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Scree for August, 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.
                     August, 1997   Vol. 31, No. 8
    Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 8/24/97.

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

Date:	Tuesday, August 12
Time:	7:30 PM

Program: Ladakh Trek
Bob Wallace & Marj Ottenberg show their one-
month trek in Ladakh (Leh to ChiLing to Basgo 
to Leh) 10,500' to 15,800' and back, observing 
culture, climate, and scenery.

Location: Home of Marj & Bob
From I-280 or Hwy 85 turn South on Saratoga-
Sunnyvale Road (aka DeAnza Blvd) and go 
past Prospect Road and the railroad tracks. Turn 
right on Pierce Rd, 0.3 miles later turn right on 
Foothill and look for signs to the 4th house on 
the left (12881 Foothill).

((PDF version of EScree has a drawn map here)) 

Danger On Dade

"Rock! Rock!!"  A cold wave of fear swept through my body as I 
helplessly watched the softball-sized volley of rocks hurdling 
like a runaway train towards my friends below.  What the hell is 
with all this loose rock?  This is one of the Hundred Classic 
Climbs!  Are we off route?

It was the making of a fine day when Bob Suzuki and I met Jim 
Curl, Dot Reilly, Jeff and Dee Dee Jones at the Mosquito Flat 
trailhead. Our objective was to climb the north face of Mt. Dade 
and descend the south side via the Hourglass Couloir, carrying 
full packs - a sort of mini-expedition, alpine-style climb.  It's 
one of those fantasy climbs of mine where I make believe I'm 
Mark Twilight clinging to some desperate ice-encrusted wall 
somewhere in Alaska.

Our route took us up the Mono Pass trail, cross-country past Ruby 
Lake and on towards the huge glaciated cirque below Mts. Mills, 
Abbott, and Dade.  The going was like a smooth, open stretch of I-5, 
mostly over consolidated, yet soft snow.

Once under the seductive North Face of Dade, the merriment 
came to an end.  Here, the snow turned to wet, loose sugar.  
Snorkel and fins may have been more appropriate as we "swam" 
towards the toe of a rock rib.  Rock on the lower part of this rib 
was as loose as Madonna's morals. Fortunately, the rockfall we 
unleashed spared my teammates and everyone was all right, this 
time.  Stunned, we realized how quickly disaster can strike in 
the mountains!

Above, the rock improved dramatically.  Bob and I were giddy 
with delight as we climbed over solid blocks, clean cracks, and 
knobby faces.  Scrambling above the abyss, we encountered the 
final obstacle barring the summit; a wicked looking diagonal 
crack.  With trepidation, I cautiously moved up the crack only to 
reveal big hidden hand-holds surrendering the summit rather 
easily.  We had made it from trailhead to summit in six hours!

While waiting for the others to arrive at the summit, I started to 
daydream about what a restaurant at the top of Mt. Dade would 
serve.  The day's menu would have chicken-head soup for 
starters.  Entrees of chock-stone stew, knob ka-bobs, and quartz 
veins would follow with snow cones served for desert.

Our descent to Treasure Lakes was fast and easy, including a 
long glissade down the Hourglass Couloir.  Because we carried 
full packs over the mountain, I had to make certain sacrifices.  
As a result,  the '93 Cabernet I uncorked for dinner (actually, I 
unscrewed a Nalgene bottle)  had a pretentious nose but the 
finish lacked a certain inevitability.  Yet it went perfectly well 
with our glop.

The next day, Jim, Dot and I slept in while Bob, Jeff and Dee 
Dee climbed Mt. Mills.  Lounging around camp over a three-
hour brunch, we slowed time down to enjoy the scenery.  All too 
often in our lives we rush to work, rush to do this, rush to do 
that, rush to the mountains, rush to climb a peak, and rush to 
drive home.  Here, amidst the Sierra's beauty, we enjoyed the 
moment and realized how precious the mountains are to our 

- Kai Wiedman

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.

*** Virginia Peak
Peak:	Virginia Peak (12,001')	class 3
Dates:	Aug 9-10	Sat-Sun
Leader:	Debbie Bulger	408-457-1036

Third-class heaven.  What better way to spend an August 
weekend than in beautiful northern Yosemite experiencing the 
thrill of third-class rock. We'll reel with pleasure at this Virginia 
rock dance.  Possible climb of Twin Peaks if time allows.  
Approximately 2500' elevation gain from trailhead to Virginia 
Pass, then descend to base camp.  Another 1500' to the summit.

*** Mountaineers Delight
Peaks:	Whitney (14,494'), Russell (14,088')	class 3
Dates:	Aug 15-18	Fri-Mon
Maps:	Mt. Whitney 7.5
Leader:	Charles Schafer	408-324-6003 charles.schafer@octel.com
Co-Leader:	Jim Ramaker	408-463-4873 ramaker@vnet.ibm.com

If you like big mountains and class-3 climbing, this trip is for you. 
Friday we'll take cross-country route up the North Fork of Lone 
Pine Creek to our camp at Iceberg Lake at 12,600.  Saturday 
we'll tackle the Mountaineer's route on Mt. Whitney, and Sunday 
we'll attempt the narrow and exposed east ridge of Mt. Russell.  
The spectacular high-altitude scenery and towering rock walls in 
this area make it a real amphitheater of the mountain gods.  The 
hike out on Monday will not be too long -- if we move along we 
can get out to the cars by noon and home by 10 p.m.  
Experienced class-3 climbers only on this trip.

*** 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
Leader:	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.

*** Get Ritter Yer Banner
Peaks:	Ritter (13,157'), Banner (12,945')	class 3
Date:	Sep 6-7	Sat-Sun
Maps:	Mt. Ritter 7.5' quad
Leader:	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.

*** Mokelumne River Canyon,
Trip:	Mokelumne River Canyon	class 2
Dates:	Sep 5-8	Fri-Mon
Topos:	Mokelumne Peak, Pacific Valley, both 15 min
Leader:	John Ingvoldstad	209-296-8483 kate@cdepot.net

This is a 35 mile trip up a very scenic, 4,000 foot deep canyon, 
elevations from 5,000 to 9,000 feet.  Includes river crossings, 
cross-country, and route finding.  Opportunities to fish and swim. 
Short car shuttle.  Starts at Bear Valley off Hwy 4.

*** Mt. Gabb
Peak:	Mt. Gabb (13,741')	class 2-3
Dates:	Sep 12-14	Fri-Sun
Leader:	Peter Maxwell	408-737-9770

This trip is two weeks after Labor Day weekend, so we'll avoid all 
the crowds.  Leaving Thursday night will avoid traffic hassles also 
and we'll have a three-day weekend ahead of us. We'll hike in 
Friday from Rock Creek, head up Little Lakes Valley, and cross 
over the Sierra crest using Cox Col, just northwest of Bear Creek 
Spire.  We'll camp somewhere that looks nice, do the peak on 
Saturday, and hike out Sunday.  We'll do the south slope, which 
Secor rates as class 2, but with the class-3 variant of going 
directly up to the summit, rather than taking the southwest ridge.

Ballard Street cartoon reprinted with permission of Jerry Van Amerongen,
submitted by Butch Suits in honor of the PCS slide show tradition.

((PDF version of EScree has a cartoon here)) 

Cannot send 241kB graphic file with email version.
Please see the PDF version on the PCS website for a color rendition!

Notes and Requests

*** New PCS Email List

The announce-only "news" version of our email broadcast list is 
running! The moderated version of the list has been offline for 
some time. The replacement is now available: it's called "lomap-
peak-climbing-news", and is different from the old moderated 
list in that NO DISCUSSION will occur there. It is just for 
announcements, and is intended to serve the needs of those who 
desire a VERY low volume of email. The main list (lomap-peak-
climbing@lists.sierraclub.org) will not change in any way.

There is no need to subscribe to both lists unless you want to 
post your own messages. The news list (just created) will carry 
ONLY posts which also went to the discussion list, and only if 
those posts are to announce a trip, report on a trip, or broadcast 
a newsletter. Subscribe to the new "news" list if the volume on 
the discussion list bothers you or if the only reason you want to 
be on the list is to receive newsletters.

NOTE: Both lists use listserv's TOPICs to allow crude filtering 
of what messages you want to receive. The topics are *NOT* 
the same on the two lists! The discussion list is subdivided by 
organization, the news list is subdivided by what kind of 
message it is. Posts to the main discussion list will be forwarded 
to the news list by the list owner, after their subject lines are 
altered. Non-applicable junk may also be deleted from the 
message body on the way to the news list (see the charter for 
details on appealing the list owner's actions - it's a democracy). 
No one can post directly to the news list.

To review the common charter for these lists, send email to 
 with this one-line message:

   INFO lomap-peak-climbing

Lomap-peak-climbing-mod is dead. Long live lomap-peak-
climbing-news. Huzzah.

- Steve Eckert 

*** Medic/First Aid Class

To help trip leaders and would-be leaders get the required First 
Aid certificate, the Loma Prieta Chapter sponsors a First Aid 
class each quarter, based on a nationally recognized first aid 
text, but with added material and emphasis on wilderness 
situations with no phone to dial 911. The next two First Aid 
classes will be Sat-Sun, Aug 16-17, at the Peninsula 
Conservation Center in Palo Alto (near Hwy 101 and San 
Antonio). Class is 8:30am to 5:30pm (1 hour for your bag lunch) 
and is limited to 12 people. To sign up, send a check for $38 and 
a SASE to Health Education Services, 200 Waverly, Menlo 
Park, CA 94025. For more info, call 415-321-6500.

- Marj Ottenberg

*** Mexico Volcanoes

I am looking for anyone interested in climbing Orizaba and Ixta 
in November, most likely over the thanksgiving holidays. If 
interested please email or call Bruce at 415-964-7461.

- Bruce Meister 

*** Climb The Highest Desert Peak In The World!

Last chance! We need to hear from you by September 1 if you 
are interested: 22,575' high Ojos del Salado sits at the southern 
end of Chile's Atacama desert. Though only 250' lower than 
Aconcagua, it is climbed by relatively few people. (It is a lonely 
life if you happen to be the SECOND highest peak in the 
western hemisphere.) We may also attempt the nearby Pissis, 
recently rumored to be higher than previous surveys and perhaps 
higher than Ojos. With no crowds and not much snow, getting to 
the top is pretty straightforward. The most common problem is 
acclimatizing to the altitude, but we'll take ice axes and a light 
rope just in case. Warren Storkman and I are planning a trip to 
Ojos in January 1998. This will not involve any commercial 
guides, so the total cost of this three week trip should be under 
$2,000. If you are a peak bagger, especially a desert peak 
bagger, you cannot pass this up. Send email or phone 650-508-
0500 if you are interested. We have a total of 6 people signed 
up, and could use two more.

- Steve Eckert 

*** Starr King Rappel

An intermediate rappel point on Starr King has a huge blue sling that 
is seriously damaged.  It looks like rodent damage. DO NOT USE 
THIS SLING!  Bring two ropes and use the "normal" rap points.

- Rick Booth 

*** Mt. Logan On Skis

Rudi Beglinger is a renowned ski guide and is leading a trip 
next May. 3 weeks. Logan is 19500. The route is very easy, and 
we will be skiing to the top and, we hope, off the top. I have 
signed up, and am the first to do so. Personnel will be 9 clients 
and 2 guides. Clients have to be experienced back-country 
skiers, as this is a ski trip. The Alpine Club of Canada is also 
organizing a trip, and a nonskier could join them and get up 
Logan without skies that way.

Cost: If you have to ask..... For more info: 

We meet in Anchorage and then bus/fly on to the glacier at 
8500'. Move camps up, acclimatizing as necessary. Of course, 
living at 10000' is a big advantage!

- Stan Wagon 

*** Balling-Up Of Crampons

I've heard people complaining from time to time about their 
crampons balling up with sticky snow and becoming virtually 
useless. This can be extremely dangerous (you slide when you 
think you're going to stick) but I notice you can now buy a 
remedy. On my last visit to REI I noticed they sell "anti-bott" 
devices. These are quite common in Europe and mandatory for 
any serious alpine mountaineering there, but I've not seen them 
here before. They are plastic flexible plates that fit between the 
crampon and the plastic boot, preventing snow from sticking to 
the boot. They work really well.

I'm posting this in case people might be looking for such 
devices, but wouldn't look twice at a packet that said "anti-bott", 
unless they knew what they were. I think they cost around $30.

- Peter Maxwell 

Lone Pine Peak: The North Ridge

David Harris & Craig Clarence - July 13-14, 1997

Lone Pine Peak is the enormous granite peak rising above the 
town just south of the Mt. Whitney drainage. Although it is only 
13,000 feet tall, it look larger than adjacent mountains because 
it sits forward from the crest and has such impressive faces; thus 
visitors sometimes mistake it for Whitney. There is a class 2 
route up scree and talus from Meysan Lake, but by this point in 
the summer I was sick of grinding up 2nd class peaks. Instead, 
we chose to attempt the north ridge from Little Meysan Lake, an 
often overlooked classic climb of the Sierra. The north ridge 
rises 3000 feet from the lake up spectacular granite to the 
summit in about a mile. Along the way is a large blocky tower 
(the crux of the climb), several smaller outcroppings and notches, 
and the summit headwall. Secor says that most groups require more 
than a day for the climb, though it is technically easy at 5.4.

Craig Clarence and I met in Big Pine Sunday afternoon as he 
returned from a successful ascent of Temple Crag and drove down to 
Whitney Portal. To buy some time for the climb, we packed two 
hours up the trail to a nice camping spot near where we believe 
Little Meysan Lake is (we never saw the lake; it was tiny to 
begin with and may have been overgrown with willows by now). 
This would be my first long technical ascent, so Craig reviewed 
anchors and rope handling with me before I fell asleep by 7pm.

On Monday morning, we woke at 4:45 and were hiking by 5:30. 
The Sierra Classics guide suggests ascending a gully not visible 
until you pass it on the trail. The gully that we saw fitting that 
description looked like a miserable combination of loose scree 
and huge chockstones so we ascended an easy 3rd class face 
covered with trees until we hit the ridge. We crossed and stayed 
just left of the ridge until reaching the notch under the large 
blocky tower. Along the way we roped up for some 4th class and 
easy 5th class climbing where I practiced putting in protection 
and managing the rope. We passed the skeleton of a baby 
mountain goat, suggesting that we were doing real climbing! We 
also passed numerous bivouac spots cleared on wide ledges.

Soon we were at the notch below the tower. Climbing the face of 
the tower slightly right of the crest was supposed to be the 5.4 
crux of the ridge. I'd never lead before, but this looked like a 
good opportunity to learn so I started climbing. The top of the 
first pitch was a challenging lead for me, ascending a steep 
crack with a piton. We evidently were slightly off route because 
the second pitch encountered a layback that seemed 5.6 or 5.7; it 
was more committing than I was ready to lead so I backed off 
and Craig scampered up. The remainder of the tower was easier 
and very enjoyable; we topped out after three pitches plus 
Craig's short lead, then simulclimbed the airy but easy knife 
edge to the notch below the summit headwall.

We unfortunately chose to unrope at this point immediately 
before encountering the most dangerous portion of the climb. A 
ledge system led right from the notch to a sandy gully just right 
of the headwall. The climb was supposed to be 3rd class, but the 
awkward moves onto the narrow ledge and the severe exposure 
made it 4th class in my book. Worse yet, the chute was 
dangerously loose and poured over a cliff at the bottom. Craig 
send a slide of rock down over the edge as he crossed. When I 
followed, a half-ton boulder in the middle of the chute began to 
slide and topple as I put my weight on it. I can't fully recall what 
happened, but Craig says he's never seen such a fast lunge off 
the rock. Hundreds of pounds of debris slid over the cliff and 
avalanched down the rock below, sending a great cloud of dust 
into the air. I was shaken and slowly ascended the buttress and 
sandy ledges about 600 feet to the summit as Craig zoomed on. 
We topped out right at the true summit about 2pm, having made 
a fairly leisurely ascent.

The views along the ridge and atop the peak were outstanding. 
We could admire the face of Whitney, the aretes of Russell, the 
horns of Williamson, and the Owens Valley. From the top, we 
saw the Corcoran towers beckoning. Our enjoyment of the 
summit was limited only by a shortage of water, so we 
eventually descended a use trail westward until it dropped us 
into a steep scree chute for the 2nd class escape. We crossed 
below Meysan lake, eventually found the trail, and were back to 
camp by 4. After packing up, we got back to the cars at 6.

Aside from the short nasty scree chute near the top, Lone Pine 
Peak's north ridge is a terrific climb. I'd recommend it for anyone 
who wants to learn to lead multi-pitch alpine climbs because the 
climbing is fun, long, fairly easy, and generally well-protected. 
In hindsight, we could have climbed it as a daytrip and more 
experienced parties should certainly do it in a single day rather 
than hauling along bivouac gear. The route is definitely a classic.

- David Harris

Mt. Harrington

7-8 June 1997 Kelly Maas (leader), Debbie Bulger (co-leader), 
Helena & Rick Verrow, Alex Keith, David Wright, and Bob Bynum

The morning light shone strongly in the parking lot as we each 
puttered with our pre-trip rituals. Lacking only a Johnny Reb cap 
and a deer rifle for that "Deliverance" look, Rick slouched in a 
lawn chair and evaluated his traveling companions. Debbie 
showed off her new 4WD truck, which towered over my Saturn 
like a grizzly over a schnauzer. Bob launched into a long-winded 
explanation of why he had been unable to carpool with Debbie. 
The rest of us donned our own unique hiking garments and 
anointed our skin with sun block. Kelly began expounding again 
the theme "Traveling light is traveling right", and, inspired, we 
delved into our packs and discarded food, clothing, cooking 
gear, rain gear, and miscellaneous other moldy items from the 
recesses. Personal bests in the category of lightest pack were 
achieved by three of us.

The 9 miles and 5000' of elevation change from the Lewis Creek 
trailhead to our campsite at Grizzly Lake passed without 
incident and only a modest amount of griping; 8 hours after 
starting we were lazing by a roaring stove. We had a splendid 
site on the east edge of the Grizzly Lake basin with plenty of flat 
spots, and trees for hanging food. It's only drawback was that 
water was about 100 yards away.

Low hanging clouds blew away shortly after dark and the 
crescent moon provided a fine spectacle as it set behind Mt. 
Harrington. After moonset and the end of twilight the Milky 
Way stretched across the sky with a splendor that has long been 
lost to lowland dwellers. The great starcloud in Scutum drifted 
slowly across the southern sky, and southern latitude stars 
normally hidden by horizon haze flickered and danced above the 
distant peaks. The stars of the Summer Triangle, Vega, Altair, 
and Deneb, burned holes in the blackness. Those of us who were 
light sleepers and disdained tents could view this show all night 
long simply by opening our eyes.

After a leisurely breakfast the next morning we started off at 
7:30. Kelly led us up the basin to the saddle between Mt. 
Harrington and Hogsback Peak (which is quite worthy of it's 
name). The ridge leading to Harrington had a 100' high lump in 
it (which we bypassed on the way down), after descending this 
hump we crossed on the crest of a short snowfield and arrived at 
the summit spire of Harrington. The snow here was quite hard, 
and a slip at this point would have been unpleasant, or worse, 
depending on whether you fell off to the left or to the right. 
Fortunately the snowfield was no more than 30 yards long, and 
then we were at the summit spire. This is the portion that Roper 
describes as a "short but enjoyable class 3 climb" and for once 
he was right. The granite was solid, the ledges were wide, and 
millennia of erosion had produced lovely lumps, knobs, and 
other, more fanciful, shapes to serve as handholds.

In less than 1/2 hour we were all on the summit, where we did 
the usual things. Ours was the first group to summit this year, 
but as Harrington (11,005') has little to distinguish it from 
hundreds of other 11,000' peaks, perhaps the correct observation 
is that it was climbed as recently as last July.

On the descent we turned right at the snowfield and avoided the 
100' lump at the end of the ridge. The way we found to get down 
we could probably not have climbed, but there were undoubtedly 
other routes that were doable, and these would provide a more 
direct and stimulating ascent. We were back in camp by 12:30, 
and after throwing everything in our packs we headed back 
down and arrived at our cars by 5:15. Since everyone summitted, 
and only a modest amount of blood was shed by stick and stone 
injuries, and the person who fell in a creek didn't drown, the trip 
was judged to be a great success, and Kelly was toasted at dinner.

- David Wright

Mt. McGee

I solo climbed McGee near Evolution Valley on July 5. I was 
part of a PCS affiliated private group led by Bob Suzuki. We 
started at North Lake July 3 and climbed for 11.5 hours over 
Lamark Col down to Evolution Valley and up to McGee Lakes 
basin, where I accidentally got separated and camped at the wrong 
stream confluence, a mile further ahead than the meeting area.

On July 4 I moved camp to McGee Lakes and enjoyed a great 
view, taking an easy day hike around the McGee basin. The 
weather was great. There was plenty of snow on the hills and 
this created a lot of soggy ground that resulted in lots of 
mosquitos.(See Steve Eckert's email about McGee's mosquitos).

On July 5 I climbed McGee solo. This required ascending a 
ridge about 700', then descending all the way to the Davis Lakes 
basin near Goddard. Then I traversed a half mile to the chute 
and climbed through heavy loose scree about 1,500', before the 
south facing chute became clogged with snow. The snow was 
suitable for crampons, so it actually made the climb easier. 
However, the steep, narrow chute with snow was a riskier climb 
than if the chute had no snow. (I enjoyed the risk once I was off 
the mountain.) At the top of the chute I turned east and did an 
high class 2 traverse to the summit. I retraced my path to the camp.

On July 6th I solo hiked from McGee lakes to North lake trail 
head, via Evolution Valley. I left camp at 6:30 a.m. and soon 
found a use trail that led to Evolution Valley floor. Crossing the 
stream at Evolution Valley at 8 a.m. the mosquitos were so bad 
that I ran through the 20' wide, 18" deep stream without 
bothering to remove my boots. Dozens of them landed on my 
pile jacket-it was like a scene from a horror movie. After 
crossing the stream I got to a rocky bench with no mosquitos 
where I clean the water out of my boots, unfortunately I was 
soon attacked by mosquitos. I used a ten year old bottle of 100% 
Deet and got instant relief! Later, going eastward down Lamark 
Col I encountered three foot deep suncups, which slowed my 
speed. I spent 12.25 hours traveling from McGee Lakes to North 
Lake. Despite the pain of mosquitos, the climb, views and 
weather made the trip worthwhile.

- Don Martin

Footnote on Mosquitoes:

Have you ever wondered whether to spell it "mosquitos" or 
"mosquitoes"? American Heritage says both spellings are correct!

mos qui to - n. pl. mos qui toes or mos qui tos

1. Any of various two-winged insects of the family 
Culicidae, in which the female of most species is 
distinguished by a long proboscis for sucking blood. 
Some species are vectors of diseases such as malaria 
and yellow fever. Also Called skeeter.

I did a loop involving Piute Pass, Alpine Col, Evolution Valley, 
McGee Lakes, McGee Pass, and Lamark Col which intersected 
with Don's trip. No place under 11500' was livable due to 
mosquitoes. We actually hung out on the summit of Emerald for 
over an hour to avoid getting to camp early. In the McGee 
drainage, I killed 15+ mosquitoes with one slap on David Harris' 
back, a personal record if you don't count a "swiping" or 
"glancing" blow which can scoop more.

Many people said they had never seen so many. I've seen it this 
bad in Alaska and in Vidette Meadow, but never so widespread 
and so damn AGGRESSIVE! They were landing on my bug 
jacket and crawling up under my head net. With a full suit of 
mesh clothes and bug juice rubbed on the mesh at key spots, I 
was still getting about one bite every 10 minutes during peak 
attacks. Goretex stopped them, but it was too warm until after 
sunset. Eating was a problem, because the swarm tended to 
bump into your spoon on the way to your mouth (not on purpose, 
just because of the density of the swarm). A good trip to have a 
tent instead of a bivy bag, and a head net was the only 
alternative to inhaling those flying hypodermics when breathing 
hard. Getting up early was never disputed, since temps just 
below freezing tend to slow them down until sun hits camp.

One last tidbit from American Heritage:

The Romance language French was the source of our 
word musket (first recorded around 1587), which came 
from French mousquet, but this word entered French 
from yet another Romance language, Italian. From the 
descendant of Latin musca, Italian mosca, was formed 
the diminutive moschetta with the senses "bolt for a 
catapult" and "small artillery piece." From 
moschetta came moschetto, "musket," the source of 
French mousquet. The use of moschetta, literally 
"little fly," to mean "bolt from a crossbow" can be 
ascribed to the fact that both bolt and insect fly, 
buzz, and sting.

- Steve Eckert

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.

*** Dayhike Of Bear Creek Spire
Peak:	Bear Creek Spire (13,720 feet)	class 3-4
Date:	Aug 8	Fri
Map:	Mt. Hilgard 7.5' quad
Contact:	Tony Cruz	cruz@idt.com
Co-Contact:	Pat Ibbetson	pkibbetson@ucdavis.edu

From the end of Rock Creek Road (Mosquito Flat) we will hike in 
and climb Bear Creek Spire via Ulrichs Route and retrace our 
steps back to Mosquito Flat. Note that I do not plan to camp in the 
wilderness and thus will not need (nor obtain) a wilderness permit.

*** To Bear Creek - And Beyond!
Peak:	Bear, Julius, Seven, Royce, Merriam	class 3
Date:	Aug 8-10	Fri-Sun
Map:	Mt. Abbot 15' quad
Contact:	Steve Eckert	650-508-0500 eckert@netcom.com

Join Cruz on Bear Creek Spire, then embark on an untrodden 
cross-country odyssey including Julius Caesar (13196), Seven 
Gables (13075), Royce (13253) and Merriam (13077). We'll exit 
at Pine Creek, making this a one-way loop with more elevation 
loss than gain! All peaks except Bear Creek Spire and Seven 
Gables should be class 2, but this unscouted peakbagger's 
delight may involve some minor class 3 with packs.

*** Brewer By Bubb
Peak:	Mt Brewer (13,570')	class 2
Date:	Aug 22-24	Fri-Sun
Map:	USGS Mt Brewer 7.5'
Contact:	Bill Kirkpatrick 408-293-2447 3780631@MCIMAIL.COM
Co-Contact:	Alex Keith	415-325-1091 akeith@crc.ricoh.com

Starting at Road's End in King's Canyon (elev 5,000') we will 
follow the long trail along Bubb's Creek to East Lake (9,500') 
early Friday morning, ascend the peak the next day, and return 
by the same route on Sunday. Secor says that Brewer has a 
"wide, unobstructed view in all directions from its summit." A 
good trip for first-time peak climbers with prior back-packing 
experience. Permit for six.

*** Do the King Thing
Peaks:	Clarence King, Cotter, Gardiner	class 4-5
Dates:	Aug 29-Sep 1	Fri-Mon. 
Map:	Mt Clarence King  7.5'
Contact:	Charles Schafer		W 408-324-6003
		charles.schafer@octel.com H 408-354-1545
Co-Contact:	Wanted

Secor says about Clarence King, "This beautiful peak dominates 
the entire Woods Creek drainage.  Its first ascent was the 
hardest rock climb in nineteenth-century America."  This is a four 
day trip to climb Mt. Clarence King  (12,905'), Mt Cotter 
(12,721'), Mt. Gardiner (12,907') - Class 4 & 5 the 3 peaks which 
are situated close together, all of which should be challenging 
climbing.  This should be a lot of fun, but it is a pretty ambitious 
trip so we are looking only for experienced class 5 climbers to fill 
out the roster.

*** Toulomne Family Car Camp
Peaks:	Koip (12,962'), Gibbs (12,773')	class 1
Dates:	Sep 13-14	Sat-Sun
Maps:	Mono Craters 15 min or
	Mount Dana & Koip Peak 7.5 min
Contact:	Aaron Schuman	H 415-968-9184
		schuman@sgi.com	W 415-933-1901
Co-Contact:	Cecil Magliocco	H 408-358-1168

Tuolumne Meadows group campsite reserved Friday and 
Saturday nights. Family members are welcome.  Join us 
exploring the Pacific Crest on Saturday or construct your own 
day activity. Saturday, we'll day hike from Dana Meadows 
trailhead (9600) near the eastern edge of Yosemite National 
Park, over windswept Parker Pass (11100), to Koip Peak, to 
barren Mono Pass (10600), and up the south flank of Mount 
Gibbs. Sunday, we'll make a short class 2 jaunt, perhaps to 
Mount Gaylor or Tioga Peak.

*** Tiptoe to Tehipite
Peak:	Tehipite Dome (7,708')	class 3
Dates:	Sep 13-14	Sat-Sun
Map:	Tehipite Dome topo
Contact:	Charles Schafer	W 408-324-6003
	charles.schafer@octel.com	H 408-354-1545
Co-Contact:	Bob Suzuki	W 510-657-7555
	bobszk@pacbell.net	(>8 pm) 408-259-0772

Tehipite, which Secor says is "the largest dome in the Sierra 
Nevada," overlooks the Middle Fork of the Kings River in the 
western edge of Kings Canyon Natl Park. It will take a 30 mile 
round-trip hike, fording 60' wide Crown Creek and climbing a 
seriously exposed, 20', class 3 crux to enjoy the exceptional 
views from Tehipite's summit. We have a permit for 5 if you are 
up to this challenge. Climbing harness and rappel device needed.

*** Dana Couloir
Peak:	Mt. Dana (13,057')	class 3-4 ice
Date:	Sep 20	Sat
Contact:	George Van Gorden	408-779-2320

Early start from Tioga Pass Saturday morning. We will climb the 
couloir, putting in protection as we go. Exiting the couloir, we will 
go over the top of Dana and descend the trail. Long day. Ice axe, 
crampons, harness, and at least one ice screw required. Call 
after Aug. 21. 

*** Riders on the Ridge
Peak:	Mt. Morgan North (13,003')	class 3-4
Dates:	Sep 20-21	Sat-Sun
Map:	Convict Lake
Contact:	Kai Wiedman	415-327-5234
Co-Contact:	Cecil Ann	408-358-1168 cecilm@ix.netcom.com

From "A Hundred Classic Climbs": "The Sweeping crest of the 
Nevahbe Ridge is a dramatic and colorful backdrop for the 
community of Crowley Lake. This route is a long, airy ridge climb, 
rising nearly a vertical mile from McGee Creek to the summit. 
The climbing is continually interesting and involves a wide range 
of rock types and quality." This climb will be a dayhike involving 
5000 feet of elevation gain over an 8.5 mile round trip, 
descending colorful Esha Canyon. We'll help you through the 
short 4th class step, so c'mon along. You can do it! 

North Palisade Dayhike

July 1997 - Permit, shmermit!

Once upon a time, access to the Sierra was not restricted by 
quotas. With almost assured solitude, one could embark upon a 
wilderness outing in a spontaneous fashion.

Nowadays, 800 numbers, FAX machines and VISA cards pave 
the way to our lovely and benign mountains. And with the 
population of California increasing each year by the size of San 
Francisco and expected to double within 40 years, it isn't going 
to get any easier to visit our limited wilderness.

So what're you going to do?

- Give up mountaineering and join a climbing gym
- Move close to a "hardier" range that has no quotas
   (i.e., rainy and mosquito ridden)
- Don camouflage clothing, gear and night vision goggles and 
   hike only under the cover of darkness
- Quit your job and climb midweek
- Go before/after the quota season
- Day hike

Of these, the last two offer the best choices for spontaneous 
outings. Learn to ski or buy some snowshoes and you'll get to 
enjoy what many experienced backcountry enthusiasts say is the 
best time to be in the Sierra. And late September or early 
October is usually a wonderful time to visit the mountains.

But for those midsummer trips, when permits are scarce, 
consider the day hike. With a few exceptions, notably the 
Whitney Zone, it is possible to freely visit any part of the Sierra 
that your feet can take you in a "day". Exactly how one (or the 
parks and forest service) defines a day isn't clear. Less than 24 
hours to be sure, but for many destinations, it does means 
stretching the limits of daylight a bit. Warren Storkman's and 
Steve Eckert's Mt. Clark day hikes come to mind.

Sure it's wonderful to camp in the mountains, but traveling 
unencumbered, in tennis shoes and with a daypack, and a cooler 
of beer waiting in your car at the end of the day, also has its 
appeal. Tony Cruz, with his recent Rock Creek day peak plans, 
appears to share this idea. With this in mind, I set out recently 
for a day hike of North Palisade. I had attempted the U Notch a 
couple weeks earlier with a friend, but had been turned around 
above the chimney by icy winds.

I remembered how lousy I had felt at 14,000' two years ago on a 
day hike of Middle Palisade. So this time, I spent a lazy 
afternoon on an abbreviated traverse of the Cathedral Range. 
Scrambling up the three peaks of the Unicorn, all but the 
southern lobe of the Cockscomb, about half of the Echo Ridge 
and finally the Muir route on Cathedral Peak gave me the 
acclimatization I felt I'd need for the next day.

Unfortunately, I'd neglected to leave much time for sleep. When 
the alarm woke me at 2:30am, I wasn't very happy. Off by 
3:15am, I was distressed by how heavy my eyelids felt as I 
stared ahead at the little yellow circle my headlamp produced. 
By 6:00am, I arrived in Sam Mack Meadow and realized I was 
too sleepy to continue. I ducked behind a rock to escape the 
chilly wind, zipped up my jacket and curled up in the dirt and 
pine needles for a 15 minute catnap (a la Tony Cruz). In minutes 
I was deeply dreaming...

Blink! Oh no! It's almost 7am! I thought I'd blown it and figured 
I'd just go up on the glacier and call it nice hike. But when I 
arrived, I saw four figures headed for the U Notch couloir. 
Maybe I wasn't so late after all? Seeing other people provided 
the stimulation I needed to get going.

By the time I caught up to them, we were all at the U Notch. 
They were a nice quartet of Washington climbers, on a two week 
Sierra peak bagging bonanza. I had considered soloing the 
Chimney -- I had climbed it two weeks earlier and knew it to be 
mostly fourth class and reasonably solid. But I decided it was 
wiser to play it safe. As the two pairs started up the chimney, I 
put on my rock shoes and headed up the Clyde variation. "Easy 
fourth class", said the book -- just my speed for soloing. Other 
than one "hang your butt out while gripping loose looking 
blocks" move, it was pretty easy and I was soon chatting with 
the first Washingtonian at the top of the Chimney.

Exposed third class led to the wonderful sunny summit. It was 
just a little after 10:30am. I spent a lazy hour there, chatting 
with the foursome after they arrived. Soon we all descended. I'd 
brought a 50m rope, figuring I'd rap the chimney and do a little 
downclimbing. But with my new friends and our combined three 
ropes, we all shared a quick rap back to the notch.

Slippery downclimbing in the couloir, horrendous sun cups on 
the glacier, and then a long trudge down the trail brought me to 
that cooler of beer at about 6pm.

I tried to find a campground with a shower, but was dismayed 
when asked to pay $1 per 7 minutes of hot water. Opting instead 
to "shower" with a Nalgene bottle of water, I retired to the 
Buttermilks and spent a lovely night bathed by warm winds 
under the moonlit face of Mt. Humphreys.

- Jim Curl

Viewing Hale-Bopp at the Foot of Argus Peak

In Greek mythology, Argus was a fabulous creature which had 
100 eyes. When he was killed, Hera took his eyes and placed 
them in the tail of the peacock. Indeed, we were all eyes as we 
sat in our lawn chairs in the dark desert the nights of March 28 
and 29. Our Saturday ascent of Argus was a delight. A leisurely 
seven hour, 3000 foot climb over easy terrain. As we hiked up 
Crow Canyon after crossing the ridge from Homewood Canyon, 
we saw bush after bush of blue lupine waving to us. We turned 
southwest up the ridge before the boundary of the China Lakes 
Naval Weapons Center so we wouldn't have to read any no 
trespassing signs that might be there. Juniper trees and pinion 
pines clothe the upper reaches of this 6562 foot DPS peak. That 
evening Hale-Bopp appeared in all its glory. The clouds from 
the previous night had moved on leaving a dark, dark sky. No 
city lights. Richard Stover and Larry Hester set up their tripods. 
Patricia Crane and I got out our binoculars. We clearly saw two 
tails on Hale-Bopp, a bright one composed of gas and a second, 
blue tail of dust. It was a heavenly trip. 

- Debbie Bulger

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
+ "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." +
+   -- Anais Nin                                            +
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +


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

Elected Officials

	Warren Storkman / pcs_chair@kaweah.mti.sgi.com
	650-493-8959 home, 650-493-8975 fax
	4180 Mackay Drive, Palo Alto, CA 94306

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

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

Appointed Positions

Scree Editor, Email Broadcast Operator:
	Steve Eckert / pcs_editor@kaweah.mti.sgi.com
	650-508-0500 home/work, 650-508-0501 fax
	1814 Oak Knoll Drive, Belmont, CA 94002-1753

PCS World Wide Web Publisher:
	Aaron Schuman / pcs_webmaster@kaweah.mti.sgi.com
	650-933-1901, http://reality.sgi.com/csp/pcs/index.html
	223 Horizon Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94043-4718


Hardcopy subscriptions are $10. Subscription applications and checks
payable to "PCS" should be mailed to the Treasurer so they arrive before
the last Tuesday of the expiration month. If you are on the PCS email
list (discussion version or lower-volume news version), you have a free
EScree subscription. For broadcast info, send Email to
 with the one-line message:
   INFO lomap-peak-climbing
EScree  subscribers should send a subscription form to the Treasurer to
become voting PCS members at no charge. All subscribers are requested to
send a donation of $2/year to cover operating expenses other than
printing the Scree. The Scree is on the PCS web site (as both plain text
and Adobe Acrobat/PDF).

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:
 Trip report excerpts with Web URLs for details.
(Please limit trip reports to one page if possible.)

Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 8/24/97.
Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month.

"Vy can't ve chust climb?" - John Salathe