Day One – The Climbing Begins!!

Day One – Monday, August 15, 2011 (Day’s total mileage – 9.0 miles)

The morning began at 6:15 am with a ride on the CREST bus out of Lone Pine to Lee Vining, where I caught the YARTS bus to Toulumne Meadows. I arrived at the Toulumne Meadows Store at around 10:30 am and quickly made my way to the Ranger’s Station to pick up my permit. I had to wait around for about an hour after getting my permit in order to catch the Hiker’s Bus, which would take me the four miles east of Tuolumne Meadows to the Mono/Parker Pass Trailhead to start my hike.

I started at 12:15 pm and almost immediately began the gradual climb to the end of the first leg of the day’s journey – Parker Pass (elevation – 11,000 ft.) It felt great to finally get started and made fairly quick time of the approach to Parker Pass.

(Above – Some views along the way to Parker Pass)

(Above – The Approach to Parker Pass)

(Above – The View to the South from Parker Pass of the second leg of the day’s journey – Koip Peak Pass in the upper left portion of the picture)

(Above – Can anyone say “Sun-Cups”)

(Above – The first good look at the second leg of the day’s journey with the trail going up the left side of Mt. Parker and Koip Peak pass at the upper right of the picture)

(Above – Some of the views of Mono Lake and Mono Creek Canyon from the climb up to the pass.)

(Above – Looking back to the north and Parker Pass)

(Above – A good look at the switchbacks up the side of Mt. Parker)

(Above – Looking south from Koip Peak Pass at an elevation of  12,263 feet with Alger Lakes below. This view made the day’s climb worth every minute!!!)

I was able to find a small flat spot on the way down from the pass and set up a hurried camp around 8:15.

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