Amelia Earhart Peak Climb

August, 2004

Topographic map showing the trip (image #amelia_topo)

New! A QuickTime VR panorama from the summit

In early August, 2004, six of us family and as-good-as-family members hiked off to climb Amelia Earhart Peak in Yosemite National Park It is just under 12,000 feet tall. The group consisted of my cousin's husband Wayne Penn, their son Jon Penn, our family friend Mary Jane Coombs, my wife Deanna Clayton-Diggles, her daughter Maurie, and me: Mike Diggles.

This was the third in a series of mountaineering trips that Wayne and I have been doing since he retired from University of Illinois. We started with a climb of Mt. Silliman in Kings Canyon National Park in 2002. This peak was named by William Brewer in 1864 when he climbed it and named it after the son of his geology professor from Yale. Brewer and his assistant, Clarence King (later first Director of the U.S. Geological Survey) were able to see a particularly high peak from the summit of Silliman that they thought might be the highest point in the Sierra. We got to enjoy the same view. That higher peak is now named Mt. Brewer (the point from which they discovered the higher peaks to the east including Mt. Tyndall, Mt. Williamson, Mt. Russell, Mt. Langley, and Mt. Whitney: the highest point in the Lower Forty Eight). We decided to continue to follow the path of Brewer's expedition and climb Mt. Brewer in 2003. Our Brewer climb consisted of spending three days just getting near the base of the peak only to be turned back three-quarters of a mile from the summit by a lightning and hail.

So by golly, this year, we decided to find a peak with a much higher roadhead so we could spend less time on the approach and more on the climb. Tuolumne Meadows is a great roadhead because you can drive your car on a paved road to nearly 9,000 feet; an elevation that took us three days on foot to achieve last year. We selected Amelia Earhart Peak because there is a well-groomed hiking trail that puts you less than a mile from the summit for the base camp. Ameila was also an important figure in exploration that I thought Maurie would appreciate.

Group on the summit (image #040806-090)

The hike was two nice days and ten miles in from the road. The third day we climbed the peak from the north ridge and descended along the south ridge. We dropped down from a saddle and were three-quarters of a mile from our base camp when Deanna slipped on a rock and took a fall. She likes to ride horses but getting hauled out of the back country with a hurt leg on one is not recommended.

See this photo album for pictures, the story, and a panorama from the summit.

Back to the top

Home | Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6

Go to Mike Diggles' home page
Date created: August 20, 2004
Last modified: March 7, 2006

The URL of this Web site is