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Ascent of Alta Peak on 2017-10-21

Climber: Garrett McLean

Others in Party:Bill Carpenter
Alexey Stomakhin
Date:Saturday, October 21, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Alta Peak
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:11204 ft / 3414 m

Ascent Trip Report

As is becoming usual, I met Bill after work on Friday to head out to the Sierra. This time Alexey also joined us, which was great for many reasons, not the least of which is that he has the equipment and skills to snap some seriously nice photos. We arrived at Lodgepole at 11p. Bill had been told that only one loop and its eight campsites would be available. We were greeted with a "full" sign at the entry to the campsite, and after some investigating concluded we'd have to camp in the parking lot. It was a chilly night (27°F in the morning), but we enjoyed some of the Orionids before catching a bit of sleep.

We hit the trailhead for Alta Peak a bit before 8a. It was a late start, but nobody wanted to bag Silliman the same day, so there was no rush. I found the ascent to be a bit boring. It's all trail, much of it in the forest, so it's beautifully pleasant but monotonously easy. When we got above treeline we were able to appreciate what an exceptionally clear day it was. Alta has fantastic views of the Great Western Divide and the usual excellent westside views into the Central Valley. We could even see Mounts Ritter and Pinos. After a photoshoot, we hiked back down.

We returned to Lodgepole, hopeful we'd find a more legitimate place for celebration and sleep. We found that Bill had been misinformed; additional campsites were available for "self-registration." We also met another camper seeking a campsite and ended up sharing one of the last available sites with her. Turns out she's a chemist. I'm pretty sure nerds disproportionately love the outdoors. As daylight waned, we decided to visit General Sherman in the Giant Forest sequoia grove, which was truly awesome. Returning to camp, we feasted on wine, cheese, crackers, chips, salsa, veggies, and polenta. I was pleased to not need my freeze dried meal.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Garrett McLean
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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