Waucoba Mountain from the East Along Saline Valley Road

June 26th, 2016
Waucoba Mountain (11,123')
[Pics] [Map]

Waucoba Mountain is a peak in the Whites that I've made plans to climb in the past but never actually did.  It's relatively short, relatively easy, relatively accessible, and all around not very distinct.  The best thing to recommend it is it's a decent shorter day and a good workout that pairs well with doing White Mountain.

After climbing White Mountain the day before this was the last remaining DPS peak I needed in the area so it was time to get it checked off sore knees and hot weather or not.

White Mountain: The California 14er You Could Technically Drive Up

June 25th, 2016
White Mountain Peak (14,2246')
[Pics] [Map]

This was a free weekend between a buttkicker 3 day backpack to Tehipite Dome and a planned 5 day trip near Sonora Pass over the 4th of July.  I was tempted to stay home on account of aching knees but in the end it seemed like a good opportunity to pick up two of the stranglers I had left on the Sierra Club Desert Peak Section list ahead of my planned December glow in the dark list finish.

White Mountain is the highpoint of the Whites and one of 11 peaks above 14,000 ft in California which makes it a popular peak to visit.

It's also the easiest.  While Mount Whitney has a trail all the way to the top White takes it one step further and has a drivable jeep road all the way to the summit.  The only thing preventing this from being the other other DPS drive up other than Navajo Mountain is the gated research station along the way.  This turns it into a 15 mile and 3400 ft of gain round trip stroll.

Tehipite Dome Attempt #3 -ish and Spanish Mountain 2x WTC Experience Trip

June 17th to 19th, 2016
Spanish Mountain (10,051')
Tehipite Dome (7,708')
[Pics] [Map]

Tehipite Dome has become something of a bane of my peak climbing career.  Allegedly 3rd class with spectacular views it's a long drive and long hike so not the sort of peak you really want to have to do more than once.

The first time I tried it in 2012 I came down so sick the second day I could barely get out of my sleeping bag turning our aggressive three day loop backpack into just getting Spanish then hiking out.  Then in 2014 I went back with friends only to run into enough snow we had to abort.  Then a rescheduled attempt in 2015 was aborted before we even left home due to major storms across the Sierra.  Then a potential late season redo was killed due to the area being burned by the Rough Fire.

But it was now 2016 and this time was going to be different!  Jeff Atijera, Laurent Hoffman, and I were back leading a strong group including 5 Kaweah staff and 6 students from this year's WTC class and we came loaded with what we thought was more precautionary gear than we really needed for the 3rd class crux based on the beta we could fine.  And the weather looked spectacular.

This also had the distinction of being the first WTC experience trip of the season and one of the harder ones I was going to lead this year since I was trying to ramp back up gently after having a microfracture done on my right knee in November of 2015.

Mount Mary Austin via Baxter Pass

June 4th & 5th, 2016
Mount Mary Austin (13,051')
[Pics] [Map]

I was up in this area to climb Diamond Peak and Black in 2012 but after a rough first day climbing from the cars at 6k, setting up camp at 10k, and then doing the 13k Diamond via the north chute my fellow carpool riders were completely trashed by the time we made it back down to camp.  Figuring I'd be back here sometime I elected to hike out the next morning with them rather than make them sit around and wait.

I've always intended to go back in the spring for Black (and nearby bonus bump Mary Austin) but dreaded the climb up Baxter due to the condition of the trail.

4 years later I'd mostly forgotten and finally figured it would be worth another shot.