MT. LYELL (13,114') 2X, MT. MACLURE (12,988'), AMELIA EARHART PEAK (11,982') July 21-23, 1988

Being an official scheduled trip by the local Sierra Club, I needed photos from the top of Mt. Lyell, the highest peak in Yosemite National Park. We skied this peak back in early April, 1974, me without a camera then.

The leader was highly inexperienced, not knowing how to carry an ice ax on his pack. I had to show him. This time, we really did not need any special gear, but they are recommended. We started the weekend backpack at Tuolumne Meadows, and hiked south on the John Muir Trail.

I captured the sights, and then we began the climb up the hill at the far end of the canyon. There was smoke in the air. Coming to base camp, I was refused my choice of campsite far from water. I had a water bag, but they all did not.

Up early for the climb, we hiked up to the glacier. They seemed to insist on a bad route directly over the glacier. I knew a better and easier way, so signed off and then they followed. I found the class 3 section by my old memory, and we scrambled up to the rocky ridge. Some used a rope.

Topping out on a beautiful day, I began to capture the views. We stayed for a long time, with no one else to bother us. I recorded some pages from the register, and did place a book. It was back down the short class 3 section, then two of us wanted to bag Mt. Maclure. The weather began to deteriorate, but we made the top with pictures. The others had gone back to camp.

We descended back to the glacier and rocks, then it started to drizzle. We ran into another Sierra Club group from L.A. and chatted a bit.

Back to camp, we had a campfire, and the leader's feet were heavily blistered. He applied moleskin.

The next day, we left camp to hike to the top of nearby Amelia Earhart Peak. I had to sign off again, as I wished a direct and fast way to the top. Since a weak hiker was along, they tried to keep the route to class 1. I shuttered my photos, and left the group to head back to camp. Backpacking out in another drizzle, I was back to the Meadows to see a sunset, and noted fresh snow at about 8,000 feet elevation. Home that night, I was back to town and work. The rest of the group packed out the next day, and toured Mono Lake.