Mariposa County High Point Trip Report
Parsons Peak Ridge
Date: September 2, 2000
Author: Peter Maurer
An attempt to bag Mt Lyell, Tuolumne County's highpoint and the highest point in Yosemite Nat'l Park
at 13,114', was aborted by the season's first winter storm. After a 10 mile hike up Lyell Canyon to base
camp in alternating rain and sleet the day before, the strong winds, cloud shrouded peak, and snowy
ledges on the north facing, class 3 approach led us to agree that with all the beautiful days in the Sierra,
Mt Lyell could wait for another day.
But it seemed a shame to be so close to so many county highpoints, and not get any, so we scrambled
several miles over tallus slopes, around tarns at the base of several 12 - 13,000-foot peaks to the base of
Parsons Peak. The lower elevation, south facing approach, and class 2 rating made this do-able, and we
reached the summit late that afternoon. Half Dome and other landmarks to the west were still hidden by
clouds but views to the south and east, including snow capped White Mountain in Mono County, could be seen.
We walked the obligatory 300 yards northwest of the summit to the approximate boundary of Mariposa
County, called it good, and scurried on down the boulder-strewn slope to get out of the icy wind. Made it
back to base camp just before dark, and woke up the following morning to beautiful weather, but the need
to hike on out and back to reality. Mt Lyell awaits us next summer.