By: Alex Amies
The group met at 9 am Saturday morning at Mono Pass Trailhead, located about a mile west of the Tioga Pass entrance to the Yosemite National Park. We got a late start so that I could pick up the permit at the NPS Permit Office at Tuolumne Meadows. For overnight trips originating within the National Park the permit is obtained through the NPS even if the camp is in the Inyo National Forest.
As planned, we packed in to a campsite just over Parker Pass, over the boundary of National Park into Inyo National Forest. The hike was beautiful, especially the alpine meadows above the tree line near Parker Pass. The cheerful chat from our assistant leader, Patty Rambert, made the mood light.
We arrived at camp earlier than expected, about 12:20 pm. Instead of hanging around in camp for the afternoon the group wanted to attempt the peak that afternoon.
After lunch we departed for the peak at about 1:30 pm. The trail wound up a bunch of switchbacks on the slopes of Parker Peak. We got some great views of Mono Lake from the trail.
We left the trail at Koip Pass for a short and easy walk up the talus to Koip Peak, arriving at about 4 pm. After a short break we headed back to camp, arriving at about 6:30 pm.
The campsite was high (about 10,800 ft) and exposed. Luckily the wind was low. After happy hour we all got an early night and still slept in the next morning, some of us sleeping for over 10 hours. After leaving camp at 8:30 Sunday morning, we arrived back at the trailhead at 10:45 am.
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