Leor Pantilat - Mt. Stewart Adventure Run

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mt. Stewart Adventure Run

By Leor Pantilat

Joel Lanz and I climbed Mount Stewart via the High Sierra Trail, Hamilton Lakes, and Kaweah Gap. The 12,205 ft mountain is located on the rugged Great Western Divide and the region is one of the most remote in the High Sierra requiring 46 miles roundtrip to reach the summit (42 miles were on the High Sierra Trail to Kaweah Gap from the Crescent Meadows trailhead). We started at 4:40 am and finished at 6:50 pm for a 14 hour and 10 minute day. The 21 miles along the High Sierra Trail to Kaweach Gap from the trailhead at Crescent Meadows took about 5 hours each way. From Kaweah Gap we traversed into Nine Lakes Basin and then utilized a broad ramp to scramble to the upper slopes of Mount Stewart, which contained some snow slopes and more scrambling to the third class summit block. The panorama from the summit of Mount Stewart was outstanding with a commanding view of the Great Western Divide, the Big Arroyo River Valley, and Black Kaweah. The glacier-carved Hamilton Lakes amphitheater is one of the most scenic areas I have seen in the High Sierra with the towering granite faces of the Valhallas including the famous Angel Wings rock wall, Mount Stewart, and Eagle Scout Peak.

Just below Kaweah Gap is Precipice Lake (above) with the sheer cliffs of Eagle Scout Peak descending right into the lake. This stunning scene was immortalized by Ansel Adams in 1932 in his photo titled "Frozen Lake and Cliffs." Many more photos are located on the complete trip report here.


Joel's footage in HD:


More photos here.

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