Thursday, May 27, 2010

Robinson Lake (University Peak Attempt) May 22/23

Looking up from Robinson Lake
Looking at University Peak to the right at 11,500 feet

Last weekend Cary and I headed back to the Sierras.  We decided to attempt University Peak out of the Onion Valley/Independence area.  We started climbing around mid day on Saturday.  With snowshoes on we headed up to Robinson Lake.  1 mile and 2 hours later we arrived at Robinson Lake.  The weather was very pleasant as we set up camp for the night.  As night began to creep up on us so did the clouds.  Around 7 it started to lightly snow.  After dinner Cary and I went to the lake with an ice axe to break through the frozen layer of ice to filter some water.  It must have been in the high teens at night.  My water inside our tent started to freeze including my hydration bladder!  I slept in down booties, down pants and a down parka.  

The next morning we woke up to a few new inches of snow.  We packed our bags, put on our gators and crampons and headed out.  It started to snow more and more as the morning went on.  The clouds totally engulfed us, limiting our view of the peaks.  We continued to climb, realizing it wouldn't be a good idea to go for the summit.  Around 11,500 feet and 1 mile from camp we reached the base of the peaks.  We decided this was a good place to stop.   With visibility being limiting I climbed about 300 feet up the right embankment to get a little more climbing in.  I quickly lost sight of Cary and decided to come back down.  On our way back to camp we glissaded 200 feet down to Robinson Lake.  It was the steepest glissade I have done yet.  Good times!

We arrived back to our camp with a few more inches of snow.  We packed up our gear and headed back to the parking lot.  It snowed the whole morning we were out.  The scenery was absolutely beautiful! We only saw a handful of people the whole weekend, and that was close to the parking lot.

Elevation at parking lot = 9200 feet
1 mile (via snow travel) to Robinson Lake, 10,500 feet
1 mile to the base of University Peak.
Total Miles = 4  round trip
My high point for the trip = 11,800 feet

View Robinson Lake - Sierras in a larger map


Holly Teetzel said...

Yowzer - stunning views and great video, Cary disappearing into a little dot in his glissade. Glad you didn't attempt the summit - the weather looked rather scary. And I loved the extra pix you posted from your & Cary's archives. Pasta Primavera in the primal elements!

Todd said...

Dude, that Pasta Primavera is the bomb. I'll make it for you sometime:-)

CalBadger said...

You guys are nuts! But it must be awesome being in the middle of nowhere with no people! There's a special quietness of snow falling and the mountains that I love--I hope you guys experienced something similar.

Holly Teetzel said...

It must be the lack of enough oxygen for your brain at high altitudes and the starvation factor that make REI Pasta Primavera the "bomb!"

PS - what's a Ping Pong Ball???

Allison said...

Oh Toad, it looks like U 2 had 2 much fun. I wish you could send some of that snow our way!

Erik said...

Snow in late May, low teens at night... crazy.