Lone Pine Peak

31 Dec 1999 - by Ron Norton

I decided to take advantage of the dry "La Nina" winter and try to sneak one more sierra peak into the 1999 season. So at 4:00 a.m., I left my (warm) home in the Antelope Valley and headed for the eastern sierra - my plan was to day hike Lone Pine Peak.

After a quick drive up 395, I was on the Meysan Lakes trail at 7:00 a.m., and after a pleasant hike arrived at the small unnamed lake just below (northeast) Meysan Lake. Secor recommends taking a chute which starts at Meysan Lake, but the broad chute which angled to the left (east) of my location looked like it would work. While this route did get me to the summit ridge, I can't say it was a lot of fun, in fact it sucked - lots of sand and scree mixed in with an occasional loose boulder. Also, the low winter sun angle prevented the sun from shining on this side of the ridge, so I was getting a little chilly. After one false summit (referred to as an "observation point" in a previous trip report), I was at the summit register at 12:00 p.m. By now the wind had picked up a bit, and I was feeling the effects of a quick ascent from near sea level. So I had a quick lunch and headed back down.

I did make one slight error on the way down which is worth mentioning. Instead of returning via the ascent chute, I chose a chute that was just northeast of my ascent route - it was marked with a cairn and there was evidence of previous descents, so I figured it would probably go. Unfortunately, this chute (and several others to the southwest) all end in cliffs. Since I didn't have a rope, I had to traverse over several steeps ribs before I found a safe descent route.

The hike back on the trail was uneventful, and I reached my truck at 3:45 p.m. A majority of the trip was on dry ground. What little snow I did encounter was less than 8" deep (wind drifts) and easy to negotiate in hiking boots.

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