By: Patty Kline
This was an SPS Intro Trip led in conjunction with Wilderness Travel Course (WTC). Joe Wankum, a great guy to lead with, was my assistant. The group met at 8:00 am on Saturday at the Convict Creek Trailhead. It is located under a mile N of Convict Lake next to a large paved parking lot. The Convict Lake Road turnoff is off of Hwy 395, 10.4 miles N of Tom's Place and 4.4 miles S of the Mammoth Lakes turnoff.
I led the group past the N shore of Convict Lake (7580') up the spectacular Convict Canyon with groves of trees and exposed rock cliffs. About 3 miles out the remains of concrete pilings from 20 years ago were all that remained of the bridge that had been built and rebuilt. You are on your own here with make-shift boards. Several people took a hand across the worst part. Early and midway in an El Niņo year such as this, it would be impassable to most people. 5 miles from the trailhead we arrived at Mildred Lake at 9900'. Here the group had lunch before crossing a well built bridge and then ascending the switch backing rail in a little over 1 mile to the shelf containing Lake Dorothy at 10,275'. Here the trail continues going right or N to Lake Genevieve and Edith Lake. We took the left branch to Dorothy. Another 1 1/2 miles found us at the very scenic S end of the lake and level spots to camp for our party of 15 in the trees. The blue of the lake and the volcanic red of the mountains made a great backdrop for our happy hour. A food contest with first, second and third prizes were given to the best entries. First prize -a post card of SPS peaks was won by John Brunton for his special Italian bread. Jason Lynch won baby wipes as second prize for his completely intact large cherry pie. Bruce Rorty won a small box of cigars as third prize for his tequila shooters. Statistics for the day were 8 miles and 2600' of gain.
Sunday about 7:30 am we left for the peak. Three participants signed out and hiked to the cars that morning due to bad knees, etc. The remaining 12 of us did the peak. It is interesting to note the first ascent was by Norman Clyde on July 3, 1928. Using the Lake Dorothy and Lake Genevieve trails, we got to the Edith Lake tail. We eventually went cross country climbing, the S side of Bloody Mountain up to the SE ridge to the top at 12,544'. This is listed as class 2 on the SPS List and varius climber's guides, but I found it to be class 1. On top while enjoying a great view of Ritter, Banner,the Minarets and other peaks, Bruce and several of us smoked the cigars he won. A shorter way down to camp was found that connected to a trail at the S end of Lake Dorothy right by our camp. This trail wasn't on the maps I had. The round trip from Lake Dorothy was 4 miles with 2400' gain.
The total statistics for the weekend were 20 miles and 5000' of gain. The participants were Ed Morente, David Cairns, Rich Gnagy, Sufang Chen, Bruce Rorty, Isabel Labrada, John Brunton, Cheryl Gill, Steve Denzler, Rita Cwalina, Marianne Grossman, Jason Lynch and Gary Bowen. It was a really nice weekend.
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