Have you always wanted to experience wilderness in the Sierra Nevada without the weekend traffic? Try Mountain Monday! As many Eastern Sierra inhabitants know, self-contrived mountain running possibilities abound.
Well Monday June 5, 2007 was no exception. What started out to be a running of the "Sky Marathon" loop (North Lake to Pine Creek or vice versa) via bonafide USFS maintained trails, became a North Lake to Pine Creek high route variation. Maybe it was the lack of snow or maybe it was the lack of enthusiasm to run all the way down to Hutchinson Meadow and back up French Canyon to Pine Pass? At any rate, i'll blame it on Jeff Kozak because he was with me and i'm writing this run report and he isn't! The day was spectacular with thin high wispy clouds and a cool breeze. It was one of those days when leaving the wind breaker in the car with your day pack was good decision. Some highlights of the run include: two snowshoe rabbits, Golden Trout flopping on the ice that formed the previous night at Desolation Lake when the fishes quest to find suitable spawning habitat in the inlet of Desolation failed and re-entry into the lake at the small inlet opening was missed, the views from the summit of Four Gables, Chester Versteeg's entry from 1961 in the summit register of Peak 12808 and fishless bliss at Gable Lake #3 and #4. The trail from the Gable Lakes to Pine Creek probably hasn't changed much in the last 50 years. Even the tramway from Hanging Valley on the backside of Mt. Tom still looks ridable in zipline fashion (see photo above). After a little more than 8 hours, 4,630' of ascent, 6400' of descent, our run was over. Hooray for Magical Mountain Mondays (M3)!- pk