Stanford N

23-24 Jul 2011 - by Linda Sun

I was going to climb Black Hawk with Harry. Then the ranger said summit creek is not crossable, which is required to get to the peak. What to do? What to do? Then Arun suggested that we try Stanford, the one near mono pass. I was happily surprised when I called and got a permit for Hilton creek lakes, just a few days before the trip.

We started at the TH near rock creek lake around 930am. There is parking, outhouse and bear box there. And after 5 relevant flat miles, we got to camp around 1230pm. There is a trail junction, right goes to Davis lake and Hilton lake 2, left goes to Hilton lake 3, 6. We camped at the first lake after going left and up the switchbacks. Lots of campsites here. Lots of mosquito too, so we spent the afternoon napping in our mesh tent.

Sunday we started around 530am, when the first light appears. We went along the trail to lake 10353. You can actually camp at lake 10353, but we didn't know. Then we followed the drainage that goes into lake 10353. We stayed on the right side of the creek. There are a couple of little ponds along the creek, lots of water. We hit snow around 11500 feet. Once we hit the head wall, there is steep snow on the right side to gain the saddle. This is steep and icy, early in the morning. Luckily we brought crampons for this. Then we cut between Stanford lake and the tarn above it, due west, first part has snow cover, then we hit some nice sandy class 1 terrain, reaching the summit around 930am. We retraced our steps, camp at 1pm, car at 4pm.

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