Sierra Mountain Center

California’s premier mountaineering school and guide service – Bishop, CA

Sometimes its more about the across: Yosemite High Route

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On April 10th, Nick, Sung, and Tom joined me for a great five day adventure along the eastern boundary of Yosemite National Park.  Normally, this tour follows the Crest from Mammoth Mountain to Tioga Pass, but a breakable crust made for challenging ski conditions and we decided to exit to June Lake instead.  Still, it was five full days of beautiful scenes.

To see all of the photos from this trip, you can see my Picasa album HERE, or Sung’s Picasa album HERE.

We sorted out gear in Mammoth | Photo Sung Byun

We sorted out gear in Mammoth | Photo Sung Byun

The trip started from Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort | Photo Sung Byun

The trip started from Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort | Photo Sung Byun

It snowed all day and into the night, but we found bare ground under the giants near the Shadow Lake trail junction | Photo Sung Byun

It snowed all day and into the night, but we found bare ground under the giants near the Shadow Lake trail junction | Photo Sung Byun

We woke up to clear weather on day two | Photo Chris Simmons

We woke up to clear weather on day two | Photo Chris Simmons

The second day was characterized by the long, slow climb up to Thousand Island Lake | Photo Chris Simmons

The second day was characterized by the long, slow climb up to Thousand Island Lake | Photo Chris Simmons

Banner Peak dominated the skyline at our Thousand Island Lake camp | Photo Sung Byun

Banner Peak dominated the skyline at our Thousand Island Lake camp | Photo Sung Byun

On the third day we crossed Thousand Island Lake, climbed up to Island Pass, then skied down to Waugh Lake | Photo Chris Simmons

On the third day we crossed Thousand Island Lake, climbed up to Island Pass, then skied down to Waugh Lake. But instead of climbing up to the Lost Lakes, we decided to camp at Waugh Lake for two nights and then ski out to June Lake | Photo Chris Simmons

Our camp at Waugh Lake | Photo Sung Byun

Our camp at Waugh Lake | Photo Sung Byun

On day four chris, nick and sung took a day tour up to Lost Lakes Pass while Tom rested in camp | Photo Sung Byun

On day four Chris, Nick and Sung took a day tour up to Lost Lakes Pass while Tom rested in camp | Photo Sung Byun

Lost Lakes Pass | Photo Chris Simmons

Lost Lakes Pass | Photo Chris Simmons

The ski down from Lost Lakes Pass to our camp at Waugh Lake was one of the highlights of the trip | Photo Sung Byun

The ski down from Lost Lakes Pass to our camp at Waugh Lake was one of the highlights of the trip | Photo Sung Byun

On the last day we got an eary start and crossed Waugh Lake | Photo Chris Simmons

On the last day we got an early start and crossed Waugh Lake | Photo Chris Simmons

Unfortunately the water level at Gem Lake had been recently lowered, causing the ice around the rim to be too fractured to cross.  Instead we had to take a circuitous route around the lake to the damn on the far side.  Hard snow and steep slopes made it impossible to stay by the lakes edge as well, making more work for us climb up and over several hills | Photo Sung Byun

Unfortunately the water level at Gem Lake had been recently lowered, causing the ice around the rim to be too fractured to cross. Instead we had to take a circuitous route around the lake to the damn on the far side. Hard snow and steep slopes made it impossible to stay by the lake's edge as well, making more work for us climb up and over several hills | Photo Sung Byun

The extra work circumnavigating Gem Lake didnt stop Nick and Sung from catching a few more turns during our last break | Photo Chris Simmons

The extra work circumnavigating Gem Lake didn't stop Nick and Sung from catching a few more turns during our last break | Photo Chris Simmons

Sung took the last photo of the trip looking down at Agnew Lake from the Gem Lake damn.  We were able to traverse just downhill of the damn to the north side and gain the trail down to Agnew Lake.  From there we followed the old cog rail line down to June Lake | Photo Sung Byun

Sung took the last photo of the trip looking down at Agnew Lake from the Gem Lake damn. We were able to traverse just downhill of the damn to the north side and gain the trail down to Agnew Lake. From there we followed the old cog rail line down to June Lake | Photo Sung Byun

Chris Simmons is an AMGA Certified Alpine Guide and a guide at SMC since 2003.  More about his adventures can be found at his own website, Climb.Ski.Run.Sleep.Repeat.

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Written by Chris

May 14, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Posted in Backcountry Skiing

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