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Tip Toe Through the Wild Flowers

July 25, 2016

Today was a big day for the bag-peaking Frame boys. [Pictures will be posted as soon as Jim and I do the transfer from his phone to my computer; come back to see those.]

They set out to climb another prominent, high profile peak: Mt. Gibbs. It’s prominent because it’s right along the road as people first come to the Yosemite high country, through the Tioga Gate. You look right at it as you pass into the park on the eastern side, and is part of that amazing mountain-scape that includes Mt. Dana (second highest peak in Yosemite, 13, 061), Gibbs (12,772), and the peaks of the Kuna Crest: Kuna (the third highest peak in Yosemite, 13,008), Koip (12,968), and Mammoth (12,117).  Gibbs was the only one they hadn’t yet climbed.

(For the record, I’ve climbed Dana and Mammoth. I was incapacitated last year when they did K and K, and this year as they bagged Gibbs. Boo. It’s killing me here, it’s kind of heartbreaking. And.. maybe I don’t have it in me anymore to climb these kinds of peaks, especially the trail-less ones with lots of exposure … who’s to say, we’ll just have to see next year when I’ve got a new hip joint on board.)

Here is what Gibbs looks like (Dana on left, Gibbs on right):

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I took this photo in a pull out along 120. Bear in mind, I’m standing in a meadow that’s well over 9,000′! Those two peaks rise over 3,000 feet over the floor of that meadow. Significant elevation gain, significant elevation. These are big boys.

While Dana has a trail for most of the ascent, Gibbs does not. Peter and Jim started on the Mono Pass trailhead (way off to the right of this photo), bore left off the trail at the first moraine, bushwhacked through the brush and trees until they got out to the ridge (visible on left side of mountain) and headed up. I dropped them off at the trailhead at about 10:00 and picked them up at about 3:30. They had a great, great day… shaky legs at the end (Jim) notwithstanding!

While they were scrambling around and up Mt. Gibbs, I was 1) trying to score a tee time at Torrey Pines golf course next week for Peter and me, with mixed success, and 2) hiking partway up neighboring Mt. Dana (very part way) to luxuriate in the beauty of the so-called hanging gardens.

Here is the view, looking southwest from the Mt. Dana trailhead, right next to the Tioga Gate, on Hwy 120:

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Here is a small lake along the way, looking east, before the trail starts to climb steeply up the side of the mountain:

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And then, as you begin to climb, come the flowers:

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Looking up (I ate my lunch a bit higher and to the right of this photo):

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And looking down (you can see 120 far below):

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It’s just so damn pretty.

 

 

 

One Response to “Tip Toe Through the Wild Flowers”

  1. bud ellie johnson Says:

    Hi Kari, These are absolutely magnificent pictures – thank you so much. Love, Aunt Ellie


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