Mt. Hopkins from Lake Edison

9-11 Sep 2003 - by Ken Murray

This was a fun three day trip, out of Lake Edison. The climbing leader was Jim Clement, owner of Vermillion Valley Resort. We had 6 people, including two novices, the rest quite experienced. We drove up the nite before, and stayed the nite at Vermillion, a backpacker's haven. After a hearty breakfast at the resort, we took the water taxi across the lake, and enjoyed a nice hike about 14 miles up Mono Creek, cutting off at the Hopkins Lake cutoff, about the only steep trail hiking. We hiked in a nice meadow area across from Hopkins, just above the stream. The evening was spent in examining one of the groups gear, whose hiking philosophy is "heavy and slow!" Three spotlights were quite enough. The next morning, three went up the easy class three ledges and scree, for a nice two hour climb to the summit of Hopkins, from the west. One person continued to climb the other peaks in the area, until about 4am. The other two came down, and joined two who had stayed in camp, and hiked up the canyon, went over the 3rd class col over into the Grinnell Lake basin, where they camped for the nite, after two waded chest deep across the lake. I headed down from the first nite's camp, after exploring the Hopkins basin, and camped at the junction of Grinnell Creek and Mono Creek. So, we had two solo groups, and a group of four, in three different areas. Next morning, we had agreed to meet at the boat ramp at about noon, and all three groups arrived within 15 minutes. After the boat taxi back, we were just in time for fresh pizza back at the resort! It's great hiking with partners who know themselves in the Outdoors. We saw no other hikers the whole three days, surprising, as the area is so nice. Hopkins sees little traffic from this side, although a fair amount from the northeast side, class two from the Pioneer Lakes.

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