Matterhorn dayhike via Horse Creek Trail.
(96 feet short of a vertical mile)

10 Oct 2004 - by Harry Langenbacher (view roster page)

I left home in Orange County at 430 am Saturday to beat the traffic, and got to Bridgeport 6 hours later. After a visit to the trailhead, and then a 30 minute tour of the town on foot, I lazed around my motel room to make up for 2 nights lack of proper sleep, and to aclimatize at 6500 ft..

Amit Bedajna's trip started Sunday morning about 7 am from the west end of Twin Lakes. We summited about noon, with Amit, Ted Lenzie, Janet Brewster, and Alan Brown.

This is an SPS "Emblem" peak with a beautiful view from the summit. It was sunny, with no snow, but a little bit chilly and windy on top. This was fine dayhike for a strong party. Car to Car in 9 hours flat with only about 4 rest stops. Daryn Dodge started with us, but his goal was Whorl, and he split off from us alone, at Horse Creek pass.

At Mono Village, parking is free for dayhikers, but you have to pay if you're staying overnight, or you car will be towed away. Go through the S.E. corner of the campground past a couple of campsites (RV sites) before heading across the streams on a couple of bridges. Amit had been this way before, and knew how to stay to the right for the "false pass" just inside the Hoover Wilderness after our 1st short break.

Here, there are multiple use trails. About halfway up this hill, everyone went up the middle, but I went right, up a well worn set of little switchbacks, but I ended up too far right at the top, and had to cross left over boulders to get back to the group.

After resting just before the ridge, we crossed into Tuolumne County (Spiller Creek Drainage) a little west and above the low point of Horse Creek Pass, and on the return, we crossed back over into Mono County even a little higher up the ridge.

The final SE slope has many use trails. Avoid going up the leftmost way in steep , loose sand and scree. You can go up the right on rock and firmer scree, or up the middle through vegetation and just to the right of a little gendarme in the upper middle part of the slope. Near the top, just above the gendarme, go left a couple hundred feet to a little notch with a view to the south. Don't go down through the notch, but go up a little to the right toward the summit, up steep solid rock about 60-100 ft. to the the nearest part of the summit ridge. Then a couple hundred feet easy scramble up the ridge to the rocky summit. If this route description doesn't make much sense, don't worry, it's not hard to find the way. I came down the steepest, sandiest scree, just south of the little gendarme for several hundred feet before going left (north) to parallel the watershed ridge. One more break in a sunny meadow before crossing the ridge back out of Yosemite National Park, and it was almost nonstop back to the cars. A quick dinner in Bridgeport with the happy, successful climbing party, and then I was on my way home to Fullerton by midnight.

See my pictures.


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