Saturday, June 25, 2016

Pyramid Peak Summit and SAR Training

Pyramid Peak
Desolation Wilderness - El Dorado National Forest
Kyburz, CA
Elevation 9,984 - 4,000+ gain - 14+ miles
Peak one of a double peak weekend... Tomorrow is Mount Rose, but for today, it's all about Pyramid Peak!

I am a member of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team. We often go out on training hikes and we do a couple big ones each year. This year, Pyramid Peak is the chosen target. 

This is my second time up this mountain. The first time got to be too much for me and I bailed on getting all the way to the top by about 200 feet. You can read about my first attempt HERE. For some, the rock scramble is the funnest part. For me, not so much. I will climb mountains, plow through manzanita, through mud, water, and just about everything else, but boulder hopping doesn't seem to be in my DNA. This time I was out with my Search and Rescue team and I made it to the top! So glad to check this peak off the list. I am not sure I'll do it again, but so glad to get it done. 

We entered from the Lyons Creek Trailhead. This trailhead is located off of Highway 50 on Wrights Road. After you turn onto Wrights Road, it's about 4 miles down. 

This route takes you into Desolation Wilderness, 
so a permit is required and available at the trailhead sign

The team for today's hike. Ready to get to the top!

We are hiking in June and have had quite a bit of snow this year. There were some areas that were still pretty wet and sludgy. 

Beautiful meadows

The trail from here is very well maintained and easy to follow.

And into desolation we go!! 

The first peak at the top of the mountain. 
From some angles, this peak really does look like a pyramid. 

Lots of water. Finding crossings was interesting at times. 

Starting to look more and more like desolation wilderness...

yep. Desolation Rocks

Several water crossings. This one was a little dicey. A couple of people decided to see how cold the water really was by taking a dip. oops!  And yes, it was VERY cold. 

We also had quite a few areas of snow patches. These are slippery, but very crossable. 

We made it to Lake Sylvia!  The hike to this point was very well maintained and easy to follow. A pretty simple hike. Some of the team members decided to stay put and relax for a bit. 
The other half of us started of for the peak. 

Me at the lake... Lake Selfie = Lalfie?

And higher we go. Looking back at Lake Sylvia

The views just keep getting better and better. What a beautiful day. 

It's tough climbing, but we keep getting higher and higher. 
The rocks are starting to get bigger as well. 

Desolation even offered up a heart rock :-)

And the scramble begins... These look big and they are, but the problem is that many of them move when you step on them. For seem reason this freaks me out. But onward and upward we go!

And on and on and on...

But we made it!! I was pretty happy to get this one done. Some of my teammates have done this one many times and run up the rock scramble like mountain goats. I'm slow, but steady and feel like I won this race!! It was a beautiful day and I was so happy to get this one done. 

El Dorado County Search and Rescue Ground Team Pyramid Peakers!!

The views are beautiful in every direction.

Now I'm looking down at all of these rocks. Time to get started going back down. 
There is no trail to follow, so you just simply know which direction you need to head and go!

The little orange dot in the middle is another team member making his way down. 
I'm right behind him, but the way down is almost as slow as the way up. We had some huge snow fields to go through. They were very soft and slippery. Once we got down below that level, it was smooth sailing. 


And the fastest way down in the snow? Just sit down and take a ride!

I was surprised at how fast I got going. It's crazy, but fun!

This is a full day of hiking. We didn't take a lot of breaks and it still took about 7 hours. 
14+ miles round trip from the Trailhead and back. 
My tracks recorded on my iPhone via Strava

Wow, it looks like I climbed a mountain! Oh wait, I did!! 

Now to jump back in the car and head to Reno. 
Tonight is a 3 Doors Down Concert and tomorrow is Mount Rose with my sweetie!! 





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