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Scree for September, 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.
                   September, 1996  Vol. 30, No. 9
    Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 9/22/96.
Next meeting (PCS meetings are the second tuesday of each month)
Date:     Tuesday, September 10
Time:     8:00 pm
Location: Western Mountaineering Town & Country Village, San Jose
Program:  Alaska Minus Denali

Perhaps the frequency of Denali West Buttress entered my 
thoughts, or perhaps the somewhat misleading popularity of 
Northern Exposure created new interest: a somewhat inaccurate 
interest by the public. The state of Alaska covers one-third of the 
area of the lower 48 states combined yet most Denali climbers 
see less than 1% of the state. There's more to the state than the 
highest-peak on the Continent.

Other PCSers are invited to bring a maximum of 12 Alaskan 
slides subject to the same proviso that the main presenters have: 
no slides of Denali, not even remotely in the skyline of a slide, 
to keep the evening's theme.

- Eugene Miya

At Alta Peak, Mister Marmot reads me the signs

The crag, the cascade, the gale, the lightning bolt. Sierra 
essences, to each its totem. Mister Marmot gives his voice 
to the granite. He sings of permanence and hints of 
change. "Those who know ...", he mocks. It is dawn at the 
Wolverton trailhead. I left my home while the stars 
shivered, and drove all night through the valley of grass.

He shrieks as I approach, and scurries away. I carry a 
headlamp, three water bottles, a fifty year old map of the 
Marble Fork of the Kaweah. I wear all the clothing I 
brought with me, but I will peel it soon. They don't tell, I 
finish his sentence, and those who tell don't know. I break 
off a piece of my granola bar and toss it to him. "Better!", 
he chirps. Nearby, a squirrel fights a bluejay over an 

Panther Meadow. A rattlesnake pretends to ignore me. I 
am already down to my boots, my shorts, and my cap. I 
refill a water bottle; it could be my last chance. The trail 
switchbacks up to Panther Gap. He is here too, on a rock, 
chanting, "The smoke, the mud, the gravel bar! Which of 
these three is false?" I bounce a pine cone off his rock. 
The riddle making rodent hops down, laughs at himself 
for running, and laughs at me for thinking I could change 
his unbending mind.

The trail follows the ridge. It gives unending views of the 
North Fork. The pictures in Mister Marmot's book. I feel 
his eyes on me, but I don't see or hear him. Mehrten 
Meadow. A few muddy seeps. I could drink if I had to, but 
I still have water in my bottles. There are coyote 
footprints. I come upon a doe and a fawn; they bound 
away. The mountain top stands before me, and the sun 
stands above me.

Brief nap at Tharp Rock. He invades my dream.

Below the summit, in a shady hole, there is a small patch 
of last year's snow. I pull off my rucksack and lay down in 
it. I roll over twice. Ice crystals scratch my cheek. I get up 
and walk over to the summit. He is there. He waddles up 
to me and whispers. He tells what I came to Alta Peak to 
find out. He tells the history of the Range of Light, its 
future, Man's fate and Marmot's too. He tells about the 
structure of the world, the forces that bind it together and 
guide its course. He tells where the next clue is hidden. He 
steals my gorp.

I return to Wolverton. I bring back Mister Marmot's 
favorite song, the funniest joke he's ever heard, and the 
address of his post office box.

- Aaron Schuman

Superlight Stoves

Email readers should note that this has been updated since it 
was broadcast! A while ago I posted a request for info on super 
lightweight (tiny) alcohol stoves on the email broadcast list. I 
ordered one, after tracking down some dealers through a web 
search for the name "Trangia". This appears to be the only real 
contender, made in Sweden. Several people requested a report 
on what I found, so here it is.

Thanks to all on the email list who responded to my request for 
info. Almost everyone uses white gas stoves (MSR, Coleman, 
Svea, etc.), and I am the proud owner of an Optimus 111B (a 
snow-melting beast if ever there was one, and over 20 years with 
no breakdowns or maintenance beyond greasing the pump). 
There is a fringe element, however, who prefers alcohol stoves 
for their totally silent operation and ultra light weight. No 
pumps, no priming, no possibility of explosion.

"Outside!" magazine seems to have done some stove and fuel 
comparisons, but reports I found on the web were not in English. 
URLs like  
abound. Anyone want to guess what the word "utsidan" means? 
Murray tells me it's Swedish for "outside".

The only brand name I heard for alcohol stoves was "Trangia", 
which is distributed in the USA by MSR (of all companies). It 
appears that any US company selling Trangia gets them from 
MSR, but several of them sell the stoves for less than MSR 
does. MSR will sell direct, but they warn you that their shipping 
delays and prices are higher than normal retail channels. MSR's 
web site was the only one with a picture of the Trangia: 
 (Warning - this web site will 
not display any text in some browsers!) For technical info call 

Prices for the Trangia stove seem to be based partly on the cookware 
that is bundled with it, and partly on the retailer's profit margin. I've 
seen as high as $84, and as low as $15, but MSR assures me that 
Trangia only makes one model of burner. (Campmor claimed 
otherwise, but then again their catalog is dead wrong on both weight 
and boil time.) The differences are in the windscreens, pot supports, 
and the pots themselves. The "Duossal" pots are aluminum on the 
outside and steel on the inside (supposedly safer because your food 
does not touch aluminum, but heat more evenly and are lighter than 
100% steel pots).

Efficiency is improved by a windscreen, which appears to be 
incorporated into the more expensive models, but it will take at 
least 10 minutes to boil a quart. Don't pay any attention to 
Campmor's claim of 7 minutes... it's just not true, and Campmor 
will admit that if you hound them long enough to get past the 
front desk operators. It takes about 1 ounce of alcohol to boil 1 
quart of water, so this stove is not good for extended trips 
(where the fuel weight will overcome the advantage of the light 
stove). Another article I found mentioned that letting the pot get 
black from soot could improve boil times by up to 30%, which is 
something to think about regardless of what stove you use. (A 
shiny pot reflects heat back down on the stove.)

MSR said that what Piragis described as the "23" was really the 
"Westwind", so you should make the seller be very specific about 
what is included in your order! MSR says the basic burner weighs 
6.6 ounces, and the triangular support weighs 2.8 ounces. (numbers 
are suspect - see below) The support could probably be replaced with 
a stack of rocks or even some aluminum wire bent into the shape of 
MSR's stove supports in a pinch. By comparison, an MSR XGK 
(with pump and 0.5 liter fuel bottle) weighs 15 ounces or more.

Late breaking news: Piragis incorrectly described what I was 
ordering, and/or MSR has the weights all wrong! What actually 
arrived (labeled "Trangia 23" in 6 languages) was a circular steel 
pot support and a brass burner assembly. The stripped-down burner 
weighs 3 oz, the flame adjustment piece weighs 1 oz, and the pot 
stand weighs 6 oz. There is no windscreen. There is no triangular 
support like they described. Perhaps the "Westwind", at almost 
twice the price, has the nifty support & wind screen combo. It 
also may have a bigger burner, in spite of what MSR and 
everyone else says, or MSR simply can't weigh things. I'm quite 
pleased with the very light burner, and plan to use rocks and foil 
instead of the 6 ounce pot support and a windscreen!

The best price (which MSR indicated might be at or below 
wholesale!) was $15 at Piragis Northwoods Company (featuring 
the Boundary Waters Catalog). You can order off the Web 
 or phone 800-223-
6565 between 7am and 9pm central time. Piragis calls this the 
"Trangia 23", as opposed to the "Trangia 28" that Campmor 
sells for $25. The "28" includes a 0.8 liter pot, while the "23" is 
just the burner and a circular pot support that packs poorly. My 
shipment included mention of replacement parts, and the 
Trangia part number for the burner alone is 602505.

Wilderness Furnishings sells something they call the 
"Westwind" for $25, but they have a "Trangia Stove Kit" for 
$14.50 that might be the same as the "Trangia 23" from Piragis. 
It's hard to tell, because they don't have any phone operators! 
You can phone them and leave a message, or order via fax, or 
download and print a JPEG order form to mail in, but they are a 
virtual storefront rumored to have a mailing address in Texas. If 
you want to give them a try, call 800-343-3545 or browse the 
web at .

Campmor can be reached by phone at 800-226-7667 (sales) or 
800-525-4784 (returns/product info) or on the web at 
. I order from them fairly often, and 
am surprised at the inaccuracy of their catalog and sales staff on 
this item. Their return policy is similar to REI (very generous) 
and this report should not cause anyone to avoid them in the 

Anyone wanting to know how the stove actually works should 
contact me in about a month (sometime in late September) after 
I've been on a few trips with it. It is not just "a tin cup poured 
full of alcohol", as some have asked. It has flame jets that burn 
fuel evaporated in a pre-combustion area, but the flame speed is 
much lower than a Peak1 or even a Whisperlite, making it more 
susceptible to wind blowing the heat away from your pot.

I've heard that this stove will burn 151 rum (haven't tried it 
yet), so you can take that as your spare fuel. Near the end of the 
trip, you have a choice of what to heat: your belly or your water!

Alcohol is widely available, and may be easier to get away with 
in your baggage than white gas or gaz canisters... Denatured 
alcohol is preferred, but it can be poured into a rubbing alcohol 
bottle and will probably escape most prodding customs agents. 
(I'm not suggesting this is a good idea, but at 2x2.5 inches the 
burner itself is small enough to stick into a shaving kit.)

- Steve Eckert

Back Of Beyond In Yosemite

Well hidden at the upper end of a trail-less valley in Yosemite, 22 
miles from the nearest trailhead, lies Mt. Ansel Adams (11,770). 
That was our objective as we gathered at the Tuolumne Meadows 
trailhead on a sparkling Thursday morning at the start of the Fourth 
of July weekend. The group consisted of John Flinn, Patty Haight, 
Ron Lebard, Ted Raczek, Jeff West, Kai Wiedman (leader), Phyllis 
Olrich (co-leader), and me (Jim Ramaker).

We left at 8:30 and hiked up through the beautiful meadows and 
open forests of the Rafferty Creek trail. As we passed Vogelsang 
Lake around 1 p.m., one member of the party came down with 
severe stomach cramps and agreed to drop out of the trip -- a wise 
choice as things only got tougher from that point on. From Vogelsang 
Pass we descended 2500 feet on the Lewis Creek trail, feeling the 
heat a bit as we hiked through forests and across granite slabs. 
Halfway down the valley, we passed the spectacular 800-foot Lewis 
Creek cascade on the south wall of the valley.

By 5 p.m., we'd covered 12 miles and were tired and ready to camp. Plus 
we faced a 1000-foot 3-mile climb to the next camp with water. But we 
had to get closer to the peak if we were going to tackle it the next 
afternoon as planned -- we were still about 10 miles away. So there was 
nothing else for it but to shoulder our packs and head up. "I will follow 
him..." sung Phyllis, endlessly repeating the lyrics from a 1960's pop song. 
"Think of something we can argue about," said someone else. We fell into 
a disjointed argument about social security, Medicare, radio talk shows, 
and whether the talk show host Dr. Dean Edell is really a fascist. Before 
we knew it, two hours had passed, and we were setting up camp by a 
creek in the woods on the Cony Crags trail. Phyllis amused us after 
supper by sharing her plan to open a sexual counseling service for 
women, and by breaking out sparklers for a frenzied Fourth of July 
fireworks display. Another typical PCS trip.

Friday morning we broke camp and headed up the trail toward the 
elusive and still unseen peak. About 10:30 we found a beautiful 
camp by a waterfall, just where the trail starts to descend into the 
Lyell Fork of the Merced River. We hung our food, set up tents, 
packed daypacks, and headed up valley, finally free of our backpacks 
after about 19 miles of hiking. We could now see the peak at the 
head of the valley, bell-shaped, steep on all sides, and still far away.

We hiked across vast granite slabs and past a marshy, flooded area with 
clouds of hungry mosquitoes. A huge bald eagle took off from the marsh 
as we approached. At this point John Flinn decided to return to camp, and 
Jeff West attempted to cross the river, which a ranger had said would be 
one of the hardest challenges of our trip. Crossing a wide, shallow-looking 
area, Jeff was soon in water above his waist, and we left him behind and 
headed up valley to escape the mosquitoes. Around 12:30 we finally 
began gaining elevation on steep granite slabs and ledges, and the peak 
started coming within range. Some of us were getting tired, but not Kai. 
"Every muscle fiber in your body is getting stronger with every step," he 
roared as we plodded uphill. "It's the seventh game of the World Series, tie 
game, two out, last of the ninth, and you're up. What are you gonna do?" 
he screamed at us.

Soon we arrived at the alpine lake under the north face of Ansel 
Adams and were finally able to cross the river. Here we made the 
first of three critical route-finding decisions, and had we made any of 
the three differently, we probably wouldn't have summited. Spurning 
the advice of the guidebooks to circle around the right side of the 
peak, Kai had us climb a steep snowfield to the left. Then 600 or 700 
feet up, the snowfield split into two snow gullies, with the right 
branch steep and littered with fresh rockfall. "Which way?" I yelled 
down to Kai. "Right," he yelled back instantly.

Some members of our party were inexperienced on steep snow, and one 
person took a short fall, knocking another person over in the process. But 
no harm done, and soon we were on a saddle with nothing but steep rock 
to our right, between us and the summit. To find the class-3 south face 
route described in the guide books, it looked like we'd have to descend 
several hundred feet into a snow basin and circle around.

Here we made the third fortuitous routefinding decision. "Descend 
hell," said Kai, climbing over a rib of rock on our right to inspect a 
hidden gully. After some silence came the clatter of falling rock, then 
Kai's voice: "Class 2 -- it goes!" Sure enough -- the hidden gully 
angled up like a staircase for a couple hundred feet back toward the 
north face. We scrambled up it, and at the top, climbed a class-3 slot 
on mediocre holds. A baseball-sized rock knocked loose by one of 
the new people on the trip whizzed past my face and bounced off my 
arm, and then Kai's rendition of the theme from "Rocky" wafted 
down to us from above. Success!

The six of us crowded together on the exposed summit ridge, and ate 
our snacks, took photos, and read the summit register, which listed 
only two ascents in 1995 and one (besides ours) in 1996. To the 
north, the sharp pyramids of Mt. Lyell and Rogers Peak thrust into 
the sky, and between us and them lay the remote alpine basin south 
of Mt. Lyell with its dozens of tiny lakes, all of them still frozen.

We departed about 4 p.m., circling around the south side of the peak 
to circumnavigate it and take the standard route down. It was another 
good choice -- we got in some great standing glissades on soft, easy-
angled snowfields. Of the class-3 south face route described in both 
Roper and Secor, we saw no sign whatsoever. The entire south face 
appears to be a steep, loose, class-5 horror, and the saddle we 
climbed to appears to offer the only non-technical way up the peak. 
A special gear note: Ted Raczek pioneered some radical alpine 
footwear on this trip -- running shoes for the long hike in, and high 
rubber galoshes (like grade school children wear) for snow and water 
crossings. What the hell -- he summited.

On the way back to camp, we stayed high on the north side of the valley in 
order to get some additional exercise climbing up and down granite 
buttresses and doing an adventurous stream crossing or two. Toward 
camp, we walked for over half a mile on gently angled, sensuously 
polished granite slabs, finally arriving in camp about 7:45.

Saturday morning we had breakfast in our beautiful "kitchen," at the top 
edge of the granite slabs that sloped down many hundreds of feet to the 
bottom of the valley. To our right, the creek that formed the waterfall near 
camp cascaded down these slabs. We hiked out about 10 a.m. and 
retraced the 12-mile hike to Vogelsang Lake via the Cony Crags and 
Lewis Creek trails. At Vogelsang Pass around 5 p.m., I split off to do 
Vogelsang Peak, a fun 1 1/2 hour round-trip climb, marred only by clouds 
of hungry mosquitoes right at the summit.

That evening we rejoined the person we'd left behind on the first day, and 
camped spread out over a wide area on the granite slabs near the outlet of 
Vogelsang Lake -- a beautiful camp that catches the last of the evening 
sun. In the morning, we woke to find that a bear had stolen all of our food. 
It was hung well off the ground, but the bear simply climbed out on the 
limb and snapped it off under his body weight. Two members of our party 
said they had heard him sniffing around before the crime, but were too 
scared to do anything -- a bad mistake.

So it was with empty stomachs but with still soaring spirits that we hiked 
out the remaining 7 miles, for a well-deserved lunch at the Tuolumne 
Meadows store at 11:30 a.m. Thanks go to Kai and Phyllis for organizing 
the trip, and to Kai for his uncanny routefinding on the peak -- an elusive 
gem of the Yosemite backcountry.

- Jim Ramaker

Notes and Requests

*** Post/Pre Trip Restaurants?

I would like to compile a list of restaurants that people like to 
eat at before or after a peak trip. There are many of us who have 
their favorite eatery in Lone Pine they like to visit after a hard 
climb or a place in Oakdale to have dinner before living off 
freeze dried beef stew. If you have a favorite restaurant, send it 
to me and I'll compile a list and send it back out. The more 
information you give me, the better. For example, the name of 
the place, where it's at, is it pricey ($14.00 dinner), moderate 
($9.00 dinner) or freeze dried beef stew and what you might 
recommend. If there's a restaurant you recommend staying away 
from, that would good to know also. I understand that for some 
of you, this is privileged information, not to be distributed to 
just anyone. I therefore guarantee that this information will only 
be distributed to a very select section of the general population. 
Thanks in advance.

- Alex Keith 

*** Giardiasis Data Requested

I got this off the net... the first message below is a request for 
personal experience with verified giardia problems in the Sierra 
Nevada (not intestinal distress, but bona fide giardia). The 
second message is a response to the request for info, showing 
the type of response Roper is looking for. If you send email to 
me at , I'll collect it and forward to the 
requester, PLUS compile it for the Scree.

- Steve Eckert 

From: jmorton@euler.Berkeley.EDU (John Morton)
Newsgroups: rec.climbing,rec.backcountry
Subject: Giardia in the Sierra Nevada
Date: 21 Aug 1996 17:26:39 GMT
Organization: University of California at Berkeley
Steve Roper asked me about giardia anecdotes recently, and like him, I 
actually don't know firsthand of an example of giardia contracted in the 
California Sierra. Nor do most mountain travelers know anything definite 
about it except "Don't drink the water!" He would be interested in anecdotal 
evidence, but a legitimate study would be more useful. This is from Roper:
>I'm redoing my Sierra Timberline book and will have to add a section re
>giardia. No one seems to know how prevalent it is, or how it's really spread.
>Was it always there? Can people be carriers? What do you know? Has
>a study been done? How many people does anyone know who got giardia in
>the Sierra? (I've never heard of anyone, myself.)

*** San Diego Slide Show Invitation

I shall be the guest speaker of the San Diego Chapter's monthly 
meeting (held at the Otto Center near the San Diego Zoo) next 
month (Fri, Sep. 20 at 7.30 pm). I'll be presenting a 
retrospective and a multimedia (a sham because I'll only be 
using two media) slide show, "Mountaineering, a Love of Wild 
Places" (I had to choose mountaineering since I'm also chair of 
mountaineering). I would be immeasurably flattered if any of 
you PCSers came down but the real reason would not to see/hear 
me or my slide show. Geoffrey Smith, ex-chapter chair and 
organizer of the Chapter Bookstore, will have available a few 
autographed copies of Douglas Adams' latest book, the finale in 
the much-lauded "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" series. 
"So Long and Thanks for all the PowerBars". Be there!

- Richard Hughes 

*** "Damn Thieving Girl Scouts"

>From the rec.backcountry newsgroup:

There was an article in yesterday's (21 August) Wall Street Journal, 
page A1, about copyrights on songs. It seems that an organization 
(Ascap) which represents the rights of songwriters has threatened to 
sue certain organizations for public performances of copyrighted 
material without permission. Permission, of course, can be obtained 
for a fee. The "certain organizations" affected include the Girl 
Scouts, who are now forbidden from singing songs like "Dust in the 
Wind" and "Puff the Magic Dragon" around the campfire, unless 
they pay the $100-$1,000 fees necessary to license those songs. 
Failure to silence the singing Girl Scouts can result in fines, lawsuits, 
and jail sentences. I am not advocating anything here, just passing 
along some news that might affect some of you. If you or your 
organization engages in campfire sing-alongs, be aware that you 
might be putting yourselves at considerable risk of litigation. It is a 
strange and disturbing world that we inhabit.

- Alan Dove 

*** MSR Dromedary Bag Recall

>From , Aug 7, 1996

MSR has identified a quality issue regarding our Dromedary Bag 
and is notifying our customers as a result. MSR has learned that 
trace amounts of OBPA, a chemical substance used in a laminate 
layer of the bag's fabric, leach through the NSF-grade laminate layer 
and into stored water. OBPA is an organic arsenical. Organic 
arsenicals are considered significantly less toxic than inorganic 
arsenicals. There is no known human health effect associated with 
trace amounts of OBPA, other than possible short-term mouth and 
throat irritation. Preliminary tests show the presence of OBPA 
diminishes with use of the product. OBPA is commonly used as a 
bacteriostat, disinfectant and fungicide in plastic products. MSR has 
stopped using OBPA in the Dromedary Bag and is offering to 
exchange bags with a new model that does not contain the substance. 
This is consistent with MSR's goal of providing a storage product 
that maintains the water's original state of purity. We would like to 
offer you a new Dromedary Bag manufactured without OBPA, in 
exchange for your existing bag. New Dromedary Bags are expected 
to begin shipping in mid-September. If you have further questions, 
please contact our toll-free Customer Service Line at 800-877-9677. 
[or send a message to info@msr.e-mail.com]

- Dave Bartholomew, President and CEO

*** Hot Times at High Camp Tonight

I have been looking for this camp pressure cooker that a lot of us 
have seen on the road/trail but never in the stores. The smallest 
pressure cooker I can find in the stores is 4qt which is too huge 
for backpacking. A 2 qt would be about right for those month 
long trips melting snow for water... Does anyone have any 
leads? Work phone 415-476-3577.

- Phoebe Couch 

*** Information On Matthes Crest

Would like info on Matthes Crest(traverse from S to N). I have 
the info from the Sierra Classics but would like much more 
detailed info. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

- Peter Zurla 

*** Cottonwood Pass BBQ

According to various rangers, one horse and one mule were 
killed on Monday, July 29, just west of the top of Cottonwood 
Pass when they were struck by lightning. Apparently three 
human members of the pack train were injured. As of a few days 
ago, the animals are still there (right by the PCT) awaiting 
removal. I crossed this same pass two days earlier, and was 
caught in the same T-storm somewhere between Mt. Guyot and 
Crabtree Meadow, while on a leisurely week-long jaunt north to 
Onion Valley.

- Gary Craig 

*** Used AT Skis Wanted

I'm looking for some used AT skis for ice climbing approaches. 
Preferred length is 170 or 180 cm, but I'd consider 190 for good 
skis at a good price. The binding must work for climbing boots, 
e.g. Ramer's or Silvretta 404's. I live & work in the south bay. 
Contact me at 408-354-2539 (home).

- Alan Lillich 

*** Aiguillable Climbing Near Chamonix

Chamonix, France is famous for the Mont Blanc area, and gung-ho 
climbs involving glaciers, crevasses and ice. Lesser known is the 
mountain range on the other side of the valley, the "Aiguilles 
Rouges" (pronounced "aygwee"). These are much lower (the highest 
is 2953m, or 9688') and in summer have only occasional snow, with 
no glaciers. However, in addition to class 1 and 2 peaks, they offer 
superb class 3 climbing, with ingredients to challenge and delight 
everyone: chimneys, walls, knife-edge ridges with awesome 
exposure, and with incredible panoramas of the Mont Blanc Massif 
just across the valley. Elevation gains depend on whether the peak 
chosen is accessible via telepherique or not. Of the ones I did, the 
smallest gain was 1600' and the largest was 5000'. Hiking distances 
are always short, making these ideal day trips. If anyone is in the 
Chamonix area (even just passing through) and is interested in 
sampling these climbs, an excellent book is "Summits for All". This 
book is available in bookshops and sports stores in Chamonix, and is 
an English translation of the original in French (which is also 
available) by Edouard Prevost.

- Peter Maxwell

*** Aconcagua 12/96

I am planning a trip to Aconcagua from Dec. 26 1996 to Jan. 18, 
1996. I plan to do the normal route and hope to spend 10 or so 
days on the mountain. If anyone is interested in joining me, give 
me a call at 408-944-2003. I speak fluent Spanish.

- Tony Cruz 

*** Patagonia and Aconcagua

I am planning to go to South America for ~3 months (late Dec 
through April) including a month in Patagonia and 2 weeks for 
climbing Aconcagua. I'd like to get a team together for San 
Valentin and/or Fitz Roy in Jan and maybe another for 
Aconcagua (normal route) in early Feb. If anyone is interested, 
let's get together for some local climbs and discuss plans!.

- Phoebe Couch 

*** Kilimanjaro 2/97

My two partners and I are starting to firm up our plan to do 
Kilimanjaro next Feb, and we are wondering if anyone is 
planning to go in the same time frame. It would be great to have 
a group of some people you know (at least through the mailing 
list :-) We are not organizing this trip, just asking for potential 
companions. Our initial plan includes flying from here to 
London or Paris, staying there a couple of days to catch a show 
or just lazy around, then to Kenya/Tanzania, climb Kili (5 days), 
then do a safari in Serengetti park for another 3 or 4 days, then 
we optionally have a couple of days in Paris/London again. The 
total length of the trip is 14 days. Some of my researches show 
that the combined fare for 2 legs SFO-London & 
London/Nairobi is not a lot different from a ticket from SFO to 
Nairobi. Actually when I was in Paris last April, I talked to a 
few bucket shops and found some very good deals to Kenya on 
Al Italia.

- Tuan Tran 

*** Orizaba and/or Itza

I am not a PCS member, but have climbed with many of the 
members this summer. I would like to recruit partners for a trip 
to Mexico City. I hope to travel to Mexico City during the first 
two weeks in November, and climb Orizaba and/or Itza. I plan a 
9-day trip, scheduled in such a way as to consume one week's 
vacation from work. Please call 408-749-2707 for info.

- John Zazzara

*** Personal Web Site

I uploaded some extra goodies to my personal web site recently. 
Some illustrations and stuff about HAPE and Diamox, and a 
reference to a new booklet High Altitude: Illness and Wellness, 
by Charles Houston (the expert). There is a suggestion for 
Diamox addicts to take only a half-dose rather than the full dose.


- Bob Gross <75013.1420@CompuServe.COM>

*** Bear Bells

There was a guy at the trailhead selling bear bells to tie on your 
shoes. One newcomer asked whether they were required. The 
vendor replied that they seemed to work fine on black bears, but 
not grizzlies. The newcomer, of course, wanted to know how you 
told the difference... and the answer was that grizzly bear shit 
has bear bells in it!

- Steve Eckert

*** Teachers Quoting Kids

" The inhabitants of Moscow are called Mosqitoes.
" A virgin forest is a forest where the hand of man has never 
set foot.
" A scout obeys all to whom obedience is due and respects all 
duly constipated authorities.
" A city purifies its water supply by filtering the water then 
forcing it through an aviator.
" The general direction of the Alps is straight up.

Acute Mountain Sickness

From rec.climbing or rec.backcountry newsgroups:

Firstly I should like to thank all those people who posted helpful 
information and/or send me Email. I got lots of pointers to 
WWW sites. However, I found the most useful one to be 
"Altitude Illness Clinical Guide For Physicians" by Thomas E. 
Dietz, M.D. ( 
which gives clear and concise descriptions of Normal Physiology 
at altitude, Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), High Altitude 
Cerebral Edema (HACE) and High Altitude Pulmonary Edema 
(HAPE). The language is not so technical that lay people can not 
understand it.

Clearly, all references agree that if there are any symptoms of 
Edema (Oedema in U.K.) then one must descend post haste; 
either HAPE or HACE may be lethal in a few hours. However, 
one may suffer from AMS well before such a critical situation is 
reached and my original posting inquired if there were any 
"chemical fix" which could help. In particular, I suffer from 
migraine and this can be induced by rapid ascent.

Although one can usually avoid AMS by slow acclimatization 
the ascent rate is recommended to be about 300m per day over 
3000m. This may be feasible when trekking in the Himalaya 
(depending on the region), but I gave two examples of where it 
is not so simple. Last month I flew from Lima to Cuzco which is 
a change of about 3500. There simply is no reasonable 
alternative to make the journey in 300m stages even if one had 
the time. Moreover, as the Altiplano is flat, albeit at 10 or 
12'000 feet, there is no way to go down without taking an 

The second example was a typical alpine ascent where one 
climbs up to a refuge above 3000m one day and gets up early the 
following morning to climb the peak. There are usually no 
feasible intermediate places where one could stop over even 
assuming one had the time. Dr. Dietz recommends to take 
Diamox (Acetazolamide) in these cases, although he does not 
recommend taking a prophylactic if one ascends more slowly.

I shall relate here my experience from last weekend, whilst 
emphasizing that other people may have a totally different 
reaction. I took 125 mg of Diamox Thursday evening and Friday 
morning before leaving my home at 435m, and one more on 
Friday evening at the Quintino Sella refuge (almost 3600m = 
12'000f). I also took one Tonapan "just in case". Diamox is a 
diuretic which is inconvenient (excuse pun) and requires that 
one must drink enough to make up for the liquid loss. It also can 
have side effects, although at this low dose these were very 
slight (a slight tingling in the fingers of the hand holding my ice 
axe whilst climbing without gloves). The result was a success. I 
had no headache and I even got some sleep. (And yes, the view 
from 4228m the following day was wonderful).

Thus, for me this treatment seems to work. I don't believe I normally 
suffer from AMS per se but from migraine triggered by the altitude 
change. The Diamox seemed to avoid this, although I shall need to 
try several times to get better statistics.

I should like to reply to one respondent who shall remain 
nameless but made what I consider to me a completely inane 
remark. He said "Diamox is a crutch". I wish people would start 
their brains before putting their fingers into gear. What exactly 
is this supposed to mean? That anyone who needs to take 
Diamox should not climb mountains? That somehow one is 
cheating, or what? A crutch is something which allows one to 
overcome an infirmity. Those people who do not need crutches 
are indeed lucky, but why should they attempt to deny help to 
their less fortunate brethren?

>From another point of view, my compatriots during the middle 
of the last century climbed over 100 of the highest mountains in 
Europe wearing hob-nail boots and Tweed Jackets. They might 
well consider that their Vibram, Capilene and Gortex-clad 
descendants with twelve point crampons and alloy ice axes use 
quite a few crutches.

Whilst I agree that "it is not cricket" to take performance-
enhancing drugs in a competition, I don't in the least find a 
problem with occasionally taking a drug which speeds up 
acclimatization so long as this is not dangerous. The only 
possible objection I can see would be if the drug could mask 
symptoms of HACE or HAPE thereby getting the climber into a 
situation from where (s)he would have to be rescued by others. 
This is not the case for Diamox. To quote Dr. Dietz, "if a patient 
feels well on acetazolamide s/he is well".

- David Myers (CERN, Geneva)

Roger's Russell Report

It was a rainy night in Bishop. In July? Yep. It even rained at 
El Portal, the Mt Whitney trailhead. We squeezed in at the 
Backpacker's Camp. In the middle of the night Dave Wright 
woke up to find that a bear had scooped up his pack right beside 
him. Dave heard him in the bushes, and just went right up and 
demanded his pack!

In the morning the weather was beautiful and we started up 
North Lone Pine Creek to our camp at Upper Boy Scout Lake. 
Joanie Sutherland, who had just finished a week's trip into 
Milestone Basin, joined us there. Us: Bill Kirkpatrick, Dave 
Wright, Don Martin, Will Hurst, and myself, Roger Crawley.

Next day we got going early at 6:30. it's a steep grunt up the 
Russell-Carillon Saddle. From there we took the standard class 
3 route up the east ridge. As one climbs the ridge the exposure 
can be unnerving. The rock is very good; there are plenty of 
holds; in hindsight there were no serious obstacles; one can go 
all the way by hugging the north side of the ridge. Yeah, but 
after a while the sheer height, the airiness, and the 2000' drop-
off on both sides are at least exhilarating.

Joanie, Don, and I reached the East Horn and looked at the West 
Horn about 100 yards across. "Gee, those clouds are coming 
in." "Gee, we don't wanna be on this ridge if it rains." etc. 
"What the hell, let's just go as far as we can." Turns out it 
wasn't bad at all; there's an easy way around the other side of 
the west horn. We carefully climbed back down to the saddle.

Meanwhile the others climbed up on Mt. Carillon. We all 
headed down to camp and the weather broke loose; it rained and 
hailed for three hours. It's crucial to get up and get off of the 
long exposed ridge early, because afternoon storms are common. 
We stayed the second night at the lake. It's a beautiful place. In 
the morning we skipped breakfast, scrambled back to the cars, 
and drove as fast as we could to the finest restaurant in Bishop 
for brunch. Then we had a soak in Hot Creek.

- Roger Crawley

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.

*** Without a Paddle
Route:        Mokelumne River Canyon        class 2
Dates:        Sept. 7-10        Sat-Tues
Location:     Off Hwy 4 below Ebbetts Pass
Leader:       John Ingvoldstad        408-996-7129 ingy@svpal.org

We'll explore a largely trailless gorge, with river crossings, 
scrambling and bushwacking. A loop trip with trails into 
and out of the canyon, and a short car shuttle. Moderate 
pace; 3,800 foot climb out.

*** Bird Song Day Hike
Peak:        Vogelsang (11,400')        class 2
Date:        Sep 14        Sat
Maps:        Tuolomne Meadows 15' quad Vogelsang Peak 7.5' quad
Leader:      Aaron Schuman        (no RSVP)

We'll hike on trail to Tuolomne Pass (10000'), and climb to 
the summit. 18 miles round trip. The Bird Song and 
Conservation of Energy Day Hikes require no RSVP. 
Campers at the PCS Tuolomne Meadows Group Camp 
and other hikers just meet at the Tuolomne Campground 
group site ready to hike at 7:00 a.m.

*** Conservation of Energy Day Hike
Peak:        Mount Gibbs (12,800')        class 2
Date:        Sep 15        Sun
Map:         Mono Craters 15' quad
Leader:      Aaron Schuman        (no RSVP)

From Dana Meadows (9600'), we'll hike on trail to Mono Pass 
(10600'), The Bird Song and Conservation of Energy Day Hikes 
require no RSVP. Campers at the PCS Tuolomne Meadows 
Group Camp and other hikers just meet for a carpool to the 
trailhead from the Tuolomne Campground group site at 7:00 a.m.

Note: Gibbs proposed three laws of thermodynamics
        1. Conservation of Energy
        2. Increasing Entropy
        3. Unattainable Absolute Zero
This trip name may now mean something even to the readers 
who slept through physics class in pursuit of Law #3.

*** Hiske and ?
Peaks:        Mt Fiske 13,524', Mt Huxley 13,117'     class 2-3
Dates:        Sep 14-15        Sat-Sun
Leader:       Chris Yager        408-243-3026

Approach via Haeckle-Wallace Pass or Echo Col, traverse 
and descend when necessary.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
+ They are wet with the showers of the mountains, +
+    and embrace the rock for want of a shelter.  +
+                     Job 24:8                    +
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

*** 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 NE ridge on Mount Goethe. Permit for 8.

*** Annual Mt Clark Pilgrimage
Peak:       Mt Clark (11,522'), Quartzite (10,440')    class 3
Map:        Merced Peak 15' topo
Date:       Sep 21        Sat
Leader:     Steve Eckert    415-508-0500 eckert@netcom.com

This is a 30-mile day hike with 8000' of gain and loss. 
Storkman used to do this each year on his birthday, and has 
asked me to pass on the route to those who are interested. It 
is a one-way loop trip from Happy Isle in Yosemite Valley, 
ascending through Little Yosemite and returning by Starr King. 
The hiking is mostly trail or class 2, but the summit is both 
challenging (may be skipped if you choose) and stunning. 
Fast pace with few breaks, starting before dawn. We may be 
able to get a campsite in Yosemite for Fri and Sat. Co-listed 
with Day Hiking Section - come defend the honor of the PCS!

*** Passes and Splashes
Peaks:       Reynolds (9679'), Roundtop (10,300')   class 2-3
Maps:        Freel Peak 15' and Markleeville 15'
Dates:       Sept. 28-29        Sat-Sun
Leader:      John Ingvoldstad   408-996-7129 ingy@svpal.org

Carcamp at Grover Hot Spring (the "splashes" part). With 
easy climb on Sunday, you can be home in time for ESPN 
NFL highlights! We'll go over Ebbetts Pass to Reynolds 
Peak and over Carson Pass to Roundtop.

*** Langley
Peak:         Mt Langley (14,000')        class 2
Trailhead:    Cottonwood Lakes, near Lone Pine
Dates:        Oct 12-14        Sat-Mon
Leader:       George Van Gorden        408-779-2320

Beautiful area, the yellowing aspens, the meadow grass 
not so verdant and riotous, the frenzy of the long summer 
nights abating, a good time of the year. The trailhead is at 
10,000' and the trail into Cottonwood Lakes is very good, 
making this probalby the easiest fourteener in the state. 
We will hike into our camp on Sat and climb the mountain 
on Sun. It is possible to get back to your car and drive 
back on Sun night, though you would get home rather late.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
+   Life may have no meaning. Or even worse, it   +
+    may have a meaning of which I disapprove.    +
+               Ashleigh Brilliant                +
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Sunny Sill

On the weekend of July 20th, 1996, four of us (Greg Faulk, 
Wilk von Gustedt, Bob MacKay and myself) climbed Mt. Sill 
from North Fork of Big Pine Creek. Four of us plus two of Wilk's 
friends, who had just arrived from Germany the day before, met at 
Livermore Airport at 2:45 pm, and started our drive to June Lake. 
After eating dinner in Lee Vining, we found a camp spot in Oh! 
Ridge campground in June Lake.

We followed the trail which led us to the beautiful Sam Mack 
Meadow. The trail (which is called "Glacier Trail" after the 
meadow) now turned 90 degrees to the left in the meadow. For a 
while the trail was marked well, but eventually it disappeared in 
the rock and snow fields. This was not a problem since it was 
obvious that we were right below the ridge which lied between 
us and Palisade Glacier. We decided to stay on that place since 
there were several very nice camp/bivy spots. I did not recall 
when we arrived at that spot, but it was a long day.

I had a headache until around 4am, but when I finally woke up 
at 6 am, it was completely gone and I felt good about the climb. 
After eating small breakfasts, we set off at 7:15 am. It was a 
totally "non-alpine" start, but the sky was so clear again and it 
seemed there was very little chance of a thunderstorm.

After walking on the edge of Palisade Glacier, we went up a 
loose class 4 section to Glacier Notch. This part made me 
concern about the descent from the notch, but later we would 
find that we were off route in the morning and the correct route 
was a much better class 3 scramble.

At Glacier Notch, we could see the whole Swiss Arete and the 
snowfield which completely filled the chute from the saddle 
between Sill and Apex Peak (L-shaped snowfield). I've seen 
pictures of this chute without any snow, but right now, it looked 
much nicer with a beautiful white coat. After crossing the 
snowfield, we sorted our rock gears to get ready for the climb of 
Swiss Arete. We decided that Bob and Wilk, Greg and myself 
would be rope teams and that both teams would swing the lead.

We started our climb around 9:30 am. Bob first started to lead the 
first pitch and as soon as Wilk started to follow Bob, I started to lead 
the pitch for the second rope team. First pitch seemed about 5.5 to 
me which was interesting enough. My coworker John Feder, who 
climbed this route about ten years ago, had told me that Swiss Arete 
was very easy for them (he said it would be like 5.2) and that they 
mostly simul-climbed in their leather boots. Well, at least I was 
much less experienced than John, and this seemed like a right 
amount of thrill for me with my climbing shoes on. this was not a 
route for me to do simul-climb.

Second pitch was also 5.4-5.5 and very nice. Then there came 
the third pitch. I saw Bob going up the hand crack on the left 
side but it did not seem easy. Wilk did not make it look easy 
either even though he usually climbs 5.10 range and was a better 
climber than I. Bob told us that he thought he took a wrong turn 
and the correct route should be on the right side.

Then my turn came. After a few moves, I arrived at that crux-ish 
section. Following Bob's advice, I first tried to go up the face 
right in front of me. I tried a couple of moves and it seemed 
doable. But the move seemed like 5.10a and I was feeling that 
there was about 10% chance of falling with my capability. Since 
I did not find a pro placement to protect the move, I decided not 
to take a chance and moved to the left to go up the same crack 
where Bob and Wilk went up. Well, the crack was not really 
easy for me (5.9ish?), but at least there were good pro 
placements which made me feel relieved. After this crux section 
a few easy moves led me to our belay station.

The fourth pitch was relatively easy. So was the fifth pitch, although if I 
remember correctly, there was one or two 5.6ish move. When I got close 
to the belay station, I heard Bob saying "It's the top!" but I did not really 
think it was what he meant. Well, we had not seen the "impasse" on the 
fifth pitch when we were supposed to traverse to the right. And we had 
not encountered the "chimney" on the seventh pitch which would be tough 
with a pack on. (Both Greg and I were carrying our packs.) And most of 
all, the climb was supposed to be 7-8 pitches. But the way Bob and Wilk 
were acting finally convinced that they were at the top. Even though I set 
my belay station lower than theirs, I knew that I was right below them and 
thus I must have been just 20 feet from the summit.

Quickly, Greg appeared from below and I told him that the 
summit was there. "No way." he said. "You gotta be kidding." 
Well, but it was the summit. At that point, we realized that the 
5.9ish crux section must have been the "impasse" in the 
guidebooks. Since we started a bit higher than the start in the 
books, and also probably since we ended up using almost full 
rope length for all the pitches, our pitch counts were off. This 
solve the mystery of "impasse" section, but we never could 
figure out where we missed the "chimney".

It was 12:30 pm and there still was no cloud. Beautiful sky and 
outstanding view. This was the very first trip to the Palisade 
region for three of us (Greg, Wilk and me), and we were totally 
impressed by the great view.

After lunch, we started leisurely around 1:30 pm for the descent. 
We were not in a hurry since the weather was so nice. Descent 
to the saddle between Sill and Apex Peak was class 3-4 but route 
finding was easy since the cairns always showed us the correct 
route. At the saddle we removed our rock shoes to be ready for 
the descent on the snow. Bob and Wilk decided to walk down 
and started slowly. Then, Greg "the garbage sack master" just 
took off as usual and disappeared out of sight very quickly. I also 
wanted to glissade, but chickened out a little bit and just did the 
bottom half. The snow condition was perfect and it was a very 
pleasant descent.

Eventually, we slowly crawled back to our camp site, packed our tent/bivy 
sacks and started our descent to Sam Mack Meadow. For me this part 
seemed long since I started to feel tired. Well, total hat off to the people in 
the 1930s. I read that after the first ascent of Mt. Sill, Ruth Dyer (her first 
major ascent in the Sierras) came running (and maybe dancing) back to 
Sam Mack Meadow because she did not want other people to think that 
she was tired. Well, I guess she was more than ten years younger than I 
am now, but I certainly did not have a desire to run and dance.

Camping at Sam Mack Meadow that night was certainly pleasant. It 
was such a beautiful place. Flowers (columbine etc.), creek, peaks 
(views of Sill, N. Pal and Winchell), and then the stars. We strolled 
around the meadow in the morning. Since the trail did not go through 
the whole meadow, we ended up walking some off trail section to 
reach the end of the meadow, which made me feel guilty.

I've hiked a lot in Japan and over there, there were so many places which 
used to be beautiful marshes but now were just mud fields because so 
many people had walked on. As a result of that, many high marshes in 
Japan have trails made of logs so that people don't have to walk directly on 
the fragile plants. well, I just hope that Sam Mack Meadow will not be a 
mud field when I visit there ten years from now.

- Zenta Tsuchihashi

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.

*** If Charles Were King
Peak:        Mt Clarence King (12,905')        class 5.4
Dates:       Sep 13-15        Fri-Sun
Contact:     Charles Schafer H 408-354-1545 W 408-324-6003 charles.schafer@octel.com
Co-Contact:  WANTED

As Secor so wonderfully puts it "This beautiful peak 
dominates the entire Woods Creek Drainage." There ain't 
no easy way up it, so it should be quite a challenge. We'll 
go in Friday over Kearsarge Pass, then climb the peak 
Saturday, probably via the south face. Permit for 6.

*** Dana Day Hike
Peak:        Dana Couloir        technical snow
Date:        Sept 14        Sat
Contact:     George Van Gorden        408-779-2320

A long day's climb. Hard snow and possible ice. The 
glacial basin is spectacular and as we near the top of hte 
couloir the views of Mono Lake make the effort worthwhile. 
We will put in protection: ice axe, crampons, and harness 
required. A few ice screws could be handy. We should be 
back to the cars by dark.

Call to sign up after August 21, and before 9pm.

*** Whorl Mountain
Peak:       Whorl Mtn (12,033')      class 4
Map:        Matterhorn peak 15' topo
Dates:      Sept 21-22        Sat-Sun
Contact:    Bob Suzuki        W: 510-657-7555
                       (>8pm) H: 408-259-0772
Co-Contact: Debbie Bulger     H: 408-457-1036

Here's another opportunity for a challenging climb of this 
picturesque peak in northeastern Yosemite. We'll begin 
Saturday from Twin Lakes, hike over Horse Creek Pass and 
setup camp just south of the pass. An early start Sunday will 
allow us time to search for one of the class 4 chutes up 
Whorl's glacial-carved east flank. A harness, rappel device 
and prior experience with roped climbing will be required to 
join this private outing. Limited to 8 climbers.

*** Toulumne Meadows Carcamp
Trip:        Car Camp in Toulumne Meadows
Dates:       Sept 14-15        Sat-Sun
Contact:     Cecil Magliocco   408-358-1168 cecilm@ix.netcom.com

Enjoy the meadows after Labor Day. Bring the family 
along as we have a group campsite reservation. This 
carcamp is coordinated with Aaron Schuman's Yosemite 
climbs on the same weekend. A $5 non-refundable 
reservation deposit is requested.

*** Tenaya Canyon Ascent
Trip:        Tenaya Canyon        class 3-4, maybe 5
Dates:       Oct 12-13        Sat-Sun
Contact:     David Harris      415-497-5571
Co-Contact:  Bob Suzuki        510-657-7555

According to Secor, "This adventurous cross-country route 
should only be attempted by experienced mountaineers; 
many tourists are rescued from this canyon each year." 
We will ascend Tenaya Canyon from Mirror Lake to 
Tenaya Lake. Finding the optimal route is non-trivial, so 
we will bring ropes and you should be a comfortable class 
5 climber in the event we resort to brute force.

*** Yosemite Valley Carcamp
Trip:        Car Camp in Yosemite Valley
Dates:       Oct 12-13        Sat-Sun
Contact:     Cecil Magliocco  408-358-1168 cecilm@ix.netcom.com

Enjoy this fall in the valley. A group campsite is reserved 
so non-climbers are welcome (of all ages). Co-leader 
wanted to lead one dayhike. A $5 non-refundable 
reservation deposit is requested.

Summit Registers

Many years ago I was climbing in the Palisades with an RCS 
group. We were doing the Thunderbolt to North Palisade 
traverse. We had just completed our ascent of Starlight Peak and 
were rappelling down into the notch between it and North 
Palisade when I stumbled upon an old sardine can with some 
papers inside. The can had been carefully placed on a small 
ledge at the bottom of the rappel. When I opened the can I was 
very surprised to find what appeared to be a summit register 
dating back to 1931. There was only one entry in the register 
and it was made by a team consisting of Norman Clyde, Jules 
Eichorn, Glen Dawson, and Robert Underhill.

After thinking about it I realized that it probably was not a 
summit register, but a ridge-traverse register placed during the 
first traverse of the ridge between Thunderbolt and North 
Palisade. I think the same team made the first ascent of 
Thunderbolt a few days previously, and then later went on to 
make the first ascent of the East Face of Whitney a few days 
later. After I had inspected the register, I returned it to where I 
had found it and we continued with our climb. Hopefully, that 
register may still be there for others to discover.

- George Sinclair

Make Up Your Mind, Ma'am!

In 1994, a woman visiting from the Bay Area embarked on a 
solo hike to the summit of El Capitan in Yosemite. When she 
became lost and saw a storm brewing, she called 911 from her 
cellular phone and asked to be rescued. A helicopter found her 
barely off the trail and one-fourth to half a mile from the top of 
El Cap. When the 'copter lifted off and the woman saw how 
close she was to her summit goal, she asked the crew to set her 
down on top. When the crew declined, she threatened to sue 
them for kidnapping.

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)
        Foreign Reports: Ojos del Salado, Aconcagua, Marcus Baker
        Distant Reports: Shasta, Ranier, Longs, Cascade Volcanos
        Trip Reports: Sill, Williamson, Tyndall, Brewer, Blackcap
                Onion Valley, Whitney, Devil's Crag, Red&White,
                Royce, Virginia/Twin, Death Valley
        DEET Warnings
NOTE: Reports over 1 page long will be shortened by the Editor!

Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 9/22/96.
Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month.
This publication may not be posted on any public news group.
"Vy can't ve chust climb?" - John Salathe
(End of September 1996 EScree)