Arrived at South Lake 2am
Up at 7am, car doors slamming, people arriving to backpack. Shosh got there at 7:40am. Our meeting time was 8am. We left South Lake (9,755') at 8:20am on the siphon tube trail. Ten minutes later I realized I forgot my sunglasses. Shosh waited while I went back. 15 min later we were on our way again. Soon Mt Tom came in to view, then Mt Humphreys and other high peaks. We passed by Brown Lake (10,700'), then arrived at Green Lake (11,054'). After finding a campsite, we packed our daypacks for a dayhike to Cloudripper (13,525'). We headed up the trail to Grunion Plateau ~11:30 and was at the top of the ridge (11,720') before noon. Great views! We followed the plateau on a use trail for a mile, then headed cross country up a gully towards a ridge (12,384'). A descent to 12,317' in .3 mi, then another uphill climb to 13000' in .5 mi. The next .2 mi was up some large boulders to a saddle. I climbed up the boulders in search of a register. You can imagine the disappointment when I looked around and I was higher than anything around. My gps said I was at 13,356'. I found the white pvc pipe at 3pm, with a little book that said "Cloudripper Jr"! Inside, it said "Peak 13,356" and also "Thunder and Lightning Peak". I checked my gps again, and it said .50 feet. I later discovered my eyes saw "ft" and not "mi"! Shosh pointed out the peak across the way, which was Cloudripper. It required a 300' descent and 500' ascent to summit. The weather did not look promising, and with our late start, we settled for Cloudripper Jr. It was here we gave Shosh the moniker "Cloud Ripper Jr". She wasn't feeling well, and wasn't going to climb over the boulders to get to the summit, but she made it! There wasn't much room up there, and it got a little chilly so we signed the register and climbed back down to the saddle for a quick lunch. At 4pm we felt a few sprinkles and started putting stuff away. I saw a bolt of lightning to the north and we scrambled down to a saddle overlooking the Bishop Lakes Trail and all of its lakes. By 4:30pm balls of hail were hitting us hard so I put my rainjacket on. Doh! I left my pack cover at camp! Rain and hail was coming down hard so we didn't bother with rain pants. Thunder and lightning was 2-3 seconds apart, and coming from all around us. Goal was to get down ASAP! By the time we got to the gully it was 8 seconds apart. Back on the plateau the hail turned to a rain. We got to camp at 6:20pm, got in our tents to put dry clothes on. Everything in my pack was soaked, including my gloves and the capilene shirt I was going to wear for the night. Luckily I left my R4 Jacket in the tent and it was dry. It rained hard til 8pm, then Shosh got out and did some construction around her tent, which was now halfway in a pool of water. Mosquitos were out, so I stayed in my tent and looked at pics and worked on trip notes. Since we had a late lunch we skipped dinner. After that we got a little more rain on/off til 10pm. I got up at 11:20pm, thinking it was morning! I hate when that happens! It was a long and stormy night . . . .
I was up at 5:30, wiping up the condensation in my tent. I was out by 6am, and Shosh was gone, wandering and checking out the meadow near our lake. The morning was hot, and without a breeze, Green Lake had beautiful reflections all morning. Since we had a short hike out, we spent the morning relaxing and talking. We layed our wet clothes and gear out to dry. Shosh decided to take a dip in the lake and tried to convince me to do it. I like the cold, but didn't want to deal with the bugs. We left Green lake at 11:10am, arriving South Lake at 12:45pm. This was my second trip with Shosh, but the first time we got to talk. She hikes almost as much as me, so we had a lot to talk about.