On January 1-4, 1976 myself, Dale Caldwell, Mike Cassiday, Paul Durantine, Ellie Heston, Randy Stevenson, Randy Peterson (Explorer Post 82) backpacked with snowshoes on a 16 mile round trip to climb Mount Starr 12,870'
We left my house at Lone Pine at 6 a.m. and drove to the end of the road at Rock Creek and unloaded. I moved the the car down to parking where the road is plowed (in case it snowed) and hitched a ride back to end of road.
The rest had gone on and I followed arriving at Ruby Lake where they had set up camp about 12:30 or so below the lake. We hiked up to Ruby Lake and walked across it. Saw two backpackers coming down Mono Pass Trail who had camped at Summit Lake.
Friday we got up at 7 a.m. and after breakfast headed for Mount Starr via Mono Pass. We left about 10:30 and made the pass in about two hours - some wind packed snow but mostly just a hike. After lunch on the pass headed up to Mount Starr.
Mt. Starr 12,870' first ascent July 16 1896, by Walter A. Starr and Allen L. clickering. Our route easy Class 2 from Mono Pass.
Mono Pass - John Muir Wilderness 02 Jan 1976 (Paul Durantine Photo)
Little Lakes Valley from Mt. Starr - John Muir Wilderness 02 Jan 1976
Bear Creek Sphire, Mt. Dade, Mt. Abbot from Mt. Starr - John Muir Wilderness 02 Jan 1976
Pioneer Basin from Mt. Starr - John Muir Wilderness 02 Jan 1976
All seven made the top. Outstanding views of Pioneer Basin and Little Lakes Valley. After more eating and viewing we headed back to camp, ate supper, and played Hearts before going to sleep.
Saturday we got up at 7 a.m. with some clouds in the sky. Mike and Dale headed for Morgan Peak and the rest of us - eventually on snowshoes - headed for Morgan Pass. The snow got thin, and combined with some cold feet and the increasingly cloudy weather we decided to forget Morgan Pass and just see some of Little Lakes Valley.
Mike and Dale gave up their climb for similar reasons and went sightseeing in the upper end of the valley. We all got back to camp around 2 p.m. as it started to snow lightly. We played hearts and loafed in the tent, then fixed supper. The snow stopped without leaving much and the stars were out as we went to sleep.
Sunday we got up to clear skies and headed for home after a very pleasant weekend.