I went to the East Side to climb Mt Muir. What I got was a taste of the coming winter, that and the summit of Whitney.
|Not what you want to see when you're going up there. The East Side, from Lone Pine.|
Mt Muir is considered by the Sierra Club to be one of California's fifteen 14,000 summits. It is the first real prominence north of Trail Crest on the Whitney Trail, and the 300+foot scramble to the summit goes at a steep and exposed Class III. Regarding my failure to reach the top of Muir I will simply say that Class III is Class III until it's not, and in this case having two inches of powder snow on every climbing surface tipped my risk-reward ratio into the red. I spent a good hour fifty feet under the summit, trying to find a way. Rats. I'll just have to come back when it is snow-free. I gave up and went over to Whitney for some summit time.
My day on the trail went well, routine, unremarkable. It's a big, long day. Everybody knows this. My total time on trail came to 13:20. I think this was my 12th time on Whitney and 7th or 8th time on summit.
|Whitney Trail at the JMT|
|Where I got stalled and gave up on Muir.|
|Sure it's Class III, just not with snow all over it. Mt Muir.|
|Wind blown snow, Whitney Trail|
|Ice sickles on prayer flags, the Smithsonian Hut.|