Went on another solo alpine scrambling adventure... most likely the last one of the season! I was on a mission to go place the cache for the Tuolumne Meadows Hut, so we can go back this year to SLAY it again. I didn't know what I should do while I was up there, but I've had Mt. Lyell on my list forever... so I decided to look into the logistics a bit more. Mt. Lyell is the highest peak in Yosemite NP at 13,120 feet. It's also quite a significant peak as it's the headwaters of the Tuolumne River and an SPS section Emblem peak... for those that care. As soon as I started looking into Lyell, I found Leor's TRs which has him doing Maclure and Lyell in 9 hours RT, so I figured I should give myself 12 hours and decided I'd want to leave by 6 am.
I also noticed that Florence is pretty close (as the crow flies) and figured I could do a loop if I did Florence after Maclure. According to my rough calculation, if I could do 4 mph (15 min miles for 6 hours = 24 miles) on trail, and I could manage 2 mph X-country (4 hours), that would be 10 hours of moving... then add 3 hours for some lunch breaks, water stops, summit selfies, etc.... so if I started at 5 am, I should be back by 6 pm to catch the sunset on Cathedral range...
Enough banter... I'll let the pics portray the rest of the day...
|placing the cache... it's the red bin in the back. Looks quite empty this year... due to the Gov't Shutdown?|
This is what I looked like for the day (summit shot on MacLure with Lyell behind). I tested out my Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s (I like the colors, but they failed... so I sent them back). The hat and gloves were key... it was cold.
|Bear tracks... pretty much the only sign of life other than bugs, fish and birds I saw all day.|
|My first view of Mt. Lyell (just left of the tree), and Mt. Maclure (to the right).|
|Start of the X-country. That's the Lyell - Maclure notch in the middle.|
|Mt. Lyell with Maclure in the middle.|
|Must be a stake from this survey? http://www.nps.gov/yose/parknews/lyellglacier.htm|
|Mt. Maclure's scramble. .. coming up next|
|For some reason there were a ton of dead bugs on the Lyell Glacier.|
|The scramble up Lyell. I was sick of the postholing... so this was a pleasant change.|
at this point my camera died.... it was quite windy on the ridge... and I was cold. And I had to choose between scrambling up wearing gloves or with numb hands. I chose gloves.
|Lyell! Top of Yosemite!|
|Looking SW towards Banner, Ritter and Rodgers peak.|
|Thanx Anne for making those tracks on the Lyell Glacier for me to follow... kinda...|
|Looks like there is a route on the S. Face of Lyell. Definitely much steeper than the West Ridge... couldn't see much from the ridge, but it definitely looked like a trail.|
|The overhanging block on the west ridge of Lyell|
A good shot of the X-country portion of my route... that's Mt. Florence to the left, and Mt. Maclure to the right. I wasn't sure if there was going to be a straightforward route between Maclure and Florence at this point...
|Pano with Mt. Maclure in the middle|
|Looking down the class 2 scramble down the west ridge of Mt. Lyell|
|Pano with Mt. Lyell in the middle|
|Looking back at Mt. Lyell from Maclure. Just follow that Western Ridge|
|Looking down the Maclure Glacier and Maclure lake and the half frozen lakes above.|
|Sean O'Rouke... the 14ers speed record holder. http://drdirtbag.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/california-14er-speed-record-62h3m/|
|Vern! A Sierra Legend!|
The first of my 2 rice balls. I also had 4 boiled potatoes, a bunch of cliff shots, gu, and a variety of bars to fuel me for the day. Didn't have to resort to my Perpetuem blocks... ugh
|Looking back at the W. Ridge of Maclure. I wasn't sure if there was a route here...|
|a quick 3rd class scramble takes you to the top of the ridge between Maclure and Florence.|
|When I saw this at the top of the ridge instead of a sheer cliff... which I was expecting, I hollered out loud! Very stoked.|
|Lake between Maclure and Florence. A nice spot with a beach on the eastern shore. Mt. Florence straight ahead...|
|didn't bother treating water on this day... especially at this lake.|
|Check out this couloir on Florence... Yowza!|
|There are some fun overhanging blocks near the summit of Florence to hang out on.|
|Nicki Bluhm! I can't go for that....|
|The north face of Florence|
|Another summit pano.|
|The easy portion of the scrambling off of Florence. Looking back up where I just came... actually quite runnable.|
|the lake above Florence Lake. Gets my thumbs up as a place to bunk for the night...|
|I was quite stoked to be here...|
|Half Dome in the middle...|
|I was quite happy to see the trail by this point. It's mentally tough to be X-country in the dark... solo...|
|Beautiful sunset... too bad I couldn't enjoy it a bit more...|
a few min til sunset... from Vogelsang Pass. Vogelsang Peak just right of middle... Florence peak to the left. I was dreaming about adding on Vogelsang peak to make this a 4 peak day if things were going better than planned. Alas...
|bye bye sun...|
|At Vogelsang High Sierra Camp... now if these places didn't cost $175 a head, I'd stay there...|
7:55 pm - put Kai down after giving him a bath, brushing teeth, changing diaper...
8 pm - frantically packed the cache for the Tuolumne Meadows hut
9 pm - found out that the battery in the car is dead.... jumped it...
10 pm - left my house
2 am - found a place to pull over to nap...
4 am - my alarm went off...
6 am - arrived at the TM hut... placed the cache
6:30 am - after a morning poo, started running down the trail...
7:26 am - mile 5, sunrise
9:30 am - mile 12... start of X-country...
11:30 am - top of Lyell
12:30 pm - top of Maclure
2:45 pm - top of Florence
5 pm - mile 20, finally back on the trail... those 8 miles took 7.5 hours!
6:21 pm - mile 24, sunset
8 pm - back at the car... 31.4 miles.
12 am - back home...
1 am - asleep.
7 am - awake...
8 am - dropped off Kai at daycare
9 am - back at work.
Here's the strava link: http://www.strava.com/activities/91041209
- Leor's TRs - his blog has been my no. 1 inspiration for my adventures this year.
- Lyell and Maclure http://pantilat.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/the-roof-of-yosemite-lyell-maclure/
- Florence http://pantilat.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/mount-florence/
- I usually add about 20% to his times to estimate my times.
- SummitPost - always worth a look, especially for any route beta/pics...
- Bob Burd's TR - this guy has climbed everything...