Sierra Nevada - Candlelight Peak

On July 12-13, 1975 I went with Lone Pine Scout Troop 82 and guests - myself, Joe Crimi, Mike Cassaday, Norm Carpentier, Jimmy Carpentier, Chris Bonnifin & Girl Friend, ... Clark and young son, Stan Haye, Barry Jones, Mark Singleton, Bill and Tom Tomlin, Dennis Heassly, Tim Spiller, Ralph and Marty Nikolaus, Larry Fowles, Randy Stevenson. (some spellings may be wrong).

We met at the Lone Pine Scout House at 6 a.m. and drove to Don Christian's cabin where we parked the cars and hit the trail about 7 a.m. It was warm with lots of knats. Joe set a slow steady pace which kept everyone in good shape. After regular rest stops we made it to a nice camp on a bench just below Meysan Lake (Upper) - about 4 1/2 miles from the roadhead.

We arrived at noon. We made camp and the fisherman tried their luck while some took naps. Later the nappers hiked the short distance to Meysan Lake for a look see. We had a pleasant evening cooking supper and talking. Barry Jones cooked some cakes, most of which were good. We hit the sack about 9.

The next morning, on July 13, the fishermen got up early and gave it a try. Norm Carpentier caught five in Meysan Lake - no one else had much luck. The planned climb of Lone Pine Peak sort of fizzled.

After lazing around for a while I decided about 10 a.m. to go for a hike up to Meysan Lake. Once there I kept going over easy grades toward the ridge between Meysan Creek and Lone Pine Creek. I was feeling good and making good time so I continued to the ridge and on to Candlelight Peak over easy class 2 terrain.

I made the ridge about 11, and the peak about 11:30 after following the ridge looking for the highest point - about 12,077'. This longer route is easier than climbing directly from Lower Meysan Lake. The views of Consultation, Mirror, Lone Pine Lakes, and Mount Whitney are great - it's quite a drop.

After taking pictures and signing the Band-Aid box register (it went back to 1961 and included Bill and Topper Thomas, Gil Beilke, and others I knew), I headed straight down back to camp. I arrived at the meadow below camp in about 25 minutes at around 12:30.

The gang had decided to leave earlier than the planned 1 p.m. so they brought my pack over too me - we ate some lunch and after a brief rest headed for the cars about 1 p.m. We reached the cars at 2:45 and headed for home after a very nice weekend. Great scenery and I enjoyed the climb of Candlelight.

Candlelight Peak area map
Candlelight Peak area map

Is it a separate peak? A high point along the Mt. Irvine east ridge? Or merely a radio repeater placement spot? USGS topos list the false summit (about 1/4 mile east of the true summit) as Point 3681.

For the South slope or the South West slope routes, you start at the Meysan Lakes trailhead which is 11.3 miles from Lone Pine (just under 1 mile from the Whitney Portal on the Portal Road).

It's unknown who first climbed to this point (odds are pretty good that it was hundreds, if not thousands of years ago, given the easy slope from upper Meysan Lake). The summit register, however, includes a laminated page from the first register and lists a trip via the East Ridge by Carl Heller, Steve Christensen, Wayne Perry and John Turnbull on June 3, 1961.

It can be speculated that because the high point on this ridge receives the first and last rays of sunlight (as viewed from the Portal area) the Candlelight name was one of obvious intent.

Lower Meysan Lake - Jul 1975
Lower Meysan Lake - Jul 1975
'Grass' Lake below upper Meysan Lake - Jul 1975
'Grass' Lake below upper Meysan Lake - Jul 1975

'Grass' Lake below upper Meysan Lake - Jul 1975
'Grass' Lake below upper Meysan Lake - Jul 1975
Meysan Lake - slope is route to Mt. LeConte on skyline - Jul 1975
Meysan Lake - slope is route to Mt. LeConte on skyline - Jul 1975

Mt. LeConte over Meysan Lake - slope/chute is route to climb Mt. LeConte - Jul 1975
Mt. LeConte over Meysan Lake - slope/chute is route to climb Mt. LeConte - Jul 1975
Meysan Lake, Mt. LeConte (skyline right), Mount Corcoran (behind Mt. LeConte) from Candlelight Peak ridge - Jul 1975
Meysan Lake, Mt. LeConte (skyline right), Mount Corcoran (behind Mt. LeConte)
from Candlelight Peak ridge - Jul 1975

Mt. LeConte and route above Meysan Lake to climb - Jul 1975
Mt. LeConte and route above Meysan Lake to climb - Jul 1975

Lone Pine Peak - class 2 chute climbing route to right of center - from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975
Lone Pine Peak - class 2 chute climbing route to right of center
from Candlelight Peak ridge - Jul 1975 - see this page
Lone Pine Peak - class 2 chute climbing route to right of center - from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975
Lone Pine Peak - class 2 chute climbing route to right of center
from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975 - see this page

Lone Pine Lake on Mount Whitney Trail from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975
Lone Pine Lake on Mount Whitney Trail from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975
Mirror Lake on Mount Whitney Trail from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975
Mirror Lake on Mount Whitney Trail from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975

Consultation Lake, Mt. Muir (center), Keeler Needle and Mount Whitney (right) from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975
Consultation Lake, Mt. Muir (center), Keeler Needle and Mount Whitney (right)
from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975
Consultation Lake (left), Mt. Muir (left center), Keeler Needle and Mount Whitney (right), Wotans Throne (center foreground), Mirror Lake (lower right) from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975
Consultation Lake (left), Mt. Muir (left center), Keeler Needle and Mount Whitney (right),
Wotans Throne (center foreground), Mirror Lake (lower right)
from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975

Keeler Needle and Mount Whitney (left), Mt. Russell (right), Wotans Throne (left foreground), Mirror Lake (lower right) from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975
Keeler Needle and Mount Whitney (left), Mt. Russell (right),
Wotans Throne (left foreground), Mirror Lake (lower right)
from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975
Mt. McAdie (center), Consultation Lake from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975
Mt. McAdie (center), Consultation Lake from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975

Keeler Needle and Mount Whitney from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975
Keeler Needle and Mount Whitney from Candlelight Peak - Jul 1975