Went up the Vivian trail to the Dobbs ridge and Jepson peak at the end of March.
Sally's TR and our pictures:
Finally, yesterday was one of those rare days on the mountain when almost everything went right.
Ellen, Marilyn, and I headed up the Vivian Creek Trail with Dobbs Peak and Jepson Peak as our destination. Crossing Mill Creek, which actually was a creek for the first time in a few years, was done easily with the help of a well placed log. The snow on the switchbacks to the wilderness boundary sign was entirely melted out. After crossing Vivian Creek we diverted to gain the ridge to Dobbs in a fairly efficient manner. Soon after gaining the ridge we briefly donned microspikes which were shortly thereafter traded out for crampons. The ice axes were brought out at the foot of "the wall" at about 9,000'.
From this point I was in heaven with the brush, rocks, and deadfall nicely covered in nice crusty bitey snow. The going was not speedy because it is quite steep here and the elevation starts to take my breath away.
We reached Dobbs Peak in exactly 5 hours. I was looking forward to the customary longer snack break but Ellen said "Let's head up to Jepson" so off we went. The advantage of just moving on is that when one stops for one of those longer breaks it is much harder to get going again. One hour and 10 minutes later we were basking in the sun on top of Jepson Peak, 11,205'. We enjoyed the view and the lunch that Marilyn prepared and schlepped up the mountain for us.
The trip back down the upper parts of the ridge was fabulous. The snow had softened up and we did not need ice axes. Our route finding was flawless until we began our descent back down to Vivian Creek. We managed to make it down with much bush whacking, scrambling over and under deadfall, and backtracking.
Mill creek had gotten a bit feistier by the late afternoon and crossing it was more of a challenge.
We went to the Mill Creek Cattle Company for dinner and enjoyed the Wednesday special which was steak!
Miles of smiles,