Trip Report
A Ramble in Lynne Leichtfuss Land---Mt. Conness from the East, 1974
Saturday August 25, 2012 4:13pm
The first time I ventured up to Saddlebag Lakes with the Merced-based Scout Troop 98 I had to go back to Foresta with altitude sickness after stealing the boat the scoutmaster rented. His son Micky and I made it to the upper end of the lakes and hiked to where we could look-see what Virginia Canyon was like. I paid for my miscreance with a double-barreled headache that only susided at around 6,000 ft.

In 1974 Dolores and I joined Cathy and Bruce Hamilton and Jim Shirley for a weekend in the Tioga Pass. We selected my truck to haul gear. Jim took the Hamiltons in his BMW. We did catch a few of the elusive Golden Trout in Sawmill Creek and relaxed that evening to Jim's singing and guitar playing.

Bruce decided to stay in the fishing mode next day, keeping the ladies company. The time involved in approaching from this easterly direction depends on how fast you want to go. We decided not to push it, just ramble and enjoy the easy terrain, all of it Class II, though I did do some bouldering along the way while Jim kept snapping photos non-stop.

I'm glad he did, too.

This is for Lynne Leichtfuss and the folks at Tioga Pass Resort.

Mt. Conness from the eastern approach.  Sawmill Creek in foreground.  ...
Mt. Conness from the eastern approach. Sawmill Creek in foreground. 1974.
Credit: Jim Shirley
Conness, Sawmill Campsite.  TNF 3-man tent, the Dandelion.  It's dandy...
Conness, Sawmill Campsite. TNF 3-man tent, the Dandelion. It's dandy lyin' in it.
Credit: Jim Shirley
Just taking off.  Weather is mild and perfect for moving at leisure.
Just taking off. Weather is mild and perfect for moving at leisure.
Credit: Jim Shirley
Mt. Dana and Mt. Gibbs from Sawmill Creek campsite.
Mt. Dana and Mt. Gibbs from Sawmill Creek campsite.
Credit: Jim Shirley
Tarn in Carnegie Institute Station.
Tarn in Carnegie Institute Station.
Credit: Jim Shirley
This is just like a piece of cake!
This is just like a piece of cake!
Credit: Jim Shirley
Mouse from Merced.
Mouse from Merced.
Credit: Jim Shirley
Credit: Jim Shirley
Bouldering on Conness.
Bouldering on Conness.
Credit: Jim Shirley
Credit: Jim Shirley
Credit: Jim Shirley
Two little denizens of Conness beach.
Two little denizens of Conness beach.
Credit: Jim Shirley
A fat marmot at the beach.  Howzit goin', Cuz?
A fat marmot at the beach. Howzit goin', Cuz?
Credit: Jim Shirley
Mr. Marmot looking NW, I think.
Mr. Marmot looking NW, I think.
Credit: Jim Shirley
The section above the short snow slope, where we have turned in the di...
The section above the short snow slope, where we have turned in the direction of the summit. This is the long east-facing cliff seen from the campsite.
Credit: Jim Shirley
photo not found
Missing photo ID#260655
After cresting the ridge, we headed N along this alpine beach to the s...
After cresting the ridge, we headed N along this alpine beach to the summit "peninsula."
Credit: Jim Shirley
Standing still, finally.
Standing still, finally.
Credit: Jim Shirley
USCGS marker on the summit of Conness.  12,590'.
USCGS marker on the summit of Conness. 12,590'.
Credit: Jim shirley
Say "Cheese," Mouse.
Say "Cheese," Mouse.
Credit: Jim Shirley
Say "Cheesey," Jim.
Say "Cheesey," Jim.
Credit: mouse from merced
Jim Shirley looking off to the north, being serene and all that.
Jim Shirley looking off to the north, being serene and all that.
Credit: mouse from merced
Virginia Canyon.
Virginia Canyon.
Credit: Jim Shirley
photo not found
Missing photo ID#260655
Looking south from near the summit block at the east-facing cliff.  Bu...
Looking south from near the summit block at the east-facing cliff. Budd Lakes are down the slope on the other side. Lyell Canyon in distance.
Credit: Jim Shirley
Virginia Canyon, alternate view.
Virginia Canyon, alternate view.
Credit: Jim Shirley
We went down a different way than we came up.  I think we headed down ...
We went down a different way than we came up. I think we headed down from the pile of loose-looking rock on the right of this shot. Upper Saddlebag Lake in the center.
Credit: Jim Shirley
Heading back to the campsite.
Heading back to the campsite.
Credit: Jim Shirley
This is the slope we hit on the way down, heading for the tarn, then d...
This is the slope we hit on the way down, heading for the tarn, then down into the Carnegie Institute Station and back to Sawmillis Creek.
Credit: Jim Shirley



  Trip Report Views: 1,718
mouse from merced
About the Author
mouse from merced is a trad climber from merced, california.

Comments
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10b4me

climber
  Aug 25, 2012 - 04:33pm PT
climbed the east ridge in 2001? fun little jaunt.
that tarn in your last pic is called Alpine lake as I recall
Ron Anderson

Trad climber
Relic MilkEye and grandpoobah of HBRKRNH
  Aug 25, 2012 - 04:37pm PT
Nice Mouse! Love those cameras!
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
  Aug 25, 2012 - 06:22pm PT
One of the best Tuolumne walk abouts. Yet I've never met another party on it in my three trips.
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Aug 25, 2012 - 09:43pm PT
Really great shots!
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
  Aug 26, 2012 - 12:12am PT
The difference in 40 years?

The technology that you hold in your hand.

Everything else is the same.

Pretty cool.
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
  Aug 26, 2012 - 02:26am PT
Soloed a slag heap peak behind Saddlebag Lake on August 5th and here are some shots I took on the way up and way back down:

Mt. Conness
Mt. Conness
Credit: Bruce Morris

Saddlebag Lake with North Peak and Shepherd Crest on the far shore. Ex...
Saddlebag Lake with North Peak and Shepherd Crest on the far shore. Excelsior Mountain on the far right.
Credit: Bruce Morris

The peak was a talus pile. I named it "Mt. Sir Bromley" (c. 11,500+). But the views were great!

Below, False White Mountain, another 12,000 footer near Mt Conness

False White Mountain
False White Mountain
Credit: Bruce Morris

View east toward Tioga Peak, Mono Lake and the White Mountains from the true summit of Mt Sir Bromley (11,700+ ?).

One canyon north of Lee Vining Canyon
One canyon north of Lee Vining Canyon
Credit: Bruce Morris

Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 27, 2012 - 10:35am PT
Awesome pics from the way back machine, Thanks Lynne!!!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Aug 29, 2012 - 02:54pm PT
Man I love that peak!

Thanks for putting up all those photos!
Seamstress

Trad climber
Yacolt, WA
  Aug 29, 2012 - 03:06pm PT
TFPU
Marlow

Sport climber
OSLO
  Aug 29, 2012 - 03:14pm PT
Awesome pics!
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Aug 29, 2012 - 03:28pm PT
hey there say, mouse.... (well, mouse for short) :)
thanks for the WONDERFUL PICTURES... can't see them all now, :(
but they remind me of the old time shots that i used to get from my ol camera when i was in my late teens... special magic tye pictures!

very nice happy share! from lynne-land, :)
jim did a great job...
does this jim post here, too, just curiuous??

god bless...
got to go paint again, :))
and get outside into the yard of my mini-great outdoors, :) , with
the ol' pup dog...
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Aug 29, 2012 - 03:38pm PT
good stuff
crunch

Social climber
CO
  Aug 29, 2012 - 05:42pm PT
Great pics! Thanks. Climbed Conness around 1985, fabulous place with superb views
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Aug 29, 2012 - 05:46pm PT
Nice.....I love that area, wish I could make it there to bum a cup of coffee from Lynne.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Sep 1, 2012 - 01:09am PT
On behalf of jim Shirley thank you all for the comments.
He doesn't post here as he is much too busy for the likes of us, Neebee. Seriously, he's 63 and has twin girls, ages fifteen and fifteen, and he's seriously engaged in work at JPL in Pasadena. They do backpacking together. He has little time for frivolity, believe me!
I turned my brother-inlaw, Ike, on to Saddlebag Lake and he took his family there many times, mainly to fish. And we camped there at Sawmill Creek the night before we left Bill Bonebrake's ashes up on the Third Pillar. I surely do love the area. I have enjoyed all the rest of the Trip Reports that followed mine in a flurry. Even with all the TR activity, it's nice to hear it's not crowded up there on Conness.
Let me know if you run into the Giant Marmot, anyone!
Timid TopRope

Social climber
the land of Pale Ale
  Sep 1, 2012 - 01:31am PT
nice TR and follow up, MFM. One of my favorite chunks of pre-sierran rock is nearby, The Shepards Crest. Lynne Land is a great place. Hope to see her at Facelift. E tu brute?
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Sep 1, 2012 - 02:52am PT
You'll have to introduce me to Lynne, if you will, after we are introduced to one another. I still look basically the same as I did in the pix, only older!

Ill have another TR illustrated by Jim Shirley (featuring Larry Moore and a model) in a bit...
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
  Sep 1, 2012 - 03:44pm PT
Beautiful TR. Also comps to Bruce for his pics.

This could never be lynne land.....I have only been here 3 short seasons. I love, respect and honor this incredible place. I am also totally humbled by it.

I love working at TPR. Anyone is welcome to come say howdy anytime.

So far Conness is by far my favorite approach and mountain.

I am not looking to conquer peaks, I try to soul speak to the land and hope it not only accepts me, but embraces me.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Sep 11, 2012 - 01:01am PT
Thanks for the nice thoughts about our temple, the Sierra Nevada, Lynne. My sister Lenna works now for Woods Creek Cafe down in Sonora if you ever get there. She can't manage to pronounce your last name, like a lot of folks. Her name is Lenna, everyone thinks it's Lena. What the L is it with Lenna Louise and Lynne Leichtfuss, I wonder?

See you to da Facelift, eh? Kin I have a dance?
Bruce Morris

Social climber
Belmont, California
  Sep 11, 2012 - 03:20am PT
CONFESSION & CLARIFICATION

The awful truth about 'Mt Sir Bromley': What I climbed was actually Tioga Crest whose highest point is the Dore Cliff (11,900+), named after the French illustator of Dante, Gustave Dore, no doubt because of the vivid reds and yellows of the shale are reminiscent of the Inferno.

My mistake was not walking up the east side of Saddlebag Lake for 1.7 miles and then going uphill to the top of Tioga Crest via a more gentle slope than the one I took. The online guidebook says, don't go that way & I did and found out about the loose scree and random little cliffs.

Still, a pretty good platform for taking some awesome pics.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Sep 11, 2012 - 09:36am PT
I am still learning about the area 40 years later, Bruce, so don't be down because of that. I hate looking at maps to tell me where to go. I am still around and have actually never been lost. Off-route, is how we say that. And just because someone else calls it something else is not biggie. Before maps, imagine how many different names peaks and lakes had!

Rambles are just that and not expeditions. It is the essence of outdoor life, rambling.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Trad climber
Will know soon
  Oct 4, 2012 - 11:31pm PT
Did I say this before....beautiful TR. Conness is my favorite of all so far. Cheers, Lynne
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Oct 5, 2012 - 12:28am PT
A Ramble in Lynne Leichtfuss' Van

Mouse hears "Cheers" here's Mouse
Wide awake and responsive
I hope you enjoy your ramblynne
no, no you're not repeating yourself again
but I am developing CRSD whatever that means
I love to ramble myself with myself or another elf
that's not so odd in middle errth
did I ever tell you that the essence of mountaineering is rambling
that it is also the heart and soul of adventure which ultimately lies within the lies you can tell at the campfire to the other lie-ing dogs
everybody's lie-in' about it, that moon, that moon, that moonful
some of them nearly tell the truth
I think BooDawg said boo and it scared me
some of the truth he told me as I fall-oh-ed and silently cursed my shadow

when we cross certain bridges we are hanging on the words of Borghoff
belying the likes and dislikes of not-Roper
nut Robbins or what's-his-name with the elbow stuck in the crack

but they might agree and even might have said words to that effect
and we just might stay out of trouble or go down in history
or just continue to ramble
Muir Audobon you me
in a Rambler Ambassador station wagon stuffed with ropes and haul bags with two dogs in the back
or a pair of kronnies with no reason to live housing a tall bearded mystoic
we all come to the Sierra Nevada Yosemite Tahquitz Yellow Pine Camp 4
and are changed for ever more
thanks for the feedback on this TR everyone
it was as nice, I mean fulfilling, mystical, gosh-darn-fun
as the White Lightnin' at Winterland in 1968
yes, kiddies, I am the first White Lightnin' so do not be fooled or lied to except by the Neverend
did I everend except I mention that the Reverend Ever Lies
you'll nevererver hear that heresay from me

you never forget the first but the details get fuzzy
I remember the first time rambling meant something, unlike today

Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Oct 5, 2012 - 12:25am PT
Nice TR Mouse. Was that a retro application on your I-phone?! : )
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Author's Reply  Oct 5, 2012 - 12:36am PT
Stud on the road again what a load again!

I thought about why you weren't at Facelifed

I knew it had to be something useless and out of the way

Your TRs make the rest look like shale vs. granite, with a few exceptions. Some are gneiss. Yours, however, are interesting in a way that would compare to the likes of Robbins if he did TRs.

There. But take a break next year and go to Facelift.

What ever forks in the road you take, remember, if it led you astray,
you could have chosen another, you annoying little gym rat!!!
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Oct 5, 2012 - 02:53pm PT
Great TR, Mouse, and beautiful country for climbing.

John
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