The Hermit, Scylla, Mount Goddard, Mount McGee, Mount Goethe, Mount Lamarck


By: Greg Gerlach

Monday, August 26. Five people were interested in doing the trip when it was being planned, but when all was said and done only Bob Wyka, John Fisanotti and myself were at the Northlake trailhead at the designated time to start the trip. The group started up the trail towards Lamarch Col around 8:00 a.m. We made reasonably good time, arriving at the col around lunchtime. The descent was another matter, however, taking around 4 '/2 hours to get to our campsite located on the western edge of Darwin Bench near a large lake.

Tuesday, August 27. Bob, John and I were up at 6:00 a.m. and hiking along the trail at 7:00 a.m. towards The Hermit. Upon arriving at Sapphire Lake, we prepared daypacks and headed west over McGee Lakes Pass towards McGee Lakes. From the second large McGee Lake we made our way to the lake located southwest of The Hermit. The group started for the summit at 11:15 a.m., electing to climb the first chute located south of the summit to a notch. The chute had an abundance of loose rock, which took awhile to navigate safely. From the notch, we dropped down about 100-150' below the eastern ridge as we made our way towards the summit block, finally arriving on top at 12:30p.m. After signing the summit register the group made its way back towards the notch, staying just below the eastern ridge. Bob, John and I decided to descend to the lake by taking the next chute over from our accent route, which went very well because it was mostly sand. We retraced our route back to Sapphire Lake, than made our way to Wanda Lake for the night. The group found a nice campsite around 7:00 p.m. located on the western shore of the lake near the peninsula.

Wednesday, August 28. The group was up at 6:00 a.m. and hiking around 7:10 a.m. for the day's peaks: Mount Goddard for John and Scylla for Bob and I. We ascended to Wanda Pass, where John departed for Goddard and Bob and I headed off for Scylla. Bob and I descended to lake 11,592, going around its eastern shore. We continued on to lake 11,837, again going around the eastern shore of the lake. Bob and I prodded along to the lake located at the base of Scylla. We proceeded about halfway around the lake along its eastern shore, than headed up the northwest slope of the peak, summiting at 11:30 a.m. After signing the register, Bob and I retraced our steps back to Wanda Lake, arriving around 3:30 p.m. In the meantime, John headed west from Wanda Pass to the summit of Goddard, staying on the south side of the Goddard Divide. The route was primarily class 1-2 and he arrived on top around 12:15 p.m. After signing the summit register, John retraced his steps back to camp, arriving around 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 29. Bob and I were up at 6:00 a.m. and hiking toward Mount McGee at 7:00 a.m. Instead of climbing McGee, John decided to hike to our planned campsite located at the lake where we had spent our first night. Bob and I climbed over Davis Lakes Pass located west of Wanda Lake, then down the other side to Davis Lakes. We passed the first large Davis Lake along its southern shore and the second large Davis Lake along its northern shore. The extensive talus fields along the route made the going somewhat tedious at times. From the second large Davis Lake we contoured up to the large talus fan that emanates from the chute that leads directly up to the notch located between the middle and western summits of McGee. The route up the chute contained a mixture of decent class 3 rocks along the sides to miserable and loose class 2 scree. We ascended to the notch between the two peaks, than headed southeast along the ridge to the higher middle peak, summating at 11:00 a.m. Bob and I were only the second and third persons to climb the peak this year. After signing the register, we retraced our steps back to camp located at Wanda Lake, arriving around 3:00 p.m. Bob and I packed up our gear and headed off to our planned campsite at Darwin Bench, meeting up with John around 6:00 p.m.

Friday, August 30. Bob and I were up at 6:00 a.m., packed our gear and started hiking towards Mount Goethe by 7:00 a.m. Instead of climbing Goethe, John decided to hike to Lamarck Col and Climb Mount Lamarck. Bob and I climbed up toward the lower lake located south of Mount Goethe, where we prepared daypacks. We continued around the lake's northern shore and up towards the summit. The class 1 sand along the lower section of the peak and the class 2 talus fields along the upper section of the peak made the going some what tedious at times. Bob and I summited around 10:30 a.m. and spent about Y2 hour reviewing the summit register, which was placed in 1963 and is about 3/4 full. After signing the register, we retraced our steps back to the lower lake located south of Mount Goethe, picked up our gear and headed off toward the col. Bob and I made the col at 3:00 p.m., just in time to meet up with John after his climb of the class 2 south ridge of Mount Lamarck. It took John about one hour to get to the top of the peak from the col and 40 minutes to descend back to the col. From the col the group headed off towards North Lake, reaching the cars at 5:30 p.m.

Trip statistics: 45 miles and about 15,000 feet of elevation gain for Bob and myself and 40 miles and about 13,000 feet of elevation gain for John.

SPS Trip Report Index | Sierra Peaks Section