Home | Scree | Back Issues

Scree for December, 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.
                   December, 1997   Vol. 31, No. 12
    Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 12/28/97

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

Date:	Tuesday, December 9
Time:	7:00 PM
Program: Party and Slide Show! 

Someone may kick you out if you show up empty 
handed or try to get by "on the cheap" with a liter of 
Coca Cola r ! Bring your "best" potluck dish. If you 
need a suggestion for what to bring, follow this guide 
based on the initial letter of your last name:
	 A-F: Snacks, Appetizers, Salads 
	 G-L: Drinks
	 M-R: Main course
	 S-Z: Desserts

NOTE: Names have been re-arranged for 1997 to 
avoid picking on the same people!

Location: The world famous. "Cafe Iris" on the 
Silicon Graphics Campus.

Dress Code: Black Tie and Balaclava Optional

There's a gif map to the Cafe Iris on the Web at:
Check the Web for any last-minute changes and late breaking 
news. (Hey, it could happen!)

Here's a map which should be viewed in Courier font:

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

To get to Silicon Graphics, take the Shoreline Blvd. exit from US-
101 in Mountain View. From either the northbound or southbound 
directions, make a right exit, then turn left at the top of the ramp, 
heading north through the industrial park 1.3 miles from the top of 
the ramp, there'll be the unmistakable Shoreline Amphitheater on 
your left -a giant two poled white tent Another landmark at the 
same corner is the charming red abstract sculpture on your right.

Turn right at that corner, onto Stierlin Court. You're on the SGI 
campus. Park anywhere that isn't a fire lane, a handicapped space, 
or a loading dock.

Building 5 (with Cafe Iris) is the fourth building on the right.

Bring ten of your most exciting, embarrassing, or "hideous 
exposure" slides to show at the party

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.

*** Pack It In With Excelsior
Peaks:	Excelsior Mt. (12,446')	class 1 / snow
Dates:	Dec 6-7 	Sat-Sun
	snow delays to Dec 13-14 	Sat-Sun
Maps:	Matterhorn Peak 15 min.
	Dunderberg Peak 7.5 min.
Leader:	Steve Eckert	650-508-0500
Co-Leader:	Aaron Schuman	H: 650-968-9184
	schuman@sgi.com	W: 650-933-1901

Join us for a two day snowshoe backpack from Conway 
Summit to Excelsior Mountain.  Details at:

*** Pyramid Peak
Peak:   Pyramid Peak (9983'), class 2
Dates:  Sat. Jan. 17 - Mon. Jan. 19
Map:    Pyramid Peak 7.5 min.
Leader: Palmer Dyal, H: 650-941-5321, Pdyal@msn.com
Co-Leader: Wanted

This will be a moderately paced 3 mile snowshoe trip to 
climb a relatively easy peak in the Desolation Wilderness 
area southwest of Lake Tahoe. The elevation gain is about 
1000' per mile and we plan to camp at treeline.

We will have time to build snow caves on the first day and 
view the marvelous glaciated scenery of the whole Tahoe 
basin from the peak on the second day. There will be a 
choice of returning on Sunday or Monday depending on the 
weather, etc. A good trip for beginning climbers.

*** Horizontal Mountaineering
Peak: Tomales Point
Date: Saturday, December 13
Leader: George Van Gorden H: 408-779-2320

Starting at the end of the Pierce Point Road in Point Reyes, 
we will go down to the beach and head north in an attempt 
to go around Tomales Point. We will have a minus 1.6 tide 
at about 5:00 P. M.  which will give us at least a chance of 
actually making it, though it will not be easy and is seldom 
successfully done. As darkness is falling and the moon is 
rising over the hills beyond Tomales Bay, we will scramble 
up to higher ground and return to our cars by the Tomales 
Point Trail, perhaps surrounded by elk curious to know who 
would be out on such a winter's night. Rain  does not cancel 
because we will be just as wet rain or no.

*** Annual Beginners Snow Camping Seminar
Dates: Tues. Eves. Jan. 6th, Wed. Jan 7th, Wed. Jan 14th; 
Weekend of Jan 24/25 or Jan 31/Feb 1.
Leaders: Marj Ottenberg 408-867-4576 or Chris MacIntosh 

A planned winter overnight trip in the Sierra can be 
wonderful or cold and miserable. A forced overnight due to 
storm, injury or equipment failure presents far more hazards 
in winter than in summer.  For the 25th winter, PCS (and 
STS) leaders present a snow camping seminar to help 
backpackers, climbers, and others enjoy winter sports safely 
and comfortably. Participants learn do's and don'ts of winter 
planning, clothing, food etc. as well as making emergency 
and non-emergency shelters in the snow, then put these 
skills into practice on a weekend trip to the Sierra ( traveling 
by skis or snowshoes. $40 cost includes 3 books and 
equipment maintenance.

PCS Trip Leaders Wanted

Becoming a PCS trip leader is easier than you probably think.  The 
main requirement is climbing knowledge and experience.  Here's 
what you need to do to become a PCS trip leader:

1.	Join the PCS and the Sierra Club if you haven't already.

2.	Take a Red Cross-approved first aid class and obtain a Red 
Cross first aid card.

3.	Fill out the "Application for PCS Leadership" below.

4.	Submit your completed application to the chair of the PCS 
Mountaineering Committee.

	Mountaineering Committee:
	Tim Hult
	2256 Avenida Alumnos
	Santa Clara, CA  95054
	Phone: 408-970-0760 (H)
	E-mail: Tim.hult@lmco.com>

Application for PCS Leadership

Name:	__________________________________________

Address:	_________________________________________

Phone numbers:	___________________________________

Sierra Club Number:	________________________________

Are you over age 18?    Yes___    No___

Are you a PCS member?   Yes___    No___

What class of climb are you applying to lead?

Class 1___   Class 2___   Class 3___   Class 4___   Class 5___

Are you also applying to lead winter climbing trips? Yes___No___

Attach photocopy of your Red Cross first aid card.

Please answer the two questions below in order to verify that you 
have satisfied the requirements for leading the class of climb that 
you have checked.  These requirements are listed following the 

1. Summarize your climbing skills, navigational skills, and any 
other information related to your mountaineering knowledge 
and experience.

2. List the major peaks you have climbed.  For each one, include 
the class of the climb, the name of the leader (if a PCS climb), 
and whether you led the climb.

I hereby apply for leadership with the Sierra Club Loma Prieta 
chapter-Peak Climbing Section.

Signature	_______________________________________

Date	___________________________________________

Requirements for PCS Leadership

Class One (walking on trail):

1. At least eighteen years of age.  PCS and Sierra Club member

2. Red Cross Multimedia First Aid or approved equivalent. 
Mountain Medicine course conducted by Red Cross and Sierra 
Club may be substituted at alternate renewal periods.

Class Two (walking cross-country; using hands for balance):

1. Qualifications for class one

2. Minimum two years mountain experience

3. Demonstrated navigational ability

4.	Demonstrated sound judgment, mountaineering competence, 
and leadership ability on two class two or harder PCS trips or 

Class Three (use of hands for balance while climbing):

1. Qualifications for class two

2.	Recent experience with roped climbing, including belaying, 
rappelling, knot tying, and/or anchor setting

3.	Recent experience with ice ax, crampons, self-arrest, and/or 
ice-ax belay

4.	Demonstrated sound judgment, mountaineering competence, 
and leadership ability on two class three or harder PCS trips or 

Class Four (use of rope for belays):

1. Qualifications for class three

2.	Knowledgeable and experienced in roped climbing (including 
belaying, rappelling, knot tying, and anchor setting) ice ax use 
(including self-arrest and ice-ax belay), and use of crampons.

3.	Demonstrated sound judgment, mountaineering competence, 
and leadership ability on two class four or harder PCS trips or 

Class Five (technical rock climbing):

1. Qualifications for class four

2. Led at least three routes equal to or harder than climb to be led

3.	Knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of rope 
management and handling.  Proficient with anchor setting, 
placing of protection for safety, belaying, and rappelling.

4.	Demonstrated sound judgment, mountaineering competence, 
and leadership ability on two class five PCS trips or equivalent

Winter Trips

1. Qualifications for class of climb to be led

2. Two seasons of winter mountaineering, including extensive 
snow camping

3. Proficiency with skis or snow shows, ice ax, crampons, and ice 
ax belays

4. Substantial navigational experience, including white-out and 
storm conditions

5. Advanced first aid preferred, with an understanding of 
hypothermia, frostbite, and pulmonary edema

6. Avalanche course

7. Demonstrated leadership on one PCS winter trip as co-

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.

*** Yosemite Half-Dome Winter Climb
Peak: Half Dome
Dates: Weekend of Dec 13, 1997
Contacts: Rich Calliger (510.651.1876) or Mike Rinaldi 

Leave Bay Area Friday afternoon, winter-camp at Hodgdon 
Meadows or Sunnyside walk-in. (TBD). Be up early and on 
trail pre-dawn light. Snowshoe or boot option depending on 
conditions.  Mixed mode welcome; snow-line may preclude 
anyway as trailhead is at 4300 feet approx. (May have 
option to ski if El Nino comes thru and dumps snow down to 
3 or 4000 feet!) Crampons, (snowshoes optional) and ice-ax 
and heavy work gloves for cable required. Optional- bring 
harness to tie into cables for rest stops (cables are in down 
position). Return and stay at the Yosemite Lodge for the 
evening. Return Bay area Sunday night after another day 
hike Sunday morning- not so early or so far this time. 
Negotiable- 4 mile trail to glacier point or to top of Yosemite 
falls. Cost of room(s) to be split equally. $88 per room. 
(Option- full facility cabin at $75). Climb to be decided 
go/no-go once reach base of Dome and exact snow/ice 
conditions determined.

Valley is open "all-year round" and roads are plowed- so we 
will do something even if heavy snow at elevation or if snow 
line drops to the valley floor.  Merced approach (Highway 
140) usually open if 120->Big Oak Flat Road route is 
closed.  Bring tire chains. Carpool to be determined.

*** Aconcagua Private Expedition
Peak:	Aconcagua (22,841')	class 2 / snow
Dates:	26 Dec 97 - 20 Jan 98
Contact:	R.J. Calliger	510-651-1876

Anyone interested? Please take a look at Secor's "Climbing 
Aconcagua" if you are, then contact me for further details 
via email. The main challenges to this climb are the altitude 
(22,841'), and the weather (-10F to -20F plus wind). It is the 
start of the summer there in December and with the altitude, 
expect conditions like climbing a 14'er here in late winter or 
early spring, but colder. Airfare is $850.

*** Coneheads atop Ventana
Peak: Ventana Double Cone, 4853 ft,    Class 2
Dates: January 24, 25 1998. 
Maps: Big Sur 7.5' and Ventana Cones 7.5'.
Contact: Bill Kirkpatrick. Home: 408-293-2447, Work: 408-

Meet at Botcher's Gap (2000 ft) Campground in Big Sur on 
Saturday morning, January 24; pack about 6 miles to Pat 
Springs Camp (3800 ft). We will start Sunday morning at 
dawn for the long hike to the top of Ventana Double Cone, 
then return to pick up our gear and return to the cars after 
dark on Sunday. This is only 1.5 hour drive from San Jose. 
Heavy rain cancels. 

*** It's  A Cold, Cruel World
Peak:	Matterhorn Peak (12,264')               Class 3/snow
Dates:	Feb. 14-16
Maps:	Matterhorn Peak and Buckeye Ridge
Contact:	Kai Wiedman	650-347-5234

Let's test our mettle against the elements. To reach a Sierra 
summit in winter is a major achievement. We may never 
climb in Alaska or the Himalaya, but a winter ascent of the 
Matterhorn could be our Everest. I would like to form two 
teams; one on skis and one on showshoes. Please give me 
a call if you would like to lead the snowshoe team.

1998 PCS Roster Update

We will have the current roster at the December meeting. Plan to 
attend, and to check your name/address/phone/email information! 
You can also email or send the form below, or you can fill one in 
at the meeting. The 1998 roster will be published in the January or 
February Scree, and will contain email addresses for those who 
wish to release them.

Whether or not you are on the email broadcast, you can list your 
email in the roster. You must contact the Treasurer if you wish to 
have your email info listed (just subscribing to the lomap-peak-
climbing list is not enough).

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

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

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

Return this completed form to the *new* PCS Treasurer by US 
mail or email:
   Nancy Fitzsimmons
   1025 North Abbott Street, Milpitas CA  95035

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

Type of Subscription? (one or both)  HARDCOPY  /  EMAIL 

Name:	__________________________________________

Address:	_________________________________________



Home Phone (with area code):  	________________________

Work Phone (or enter "none"): 	_______________________

Email:	__________________________________________

Sierra Club Membership Number: 	_____________________

Ok to release my phone number when publishing the roster? 

Trip Announcement Procedure

If you want to announce a future trip in Scree, first decide if it will 
be an official Sierra Club PCS trip or a private trip without Club 
insurance.  Then send it to the PCS Scheduler via e-mail, US Mail, 
or phone:

Arun Mahajan
3770 flora Vista Ave, #904,
Santa Clara, Ca 95051
email: arun@sentientnet.com
Phone: (h) 408-244-7912

Please submit trip reports in the following format, so your 
overworked PCS officers don't have to reformat them for you:


*** Name of Trip

Peak: Name of Peak (elevation), Rating



Leader and contact info:

Co-Leader and contact info (if applicable):

Include a brief (50-75 word) description that will attract qualified 
people to sign up on your trip.  Include details such as the level of 
experience required, the group size allowed, the area where the 
peak is located, or anything else that trip applicants will need to 


Sample trip announcement:
*** Ansel Adams
Peak: Mt. Ansel Adams (11,760), Class 3
Dates: July 4-7 Thur-Sun
Map: Mt. Lyell 7.5 min.
Leader: Purdie Musclebound 999-555-1212, climbing@thegunks.com
Co-Leader: Purina Catchow 999-555-1212, never@home.com

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

Nota Bene: PCS trips must be submitted through the Scheduler. 
Trips not received from the Scheduler will be listed as PRIVATE, 
without recourse.


SEPTEMBER 27, 1997

When I first climbed Mt. Ritter (13,157') in my backpacking days 
17 years ago, it was a major undertaking that required three days 
(hike in, climb, hike out).  But based on my recent experience on 
David Harris's trip to Banner Peak, and on a note from Richard 
Carey on the PCS broadcast, I decided that Ritter is feasible as a 
dayhike.  The stats for the climb are about the same as for hiking 
Half Dome -- 5000' gain, 18 miles round trip -- but at a far higher 
elevation of course.  Arun Mahajan and I set out to test my 
dayhike theory on Sat., Sep. 27.

5:30 a.m., in the woods near downtown Mammoth...  My internal 
clock tells me it's probably time to get up, and I open my eyes to 
the cold and pitch darkness.  As I get out of my sleeping bag and 
call to Arun, a pack of coyotes breaks the pre-dawn silence with a 
chorus of blood-curdling screams.  An omen, or just a welcome 
reminder that even in a state with 32 million people, there are still 
places where wildness reigns?  In 10 minutes, we're in the car and 
on the way to the trailhead.

6:30 a.m., Agnew Meadows trailhead...  After breakfast beside the 
car, we head up the trail in the grey pre-dawn light.

7:45 a.m., rest stop on the hill below Shadow Lake...  The morning 
sun finally hits us, and we stop to take off a couple layers of 
clothes.  The day is starting out mild, windless, and crystal clear, 
with small clumps of aspens on the hillside to the east glowing in 
their yellow and orange fall colors.  A great day to be in the 

8 a.m., Shadow Lake...  First view of the peak.  Arun is impressed.

9:10 a.m., timberline above Ediza Lake...  We wanted to get here 
within three hours, and we've done it in just over 2 1/2.  This crazy 
plan is working well so far.  We have a snack, enjoy the views and 
the morning sun, then hike up the creek into the beautiful alpine 
valley above us.

10:15 a.m., cliff below the Southeast Glacier...  In describing the 
route up this cliff, Secor takes several sentences to describe a 
frightening  series of zig-zag ledges.  The correct route, at the left 
side of the cliff, just wanders up grassy benches and easy class-2 
slabs and rubble. To find this route, start from a long narrow 
boulder at right angles to the creek and head due southwest, toward 
the prominent pinnacle about 3/4 mile south of Ritter.

11 a.m., Southeast Glacier...  The snow has softened slightly in the 
sun, and has large suncups.  We use our axes, but don't need our 
crampons. You could climb this section without either one by 
using the suncups and  the scree along the margins -- it's all low 
angle.  A party ahead of us is doing just that.

12 noon, top of the Southeast Glacier...  What is this?  We see two 
gullies instead of just one heading up the south face of Ritter.  The 
one on the right is wide and gently angled, with class-2 scree.  The 
one 30 feet to the left is steep, narrow, dark, and wet -- the obvious 
choice. From my ascent long ago, I remember the gully as being 
fairly challenging, with some class-3 steps, and the right hand 
gully just looks too easy.  I persuade Arun that the right-hand gully 
might not go all the way up, and we should take the left-hand one.

12:30, top of the gully...  "That was fun, hey Arun?"  Some nice 
short  vertical class-3 steps, with class-2 rubble in between.  I 
climb up onto a pinnacle between the two gullies and see that the 
right-hand gully is indeed a wide, class-2 highway to the summit 
slope.  Oh well, we took the wrong gully, but at least we got in a 
little sporty climbing.  Above us, a very low angle scree and snow 
slope rises to the summit.  Starting up it, our lack of 
acclimatization starts to hit us.  Sea level to 13,000 feet in 16 hours 
just doesn't make it.

1:30, the summit...  Glad that last bit is over.  Views are incredible, 
especially west to the seldom-visited hinterlands south of Mt. 
Lyell. We can see about eight large lakes to the west -- the three 
Ritter Lakes, Lake Catherine, the two Twin Island Lakes, the two 
Blue Lakes, and more.  Views of Half Dome, the Clark Range, and 
all of Yosemite north to Tower Peak are wonderful. We sign in, 
recline on the boulders, snack, and chat with four guys from the 
East Bay.  They depart, and we relax in the warm, incredibly 
peaceful silence of this mountain  top.  The weather was exactly 
the same last time I was up here, in August 1980.  We could easily 
fall asleep.  But we've miles to go.

2:30, just below the summit...  A guy climbing up calls my name.  
My God, it's Mike Delorenzo.  Three weeks ago he and I started 
up Ritter, but I decided we should back off because Mike has no 
balance or hearing in one ear and is a bit shaky on hard class 2.  
Then two weeks ago, when I was leading a climb of Dana and 
Gibbs, I ran into him on Dana.  Now here he is on Ritter, like a 
reappearing apparition.  He's soloing Ritter and going strong for 
the top.  We wish him well.

3:00, on the way down the gully...  This whole route is really 
something of a fraud.  The cliff coming up to the glacier and this 
gully above the glacier are both class 2 -- in fact large parts of 
them have use trails and are class 1. The glacier in between is very 
low angle, except for the top 50 feet, which is still moderate.  
There's no class 3 on the route (unless you go looking for it, as we 
did).  Maybe this route is harder in early summer, when it has lots 
of frozen snow, but on this day it's a walk.  Alan Ritter, we wish 
you were here.

3:30, back on the glacier...  Nice standing glissades down the 
suncupped snow.  We easily pass the guys from the East Bay, 
slowly picking their way down the scree.

4 p.m., alpine valley below Ritter...  We refill our water bottles 
and have a snack.  All done now except for the long hike out.  We 
take our last close-up look at the tremendous twin peaks of Ritter 
and Banner, and at the valley around us, its meadowgrass and 
bushes taking on the yellow and reddish hues of fall.  Then down 
into the woods.

6 p.m., Shadow Lake...  Running out of energy.  We stop for the 
last snack of the day, and our last look at the peaks.  A cool breeze 
blows across the lake, and for the first time since early morning we 
put on a second layer of clothes.

7:20 p.m., 1/4 mile from Agnew Meadows...  An unexpected fork 
in the trail that we didn't notice on the way in.  Which way to the 
parking lot? We're tired, it's pitch dark, and we don't want to get 
lost right now. Arun says the right fork looks a little more traveled.  
We take it.

7:30, Parking lot.  We made it!  We wash up a bit at the handy 
faucet, change from boots into running shoes, and depart.

8:30 p.m.  Grumpy's Restaurant, Mammoth.  Enjoying hearty soup 
and huge salads served by a beautiful waitress, watching our 
choice of three different football games on big-screen TVs.  It's a 
hard life in the PCS.

 -- Jim Ramaker

Doing the Domelands

October24-26, 1997, scheduled PCS trip. Bob Suzuki was 
supposed to lead this trip, but had some trouble with a tendon.

#ifdef RANT
Those of you who never lead trips and frequently cancel after 
signing on need to wake up. You have no idea how time 
consuming it is to answer all the questions, take down all your 
contact info, write up instructions so you can find the trailhead, 
distribute a participant list, REVISE the participant list when 
someone cancels, and so on. Just keeping track of who is going can 
sometimes take as long as researching and planning the climb! DO 
NOT sign up if you don't plan to go. And don't give me some 
weak-as-water excuse about "things got busy at work" or "my wife 
wants me to stay home" when you cancel the day before a hike. I 
drove several hours each way to lead Friday's dayhike, in an area I 
had just been one week before, only to find that most had canceled 
and the rest had just decided not to bother showing up even though 
they had not canceled. Thanks.
#endif /* RANT */

So I dayhiked Moses on Friday after having a nice pasta dinner by 
a campfire at Mountain Home.

Friday afternoon I flew over to Big Meadow (off the Sherman Pass 
Road). If you're into mountain roads, this is the route for you. Just 
try to go when no one will slow you down! Good fun drifting 
through piles of leaves and needles in gusty wind and bright fall 

Saturday morning we scooted up Taylor Dome in less than two 
hours. The SPS list rates this as Class 2, but I question that. We all 
used our hands, even with some scouting around for the easy way. 
There is a register just west of the twin summits, down low, from 
where you can traverse around to the north side to reach the easiest 
way up. The real register is on top, and indicates that the "official" 
name is "Miranda Dome" (vs. the name on the SPS list).

After a leisurely lunch at the cars, we headed for Siretta from the 
north end of Big Meadow. This trail is made of buried cinder 
blocks for a ways, apparently to minimize the damage done by 
horses and (legal) motorcycle use. It gets sandy higher up, but the 
tire tracks continue past the point we turned off to cross-country to 
the peak. No tricks here, except that the peak (with a BM and the 
register) is 9977' whereas a bump north of that is 9980' according 
to the 7.5' topo. Not to worry, someone drug mortar up there and 
built a 3.5' cairn on the summit, making it 6 inches taller than the 
other bump.

Nights were running about 20 degrees so when I rousted everyone 
at 5:30 am there was much grumbling. Some have even invented 
stories that I said the sun was up, but they must have been blinded 
by the Coleman lantern! We hit the trail for Rockhouse at first 
light (6:30am) with a brisk pace to ward off the cold. Coming from 
the west, the trail is uphill, then downhill to Manter Meadow, then 
a LOT downhill before it turns up to the saddle between 
Rockhouse Peak and White Dome. We cut off the trail before the 
saddle, intending to climb from between Rockhouse's twin peaks. 
That route goes as class 3 with maybe one class 4 move, but we 
had several people on their  first peak climb so we went around to 
the friction ramp on the e ast side. Lots of brush and some yucca 
between the trail and the peak, but the summit is stunning! This is 
the best view I've seen of the Domelands.

Back at the cars by 4pm, we wasted some serious time on a 
restaurant along the Kern before heading home via Bakersfield. 
Participants were Steve Eckert (leader), Alan Duvall, Nancy 
Fitzsimmons, Maggie Hudson, Ron Karpel, Rich Leiker, Arun 
Mahajan, Landa Robillard, and Jeff West. A very enjoyable crowd.

  -- Steve Eckert

Matterhorn Peak and Whorl Mountain 

August 2 & 3, 1997

Rich was the first one to reach the top of the headwall of the gully 
that we had been scrambling up, and as he topped out I heard a 
loud "Damn!  There's no where to go! We're lost!"  My heart sank.  
That was not what I wanted to hear, and was quite a comedown 
from the high expectations that we had held up to this point.  

After all, we had made reasonable time up Horse Creek Trail, in 
spite of losing the trail in some loose talus and flailing around a 
bit.  And the country (and Horse Creek in particular) is really quite 
pretty, there are a variety of nature's splendors on display.  There 
are stands of forest, marshy flats where the stream meanders a bit, 
steep hillsides where the creek cascades down, semi-alpine areas 
where a few trees and flowers mix with large boulders; and always 
looking down from above is the magnificence of Sawtooth Ridge 
(just a stunning view).

The last 1000 feet, however, did seem to drag on forever as we 
crossed over a very large field of medium-sized talus intermixed 
with several snowfields.  In fact, at the very end the pass seemed a 
very forbiding place.  There was no vegetation at this point and the 
walls were closing in on us as we approached the crest, with just 
the rock and the snow and a cold wind blowing through the pass 
itself.  However, we were rewarded for our perseverance when we 
popped through the narrow opening onto a sunlit, relatively flat, 
open expanse with the whole of northern Yosemite laid out before 
us.  It felt like we had just landed in a scene from The Sound Of 

We quickly made camp, and then 5 of us capitalized on our re-
energizing by heading up towards the summit of Matterhorn, 
which lifted up right over us. We cast about a bit but found a 
reasonable route, and very quickly summited.  The views all 
around were pretty amazing, and we spent a good deal of time 
savoring our success before dropping back down to a well-earned 
dinner and sleep.

On Sunday we split up. Three of us decided to forgo Whorl, 
preferring a more leisurely hike out in order to minimize the 
damage to some very sore knees.  Jeff, Rich and I opted to push 
on.  We got a relatively early start, but it seemed to take forever to 
get around Whorl to where we could find anything resembling a 
gully headed up into the massive formation.   We wound up 
getting too high, to where traversing around was difficult and we 
couldn't see the summit ridge, so we had to drop back down a bit 
to continue.  Then, finally, we spotted what seemed to be the ticket 
- a bonafide gully.  We headed up and after a lot of scrambling got 
up to the headwall.

OK, it was time to settle down and explore the options.  I climbed 
around a few boulders, then to a vantage point on the other side of 
the headwall.  There were some sandy ledges here that led back 
over to the north ridge of the peak (as mentioned by Secor), but 
they were partially covered by a large, steeply angled snow field 
which was still in shadow, making a traverse risky.  Then, after 
toying with the idea of some 4th class climbing along the back side 
of the ridge, we dropped back down into the gully and looked for a 
way to move into the next higher one.  Up and over we climbed.  
Then, deciding that this gully looked no better, we tried to go even 
further.  Again we found a way over into the next gully, and again 
it looked no better.  I was beginning to think that Rich was right, 
and now it appeared that some storm clouds were brewing to the 
south.  Besides, we had gullied ourselves out if one could believe 
Secor.  But there was still another possible route into yet another 
gully, so we tried it and could hardly believe our eyes when we 
saw what appeared to be Secor's fabled chockstone.  We climbed 
up to it, and it was.

But there were still clouds, and the day was getting late, so we bid 
farewell to the splendid views and headed back down.  We decided 
to go down the gully which was just above the one we ascended, 
which should have been the correct one according to Secor.  When 
we finally got to the bottom we discovered that we were just 30 
feet from the gully we had taken, and that the correct one 
(according to Secor) looked more like just a cleft in some rocks as 
opposed to the gully-looking one we took.  Oh well.

We arrived back at camp at about 4:00, then quickly packed up and 
headed out.  Thanks to the snowfields amongst the talus, we were 
able to make good time and got back to the cars by around 7:00.  
We got back home a bit late, but the trip was worth it.

Participants were Gary Jost, Rich Leiker, Jeff West, Carol 
Stickles, Jeanie Harsha, and your trusty scribe and leader Charles 

 -- Charles G. Schafer

Notes and Requests

*** Greetings From Your New Editor!

Greetings from your new SCREE editor! When the election 
committee was looking for PCS officers, they asked me if I would 
be willing to be the SCREE editor. After thinking about it for a 
few days, I decided to take up the challenge. I see this position as 
an opportunity to serve the PCS and to return favors to all of the 
trip leaders on whose trips I have been a participant. Since this is 
my first issue, it will probably be smaller than some of the others 
that you have seen. I want to run trip reports, but don't want to 
repeat any from previous issues.

For your convenience, I am relisting the proposed trips list so that 
you can do some advanced planning. Also I am relisting the 

Please let me know if there is anything that you would like to see 
included in the SCREE. I see a lot of articles, gear discussions  and 
trip reports on the E-mail list and sometimes it can be 
overwhelming to sort through it all so let me know if there is 
anything special you would like to see published here.

 -- Bob Bynum 

*** Proposed Winter Trips

The trips listed below were proposed at the Peak Climbing 
Section winter trip planning meeting on Tuesday, October 14. 
This list is intended to prevent trip scheduling conflicts and to 
help you plan your winter climbing schedule, not to enable 
people to sign up way in advance.

FOR THESE TRIPS. 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. 

If you are planning a trip, or if your plans for a trip on this list 
change, please contact the Trip Scheduler to keep this list up to 

 -- Arun Mahajan / arun@sentientnet.com

	Dec 13	Tomales Point (Pt. Reyes)	Van Gorden
	Dec 20-21	Tinker's Knob, Granite Chief	Eckert, Hult
	Jan  2-4	Mt. Morgan, Mt. Stanford (N)	Eckert, Taylor
	Jan 10-11	English Peak, Adams Peak	Eckert, Ramaker
	Jan 17-19	Pyramid Peak	Dyal
	Jan 24-25	Ventana Double Cones (Big Sur)	Kirkpatrick
	Feb  1	Junipero Serra Peak (Big Sur)	Mahajan
	Feb  7-8	Round Top	Van Gorden
	Mar  7-8	Destination TBA	Ress

*** McKinley Redux

I'm looking for a qualified partner(s) for another attempt at North 
America's highest peak. After two trips on the mountain, I'm 
practically a "guide,"  which simplifies planning.

Qualified partners MUST possess high altitude experience above 
20,000 ft, multiday expedition experience, have the right cold 
weather gear or be willing to purchase it, have adequate vacation 
time, XC ski (or be willing to learn) and not snore. First time 
want-to-be's will not be considered. Send email or call me at 408-
970-0760 home, 408-543-3135 work.

 -- Tim Hult 

*** Items for Sale

'97 North Face Lunar Light Tent: 2 person, 3 season, under 5 lbs, 
full warranty, fully seam sealed, like new, used one night -- $150 
(retail $245). Boreal Flyers approach shoes: size 9 U.S. men's, 
smooth soled sticky Fusion rubber, like new, used once to walk 
around the block -- $35. Garmont Sticky Weekend approach shoes: 
size 10.5 U.S. men's, very good condition, used for about a week 
in the Tetons -- $30 or $25 and a pint of good ale. Wanted:  Size 
10.5 Five Tennies.

 -- Jim Curl  415-585-1380

*** Crampon Quest

I'm looking for a decent used pair of strap-on flexible crampons for 
occasional use with my leather Raichle Mountain Guide boots. 
Please email me if you have a pair to sell.

 -- Aaron Grossman 

*** Andes and Himalayan Expeditions

I am looking for climbers interested in a summer 1998 trip to the 
Peruvian Andes. My intention is to focus on some of the more 
technical routes in the Cordillera Blanca, but I'm open for 
discussion on other objectives.

I am also interested in joining a Himalayan expedition in 1998. If 
you are planning a Himalayan expedition and are in need of 
another team member, please call 415-309-0570 or drop me a line 
at P.O. Box 8757, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546.

 -- Craig Clarence 


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

Elected Officials

	Roger  Crawley 
	650-321-8602  home
	761 Nash Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025

Vice Chair and Trip Scheduler:
	Arun Mahajan / arun@sentientnet.com
	408-244-7912 home, 408-473-8029 work,
	3770 Flora Vista Avenue, #904, Santa Clara, CA 95051

Treasurer and Membership Roster (address changes):
	Nancy Fitzsimmons/Nancy_Fitzsimmons@BayNetworks.com
	408-957-9683 home
	1025 Abbott Avenue, Milpitas, CA 95035

Appointed Positions

Scree Editor:
	Bob Bynum / rfbynum@aol.com
	510-659-1413 home/work 
	761 Towhee Court, Fremont CA 94539-7421

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

Subscriptions and Email List Info

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
or contact a human at . 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. 

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:
Jan 98: Hal Thompkins - Broad Peak 8000m:
Feb 98: Butch Suits - Skiing the High Sierra
Mar 98: Bob Denihe: 415-747-7135

Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 12/28/97.
Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month.

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