|Melting snow by a frozen lake at 11,000 feet.|
|Storms in the distance along the PCT.|
I took off last Friday morning at 4:30 am and by 7:30 am I was at the permit office in Lone Pine. No problem getting a walk-in permit for the Cottonwood Pass trail.
Cottonwood Pass seemed much easier than NAP and within two hours I was chasing the incoming storms to Soldier Lake.
After taking a few winter trips in the local San Jacinto mountains this winter I was excited to take a real Sierra winter trip. For my first real winter experience in the Sierras I decided to start from familiar ground, the North Lake trailhead near Bishop. The plan was to cross the Sierra Crest at Piute Pass, then cross the Glacier Divide at Alpine Col and finally back over the Sierra Crest at Lamarck Col. I had four days and three nights to make the loop on snowshoes.
|Driving out of Bishop for some big mountain adventure.|
|Tehipite Dome from Windy Ridge.|
On day 4 we got an early start and began contouring north toward Windy Ridge. It was easier than I expected to route find through the sparse forest. I was mostly eager to climb the granite passes and ridges, but the early walk through the forest was peaceful and reminded me of the many fall trips I enjoyed as a kid in the San Gorgonio Wilderness.