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Scree for April, 1997

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.
                     April, 1997   Vol. 31, No. 4
    Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 4/27/97.

Next meeting (PCS meetings are the second tuesday of each month)

Date: Tuesday, April 8
Time: 8:00 PM
Location: Western Mountaineering Town & Country Village, San Jose

Program: Rob Morrison will present highlight's from his climbing
expeditions to the Bolivian Andes and Mustagh Ata (24,757 feet)
in the Pamirs of China. The Bolivian segment includes ascents of
Huyana Potosi (20,000 feet) and Nevado Illimani (21,205 feet).
Rob will also show several Himalayan and Karakoram giants from
angles that few have ever seen.

PCS Information Binder

Just a few years ago the PCS officers embarked on the noble
effort of collecting the cumulative knowledge and procedures of
the PCS into a single binder (3-ring notebook). This binder has
quickly become the definitive source for looking up "stuff"
about the PCS (such as election procedures and how to become a
trip leader). As it evolves through updates, however, the various
copies (some electronic, some hardcopy) have gotten out of synch.

At the Chair's request, I have completed scanning and converting
the full PCS Information Binder into electronic format. Aaron
Schuman has installed the files on the PCS home page:
for immediate use. The newly-printed binder is 145 pages, when
printed from the word processor used to create it, so don't kill
any more trees by trying to print all the files! Just start at
the PCS home page or go directly to the binder at
(address of the binder is subject to change! home page is more stable!)

There is a hypertext table of contents that takes you right to any
section you want. All of the files have been brought up to date
(we hope) so if you find any obsolete information please let us
know. This is my first major attempt at web publishing, so it's
pretty primitive. There is one insurance document from the
previous hardcopy binder which was left out, and Cathy Benton
indicated it is almost obsolete (so we'll wait for her revised

There are both Word V6 (DOC) and plain text (TXT) links.
Choose the one that your browser will support. The DOC files
are more nicely formatted, but larger and slower to view. Brian
Boyle's handwritten treasurer's report (GIF) is one of the most
fun... other financial statements (back to 1990) have been
scanned and converted to plain text. You also might be
interested in the 1968 and 1978 versions of the PCS bylaws
(rescued from old archives as they faded into yellow oblivion).

Warren Storkman (current chair of the pcs) is in charge of
deciding what updates to make to the binder. Make your
requests to him, and he'll forward them to me or whoever is
gullible enough to take over from me. Remember that the
hardcopy binder is now just a printout of the electronic binder,
so we have a well-controlled master document. That master
document is NOT on the web, as it consumes over 10 million
bytes. You don't really want a copy unless you have a ZIP drive
to transfer it on (it would take at least 8 floppy disks) and you
don't really want to print it unless you have a large paper try.
Warren has the only current paper copy of the binder.

One of the new things in this edition is that the Club, Chapter,
and PCS bylaws are accompanied by the TWO known approved
PCS Standing Rules. If you know of any OTHER standing rules
(other than the PubCom and EScree) please let Warren know
immediately. There will probably be a resolution to revoke all
standing rules not "on the books" within the next few months..

- Steve Eckert

PS: Hopefully the cover stories will get more interesting
after this one

Non-Winter Ascent of Mt Dade

"Go on Kai, I've got to take a dump here". I perched myself on
the rocky ridge leading up from the Hourglass Couloir on Mt. Dade
and found relief. Kai continued to work his way through the mixture
of soft snow, crust, ice and occasional third class rock moves.

I caught up with him just as he made his way onto the summit.
Despite the high clouds, it was a warm beautiful day. Our desire
had been to ski in and summit a Sierra peak in the winter, but it
hardly seemed like winter all. This Presidents' day weekend was
an unseasonably warm one, and we had found ourselves the day
before sweating up the road past the Rock Creek Resort. Despite
our packs and mediocre skiing abilities, we easily passed just
about everybody headed for the resort. After five miles of road
slogging to the summer trailhead, we followed tracks over easy,
albeit icy, terrain for a couple more miles to Long Lake. There
we skinned up for the short climb to Treasure Lakes. A very
pleasant evening followed, with wine and cheap whiskey flowing.

Sometime that night, Kai got up for a nature call and left the
tent flap open. I could hear his feet plunging into the still
unfrozen snow. My bag was half unzipped. "This isn't winter,
dammit!" I felt cheated. Why weren't my hands cold?

Even though I'm new to telemarking, I had hoped I could ski
some part of the Hourglass the next morning. But the icy
conditions had us depositing our skis only a couple hundred feet
up the 1000 foot 40 degree couloir. Cramponing the ice and kick
stepping through the crust quickly got us up to the saddle where
we turned and followed the ridge line to the top of Mt. Dade.

I attempted to take a summit picture of us both. In the process of
rushing to sit down next to Kai, I completely disemboweled my
lightweight waterproof pants with my crampon. No register to be
found under the snow. I'd always wondered why there weren't
more winter entries in registers. Should've been obvious, I guess.

We took an easier line down from the summit, a bit west of
where we had ascended. Kick stepping down the couloir, we had
to be careful not to launch off on some of the windslab
skateboards that were breaking free near our feet. Certainly not
skiing conditions for this gumby.

We got back to camp too late to ski out, but with plenty of time left
to kill. Over some hot soup, we gazed lustfully at a splitter crack on a
beautifully marbled triangular face left of the Hourglass (part of
Pipsqueak Peak?). Then, as we tried to yo-yo the surrounding icy
slopes, it began to snow. So we retreated to our tent, made dinner in
the vestibule, and fell asleep to the sound of light snowfall.

Morning revealed 6"-8" of lovely powder, but the weather left us
practically blind. Despite the powder, we skied very defensively
down to Long Lake. The visibility was so bad that at one point I
thought I was losing control of my speed only to look down at
my feet and see that I was stopped.

The ski out only took us about three hours -- we probably could
have escaped the previous day -- but another night in the
mountains and the fresh snow that morning made an early return
seem like a silly alternative anyway.

Sweating at the parking lot, waiting for Kai to arrive, I was
happy to learn that the Sierra Nevada that I had left in my car
had not frozen while we were gone. Beer at 11 am....

A fun trip, a nice peak, and easy skiing -- but I'm still looking
forward to my first winter Sierra ascent.

- Jim Curl

Scrambled And Stymied on Silliman

We (Mike, Almora and I) made it about 80% of the way to the
summit but alas we did not beat the clouds closing in on an
otherwise perfect-weather morning with incredible views of the
distant snow-clad peaks and the exquisite snow-capped rocks of
Silliman Creek. We made the correct decision of course, as lots
of lightning and thunder greeted us that early evening and most
of the night. For a day-hike, a 6 am start is mandatory to make
the summit at this time of year (we started at 7) and beat the
(possible) storm.

But it was all flash-and-bang- and only a few sprinkles that
marred an otherwise perfect weekend (Mar 23-24 1997) in
Sequoia National Park. Snow level was at about 6200 with
depths of 6-9 feet higher up. Run-off was in progress as temps
hovered around 30F at 2 am with highs into the mid 50's.

A note- the last several trips we have been carrying the
snowshoes just to, obviously, strengthen some muscles here and
there- well!! THIS TRIP- we finally needed and used them. Post-
holing was getting a little dangerous - and we also cramponed
up several slopes with them as well- small wonders never cease.

Our alpine attempt for Sunday faltered as we slept in till 6:30
instead of 5 am; to no avail anyway, as I got called back to the
bay area Sunday and left early.

An hour or so after departing from Silliman-Lodgepole TH, my
vehicle started stuttering and stammering slightly-- then a lot
more severely-- when I stopped to find out why-- mystified..
Then-- upon opening the hood -- I found a straw and twig nest
(birds??) nestled among the "limbs" of the ignition system, with
several eggs (yes, now steaming hot & scrambled over easy)
dripping down the block, apparently causing an injector to
overheat from the straw packed around it or some other
intermittent short to ground??? I cleaned out the mess and the
problem seemed to have disappeared..

- Rich Calliger

From "Wilderness and the American Mind"

. . today's appreciation of wilderness represents one of the most
remarkable intellectual revolutions in the history of human
thought about land. Consider the reversal in ideas about cities.
Once regarded as islands of security and order in a chaotic sea of
wilderness, cities have recently acquired some of the old terror
once reserved for the wild. And wilderness has evolved from an
earthly hell to a peaceful sanctuary where happy visitors can join
John Muir and John Denver in drawing nearer to divinity. Such
a perspective would have been absolutely incomprehensible to,
for example, a Puritan in New England in the 1650s.

Wilderness had an important place in Aldo Leopold's land ethic
as a model of ecological perfection. Civilization altered the
environment so drastically that unmodified, wild country
assumed significance as "a base-datum of normality, a picture of
how healthy land maintains itself as an organism." Wild places,
Leopold remarked in 1934, reveal "what the land was, what it is,
and what it ought to be." Evolution operated there without
hinderance from man, providing "standards against which to
measure the effects of violence."

- Roderick Nash

Official (PCS) Trips

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

*** Sunol Conditioning Hike
Place:  Sunol Regional Park (near Fremont)      class 1
Date:   April 5 Sat
Leader: Cecil Magliocco 408-358-1168    cecilm@ix.netcom.com
Co-Leader:      Vreni Rau       510-582-5578

Carpets of wildflowers will surround us on this 19-mile hike
from Del Valle Regional Park to Sunol Park.  Meet at Sunol at 8
a.m., at the first parking lot on the left after the entrance kiosk.
We'll shuttle over to Del Valle, hike back to Sunol, then shuttle
back to cars at Del Valle. To get to the hike, a carpool will meet
in Milpitas -- call for info.

*** Oh, Can't-cha climb Olancha
Peak:   Olancha Peak (12,123'), class 2
Dates:  May 17-18       Sat-Sun
Map:    Olancha Peak 15 min
Leader:         Aaron Schuman   schuman@sgi.com
                415-968-9184 (H), 415-933-1901 (W)
Co-Leader:      Charles Schafer charles.schafer@octel.com
                408-354-1545 (H), 408-324-6003 (W)

Saturday, we'll haul up 7 miles from parched Sage Flat trailhead
(5800') to our creekside camp by the Pacific Crest trail (9600').
Sunday, we'll hike 4 miles to the summit (12100') and return
home. It's a very long drive from the Bay area.

***Cherry Creek Canyon Adventure Backpack
Trip:   cross-country backpacking       class 2-3
Dates:  June 14-15      Sat-Sun
Maps:   Cherry Lake North 7.5', Kibbie Lake 7.5'
Leader: Kai Weidman     415-347-5234

Cherry Creek Canyon is one of the most scenic places I've ever
been to. We'll see raging rapids, quiet pools of crystal-clear
water, sunny slabs of smooth granite, and rose-colored polished
domes. Our adventure will take us over 20+ miles of rough and
rugged terrain. Your eyes will be filled with such grandeur that
you'll never notice your sore muscles.

Loma Prieta Fund Raising

Your Sierra Club Chapter needs you!

In April we will be phoning members of the Loma Prieta
Chapter for the purpose of fund raising and we need volunteers
who are sierra club members to man phone banks. No prior
experience is necessary. Phone banking is a lot of fun and a
great way to meet other people in the Sierra club.

Fund raising is vitally important for our chapter. These funds are
used for environmental lobbying, insurance of our participants
during outings, and outreach to the community.

Phone banking will be in the evenings on the following dates:
Monday, April 14 Tuesday, April 15 Wednesday, April 16
Thursday, April 17.

If you are interested, call 510-659-1413 or send email.

- Bob Bynum 

1997 Advance Trip List

The time to sign up is after the trip is
formally announced in the Scree, with a full description and a
designation as a private or official PCS trip. Many of these trips
are contingent on obtaining permits, and plans for some of them
will change.

This list is intended to prevent trip scheduling conflicts and to
help you plan your summer, NOT to enable people to sign up
way in advance. If you are planning a trip, and if you change
your plans or can't get a permit, please contact the Scree Editor
to keep this list up to date.

Class x-y means the climb is between class x and class y.  Class
x,y,z applies to multi-peak trips where the peaks vary in difficulty.
Some leaders have requested that their names not be listed.

Date    Peak(s) Class   Leader(s)
May 3-4 Mt. Lassen      2       Van Gorden
May 10-11       Mt. Maggie, Mt. Moses   ?       Miya
May 17-18       Olancha Peak    2       Schuman
May 24-26       Mt. Shasta      3       Van Gorden
May 31-6/1      Red Slate, Red & White  3       Suzuki/Mahajan
Jun 6-8 Grand Canyon of Tuolumne        1       Schafer
Jun 14-15       Mt. Harrington  3       Maas
Jun 20-22       Mt. Williamson  3       (withheld)
Jun 21-22       Red Slate couloir       3       Schuman/Schafer
Jun 21-22       Mt. Dade, Mt. Mills     4       Suzuki/Wiedman
Jun 21-23       Silver, Izaak Walton    3       Eckert/Hudson
Jun 28-29       Split Mtn, Mt. Tinemaha 2       Debbie Bulger
Jun 30-31       Mt. Bolton Brown, Mt. Prater    3       Debbie Bulger
Jul 3-8 Goddard, McGee, Emerald, Hermit,etc     2,3,3,5 Suzuki/Eckert/Schafer
Jul 4-6 Minarets        5       (withheld)
Jul 4-6 Beginner trip up Langley        ?       Kramar
Jul 12-13       Mt. Dade        2       (withheld)
Jul 18-20       Mt. Sill        2       Kirkpatrick/Keith
Jul 19-20       Humphreys, Emerson      4       Suzuki/Harris
Jul 19-20       Mt. Clark       3-4     Maas/Schafer
Jul 25-28       Thunderbolt, Norman Clyde       4-5     Harris
Jul 25-27       Kearsarge, University, Indep    3       Schuman
Jul 26-27       Tyndal  ?       Kramar
Aug 2-9 Colorado 14ers  3       Van Gorden
Aug 2-3 Matterhorn Pk, Whorl Mtn.       2,4     Schafer
Aug 8-10        Mt. Haeckel, Mt. Wallace        3       Kirkpatrick/Keith
Aug 9-10        Virginia Peak, Twin Peaks       3       Bulger
Aug 15-18       Mt. Whitney, Mt. Russell        5/3,3   Schafer/Ramaker
Aug 22-23       Mt. Brewer      3       Kirkpatrick/Keith
Aug 29-1        Dade, Abbot, Bear Cr Spire      2,3,4   Harris
Aug 30-1        Clarence King, Gardner  5       Schafer
Sep 5-7 Banner Peak, Mt. Ritter 3       Harris
Sep 12-14       Mt. Gabb        2       Maxwell
Sep 13-14       Tehipite Dome   3       Suzuki/Schafer
Sep 19-21       Mt. Russell     3       (wi*thheld)
Sep 20-21       Mt. Morrison, Mt. Baldwin       3       Fitzsimmons/Suzuki
Sep 20-21       Koip Peak, Gibbs, Dana  2       Schuman/Magliocco
Sep 20-21       Morrison, Baldwin       ?       Suzuki
Oct 4-5 Needham, Sawtooth, Vandever     3       Schuman
Oct 18-19       Koip Peak, Ragged Peak  3       Suzuki

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.

*** L-O-L-A  Lo-la!
Peak:   Mount Lola (9,148')     intermediate ski
Date:   April 26        Sat
Map:    Independence Lake 7.5' topo
Contact:        Steve Eckert    415-508-0500    eckert@netcom.com
Co-Contact:     STS-rated coleader WANTED!

This will be a 15 mile trip with 3000' of gain, so we'll start fairly early
and go fairly fast with day packs only. The northeast shoulder (from
Hwy 89) offers the shortest easiest route to the summit, and hopefully
the northern exposures will have some snow left even if the season
continues to be warm (trailhead is around 6200'). Possible (private)
day trip up Granite Chief on Sunday with ice axe required. Lola has
been submitted (but not yet approved) to the STS as an official trip.

*** Williamson, by George!
Peak:   Mt. Williamson (14,375 feet)    class 2
Dates:  May 2-4 Fri-Sun
Map:    Williamson 7.5 min
Contact:        Tony Cruz       408-944-2003    cruz@idt.com
Co-Contact:     Rich Calliger   415-424-0480    rcalliger@siliconengines.com

This is the second highest peak in the Sierra and the most
awesome when viewed while driving south on Highway 395. The
objective is the highest of the three summits and the route is the
SE ridge from George Creek. Ice ax and crampons are required
and winter camping experience is desirable. The George Creek
approach is a long bushwhack. We will depart from the George
Creek trailhead at the crack of dawn, May 3.

*** Lassitude
Peak:   Mt. Lassen (10,000 +)   snow
Date:   May 3   Sat
Contact:        George Van Gorden       408-779-2320

We will meet  at the old ski lodge moderately early Sat. and go to
the top and back in one day. Snowshoes or skis, axe and crampons.

*** 21st Annual Mt. Shasta Climb
Peak:   Mt. Shasta (14,161')    class 2 snow
Dates:  May 24-26       Sat-Mon
Map:    Mount Shasta 7.5 min
Contact:        Bob Gross       408-241-6149    rwgross@compuserve.com

Web site: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/rwgross
We drive to Mount Shasta on the evening of Friday May 23 and
begin on Saturday morning. We snowshoe or X-C ski from 7000
to 10,400 feet on the standard route and camp in the snow.
Before dawn on Sunday, we start for the summit with required ice
axe and crampons. Class 2, but it can get nasty due to high
winds. After descending back to camp, we will leave the
mountain on Sunday or Monday, depending on weather. You
must have winter camping experience. Non-refundable signup fee
of $10 to the leader will be donated to a Sierra Club cause. Signup
deadline is May 12. For further information, contact the leader.

*** Slated for Red and White
Peak: Red Slate (13163) Red&White (12816) snow/class 3
Dates:  May 31-June 1   Sat-Sun
Maps:   Mt Morrison, Mt Abbot 15' topos
Contact:        Bob Suzuki      bobszk@pacbell.net
                W: 510-657-7555 H: 408-259-0772 (>8pm)
Co-Contact: Arun Mahajan        arun@sentientnet.com
                W: 408-473-8029 H:408-244-7912

This strenuous 2-peak weekend will start from the McGee Pass
trailhead, 10 miles southeast of Mammoth Lakes. Saturday we'll
backpack in to Little McGee Lake, setup camp and climb Red
Slate for a total first day's gain of over 5000'. Sunday's climb of
the northeast ridge of Red and White will be easier with less than
2000' of gain, but may involve ascending steep snow and loose
rock. Limited to 8 experienced climbers; ice axe, crampons and

*** Milling About Dade
Peaks:  Mt Dade (13,600'), Mt Mills (13,451')   class 4
Dates:  June 21-22      Sat-Sun
Map:    Mt Abbot 7.5' quad
Contact:        Kai Wiedman     415-347-5234
Co-Contact:     Bob Suzuki      408-259-0772    bobszk@pacbell.net

Scenic Little Lakes Valley will be the setting for our adventure.
We will attempt at grand traverse of Mt Dade by climbing
moderate snow and ice on the north face which will lead us to a
4th class rock rib. From here we will follow the hideously exposed
northwest ridge to the summit and down the Hourglass Couloir to
Treasure Lakes. The climb will take place on Saturday for it's only
a 3.5 mile hike in. Sunday brunch or possible climb of Mt Mills.

*** Mt. Ritter From The Back Side
Peaks:  Ritter (13150'), Banner (12943')        class 2, snow
Dates:  July 14-19      Mon-Sat
Trailhead:      Agnew Meadows
Contact:        Alan Ritter     314-225-7600 x5362      jar@storz.com

Leave Agnew Meadows Monday, 14 July, camp near Thousand
Island Lake, then hike over North Glacier Pass and on down to Ritter
Lakes on 7/15. Approach is on-trail (10 mi) to 1,000 I., off-trail (2 mi)
from there. Secor's western approach is Class 2.        If assault on Mt.
Ritter succeeds 7/16, we may give neighboring Banner Peak a try
7/17, before hiking back out 7/18-7/19. Ice axe and crampons
required. Snow camping possible at 1,000 I. very probable at Ritter
Lakes. Reference last summer's trip report:

***Piute Peaks
Peaks:  Humphreys (13986), Emerson (13225)      class 4,3
Date:   July 19-20  Sat-Sun
Contact:        David Harris    harrisd@leland.stanford.edu
Co-Contact:     Bob Suzuki      bobszk@pacbell.net

Trip is full, and there is a wait list.

*** Thundering up the Palisades
Peak:   Thunderbolt (14003')    class 5
Date:   July 25-26      Fri-Sat
Contact:        David Harris    harrisd@leland.stanford.edu
Co-Contact:     John Bees       jbees@maxey.dri.edu

Trip is full, and there is a wait list.

*** Palisades Part Two
Peak:   Norman Clyde (13920+')  class 3-4
Date:   July 27-28      Sun-Mon
Maps:   Split Mountain 7.5' quad
Contact:        David Harris    415-497-5571    harrisd@leland.stanford.edu
Co-Contact:     John Bees       702-851-0949    jbees@maxey.dri.edu

After Thunderbolt and a short night of sleep in the desert, we'll attack
imposing Norman Clyde from the South Fork of Big Pine Creek.
Carrying light packs and bivy gear, we'll race up to Finger Lake before
the Dreaded Mosquitoes of Big Pine Creek eat us alive, then attempt
to locate the class 3-4 route up the North-Northeast Ridge. If we stay
on route, we may be able to dayhike the peak.  If not, we'll plan to bivy
somewhere on the peak and finish Monday morning. Ice axe,
crampons, harness required, climbing shoes may be helpful. Group
limited to four fast, experienced mountaineers.

*** Get Ritter Yer Banner
Peaks:  Ritter (13157'), Banner (12945')        class 3
Date:   Sep 6-7 Sat-Sun
Maps:   Mt. Ritter 7.5' quad
Contact:        David Harris    415-497-5571    harrisd@leland.stanford.edu

Enjoy a fast-paced jaunt up two classic peaks. Taking the
standard route from Devil's Postpile, we'll hike up to a camp at
Ediza Lake and scramble up the Ritter/Banner saddle to one of
the summits. Depending on how fast we move, we'll either bag
the other peak or climb it Sunday morning before packing out.
Trip limited to six strong hikers. Ice axe required.

*** Doing the Bear Abbot on Labor Dade
Peaks:  Bear Creek Spire, Dade, Abbot   class 2-3
Date:   Aug 30 - Sep 1  Sat-Mon (Labor Day)
Maps:   Mt. Abbot, Mt. Hilgard 7.5' quad
Contact:        David Harris    (415) 497-5571  harrisd@leland.stanford.edu

Spend a glorious Labor Day weekend in the Little Lakes valley.
On Saturday we will pack in a short distance to a convenient
scenic camp and climb the magnificent Bear Creek Spire
(13,720'+ class 3+) by Ulrich's Route. The summit spire evidently
has an interesting move which can be facilitated by climbing
shoes, though boots should be sufficient. Mt. Abbot (13,704'
class 3) should be another fine climb. We'll probably also climb
Mt. Dade (13,600' class 2), though I'd be game for something
besides lumbering up the loose scree of the Hourglass if
somebody has a better idea. Depending on interest, I may start
the weekend on Friday with a dayhike of one of the other peaks
around the Little Lakes valley. Send me mail if you have preferences.

Notes and Requests

*** Crown Basin RFI

Seeking summer XC route information from Crown Basin on the
Blackcap Mtn. 7 1/2' topo to Blue Canyon Creek on the Mt. Goddard
7 1/2' topo. The route in question is via Hummingbird Lake within
the JM Wilderness, over the saddle at about 10,975' and the Kings
NP boundary and then dumps into an un-named lake, then continues
down an un-named creek to Blue Canyon. This area is east of
Courtright/Wishon reservoirs and SW of the Ionian Basin. This route
looks like it might be comparable to the North Glacier Pass xcountry
route north of Mt. Ritter, which I'm familiar with. Does anyone have
any firsthand knowledge? Thanks for any help you can send.

- Dave Bybee 

*** Rock Creek Lodge RFI

I'm considering staying at Rock Creek Lodge and cross-country
skiing the surrounding area. Can anyone who's stayed there
recently or know people who have stayed there give me
your/their reactions to this place? --for example, compared to
Tioga Pass Winter Resort, which I've skied from several times.

- Butch Suits 

*** Aconcagua in Feb 1998, Anyone ?

I would very much like to do Aconcagua next Feb. I think it's
about time to get a plan together and look for partners. I have
one hiking/climbing friend who most likely will go and will also
take up training hikes with me this year. Let me know if you are
interested in such a trip and would like to get together to do
planning and training. If you have done it before and have some
advice to offer, we would love to hear from you as well. Thanks
in advance.

- Tuan Anh Tran 

*** Lucky 13!

I have a pair of almost new, heavy hiking boots looking for an
adventurous pair of feet. Size 13 (they look a bit narrow in
width), made by Le Trapperu, France. Vibram soles with
screws, good stitched welt, soft inside collar, full grain outside.
Available for trying on at meeting or by arrangement. The price
is a donation to the Loma Prieta Chapter--$25 suggested, or
more if you think they are worth it.

- Chris MacIntosh 

*** Top 10 Best Sellers (wow)

1.Complete Guide to Bicycle Maintenance and Repair
2.The Essential Sea Kayaker
3.How to Rock Climb
4.How to Shit in the Woods
5.Morrow Guide to Knots
6.Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills
7.NOLS Cookery
8.NOLS Wilderness First Aid
9.Sex in the Outdoors
10.Touching the Void

*** Training Weight

Q: I want to load my pack for training weight with
approximately 60 pounds. Anyone have any [good] ideas?

A: If I could suggest... I just patched my driveway the other day
with asphalt patching stuff that comes in a (say it ain't so!) 60 lb
bag. The compound is a mix of small aggregate and black, tarry,
foul smelling stuff, hermetically sealed in plastic and paper. It
has the consistency of - you guessed it - asphalt. Warm asphalt,
that is, freshly laid, and not yet cured. So it will conform to your
back. Here's the best part! If at any time you tire of the weight,
you can place the asphalt down on your path, creating a smooth
surface for follow-on hikers and climbers. This would be great
for the base of boulders with wicked landing areas. The
manufacturer recommends that you tamp the asphalt repair stuff
down firmly after placing at the site. The asphalt in a bag is
much better than carrying concrete or cement bags, as it does not
require water to pave over your little corner of wilderness.

- Mike Yukish 

Dunderberg Peak; The Powers of Two

Eight climbers, four seasons, two valleys and one summit.

Steve Eckert (leader), Tom Sexton (coleader), Terry Flood, Tim
Hult, David Harris, Craig Calhoun, Brian Smith, and your
correspondent, Aaron Schuman, headed into the Virginia Lake
Basin, south of Bridgeport, on March 15, 1997, for some winter
climbing. This outing brought together an unusual combination
of PCS climbers from the Santa Clara Valley and SPS climbers
from the San Fernando Valley (on an SPS trip). We traversed
the cultural arete that separates us, and together ascended 12374
foot Dunderberg Peak.

Beginning near highway 395, we walked six miles up the hard
packed snowmobile track on unplowed Virginia Lake Road. We
dropped our packs and hiked up the crusted snow up the south
couloir of Dunderberg. We never needed to put on our
snowshoes. On the plateau, the snow changed to icy wind slabs,
and it was harder to drive our boots into the surface, but we
summitted without putting on our crampons. In summer, the big
rounded hump of Dunderberg would have made for a dusty scree
slog, but in winter, it was an enjoyable snow trip.

We stopped at the utmost height to enjoy a panorama of the
whole northern Sierra. The contrast between the dark granite
features and the blinding white snow outlines stunned us.

We plummeted back to our frozen lake in sitting glissades, and
set up camp in a small grove of pines. We cooked and turned in,
and then at about 3:00, were awakened by a wailing gale and the
sound of our tent flies beating like the sails of ships. "Barf me
out! Maximum groty!", cried the Angelenos. "I can't interface to
this!", declared the Siliconians. Though we had planned to rise
at 4:30 to climb Excelsior Mountain, we agreed to wait until
6:00, to see if the conditions would improve. The morning light
revealed Excelsior enshrouded in storm, and an armada of
lenticular clouds over Nevada. We retreated, leaving Excelsior
for another day.

- Aaron Schuman

Postscript to Dunderberg, Part 1: (private hike)

The winds continued all day Sunday and about two inches of
snow fell in Mammoth in the evening. On Monday everything
cleared up and skiing was great (though the snow was icy in the

I got defeated by Morrison about 8:30 this morning [Mar 18] and
drove home. Owens has no sign of snow from the highway.
Olancha has a fair amount of snow on the top portion.

- David Harris

Postscript to Dunderberg, Part 2: (CMC trip)

<< Did you notice the peaks disappearing as we walked out? >>

Yes. It was a good decision, I would not have liked to be up
there in that weather. The CMC trip to Morrison was a "blow
out".  They hiked in to camp on Sat and tried for the top on Sun
[Mar 16] but decided against it as the wind picked up.  We did
OK getting Dunderberg on Sat.

- Tom Sexton

Roundtop Mini Trip Report

With George Van Gorden leading, six of us tried to climb
Roundtop on Sunday the 16th of March 97. The snow was icy in
the woods near Carson Pass. It was a gloomy day and the sun
remained only a rumor. As we got out of the woods, the wind
picked up and started to blow the snow around with great force.

As it was, the view was obscured by the clouds, and then this
blowing snow got inside the sunglasses at times making the
vision further blurry. We had a hard time keeping balance, but
the terrain is gently rolling, so we continued on, tottering like a
bunch of drunks. I saw the wind almost topple Ted in front of
me. I got spun around a couple of times too. Nancy's cap flew by
in the wind. We made it to the base of the saddle above Lake
Winnemucca, there I got bowled over by the force of the winds.
We decided to call the trip off, the wind was too fierce and the
top of the saddle would have been even worse. On the way back,
the sun flirted with us for a short while but that was about it.

A minor gear observation, those new MSR snowshoes (worn by
George) edge well since they don't have the tubes that most
snowshoes have, and thus, traversing is easier. Only constant
use over a few seasons and all types of terrain will tell how
sturdy they are. Trip members: George Van Gorden, Chris, Ted
Raczek, Nancy Fitzsimmons, Bob Suzuki and Arun Mahajan.

- Arun Mahajan

GearHeads Take Note!

Editor's Note: I stumbled across this looking for something
else... if all you gear heads out there fill out the survey form
you'll be famous Or at least you'll feel famous. Find it at
Maybe one of you can keep track of when the results are posted
and send it to the rest of us. Here's the rec.backcountry
newsgroup post. The survey is findable from the URL given, but
it's a few levels down. The GPS specs they have seem to be a bit
out of date (latest models are not there??) and almost
misleading (like saying it takes 15 seconds "minimum" for a fix,
when in fact it takes MINUTES to get USEFUL info).

> Newsgroups: rec.backcountry
> Subject: GPS Survey on web
> Date: 20 Mar 1997 14:18:40 GMT
> Organization: Shore.Net/Eco Software, Inc;
> The 'Views from the Top' website has a handheld GPS
> receiver user survey online this month.  You can get
> to the GPS article/survey from the site's Contents
> page at: http://www.lexicomm.com/views
> The survey is an attempt to gauge the effectiveness
> of GPS use in the backcountry,  ie: how does dense
> forests and mountainous terrain effect reception.
> It is not a rehash of the backcountry ethics vs. hi-
> tech use debate.
> Present backcountry users of handheld GPS receivers
> are encouraged to share their experience.  The
> results of the survey will be published on the Views
> site in the near future.
> Thanks for your interest and contributions.
> - Darren Almeida 

Radios In The Hood

Viewpoint #1: Official Chapter Policy (vs. Club)

I recently received a page titled "Guidelines for Leaders and
Followers", which "have been adopted by the Activities
Committee for outings conducted under [Loma Prieta] Chapter
auspices." These guidelines have several interesting things to say:

Item 6: Car pools are encouraged. Each rider is expected to
reimburse the driver at a rate of $0.05-0.10/mile. If this is not
satisfactory, another rate should be negotiated before departure.

Item 9: Radios (and other electronic entertainment devices) and
firearms are not permitted.

Item 6 I agree with, but Item 9 prohibits ham and CB radios in
addition to cell phones, without exception! These are all radios,
even though we call some of them phones. The intro paragraph
on the guidelines page indicates that they apply to all meetings
and events. (Does this mean a radio or tape player cannot be
brought to a club social or slide show?? Seems to.)

If you feel strongly that safety devices should not be outlawed by
the chapter, perhaps you should contact our Chapter Activities
Coordinator (Chris MacIntosh) and see about refining the
wording of these guidelines.

- Steve Eckert

Viewpoint #2: Death On The Trail

3.16.97: We (Almora, Mike, Tuan, Nick and I) started up Black Mnt
for a training hike and to discuss plans for our upcoming '97 trips to
Shasta, Williamson, Russell, Whitney, Ranier and Aconcogua.

The clouds and fog were settling down around the ridgetops, and
the wind picking up- setting the tone perhaps? As we proceeded
to leave the trail head we heard shocking & urgent calls for
"Anyone have a cell phone- someone had a heart attack" It turned
out 911 had already been called from a trailer-home, but the woman
needing the cell phone notified relatives and coordinated their arrival
at the hospital, as well as attending to other matters...

It was a very very sad, a little gruesome and very sobering sight
as we walked past the firetruck and ambulance -and then uptrail,
the victim lieing on the ground ..still, silent, pale and very
ghostly, CPR being done, defibrillator paddles at hand.... I was
glad we were able to offer some assistance & comfort with the cell
phone... We moved on quickly to give needed space and not to gawk.

Ending the day in the rain as we returned down the same trail,
and noting the spot; a surgical glove had dropped next to the
trail 100 meters down-- making the only evidence of the tragic
event 8 hrs earlier...now the spooky part--

--- All evening, pre-hike-night, especially as I was loading my
backpack; as well as during the drive to the trailhead this
morning-- I could not shake this feeling I had- never before- one
of intense, nagging, disturbing and gnawing feeling of death....
So intense that I wrote a note to take care of some outstanding
things before I left my house that morning at 6:30- ( in case it
was me that did not make it back perhaps???)------- Chilling to
say the least! -Twilight Zone stuff??? (I probably should not say
it was a real heart stopper as the events of the morning unfolded.)

Epilogue: The man who had the heart attack was Urban Hilger,
57, President of Advent Systems. He had died instantly;
therefore of course, as we passed him along the trail he was
already deceased. I called the family from the last number that
they called on my cell phone-- and wished them condolences
from all of us collectively - Almora, Mike, Nick, Tuan and I.
They were very appreciative; glad we had the cell phone and
that several of us knew CPR.

- Rich Calliger

Viewpoint #3: Official Club Policy (vs. Chapter)

[Steve Eckert wrote] I recently lead an approved ice axe (e.g.
"mountaineering") trip for the Angeles Chapter, for which I was
provided an official sign-in sheet that is to be used on all such
trips within the Club. This sheet, which I received from Patty
Kline (SPS Outings Chair), has 13 rules above where people
sign in. I like most of them, but take exception to number 11:
"Firearms and radios are prohibited." That does not allow us to
carry avalanche transceivers, which I'm sure was NOT the
intended purpose of the rule. It also forbids ham or CB or
cellular phone radios to be used for rescue purposes, and forbids
GPS location devices. These are all classified as radios by the
FCC. Some are both send and receive (note that HAM and
avalanche transceivers are indistinguishable except for their
power). Suggestion: In a radio rule, allow use for navigation,
safety, and emergency only. Specify that they can only be used at
the leader's discretion or that they must not be used in an annoying
way, or whatever. Some people carry shortwave radios with weather
channels to check what tomorrow will be like. I'd hate to tell
someone to turn it off and then get caught in a blizzard. Talk about
liability! As I understand it, this sign-in sheet is not specific to the
SPS or the PCS, so I asked Calvin French for a response.

[Cal French responds] Yes, there has been discussion about
shortwave radios, cell phones, weather radios, gps units (they
receive radio waves) and the like. I guess it depends upon what
sort of principles one is operating under.

If the point is not to have electronic noise in the backcountry,
then I need to step away from people when I check my watch.
More seriously, that set of principles would mean that people
would have to agree not to use devices in such a way that other
people could see and hear them.

If the principle is that we should not bring electronic
communication devices on Sierra Club trips because they cause
problems such as members calling for a rescue from a remote
site because they are tired, wet, and angry with the leader, then,
Houston, we need to talk this over. I *think* when satellite-
connected phones become readily available, leaders might be
seen as negligent if they do not have some way of calling for an
evacuation quickly from the deep backcountry.

Right, the OA needs to deal with this through the Outing com
and the gcoc and the moc. I'll talk with them. Actually I have
carried both a .308 Winchester and a radio while leading in
Alaska. But not to carry the avalanche devices in avalanche
country would be irresponsible.

Steve, Please take the transceivers and get everyone who has one to
carry it. The sign-in sheet you have been given does not reflect
current practice. We need to update these at all levels of the club.
Please remember a basic rule: the leader is in charge of the trip and
should do what is needed to assure the safe return of its participants.

- Calvin French
    chair of Mountaineering Oversight Committee
    member of Group and Chapter Outing Committee


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

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Rock Climbing Classifications

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

In Upcoming Issues:
        Need good trip reports!
        Need some comics or high-contrast photos!
        Advance Notice: Tony Cruz will edit the June issue.

Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 4/27/97.
Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month.

"Vy can't ve chust climb?" - John Salathe
(end of EScree - April 1997)