Yosemite National Park High Point Trip Report

Mount Lyell

Date: September 2002
Author: Richard Carey

We should have had an earlier start, but we did make the summit of Lyell. Leaving camp at 8:15 we were at the top of the glacier at the Lyell/Mclure saddle at 1:50 p.m. I spotted some ducks and looked for a way up the north prow of Lyell. I recalled something about a chimney and I saw this, but didn't like the looks of it so we did a traverse at the snow and rock boundary. This was a bit slippery, but then I saw a way up I liked better. A storm the day before left about 1/2 inch of snow on some ledges, which was a concern. I thought this might stop us, but higher up on the face there was no snow and it had apparently melted off by the time we got there.

Thanks to ducks placed by Andy Martin, we found the horizontal ledge which had good handholds. For some better protection, I went ahead and strung the 7mm rope as an additional handhold. After this we made good progress thanks to Andy's marking the route. We steadily climbed up and reached the notch at the end of the sloping upper part. Then on to the top which we reached at 3:15. Clouds were building as we took some photos. Fortunately, the clouds dissipated later and there was no rain or lightning that day. The down-climb wasn't too bad. It was about 4:45 p.m. when we reached the saddle, too late for me to climb Maclure. The hike out was slow and we reached the trail in the dark.

Thursday we hiked out and I went ahead and got there in time for a shower at Tuolumne Lodge. Then we went to the Tuolumne Campground. Friday we did the tourist routine and took a YARTS bus down to the valley. Saturday we hiked to Clouds Rest. This 9,926 ft peak has a fabulous view down the valley and of Half Dome. It is an easy hike on good trails about 14 miles round-trip from Tenaya Lake and I heartily recommend it.