Plan summer hikes early

Mountain Secrets

Tony KrizanFebruary 13, 2013 

Winter is here and if you are spending time indoors, this is a good time to plan your future summer hiking activities. The weather prognosticators are calling for a dry summer again this year, so I anticipate high elevation trails could open up sometime in June.

As for myself I'm seriously considering one more attempt in July to solve the mystery of Lt. Lenard Lyden's fallen P40 WWII aircraft. On that fateful day of Oct. 24, 1941, Lt. Lyden's P40 crashed somewhere within Kings Canyon National Park. After locating and photographing three of the five aircraft that crashed that day, the remaining fifth P40 is still a mystery, lost somewhere in the mountains. Now the forth aircraft crashed in Wildrose Canyon close to Lake Hughes and was removed in 1941.

There are two ridges along the flight plan that my hiking partners Clem, Fred and I has not searched. Once again we'll set up our base camp along the Roaring River and maybe we'll get lucky this summer and solve that mystery.

Then sometime in August I've set my sights on Mount Williamson the second highest peak in California at 14,375 feet. This mountain is located on the east side, north of Mount Whitney.

In August of 2012 with unpredictable weather conditions, the summit was not conquered. This year once again with the assistance of my two hiking partners, we'll attempt to reach the peak in three days.

The first successful recorded assent was performed by W.L. Hunter and C. Mulholland in 1884. They hiked the rugged George Creek Canyon route, which w ill be our route of choice.

`named after Major Robert Stockton Williamson of the Army Pacific Railroad Survey crew of 1853.

If I still have time this summer, I would like to attempt a cross-country trek within the Ansel Adams Wilderness along the Silver Divide.

From Edison Lake I will hike to Devils Bathtub around the Graveyard Peak and visit Peter Pande, Olive, Ann, Minnie and the Graveyard Lakes. This should be a five day trek using a combination of trails and cross-country routes.

Peter Pande the largest of these lakes and its name was used informally during the 1930s and 1940s by packers and hikers. When Pande died in 1959 his son asked for the name change from Marilyn Lake, and was accepted by the BGN (Board of Geographic Names) in 1961.

Now the Graveyard Lakes received their names from a rogue group of sheep men refusing to recognize agreed upon boundaries. The rogue group continuously refused to move, so they were ambushed around their campfire one evening and shot. Another story of our nation experiencing growing pains.

Now you have my 2013 summer hiking agenda. Hope to see you on the trail somewhere in the wilderness.

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