Mt. Lola: a great hike on Father's Day weekend

17 Jun 2000 - by Tony Cruz

The five of us, Aaron Schuman (fearless leader), Pat Ibbetson (fearless co-leader), Cynthia Schuman, Chris Macintosh, my 11-year old daughter Candice and your faithful scribe met at Andy's, a Pullman Car restaurant in Truckee. A few of us had a heavy breakfast and some only coffee. We then drove a half-hour or so north on Highway 89. After taking a paved side road west for a few miles, our leaders consulted a road map and Patrick's guidebook and we turned onto an unpaved road. Patrick managed to find a reasonable way to get within a mile and a half of the peak. He and I ferried the other climbers, who left their low-clearance vehicles behind. We parked next to a stream flowing through a lovely meadow and began the hike at about 10:30 a.m. I managed to bump the bottom of my van on a rock, cracking my transmission fluid pan, which I had to replace upon my return to the Bay Area. Later in the summer when the snow melts, a fine trail will appear leading all the way to the top of Lola (9,100 feet). But on our hike the trail soon disappeared under snow and our leaders guided us through the forest up to the south ridge of the peak. We stopped for a snack at an obvious clearing a few hundred meters below the summit. It offered shade, dry ground, fallen logs for sitting, and great views of the still-snowy peaks surrounding us and two reservoirs to the south. Aaron helped Candice up some steep snow and around noon she made it to the top-- her first SPS summit. Chris was feeling energetic and wanted to do "North Lola" but decided against it. After about 25 minutes we started our leisurely hike back and returned to the vehicles about 4 hours after we started walking. Mid-June turned out to be a great time to do this easy peak. We enjoyed great weather and it was fun to hike on firm snow. After our return to the vehicles, the members of the group went their separate ways to celebrate the rest of Father's Day weekend. My thanks to Aaron and the rest of the group for making Candice's first Sierra peak such an enjoyable and memorable experience. Thanks to Pat for taking on this trip as a PCS leadership check-out.

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