Ski Mountaineering

Koip, Piute, Volunteer and Pettit

Aug 12-18, 2000

Reiner Stenzel

This report describes another weeklong Sierra peak climbing adventure, mostly in the northern Yosemite N.P.

On Fri, 8/12, I drove to Warren Cyn on the Tioga Pass Road where I spent the night. At 6 am I drove up to the Mono Pass Trailhead and hiked up to Spillway Lake. After a short dip I continued over Parker Pass, then down to the icy Parker Lake, and up many switchbacks to Koip Pass. From there it was a short XC cl 2 ascent to the summit of Koip Pk (12,979'). there were fine views of the Alger lakes and Mono Lake. I signed the register, took pictures and had a second breakfast on a sunny day. After a fine break i returned the same way, reaching the car by 6 pm. A fine climbing day has to end with a good dinner which I had a Nicely's in Lee Vining.

On Sunday, 8/13, I drove to the Bridgeport Ranger Station to get a wilderness permit for the next adventure, climbing three remote SPS peaks in Northern Yosemite. Ruth von Rotz joined the climbing spree. We started at Twin Lakes on the Robinson Creek trailhead. we made it only till Barney lake since I came down with food poisoning.

On Mon, 8/14, I felt stronger again and we ascended from Barney Lke via Peeler Lke past Kerrick Mdws to Arndt Lke where we camped. Next morning, 8/15, we hiked over Seavey Pass (9,200'), then down the PCT to 8,400' where we left XC in the direction of Piute Mtn. After a long diagonal ascent we reached the ridge and a cl2 route to the summit (10,541'). It was already 5 pm and a long way down to Benson Lake where we arrived tired around 10 pm.

On Wed, 8/16, we took it easy, caught fish for breakfast, and then headed up with a light pack toward Volunteer Peak (10,479') near Smedberg Lake. Although Volunteer's north face looks impressive its SW face is an easy climb. At 2 pm I signed the peak register from 1972, then headed back via the Rogers Lake trail to Benson Lake. We arrived just before darkness by 8 pm. One should not underestimate the terrain and distances in this area.

Next morning, 8/17, I left at 6:30 am for Pettit Peak while Ruth took a rest day. In two hours I was near Volunteer, headed up to beautiful Rodgers Lake, around its N and S shores below Regulation Pk, climbed into the saddle and up cl 3 blocks to the summit of Pettit Pk (10,788'). Signed the peak register at 11 am, loafed till 12 noon and then returned reaching Benson Lake by 3:30 pm. It was too windy for fishing and swimming, but the lake and surrounding scenery were really gorgeous.

On Fri, 8/18, it was calm. I caught 4 trout for breakfast and then took a swim in the lake. This provided energy to reclimb Seavey Pass, then hike along the long Kerrick Mdws to Peeler Lake where we made camp at 5 pm. At sunset the mountains lit up red and reflected in blue Peeler Lake.

On Sat, 8/19, after a short dip into the lake we headed down and out. By 3pm we had lunch, then I took off over Tioga Pass for a long ride to Redwood City.

See scanned pictures below (click for larger images):

Back to Trip Reports
Back to SMS Home Page