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Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes

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Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 01, 2010 04:21PM
Thinking of Mt Conness this weekend via Young Lakes and then, according to Secor, a class 2 climb from there to the summit. How hard is it to get a permit for Young Lake right now, considering it's a holiday? Also has anyone been up there lately? Was thinking of middle palisade out of big pine, but coming from SF, conness is alot closer.

Thanks

Roland
avatar Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 01, 2010 04:54PM
Roland,

Young Lakes will probably be difficult to get, especially on a weekend. Another option is going in via Saddleback Lake and coming out via the Young Lakes trail. This would require a Hoover Wilderness permit if doing an overnighter. Last option is doing Conness all in one day from Saddleback Lake with no overnight.
Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 01, 2010 05:32PM
I didn't climb Mt. Conness, but I spent two nights at the uppermost of the Young Lakes two weekends ago with my fiance (Aug 21-23). We were able to get a permit even late in the week, but the trailhead was almost full. We actually went in on the trail starting past Lembert Dome (Young Lakes via Dog Lake or something like that). It was extremely windy at the lake on Saturday night and quite cold. It had been overcast all day. The skies cleared on Sunday and wind was variable throughout the day. Overnight there were some incredible and sustained gusts. Then on Monday it had warmed up enough for a quick swim (really just a dunk). Incredible bunches of columbines were blooming on the opposite shore among the talus.

We met another backpacker who had climbed Conness from Young Lakes. He headed up early on Sunday, I believe. He said the high winds made him pretty nervous, especially on one ledge just below the summit. He said that he didn't really feel that it was a class 2 at that point. The wind, especially, was what made it feel a bit sketchy, he said, but apparently it also seemed a bit exposed. I'm not a climber and haven't ever done any peak bagging, but I thought I'd report what he told us.

Take warm clothes for Young Lakes just in case you get that wind. Beautiful spot, and the hike through the meadow below Ragged Peak will blow your mind with the views. We definitely lingered there way too long considering our late start at the trailhead. :-)

Have fun and safe travels!
Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 01, 2010 07:19PM
Thanks for the input. for some reason I always thought Young Lakes would be an easy permit to get, but it looks like I'm wrong. Yeah Nancy, that's good to know about the route exposure. In Secor's book, as well as Summitpost, they claim that near the summit, the class 2 route has some exhilarating exposure (drop-offs), though the climbing itself is still essentially class 2. If I can get a permit i'll definitely be bringing my down jacket; as well as my mid-weight baselayer, shell, gloves, etc.. I usually bring those anyway. So I imagine the wind kept the mosquitos at bay, though how did you tent hold up?

Hey Dale, we got to Mt Russell and my friend was concerned about some of the down-climbing, so I thought rather than climb 1500 miserable feet of loose scree to even get to the plateau and the east ridge proper only to turn around, I suggested the Mountaineer's Route on Mt Whitney, also done from the north fork of lone pine creek. He got a little gassed though and didn't make it. i think it's more physically demanding than russell, steep, but not much serious exposure. Plus I think he had some lingering cold or bronchial infection. I'm going to sign up for a guided climb of russell. Easy money for them since I've already been up to 13550. It's just the last 500 feet I'd like to be roped up for, plus I can get more experience with the whole running belay concept.

As far as young Lakes, if I can't get a permit, I was thinking of the middle palisade out of big pine, but the glacier you need to travel on to get to the class 3 route might be a little too icy this time of year. I don't have any real glacier experience. Maybe I can try Lyell, permit-permitting. Have you done that yet? I know you were thinking about it.
Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 01, 2010 10:12PM
The tent held up great. I don't think stakes would have held it down, though. I was glad I had used a different setup exploiting some of the many heavy rocks in the area. We had a somewhat sheltered bivy site, but that wind howled, and any part of the tent that could flap was definitely trying to do so all night. We were parked close to a boulder on my side of the tent, so I couldn't stake out my vestibule, which made a bit of noise, but it was fine. We left the other side of the tent open despite the cool temps.

All of the peak-bagging stories on here are so great. I'm not quite there, but I've definitely been physically and mentally challenged with off-trail travel in the Sierra. I love it (especially later on when I've made it back onto flat ground safely!). :-)

Hope you have a great trip, wherever it ends up being!

On edit: Regarding Young Lakes, a ranger told us that it's gotten rather popular of late. There were no fewer than four other parties up there on both of the nights we spent. It was a bit too front country feeling for us, to be honest--we generally seek out backcountry seclusion--but we had planned to go off trail rather than spending two nights there. Anyway, get into the area early-ish if you want your pick of the best bivy spots.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/01/2010 10:18PM by Nancy.
avatar Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 02, 2010 12:36PM
Quote
Nancy
On edit: Regarding Young Lakes, a ranger told us that it's gotten rather popular of late. There were no fewer than four other parties up there on both of the nights we spent. It was a bit too front country feeling for us, to be honest--we generally seek out backcountry seclusion--but we had planned to go off trail rather than spending two nights there. Anyway, get into the area early-ish if you want your pick of the best bivy spots.


Sounds like all of you were at Lower Young. Even so, with 5 groups equally spaced from the SW to N around the perimeter of the lake, you could have 0.1 mile separation between them. Also, on the NW side of the lake, you can easily go back 0.2-0.3 mi from the shoreline and find nice spots. (More shelter from the wind there also.)

Most likely, there was nobody camping at Middle or Upper Young. (With the wind howling, Upper Young would literally be a blast... although there are a few, hardy trees up there.)
Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 13, 2010 08:55PM
Sounds like all of you were at Lower Young. Even so, with 5 groups equally spaced from the SW to N around the perimeter of the lake, you could have 0.1 mile separation between them. Also, on the NW side of the lake, you can easily go back 0.2-0.3 mi from the shoreline and find nice spots. (More shelter from the wind there also.)

Most likely, there was nobody camping at Middle or Upper Young. (With the wind howling, Upper Young would literally be a blast... although there are a few, hardy trees up there.)


We were surprised that there were so many at the upper lake that weekend, too, especially given that the wind was screaming up there, which was why we mentioned it to our ranger acquaintance. You're right about the few, hardy trees. Everyone had headed for those or had nestled in among the large rocks.

For me, 0.1 miles to another campsite is way too close. Even 0.3 miles feels crowded at some lakes when there are more than two parties present or when there is limited cover. We really like solitude, I guess. :-)
avatar Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 01, 2010 06:55PM
Roland, since u did Echo #3... Conness "should" be no problemo at all for you.

Since there are two ways in getting a permit to Young will probably be do-able if
it's only u and a buddy.

Good luck

(btw... how'd Russelll go?)
avatar Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 01, 2010 06:57PM
Young is full for reserved permits for a number of days in a row from right now.
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/wildpermits.htm

There is an additional quota of 12 per day FCFS though.

Good luck
Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 01, 2010 07:34PM
Hey Dale, have you climbed mt lyell? I know you were thinking about it.
avatar Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 01, 2010 09:18PM
Quote
from_mars
Hey Dale, have you climbed mt lyell? I know you were thinking about it.

Not yet. In that area-ish only have gotten up Isberg and Foerster Peaks this year.
Hopefully soon but I probably will end up having to solo-ing it with the bird for various reasons.
Route I really want to take is into Bernice and then to MacClure via "Hell Hole" and
then up Lyell.
Mt. Clark is high on the list too...

Obviously I need to get out more ... Rolling on floor laugh
avatar Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 01, 2010 09:44PM
Quote
bill-e-g
Obviously I need to get out more ... Rolling on floor laugh

That pesky job holding you back?
avatar Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 02, 2010 07:04AM
Quote
eeek
Quote
bill-e-g
Obviously I need to get out more ... Rolling on floor laugh

That pesky job holding you back?

Nope. Just too many options...
smiling smiley
avatar Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 01, 2010 09:57PM
Part of the class 2 area: (this isn't the exposed part though)





Old Dude
Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 01, 2010 10:16PM
Looks like class 3 to me unless there's a trail in there somewhere.
avatar Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 02, 2010 12:40PM
There is a trail sort of but I hang on anyway. The first time I did the skinny part of Clouds Rest I was on my hands and knees.



Old Dude
Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 02, 2010 03:47PM
In the event I can't get a permit for young lakes this weekend, does anyone have any idea how difficult the east ridge is from saddlebag? Looking for class 3 at most, and many of the trip reports are routes that are somewhat technical.

Thanks
avatar Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 02, 2010 04:26PM
Bill-e-g and I did the McCabe Lakes from Saddlebag via the Steelhead and Cascade area and it was pretty much a walk up. I don't think there is an easy way over to Young Lakes from the Saddlebag area. Someone may know better though.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 02, 2010 05:04PM
Roland,
Rather than repeat what I've said before... maybe give this a read:
http://www.yosemite.ca.us/forum/viewtopic.php?t=815&highlight=conness

The first 4 pix are routes abt. Conness (the link changed from when I posted)
http://picasaweb.google.com/dale.dekeyser/MoreJunk?authkey=Gv1sRgCKT5tcr4qrS6Jw#

Also been up Ragged and White and to Skeleton Lakes since then.
Anyway, it's all good.

Have fun
avatar Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 03, 2010 12:26PM
I'm not sure but think it was Len that went up Roosevelt Lake and over the pass to Upper Macabe Lake in the last year without difficulty. It's kind of a round-a-bout way but going over the pass from Steelhead Lake to Upper McCabe Lake and over the next pass to Roosevelt Lake and then to Conness from the bottom end of Roosevelt Lake is a possibility if you can't get a permit. Makes for a very long day round trip.
Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 13, 2010 06:35PM
Finally made it to Mt Conness. Was going to climb it on labor day, but saw alot of people in the park, and decided to head through to Big Pine and try Middle Palisade (didn't make it, but the south fork of big pine creek is awesome). After humping up 3000 feet with a full pack just to get to the approach as in Middle Pal, I decided this week to stay at Sawmill Campground instead, where I had to carry my backpack all of about 200 yards, and than on the following day I'd try Conness' East Ridge route. Went a little high on the East Buttress and ridge. Seemed like an endless act of climbing sideways traversing that section. Could've gone a slightly different way up to the first bench where there was a small tarn, but from below it didn't look like any class 3 climbing possible. There probably was, but what the heck, I did more climbing than I intended. Got to the junction of the east ridge with the summit plateau at a notch in the ridge that allows you a great view to the north and the conness glacier. It's about 20 x 20 ft wide x height. I have to say though, this part of the climb up to the plateau looked intimidating. But as usual, once I started climbing on what seemed pretty vertical, everything worked itself out, and there were plenty of ways up. Alot of small very steep use trails in sections, but preferred to climb on solid rock up this massive section and head for what seemed the only way up and over. I'd save the use trails for surfing back down. Got to the plateau, and there it was, the summit with it's curved catwalk. Two things I got all wrong on first viewing the summit. First, it looked like the climbing was done once on the plateau. It looked as if the way to the top was relatively shallow, and that actual summit was not much higher than from where one would start climbing the final section to the summit. Second, I figured the summit was massive. not as big as Whitney or Half Dome, but big. Well, once I got to the base of the summit, it was apparent that there was still some climbing to do. The summit catwalk is quite a ride as well, exhilarating, with several exposed sections. Nothing that really stopped me, or even slowed me down really, but something that demands your attention and respect when navigating those sections. And than when I finally got to the summit, I was surprised at how small it was. There were seven of us up there, and it was a little bit of a squeeze. I actually like small summits because you feel like on top of something. We all noted alot of smoke coming out of the hetch hetchy area. Was there a fire out there sunday? Anyway, the views were incredible. Met a very nice couple from Mammoth, and climbed down with them. We met a few guys coming up. Unfortunately one of them froze at the first exposed section, and his mates seemed a bit nervous as a result. The couple from Mammoth tried to coax him up, because they had met him earlier in the Sawmill parking lot, but no go. I can relate though. Before I started climbing/backpacking, and had a sense of my abilities on rock, and an understanding of the incredible grippiness of the granite, like glue, I would've probably froze as well. I'm not very brave.

Went down with the couple from mammoth because they missed the the turn-off up to alpine lake that morning, and ended up following the east-side trail all the way around the plateau and coming up what they thought was a boring class 2. I showed them where to drop down the east ridge/plateau junction to the notch. From there instead of taking my long-winded traverse back across the east ridge and buttress, we dropped down to alpine lake. Beautiful lake. From there we managed to find a very faint use trail down a relatively steep section to the main meadow and the Sawmill/Saddlebag trail. We got back and they invited me to what I always thought of as a kind of truck stop for over-priced gas down on the junction of 395 and 120. Turns out they have live music, a lively crowd, excellent beer, and apparently gourmet food. I had the fish tacos, and they were great, though honestly, after a couple days of backpacking food, it's all gourmet. But it was a genuinely fun place to hang out and kick back a couple of brews after a good climb. They were surprised I had never eaten there. I guess it gets rave reviews in many of the national travel guides.

Oh, and when I got to Sawmill on the first night, it was full, but the host was leaving for a couple days on family business, and said I could stay in her campsite if I wanted. So long as I didn't mind people asking me for firewood or toilet paper. No worries I said. I thought that was very nice of her. All in all a very good trip. Thanks for all the good input.
avatar Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 19, 2010 09:14AM
Roland,
Good deal. Purty Cool.

Me wents up Lyell w/ Billy boy via Hell Hole. Def. more challenging than Conness.
Of the 4 "groups" that were there too of dem no even try.





Chick-on is looking at you!
Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 19, 2010 10:14AM
Great stuff,

Lyell is definitely on my list. Any route details? I'm assuming that's McClure in the background. Did you gain the summit via the Lyell/McClure saddle, and how much glacier travel did you do? I was going to try for Banner Peak this week out near Mammoth, but might be persuaded to do Lyell. What trailhead did you take?

Great photo. any more posted?

Roland
avatar Re: Mt Conness via Young Lakes
September 19, 2010 06:28PM
I didn't dayhike it. I actually came in from Elizabeth TH and traversed Johnson to start the day...
had lunchy at Reymann then zigged over to Bernice Lake the first night.
Second day over Hell Hole then up Lyell and Maclure. Third day over to Parsons and down
Hanging Basket and out Rafferty.
Main goals were touching Reymann and Maclure Lakes on my Yose Lake quest and
getting up Lyell.... that's why I went that way even though it's way more elevation gain.

Bunch o pix here annotated for you enjoyment. (beautiful weather... as usual...
I think I got about 4 rain drops on me the entire year so far in about 20 times going..
but.. lots o smoke in the air and not a lot of clouds to make the pix more interesting.. )
I drew in some of the pix the route that I went. Barely touched the glacier.
Others were traversing the glacier and I saw two people coming up the east arete.
Most headed to the col. Maclure was fairly trivial. Pretty much stayed on the
ridge the entire way up and down. You'll really enjoy Maclure. Not a lot go up it
for some reason. It's definitely worthy.
Anyway:

http://picasaweb.google.com/yosemite.chick.on/Lyell

Shout out to da Moozie whose set o pix I saw of Lyell and pushed me over the edge to do this.
Tanks
(maybe she wants to post her link or say something about her climb)
(she dayhiked both) smiling smiley



Chick-on is looking at you!
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