Monday, September 22, 2008

Sierra Trip Report: Blacksmith and Picture Peaks

Huge. What is huge? Is Lake Mead a huge body of water? It depends. It's small compared to the Pacific Ocean. So when a route description says go through the huge notch, it might lead to confusion. It would be better to write, "go through the second notch from the right." This would be much better. However, the best way to describe the notch is with a photo and that's exactly what I do in all the 333 route descriptions in the Member's Only Club. See the above photo. When we first saw the notch to the right, the correct notch was not visible. Anyone who hikes or climbs in the Sierra knows you can't make navigational mistakes. They cost too much time.
Sierra Trip Report
Based on the above you have probably guessed we climb the wrong notch and did not make it to the summit of Blacksmith Peak. The area is sure scenic and there are many peaks near Blacksmith Peak for future trips. Now that we know the correct notch to climb, I think the rest of the route will be easy to follow, but you never know.
The cabins at Annette's Mono Village were rustic and adequate. Our cabin slept six ( four bunkbeds and one twin bed in a separate room). The cabin had a fully equip kitchen including a full size refrigerator. It was different from the cookie cutter motel rooms in Bishop and Lone Pine.
We did not make Blacksmith Peak due to confusion over the "huge" notch. This peak is located in the Sawtooth Range just north of Yosemite near the town of Bridgeport, CA. That evening we drove down to Bishop to spend the night. As usual we ate dinner at the Upper Crust in Bishop.
We were up and out of the motel by 5:30 am the next morning for our hike to Picture Peak. I believe you could have timed us with a calendar. We were moving slow. It was apparent after a few hours we would not make the summit and get back to Vegas at a reasonable hour. We took our time and hiked to Hungry Packer Lake, which has a fantastic view of Picture Peak.
As we stood looking at the numerous peaks we decided to make another trip here next summer. We will backpack in, camp at Hungry Packer Lake and bag Picture Peak, Haeckel Peak and Powell Point.
This weekend I am hiking to Mt. Wilson and doing the wild Ice Box Climb Out route. Next weekend I am in the Grand Canyon. See you at the summit.