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Scree for June, 1996

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.
     This publication may not be posted on any public news group.
                     June, 1996  Vol. 30, No. 6
     Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 6/23/96.
Next meeting (PCS meetings are the second tuesday of each month)
Date: Tuesday 11 June 1996
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Pacific Mountaineer 200 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto

Program: Trango Towers

World Class climber Eric Brand will give a presentation on 
the Trango Towers.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
+ The easiest way to distinguish the difference +
+ between a grizzly bear and a black bear is to +
+ climb a tree.  If the bear climbs up the tree +
+ and eats you, it is a black bear. If the bear +
+ knocks the tree down and eats you, it is a    +
+ grizzly.                                      +
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

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 - Editor


On Saturday 4th May 1996, 5 of us climbed Lassen Peak 
(10,457'), lead by George Van Gorden. The others were 
Adrienne, Liz Binkley, Ted Raczeck and Arun Mahajan.

We started hiking at the parking lot for the Sulphur Works 
which is close to the Lassen Chalet (southwest entrance of the 
park, via 89). The road was closed at that point, even though 
they had taken the pains to plow it right up to Lake Helen, 
something we couldn't fathom why.

With George on skis and the rest on snowshoes, we followed a 
ski trail till we came to Diamond point where we got the road. 
After a couple of such cut-thrus, we walked on the road till we 
were at Lake Helen. There is a lot of snow there, we saw banks 
of up to 20' on the side of the road at some places.

>From Lake Helen, we headed up towards the ridge that leads to 
the summit. At about 9000', we switched to crampons and after 
some steep parts came to the ridge. We did cross the Lassen 
Peak trail at a couple of places. Within 20 mins after getting the 
ridge, we were at the summit. George climbed it from the 
steeper south side, while the rest came up from around the 
summit hump. It had taken us 5 hrs to get the summit. It was 
about 2 pm then.

It was a perfect day, warm and low winds. It was not clear 
enough to see Diablo to the south (as has been claimed), but 
Shasta dominated the view in the north. After 30 mins for lunch 
at the summit, we headed down. Getting down up to Lake Helen 
was quick due to a couple of exciting glissades. After slogging 
the rest of the way  cross-country, we made it to the cars at 6pm. 
It was a 9 hour day with close to 4000' gain (the chalet is at 
6640' I think) at a moderate pace.

It is 6.75 miles by road to the trailhead of the Lassen Peak trail 
from the Chalet, and 2.3 miles to the summit by the LP Trail. It 
is not clear how many miles we clipped off by cutting thru the 
switchbacks, but judging by how tired we were, it could have 
been a 14 to 15 mile round-trip.

Here endeth the lassen.

 - Arun Mahajan

Third Time's The....

John Muir climbed Mt. Shasta for the last time on April 30, 
1875, forty days following the vernal equinox.  During the 
descent of this majestic mountain, he and his partner found 
"...wind sufficiently violent to hurl us bodily over the cliffs 
(and)...our only hope was in wearing away the afternoon and 
night among the fumaroles, where we should at least avoid 
freezing."  Kai Wiedman's adventurous and memorable winter 
trip to Shasta reminded us of the renowned naturalist and 
explorer.  Fortunately, ours did NOT include an overnight in the 
sulfur hot springs!

Twice our plans to climb Mt. Shasta via Sergeant's Ridge had 
been scrapped due to harsh winter weather reports.  To truly 
have a winter ascent of Mt.  Shasta, we had to climb the peak 
before March 20th, the vernal equinox, and, technically, the 
space-time continuum marker for Spring.  The weekend of 
March 16-17 proved fruitful, as the sun was shining on our 
window of opportunity.  Away we went, gathering at the Bunny 
Flat trailhead, ready to climb_Kai, our leader, Chris Kramar, 
Phyllis Olrich, and me (Debbie Benham).  As Phyllis said on the 
drive to Shasta City, "We didn't come up here to footsy 

We reached Sergeant's Ridge and started up the 'dog leg'. Spin 
drift was seen off the Ridge and whirling from Shasta-Rama.  
We stashed our snow shoes half-way up the leg of Sergeant's 
and, simultaneously, decided to make base camp near the 
Thumb, the intersection of Green Butte and Sergeant's.  This 
would allow a speedier ascent the next day, especially with the 
wind looking fierce on the flat landscape of Shasta-Rama.  Sun 
beating down, we stayed on the west side of the Ridge.  Gusts of 
wind hit us occasionally as we traversed 45 degree slopes, each 
of us taking the lead in short bursts.  As I crunched my boot into 
the soft layering of snow, embedding my ice axe with each step, 
I felt strong and was looking toward the hidden summit with 

Then, almost without realizing it, the wind did not let up, did 
not stop, did not relent.  Prone against the mountain, boot tips 
dug in perpendicular to the slope, ice axe shoved in, we, each 
one of us, realized we would go no further.  Kai started to 
descend and I, for one, breathed a sigh of relief.  The wind had 
taken my strength away.  Phyllis called it "the ridge from hell." 
Kai and Chris estimated the winds to be 80 mph.

We descended twice trying to find a calm area to camp for the 
night.  The winds blew all night.  The next morning, ever 
gallant, the gentlemen again climbed the ridge to retrieve our 
snowshoes.  We treated them to lunch in town.  Thank you again 
guys! And, thanks, Kai, for a grand adventure in the mountains!

MOUNTAINEERING TIP: Kai suggests the following to train 
for a winter summit of Mt. Shasta: go to a nearby international 
airport; stand naked behind a 747; and feel the air-blast of the 
plane preparing for take-off.

 - Debbie Benham (3/30/96)

Girl Bears Shots To Save Cub

Silver City, New Mexico: Seven year-old Juliette Harris is getting 
seven rabies shots, each through a five-inch needle, to save the life of 
a little black bear cub that Nipped Her. "I just didn't want that cute 
baby bear to die", said Juliette. "he's so small."

Juliette, who lives in front of bear creek in Pinos Altos, came 
across the cub she's named "Stubby" on may 5th while walking 
in the woods. she was lugging the 8-pound cub home for a pet 
when it bit her hand.

Juliette led authorities to the little cub, who state officials said 
would have to be killed and examined for rabies. That's when 
Juliette, a lifelong animal lover, started to bargain. She would 
take seven rabies shot through a 5-inch needle if the bear could 
be saved. "Those needles hurt, but not that bad," said Juliette. 
"The first day, I had to have one in my leg and one in my arm, 
which wasn't so good."

Her parents are footing the bill, which will total more than 
$1500. Meanwhile, the female cub is being cared for by 'Gila 
Wildlife Rescue' of Silver City and is expected to be sent to an 
Espanola wildlife center. The bear might be released in the late 
autumn or next spring.....

 - Mike Ogurek , on rec.backcountry

Notes and Requests

*** Gregory Snowcreek Looking For Good Home

I have a large (it fits me nicely and I am 5' 10") Gregory 
Snowcreek internal frame pack I am selling for $25.  It needs 
one small patch but other than that it is in great shape.  If you 
have any questions drop me a line and I will do my best to 
answer them.

 - John Flavin < John_Flavin@3mail.3Com.COM>

*** Private Trek: Nepal 1996

The world's most scenic views of Ana Dablam and Mt. Everest 
from the Tengboche Monastery will be only one of the many 
mountain views we'll enjoy. This 18-20 day trek takes us 
through Namche Bazaar with the climb of Gokyo Ri - Kala Patar 
- option of Island Peak (20,300ft.). This private $1550  trek is in 
October which is the best weather time. For more information, 
fax 415-4493-8975 or phone 415-493-8959.

 - Warren Storkman < dstorkman@aol.com>

*** Mountain Hardwear Trango 3 4-Season Tent

I have a Mountain Hardwear Trango 3 4-season tent for sale.  It's 
similar to a Sierra Designs Stretch Dome, but better.  I have 
used both, and the Mountain Hardwear tent has better features.  
If you have read the reviews, you know that Mountain Hardwear 
makes some of the best 4-season products around. Hard-core 
mountaineers like Ed Vestiurs use Mountain Hardwear tents. 
This tent is like-new, used maybe three times. More details can 
be viewed on the web:
It's a $400 tent. Make offer at 408-446-0387 (work) or email.

 - Will Estes 

*** Premier Preteen on Peak!

12 year old Merrick Johnston is the youngest person to summit 
Denali. After a rigorous training regime of hiking with a full 
pack for four to five hours twice a week, four days each week of 
gymnastics and snowboarding on the weekends, Merrick began 
her 26 day approach. Accompanied by her mother ("Would you 
send a 12 year old up by herself?") and a guide team, the 
youngster reached the summit on June 23. She plans to climb all 
of the seven summits -- after completing seventh grade!

*** Private Peruvian Exploration Trip

Explore Machu Picchu, and the Cordella Balanc in August. 
Exact departure dates are TBD as is the duration of our trip (2 - 
3 weeks), but at a minimum, I plan to visit both Machu Picchu 
and the Cordillera Blanca or the Huayhuash "one of the most 
spectacular mountain circuits in the world." If there is sufficient 
interest, we will climb a peak, or trek any of a number of trails. 
Interested? This is a private, non-guided, led or otherwise 
commercial trip (i.e. I'm going, not "organizing" or "leading". If 
you would like to go, I'd like to have you along). Participants 
should be prepared to hike long miles at high altitude (up to 
16,000 ft.) on a daily basis.

 - Tim Hult 408-970-0760

GPS, Use It Or Loose It?

I've just been reading in the paper about the recent tragedy on 
Everest, including the presumed death of Rob Hall. The story 
makes a profound statement : "High technology, better clothing 
and improved equipment have made it far easier to climb the 
highest mountains, but also easier to get into situations that can 
suddenly become fatal."  To add to this, one of Hall's associates, 
Andy Harris, "somehow missed the tents in the whiteout.". Too 
bad he didn't have and use GPS to help guide himself back to 
camp. Could GPS have made a difference? A life and death 
difference? It's high tech and from my experience could have 
easily guided him back, "safely", to his tent. I've been scorned by 
some who say that using GPS is "cheating", or isn't proper 
mountaineering etiquette. They eschew GPS's advantages and its 
potential to resolve route finding dilemmas as was apparently 
experienced by Harris. I've found GPS isn't an end-all to route 
finding. It is a navigational AID, albeit a very powerful aid. You 
can still misuse the device, but it seems to me in Harris's 
situation it may have helped save his life. Call me a cheater, but 
don't call me late for happy hour.

 -  Mark Adrian 

Permit Scalping

The Editor was not at the PCS meeting, but has heard that one 
person stood up and said he had adopted a "saturation" approach 
and had permits for just about every weekend during the 
climbing season, which he was willing to sell to others.

The PCS has not taken a position on transferring permits, but 
this Editor thinks we should step back and think about whether 
we would like others to do what we might do... namely give 
permits to others instead of turning them back in to the service 
for re-issue. How would you like it if all the permits for your 
trailhead were taken by another climbing group, or by an 
individual, so that you had to join their club or pay their prices 
to enjoy the wilderness?

Below is email from the SC-PEAKS broadcast which indicates 
the potential risk of giving away or selling permits. If scalping 
(with or without profit) becomes common, I assume enforcement 
will inevitably follow.

 - Editor

From: Wbenti@aol.com
Subject: Re: Legality issue/permits

I just spoke with the Bridgeport office of the 
USFS, and was told permits are not transferable 
(fine/misdemeanor). Apparently, one of the 
reasons this system was developed by the USFS was 
to keep permits from being scalped/sold in a 
"black market" type of situation. Also, to 
fulfill the requests made by people who went to 
the trouble of sending/faxing in an order but 
didn't get a permit the first time around.

I suppose you could risk it. I've not ever been 
asked for ID by a backcountry ranger - only to 
see the permit in possession.

Too bad, cause I was going to pounce upon the 
ones [name removed] had to offer for [place 
removed]! Good intentions! Oh well!

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.

*** Visualize Whorled Mountaineers
Peaks:      Whorl (12,029'), Matterhorn (12,264')  class 3
Dates:      June 8-10  Sat-Mon
Maps:       Matterhorn Peak 15' quadrangle or Twin Lk, Dunderberg Pk & Matterhorn Pk 7.5'
Leader:     Aaron Schuman  H 415-933-1901 W 415-968-9184 schuman@sgi.com
Co-leader:  Steve Eckert H/W 415-508-0500                eckert@netcom.com

Test your advanced mountaineering skills on the two most 
savage crags of the rugged Sawtooth Range. We'll start 
from Twin Lakes (7,092'), just west of Bridgeport, 
immediately take on the waterfall leading to the hanging 
Horse Creek valley, camping by a frozen tarn at 10,500'. 
Sunday at dawn we'll surmount the cornice of 10,700' 
Horse Creek Pass, sidehilling to the Whorl Mountain. We'll 
search for the class 3 route Roper claims to have found, 
but we'll be prepared to belay the original class 4 route if 
necessary. Monday we'll set out from the same high 
camp, gaining Matterhorn Peak from the pass, then pack 
out. Competence on steep snow and rock are required of 
all participants.

*** Goode and Agassiz
Peaks:      Agassiz (13,891'), Goode (13,092')  class 2
Dates:      June 29-30  Sat-Sun
Leader:     Debbie Benham      (before 10pm) H 415-964-0558
Co-Leader:  Bill Kirkpatrick  H 408-293-2447 W 408-279-3450 0003780631@mcimail.com 

Formerly called Agassiz Needle, this "giant mass" lies at 
the northwest end of the Palisades.  On Saturday, we'll 
climb Mt. Agassiz from Bishop Pass and enjoy the 
magnificent views.  Before packing out on Sunday, we'll 
hike up Mt. Goode. We welcome all beginning peak 
climbers with prior backpacking experience.

*** Taboose Pass Peak Fest
Peaks:   Arrow, Pinchot, Wynne, Striped, Goodale  class 3
Dates:   June 30-July 6  Sun-Sat
Leader:  Debbie Bulger  408-457-1036

This week-long backpack and peak fest will take us to the 
top of Taboose Pass where peaks abound. We'll take two 
days to get to our first base camp above Bench Lake from 
where we shoot to Arrow (class 2, 12,958'). Secor calls the 
view of Arrow from the Bench Lake Trail one of the classic 
views in the Sierra. Next we head back to Lake Marjorie to 
score Pinchot (class 2, 13,495') and Wynne (class 3 
13,179'). Then it's back to the pass to skunk Goodale 
(class 2, 12,790') and Striped (class 2, 13,120'). On the 
way we'll take time to smell the flowers and enjoy the 
views. A $5 check reserves your place. Check with leader 
to be sure there is room.

*** Ansel Adams
Peak:       Mt Ansel Adams (12,760')  class 3
Map:        Mt Lyell 7.5 min topo
Dates:      July 4-7  Thur-Sun
Leader:     Kai Wiedman     415-347-5234
Co-Leader:  Phyllis Olrich  415-322-0323

Steve Roper calls this peak a spectacular sight from the Lyell 
Fork of the Merced. The real attraction of this area lies in the 
remote, sublime beauty of these peaks, lakes and views. 
Some of the most spectacular scenery in the Park is found in 
this area with its vast sweeping panoramas. Our trip will take 
us 22 miles into this rugged and remote landscape. Come join 
us for this once in a lifetime experience.

*** It's Brewer, Bubb!
Peak:       Mt Brewer (13,570')  class 2
Dates:      July 12-14  Fri-Sun
Leader:     Roger Crawley  415-321-8602
Co-Leader:  Bill Kirkpatrick

>From the trailhead in Cedar Grove, Kings Canyon (5075') 
the route follows Bubbs Creek to Junction Meadows, then 
East Creek to our camp at East Lake (9,445'). The second 
day we'll go up Ouzel Creek and climb the south ridge to 
the summit. Permit for 6.

*** Virginia and Twin
Peaks:   Virginia (12,001'), Twin (12,314')  class 3
Map:     Matterhorn Peak USGS 15'
Dates:   July 13-14  Sat-Sun
Leader:  Jim Ramaker  408-224-8553 evenings, ramaker@vnet.ibm.com

Steep metamorphic rock and beautiful surroundings keep 
bringing me back to this enchanting corner of northeast 
Yosemite.  Join me for another go. We'll do the 7-mile hike 
from Green Creek to Return Lake on Saturday, and 
maybe do a warm-up climb of Grey Butte (11,200) in the 
late afternoon. Sunday we'll tackle the east face of 
Virginia, and time permitting, traverse the ridge over to 
Twin (12,314).  Virginia is fairly steep and loose, so 
experienced class 3 climbers only on this trip.

*** Will You Sing, Gale?
Peak:    Gale, Sing         class 2
Dates:   Jul 20-21  Sat-Sun
Map:     Merced Peak 15 min Quad
Leader:  Warren Storkman  415-493-8959 dStorkman@aol.com

We go over Chiquito Pass in Southern Yosemite Park. Call 
leader for more information.

*** Russell's Horns
Peak:       Mt Russell (14,086')  class 3
Dates:      July 28-30  Sun-Tue
Leader:     Roger Crawley  415-321-8602
Co-Leader:  Bill Kirkpatrick

Starting from the Mt Whitney trailhead we'll go up the North 
Fork of Lone Pine Creek and camp at Upper Boy Scout Lake. 
Monday we'll head for the east arete via the Russell-Carillion 
saddle. The scary part will be crossing from the east horn to 
the west horn (which is the highest). An option after the 
Russell climb is to hike in the Mt Langley area for 3-4 more 
days. Permit for 6.

*** Royce With Roger
Peak:       Royce Peak (13,253')  class 2
Dates:      Aug 24-25  Sat-Sun
Leader:     Roger Crawley  415-321-8602
Co-Leader:  (wanted)

We start from the Pine Creek Pass trailhead near Bishop. 
We climb 4000' to the top - about 11,200' - and camp. On 
Sunday we climb the southeast ridge to the summit of 
Royce. I bout that we'll also climb Merriam Peak, but it's 
an option. Permit for 8.

*** Muriel Peak
Peak:       Muriel (12,942'), Goethe (13,240')  class 3
Dates:      Sept 14-16  Sat-Mon
Leader:     Roger Crawley  415-321-8602
Co-Leader:  Bill Kirkpatrick

This is the Glacier Divide between Humphrey's Basin and 
Darwin Canyon. From the North Lake trailhead we go up 
2000' over Piute Pass and camp at Muriel Lake (11,336'). 
Sunday we take the class 2 knapsack pass up through the 
keyhole (12,560') then up the southeast ridge to the 
summit of Muriel Peak. Next we drop down to Alpine Col 
(12,320') and climb the class 3 northeast ridge on Mount 
Goethe. Permit for 8.

1,100 Mile Coastal Walk

On June 1, a handful of Bay area hikers will take a 1,110-mile, 112-
day trek from Oregon to Mexico, to demonstrate their commitment to 
preserving California's coastal trails and beaches. Coastwalk 
spokeswoman Vonnie Madigan said five hearty hikers from Santa 
Rosa, Alameda, Los Altos, Walnut Creek and Cotati will join 13 
other Californians to draw attention to the importance of keeping 
public land open along the state's coast.

Fifty-seven-year-old Dinesh Desai and his 49-year-old wife, Joy, 
of Los Altos, said they plan to hike 650 miles from San 
Francisco down to Mexico with their friend Bob Cowell, 51, of 
Alameda.  The retired couple said they are both mountain 
climbers and aren't worried about walking 12 or so miles a day 
and camping outdoors.

Marilyn Goeller, a 57-year-old Walnut Creek resident who suffers 
from arthritis but plans to do the entire trek anyway, said she is going 
on the Coastwalk for both personal and public reasons.  ``I want to 
show that a woman my age in my physical condition can get out 
there and do this.  But I also want to show everyone my commitment 
to keeping California's coast open to the public,'' she said.

The hike is timed to honor the Coastal Act's 20th anniversary.  It 
is the first California Coastal Trail Hike of its kind and is 
sponsored in part by the Coastal Conservancy. Madigan said the 
walkers, who range in age from 18 to 72 years and who are 
mostly women, will walk along state beaches until Sept. 17. On 
the way, they will meet up with others who will join them on 
partial day hikes throughout the walk. Each person raised some 
$3,000 to walk on the hike and those who participate for a day 
will pay about $30, Madigan said.

On July 16, the hikers will walk through the Marin Headlands, 
over the Golden Gate Bridge, and along Baker and China 
beaches in San Francisco.

 - Aaron Schuman 

A Scouting Trip Gone Tragically Right

This report is dedicated to Tony "the snowstorm" Cruz, who has 
tried two springs in a row to do Williamson via George Creek. I 
was with him last year when knock-you-down winds turned us 
back from the lip of the summit plateau (or maybe the lower 
shoulder). It was snowing and we could not look into the 
stinging wind and several people had cold extremities. Good call 
to turn back.

This year, Tony put together a merry band of climbers and 
lengthened the trip in the hope of getting higher and increasing 
the odds of a short and sweet summit day. But then again, you 
probably read Rich Calliger's trip report about getting snowed 
out on a solo pre-climb conditioning trip. Icy base with a foot of 
fresh snow on top. We canceled the scheduled trip in deference 
to avalanche danger, and because a second storm was bearing 
down. Oh, well.

Some of us, however, refuse to unpack our packs until we get 
the job done. I was interested in scouting a CMC trip in the 
area, so David Harris and I headed up George Creek on Friday 
(4/26/96) still thinking about whether to try packing up to 11000 
and summiting the second day or packing two days in a row to 
get up to 12000. Our packs were laden with all the stuff that we 
needed to survive Rich's snowy experience, much of which we 
never even unpacked!

If you've never been up this drainage, DON'T follow the guide 
book suggestions. Stay on the north side of the stream, never 
more than 50' above it, where there is a nice trail from road's end 
to the first big turn of the stream. Lots of fake trails go up the 
sandy slope, but if you stick near the stream you will re-discover 
the good one. When you get to tall cliffs in a major bend, you 
need to cross to the south side. The trail goes to the stream here, 
but you should cross 100' downstream where there is a big log.

Once on the south side, you are set except for two obstacles. 
One is a 20' cliff that can be scaled with the aid of fallen limbs 
(which we did, dragging the packs up with an ice axe) or you 
can cross the stream and IMMEDIATELY cross back. If you 
make the mistake of staying on the north, you will pay with 
scratched legs. The second obstacle is where the stream brushes 
against a rock wall. We chose to hop the stream and come back, 
but you may be able to climb above this one. Stay on the south 
side all the way to where the stream forks, then go to the north 
of the north fork and stay there until you hit campsites in the 
10000-11000' range. There are many places to dig in a tent if 
you don't mind snow camping. There is also a flat spot around 
9000', but that would make a 5000+ summit day.

OK, back to the story: I was encountering some "intestinal 
distress", and almost turned back at 11000' on peak day (day 2 
of the trip). David graciously offered to carry almost all of our 
gear, and we managed to maintain about 800 ft/hr average to the 
peak, arriving at noon. The snow was crampon-hard, even with 
plastic boots, until it warmed up later in the day and at about 

A couple was camped near us, and had summited the day we 
packed in, but they were monosyllabic in their responses. Our 
favorite was when we asked them if they had lost a water bottle. 
No response. We told them we found one on the way in. "Good 
for you." We dubbed them The UnFriendly Couple, and 
remarked to each other that we had never before been unable to 
get info on conditions from someone descending.

Another group, climbing Bairs Creek, was nice enough to start 
at 4:30am on the same day we summited, and left a nice trail of 
kicked steps up to the final summit plateau. (They were Sierra 
Clubbers from LA, but not on an official trip.) We had lunch, 
admired the view, checked out my intended loop of 
Barnard/Trojan/Versteeg (which can't be done via the route I 
wanted to take because one chute is too steep for safe snow 
travel), chatted, took pictures, etc. All that summit stuff we love 
so well.

Back in camp by 2, we decided to shoot for dinner in Lone Pine. 
It had taken 8.5 hours to pack in from 6200 to 10000, and it took 
5 hours to pack out. Tough both ways, but it was nice to have 
someone else cook dinner after a 13 hour summit day. If you're 
going this year, do NOT take plastic boots. You won't want them 
until 11000', and there are a lot of logs and rocks to climb over.

Let's all drink a toast to Tony, and encourage him NOT to take 
the easy way in this summer. Save Williamson for the challenge 
and the views as the high sierra unfolds during your climb out of 
the George Creek drainage next year. It's a two-day trip if you 
are in good shape, and if you can drive back the next day or 
crash at someone's house in Ridgecrest!

 - Steve Eckert

Roundtop & Roundabout

Trip report of the PCS trip to Roundtop Mountain (10381 ft) and 
Red-Lake-Peak (10000+), March 16/17 1996. George Van 
Gorden (leader), Dennis Hilpakka, Richard and Helena Verrow, 
Scott Kreider, Ted Raczek and Arun Mahajan

16th March, Saturday. Red Lake Peak.

We all gathered at about 11 am at the snow-park at Carson Pass, 
a few miles north of the Kirkwood XC Ski place. (Remember to 
obtain the snow-park permits which cost $3 per day at the XC 
place, else there is a $75.0 citation.) We hiked with full packs 
for about a mile south of the pass and set up camp. Then we set 
off for Red Lake Peak which is on the north side of the pass.

This peak is not visible from the pass. The climbing begins 
almost right away and we had to use snowshoes. After some 
steep uphill, we came to the shoulder of the first hill which is 
the beginning of the ridge that goes eastwards to the summit. 
Potential avalanche danger made George decide on going this 
way rather than go straight up the chute leading to the summit. 
Here we dropped our snow  shoes and climbed the first hill. 
Then we put on our crampons, though they were not strictly 
needed. The final walk is a little strenuous and it was cold when 
the wind picked up.

With George leading the way, we were soon at the summit at  3 
pm after a total of 2.5 hrs from the camp site. We had good 
views of Pyramid Peak and Tahoe and Roundtop. Then, a little 
more than an hour of brisk down climbing got us back down to 
the pass. I did not see this peak in the SPS list. Wonder why? It 
is a beautiful summit.

17th March, Sunday. Roundtop Mountain.

We started at 8.30 am in snowshoes towards Roundtop. We 
mostly stuck to the XC-ski trail and once we got out of the 
woods, Roundtop was in full view. It is a very picturesque peak 
with a steep summit block. Between us and the peak  is some 
excellent ski terrain, heaven for back-country skiers. George was 
on his skis, the rest had snowshoes. We slogged to the base, and 
then we climbed to the final ridge from the gully on the right, as 
it was rather steep to go straight up to the ridge. Once on the 
ridge, we switched to crampons.

The snow was crusty. I suppose we could have done without 
crampons too, but having an axe was very prudent. George led 
the push. It was quite steep but the snow wasn't hard or icy and 
after some cautious climbing we reached the summit. It had 
taken us 3 hrs from the camp. After lunch and basking in the 
balmy sun ('vibing with nature' as Helena called it) and soaking-
in the glaciated scenery, we started down. Again after some 
careful descending and after the trudge thru the rest of the trail, 
we were back at the camp site. It had taken us 3 hrs to the 
summit, and a little over 2 hours to get back to the tent site.

 - Arun Mahajan

Arun didn't mention it in his trip report, but Red Lake Peak is 
the first recorded peak climb in the Range of Light. Francis P. 
Farquhar, in the History of the Sierra Nevada, quotes the diaries 
of first ascenders Lt. John C. Fremont and Charles Preuss:

Preuss: Feb 13, 1843:

"Today the 'field marshal' marched out with a party on 
snowshoes to open up a way to the summit, about ten miles 
distant, it appears. Tomorrow we shall probably know whether it 
is possible to get through. No longer any salt in camp.  This is 
awful ... We are now completely snowed in.  The snowstorm is 
on top of us.  The wind obliterates all tracks which, with 
indescribable effort, we make for our horses. At the moment no 
one can tell what will really happen.  It is certain that we shall 
have to eat horse meat.  I should not mind if we only had salt."

Fremont: Feb 14, 1844:

"With Mr. Preuss, I ascended today the highest peak to the right: 
from which we had a beautiful view of a mountain lake at our 
feet, about fifteen miles in length, and so entirely surrounded by 
mountains that we could not discover an outlet."

"From the immediate foot of the peak we were two hours in 
reaching the summit, and one hour and a quarter in descending.  
The day had been very bright, still, and clear, and spring seems 
to be advancing rapidly.  While the sun is in the sky, the snow 
melts rapidly, and gushing springs cover the mountain in all 
exposed places; but their surface freezes instantly with the 
disappearance of the sun."

Illustration is on the World Wide Web at 

 - Aaron Schuman

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
+ I always bring a little bit of liquor on an +
+ expedition in case the opportunity comes up +
+ that I can make a toast, and the Sherpas    +
+ assure me that Buddha likes Jack Daniels    +
+    -- Sandy Hill Pittman                    +
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

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.

*** Avalanche Pass Area
Peaks:    Palmer Mtn (11,250'), Sphinx Crest (11,256')
Maps:     Marion Pk, Mt Whitney 15 min quads
Dates:    June 8-9  Sat-Sun
Contact:  Siamak Navid  H 415-361-8548  W 408-553-3850  sia@vid.hp.com

The plan is to go up Sphinx Creek trail in Cedar Grove and 
try the peaks around Avalanche Pass. Possibilities are 
Palmer Mtn and Sphinx Crest. NOTE: These peaks are 
not in the guidebooks and are not classified, so there is a 
good chance that they are harder than we expect. We will 
not attempt anything harder than class 3.

*** Celebrate Solstice on Mt. Williamson

Peak:     Williamson (14,375'), Tyndall (14,018')  class 3
Map:      Mt Williamson 7.5 topo
Dates:    June 21-23  Fri-Sun
Contact:  Phyllis Olrich  415-322-0323 phylliso@forsythe.stanford.edu

This trip is full, but I am accepting names for the waiting list.

We'll hike up and over Shepherd Pass on Friday to camp 
in the Williamson Bowl.  This will give us all day Saturday 
to navigate our way up the "confusing maze of chutes" 
that make up the Bolton Brown Route.  Sunday we hike 
out with an optional climb of Tyndall on the way.  This will 
be a long, gruelling trip, but should prove very rewarding if 
we make the summit of this, the second highest peak in 
the Sierras.  Permit for 6 received.

*** Williamson Rescheduled
Peak:     Williamson (14,375')  class 3
Map:      Mt Williamson 7.5 topo
Dates:    June 21-23  Fri-Sun
Contact:  Tony Cruz  408-944-2003 CRUZ@idt.com

This time I intend to try Williamson via the Bolton Brown 
route over Shepherd Pass. (My plan is to continue 
scheduling Spring trips up George Creek until I make 
Williamson via this route, so look for my notice next 
Spring.) This will be a LONG hike and it is technically more 
difficult than the George Creek route.  The route is class 2 
except for an exposed 75 foot section of class 3 near the 

It is possible for the energetic to bag two 14ers on this trip, 
since Mt. Tyndall will be nearby (however my main 
objective is Williamson, since I already bagged Tyndall).  
There is an exposed class 2 route on Tyndall near 
Shepherd pass and there are several tougher routes on 
the mountain.

There is a separate group of six PCS'ers which also plans 
to climb Williamson during the same weekend, but we will 
not be part of this group.

*** The Killer Kaweah Trip
Peaks:  Triple Divide, 3 Kaweahs,etc  snow/class 4
Dates:  June 29 - July 7  (9 days) Sat-Sun
Contact:  Bob Suzuki   (before 8pm) H 408-259-0772  W 510-657-7555  Bsuzuki@aol.com

This nine day backpack/peak climbing trip will start from 
Wolverton in western Sequoia National Park. We'll take 
two days to hike past Hamilton Lakes, over Kaweah Gap, 
and setup basecamp in Nine Lake Basin. Five days of 
peak climbing are then planned - our goals will include 
Eagle Scout, Stewart, Lion Rock, Triple Divide and the 
three Kaweahs (elevations ranging from 12,000' - 13,800'). 
There is one space remaining on a permit for four. Please 
contact me if interested, but only strong and experienced 
peak climbers will be considered.

*** U-Notch To North Palisade
Peak:     North Palisade (14,242')  class 5
Dates:    July 4-7  Thur-Sun
Contact:  Peter Maxwell  408-737 9770

Secor describes this as "THE classic peak of the High 
Sierra. It is striking from a distance, and it has routes that 
will challenge climbers of all abilities and preferences." We 
will take the U-notch route from the east, involving a 700' 
40-degree snow/ice climb. This will be a difficult climb, and 
suitable for experienced climbers only. The number of 
people on the trip will be contingent on class 5 leaders 
being available.

*** Darwin, Evolution Region
Peaks:      Darwin and others (13,000+)  class 3
Trailhead:  North Lake, with car shuttle to Bishop Pass.
Dates:      July 4-7  Thur-Sun
Contact:    Chris Kramar  W 415-926-6861

Cross country over Lamarck Col into one one of the most 
famous and popular areas in the Sierra Nevada.  Walter 
Starr Jr. wrote  that the Evolution country was "the region 
where the grand crescendo of the Sierra touches at once 
the heart of the mountaineer and the artist." We will travel 
through Evolution Canyon to Muir pass and out Bishop 
Pass in four days, catching Darwin and other peaks along 
the way. Possible peaks include Goddard, Black Giant, 
Scylla, Charybdis and others. To reserve a spot, send $3 
(permit fee) and contact information (name, address, 
phone etc.) to 4302 Ribera St., Fremont, CA 94536

*** Julius Caesar
Peak:        Mt. Julius Caesar (13,196')  class 3
Maps:        Mt. Hilgard, Mt. Tom topos
Dates:       July 20-21  Sat-Sun
Contact:     Debbie Benham   H 415-964-0558
Co-Contact:  Phyllis Olrich  H 415-322-0323 phylliso@forsythe.stanford.edu

Et tu, Bruts?  Join us for a lively, mid-summer climb over 
Italy Pass. We'll ascend via the west ridge which Roper 
calls a "Classic Class 3". Permit for 8.

*** Great Western & Kings-Kern Divides
Peaks:    Ericsson, Stanford, Table, Midway, etc.
Maps:     Mt Brewer and Sphinx Lakes quads
Dates:    July 20-27  Sat-Sat
Contact:  Andrew Hassell  415-493-3342 hassella@math.Stanford.EDU

Unofficial trip to the the heart of King's Canyon and 
Sequoia National Parks, July 20-27. Eight day 
backpacking and peak climbing (class 3 max) trip starting 
from Bubb's Creek on the western side. We will climb 
some of the following: Mt Ericsson (13608 ft), Mt Stanford 
(13963 ft), Table Mtn (13630 ft), Midway Mtn (13666 ft), 
Milestone Mtn (13641 ft) and Triple Divide Peak (12634 ft).

*** Great Western and Kings-Kern Divide Climb-o-Rama
Peaks:    Milestone, etc, etc  class 3 & 4 - 13,000'+
Dates:    July 27 - Aug 4  Sat-Sun (week)
Contact:  Kelly Maas  408-279-2054 maas@idt.com

After slogging over Shepherd Pass, we'll spend a week 
climbing the 13000' peaks at the headwaters of the Kern 
River. Priority peaks include Milestone, Table, Thunder and 
Midway. We'll fit in as many more as we can, chosing from 
Genvra, Jordan, Ericsson, Stanford, etc. Most peaks are class 
3, but some are class 2, and some have class 4 summit 
blocks. My earlier announcement was only a survey, but 
showed that this trip will be over-subscribed. Contact me if 
interested, even if you did so earlier. Note that Andrew Hassell 
also has a trip to approx the same area.

*** Advance Schedule

Please do not contact the leaders to sign up for trips listed 
here. Leaders are asked not to accept signups until the 
trip is formally announced with OFFICIAL/PRIVATE TRIP 
designation from the PCS Scheduler. Trips in the next 
month should be announced already, and this list covers 
un-announced trips for a few more months to help you 
plan ahead. If you are planning a trip, if you change your 
trip, or if you can't get a permit, please contact the Editor 
to keep this list up to date. Names will be listed unless you 
request that only the peak be listed:

	4-7	Red & Black Kaweah	Paul Magliocco
	27-28	Mills and Abbot	John Ingvoldstad

	17-18	Russell	John Ingvoldstad
	17-19	Darwin & Mendel	Bob Suzuki & Charles Schafer
	22-25	Devils Crags & Wheel	Cecil and Paul Magliocco
	29-2	Thunder, Deerhorn, etc	Cecil Magliocco & David Ress
	31-2	Gabb/Hilgard	Peter Maxwell
	31-2	Mokelumne River Canyon	John Ingvolstad

	7-8	Tuolumne Meadows car camp	Magliocco & Schuman
	14-15	Dana Couloir (ice)	George Van Gorden
	13-15	Clarence King	Charles Schafer
	20-22	Whitney Portal Area (TBD)	Debbie Benham
	20-22	Whorl & Virginia	Bob Suzuki & Debbie Bulger
	21-22	Convict Car Camp (Morrrison & Laurel)	(name withheld)
	27-29	Vandever, Florence, Sawtooth	Aaron Schuman

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
+ The wild places are where we began. +
+ When they end, so do we.            +
+ -- David Brower                     +
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

How to Submit Trips to the Scree (please clip and save)

Just a reminder from the Scree Editor.... If you want to announce 
a climb in any issue of the Scree/EScree, you need to decide if it 
will be an official Sierra Club PCS trip or a private trip without 
Club insurance. If it's private, you can just send email to the 
Scree editor (me) at .

If it's a PCS trip, you must send a letter or call the PCS Trip 
Scheduler as follows:
   Roger Crawley 415-321-8602
   761 Nash Avenue, Menlo Park CA  94025

If you send me the text of your trip announcement in parallel 
with sending it to Roger, there will be less errors (like Kai's 
recent announcement) and I will be happy. However you send in 
the trip announcement, make sure it's complete!

Look at an old Scree for the format of the announcement, and 
follow it as closely as possible. Include the peak name(s), 
elevations, dates, topo maps, rock/snow classification, leader's 
name and contact info, plus a writeup that will convince people 
to sign up. Indicate the level of experience required, and the 
group size you will allow, or anything else you think will help 
your trip work out. Remember that not everyone knows even the 
basic area where a specific peak is.

Include your phone or email or mailing address... and expect 
people to use that information (don't send your phone number if 
you don't want calls, and don't expect me to dig it out of the 
roster if you don't include it with your announcement).

There will often be an "advanced trip schedule" in the Scree, 
with trips that are planned but not yet announced. Contact me to 
include your trip in this list. Names of the leaders will be 
included in the advance listing unless you request otherwise. 
This listing is supposed to help avoid scheduling conflicts, NOT 
to allow people to sign up way in advance.

Some leaders collect deposits while others refuse advance 
signups in an effort to reduce cancellations, and others select 
trip participants without regard to who calls first. Leaders 
should indicate their procedures unless it is first-come-first-
served, and participants should ask if it is not indicated on the 
formal announcement.

If your formal trip announcement is really long, it may be edited 
down! Also, long announcements are almost always shortened 
after the first time they run... so you might want to submit a long 
and a short version of the announcement to minimize the amount 
of arbitrary editing. There is not time to contact each leader for 
approval of the edits. Count the words from other 
announcements if you have doubts about the length of yours.

(the reason for this article is that Bob Gross intended for people 
to call his answering machine and leave their mailing address so 
he could send a packet of info before signing you up for his 
Shasta trip - something that totally escaped the recent Scree 
announcement, which just showed phone and email info but not 
the procedure for getting the info packet)

 - Editor

Homeric Odyssey (the nose that launched a thousand trips)

One scalding hot April day in 1872, in the valley of the South 
Fork of the Kaweah River, surveyor John Orst turned to pioneer 
John Homer and bellowed, "Hey Homer!  Yonder crag looks jest 
like yore nose!" Orst's jibe endured.  Because the granite dome 
in the Kaweah bears the whimsical name "Homer's Nose", we 
decided to climb it one scalding hot April day in 1996.  There 
couldn't have been any other reason. If it were named "Bald 
Dome" or "Rounded Knob" we surely would have gone 
somewhere else.

Our approach was on a trail that had been abandoned by the 
Park Service decades ago.  It has not appeared on any map 
printed since 1955, but we were using the 1955 USGS 
quadrangle.  Our guidebook, Self Propelled in the Southern 
Sierra, referred to it as an abandoned trail, and the author, Peter 
Jenkins, died during the 1970s.

Since it was only April, we were equipped with snowshoes, 
poles, crampons, and ice axes.  We would have been better 
served by brush saws, hedge clippers, and forestry gear.  The 
combination of a low trailhead, the location at the southern flank 
of the range, and a south facing exposure, meant that we hardly 
saw any snow at all. We did see two tremendous thickets; 
ceanothus and poison oak up to 5000 feet, and manzanita up to 
6500 feet.

We set out from the Clough Cave campground (only 3670 feet) 
at the end of South Fork Road, out of the town of Three Rivers.  
Our first quarter mile was on the well maintained Ladybug 
Trail.  We crossed the rushing South Fork of the Kaweah River 
on a sturdy bridge. If you decide to follow our footsteps, you'll 
benefit from knowing a few features that we missed.  The turn 
off from Ladybug onto the overgrown Pigeon Creek trail is at 
4010 feet, just beyond some prominent rocks.  After battling the 
brush up to the ridge to the west of Pigeon Creek, it is easy to 
lose the trail at 5890 feet. The trail doesn't follow the ridge at 
all, but crosses it immediately, and traverses Burnt Canyon to a 
notch below Palmer Cave.  Burnt Canyon is aptly named.  It 
looks like it burns about once a decade, and gives rise to a lush, 
dense growth of manzanita.  Crossing it on the trail is beastly, 
but crossing it off the trail is hell.

Jenkins described Creekside Surprise Camp as being an 
unexpected, lovely, broad, flat area where the trail crosses 
Bennett Creek. The surprise was that the campsite had been 
buried under a log jam during a flood.  We found a small, not-
so-flat site downstream. In spite of its size, it was a pleasant 
place with a waterfall and a deep soft bed of pine duff.  We had 
expected to set up our tents on top of snow.

At dawn we headed for the peak.  We quickly climbed up Salt 
Creek Ridge, out of the brush and into an open forest of 
Ponderosa and White pines. At 7800 feet we finally encountered 
snow.  All of our snow gear but the ice axes were left at camp, 
but the ice axes were all we needed.  All eight of us reached the 
9050 foot summit.  It's an infrequently climbed peak. Imagine 
that!  The last party had signed the summit register two years 
ago. We only saw the names of two PCS mountaineers in the 
book - Bill Rausch, more than 25 years ago, and Chris Yager, 
who will climb anything that stands still.

We returned to Bennett Creek, broke camp, battled the 
manzanita, crawled like rabbits under the pollen laden 
ceanothus, and reached the trailhead before 6 pm.  We washed 
off the grime in the Kaweah River.  Now I can call the water 
chilly, but at the time we employed more ardent adjectives.

It was a trip of Firsts and Mosts:  the first time we hiked in 
poison oak in the Sierra Nevada, our lowest trailhead, the 
densest brush, the warmest night, the softest bed, the rarest 
destination. Our party consisted of Steve Eckert (leader), Bob 
Suzuki (co-leader), Martina Faller, Suzanne Remien, Alex 
Keith, Dave Harris, Arun Mahajan, and your occasionally 
truthful reporter, Aaron Schuman.

 - Aaron Schuman 

Booby Traps?

A message originally to Rock Rendezvous (a north bay climbing 
group), forwarded by Butch Suits. Climb at your own risk, and 
check those anchors!

From: Doug Ward on Sun, May 19, 1996 1:15 PM
Subject: St Helena

Some disturbing observations at the Bubble in St. 
Helena from Puntalejos@aol.com. Be careful out 

I wanted to let Rock Rendevous know about some 
disturbing events that occurred yesterday while 
climbing at Mt. St. Helena. There was a cable 
attached to two bolts that seemed to be set up 
for a rap station. There was a 3/8" or so cable, 
two new metolius bolts, the cable had a coating - 
rubber, or electrical tape on the downhill side.

I assumed that the coating was to let the rope 
slide through more easily for rope retreival 
after rappelling.

It turns out that the coating was the only thing 
holding the cable together. It held light tension 
while I was looking over the edge to check out 
the rappell route, but FAILED when I and my 
partner were tension-traversing to a lower 
rappell point - near a tree and above a route 
where I wanted to retreive some of my gear.

If we had rappelled from that point it is certain 
that at least one of us would have either died or 
been seriously injured - a 100' foot drop.

At the tree there was a sling so placed as to 
look secure from above, but merely wedged into 
the dirt and roots. If clipped into from below 
this sling would have looked secure and would 
have held on for tugging-tests, but would not 
have held a rappell or even a second's TR fall.

Am I crazy? I've never seen anything like either 
of these things in 10 years of climbing, and I 
have never come so close to dying.

Have you heard of such things happening 
elsewhere? Perhaps, It would be good to warn Rock 
Rendevous members especially as Mt. St. Helena is 
a close-by crag.

  -- Puntalejos@AOL.co


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

Elected Officials

	Charles Schafer / charles.schafer@octel.com
	408-354-1545 home, 408-324-6003 work
	115 Spring Street, Los Gatos CA 95032-6229

Vice Chair and Trip Scheduler:
	Roger Crawley 
	415-321-8602 home
	761 Nash Avenue, Menlo Park CA 94025-2719

Treasurer and Membership Roster (address changes):
	Jim Ramaker / ramaker@vnet.ibm.com
	408-224-8553 home, 408-463-4873 work,
	188 Sunwood Meadows Place, San Jose CA 95119-1350

Appointed Positions

Scree Editor, Email Broadcast Operator:
	Steve Eckert / eckert@netcom.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 / schuman@sgi.com
	415-933-1901, http://reality.sgi.com/csp/pcs/index.html
	223 Horizon Avenue, Mountain View CA 94043-4718

Hardcopy subscriptions are $10/year, plus a requested donation of $2/year
to cover operating expenses. 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 sc- peaks". EScree-only subscribers should send a subscription
form to the Treasurer to become voting PCS members at no charge, and are
encouraged to donate $2/year to the PCS.

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 conditions.
	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.
	Class 4: Requires rope belays.
	Class 5: Technical rock climbing.

In Upcoming Issues:
(if you sent something that is not here, please send it again)
	At Rest Above the Atacama (death on Ojos del Salado)
	Trip Reports: Monarch Divide, Matterhorn
	World's 60 Highest Mountains
	Searching for Small Worlds to Conquer

Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 6/23/96.
Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month.
This publication may not be posted on any public news group.

And finally, back by popular demand: "Vy can't ve chust climb?" - John Salathe

(End of June 1996 EScree)