This is the first issue of SCREE, the newsletter of the Peak Climbing
Section of the Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club. In addition to Section
news, such as reports and schedules for our meetings and trips, SCREE
plans to publish regular columns on topics of interest to the peak
climber, such as equipment, first aid, and techniques. To do this, SCREE
needs contributions from Section members. Hints and kinks, and letters
from members, are also welcome. Please send your contributions to
The first two Section climbs this year will involve several miles of snow
travel into the base camp location. SCREE would therefore especially
welcome contributions on ski or snowshoe travel and equipment. For
example, notes on adapting downhill ski gear for cross-country travel
would be welcomed by our skiing members.
478 Thompson Avenue
Father Leo Hoefer, a principal organizer of the Winter Mountaineering
course jointly sponsored by the Sierra Club and the National Ski Patrol,
was featured in an article in Penninula Living, the weekend supplement of
the PALO ALTO TIMES. This was one of those rare articles on (ski)
mountaineering to appear in a daily paper. Several Section members
attended this course, which covered basic and advanced first aid (taught
by Section member Harry Weldon), mountaineering medicine, equipment, map
and compass, and basic avalanche training. Our thanks go to Father
Hoefer, Harry, Dave Walker, and all the others who worked so hard in
organizing and presenting this course.
The first climbing trip of the Peak Climbing Section will be a climb of
Ralston and Echo Peaks, scheduled for February 18 and 19. The first day
we will hike about five miles, with an elevation gain of 1000 feet, past
the Lower and Upper Echo Lakes. Camp will be at Haypress meadows near
Lake of the Woods. On Saturday afternoon we will climb Ralston Peak with
its spectacular views of Pyramid Peak and Desolation Valley. On Sunday we
will climb Echo Peak and enjoy its view of Lake Tahoe. Some snowshoe or
ski touring experience is necessary. The area is covered on the Fallen
Leaf Lake quadrangle (15 minute series). The leaders are
Clarence Aberg 948971741
Kurt Menning 266976641
The December meeting of the Peak Climbing Section was held at the home of
Clarence Aberg. The proposed bylaws were reviewed, modified and approved.
The bylaws will be submitted to the Executive Committee of the Loma Prieta
Chapter for approval, and will be published in a subsequent issue of
SCREE. Bill Rausch showed slides of his climbs of Mexican volcanoes, one
of which, Pico de Orizaba, is the third highest peak on the North American
continent. These volcanic peaks were the subject of a recent article In
SUMMIT magazine (Climbing Mexico's Volcanoes", November 1966). Our
January meeting will be held at 8:00 PM on aednesday, January 11, at the
home of Pauline Johnson, 168 Lincoln Avenue, Los Altos. The agenda will
include knot tying practice for roped climbing, and a slide preview of our
first section climb: Ralston and Echo Peaks. This will be a good time to
discuss snow touring and camping.
EQUIPMENT - Map Mounting
Most of us carry maps on one occasion or another, particularly if
off-trail travel is contemplated. The map used most often is the
topographic map, 15 minute series, produced and sold by the U.S.
Geological Survey and usually available from local sources (Penninsula
Scientific in Palo Alto, for example). In National Forest areas, maps
prepared by the Forest Service are available although somewhat harder to
come by. (Although not recommended for field use, plastic raised relief
maps are aval lable from the Army Map Service: see the article "Topo Maps
in SUMMIT", March 1965, page 27.) Unmounted maps wear out rapidly In the
field, particularly near the folds. In this month's Equipment column, we
shall discuss one way to mount a topographic map.
The 15 minute series topographic maps are approximately 17" by 21" in
size. To mount one of these maps, we need some white glue (Elmer's
Glue-All or similar piece of muslin sliqhtly larger than the map, and a
Formica work surface, such as the kitchen table. Begin by trimming 1"
from each side of the map, and then cut the map into 9 5" by 7" sections.
The piece of muslin is moistened and then laid out on the Formica surface.
The back of each map section Is then given. a heavy coat of glue and
placed in its proper position on the muslin. Pressure is applied to the
map section to eliminate air bubbles and force glue into the weave of the
muslin. Excess glue is removed with a wet cloth. The mounted map is then
left to dry overnight. When dry, the map can be peeled from the Formica
surface (not without some effort) and the excess muslin trimmed. Dried
glue can be removed from the Formica surface with a wet sponge. The
mounted map is quite durable and witi last for many trips. Although it is
not waterproof, it will survive minor wettings.
MOUNTAINEERING MEDICINE - High Altitude Pulmonary Edema
High altitude pulmonary edema Is an Illness which may occur In individuals
going to altitudes above 9000 feet without proper acclimatization. The
illness Is caused by the leakage of fluids from blood vessels Into air
sacs In the lungs, preventing sufficient oxygen from reaching the blood.
The loss of oxygen disrupts the vital functions of the brain and heart.
Symptoms appear withIn 6 to 36 hours after arrival at high altitudes. The
first symptoms are shortness of breath and weakness on slight exertion. A
persistent cough develops, and a gurgling sound in the chest may be heard.
The heart rate becomes very high, the pulse Is weak, and a blue tinge to
the skin may develop. If treatment Is not undertaken promptly, the victim
may lose consciousness and death may occur.
A day or two of rest may be sufficient for recovery from mild cases: for
severe cases, the required treatment is rest and the administration of
oxygen. If oxygen Is not available, the only recourse Is evacuation to a
It appears that few, If any, cases of pulmonary edema are reported among
weekend climbers, who often go from sea level to 10,000 feet in a space of
a few hours. There may be several reasons for this. First, mild cases of
pulmonary edema may go unrecognized or are passed off as altitude
sickness. Secondly, the Sunday night trip home may be In progress by the
time symptoms would otherwise occur. Finally, while climbers may go high
during the day, they often sleep low at night.
Parties anticipating an extended stay at altitudes above 9000 feet should
be on watch for symptoms of pulmonary edema and, If located in an area
from which evacuation to a lower altitude might be difficult, should
consider Including oxygen in their supplies.
Dr. H. N. Hultgren, Associate Professor of Medicine at the Stanford
School of Medicine, gave a talk on high altitude pulmonary edema at the
Winter Mountaineering course mentioned elsewhere in this issue. Dr.
Hultgren has wrltten a number of papers on this subject, one of which,
entitled "Treatment and Prevention of High Altitude Pulmonary Edemas"
appeared in the AMERICAN ALPINE JOURNAL for 1965. In this article, Dr.
Hultgren describes the symptoms and treatment of high altitude pulmonary
edema, describes an oxygen apparatus suitable for field use, and discusses
several case histories.
Mountaineering Knots I: Simple Bowline