Lippincott Not
(A Mineral King Spring Photo Essay)

13-15 Jun 2008 - by Louise Wholey

(Report previously published in the July 2008 issue of Scree, the newsletter of the Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter Peak Climbing Section, reproduced here with the author's permission.)

Spring in Mineral King is a time for hiking through beautiful flowers, snowy mountain vistas, and spectacular waterfalls. Though we all thought we would be bagging lots of peaks, snow thwarted even the most modest attempt. The result was a long hike over 4 passes observing the many beautiful flowers, snowy mountain vistas, and spectacular waterfalls.

In good Sierra Club form we squeezed 7 people and overnight packs into two tiny cars. The trick on parking at the trailhead is to protect the cars from vicious engine-eating marmots. We stopped at Home Depot in Los Banos for crucial equipment, 16x20 tarps to wrap the cars. This is the scheme currently recommended by the rangers. We forgot the bows for the top of these neat packages.

Packaged cars hoping to survive the engine-eating marmots
(Photo by Steve Eckert)

White Chief Bowl (center) where we skied a month earlier

Steep Snow Descent of Glacier Pass

Glacier Pass descent was the center gully. We stopped to camp was at Spring Lake far short of our plan.

Ascending Hands and Knees Pass we saw eggs in the ground.

We tried but failed to reach Lippincott. After a long day we returned over Black Rock Pass viewing the Kaweahs

Waterfalls and flowers were aplenty


Ultimately we had to cross the roaring Cliff Creek. We did it barefoot but failed to get a photo too busy surviving!
The uphill to Timber Gap was just beautiful with everything from fungus to desert paint brush, and even more waterfalls.

It is hard to describe just how incredible this area is, but seeing it is believing it.

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