Tuolumne Peak

27-28 Jul 2002 - by Debbie Benham

Another beautiful weekend up in Tuolumne Meadows! Some haze from controlled fires, but, all in all, magnificent views from the summit of Tuolumne Peak. Last year at this same time, I advertised a hike up this very same peak, but, as fate would have it, I developed shin fractures and was not able to climb. So, once again, I set out to summit Tuolumne Peak with wonderful results.

Actually, this is the first time in a long time, that, the four days prior to the hike, about half the folks cancelled! But, it just worked out -- someone would cancel, and the next day, someone would call and want to come along. We started out about 9am from Murphy Creek trailhead following the signs for Young Lakes. Allen Hu lead our eager group: through the forest; up the switchbacks; and finally resting at some tarns just below the saddle on the ridgeline to Tuolumne Peak. On the way, fields and fields of wildflowers greeted us: alpine goldenrod, lupine, Mariposa lily, alpine monkey flower, and shooting star. As we headed cross country, I was reminded by Allen and Leo, who had both done this peak, to 'stay left'. Glad they mentioned it! If they hadn't, I would have gone to the high peaked thing to the right. Anyway, Vishal was first on the summit (that young whippersnapper), jumping from rock to rock to get there:-) Seemed to take a long time to return to our cars and Anna remarked, "I don't remember all of this"! Funny how things look different when just changing direction! We figured out about 15-16 miles with an elevation gain of 2400'.

Back at Tuolumne Meadows campground, we had wonderful appetizers and ate 'til stuffed. From wood purchased at the store, Julius started a fire and even cooked his dinner of sausages over the flames! Lots of stories to tell around the campfire and some quite adventurous (thank you Dana!).

The next day, Allen Hu, lead some of the gang up Mt Hoffman while a couple of us stayed behind and wrestled with the Jay's and chipmunks at May Lake. Those who summited Hoffman said it was still hazy, but, not too bad. Another glorious day. Just before leaving May Lake, we drank some of the High Sierra Camp's fresh lemonade -- delicious.

Thanks to all who came and special thanks to Allen Hu for being the lead on both peaks. A great group of peak climbers and what more could you ask for?

Participants: Leo Alaniz, David Altmar, Debbie Benham, Vince Coito, Julius and Anna Gawlas, Allen Hu, Dana Isherwood, Carmen Izquierdo, and Vishal Jaiswal.

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