Amelia Earhart Peak (11982 ft)

20 Aug 2005 - by Arun Mahajan

We are so not doing the list.

When I joined the PCS, I did not sign the clause in the contract which forces PCS members to do the SPS list. I gather that Scott Kreider also did the same. So, rebels without a clause, Scott and I started off at the Dog Lake trailhead in Tuolumne Meadows at 7am for Amelia Earhart peak. In about two hours, we were at the 5.6 mile marker and the junction that marks a fork, the right one going to Ireland Lake and the left into Lyell Canyon. True to our rebellious selves and also since it was the direction to go, we choose neither fork and went dead center towards Potter Point, a slabby ridge terminus.

The uphill climb is steep and through a forest. Once we got past the trees, we started angling left, avoiding the slabs and thereby keeping it real (real class-2, that is). After traversing unnecessarily long we decided to head up to the ridge on the right and found ourselves quite a bit further away from the top of Potter Point. This ridge that has Potter Point on one end, terminates on Amelia Earhart Peak at the other and is the NE ridge. There is a sharp drop in the ridge and then it climbs over some nice slabs and ends at a talus field from where it is a short walk to the summit. We summitted at 12.20. It was a beautiful day, there are great views of Koip, Kuna Crest, Ritter, Banner, Lyell and Maclure. To our right was Ireland Lake and Parsons Peak, another candidate for those not doing the list. It is apparently a county high point. Every peak is on some list. Thus spake some minor prophet, also a rebel.

We left the summit at 12.55 and decided to not go back down the way we had come up, rebels that we were. So, we angled down by the easier terrain on the right of the afore mentioned sharp drop point on the ridge. All went well 'til we hit a forest. We knew that we had to drop down to get to the trail (Lyell fork). Our choice was to traverse more or drop down right away. We choose to drop down (rebels...blah blah blah). This got us into some steep slabs. We were able to negotiate it but it took more time. Definitely not recommended. Stay on the ridge. Finally, we got back on the trail about 1.5 miles further away on the Lyell Fork trail from the junction. It was plain sailing after that and we got to the cars just before 6 pm. An eleven hour day. It was longer than what the map lead us to believe. Rebels without a clue can be very busy too.

Nonetheless, this is a great excursion in the Tuolumne Meadows area. So, if you want to get in touch with your inner rebel-child and regain some of the trail cred that you lost in the corporate boardrooms and while chasing that list, then Amelia Earhart Peak is for you.

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