Looking Down on Evolution Country
(Mt Thompson and Mt Powell)

21-23 Aug 2010 - by Aaron Schuman

On August 22, 2010, we climbed Mt Thompson and Mt Powell. Our team was Linda Sun, Harry Xie, Alex Sapozhnikov, Dara Hazeghi, co-leader Ron Karpel, and me, trip leader and reporter Aaron Schuman.

On Saturday, we hiked up from Lake Sabrina, at the headwaters of the north fork of Bishop Creek. We passed a chain of lakes with fanciful names, settling in for the evening at Middle Baboon Lake. We might have pushed ahead higher, to Sunset Lake, but the wind had picked up and the high lake is above the timberline and exposed to the weather.

Sunday, the double summit day, Harry settled back in camp with an issue of the Atlantic and an issue of Harper's. The rest of us worked our way up a long talus slope and a snow filled col between our two destination peaks. We dropped down a bit and traversed a sandy face to Mt Thompson, then up a scree chute to the plateau. The summit (13494) is a weirdly eroded block about 10 meters in size. Linda snapped the trip photo of Ron on that strange rock.

Ron and Dara returned to camp the way we came. Linda, Alex and I followed the "Eckert Variation" up the south side of Mt Powell. It's a broad and sheltered ramp that leads to a muddy chute. The top of the chute was still corniced in late August. Up above, there was another plateau, with another eroded knob, the summit (13360). The wind had died down, so we had a chance to linger over the long vistas south into Evolution Valley and the Ionian Basin, and north to Mt Humphreys and Mt Tom.

Monday was a straightforward hike back from our camp to the road head at Lake Sabrina, and the end of a rewarding trip to a stunning locale.


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