Scree for February, 1991
Newsletter of the Peak Climbing Section, Sierra Club, Loma Prieta Chapter
February, 1991                                             Vol. 24, No. 2

Next Meeting

Date:	Tuesday, February 12, 1991
Time:	8 p.m.
Place:	The North Face
	383 University Ave.
	Palo Alto


Program: "Scrambles Amongst the Alps: The Next Generation", by John Flinn
and Kai Wiedman. In the 135 years since Whymper first climbed the
Matterhorn, the peak has seen ascents by a 7-year-old, several blind men
and evan a dancing bear. You're probably saying to yourself: That's all
well and good, but did Flinn and Wiedman have what it takes?

The Matterhorn

There are hundreds of mountains higher than the Matterhorn; there are
hundreds that are harder to climb. But there is none, anywhere in the
world, which has so consistently and deeply stirred the imagination of

Rising in an immense isolated pyramid on the high frontier between
Switzerland and Italy, it possesses not only the dirmensions, but the
stark simplicity, of greatness, and its sprawling neighbor-peaks, several
of which actually exceed its 14,782-foot altitude, seem to shrink into
insignificance beside it.

Through all the centuries that men have known and travelled the Alps
their eyes have been drawn irresistably upward to its savage, soaring
pinnacle. Other mountains were, well, mountains. This mountain was
beauty and magic and terror.

-- James Ramsey Ullman

Upcoming outings

*** March 16-17 (Sat.-Sun.)
MT. CARMEL 4417 ft., class 1
Ventana Wilderness
Leader: Aaron Schuman (415) 494-3299 before 9:00 p.m., h
(415) 335-1901 w

Normal people would breeze up the 4.7-mile trail from Bottcher's Gap to
this madrone-topped summit, but not us! If I took you that way, I'd be
depriving you of most of the fun this trip offers! From Los Padres Dam,
we'll haul ourselves up beyond Big Pines and on to the top, a round trip
backpack of 26.2 miles.

*** April 13-14 (Sat.-Sun.)
3099 ft., class 1
Ventana Wilderness
Leader: Aaron Schuman (415) 494-3299 before 9:00 p.m., h
(415) 335-1901 w

A short but grueling sprint (3.8 miles, 2600 ft.) up DeAngulo Trail
brings us to the top of Partington Ridge. Another 1.3 miles brings us to
Cold Springs Campground. From the camp, we have a 4.8 mile walk on the
Coast Ridge fire road to the summit. One of the two days is going to be
a real workout.

*** May 4-5 (Sat.-Sun.)
10380 ft., class 3
El Dorado National Forest
Aaron Schuman (415) 494-3299 before 9:00 p.m., h
(415) 335-1901 w

Since it'll be early in the climbing season in the High Sierra, we'll
make a short hike from Carson Pass and camp at Winemucca Lake. Round Top
should afford us with considerable technical challenge. If conditions are
good, we'll try for some other peaks in the Carson area.

Spring/Summer trip planning meeting

Plan on showing up at the spring/summer trip planning meeting at 8 p.m.
on Feb. 19 at Ron Lingelbach's place, 1492 Pine Grove Way, San Jose.

Ron's phone number, if you're lost or late, is (408) 253-8036.

The deadline for permit applications will be on us soon, and as usual
we'd like to offer a full menu of trips to a variety of mountains at a
variety of difficulty levels.

Good spring trips are usually hard to plan, but this year we might be
able to take advantage of the drought and start heading up to the high
country much earlier than usual.

Thrip leaders: please give the matter some thought and come to the
meeting armed with a couple of good trip ideas.

Aspiring leaders: come to the meeting, and we'll get you started on the
road to becoming a leader.

PCS can't arrange carpools

Thanks to our friends in the legal profession, here's something else the
PCS can no longer do: arrange carpools on trips.

A passenger was injured in an auto accident on an outing arranged by
another chapter, which resulted recently in the inevitable lawsuit
against the Sierra Club.

To avoid any further suits, we must make it explicitly clear to all trip
participants that the trip begins at the trailhead. Carpools to and from
the trailhead are at the passenger or driver's own risk. The Sierra Club
is not insured for carpooling and assumes no liability for them.

(This, apparently, has been the club's official position for some time,
but some activities sections, including the PCS, have on occasion left
the policy unsaid.)

The Sierra Club will continue to encourage carpooling on outings under
the following conditions:

* Trip leaders are limited to providing lists of participants and
information on who lives near whom. This may allow participants to form
their own carpools.

* Leaders may also provide guidelines on gas money reimbursement to the

* Drivers must have their own liability and property damage insurance on
their vehicles. Passengers should ask drivers to confirm they have this.

Mountain notes

Mission Peak

The Fremont City Council is considering putting a 200-acre golf course,
clubhouse, restaurant, driving range and 250-car parking lot in the open
space below Mission Peak.

It's a site that for the past 13 years has been used by horseback riders,
han gliders, cyclists and countless PCS hikers -- especially members of
the Los Cientos fraternity.

Opponents raise questions about the amount of water needed to keep the
greens green, the propiety of spending taxpayers' money to convert
multi-use land to single-user land and the need for a new golf course
when two others are being developed in Fremont.

If you would like to help save the land as open space, contact the
Fremont Coalistion for Open Space and Trails, 233 Merrill Ave, Fremont,

Or phone Susan Wilson, at (415) 651-6873, Bonnie Davis at (415) 657-1239
or Mike and Nina Alvarez at (415) 792-1574.

More Mission Peak

If you like to hike up Mission Peak from the trailhead at Ohlone College,
don't make the mistake, as someone we know did recently, of believing
that campus security looks the other way at parking in the handicapped
spaces above the swimming pools on Sundays. Tickets are now $100. Ouch.

Miss Manners says

Everybody (well, almost) enjoys the occasional witty remark from the
floor during our monthly PCS slide shows. But it has been brought to our
attention that audience participation has lately on occasion escalated
into a cacaphony of heckling reminiscent of an episode of "Geraldo."

Let's all trya to be a little more civil.

Reaching new heights

From Outside Magazine: "The Fletschorn used to be a 4,000-meter peak near
the Swiss village of Saas Grund and a magnet for alpinists out to conquer
mountains of 4,000 meters or higher.

"Then came a new surveyor's measurement, which revised the Fletschorn's
height to 3,998 meters. Fearing a slowdown in visitor traffic, the mayor
of Saas Grund, German Anthamatten, has launched a drive to return the
mountain to its former glory -- by piling up rocks on the peak's summit."

Perhaps the same could be done for the Sierra Nevada's 13,990-foot
Mt. Barnard, of which Roper says: "Formerly one of California's 14,000-
foot peaks. A lot of peak baggers were unhappy when the USGS announced
the new elevation."

Next time pack it out

Outdoor etiquette dictates that we burn our used  toilet paper, right?
Better think twice. A camper in Idaho who did this recently stood trial
for criminal negligence -- for accidentally igniting a 9,000-acre forest
fire in Hells Canyon.

However, a U.S. magistrate found the camper innocent in connection with
the 1988 blaze in the Payette National Forest, which took more than two
weeks to control.

Part of the camper's defense was based on the fact that camping books
and even some Forest Service maps instruct campers to burn their toilet
paper after use.

Said Payette National Forest Supervisor Sonny LaSalle: "The only safe
way to deal with human waste is to bury it." He said toilet paper will
decompose if it is put in a 6-inch-deep hole and covered with dirt.

Now you know

Q: What is the largest country (in terms of land mass) without a 20,000
foot peak?
A: Canada.

Today's quote

"The wise find pleasur in waters, the virtuous in mountains."
	- Coufucius

Trip reports

On Pyramid Peak: discovering the Rites of Romano

The above strange title is in reference to an unplanned event which
occurred on a trip to Pyramid Peak on Oct. 6-7. Those involved were
Debbie Benham, Henry Bugatto, Dave Caldwell, Joe Coha, Anne Gaillard
(leader), Dave LaPlant, Peter Maxwell, Linda Smith and Judith Yarborough.

For this trip, perhaps not unlike many others, car pooling was the first
"peak" to surmount, with furious behind-the-scenes activity involving
three or four changes in pools and substantial use of Pac Bell's
facilities. Even at the last minute, one car refused to start (after
being loaded up) and another had to be substituted. Funny, on my last
trip an axhaust system got wrecked -- what next?

Our leader's orders were very explicit: Be ready to go at 8:30 a.m. at
Echo Lake. LInda, Judith and Joe shamed the rest of us by turning up in
full gear (after having hiked down from the upper car park) while we were
still eating breakfast, accompanied by a few ducks waddling around.

Any thoughts of getting a boat taxi across the lake had vanished as
everything was closed up, with boards over the windows. The walk around
the lake didn't worry us, thought, as this was thought to be an "easy"
weekend. Indeed, we'd been congratulating ourselves on"only 700 feet of
elevation gain the first day", and "only five miles or so", and "less than
2000 feet to the peak."

Well, the first part was easy enough apart from the "Romano Episode." At
the first water stop, I thirstily got out my water bottle, into which I'd
put my tasty New Zealand drink crystals (or so I thought), opened the lid,
thought it smelled strange and wondered why the stuff hadn't dissolved
yet, took a gulp, and discovered it tasted even worse than it smelled.

In my rush to be ready on time I had emptied a bag of grated Romano cheese
into my drink! This is not recommended practice. Even after the cheese was
tipped out there was left a greasy residue on the inside of the bottle
which smelled almost as bad as the raw cheese, and rendered the bottle
unuseable (at least without a nose peg).

Along the way we didn't see much in the way of fall colors, the trees being
mostly varieties of pines. Joe had dispensed with his cane from the North
Peak trip, and the honor for unusual gear ent to Linda, who deftly used
two ski poles. The click, click, click as they touched the rocks was very

We arrived at our campsite around 11:30 a.m. Along the way there was
considerable dissent on maps. Judith had an attractive full-color Wilderness
Press version, while others had inferior black and white Xerox copies.
These latter were clearly inadequate since it was their fault that we
camped at the wrong lake.

Thinking we were at Waca Lake, we didn't discover until the next day (by
reading a signpost, not the map) that we were really at American Lake.

The day had started cloudless, but by now there were a lot of clouds and
a cold wind was blowing, so we elected to do the peak the next day and
conquer Cracked Crag that afternoon. This is a much more minor peak on the
other side of Lake Aloha (which, by the way, was not one lake at all this
time of year, but rather a collection of smaller lakes). The starkness of
the scene walking across the basin was remarkable, and beautiful in its
own right. Ther term "Desolation" was very fitting.

Having accomplished Cragged Crag we also bagged the unnamed bump at the
south end of the ridge and posed for "advertising" photos at the top. We
figured we could feature them somehow. The shot of all the women together
could be captioned "PCS Women Like It On Top", while that of the men, with
Dick's Peak as a backdrop, could be "PCS Men Do It with Dicks Behind Them."

Dinner saw an interesting range of options, from the cold-dry (Henry's
homemade turkey jerkey that looked like it took more energy to chew than
it gave in return) to the hot-wet (Anne's tortellini that really didn't take
the hour of cooking that Henry Threatened).

After we were relaxed, and had shared in some jokes, Anne tried to get us to
agree to an 8 a.m. departure the next day, but ran into problems. After we
realized this was not another joke, Dave Caldwell grumbeled out loud, but he
was voicing the unspoken feelings of everyone else. If it was going to be an
"easy" day, why get up so early? Wee eventually and reluctantly agreed to a
7 a.m. awakening, to leave hopefully before 8:30.

The next day started off rather negatively, with lots of clouds around and
the peak covered. However, we weren't with the "Bail Out of Bust Bunch" so
we went for it anyway. We were lucky because the weather cleared to perfect
conditions. However, it was a day of underestimation. First of all, our
"two hours to the top" turned into over three. There was some fun scrambling
along the way which made fro a very varied climb and somehow the 2000 feet
just took a lot longer than expected.

We goofed around on top for quite some time, munching on our snacks (no
lunches because we "wouldn't need them") and arranging group photos. Going
down we made a more direct line towards Waca Lake, bing careful to skirt the
impressive cliffs on the west face.

We were further delayed by more cliffs further down which necessitated a
slight detour and the net result of all of this was that we didn't arrive
back at camp until around 2:45 p.m., our stamachs complaining.

The final underestimation was the "two hours to walk out." After leaving
at about 3:50 p.m., we didn't get back until after 6:30, by which time the
sun had set and it was getting really cold -- 35 degrees, in fact.

Echo Lake seemed to go on and on and we were envious of the one or two boats
we saw, thinking to ourselves: "We could be on one of those." We were warmly
greeted at the cars by Joe, who was a little ahead and who gallantly helped
people off with their packs. I didn't envy him or Judith or Linda, who had
to hike up to the upper car park. Frankly I was glad to dump my pack at the
bottom and collapse.

Thanks should be give to Anne, who not only organized the trip, but did all
the work normally done by a co-leader as well. With such efforts, it was no
wonder the trip was such a success.

-- Peter Maxwell

North Palisade: the one that ogt away from us (again)

Mike and Time had talked me into making it a Saturday-Monday trip instead
of Friday-Sunday. It was good they did. As we stood Saturday morning amid
piles of gear near Glacier Lodge, strangers approached. Oh, it's only
Aaron Schuman, Gary Pinson and a hiking partner.

"You don't want to go up there" said Aaron, pointing up the north fork.
"We were up there yesterday", added Gary, "and it rained so hard and the
lightning was so bad my kees were shaking. Look at the snow."

We did and it was beautiful.

"No problem", one of us quipped. "We're equipped."

Although Gary and Aaron were calling it quits on Middle Palisade, we had
psyched ourselves up enough for this climb of North Palisade that we
weren't stopping until we were turned back personally by the weather.

As you might guess, not another drop or flake fell while we were there.
Clouds only added effect, and the snow was beautiful. Our impediments
consisted more of logistical difficulties. Last minute transportaion
changes, forgotten gear and dead camera batteries at the trailhead. It all
resulted in a very late start and lost motiviation.

I had figured that in theory, by being equippe with such items as crampons,
I would be more successful on this peak than last time. It was not
unreasonable to expect that we might even summit. And I had brought more
experienced people than myself.

But logic doesn't always work. Little things come into play, like broken
zippers, loose crampons, wrong boots, and being able to get up early in the
morning and move quickly. And we came close to dupliating communication
difficulties experienced by the first Rum Doodle expedition.

Although we got no higher than I had the last time, and nerves were frayed,
I treat it as another learning experience: be aggressive on North Pal, and
don't listen to anything Pinson or Schuman says.

The trip was Sept 29 to Oct 1. Our group consited of Bhalu Sharma, Tim Hult,
Mike Sogard and Kelly Maas.

-- Kelly Maas


	Aaron Schuman
	3875 Park Blvd #22
	Palo Alto, CA 94306
	(415) 494-3299 H
	(415) 335-1901 w

	Debbie Bulger
	775 A Brommer St.
	Santa Cruz, CA 95062

	Bebbie Benham
	1984 N. Star Circle
	San Jose, CA 95131
	(408) 945-8030 H

	John Flinn
	133 Promethean Way
	Mtn. View, CA 94043
	(415) 286-8779 w
	(408) 288-9723 FAX

SCREE is a publication of the Peak Climbing Section of the Sierra Club,
Loma Prieta Chapter. Subscriptions are $10 per year. Checks should be sent to
the treasurer, Debbie Benhan. To insure an uninterrupted subscriptions, checks
must be received no later than the last Tuesday of the expiration month.

For change of address or address corrections, write or call
Paul Vlasveld, 157 Kellogg Way, Santa Clara 95051.
(408) 24101144 h / (408) 257-7910 w.

Trip Classifications

	Class 1: Walking on a trail.
	Class 2: Walking cross-country, using hands for balance.
	Class 3: Requires use of hands for climbing, rope may be used
	Class 4: Requires rope belays.
	Class 5: Technical rock climbing.

Deadline for SCREE contributions is two weeks before the next meeting.
Mail your contributions to the SCREE editor.