Mt Gilbert

29 Aug 1999 - by Arun Mahajan (view roster page)

On Sunday, the 29th of August 1999, Scott Kreider and I, Arun Mahajan walked up Mt Gilbert. As walks go, it was rather long and our round trip time was a little over nine hours, five to summit, an hour of dawdling time at the top and the rest for the slog back to the car.

Starting at 7:40am at South Lake in Bishop and following the trail to Treasure Lakes, we were quickly at the top of the lower Treasure Lakes. The trail gets a little sketchy after the lakes but is clear enough till it gets lost near a short flat area where we took our first break to study the route near the right fork of a small stream. Continuing on further over boulders above this stream, we were at a tarn at approximately 11300 ft. Johnson was straight in the front and Treasure Col was to it's right. We climbed over the tarn on the right over more boulders heading to the ridge. One way to top this ridge is to do the Treasure Col but that looked unappealing due to the scree and sand so we picked a small rut in the rocks (it has a dark browninsh colour and is spottable if you look hard enough) to go to the ridge line. This was class-3 and surprisingly at the top of this was a cairn. There are many possible ways to get to this ridge line and ours was a nice clean route. Nothing loose on it.

We could see this ridge line, now climbing up but we stayed at the same level, traversing along and then we curved left and started the climb over sandy and talus ridden slopes towards the high point, the summit of Gilbert. It is best to traverse up and left till the ridge line and then one meets the gentler plateau of Gilbert that is easier to walk on. At 12:40pm we were at the summit. Lots of haze in the distance but good views of the nearby peaks. We departed after spending nearly an hour at the top.

The hike back down to the Treasure lakes was tedious and long but then it was trail all the way back to the placid waters of South Lake where the disjointed voices of the fisherfolk in their boats calling out to each other under the warm sun and the gently circling birds overhead evoked such strong feelings of timlessness and somnolent leisure that I did not want to ever return back to the madding crowd and the hectic life of the Bay Area.


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