Our departure have been delayed by the late arrival of the commuters from the Bay Area, but finally we left the Cathedral Peak Trailhead in Tuolumne Meadow heading along Budd Creek toward our destination. We have lost one participant, and our co-leader. Both have fallen sick just before the trip. Arriving at the base of Echo Peaks (our destination) we have started to climb them in the order from the higher number to the lower. Along the way we skipped the more technical peaks concentrating on the class-3 peaks which were more suitable to our large group. Having some time left, we set up ropes on #6 and everybody had a chance at the summit.
The Echo Peaks is a collection of 9 beautiful summits, each could have crown any 13'er or 14'er in the Sierra Nevada. Instead they are all concentrated in one small area, only 3 miles from the trailhead. They feature solid rock, beautiful High Sierra scenery, and plenty of climbing at all levels. We got to do 7 of them -- starting with number 8, then 7, 5, 1, 2, 3, and then finally with the more technical #6. We celebrated Nancy's and Maxym's birthday with a bag of cookies on #8 and then again (with another bag) on #5. All in all, we spent 6 hours climbing the summits, taking our time to thoroughly enjoy each summit, never having to descent or regain significant elevation. It was like eating the frosting without the cake 7 times over.
Participants: Arun Mahajan, Chris Kramar, David Altmar, Jim Ramaker, Joan Marshall, Maxym Runov, Nancy Fitzsimmons, Scott Kreider, Tom Driscoll, and scribe Ron Karpel.
Special thanks to Jim Curl who was instrumental in helping with the organization, but unfortunately had to bail out at the trailhead, because of the bug.