Home | Scree | Back Issues

Scree for December, 1996

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This is the EScree - the Electronic version of the Scree newsletter from
the Peak Climbing Section of the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club.
It should be viewed or printed with a fixed-pitch font such as Courier.
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     This publication may not be posted on any public news group.
                   December, 1996  Vol. 30, No. 12
    Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 12/29/96.
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Next meeting (PCS meetings are the second tuesday of each month)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Tuesday, December 10
Time: 8:00 PM
Program: Party!
Location: The almost famous "Cafe Iris" on the Silicon Graphics Campus

There's a fixed-pitch-font map below, and a gif map to the Cafe Iris on the Web:
      http://reality.sgi.com/csp/pcs/winter.html

Someone may kick you out if you show up empty handed
or try to get by "on the cheap" with a liter of Pepsi!

Bring your "best" potluck dish. If you need a suggestion
for what to bring, follow this guide based on the initial
letter of your last name:
 -  A-F: main course
 -  G-L: desserts
 -  M-R: snacks, appetizers, salads
 -  S-Z: drinks
NOTE: Names have been re-arranged for 1996 to avoid picking on the same people!

Check the Web for any last-minute changes and late breaking news.
(Hey, it could happen!) Here's a map which should be viewed in Courier font:

          ^
          |
     to the Bay
        |   |     ------     ------          ------     -----         ^
        | S |     |    |     |    |          |    |     |   |         |
   ^ ^  | h |     | 12 |     | 11 |          | 10 |     | 9 |       North
  / v \ | o |     |    |     |    |          |    |     |   |         |
 /     \| r |     ------     ------          ------     -----         ^
  Amph. | e |
        | l |                                                        -----
--------- i ---------------------------------------------------|     |   |
Amphith.  n             Stierlin Court                         |     | 8 |
  Pkwy    e                                                    |     |   |
---------   ---------------------------------------------------|     |   |
        | B |(S)                                                     -----
        | l |                                                          |
        | v |     -----     ----- -----              ----- -----     -----
        | d |     |   |     |   | |   |              |(C)| |   |     |   |
        |   |     | 1 |     | 2 |-| 3 |     (G)      | 5 |-| 6 |     | 7 |
        |   |     |   |     |   | |   |              |   | |   |     |   |
        |   |     -----     ----- -----              ----- -----     -----
        |   |
                   (S) = Charming Red Abstract Sculpture
      to US-101    (G) = Gazebo
          |        (C) = Cafe Iris
          v

To get to Silicon Graphics, take the Shoreline Blvd exit from
US-101 in Mountain View. From either the northbound or
southbound directions, make a right exit, then turn left at the top
of the ramp, heading north through the industrial park.

1.3 miles from the top of the ramp, there'll be the unmistakable
Shoreline Amphitheater on your left - a giant two poled white
tent Another landmark at the same corner is the charming red
abstract sculpture on your right.

Turn right at that corner, onto Stierlin Court. You're on the SGI
campus. Park anywhere that isn't a fire lane, a handicapped
space, or a loading dock. Building 5 (with Cafe Iris) is the fourth
building on the right.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The PC "Well Named" Party
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The PCS Winter Climbing Gathering (sometimes called "The
Christmas Party", by people who don't know about the
Chanukah Celebration, the Solstice Rampage, the Three King
Fling, or the Kwaanza Bash) will be a rousing evening of food
and drink, songs and games (unskilled nerds are welcome also).
There will be a potluck dinner, followed by a slide show of
everybody's favorite trips. Bring ten of your most exciting,
embarrassing, or "hideous exposure" slides to show at the party!
Aaron and Anouchka, our co-sponsors at SGI, managed to get
access to this facility at no charge.!

Thanks, SGI !


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annual Election Results
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks to all who came to the PCS meeting and voted. This year
we had a great slide show (Aconcagua and southern Chile) plus
a slate of candidates with more than one per office! Aaron
supplied the ballots, but the crowd was large enough that we
almost ran out.

To help contact PCS officers and volunteers, whoever they are,
Aaron Schuman has created the following email forwarding
addresses. Email to these addresses will be automatically sent to the
right person, even though the person and their email address changes:

Chair (presides over meetings, sets up slide shows, etc.):
 Warren Storkman / pcs_chair@kaweah.engr.sgi.com
 415-493-8959 home, 415-493-8975 fax
 4180 Mackay Drive, Palo Alto, CA  94306

Vice Chair and Trip Scheduler:
 Jim Ramaker / pcs_scheduler@kaweah.engr.sgi.com
 408-224-8553 home, 408-463-4873 work,
 188 Sunwood Meadows Place, San Jose, CA  95119

Treasurer and Membership Roster (address changes):
 George Van Gorden / pcs_treasurer@kaweah.engr.sgi.com
 408-779-2320 home
 830 Alkire Avenue, Morgan Hill, CA  95037

Scree Editor, Email Broadcast Operator:
 Steve Eckert / pcs_editor@kaweah.engr.sgi.com
 415-508-0500 home/work, 415-508-0501 fax
 1814 Oak Knoll Drive, Belmont, CA  94002

PCS World Wide Web Publisher:
 Aaron Schuman / pcs_webmaster@kaweah.engr.sgi.com
 415-933-1901, http://reality.sgi.com/csp/pcs/index.html
 223 Horizon Avenue, Mountain View, CA  94043

The bylaws say: "Installation of officers shall take place
immediately following the election." On the other hand, there
needs to be an orderly transition. Please (for the Scree editor's
sake) don't wait until the last minute to get your trips to the
scheduler, just in case the old and the new need to confer on
who is doing what when!


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1997 PCS Roster Update
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We will have the current roster at the December meeting. Plan
to attend, and to check your name/address/phone/email
information! You can also email or send the form below, or you
can fill one in at the meeting. The 1997 roster will be published
in the January or February Scree, and will contain email
addresses for those who wish to release them.

Whether or not you are on the email broadcast, you can list your
email in the roster. You must contact us if you wish to have your
email info listed (just being on the lomap-peak-climbing list is
not enough: that subscription info is strictly confidential).

Please provide all information so that we can update outdated
information and maintain the best possible roster.

For the safety of our members, your street address will not be
printed when the roster is published in the Scree/EScree, and
you can choose whether to release your telephone number(s) at
the bottom of the form.

Please remember we publish the roster so that other PCS
members can reach you when coordinating trips, or to return
gear that you left in their cars, so the more information the
better!

Return this completed form, along with your check to cover your
subscription fee and/or your donation, to the PCS Treasurer by
US mail at the address on the back of the Scree. Email
subscribers can return it to the email address listed instead of
mailing a hardcopy.

(the form below will only look good in a Courier font!)

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
+ Type of Subscription? (one or both)  HARDCOPY  /  EMAIL +
+                                                         +
+ Name: _________________________________________________ +
+                                                         +
+ Address: ______________________________________________ +
+                                                         +
+          ______________________________________________ +
+                                                         +
+ Home Phone (with area code):  (___) ___-____            +
+                                                         +
+ Work Phone (or enter "none"): (___) ___-____            +
+                                                         +
+ Email: ______________________@_________________________ +
+                                                         +
+ Sierra Club Membership Number: ________                 +
+                                                         +
+ OK to release my phone when publishing the roster?  Y/N +
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


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Onion Environs
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After being unable to locate a partner for Middle Palisade, I spent
July 13th and 14th hiking in Onion Valley.

On Saturday I met my father for a brief jaunt up Independence Peak.
At 11,742, this is the lowest peak in the region; however, it is
prominent from the road and has an enjoyable summit ridge. We had
a lazy start at 11 am from the valley, following the Robinson Lake
trail south to the scree and talus-covered slopes of Independence.
After an ugly slog up the scree, we reached the knife-edge ridge. We
traversed toward the peak, sometimes on the ridge and sometimes
just below the ridgeline on the right side, doing a number of easy
class 3 moves.

We reached the summit in about 3 hours, but were soon chased off
by midafternoon thunderstorms. The descent was rapid as soon as we
reached the scree chutes and the weather began to clear up in the late
afternoon. The total gain for the day was only 3000 feet.

On Sunday, I discarded my usual prohibition against solo class 3 climbing
and took a longer dayhike. My primary objective was University Peak.
My father had climbed it in the winter twelve years ago, nearly got
himself killed glissading down, and worked up a story of University being
an extremely difficult peak. The trip was further complicated because I
left Secor at home and had to devise my own route.

I started up the main trail westward from Onion Valley. The trail is has
annoyingly long, flat switchbacks, but was easy walking and gave me
plenty of time to contemplate my dissertation research (and find a mistake
in a recent derivation). One hour up I turned off above Gilbert Lake and
followed a pleasant trail (unmarked on my Forest Service map) to Slim
and Bench lakes. I climbed onto the moraine near a high lake and
followed a snow patch up to the second hour rest stop.

From the top of the moraine, the best route proved to be following
the talus-covered slope up the north face of the mountain. The slope
was class 2, while the gully just to the west had occasional class 3
rocks to surmount. At the top of the slope, I passed around the right
side of large rocks and scrambled up the talus just to the left of some
cliffs to the prominent saddle on the ridge of University.

At that point, I was five minutes from the summit, yet it took a full
half hour to locate the proper peak. I kept trying to climb up too early
to points that were false summits and involved difficult rock
climbing. The correct summit proved to be well to the southwest of
the saddle. Staying below the summit blocks, it was easy to traverse
to the end of the ridge, climb through a tunnel formed by a flat rock
ceiling, then climb on top of the tunnel to the summit register. The
views of the Great Western Divide, Mt. Stanford, and the Center
Basin were outstanding.

The total ascent took four hours including the time searching for the
correct route. My father must have had a scare glissading because
University, while a very imposing and enjoyable mountain, was
fairly easy. Looking back at Secor, I seem to have taken the class 3
North Face route. Secor's directions to "follow the ridge to the
summit" are inaccurate; the class 3 route that I found stays just below
the ridge on the north side.

It started to sprinkle so I descended quickly before the rock got slick.
Fortunately, the storm soon blew by, raging over Independence and
Kearsarge peaks, but leaving the higher peaks sunny. I next did a
traverse to Kearsarge Pass, staying high on the ridge between
University and Gould wherever the climbing was no more than class
3. I had to drop down most of the way from University to the highest
lake and ascend a miserable scree chute to bypass the dramatic cliffs
just north of University. From there I caught many of the high points
near "Nameless Pyramid." There were many class 3 sections so the
entire traverse to the pass took four hours.

While having a snack on Kearsarge Pass, storm clouds gathered
again. I hoped they would disperse in the late afternoon as they did
on the previous day, so I began climbing Mt. Gould. Several times
thunder clapped nearby and I would throw my lightening rod (pack
with ice axe) aside and take cover from the rain under overhanging
rocks until the storm would temporarily subside. The thunder was
still exploding as I reached the summit, so I had to abandon the idea
of continuing the traverse to Dragon Peak. Instead, I started down the
ridge running east form Gould toward the large rock mound
overlooking Onion Valley. After several more thunderclaps and a bit
of hail, I discarded that plan as well and descended the talus to the
main trail.

The hike out from Kearsarge Pass to the car took about an hour and a
quarter, leaving two hours of daylight even after the long climb. The
total ascent for the day was 7000 feet.

- David L Harris


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MSR Recall Notification
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Through internal product testing Mountain Safety Research (MSR)
has identified a quality issue regarding our Stove Fuel Pump and is
notifying our customers and recalling the pumps as a result. We've
learned that there may be a potential problem with some of our fuel
pumps produced in September 1996. We have determined that an
improper fit between the fuel tube bushing and the pump body may
pose a potential safety concern in a small percentage of the pumps
made during this time. Affected pumps may have a fuel tube bushing
that is too loose that may unintentionally rotate out. Should this
occur, there is potential for an accidental fire.

Please note: only gray/red pumps date stamped September, 1996
are affected. How to identify if you own a recalled pump: Check
your Fuel Pump for any of the following MSR stoves
- (RapidFire stoves are not affected):
- WhisperLite Stove (part #311450)
- WhisperLite Internationale 600 (part #311600)
- XGK II Stove (part #311011)
- Packaged Pump Assembly (part #318640)

The affected pumps are embossed with a September, 1996 date stamp on
the lower barrel of the pump body, adjacent to both the end plug and air
hose (see illustration above). If the arrow points to the number "9" and the
year stamp is "96", the pump should be returned and replaced.

The following pumps are NOT affected by the recall:
- All yellow plastic pumps.
- All gray/black pumps (these pumps were not date stamped).
- Any gray/red pump that does not have a date stamp Sep 96.

How to exchange the recalled pumps: Return your Fuel Pump (not
the entire stove) to the retailer you purchased it from, or you may
return it directly to MSR. To this end, we would like to offer you a
new Fuel Pump in exchange for your existing one. Please call MSR's
toll-free Customer Service Line at 800-877-9677 if you need
instructions on exchanging your Fuel Pump, or if you have further
questions. MSR apologizes for this inconvenience and we thank you
for your cooperation and continued support.

- Customer Service at MSR 


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Unofficial (Private) Trips
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Private trips may be submitted directly to the Scree Editor,
but are not insured, sponsored, or supervised by the Sierra
Club. They are listed here because they may be of interest to
PCS members, not because they are endorsed by the PCS.


*** Low-Cal Thanksgiving
Trip: Sequoia National Park easy snowshoe
Dates: Nov 27 - Dec 1 Wed-Sun
Contact: Rich Calliger pager 510-659-7546 calliger@infolane.com

A friend (winter-novice-level), and I are planning a trip within
the Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon and
snowshoeing depending on of course the snow fall. Storm
cancels, light/moderate snow fall does not as the road to
Lodgepole is kept open quite well as I noted the last 4-5 years
even in hard snows. (If there is no snow we will still do this trip
but plan to do it again in Jan or Feb when there is some.)
Itinerary: from Silliman or Ranger Lake NW to Ball Dome, then
W to Sugarloaf then perhaps S to Glacier Ridge area- as
probably many of you know a very beautiful region as you get
close to Triple Divide Peak. Bag 1-2 peaks to the N or S as we
decide enroute. There is room for 4 more. Total: 30-52 miles+,
8,500-11,500' gain over 4 days depending on routes/group
decisions.


*** Avalanche/Navigation/First Aid Training
Trip: one day of training (Colisted with Ski Touring)
Date: Dec 7 9:00 AM Sat
Contact: Butch Suits 415-325-4116
Co-Contact: Brenda Giese 510-417-6764

Come hone your skills before the ski season gets started.
The practice will take place in three sessions:

I. Avalanche Transceivers. We will practice search and
locate techniques. 9:00 - 10:00

II. Navigation. We will practice orienteering with map,
compass, and optional altimeter and GPS. A navigation
practice course will be prepared for the session. 10:00 - 12:00

III. First Aid. We will briefly review and discuss some basic
first aid procedures. 12:00 - 1:00

What to bring: 1) Avalanche transceiver. 2) USGS map
(15' or 7 1/2'). Location to be provided by the leader when
you sign up. 3) Compass. 4) Altimeter (optional). 5) The
First Aid Kit you usually carry on a long day tour. 6) The
Ski Repair Kit you usually carry on a long day tour. 7)
Food and beverages for lunch.

Please contact one of the leaders for more information
and to reserve a spot. Enrollment is limited.


*** Winter Ascent of San Gorgonio
Peak: San Gorgonio (11,499') snow
Dates: Dec 14-15 Sat-Sun
Contact: Mark Wallace mwallace@stutman.com

We will attempt the north side of San Gorgonio. Probable
itinerary: hike to Dry Lake from the Jenny Lake trailhead
on Saturday; climb the peak on Sunday and descend the
mountain. Ice axe, crampons and snowshoes likely will be
needed. We will camp on snow. If you're interested,
please send me an e-mail at your earliest convenience.
The permit will limit the group's size.


*** Cool Christmas
Peak: Mt. Lamark (13,400') snow / class 2
Dates: Dec 27-30 Fri-Mon
Trailhead: Aspendale
Contact: George Van Gorden before 9: 408-779-2320

Do something a little different for the new year; give yourself a
cool Christmas present. Fairly strenuous with over 5000' of
gain and very dependent upon good weather. Winter
experience strongly recommended and knowledge of ice axe
and crampon use. We will use snow shoes for most of the
ascent and I hope to summit on the second day. Depending
on snow conditions a third climbing day may be necessary.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hiking/Climbing 14x More Dangerous Than Hunting
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*WARNING* The following is intended to gore some sacred cows
so if you want to stay in a mental haze... don't read! BTW, I neither
hunt or fish so don't think I am pushing an agenda.

There was a report in the Colorado Springs Gazette today
 about a report on deaths in outdoor recreation in
Colorado between 1993 and 1995. A couple of things caught me eye. First
off, you are 14 times more likely to die while hiking and climbing than
hunting. There were 69 deaths over the period due to hiking and climbing
and 5 due to hunting. In fact, even fishing was twice as deadly as hunting
at 11 deaths. Why do I begin to feel that the vitriol expended on hunters
being unsafe murdering thugs in this news group is a bit misplaced? After
all, they are 14 times safer than we are!

Think about it. To hunt they have to pass a safety course, which they
pay for out of their pocket and then they have to buy a license to hunt
on top of that. Meanwhile, everything they buy to hunt with, guns,
bullets etc. has an excise tax on it to pay for conservation. These guys
have paid a lot more for conservation than the average holier than
thou hiker! They walk their talk with their wallets. Remember the
howls in this group over the proposed tax on hiking gear or the fees
for hiking in some forests? Think about it.

The second thing that the article commented on was that these deaths
were overwhelmingly of white males. Think about it guys. Look
around you on the trail. Seen many people of color lately? I have
been going to the mountains for 24 years. I have seen perhaps
*three* blacks and not many more Orientals. Look at the gear
catalogs and ads. These folks do their market research. Lilly white
hey?? Think about it.

I will give you another little tidbit from my own time in the hills.
Back in the early 80s I was simultaneously a member of the Sierra
Club and shooting the odd NRA high power rifle match. (if you don't
know about these matches they are the hard core of the NRA
shooters and a serious business) The difference in the two
organizations was incredible. The Sierra Club meetings were lily
white and trey PC. Upper middle class yuppies ranting on about
saving the planet while tooling around in their Volvos. The NRA
matches were filled with all ages, sexes and races; everyone having a
fine old time together. Beamers parked next to primer painted
pickups, it doesn't matter to these folks. Peace, light and love in the
woods my ass. Tell me who is elitist and who is the most diverse!

Last but not least folks, go sign up for rec.guns. You don't need to
read it, just let your news reader show you the level of traffic over a
week or so. *We* are the minority guys.

- Richard C. Kullberg 


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Official (PCS) Trips
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PCS trips must be submitted through the Scheduler (see
back cover for details). Trips not submitted to the
Scheduler will be listed as PRIVATE, without recourse.


*** Junipero Serra
Peak: Junipero Serra (5,900') class 2
Date: Dec 7 Sat
Leader: George Van Gorden before 9: 408-779-2320

Great winter mountain, a forest of sugar pines singing
seductively in the incessant winds, the ethereal light of the
Santa Lucias, something of what Father Serra must have
dimly beheld through the veil of his faith, and if there's
been a recent rain the possibility of a bit of snow near the
summit. The walk is about 12 miles round trip with 4000' of
gain. We need to be to the trailhead by 9:30 am.


*** Bolting Rock: Regional Conservation Committee
To all Climbers, Aspiring Climbers and Kindred Souls: The
Sierra Club's California/Nevada Regional Conservation
Committee will be discussing Bolting Policy at its next
meeting. All Sierra Club members are welcome. Most of
the attendees won't know what a bolt is, or what it is for,
so climbers need to attend the meeting and do some
educating. If we don't speak up when they talk about
things we care about, we can't really complain when we
get ignored. The meeting is Saturday, January 4, 1997,
10:00 to 4:00 at the Black Rock Campground Meeting
Room, JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK. So, plan a
weekend in the desert, and bring your climbing gear for
show and tell on Saturday.
 - Ann Kramer 


*** Henry Coe State Park
Peak: Mt. Sizer (3,216') class 1
Date: January 12 Sun
Leader: Debbie Benham home: 415-964-0558
Co-Leader: Phyllis Olrich home: 415/322-0323
  phylliso@Forsythe.Stanford.EDU

This is a wonderful loop with expansive vistas from the
ridge. Meet at Henry Coe Park Headquarters, 9am. We'll
hike about 15 miles, so bring lunch and liquid. Carpool
point in Palo Alto: Montrose and Middlefield Rd. & we'll
leave promptly at 7:30am. Any questions or comments,
feel free to contact leaders. HEAVY rain cancels.


*** Marin Headlands
Peak: Mt. Tamalpais, East Peak (2,571'') class 1
Date: January 25 Sat
Leader: Debbie Benham home: 415-964-0558
Co-Leader: Patty Haight

We'll start from the Muir Woods trailhead (plenty of
parking), saunter around, up and down, summit East Peak
(the highest of the three peaks of Mt. Tam), then loop
back to where we started. Expect about 15 miles this day
and a break for lunch. Carpool point in Palo Alto: Montrose
and Middlefield Rd., leaving promptly at 7:30am. If you're
not carpooling, meet at 9am in front of the Muir Woods
Visitor Center. Any questions, please contact Debbie.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Advance Trip Schedule
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

An enthusiastic bunch of PCS leaders gathered at Roger's house
to sketch out a winter season of hiking, climbing and ski
mountaineering. Eighteen trips were proposed, but the names of
leaders were withheld by agreement of those at the meeting.
Contact the Editor and the Scheduler if you have a change to
this list, or if you wish to have your name listed. Leaders, get
your announcements, with trip details and contact information,
to the PCS trip Scheduler for the full trip announcement:

 Dec 7  Junipero Serra   George Van Gorden
 Dec 7-8  Tinker Knob & Castle Peak Aaron Schuman
 Dec 14  San Benito Mtn   ?
 Dec 27-29 Mt Lamarck   George Van Gorden
 Jan 12  Mt Sizer - Henry Coe Park ?
 Jan 18-19 Pyramid Peak   ?
 Jan 18-20 The Needles (Southern Sierra)  ?
 Jan 25  Mt Tamalpais   ?
 Jan 25-26 Round Top   ?
 Feb 8  Mt Diablo   Aaron Schuman
 Feb 15-17 Mt Eddy (near Mt Shasta)  ?
 Feb 15-17 Mt Lassen   ?
 Mar 8  Waddell Creek   ?
 Mar 15-17 Excelsior & Dunderberg (SPS) Steve Eckert
 Mar 22-23 Ventana Double Cone  ?
 Apr 5-6  Lamont Peak & Pilot Knob  Aaron Schuman
 Apr 18-20 Gilbert & Johnson (SPS)  Steve Eckert


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Last Trip Report
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One who shall forever remain anonymous (unless it/she/he steps
up and takes credit) has sent the generic trip report! It's perfect...
it contains all of the elements we need, and none of the fluff like
excitement and emotion that burdens a really generic report.

If I'd had this sooner, I could have saved a lot of time putting the
Scree together this last year (or was it last night?). Just paste in
the proper names and print it out.

Enjoy! HEY, THIS IS SARCASM, OK? IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE FUNNY!
I'm not attacking the articles in the Scree!

- Steve Eckert


                         Mount Frubush

We left the Bay Area at 6 p.m. on Friday. The next morning,
October 24, 1996, Arnie Aardvark, Barry Bonds, Connie Chung
and I (Izzie Iguana) set out to climb Mount Frubush after a
hearty breakfast. It was cold and clear.

We went up the trail, past pine trees and boulders, to the base of
the glacier. Roper is definitely crazy. He said Mount Frubush is
only class two, but we wished we had a rope.

I've never been so scared in my life. We all signed the summit
register, admired the view, took hero photos and ate our lunch.
The view from the summit was spectacular, but we had to go.

After we came back down, we had dinner at Denny's. It was the
worst meal I ever ate and I'll never go back there again. Thanks
Arnie for organizing and leading this challenging and rewarding
climb.

 - Izzie Iguana


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
How I "soloed" Mt. Rainier
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After work on Friday, July 26 1996 I flew up from San Jose to
SeaTac Airport, rented a car and drove the two-hour stretch to Mt.
Rainier National Park. I made it to the inn at Paradise at 5400 feet. I
managed to get one of the two remaining rooms at the inn (very
expensive and not worth it, but convenient since there were no legal
campgrounds in the vicinity).

On Saturday morning I had breakfast at the inn and toured the nearby
visitor center. I got a permit to climb the peak and camp at Muir
Camp (The ranger told me that I was the last one allowed at Muir
Camp that evening). I signed up as the leader of a group of 2, since
solo climbers are not allowed without written permission from the
superintendent. This meant that I had to pay double the climbing fee
of $15.

I put on my pack around 1 p.m. and started up the trail to Muir Camp
at about 10,000 feet. The weather was perfect and the scenery was
grand: beautiful meadows full of wildflowers and beautiful
mountains including Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens in the
distance. The hike was a little over four miles long and I barely made
a mile an hour. There were hundreds of people on the trails and
dozens up on the Muir snow field.

The camp is just beyond a saddle at the top of the Muir Snow Field.
It was very crowded by late afternoon when I arrived. There were a
couple of huts used by RMI (the guide service) guides and their
clients and another open to the public. I simply bivied on one of the
few snow-free sections next to a helipad. A ranger came by to check
my permit and asked me who I was roping with. When I informed
her that I was going solo, she said this was not allowed and that I
must ask around for a hook up. Fortunately, I found some nice people
from Oregon who had three on a rope and were willing to let me be
fourth. The ranger said that the mountain was patrolled and solo
climbers without a solo permit would be fined. I explained that I had
climbed Mt. Blanc, a more heavily glaciated peak, without a rope.
She insisted that Rainier has larger crevasses and is more dangerous
(this is nonsense, but I agree that even though I felt comfortable
going alone, it is safer to rope up).

At 11:30 p.m. Saturday night, the RMI people (22) started getting
ready and they were off about midnight. My party got up later and
we departed at 1:15 a.m. I was last on the rope which was led by a
61-year old man and his wife. A younger woman (Amy) was third
and I trailed. They moved slowly up the mountain. We immediately
encountered several crevasses. We skirted past some and walked or
jumped over others. It was quite a sight to behold all the head lamps
going up the mountain and reminded me of the early-morning scene
on Mt. Blanc. It was not necessary for me to use my lamp due to the
bright moonlight and the light shining from the lights of the other
climbers. I was told that not including the people using the guide
service, there were 169 climbers on the mountain that day!

About 20 minutes after our start we stepped onto the Cathedral Gap,
one of the few rocky spots we were to cross on this snowy mountain.
We got back onto the snow another 20 minutes later, crossed the
biggest crevasse on the route and then got onto the steepest ground
we were to encounter. There were two sections of fixed rope that we
clipped into for added protection. Then we were on "Disappointment
Cleaver" (which incidentally is the name for this, the most popular
route). I gather that the "cleaver" is a ridge that separates the
Ingraham and Emmons Glaciers. Perhaps it is called
"disappointment" because this is where sick climbers turned back.
Amy almost turned back due to altitude sickness, but she was
persuaded to push on.

After the cleaver, we crossed a spectacular section of seracs,
crevasses and broken ice as the sun came up. My guide book shows a
fairly direct route above the cleaver to the rim. However, due to the
ice falls and crevasses we followed a much longer approach, zig-
zagging up the slope to avoid the major obstacles. I estimate that we
covered about 4 miles from camp to summit.

We arrived at the rim a little after 9 a.m. The glorious weather
continued and we enjoyed the panoramic views from Oregon to
Canada. We crossed the crater, which is flat as a table, in order to
reach the summit register and climb "Columbia Crest" which is the
highest bump on the rim.

Shortly before 11:30 a.m., I roped up with another team (led by the
son of the man who led me up) since they were faster. I wouldn't
have been in a hurry, but I had to catch my flight back to the Bay
Area that evening. We moved quickly and were able to glissade
several hundred feet. The light of day revealed the impressive
crevasses, seracs and ice falls that we had passed in the night. I
stopped to take numerous photographs. We were back at Muir Camp
at 2:30 p.m. I exchanged addresses with my benefactors, promised to
send them copies of my prints and immediately dashed off Muir
Camp. I glissaded and ran down the Muir Snow field, but slowed
down on the rocky trail when my feet started to ache. As I descended
in the late afternoon, it rained briefly and clouds obscured the top of
the mountain. At 6 p.m. I was back at my car.

Needless to say, I was proud of my success and happy that I was able
to summit on a two-day weekend, without burning any vacation time.
I found the peak somewhat easier than I expected, given its
reputation. The maximum inclination was only about 35 degrees and
the overall difficulty was about equal to the Avalanche Gulch route
on Shasta. Of course, I climbed the easiest route under ideal
conditions. Incidentally, I was surprised to read that Shasta is
actually more massive than Rainier. From a distance, Rainier looks
bigger than Shasta and I couldn't accept the fact that Shasta is more
massive until I was quite close to Rainier. Rainier is much icier,
however, and it is about 200 feet taller.

- Tony Cruz


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes and Requests
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

*** How Long Will Litter Last?

This is from the National Park Service at Zion Canyon National
Park. The numbers may not be correct, but it gets the point across.

 - Cigarette butts 1 - 5 years
 - Aluminum cans and tabs 500 years
 - Glass bottles 1,000 years
 - Plastic bags 10 - 20 years
 - Plastic coated paper 5 years
 - Plastic film containers 20 - 30 years
 - Nylon fabric 30 - 40 years
 - Leather up to 50 years
 - Wool socks 1 - 5 years
 - Orange and banana peels up to 2 years
 - Tin cans 50 years
 - Plastic six-pack holders 100 years
 - Plastic bottles and Styrofoam indefinitely

- Steve Stearns 


*** Did Anyone Ask?

Q: Can anyone give me a definitive cause of Acute Mountain Sickness?
A: Acute mountain sickness is a disease that you get from eating
too many mountains in one sitting. It makes you very attractive,
but you feel a little rocky...

- Jim Walke 


*** Need Advice For Hiking In China

Advice anyone? I signed up a CHINA HIKING ADVENTURE in
April/97 for 15 days on GREAT WALL. Each day hike 10 to 15 Km
on the WALL, with part of the trail on the WALL in ruin. Can
anyone tell me what I can expect? Clothing for the season? Food?
etc. I joined the same Day-Hiking tour last year in HuangShan (a
natural wonder in Chinese landscape) areas, with most fellow hikers
Senior citizens. It was an unparalleled 15 days experience of Chinese
culture and unforgettable scenery. We roamed around remote
villages/forests rarely explored by foreign visitors. Can anyone, who
has hiked both trips, tell me the difference of the terrain between
these two trips? I discovered this CHINA HIKING ADVENTURE
from following website:

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/china_hiking

- anthonyp@decus.ca (forwarded by Paul Freiman)


*** Web Slide Show

Quang-Tuan Luong [did a] solo ascent of Denali. Worth the
visit, especially if you have a high speed network connection for
Tuan's 100 photos ...

http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~qtluong/gallery/slides-alaska/

- Aaron Schuman 


*** Mt. Elbrus ... a Los Alpinistas adventure

Those of you who have access to the Web might like to check
out "Mt. Elbrus" by John Lohr. This tale represents an elevation
of mountain climbing stories on the Web far beyond the
ordinary. It's impossible to reproduce here and do it justice, so
I'm not even going to try. Visit 
for a proper introduction to the web site, or for the report:

http://www-alpinistas.ucsd.edu/archives/1996/elbrus/elbrus.htm

It takes quite a few minutes to load the guts of the story by modem.

- Richard J. Hughes 


*** Snow Shoe Shuffle

I am a complete novice snow-shoer who is looking for anyone
doing day trips in the Sierra during the week between Christmas
and New Year. Also, if anyone has good suggested routes or
guide books which contain good routes, please let me know.

- Bruce Beaucham 


*** Winter Tents

One of the gear catalogs has a 4-season Walrus tent for $179.95.
This is a single wall, two-person tunnel-style (two hoops) tent
weighing only 4.1 lbs. This sounds like a dream come true: Bibler
has a similar tent that costs over twice as much. Anyone have any
experience with this Walrus tent and can recommend it? The more
general question I have is to find other alternatives. I seek a tent that
has these essentials: 4-season, 2-person, less than 5 lbs (4 lbs ideal),
less than $300 (Bibler Eldorado and its ilk fit the bill but cost over
$500) Also nice to have: enough headroom to sit up, vestibule, free-
standing. Anyone like to comment on this or what you use for
lightweight winter camping?

- Butch Suits 


*** Kelty Ultralight Internal Frame Pack

Kelty manufactures an internal frame pack named the "White
Cloud" with a capacity of 5000 cubic inches that weighs only 4
pounds. The pack achieves its weight-savings by using a fabric
called "Spectralight." Has anyone had any experience with this
pack? Or with "Spectralight" in general?

- Mark Wallace 


*** Accident Photos

A friend of mine who teaches wilderness first aid is looking for
photos of accident scenes that she could use for teaching scene
survey. If you have any photos, or know of any sources, please
let me know. PLEASE HELP: if she can't find any photos, I may
need to put on the fake blood.

- Joe Baker 


*** McKinley Partners Wanted

I am planning to return to Denali Spring of `97 to attempt either
the West Buttress (Normal) route or the West Rib. This trip is
for those experienced in: high altitude climbing (19,000 ft and
above), crevasse rescue, glacier travel, expedition experience,
long periods spent without TV, very cold weather, and a desire
to eat lots of freeze dried food. Candidates must be very fit, able
to travel in poor weather up to 10 miles / day, carry and drag
120 lbs + loads, and preferably know how to ski as I would like
to use rondene' gear again. Estimated cost is $600 air; $200 peak
fee; $250 air taxi; $500 - $1000 equipment, food, etc. Sorry, no
want-to-bes, these are requirements. Call: 408-970-0760.

- Tim Hult 


*** Denali Expedition

Hi, Folks! Remember me? I climbed with 13 of you on the
Aconcagua trip in January '96. Some of us had discussed a trip to
Denali for Spring '97. I recall that Peter Davison, Dave Ress,
Steve Eckert, and Cecil Magliocco were interested. So, who's up
for another high-altitude adventure? I am committed to going - I
just need some team-mates! On a related note, my brother will
be living in Puebla, Mexico - "Gateway to the Volcanoes" - from
January 2, 1997 and on. He'll be able to facilitate a Mexican
Trilogy trip, so I'm also looking for a team-mate or two to do the
big volcanoes in January. I got a new job right after Aconcagua,
so I have a new email address and phone numbers: 508-851-
0801x225 work, (better) 603-673-8368 home, w/ ans. machine.

- Enrique Rodriguez 


*** Aconcagua Climbing Assistance

Climb Aconcagua - 6959 M - (22,834) Argentina (offered from
December 1st to March 15th.) The following services are
provided for $325.00 U.S:

- Hotel Argentino in Mendoza one night.
- Three liters of fuel for white gas stove - per person.
- Transportation on private bus to hotel in Los Penitentes.
- Hotel Ayelen in Los Penitentes with dinner and breakfast, one night,
and non-climbing baggage storage for duration of the climb.
- Deliver climber and gear to trailhead. Mule service up to Plaza de
Mulas and return. Baggage storage in Plaza de Mulas for excess gear
and food, during summit attempt - a good safety factor.
- Return climber and gear to Hotel Ayelen with dinner and
breakfast, one night. Help customers to get bus or collectivo
at their own expense to Santiago or Mendoza.

For more information: FAX 415-493-8975 Phone 415-493-8959
- Warren Storkman 


*** Adventures with Electricity Series

I am seeking new stories from list members on "Adventures
with Electricity" (or other interesting encounters with awesome
weather phenomena in the mountains). The idea is for you to
send me a concise paragraph or two of your experiences. I'll
assemble them and prepare them for Scree--this is an easy way
to share the labor of creating entertaining articles . Anyone care
to resurrect the old PCS story about smoking underwear
(induced by static electricity, as I recall)?

- Butch Suits 


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
THE BACK PAGE
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scree is the monthly journal of the Peak Climbing Section of the Sierra Club,
Loma Prieta Chapter.


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Elected Officials
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Chair:
 Warren Storkman / pcs_chair@kaweah.engr.sgi.com
 415-493-8959 home, 415-493-8975 fax
 4180 Mackay Drive, Palo Alto, CA  94306

Vice Chair and Trip Scheduler:
 Jim Ramaker / pcs_scheduler@kaweah.engr.sgi.com
 408-224-8553 home, 408-463-4873 work,
 188 Sunwood Meadows Place, San Jose  CA 95119-1350

Treasurer and Membership Roster (address changes):
 George Van Gorden / pcs_treasurer@kaweah.engr.sgi.com
 408-779-2320 home
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Appointed Positions
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Scree Editor, Email Broadcast Operator:
 Steve Eckert / pcs_editor@kaweah.engr.sgi.com
 415-508-0500 home/work, 415-508-0501 fax
 1814 Oak Knoll Drive, Belmont, CA 94002-1753

PCS World Wide Web Publisher:
 Aaron Schuman / pcs_webmaster@kaweah.engr.sgi.com
 415-933-1901, http://reality.sgi.com/csp/pcs/index.html
 223 Horizon Avenue, Mountain View, CA  94043-4718


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Subscriptions
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Hardcopy subscriptions are $10. Subscription applications and checks
payable to "PCS" should be mailed to the Treasurer so they arrive before
the last Tuesday of the expiration month. If you are on the PCS email
broadcast, you have a free EScree subscription.

For broadcast info, send Email to  with
the one-line message "INFO lomap-peak-climbing". EScree subscribers
should send a subscription form to the Treasurer to become voting PCS
members at no charge.

All subscribers are requested to send a donation of $2/year to cover
operating expenses other than printing the Scree.


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Rock Climbing Classifications
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The following trip classifications are to assist you in choosing
trips for which you are qualified. No simple rating system can
anticipate all possible conditions.
 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.


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In Upcoming Issues:
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(if you sent something that is not here, please send it again)

 Foreign Reports: Ojos del Salado, Aconcagua, Mont Blanc
 Distant Reports: Elbert, Colorado Solos
 Trip Reports: Deerhorn
 Special Features: Hot Springs, Shocking Kids, Shoes of My Soul


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Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 12/29/96.
Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month.
This publication may not be posted on any public news group.
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"Vy can't ve chust climb?" - John Salathe
(end of December 1996 Escree)