Rockhouse, Taylor, Sirretta

18 Oct 2001 - by Dee Booth

Most of us arrived at our designated camping spot next to Big Meadow in the Southern Sierra wilderness much too late to get a good night's sleep. Nevertheless we were up at 5:30 am and ready to go at 6:30 am. We drove down the road to the south Manter Meadow trailhead and at 7:00 am we headed off for the 7 mile approach to Rockhouse. The trail is good until about the time the creek turns south, the trail continues east. Losing the trail we headed up a gully and over a ridge at which point we could see the trail heading up to the saddle before Rockhouse. Our route had more ups and downs than the trail but may have been more direct.

We approached Rockhouse from the east side of the summit. There is a nice weakness in the face which is easily third class and offers some very nice scrambling. We were on the summit at 11:40 am. After some joking around, picture taking and lunch we headed down a ramp on the north side of the peak. We went around the west side between the two domes and descended. We found the trail and were able to follow it back to the cars which we reached at 4:30 pm.

We found a very nice campsite near the Sirretta trailhead which accommodated all our cars and Wayne and Sue's homemade RV. This area is a fire safe area so we could not have a campfire since we had not gotten a permit. Despite that we gathered around our respective stoves, made dinner and shared snacks. Being hearty climbers we were all off to sleep at about 8:00 pm.

Sunday started at 6:00 am and we took off from the same trailhead at 7:20 am. Our first destination, and as it turned out our only destination, was Taylor Dome. We took the Taylor Meadow turnoff a short way down the south Manter Meadow trail. After a short hike we reached the ridge leading to Taylor Dome. We decided to try going over to the south side of the ridge and traversing on that side. This turned out to be slippery sidehilling on sand covered granite slabs on a rather steep slope. This is not the recommended route. Traversing on the north side of the ridge is slightly shorter.

At the end of the ridge we headed up a steep hillside which put us a bit too far east from the summit which is recognized by a cross on the top. A short backtrack lead us up to a plateau below the rocky summit. From this direction the best approach is to scramble up to a small gap in the summit block then turn left and another easy scramble to the top. We were on the summit at 9:00 am.

Our descent took us down the north side of the peak to a gully. Bob made a beeline for the Rockhouse trail instead of going back to the Taylor trail. This we followed back to the cars which we reached at 10:40 am. A resounding lack of motivation to climb Sirretta caused us to decide to call it a trip and go home.

The group's participants were co-leaders Bob Suzuki and Dee Booth, Chris Franchuk, Jim Ramaker, Arun Mahajan, Sue Gygax, Wayne Martin and David Underwood.

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