Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 8:18 pm Posts: 270 Location: Bishop, Ca
I started at Saddlebag pretty early in the morning. The trail around the lake is almost completely melted out. After that it's just one giant swamp to get to the snow.
looking down on the glacier and the swamp below:
the Harding Route on the SW face:
West Ridge and Southwest Face of Conness:
Looking back at the snow area and the north side of conness:
the line on the (lookers) left has a big bergschrund, but I was able to get around that on the (snowboarders) left side, as there is a chunk of snow that links through. Can't say how much longer it will be there for.
The Y appears to go top to bottom without a problem, and everything else has cracks big enough to swallow a few houses.
The snow is pretty good, considering it's almost August. The suncups aren't very big and everything has consolidated so that it isn't that slushy anymore, even in the late afternoon. From what I could tell there was no ice showing or forming anywhere.
From the snow, getting through the swamp to Saddlebag Lake was horrendous. Swarms of mosquitos, like nothing I've ever experienced in the Sierra, and mud that kept trying to pull my shoes off. I didn't bring bug spray because I thought "as long as I keep moving they won't get me".
That plan didn't really work out. Using my hat as a bug-swatter didn't really work either, and trying to run with a snowboard on my back was asking for trouble. But it's supposed to freeze this weekend, so hopefully that will help.
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:56 pm Posts: 424 Location: Meyers, CA
The West Ridge of Conness is a classic. I assume you stashed your board on the summit plateau while you climbed. That's a great idea to add a different descent to that climb, although the skeeter/mud report sounds pretty rough.