5/3 my buddy Matt and I left the Bay for the Eastside Spring Ski Hwy, 395. Slept on a couch in Mammoth and kept moving the next morning. It's a long frickin' way from Oakland to the top of Mt Williamson via <A HREF=http://www.sierradescents.com/stories/2005/approach01.php> its infamous approach.</A> Picked because it sounded like a big pain in the ass, it was a good replacement for our winter-long-hoped-for trip up Mt Brewer. Next year!
Couple of things. It's just huge, massive. And you park ridiculously low, 6,500. Trail to snow? Nah. Thanks but no.
That point on the right? Nope, not the summit. It's out of sight behind the sub peak, and back a ways. And up, always up.
After 3 hours of hiking up, over, and down sand & gravel slopes, under tree branches, off angle with a wickedly unwieldy pack, we had a net gain of 800 ft.
Good thing for that HI time alpine start.
1000 feet straight up brings you at last to a snow gully ~8500,
and eventually up into the enormous cirque. Amazing.
Finally, after 8 hrs, set up camp just over 11K on an obvious bench with a great view east to the valley and up to the top of the cirque.
Another HI time alpine start Friday, and we were heading for the summit. Good thing we got to 11K to camp, but it was a long, long way up, and over, and over, and up and back to the summit. A perfect day, but soft snow by 10 a.m. slowed progress. Snow was totally solid below a few soft inches.
Summit view is amazing, Tyndall (our plans to loop over & down the superbowl thwarted by thin skin & my system failure), Whitney,
and even over to Brewer. Boarding was soft but fun. Legs were ok, head was not so good at this point.
Went back to camp, tossed, slept a bit, and came back to life. With our traverse out, we decided to head out Saturday and go explore elsewhere.
Trip out took about 5 hours, hurt more than the way in. I can't believe we smiled - at the obvious notch (Richins route).
After driving up to Rock Creek, we camped across 395, enjoyed a great sunset, standing on dirt, beer,
and a quick morining run @ RC off Mt Starr
Could've used one more day along 395 for sure. Guess will just have to head to Saddlebag.