Mt. Ritter and Banner (Partially hidden in the clouds) and the Minarets off to the west with the San Joaquin Ridge in between.
11 SEPTEMBER 2022 W6/ND-392
|Route:||Forest service road & cross country|
|Hike Distance:||2.5 miles round trip|
|Cell Coverage:||Good (Verizon), APRS Excellent|
Getting ready to do the next leg of our piecemeal John Muir Trail attempt, I arrived in Mammoth Lakes two nights before our permit to start from Tuolumme Meadows. I had been up in the White Mountains the day before activating two 10,000′ unnamed summits, so I looked around the Mammoth area for a nice stroll of a hike. Dry Creek had the attraction of being probably the easiest 3 bonus points I would ever earn as a ND (Northern Desert) summit just before the September 15 cutoff, plus it would be a complete as I had worked a few different SOTA activators from there.
After the downpour in the White Mountains the day before from Tropical Storm Kay, the day dawned sparklingly clear. The turnoff is a very short drive from the town of Mammoth Lakes on the Mammoth Scenic Loop. While Whitedog with 4 wheel drive probably could’ve made all most all the way to the summit, I parked just off the scenic loop just to get the exercise in preparation for the JMT.
I give this hike three stars – a solid recommendation as it is a very nice walk through the woods with a great forested summit to hang antennas. If the view was a bit more open of the Minarets and Ritter and Banner it might’ve rated 4 stars in my book.
Radio conditions were okay with a surprise call from Lorene W6LOR and Mike K6STR just down the hill in Mammoth Lakes! They were on their way out and I was sorry to miss them. It would have been a perfect summit day to fly Chester, but I didn’t bring him along after the stormy weather had kept him grounded on the previous two summits the day before.