Bringing Treats to the Table

Originally posted on the WPSMB on 3-10-08

There are some days, despite not making it to the top, that are worth the work and effort just to see what’s out there.

My buddie, Dave, who’s a leader in the Long Beach section of WTC, was coming up with his group as the first wave of WTC Snow Camp hit the Eastern Sierra this past weekend. They were camping along the way to South Lake, so I decided originally to make a go for Table Mountain, the big plateau separating South Lake and Lake Sabrina.

But of course, there had to be a Moosie twist: as I was day hiking, and had my usual ‘light’ pack  , I loaded up a small sled with some goodies and hauled it in to their camp Saturday morning:

As the sun rose, the wind really picked up, and it was pretty demoralizing to see the spin (however beautiful) pouring off the top of the ridge:

At least it made me not want to climb the ridge I had chosen by myself. Poop. Oh well, change of plans. After Dave and I enjoyed the Moose Service of hot coffee, I decided to hang around the vicinity of the group as they headed for Tyee Lakes. The train left the station around 9:

…which was nice from a trail-breaking standpoint. All the students were the ones doing the work! We got to a nice slope in about 2 hours, and the group stopped for lunch and to do some pit digging. From there, I headed up towards the Lakes to see how far I could get before coming back to camp.

The snow quality was, well, still extremely variable, partly due, I’m sure to the winds we’ve been having. Strange, though, since it’s been really sunny and warm lately. But I was still postholing, in snowshoes, to my knee in most places and the powder was fluff on the east faces. The best consolidation I found was on directly exposed south faces. Period.

The region up to the Tyee Lakes is just pristine, and I didn’t see anyone’s tracks up that way at all. I ended up coming out above one of the larger lakes, looking west to the Thompson ridge:

The high point of Table Mountain was only about 700vf above me at this point, but it was 2:30 p.m. and time to head back to camp, dinner, and then out for me. At least I got to scout some really fun looking options for another day! Back in camp, I fired up the Coleman Camp Stove:

…and made myself some mulled wine. Perfect! Thanks to the group for letting me hang around a bit, and congrats to them on surviving snow camp!

Rest of the pics are here.



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