DONNER PASS GRAND SLAM 3X July 22, 2001
In bad need of exercise, then fortunately for me, the Great Basin Group of the Sierra Club was leading a hike to Tinker Knob via the Pacific Crest Trail. I have established a good four peak day routine to do over the last two years, so sought to repeat this personal climbing event.
I took my buddy Rex who drove us up to the PCT trailhead near Old Donner Pass. We met the Sierra Club group at about 9 a.m. Our group of 12 began the hike at about 9:15 a.m.
It was another beautiful day in the Northern Sierra. Another group of hikers shared the trail with us. We hiked up to the shoulder of Mt. Lincoln, and we had taken many short rests. The trail was clear where there had been snow in past years. I took pictures as we progressed along southward on the PCT. One backpacker said he had come from Mexico! Anderson Peak makes a fine peak to head for. The wildflowers were past prime, but some made for good pictures still. Because I was with a group, and slow today, our time to the top of Tinker Knob was about four hours.
I had greatly enjoyed seeing the picturesque stands of Mountain Hemlock along the trail.
Another group climbed up the knob ahead of us, and there must have been some twenty hikers on top enjoying the view and the fine weather. I shot our group summit photo and a movie clip (1.1 MB, 0:10, 320 x 240 pixels) for e-mail to whomever wanted a copy.
We had signed in the register, then began down at 1:56 p.m. and hiked back north on the PCT. I wanted to do all of the peaks, so went for Anderson Peak. Two others sped ahead of me, and I came to the top alone at 2:45 p.m. The classic Sierra Club cast aluminum box remained there, as ever since I first climbed this peak. I placed a new book, and then scrambled and slid down the scree use trail to Benson Hut. This Sierra Club built backcountry lodge was in good condition, with one other hiker there inside. This is available for overnight stays for a modest sum, reservations made at the Club's Clair Tappaan Lodge along Old Donner Pass Road.
Other hikers were going for the top from here.
The Sierra Club group was to wait for us, but most hiked on as we were seen descending. Rex waited, and we hiked back together, catching up with some at Mt. Lincoln. I thanked the leader for the fine trip, and then headed solo up the Mt. Judah Loop Trail to bag both the high bumps of this third peak.
I was feeling like a lead weight, but continued. Two other hikers were sitting on the south summit of Mt. Judah as I got there at 5:07 p.m. A pole with prayer flags fluttering was new to me.
Coming to Donner Peak's rocky summit at 5:51 p.m., I checked the register there. Two of my old large books were mostly full. I packed the loose materials into a large plastic baggie, and took out an old dirty sock someone had left. This summit needs an ammo box and a new, big book. The old, small, tin box was falling apart, and I will have to get a larger container for these records going back to 1999.
Leaving the top of Donner Peak at 6:14 p.m., I hiked back down to meet Rex at the car, who waited patiently for about an hour and a half, by 6:59 p.m. We drove straight home, missing a large Interstate 80 traffic jam I had seen from the peaks.
The total stats for me today were some 16.5 miles with 4,000' gain round trip. My poorer performance points out my need for losing weight and getting more conditioning. I shot some 119 digital images worth, total, today.
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