Since I was the only person in line, I was soon out the door and making the drive to the Vermillion Resort located at Edison Lake so that I could catch the 9:00 a.m. ferry. The boat makes one trip across the lake in the morning and a second trip across the lake in the afternoon. The $15.00 round trip fair did not seem out of line considering that it saves about 5 miles of hiking each way.
The ferry left a little late, but it did not matter since I had all day. Upon arriving at the other side of the lake I promptly started hiking up the trail on my way to the peak. I headed east on the trail, eventually meeting up with the John Muir Trail. I continue hiking north up the trail, passing Pocket Meadows along the way, to the 9600-foot contour line shown on the topo map. I left the trail and headed eastward cross-country, eventually meeting up with the stream that drains the basin located southwest of the peak. I hiked up this isolated and beautiful basin to Lake 10,800’. I took all of my overnight gear out of the pack, which I left at the lake, and then headed up the southwest slope toward the peak. The climbing was mostly class 1 except for a little class 2 along the way and the class 2 summit crags. It took me about one hour to make the summit from Lake 10,800. The summit register was placed in June of 1985 and is about ¾ full. The only other party to summit this year was a Wilderness Adventure group on July 20, 2002.
I started down from the mountain at 4:00 p.m., arriving at the lake where my overnight gear was stashed in about ½ hour. I scooped up me gear and headed down the basin. I had originally planned to camp along Silver Pass Creek, but the water was not flowing and all I could find were pools of stagnant water in the creek bed. I finally found an acceptable camping spot along Mono Creek just below Pocket Meadow.
The next morning I packed up my gear and headed for Edison Lake to catch the 9:45 a.m. ferry. I had about one hour to wait, so I caught up with my reading. Once the ferry arrived it was a ½ hour ride to the Vermillion Resort where my car was parked. The drive home was long and tiring, especially the road to Huntington Lake because of the long line of slow moving vehicles with boats. I made it back to Los Angeles at 4:30 p.m., with plenty of daylight left to clean up my gear and start thinking of the next trip. Trip statistics: 14 miles round trip and about 4,500 feet of elevation gain.
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