Loc: San Carlos, CA
Trip: Bear Creek Spire & Mount Dade - Rock Creek/Little Lakes Valley
I climbed Bear Creek Spire and Mount Dade out of Rock Creek/Little Lakes Valley in the Eastern Sierra as part of a weekend of adventure running over the holiday weekend. The lakes below 11k were unfrozen while the lakes above 11k remain partly to mostly frozen. With the onset of warm temperatures, snow conditions are changing rapidly. We timed the morning light perfectly with some great reflection shots and then ascended up to the head of the valley where solid snow begins just above Gem Lakes. The snowpack heading up to Cox Col from Dade Lake was nicely consolidated and the steeper slopes were great for cramponing (crampons might not be necessary with boots, but we used trail runners). The view from the summit pinnacle of Bear Creek Spire was as amazing as I had recalled from four years prior. After Bear Creek Spire we traversed along the west side of the crest and found a steep, loose gully to take us into Dade Bowl on the east side of the crest. I ascended to the summit of Mount Dade with some distasteful post-holing on the upper snowfields but the great views and glissade down the Hourglass more than compensated. I soaked in more great views from Treasure Lakes all the way back to the trailhead; 10:15 roundtrip.
Bear Creek Spire summit pinnacle
Bear Creek Spire from the summit of Mount Dade
Gear Notes: Black Diamond Neve Strap Crampons, Ice Axe, Ultimate Direction Wasp Pack, La Sportiva Fireblade Trail Runners, First Endurance EFS and Liquid Shot