Thursday, November 19, 2009

Excelsior Mountain (Heading to the Hump)

(GPS: N38° 02.115 W119° 18.070)
The problem with gettting to what I am calling the "hump" was that there was still a lot of snow from over the pass to the base of the hump. We would end up walking around most of it. We started heading south which would take us higher. We could see some of the higher peaks around. Unfortunately, there was going to be one issue that was going to plague me this hike making it a little less than ideal: haze from smoke. I will come back to this point during the last blog on this hike. We had not heard any news about this so I never did find out what the cause of it was.
Finally, after trying to find some areas through the snowy ice to cut across, we reached the ridgeline. The snow ended here, so we could start heading west (right) again toward the hump.
We especially wanted to avoid the snow here on the ascent. To reach the saddle of the hump we would continue going up the ridgeline.
I continued, but turned around to see Burro Lake. I had heard this is an interesting lake to fish since it is really isolated. In theory, one could climb up from Lundy Canyon on the other side, but if I had to get to it I would just take this trail. A hazy Mono Lake is in the background.
Excelsior Mountain was in clear sight. There are different ways to climb it, but we took the easy way. It looks like it creates two glacier lakes which you can see in the summer when it all melts.
Now for the do or die part of the hike.
It did not help that we wasted 30 minutes off trail an hour earlier. I lost some energy that I could have used here. There were some use trails here, but I was not sure if I should use those climbing up the dirt or go up the talus rock. Neither were very much fun.

The following video was re-edited during the summer of 2013. I cut out a lot of things compared to the original videos:

To Excelsior Mountain (Youtube Version)

To Excelsior Mountain (Vimeo Version)

The following music was used from Mellowtron, Constancy Part One, Gustav Sting, and Fluidscape.