Sheer Cliffs of Ragged Peak

Mountain Secrets

Tony KrizanMarch 14, 2013 

On the adventure today I'll be joined by my two hiking companions Clem Bingham and Fred Cochran. We'll be hiking to a peak that its first recorded climb was on July 6, 1863 by survivors Hoffmann and Gardner. The name was probably given by the Wheeler Survey which appears on Atlas Sheet 56D, 1878-79.

First we'll depart from Oakhurst on Highway 41 to the south gate into Yosemite National Park. Follow the Wawona Road into Yosemite Valley then follow the Tioga Pass Road 120 to Tuolumne Meadows. The trailhead is located at the Lembert Dome Parking Area at 8,592 feet. This will be the easiest and shortest trail to follow until the final two miles which will be cross- country.

There is an alternate trail heading north called the Dog Lake Trail at the west end of the parking area. This is a longer trail but will intersect with the Lembert Trail. So check your map so not to get confused on directions. We'll continue following the trail east through the first large meadow and cross Delaney Creek. Next we'll pass Peak 10,410 on the right but keep heading east to the second large meadow. Cross Dingley Creek while still following the trail until it takes a 45 degree angle to the left. At this point we'll depart from the trail and focus our attention to the northwest and the saddle roughly a mile in the distance.

Ragged Peak is hidden by the saddle, but keep climbing and soon those jagged peaks will come into view. Do not hike beyond the peaks to the next saddle. Stop short of the saddle until you are parallel to the peaks. We started our steep assent next to a huge boulder 20 feet in diameter.

We now can start switch-backing our way up through loose scree (liquid gravel). The simplest way of describing this event is; as we climbed forward two steps, we slid back one. Just before reaching the summit, off in the distance looking to the south I could see Dingley Creek and Peak 10,410. Just beyond the peak was Tenaya Lake. From this elevation they looked quite a distance away.

Once on Ragged Peak (10,912 feet), we found the canister and logged in our information sharing this experience with those before us. Looking down the opposite side of this peak I could see the trail leading to the Young Lakes almost 1,000 feet below. To the east is the secondary climb to Ragged Peak East with its elevation of 11,255 feet. This peak is only 1.25 miles east of our location and is identifiable by the band of white quartz on its northeast shoulder.

On our return we retraced our steps back to the trailhead. Hiking to the summit took three hours and less time on the return trek. With our days getting shorter in September, allow for driving time. From Oakhurst a one way drive of 95 miles and from Mariposa 85 miles. Allow at least 2 ½ hours driving time each direction.

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