The first snow of autumn crusted Tuolomne Meadows as we set out for Vogelsang Peak. Though PCS groups often do this 18 mile, 2900 foot trek as a weekend backpack, we tried it as a day hike. A superbly maintained trail took us from our campground up to our lunch spot at Vogelsang Lake. Some straightforward class 2 hiking took us from the lake to the summit in about an hour. The peak commands a huge area, and the views were stunning. The Cathedral Range, the Merced Basin, and the Clark Range laid before us, and in the distant north we could see as far as the Sawtooth Range.
David Wright, Dee Booth, Robin Ross, John Cordes, David Lou, Scott Kreider, Marilyn Hurley, Bob Bynum, Nancy Fitzsimmons, Brian X, and I made the ascent. Trip organizer Cecil Magliocco missed the summit because she went back home with a sore throat. A few others who camped with us skipped the hike.
Back in camp Saturday evening we celebrated David Lou's fiftieth birthday. I'd say Vogelsang Peak was a pretty impressive accomplishment for such an old dude.
Sunday, September 15, a smaller group set out for Mount Gibbs, but by the time we reached Mono Pass, we decided that the strong winds would make us miserable up on that barren ridge, so we declared the weekend a success and went home.
Bob Bynum adds:
Although Cecil Magliocco didn't go on the hike on Saturday, she and several others went on a little geology field trip. Cecil, her two children Joseph and Joanna, their friend Tammy, and Gretchen Luepke took a trip to Mono Lake. Gretchen, a geologist with the US Geological Survey since 1967, gave a professional perspective.
They visited Pantum Crater, the South Tufa Towers, had a picnic lunch in a county park near the North Tufa Towers, and visited the new Mono Lake interpretive center. The interpretive center features a short movie on the history and geology of Mono Lake and has many displays on wildlife and geology in the area. It is located on Highway 395 a few miles north of Lee Vining and is well worth a visit.
This car camp was a success for the non peak climbers because they had some interesting nature related activities that they could do.