There was a forecast of "slight chance of showers", but as we hiked in from Mineral King to Crystal Lake, the weather worsened. After we dropped our packs at the lake, half of the team decided to scout Amphitheater Pass. As we were cutting through the cliff band, we were caught by hail. My frigid hands clung to the wet granite like a pair of starfish.
After a drippy night, the sky lightened but the sun didn't rise. There was a break in the weather, so we made the dash up to Mineral Peak. It was Mike's first Sierra Nevada summit. He deserves congratulations for capably and confidently reaching this class-2 destination.
As we were hiking down the trail in the rain, we met a party hiking uphill. They were spelunkers heading for Crystal Cave. The weather is always the same when your sport happens underground. We passed them by the old Chihuahua silver mine; they scoffed at the idea of entering a hole that had been dug by human hands.
On our hike we encountered many deer. There was still plenty of browse for them. Gooseberries and currents were abundant in Mineral King. In addition to the deer, we also met a sage grouse and a frisky young bear.
The trip photo, by Dara Hazeghi, tells the whole story of our wet weekend at Mineral Peak and Crystal Lake.
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