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How do we get down to the hot tubs? Tavis contempl...
This is the huge gully on the east face of Laurel Mountain, easily visible from the hot tubs down in Long Valley. The route starts at the Convict Lake parking area. Take the lake trail around the north side of the lake. At the far end of the lake there is a junction, stay straight (right) as the lake trail drops down to the left. After half a mile or so, the trail crosses an old creekbed. You can see it leading up to the gully above to your right. Follow the creekbed to the gully, and proceed up the gully. Depending on season the bottom of the gully may or may not be full of snow. I had to bypass the snow and ice by climbing choss on the gully's right side. Eventually, I was able to come down to the bottom of the gully again. The rock in the bottom of the gully is quite good, blue limestone, very unusual for the sierras. The climbing comes in steps... 20 feet of steep (though always easy) rock, then flat for a while, then another rock step. After a while, the gully steepens but stays easy. It winds to the left and then back to the right again, shooting straight for the summit to the right of a very steep buttress. Eventually the gully opens out onto the scree slopes that lead to the summit proper. Whew! Descebd to the north, then down snow and scree slopes to the east, eventually picking up a faint trail through the brush that leads south back down to Convict Lake. Now buy yourself a beer and go soak in the hot tubs!
None needed. You could bring a rope but there's no pro anyway.
Georgeous view from Convict Lake.
Scrambling up Laurel Mountain. Photo by Dale Apga...
|Comments on Mendenhall Couloir
From: Mammoth Lakes
Mar 20, 2013
This is also a great climb to be done in winter. It consists of almost all snow climbing with a couple sections of exposed rock and thin ice depending on the snowfall that year. I found it to be easily solo-able at 4th class moderate snow. A trip report (not by me) can be found here.