Split Mountain (14,058 feet)

Split Mountain from the area of Red Lake

Originally known as South Palisade, Split Mountain is now officially named as such for the prominent gash that can be seen just below the mountaintop from many miles away.
Looking back down toward Red Lake from below the summit

On July 31, 2005, Paul Allegretti, Susan Malcher and I set out from the Red Lake Trailhead for a dayhike of this big peak. It has a reputation for being technically easy but physically exhausting.

Making reasonable time in the dark after we started, we approached the curious riparian area (jungly, really) that is found along the trail not far below Red Lake. Weird, flowing water and thick, lush vegetation in a portion of the trail that is still somewhat in the midst of high desert.

Reaching Red Lake, Paul and I picked up the speed as Susan began to slow. Continuing our slog up talus and a bit of snow, we eventually gained the gentle north ridge of the peak and glided up to the summit...just as the clouds rolled in. No views!
Summit view north

With Susan nowhere in sight, Paul and I soon headed down. Assuming she'd simply turned around at some point, we found we were correct when we returned to the vehicle 15 hours after starting out and found Susan there waiting for us. I'm glad she was okay, just tired and roughed up from what was far from an easy dayhike.

*Photos courtesy of Rick Kent