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Newsletter of the Peak Climbing Section, Sierra Club, Loma Prieta Chapter
October, 1995                                             Vol. 28, No. 10

DATE: Tuesday, Oct 10
TIME: 8 p.m.
PLACE: Western Mountaineering
       Town & Country Shopping Center
       San Jose

PROGRAM: Denali 1992. Past PCS slide shows have made Alaska's Mt. McKinley
look like a Sierra peak on an overcast day! Come see the real Denali both by
air and by crampon with Sandy Sans, and Trish Morrissey & Co. Join them as
they walk through the serac fields, watch the ice avalances fall around them,
and see the hanging glaciers directly above. Come follow the route that saw
Mugs Stump perish. Four Bay Area climbers made an attempt on the South Side
"Ramp" Route and lived to tell their tale.

Half Dome circus

THIS TRIP was notable for the circus-like atmosphere on Half Dome, including a
jostling horde of people and a performing lion.

It was also a fun trip for my
dad and I. His previous biggest peak was Gaylor Peak, a mere 1,000-foot climb
from Tioga Pass. At age 65, his pinnacle of mountaineering is now Half Dome.
He did it in good style.

What was astounding to me on this, my third trip up Half Dome, was the huge
crowd of other people making the pilgrimage last Saturday. An unbroken stream
of humanity filed up the dusty trail. The cables were a nightmare, with about
100 people jamming them at any one time-half going up, half coming down,
jostling, waiting. 

The hot shots who didn't want to wait in line between the cables scooted up
on the outside, hand over hand. One of these fellows happened to be, lo and
behold, fellow PCSer Roy Lambertson, sensibly clad in rock shoes and a sling
setup for securing himself when he wanted to take pictures. Roy later
described the peak as "Lemming Dome." 

There may have been 1,000 people on the summit that day. For future HD
hikers, my advice is: (1) not on a Saturday, (2) go early, and (3) use
contraceptives (to limit the number of future Half Dome aspirants).

Sunday morning, at our camp at Moraine Dome, another surprise: As I cooked
blueberry pancakes, my dad noticed an unusual hiker approaching. One hundred
feet away, a big mountain lion padded effortlessly down the trail, long legs
moving fluidly, long tail behind. He glanced over at us coolly without
breaking stride, then continued toward Little Yosemite.

  -- Butch Suits

With Colin Powell undecided, the PCS searches for a leader

The Nominating Committee for the selection of office bearers for 1996 is Cecil
Magliocco, Aaron Schuman and Peter Maxwell.  They are faced with the overwhelming
task of nominating persons for Chair, Vice Chair/Scheduler and Treasurer. If you
have any suggestions, please contact any one of them. Bribes are also accepted for
people wishing to climb the class 5 PCS Corporate Ladder.

A new editor for Scree is also being sought. Contact PCS Chair Debbie Benham.

Official PCS trips

Crown Point
Oct 7-8
11,346 feet, class 2
Leaders: Judith Dean   (415) 854-9288 H (until 10 pm) Judith.Dean@forsythe.stanford.edu
         Debbie Benham (415) 964-0558 H (until 10 pm) dmbenham@aol.com
Topo: Matterhorn Peak 15'

Come on this very easy class 2 climb and enjoy the lovely fall colors  hiking
up Robinson Creek out of Twin Lakes. We'll camp at Peeler Lake  on Saturday,
then climb the peak on Sunday. Eight miles from Twin Lakes parking lot to
Peeler Lake with 2,500' elevation gain first day.

Mt. Langley
Oct 13-15
14,027 feet, class 2
Leader: George Van Gorden (408) 779-2320 H (before 9 PM)
Topos: Mt. Langley, Cirque Peak

Starting at roadis end at about 10,000 feet, we will walk to Long Lake  at
11,143 feet on Friday.  Saturday, climb the peak and return to camp.   Back
to the cars by noon on Sunday.

Yosemite Valley Car Camp
Oct 14-15
Leaders: Cecil Magliocco (408) 358-1168, pmag@ix.netcom.com
         Vreni Rau       (510) 582-5578

Enjoy fall day trips from the valley.  Family members welcome.

Mt. San Jacinto (Cactus to Clouds Challenge)
Oct 28
10,804 feet
Leader: Steve Eckert (415) 508-0500, eckert@netcom.com

This 22 mile hike has over 10,000' of gain, and 2,500' of loss. The trail is
not maintained or marked on any map I know of, but starts near Palm Springs
in Southern California (at 5 am) and ascends to the summit of San Jacinto
(10,804'). On the way down, we save our knees by taking the tram for all but
2,500' of the drop. You will have to carry 3-4 quarts of water since this is
a desert climb on the lower part of the mountain. It might be cold (or
snowy?) on top, and there is only one bail-out point (the tram). 

To sign up, you must contact Steve Eckert (415)508-0500
eckert@netcom.com - your qualifications will be challenged,
but don't take it personally! This is a tough hike, and we
want to show the group which does it every year that
Northern California can muster a capable team also.

Tentative winter trip schedule

I would like to thank all THREE leaders who showed up for the winter trip
planning meeting on Sept. 19.  As you can see by the list below, the winter
trip schedule is mighty thin. If you would like to lead a trip, please
contact me (see back of Scree for how.) I will bring the trip schedule sheet
to the next PCS meeting if you would like to sign up in person.

The following trips should be considered tentative until confirmed by leaders.
There is no distinction made here between club trips and private trips.

Oct.   7-8: Crown Point          
Oct.   7-8: Highland/Raymond Peaks      
Oct. 13-15: Mt. Langley                 
Oct. 14-15: Yosemite car camp           
Oct. 21-22: Disaster/Stanislaus Peaks              
Oct.    28: San Jacinto day hike        
Nov.    19: Mt. Umunhum                 
Dec.    10: Big Basin to Sea/key exchange
Jan.    20: Stairways in San Francisco  
Jan.    27: Mountain or road biking     
Feb. 10-11: Mission Peak to Sunol

  -- Paul Magliocco       

Fletcher, Vogelsang peaks climbed by PCSers

Leaders: Bob Suzuki and Debbie Bulger Party.
Members: (8 in all) Bob Suzuki, Debbie Bulger, Richard Stover, Mark
Woolbright, Arun Mahajan, Larry Hester, Julie Carlyle, Dennis Hilpakka.

Everyone gathered at the permit station at the pre-ordained time (8:30 am on
Sat). There were a few no-shows so the party size was reduced to 8 instead of
the expected 12. It was clear and cool, perfect hiking weather. After about
7.5 miles on a clement grade and at a modest pace, we reached Vogelsang Lake
at 2 pm. We camped there, and around 2:30 we set off to get Fletcher. 

One person opted out of the hike and remained at camp. We climbed right up,
close to the camp on the west facing side at a place where the face was more
broken, with Bob Suzuki leading the way. After a fairly strenuous class 2
section that got us about a 3rd of the way up, we headed right and passing
through some scrub and some steep rock made it to the summit.

Since there was no summit marker or register, there was some initial
confusion about the true summit. Also, most of us had read Phyllis's report
that there were some false summits. We could see some rock outcroppings to
the left (north) of us, which we thought could be the ones she had written

Larry and Bob and Richard and Debbie, after studying the maps in more detail
then concluded that we were indeed at the summit. We descended from the
southside of Fletcher, heading towards the direction of Vogelsang Pass, which
was an easier way down than the way up.

The next day we started hiking towards Vogelsang at 8 am. Two persons
dropped out of this climb. The class 2 northeast slope was filled with snow,
complicating our plans.  

Bob Suzuki, intrepid as ever, soon ascended the snow. Debbie was the sweep.
Slowly, by cutting steps with pointed rocks (what they didn't teach me at the
ice-axe course!), we all gathered at the boulders where Bob was. Then began a
section of the route that only a very elastic definition of class-2 would

But with Bob and Debbie guiding and spotting us,and with help from Richard,
we all managed to clamber up towards the ridge and from there up easy class 2
to the summit.

When we reached the summit, it was 11 am. We did the usual summit dawdle,
took pictures and leafed through the registers. The view was spectacular,
with Half-Dome, the Clark range and Parson's Peak in full view.

We started down after lunch. The snow pack was still hard, so the shortest
route down was not an option for us, neither did we feel like going down the
way we had come up. So we decided to descend to the south of Vogelsang Pass.

But going down was not easy either, especially one 6 ft section. But again
Bob and Debbie got us through safely. Then it was a traverse in scree and
loose rock towards the pass. Once over the pass, it was just a 30 min walk
back to camp. We broke camp and started towards the cars at 2:45 pm. By 6 pm
we all got back to the cars, and some of us stopped for dinner (excellent
food) at Groveland's Charlotte hotel. 

I guess it must have been midnight by the time people fromthe Bay area got
back.This was an excellent hike, perfect weather and a good bunch of folks.
Bob and Debbie showed excellent leadership skills in finding routes, in
keeping theclimb within the class-2 bounds, and in maintaining good cheer.

  -- Arun Mahajan

Ask Gaston

Dear Gaston:
     Which should one apply first: sunblock or bug repellant?
     Yours adoringly,
      (signed) Burned and Bitten in the Backcountry

My dear B&B: As honorary vice chair of the annual Chamonix Film Festival
salute to Jerry Lewis, the great Gaston has more important things to worry
about than your trivial whining. Fortunately he is in a benevelent mood,
having just seen The Nutty Professor for the 17th time. That Jerry Lewis, he
is a comic genius, no?

Now, in answer to your question: You should put on bug repellent first and
skip the sunscreen altogether. Why? The mosquitoes will ignore the bug juice
and attack you anyway. Nothing keeps them away. but if they don't fly through
a layer of sunscreen on the way to your bare arms and legs, they will not
gain protection from the sun's burning rays. They will quickly get skin
cancer and die. This is the only way to get rid of the little bastards.

Now go and trouble me no more. Gaston has spoken!

Aiguille to disagree (or A NEEDLE IN A FRENCH SNOWSTACK)

[picture of Peter and Anouchka could not be included here]

On July 20-21 Anouchka Gaillard and myself went climbing in the French Alps
near Chamonix.  The alps are very steep and almost any climb involves pretty
hefty elevation gains and losses.  Even with the benefit of the many
telepheriques there, many thousands of feet are involved (all elevations are
in meters in Europe, but I'll convert everything to feet to enable
comparisons to be made).  

We wanted to bag a peak in the Mt Blanc Massif, and chose Aiguille
d'Argentire, a peak in the northern part (aiguille is French for needle,
which aptly describes the craggy skyline).  At 12900' it's higher than many
in the immediate vicinity and well into heavily glaciated areas (the Glacier
d'Argentire descends down to about 6000').

We hired ourselves a guide as we didn't know the route or conditions and
didn't have time to check it out properly, quite apart from our reluctance to
head out amongst crevasses with just the two of us.

Day 1 was really easy.  We had a telepherique to help us, which took us
straight up to 10900'.  Glancing around the cabin on the way up, which was
full of people bound for the same general area, we noticed we were the ONLY
people not wearing plastic boots.  Visions of my soggy feet on the July 4
Palisades trip flashed across my mind and I mentally prepared myself for a

The final station was much higher than the refuge in which we were staying
that night, so to start with we descended 2200' down to the glacier, on very
soft snow.  There was almost a heat wave on at the time and freezing level
was up near 15000' (no doubt it dropped overnight, but I don't know how far).

A short walk involving a 400' climb saw us at the refuge a little over an
hour after we started.

The refuge, oddly enough, has a flat roof.  We discovered that one use for
this is as a helicopter landing area.  We were treated to a few such episodes
because there were some professional photographers and sophisticated women
(definitely non-climbers) modelling next season's ski wear.  They would get
into some colorful garb, then be whisked off by the helicopter to some
imposing peak, no doubt, for the catalog photos.  So much for that part of
our wilderness experience.

Said experience started very early the next day - 3 am to be precise.  To my
surprise, when I staggered in to the dining room, it was almost full.  True
alpine starts like this are the rule rather than the exception.  Everyone
wants to be on summits around 7 or 8 am and descend the steepest parts before
the snow softens. We started walking at 3:45, needless to say using our

We weren't the first, by any means, and we could see many lights bobbing in
the distance. The snow was sufficiently soft that we didn't even need
crampons and at the start we were getting decidedly warm.  This soft snow did
the expected to our leather boots, despite gaiters and a fresh coat of snow
seal (waterproof?  ha,ha!).  

Then, the wet boots and the cold snow started making at least our feet feel
pretty cold.  I was glad of the effort in climbing to keep circulation going.

Still, we were faster without crampons and passed many people encumbered by
them. We headed up the glacier which runs almost all the way to the peak, the
Glacier du Milieu.  This is a small glacier and crossing the bergschrund
posed no problems other than taking a large step while pulling on the planted
ice axe.  

The snow was very crusty by this stage and the axe gave good support. By now
the slope had increased to about 40 degrees and remained that for the last
1000' or so.  The slope wasn't so bad, just the duration.  It was very hard
to get enough variation of angle of the feet to prevent my muscles from
screaming out from being constantly hammered the same way.  Jane Fonda's burn
had nothing on this - I had a veritable inferno!

We made good progress, though, and ended up passing everyone who had been in
front of us with the exception of two and were the second party to summit.
This was about 7:15 am, so we had climbed the 3800' in 3.5 hours.  The sun
was still fairly low and provided interesting shadows and colors on
everything. It was difficult to get good summit photos with us in them as the
true summit is on a small mound of snow which is overhung on one side, so
caution was   of the day.  There was no lingering around, as our guide wanted
to get down the steep portion before it softened up and started balling in
our crampons.  He was wearing anti-balling devices (plastic plates which fit
underneath the crampon and prevent the snow from sticking) and thought
everyone should have them.  It turns out this guy's main employment is in
mountain rescue and he said by far the majority of accidents are caused by
people slipping with balled up crampons.

The swift descent seems to be the case with all guides there:  they're keen
to get back as soon as possible, even if it means running down the slopes,
and aren't interested in leisurely descents soaking in the surroundings.  

Ours seemed to want to gallop down to break all records.  We glissaded where
possible:  this guy could glissade on his boots faster than we could sitting
(with no rain pants on so we got thoroughly wet and frozen backsides) and was
even pulling us down some slopes!

Back down on the main glacier it was much flatter, with numerous small (2  )
crevasses that we jumped over.  Just before we reached the point where the
trail from the telepherique middle station joins the glacier, we had a
delicate path to find through much larger crevasses.  

I managed to half fall into one when I stepped a little too close to the
edge and the snow on which I was walking gave way and it, together with one
leg, went into the crevasse.  Fortunately this was as far as I went and was
able to scramble back out, with injured pride.

After getting onto rock and being told that this was the end of the snow, we
took off our polypro and parkas and set off in t-shirt and shorts.  However,
in 5 minutes we were back on the glacier again.  They had had a very high
snowfall winter like us and this enabled bypassing a considerable section of
the trail, which had its good points in that it was easier and faster, but
left us on snow in mid-morning with lots of exposed skin to get abraded if we
fell, or to get burnt by the sun.   Luckily neither occurred and we were back
at the middle station of the telepherique shortly before noon 8 hours after
starting.  The elevation here was 6500' so we'd descended 6400' after
ascending 3800', all at a rate twice that with which I'd have been
comfortable- no wonder we were tired.  

  -- Peter Maxwell

No avoiding the wet spot on this trip to Mineral King

The summer of '95 will be remembered not only for Kevin Costner's Waterworld
but also for the Sierra Waterworld. Sequoia National Park the week of July 4
was no exception. We left Mineral King at 7:30 a.m. The crossing of usually
placid Crystal Creek took 30 minutes. It was raging. Richard jumped across to
a rock upstream from the trail. I handed the packs across balanced on a
shaky, thin sapling log. Then, after deliberating for 10 minutes, I got up
the courage to leap. Whew!

Next, we found Franklin Creek an uncrossable torrent. It splashed and
crashed at a streep angle over the slippery rocks. As a result, we
backtracked to a snow bridge over the East Fork of the Kaweah River. Then we
bushwacked to a point above the confluence of Franklin Creek and the Kaweah
where we set a fixed line across the River. I doned my O'Neill surfing shoes
and set up the rope. Then we brought the packs over. I won't tell what I
stripped down to, but only Richard was around.

All this took about three hours. We had traveled one and a half miles.

We never did see the junction of the Franklin Pass Trail and the Farewell
Gap Trail. There was snow everywhere above 8600'. When we had to finally
cross Franklin Creek, we were high enough to find another snow bridge. The
first night we camped at Franklin Lakes just below the dam in the snow at

One the second day it took five and a half hours to make it to the top of
Franklin Pass. Slow going. While we waited for the sun to soften the
west-facing pass, (we did not take crampons) we replaced the valve on our
Whisperlight to cure the anemic flame we had to deal with at breakfast. At
the top of the pass we were buzzed by a fire spotter helicopter, perhaps sent
by the rangers who tried to convince us not to attempt the backpack. We waved
to show we were alive, and actually having fun.

With the very slow going and the corniced summit on Florence, we decided to
save that peak for another time. It was already 3:30 p.m. and the clouds were
building fast. The way down the other side was not clear with all that snow.
By contouring we avoided the really steep descent, but were still impressed
with our tracks from camp at the bottom. We found a great campsite in the
snow among the foxtail pines.

On the third day we got slightly off route in the trees and ended up
climbing and descending an extra 500' on the way up to Shotgun Pass. The
view, however compensated, for the extra work. Descending Shotgun provided
more excitement then we needed. There was melting snow everywhere. Steep
cliffs were to the right and left. The 20' of exposed trail was totally
washed out. Worse, the rotten snow was undercut with rushing water just where
we wanted to contour.

We managed to downclimb some rock ledges covered with slippery pea gravel
and running water. I lowered the packs using a boot ax belay to Richard who
had downclimbed  to the cravasse where the snow met the rock. Then, I joined
Richard and, since I weigh less, leaped onto the snow hoping I wouldn't fall
through. Rah! It held!
Next Richard tossed the packs to me and followed. We held our breath as we
crossed the rotten mushy surface. We breathed a sigh of relief when we
finally reached frozen Silver Lake. We were elated but exhausted when we
found a patch of bare ground underneath a huge Western White Pine.

We had now crossed the Great Western Divide twice on the trip under more
difficult conditions than either winter or summer. We were totally alone. If
anything were to happen, it would be a long way to go for help. We took extra
care in hanging the food bags.

Day four was uneventful and pleasant. We needed it. We hiked from Silver
Lake to Bullion Flats just south of Farewell Gap. That evening we had to
throw rocks at the aggressive marmot at our campsite. The furry creature was
chewing on the strap on my ice ax, and even tasted some of the paint! During
the day we had seen all sorts of flowers-paintbrush, columbine,
forget-me-nots, johnny jump ups, not yet blooming lupines, and shooting star.
Ceanothus, manzanita, wild onions, penstamon and some itty-bitty blues ones
we couldn't identify. Many were growing all over the still untrod-upon trail.

On the last day we ascended Farewell Gap then dropped our packs at the
wind-swept top and began to climb Vandever Peak. The wind increased to an
estimated 60 mile/hour force. The route was exposed, and this trip was
Richard's first experience with an ice ax. All I could picture was my husband
sliding downhill unable to self arrest. And it would be my fault! I couldn't
handle that. We retreated.

Back at the Farewell Gap saddle we prepared to glissade down the other side.
Then we searched for yet another snow bridge. Another day and it would have
been melted. In order to avoid  time-consuming creek and river crossings, we
headed cross country. The route took us through a forest of massive red firs
where a herd of mule deer were bedded. The buck in charge was magnificant
sporting at least an eight point rack. The deer trotted ahead of us, showing
us the best way down off the steep ridge.

Back at the trail head we discovered hugh muddy bear paw prints all over the
truck hood. And under the hood, the marmots had been at work munching on the
distributor wires. Even with yards of electrical tape repair work, we limped
down to Three Rivers and then home. The garage charged about $100 for the
marmot lunch. A small price to pay for an extreamly good adventure.

  -- Debbie Bulger

Peak bagging while CrissCrossing the Kings-Kern Divide 

We met at 7am on a balmy morning at road's end in Cedar Grove. I was really
looking forward to not having to camp on snow for the first time this year -
it was the 10th of August after all, and Cedar Grove trailheads had been
reported to have a higher snow line than most.  Participants were Steve
Eckert (leader), Karl Josephs, Suzanne Remien, and Aaron Schuman (coleader). 

The rangers here insist on each member of the group hearing a pep talk about
bears and fires and all that, but they were not there at the scheduled
opening time. We got a somewhat later start, but still completed the 15+
miles to the far end of East Lake by 6pm. 

Bear boxes abound at East Lake, as do the bears! We watched two walk through
camp before dark, and Steve got to test his new bear-resistant cannister when
another kicked it around several hours later. If you want to test your
technique, this is the place: We heard stories of properly hung food being
taken, food hung over a cliff being pulled up and taken, even a bear
following his favorite targets to a new campsite when they tried to get out
of range. 

The next morning we left the trail between Reflection and East lakes,
heading between the Minster and Ericsson Crags to drop our packs for an
attempt on Deerhorn. We never did match up the route with what we saw: This
mountain is "feature rich and view deficient" according to Karl. You never
know if you're really in the right chute! Two of us got close enough to see
the twin peaks, but it was late in the afternoon and it was getting vertical
enough to want a rope so we backed off. 

Retrieving the packs, we camped below Harrison Pass, which was climbed
easily the next morning. Crampons were not used, and all chose to stay on the
rock except one fool who wanted a little practice chopping steps on steep icy
snow. I sure wished I had put on the crampons by the top, but the runout was
safe and it was good practice. Ericsson was a straightforward climb (3rd
class from the east side) and has stunning views into several drainages.

The top has one or two tricky moves, but nothing too bad. Aaron and Suzanne
then headed around Caltech Peak by way of Lake South America. This route is
very easy walking, and seems to have few visitors even though the snow is

Steve and Karl stomped up the class 2 slopes of Gregorys Monument, the south
summit of Mt. Stanford, after agreeing to meet the advance team below
Forester pass by the next morning at the latest (full moon and all). 

From the south summit, the route to the higher north summitdoes not really
match either Roper or Secor: Roper says to stay "on the east side of the
classic knife-edge ridge", which is fine advice for about 10 feet. Secor
mentions the chockstone and suggests descending to a ledge on the east side,
but forgets to mention that those two things don't happen next to each other!
The ledge starts quite a ways north of the chockstone, and drops sharply
downward before turning up again to bring you back to what becomes a true
knife edge ridge where the climbing gets much easier. 

We agreed that this climb has some of everything, from chickenheads and
cracks to chimneys and even the chance to crawl along a ledge under a low
overhang. It is tougher than you might expect, because on the way UP to the
peak most of the tough moves are done DOWNCLIMBING onto or along the ledge.

Coming back is much easier and you can't get off route. I thought the climb
was more rewarding than Ericsson, but the views are not as good as you might
expect from a 13,963' peak. 

The Stanford crew never caught the advance team, and made camp separately
about 8:30 pm along the John Muir Trail just west of Diamond Mesa. We all got
together the next morning at the lakes below Forester Pass, where the advance
team had frozen overnight. It was cold enough for toe heaters in the boots,
and we had to chip through the overnight ice to pump water out of the lake. 

Climbing to Forester Pass (13,200') we encountered some snow, but the trail
is clear for the most part. The polemonium is in bloom and abundant enough
that you don't have to lean over to smell it. From Forester, we hopped over
the hill to Ski Mountaineer's Pass and headed up Junction Peak. There is no
clearly good choice between these passes, but the rock is more stable higher
up (as we found out on the way back).  Junction Peak has two summits, and we
had little trouble getting to the higher north peak by skirting many towers
and ridges on the right south side of the main west ridge. If you cut too far
south too soon, you'll wind up in a slabby bowl, but it's pretty obvious how
to get around and there are no exposed moves required. From the high point,
which has no register, we started to wonder if the other summit was closer to
the junction of the ridges (and therefore might be the TRUE peak). I did the
airy traverse just to see, and found a small film can with two scraps of
paper. I returned it to the USGS benchmark on the higher peak by way of
ledges below and west of the airy ridge. Anyone planning to climb Junction
Peak should take a better register! 

Still on our fourth day, we hoisted our packs again and headed back down
into Bug Land (we tried to do Manhattan Transfer and Paul Simon take-offs on
BugLand, but none are worth mentioning here - or did I just mention them?). 

Camp was just east of East Vidette along the JMT. We stayed away from the
crowds around the bear boxes, choosing to hang our trash and stuff everyone's
remaining food in my bear cannister. No visitors this night, aside from
clouds of mosquitos so thick they got stuck on your spoon while you were
trying to eat. 

Suzanne had found a log jam across the creek at just the right place to
climb slabs to the bowl south east of East Vidette, so Karl and I headed out
of camp around 6am to climb it. A nice easy finish to a pretty hard trip.
Roper forgets to mention the scree chutes that Secor notes, so he calls it
class 3. Secor, on the other hand, seems to imply that the chute goes all the
way to the top (which it does not). 

You can loop around onto the north face for the last few feet and pretend
it's a class 2 climb without too much of a stretch, but we stayed on the
solid rock for the ascent. If you go straight up from the chute, you're on
class 4 getting to the peak from where you hit the ridge. 

The hike out was about 18 miles with packs, which pushed us to a 10 hour day
including the peak climb. Signs along the trail show the distance not
changing after over an hour of hiking, so trust the trail guides and maps,
not the signs!

The showers at Cedar Grove had long lines, so we all jumped in the stream.
The advance team apparently was video taped by tourists, but the peak baggers
had the stream to themselves. 

Looking back on the trip, the variety was greater than I expected. Each peak
had its own type of rock: Deerhorn is fractured with Hail Mary holds
everywhere, Ericsson is mostly boulders stacked on each other, Stanford has a
single long ledge that lowers the climb from class 4-5 to class 3, Junction
is a little more slabby, and East Vidette is rapidly eroding granite that
looks almost like sandstone in places. The valleys and plants below each are
just as distinct, making for a very interesting loop. I highly recommend it,
and would like to hear from anyone who knows the secret class 3 route up

  -- Steve Eckert

Private trips

Highland, Raymond Peak
Oct 7-8
10,934 feet, class 2
Organizer: Roger Crawley (415) 321-8602
Car camp at Grovers Hot Springs near Markleeville.  Saturday is a four mile
approach and a 4,000 foot elevation gain to Raymond Peak from Pleasant Valley.
Sunday is Highland Peak, a 3,300 foot gain from the Ebbetts Pass road.

Disaster, Stanislaus Peak
Oct 21-22
Organizer: Bob Suzuki 408-259-0772 home (after 7:30 pm) bSuzuki@aol.com
Topo: Sonora Pass 15' quad

This moderate weekend outing will consist of day hike ascents of two peaks
near Sonora Pass. Saturday morning we'll meet at the Clark Fork Road's end
at Iceberg Meadow and try to bag Disaster Peak. Sunday, from Sonora Pass,
we'll follow the trail along the Carson River, climb Stanislaus Peak, then
traverse to Sonora Peak and back down to the cars. 

Limited to 8 strong climbers.

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*** Rock Climbing Classifications ***
The following trip classifications are to assist you in choosing trips for
which you are qualified. No simple rating system can anticipate all possible
  Class 1: Walking on a trail.
  Class 2: Walking cross-country, using hands for balance.
  Class 3: Requires use of hands for climbing. A rope may be used occasionally.
  Class 4: Requires rope belays.
  Class 5: Technical rock climbing.
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