Koip Peak, Mount Gibbs
By: Joe Wankum
Saturday, all eight participants climbed Koip, including WTC student Lisa Quane on her first Sierra peak climb. Sunday, five climbed Gibbs, while the other three settled for a view of the old mining activity east of Mono Pass. Markey and Robert Neighbors qualified for SPS membership on Gibbs. And Susan Livingston, who could probably have done the climbs in half the time, had a chance to develop and practice patience in putting up with a slow paced leader. It was a pleasure to have all of these, as well as Richard Whitcomb and Maria Montag on the trip.
Parker Pass: Saturday, with the temperature somewhere near the freezing point, the leader got in the permit line at 1:15 and fmally had a permit an hour and a quarter later. This resulted in a rather late, almost 9 am, departure from the Mono Pass trailhead (1.4 mi west of Tioga Pass and 5.6 mi east of the Tuolumne Meadows permit station). Mike Dillenback, on his first assist with the SPS, made up for lost time by leading the group over Parker Pass (6 mi, 1500’ gain) and down to a rocky camping area, somewhat out of the wind, in 3-1/2 hours.
Koip: After spending an hour for lunch and setting up tents, it was nearly 1:30 when the group left for Koip. The switchbacks that show on the map seemed to take forever, but the last of the group made the summit by 5 pm, and all were back in camp by 8:15. Most of the group shared food and stories for a short time before settling in for the night.
Mono Pass: Sunday, with I-leader Markey available and willing to assist, Mike bowed out of the climb to stay with the non-climbers. A 7:15 planned departure was delayed while one participant spent time searching for trash which had been stashed under a rock. After the lost items were found and hurriedly stuffed into a pack, the group hiked out to near the trail junction west of Mono Pass.
Gibbs: After dropping the backpacks, the group started the Gibbs climb at 8:30. A plan to climb to the west ridge, then the south ridge was changed when a trail was encountered part of the way up the south slope. The trail disappeared all too soon in the midst of loose, steep talus, but the group eventually made the west ridge, then contoured northeast up toward the summit. All were on top by 11. After a half hour for snacks, peak identification, and photos, the group descended by way of the easier west ridge for a brief lunch and time to repack.
Pack out: Around 1 pm, 0-leader Robert led the pack out. All were at the cars by 2:30, where a couple of rangers shortly arrived (with a chainsaw) and treated us to a quick (and noisy) demonstration of removal of a tree that had fallen into the parking lot.
I’d like to thank Markey and Robert for their assistance. And I’d especially like to thank Mike for helping plan and in joining to lead this trip.
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