Hike to Ball Mountain in the Southern Sierras

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For this hike, we decided to try and make it to the top of Ball Mountain, 9260 foot elevation.  We started the hike at 6500 feet, so close to a 3000 foot elevation gain.

The peak way in the back is Ball Mountain

The peak way in the back is Ball Mountain

The plan was to take the Wildrose Trail up about 3 miles then bushwhack straight up to a lower and smaller peak, then follow the ridge to the top of Ball Mountain.

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There was a good deal of snow and of course my hiking boots, as awesome as they are, are meant for summer…and I wore cotton socks, a big no no.

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Well a little turned to quite a lot of snow and we had to take breaks for me to warm my freezing little toes.  But despite the treacherous and steep terrain, the snow made it easier to keep grip and gave a nice sparkle to the view.

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I’m so glad I had my hiking poles, which look like really cool, adjustable ski poles (mine are made by Leki and are wonderful) because it really helped not only my stability but checking deeper pockets of snow for possible holes on unstable ground.

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Here the snow got so deep it was up to my knees.  Boy was I unprepared for that, though I am thankful for my Christmas present of sturdy hiking pants or I woulda been a popsicle!

At a certain point we reasoned that we did not have enough time to make it to the top of Ball and home while it was still light out, but I believe we made it well over half, possibly 2/3 the way up.

We got to a small peak and took a quick break for water and snacks, knowing we needed to make quick work of our way down.  Brian’s plan was to take us  down a dry creek bed on the other side of the mountain and kind of loop around to the main road and back to the car.  I did warn him that based on previous attempts at hiking through dry creeks in this area, that they often turn into sheer-walled cavern-like creeks.

We headed down and were quickly rewarded with dry conditions and some beautiful open fields.

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Not many pictures for the rest of the trip because things got serious pretty quickly, as they are wont to do in these parts. We descended into the creek covered in boulders which I am not adept with quite yet (but getting better).  As predicted, the creek grew tall, sheer rock walls after awhile and we had to make the climb out.  Boy I need to remember to take better pictures.

We stumbled across some fun and crazy terrain, each pass thinking okay this is where we will head down but we really didn’t know what we were getting into. So we kept heading across until finally we ended up back on Wildrose Trail!

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Another adventure complete just in the nick of time, as usual.  We estimate that we hiked about 9-10 miles on this day, a total of five hours of hiking.

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