(GPS: N37 25.615 W118 45.160)
Part of my strategy this last year was to hit a few lesser known mountains. It was to get away from the idea that I see stated once in a while that Whitney and Half-Dome are the whole Sierra. Some of these hikes that are "easier" are just as much fun and you get great views on them. Mt. Starr may not be the most beautiful looking piece of matter out there, but it was a good one to do.
I knew the easiest route was supposed to be to hike to Mono Pass and then start climbing up the "backside." There are a bunch of mountains like this where some of the easy routes are just going around the back and climbing. So, off I went up the sandy scree and granite rocks.
Going up sandy scree isn't always fun. A case of one step up two steps back at times. There was a use trail I tried to follow. There came a point it seemed to end. I then tried to climb up the areas that were more rock than scree.
I took a look over and finally saw the Summit Lake. I knew you could continue to the lake from Mono Pass, but I decided I would visit the lake when I came down assuming I was still motivated to do so.
Up higher and higher. I took a bunch of breaks at times. I have this thing where I pick a goal of some object in the distance and then I go to it. It kind of helps me determine how long I will take and distance to the top.
Everything I had read stated the hike was nothing more than class 2, but there came a point near the end where I just wanted to get to the end so I ended up doing a few class 3/4 moves. I was glad the rocks I held were able to hold my weight. ;)
I finally got to the end of my hike and was glad I did so. I must admit it was a little tougher than I had in mind. I looked back down at the pass. I could barely see the "no fires" sign.
In the next blog I will show you how it looks all around from where I ended. You can get a preview from the video below. Technically, I did not reach the absolute summit. I will explain why in the next video, why it wasn't a big deal to me at the time, and then looking back I would have done it had I known how the rest of my hiking time was going to be last summer. ;)