Mount Inyo, Keynot Peak
29-May-99 (private trip)
By: Linda McDermott
Inyo and Keynot in a day? I thought it would be an H & H peak (hot and horrible).
It had been a thought I dreaded, but several friends needed the peak and having done Maturango via the Knight Canyon route recently I figured not much could be worse. Four friends needed their "emblem" pins this day!
We all agreed to meet at the 4WD spot to enable a 5:00 am start. Jim Hinkley and I met Neal Scott, then Wayne Norman and Erich Fickle before the fair dirt road turnoff. Debbie and Richard Bolger from San Diego showed up at some point (they were backpacking independently) and helped shuttle Wayne and Erich to the 4WD spot. My thanks for the help!
During the evening, Greg/Mirna Roach, Julie Rush and Dave/Elaine Baldwin, Ron/Ellen Grau appeared. Not much level camping at the roadhead, so vehicles were scattered over the hillside. We got a 5:15 am start, and headed for the trail up the scree slope. Greg led the trip, and agreed to my pleas to go up the trail rather than the steep ridge he had gone up before. The trail was great, and got us up the scree with no problem. The trail can be found almost at the end of the wash, just before the waterfall which had a bit of water in it. Got to Bedsprings Campground (the bedsprings are still there) about 9:30 am and stashed some water. We headed for the saddle, then toward Keynot first. Wayne and Erich went only for Inyo at this point.
The ridge on Keynot is one of my favorite on DPS peaks - the Sierra didn't have a cloud in them, and we could see 360 degrees. We ran the ridge, then I chose to go lower on a use trail to the left of the peak. Others went on the 3rd class rocks at on the ridge. The use trail goes right up to the peak, so we all came down that way, thus avoiding the rocks. Back to the saddle about 1:00 pm, then off to Inyo. No problem getting up Inyo except for the last bit of rock scrambling. Dave/Elaine Baldwin, Neal Scott and Wayne Norman all got their emblem!
The way back went easily, and that incredible scree slope made the way down quite quick and fast. We were back to the cars about 6:45 pm, just under the predicted 13 hours. It was windy in the "flats," so several in the group decided to go to Lone Pine to eat while a few of us hard core DPS types braved the wind and fixed spaghetti. The trip broke up the next morning so we could all get back to town to enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend (plus beat traffic).
My thanks to my pals who joined me: Jim Hinkley, Neal Scott, Ellen/Ron Grau, Greg/Mirna Roach, Dave/ Elaine Baldwin, Julie Rush, Wayne Norman and Erich Fickle. Congratulations to our new emblem holders!
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