Pettit & Volunteer Are A Long Damn Haul

August 22nd to 24th, 2014
Pettit Peak (10,788’)
Volunteer Peak (10,481’)
Day 1: 17.2 miles, 3400' gain, 10 hours
Day 2: 21.3 miles, 5500' gain, 12 hours
Day 3: 17 miles, 4200' gain, 11 hours
[Pics] [Map]

This was one of those periodic late season "let's go big" style trips where the goal is to do something long and difficult.  It was right in the middle of busy part of the summer with trips pretty much every weekend and came between the easier Mineral King trip the previous weekend and the longer Labor Day outing to Hooper & Senger planned for the next one.

These peaks jumped out because they were SPS peaks in an area I'd never really been back into.  Closest I'd been was probably Matterhorn and Whorl a number of years ago and even then that was just a quick two day in and out where I was barely over the crest.

It is a long way in to get these two requiring over 50 miles and 10k gain any way you go.  And since Toyabi will unfortunately not allow you to pick up your permit after hours (and the fact I don't typically take an extra vacation day just to drive up to the trailhead) that meant we had to be in Bridgeport at 8 am when the ranger station opened and then haul ass for the trailhead.  So we started late, had really long days, and basically never made the time back.  But hey, it was memorable!

Florence Peak and an Ill Advised Attempt at Vandever Mountain's North Ridge in Mineral King

August 15th to 17th, 2014
Florence Peak (12,432')
Vandever Mountain (11,947')
[Pics] [Map]

These were two peaks I'd tried to do years back only to get sidelined by some misadventure.  So I kept the plan and figured eventually I'd have a free weekend.

And it just so happened I had this weekend open and Kristen had never been back to this particular area.  So off we went to Mineral King.

Mount Langley From Little Cottonwood Creek Because Why Not

August 9th & 10th, 2014
Mount Langley (14,026')

(aka A Cold Damn Birthday for Blondie)

Mount Langley is one of the 11 California peaks above 14,000 ft and so highly desired by many.  It's also one of the easier ones along with Mount Whitney owing to the trail that leads up to the very summit.

Personally this makes the peak somewhat less appealing to me than your average nondescript bump somewhere in the Sierra backcountry and as a result I've walked past it numerous times without bagging it.  It always seemed like a good one to save for an easier two day weekend when nothing else was going on.

And that turns out to be this weekend.  I wanted to get out but since I was looking at a brutal drive next weekend for a two day Mineral King trip a reasonable drive and days sounded pretty damn good.  So off Kristen, Jen and I went.

I managed to make things a little more interesting by finding a trailhead I didn't know about and which I couldn't find much information on.  So we'd leave from Little Cottonwood Creek, camp at the lakes, and then bag Langley on Sunday before leaving possibly early enough to make post trip mexican in Boron.

Oh, and it was also Blondie's birthday on Sunday so we planned to have a nicer camp wherever we ended up complete with homemade lasagna cooked in camp thanks to Kristen.

Mount Stanford in the rain. A lot of rain.

August 2nd and 3rd, 2014
Mount Stanford (12,838’)
[Pics] [Map]

I led this exact trip back in 2012 as a WTC experience trip but turned back only a few hundred feet shy of the summit while helping some struggling participants.  I dislike not getting the peak but figured it was no big deal since I knew I'd be back in the area at some point.

And this weekend ended up working out.  I needed a quick two day so I could get out in the mountains without using vacation time I badly needed for other longer trips.  Also it was one of those weekends where the weather forecast looked rather dire so an easier trip like this fit the bill.