Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rock Creek, Ruby and Dade Lake

Don't step in the hole!
I should have had my ice axe out.
Heading up to Dade Lake
The views were amazing!
Yahoo for snow camping!
Our kitchen
May 1st and 2nd 
Over the weekend Cary and I went camping and climbing in the Eastern Sierras.  Friday afternoon Cary and I drove up to Rock Creek Lake, arriving around 10:30pm.  The snow level was around 8,000 feet, however, the road was paved all the way to Rock Creek Lake, 9,700 feet.  Friday night we spent the night in the bed of Cary's pick-up truck.  Saturday morning we got up and packed all our gear.  We headed out on snowshoes simply because we did not have any room in or on our packs to store them.  A little over 2 miles later we reached Heart Lake where we set up camp.  After setting up camp we hiked past treasure lakes to Dade lake.  The views were spectacular.  Snow was swirling off the mountain tops making for an amazing landscape.  

We returned to our camp around 6 and shortly after started dinner.  We dug out a little space to sit and a little table (see above pic) to make dinner.  The next morning we hoped to climb Mt. Starr.  We woke up around 5:15am, grabbed our gear and headed out.  Heading up we climbed a short class 3 section to get above the tree line.  Once over the tree line ridge we hiked up to Ruby Lake which is almost half way to the summit.  We scouted a nice shoot that looked inviting, however, Cary pointed out it was in an avalanche zone.  We saw trees were stripped of branches on the mountain side.  We decided to call it a day and hike back down to our camp.  Next time I climb I will probably go around to Mono Pass and climb up from the other side of Mt. Starr.  We returned to our camp around 10am and packed up and hiked back to the parking lot.

All and all it was a great trip, yeah we didn't summit, however, we did get a lot of info for next trip.  The views were amazing, the weather was alright (a little windy) and we only saw a handful of people each day.  Next time I would like to backcountry ski instead of snow shoe in.  Skiing would be much more enjoyable and faster on the descents, everyone we saw the whole weekend were on skis.  Great, one more toy I need to save up for:-)

For more pics click here
  • RCL to Heart Lake = 2 hours on  snow shoes
  • Heart Lake to Dade Lake = 2.25 hours on snow shoes
  • If climbing Mt. Dade, camp at Treasure Lakes
  • Heart Lake to Ruby Lake = 2.25 hours with crampons
  • RCL area is a great back country skiing area
  • Temps:  Low 20's at night, 40's during the day

Orange is our climb up.  Purple is our descent.
View Rock Creek Snow Camp may 1st 2010.kmz in a larger map


Holly Teetzel said...

Stunning pictures, Todd! What a LOT of snow. Loved your makeshift kitchen (LOL) but I think I prefer mine, though. I'm glad you noticed the avalanche section and avoided summiting - there will be other opportunities. So skis will be on your birthday wish list????

Holly Teetzel said...

Had to add another comment - the videos just showed up (they weren't on it the first time I checked) - it sure was windy - brrrrrr! But absolutely gorgeous up there. I can see why you enjoy snow climbing. Exhilarating for sure.

Todd said...

yes, skis are on my birthday wish list. unfortunately, they are insanely expensive. skis, bindings, boots and skins total about 1,000 bucks. Ouch!

Holly Teetzel said...

Ouch is right - how 'bout I get you a pair of boot warmers! ha ha

Erik said...

Beautiful shots- looks like a blast!