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Ascent of Mount Lyell on 2018-06-10

Climber: Rafee Memon

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, June 10, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Lyell
    Location:USA-California
    Elevation:13114 ft / 3997 m

Ascent Trip Report

I left the Bay Area around noon on Saturday and drove over Sonora Pass to the Whoa Nellie Deli in Lee Vining. I had dinner, filled up on water, and soaked in as many trip reports as I could before driving into Yosemite. I arrived at the Tuolumne Meadows trailhead around 8:00pm and got about four hours of very restless sleep. Just before 2:00am I decided that I wasn't going to get any more sleep, so I got dressed and started down the JMT at 2:20am. The on-trail portion through Lyell Canyon was mostly uneventful, but I had some difficulty finding a safe place to cross Ireland Creek in the dark. I reached the turnoff at the head of the canyon below Donahue Pass just before 7:00am. I made good progress up the gentle snow slopes, which were still firm from the cold night. The slopes steepened when I reached the Lyell Glacier, and I slowed down significantly after reaching the bergschrund. It took me about a half an hour to ascend the final 200ft to the top of the ridge as I dug each foothold with my ice axe. The slope was 45-50° at the steepest. After gaining the ridge, it was an easy walk and scramble to the summit, which I reached at 10:15am. Views from the top were expansive in all directions. The peak still has an old-style Sierra Club summit register, and it was the first I'd signed. The snow was already turning to slush as I descended, which made dealing with the snow cups a much bigger ordeal than on the ascent. I filled up on water on the way down and reached the trail around 1:00pm. The descent through Lyell Canyon was beautiful but slow going as I surpassed mile 20. I reached the trailhead at 5:50pm and was back home in the Bay Area at 10:30pm.

Stats: 7h55m up, 30m at summit, 7h3m down, ~30 miles, ~4,500ft gained.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4426 ft / 1349 m
    Grade/Class:45°+ then class 2
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4426 ft / 1349 m
    Distance:30.7 mi / 49.4 km
    Route:Lyell Glacier
    Start Trailhead:Tuolumne Meadows  8688 ft / 2648 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rafee Memon
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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