Olancha Attempt

Olancha PeakFirst time out in the Sierra’s in awhile and it didn’t disappoint. Well, that’s not entirely true. But regardless of the outcome, it was a really fun day.

We started the drive up on Friday afternoon and after about 3.5 hours, got to the parking/camping spot. There was a nice rocky, dusty road to go up, but that only made it a little funner. Once parked, the one things I noticed were the damn mosquito’s. Big suckers. Terrible, terrible things.

The Hike

We started up at about 5:15am. The first 3 miles up Cow Cattle Canyon was pretty steep. We decided against the longer Hikers Trail just to save some distance. The gain altogether wasn’t too bad. It was about 3700′ in roughly 4 miles. That actually is a lot, but we took our time with breaks. I just wanted to stay fresh for the upcoming climb up.

Entering the wildernessWe went leftUp the driveway

We finally connected to the trail which was about 100′ from the saddle. Here we had some breakfast and relaxed a bit. Here we met up with Ze and then we all continued on towards Olancha Pass. From the Saddle to Olancha Pass is moderate gain. Nothing too bad.

The way towards Round PeakLooking west from Olancha PassHead towards Monache Pass

After Olancha Pass, things got pretty scenic. We walked along Summit Meadow which was just awesome to look at. The only problem with this meadow is that the water runs through it and gets snagged up by all the grass. This only means mosquito’s. Tons of them. Stand too long in the meadow, and they start to swarm.

Part of the meadowWhat a meal that must have beenEnough photos. Let's get the hell outta here!

Here’s my peaceful video of the meadow. It falls apart at the end with Ofir and Joseph running away. I would follow after them.

After the meadow, we got misdirected and took the wrong trail. After losing Ze’s track, we stopped to get our bearings. Not being one to turn around, I decided to cross country it up and just shoot a straight path towards Olancha. Little did I know that this was also the same path that Ze took. This was a tough little climb. But worth it because of the scramble and view.

Finding our way. Neat little devices. I have to get me one of theseOfir doing some rock hoppingGroup meeting

Up on this little mount, I saw the trail that leads to Olancha. We followed this trail which lead to some wide open views.

pano

After crossing this traverse, the weather started to come in. First it was some drops. Then it turned into a light drizzle. Then it became hail. At this point. Our group was about 1/4 mile from the base of the summit. Ze was up about 700′ from the summit but had decided to turn back. So we aborted the hike and decided to head back.

Replace all references of snow with hail.

The way back was pretty uneventful. The weather did clear up as we walked back towards the cars. But up on Olancha Peak, I’m sure it stayed pretty bad. The views were pretty nice on the way back too. The clouds were more scattered which made for some great shots of the valley to the east.

The view from Cow Cattle Canyon on the way backLooking NE. Less than 1/2 miles from the cars!Ze

Some more pics from the day:

Sweet treesJoseph walking next to a big treeWalking back to Olancha Pass. We were done with this...

Vids: Ofir trying to summit a rock. If at first you don’t succeed…walk around to the other side.

The rest of the photos from the day can be found here: Picasa Album

For more indepth coverage included gps tracks etc, read Ze’s report: Ze’s report

Related posts:

Cactus to Clouds Hike to San Jacinto Peak Trip Report
Santa Anita Ridge & Upper Winter Creek Trail loop
Nonstop Up Big Iron

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This entry was posted on Monday, June 1st, 2009 at 10:18 pm and is filed under Trip Report. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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