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Scree for October, 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.
                   October, 1997   Vol. 31, No. 10
    Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 10/26/97.

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

Date:		Tuesday, October 14
Time:		8pm, 7pm planning mtg
Program:	Yin and Yang of Denali

North America's highest peak is not your standard 
peak bagging trip! Over two weeks camped near the 
Arctic Circle on snow and ice, with blizzards, 
crevasses, and frozen toothpaste. one was stymied 
by the flu and the other was forced into a 6500' 
summit bid. Armchair mountaineers who someday 
intend to visit the frozen north must attend. Tim Hult 
and Steve Eckert will discuss planning an arctic 
adventure, and will show slides from the airstrip at 
350' to the summit at 20,320' (within sight of each 
other). Spectacular scenery includes the best view 
from a latrine we've seen on four continents.

Location: Western Mountaineering
          Town & Country Village, San Jose
((PDF version of EScree has a drawn map here)) 

Nominations for Officers

A friendly note from the PCS Nominating Committee! If you are 
interested in becoming an officer, or you know of someone who 
may be interested, please let us know by October 24.

Contact any one of us for a full and complete description of each 
officers' duties, or, visit the PCS website 
 to view a full 
description. Thank you! We are:

	Debbie Benham	650-964-0558	dmbenham@aol.com
	Debbie Bulger	408-457-1036	dfbulger@cruzio.com
	Bob Suzuki	408-259-0772	bobszk@pacbell.net

- PCS Nominating Committee

NOTE: As per the bylaws, the nominating committee is formally 
announced at the October meeting. If you don't like the Chair's 
choice of NomCom designees, you can vote from the floor to 
change them at that meeting. - Ed.

1997 PCS Fall/Winter Trip Planning Meeting

IMPORTANT!!! The 1997 Fall/Winter PCS Trip Planning meeting 
will be held Tuesday Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. at Western Mountaineering, 
just before the regular monthly PCS meeting at 8 p.m.

This is the meeting where trip leaders and prospective trip 
leaders gather to propose and schedule climbing trips for fall 
1997 and winter 1998. Anyone is welcome to attend. Bring your 
trip ideas, trip proposals, and any maps and guidebooks that 
would be useful. Hope to see you there!

- Jim Ramaker 

Sunset Clause

I've been asked by Warren Storkman to address the issue of 
outdated or forgotten operating rules and/or amendments to the 
PCS bylaws (sort of a "sunset clause" for things from the distant 
past). Currently, the PCS has two so-called Operating Rules in 
the official files. Others may have been adopted but not filed with 
the bylaws, and if so they have been lost to history! The PCS Binder 
contains no record of operating rules other than these relatively new 
 - Electronic Scree (EScree) Operating Rule, adopted June 1995
 - Publicity Committee Charter, adopted May 1996
Please consider the proposed bylaw amendment below, and be 
ready for a vote at the October meeting. Also, if you know 
of any operating rules other than the two above, please bring 
information (text of the rule, when it was adopted, etc) so 
we can get them back on the books!

Reason for the Bylaw Change:

It's not "badly" needed, but another Section found themselves in 
a situation where a few people thought some old bylaws existed 
for which there was no paper trail. An unsigned and undated 
copy was eventually found, but not until after a new set of 
bylaws were half drafted. We can avoid the tense times they 
went through by cleaning house when nothing is disputed.

For at least a few years before Debbie and Paul put the official 
PCS Binder together, our record keeping was awful. Now seems 
like as good a time as any to dig up or discard old paperwork.

- Steve Eckert

*** Proposed Bylaw Addition:

Article IX, Section 2. Amendments or standing rules 
which modify or clarify these bylaws shall be signed 
by the Section Chair, attached to a printed and signed 
copy of the bylaws, and kept on file at the Loma 
Prieta Chapter offices. Each amendment or standing 
rule must be accompanied by a record of when the final 
vote was taken. Those amendments or standing rules not 
so documented are revoked as of December 1997.

*** Current Bylaws (complete Article VIII and IX):

ARTICLE VIII. Operating Rules

Section 1. Rules for making more explicit the operating 
procedures of the Section may be adopted or modified by the 
following method. Rules as defined in this article shall not be in 
conflict with the By-Laws.

        a. A proposed rule shall be presented at a duly constituted 
meeting of the Section for discussion.

        b. Upon approval of the proposed rule by a majority of 
those members present, the proposed rule shall be published in 
the next issue of the Section newsletter.

        c. The proposed rule may then be adopted or rejected by a 
majority vote at the next duly constituted meeting of the Section.

ARTICLE IX. Amendments

Section 1. These By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority 
of the Peak Climbing Section members present at a duly constituted 
meeting of the Section prior to submission of the amendment to the 
Executive Committee of the Loma Prieta Chapter for approval, 
provided that the proposed amendment is published in the Section 
newsletter immediately preceding the meeting.

Split Mountain, Mt. Tinemaha

A spectacular photograph of Split Mountain appears on page 
174 of Secor. I first saw this California 14er from the summit of 
Cardinal last year. With my new 4WD truck, Split was at the top 
of my list for 1997. We summitted on June 29. Everything you 
have read about the difficulty of the road to the trailhead is true. 
Only worse. Be prepared.

Since Secor calls Split the easiest of the 14ers after Whitney, I 
was not prepared for the (easy) third class section. Apparently 
Secor was referring to the West approach or perhaps the 
approach from Red Lake without the snow. At any rate, the 
difficulty of the rock induced me to change our plans to cross to 
the west side with full packs. After a mixed climb on snow and 
rock, four of the participants summitted. Climbers were Robert 
Evans, Arun Mahajan, David Wright, Richard Stover and 
Debbie Bulger. Robert, Arun, and David hiked out after the 
climb and two did the PCS wee hour drive back to the Bay area.

Since Richard and I were staying to climb Tinemaha, we did not 
rush back to camp. At about 12,000' on the way down as we 
were filling our water bottles, we heard a clatter. To our horror 
we saw a four-foot-diameter boulder crashing toward us. 
Dropping everything, we dashed at right angles to the fall line. 
The surge of adrenaline was powerful. The block bounced and 
came to a crashing halt about 40' from where our packs lay.

The next day we left base camp at Red Lake to climb Tinemaha, 
but were blown off our feet twice by the fierce wind. We bailed 
and spent the day inside our tent. It was like a scene from the 
English Patient (the sand storm, not the love scene). Dust was 
everywhere--in our noses, in our hair, in our sleeping bags. It 
was the Sahara; It was Shasta in a winter storm; It was not fun.

What a difference a day makes. The next day we summitted 
Tinemaha. Windless, calm, placid. Beautiful red, green, white 
rocks. On top were bivy sites with smooth white river rocks 
larger than softballs. Definitely not from this mountain. Who 
carried the river rocks to the summit? Were they carried by 
Indian youths on their vision quests? Later, I stopped by the 
Piute Cultural Center in Bishop (on the Bishop Creek Road) and 
asked if they knew. The Indian woman I spoke with did not 
know about the rocks but said she would ask some of the tribal 
elders. I'll check on the answer another time.

- Debbie Bulger

Reeling on Virginia

There we were on the exposed ridge between Virginia and 
Stanton. It was not a place for someone with tremophobia. Our 
hearts were in our mouths. We quivered like aspen leaves. To 
the north the ridge dropped away for five hundred feet. To the 
south, the same. Most people choose to climb either the face or 
from the Twin-Virginia Saddle where in winter it is possible to 
ski the route. But with courage undaunted, we six resolute 
PCSers, reeking of chutzpah, shooting with spunk, armed with 
backbone and good old-fashioned guts. We. . . --hey, wait a 
minute, I'm not one of the testosterone crew.

Take two. On a clear August day we traversed the exposed third 
class ridge between Virginia and Stanton. Our goal was to 
ensure that everyone in the party made the summit. To achieve 
this, we alternated confident with less confident climbers and 
provided support when asked. We all made it. Climbers were 
Bob Bynum, Greg McDonell, Milushe Kudnrnovska, Arun 
Mahajan, Richard Stover and Debbie Bulger, leader.

After lounging on the summit for about an hour, we returned to 
Return Lake via the Twin-Virginia saddle, packed up and hiked 
back to the trailhead. We especially enjoyed exploring the stamp 
mill ruins and miners cabin on the east side of Virginia Pass. 
The mountain pennyroyal was particularly fragrant that 
weekend. It was a lovely trip. 

- Debbie Bulger

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.

*** Mt. Diablo Conditioning Hike
Peak:	Mt. Diablo (3,849')	class 1
Date:	Oct 18 	Sat
Leader:	Vreni Rau	510-582-5578
Co-Leader: Debbie Benham 650-964-0558 dmbenham@aol.com

No ice axe or crampons required!! Enjoy a hike up this grand 
devil mountain. We'll meet at Macedo Ranch parking area at 9 
a.m. and follow the Summit Trail to the top. Expect about 14 
miles and a total 3300' elevation gain. Carpool point in Milpitas at 
Highway 237 and Hillview (Bank of America parking lot), leaving 
at 8:15 a.m.

*** An Unkosher Mountain
Peaks:	Needham, Sawtooth (S), Vandever	class 2
Dates:	Oct 18-19	Sat-Sun
Maps:	Mineral King 15 min. or Mineral King 7.5 min.
Leader:	 Aaron Schuman	H 650-984-9184
	schuman@sgi.com	W 650-933-1901

Only one week after purging our souls on Yom Kippur, we Need 
Ham again. Saturday, we'll acclimatize on Vandever Peak 
(11,947' class 2), and steel ourselves for Sunday's spectacular 
but arduous ascent of Need Ham Mountain (12,520' class 3). 
Before dawn lifts the frost off Mineral King valley, we'll light out for 
Crystal Lake. After a challenging crossing of Crystal Pass, we'll 
descend to Amphitheater Lake and climb the southern slopes of 
Need Ham. If time and energy permit, we'll traverse the mile long, 
airy, class-3 ridge to Sawtooth Peak (12,343' class 2), then 
descend via Sawtooth Pass and Monarch Lake. We're going to 
gain and lose 5800 vertical feet on Sunday, so be prepared for a 
merciless workout! Severe snow postpones this trip until fall 1998.

*** Kern Connector
Peaks:	Angora, Coyote, Eisen, Lippincott	class 2
Dates:	Oct 20-23	Mon-Thu
Maps:	Kern Peak, Triple Divide Peak (15' topos)
Leader:	Steve Eckert	650-508-0500	eckert@netcom.com

If you've ever wanted to be deep in the Sierra during fall colors 
and without bugs, or if you've ever wondered what the Kern River 
looked like at 7000', this is the trip for you! Timed to follow 
Schuman's Vandever/Needham trip, we'll continue over Black 
Rock Pass and climb Eisen (12,160' class 2) and Lippincott 
(12,260' class 2) from Little Five Lakes. Continuing down Big 
Arroyo, it's a long gentle walk through the glacially carved Kern 
Canyon to Coyote (10,892' class 2) and Angora (10,202' class 
2), then over to meet Bob Suzuki's group on their dayhike of 
Moses and Maggie. One-way hiking means we can get some 
remote peaks without as much mileage.

*** Moses Rockhouse
Peaks:	Maggie, Moses, Rockhouse, Taylor, Sirretta
Maps:	Mineral King, Lamont Peak, Kernville topos
Dates:	Oct 24-26	Fri-Sun
Leader:	Bob Suzuki after 8 pm: 408-259-0772 bobszk@pacbell.net
Co-Leader: Steve Eckert 650-508-0500 eckert@netcom.com

From Mountain Home State Park, we'll do a long dayhike of North 
Moses (9,331' class 3) and Maggie (10,235' class 1) on Friday. 
Then we'll caravan down to Big Meadow (off Cherry Hill near 
Sherman Pass) for Saturday dayhikes of Taylor (8,774' class 2) 
and Sirretta (9,977' class 1) with the people who could not take 
Friday off work. Sunday we'll walk over to Rockhouse (8,383' 
class 2) and head home. Car camping means we can travel fast and 
light, and it also means you can choose whether to do all the peaks.

*** Whitney the Easy Way
Peak:	Mt. Whitney (14,495')	class 1
Dates:	Oct 24-26	Fri-Sun
Leader:	George Van Gorden	408-779-2320

Climb Mt. Whitney by the regular trail; enough of that 
mountaineers stuff. We will spend Friday night at Outpost Camp 
at about 10,300', and on Saturday start early and go all the way 
to the top. Back to the cars before noon on Sunday. Significant 
snow in the days preceding will cancel.

*** Newcomer Navigation Class
Dates:	Nov. 13 (class 7:30-9pm)	Thu
	Nov. 15 (field trip)	Sat
Leader:	Noreen Ford	415-568-0329
Co-Leader:	Debbie Benham	650-964-0558

Interested in going cross-country in the wilderness? Lost your 
way and would like to return to camp? Which way is north? Find 
the answers to these and other questions at our introductory, 
right-brained, low-tech navigation class. Learn how to use the 
stars, maps (AAA, Forest Service, topographic), and a compass 
to find your way, not only to the trailhead and to the top of a peak, 
but back again in one piece before dark! We'll have an in-town 
evening session on Thu. Nov. 13, 7:30 - 9 p.m. at Linda Smith's 
house in Palo Alto. Following that we'll have a hands-on field trip 
to Henry Coe State Park, Sat. Nov. 15. If interested, please call.

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.

*** Climb Nevada
Peaks:	Wheeler, Boundary, Montgomery
Dates:	Oct 8-12	Wed-Sun
Contact:	Tony Cruz	408-944-2003
Co-Contact:	Pat Ibbetson	pkibbetson@ucdavis.edu

We will rendezvous in East Sierra and drive to Wheeler Peak 
(13,063') near Las Vegas. It is the second highest peak in 
Nevada, and glaciated. We hope to tour the famous nearby 
Lehman Caves before we drive to the White Mountains and climb 
Boundary (13,161'), the highest peak in Nevada, and adjacent 
Montgomery, which is in California, next to White Mountain.

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

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.

Safety, Philosophy, and HAM

I wish to comment on the assertion that the drive one does to get 
to the mountains is more hazardous than the climb. I believe 
mountaineering is far, far, more hazardous than driving. 
Statistically, by my figuring it is one of the most hazardous 
things one can do. I am aware of 9 mountain deaths in the last 
15 years of people I have been on climbing trips with. This is 
out of only a few hundreds of people. Also I know about another 
7 who were friends of people I go with. Assuming 9 out of 900 = 
1% odds of dying. Very bad odds! If 1% of U.S. drivers (150M?) 
were killed, this would be 15M auto deaths in 15 years = 1 
million per year rather then actual 30-50,000 auto death rate. So, 
the bottom line in the mountains is that you have some tough 
odds to overcome. Gravity kills! Safety, experience, level-headedness 
and being prepared for the worst-case are the words to follow.

And why do I still engage in this risky behavior? Well, maybe I 
think it won't happen to me because I do it better than the other 
person. I imagine a lot think that way, including the expired 
climbers (peacefully rest their souls). But I still take the risks 
such as climbing alone and going for the summit in bad weather. 
Those risky situations are times that I have really experienced 
life's maxima! Those are the memories I live (I hope not to die) 
for. They are the thrill, the energy, the vivid scenes that make 
life a pleasure. I like the great feeling of knowing I came 
through a difficult situation, if not mastered it, and am all the 
more savvy for the next time.

So the trick is to get the most of those of the adrenaline-filled 
experiences while staying alive and uninjured. That is where the 
experience and training come in. Get all you can. The best 
training is in a real situation; close enough to death or injury to 
be the real thing and still live unscathed to have that vivid 
memory to know the best thing to do the next time. Expose your 
self to semi-risky situations to build that genuine experience. I 
think it is okay to fall on a slightly risky snow slope, self-arrest 
and have the pride that I know I have the reaction to save my life 
on a real dangerous slope. Also, I have taken the risk of a 
proceeding in the face of a likely bivouac with minimal or no 
equipment, and emerged from the bivouac all the better and wiser.

One other caveat I have followed, is to err on the conservative side in 
the younger years. If you make the mistake of going past the error 
margin when older, you have already lived much of that good life. 
But make the error when young, you will miss out on those future, 
smarter years; that would be sad. Life can be a build-up to better 
more adventuresome and smarter experiences, until one is physically 
unable to keep up with them. Then nature can claim me.

So much on philosophy. I want to add that I think HAM 
RADIOS are great to use in the mountains. They should not be a 
crutch to put you in places you wouldn't go otherwise because 
they can fail. Don't trust your life to a radio. But it adds a 
another margin of safety to overcome that unplanned situation 
that puts your life in danger. It supplements the other important 
safety items such as extra clothing, extra food, roll of tape, bivy 
bag, mirror, lighter, etc. The ham radio also is fun, especially 
when I am alone. Another reason to go to the summit and spend 
time there. On top of Mt. Bolton Brown three weeks ago I talked 
to fellow in Santa Maria through a repeater in Coalinga - 125 
miles distant! All with my tiny two-way radio weighing less than 
one pound.

- Ron Hudson 

Domes In the Distance

June 14-15, 1997: On the rugged bushwack down Tenaya 
Canyon last fall, Kai Wiedman waxed poetic about the beauty of 
nearby Cherry Creek Canyon. Figuring the trip would be 
worthwhile even if it was half as scenic as Kai described, I 
eagerly signed up for his trip. The participants were fearless 
leader Kai Wiedman, Cecil Ann, Jim Ramaker, Jeff West, and 
your loyal scribe David Harris.

The trip had a wet start Friday night as a lone cloud hung over 
the Cherry Lake region about midnight and sprinkled on us. 
Evidently the cloud was periodically relieved as intermittent 
sprinkles continued through the night, but Saturday morning we 
awoke to clear blue sky.

We met at the parking lot for the Kibbie Ridge trailhead at 8 am 
Saturday morning. The lot can be reached by taking 120 toward 
Yosemite. A few miles before entering the park, take a left at 
the sign for Cherry Lake and San Jose Camp. Curve down the 
road for about 24 miles, then continue across the dam on Cherry 
Lake. Shortly after the dam, make a left at the sign for Trailhead 
Parking. The Kibbie Ridge trailhead is about four miles down 
the road and the ranger had assured Kai that the road was open, 
but we discovered the road blocked off at a parking lot only a 
mile from Cherry Lake. We had to hike the next three miles up 
the road to the proper trailhead. The only damage on the road 
were two rutted areas that most vehicles could handle and a ten 
foot section more severely washed out. It looked like the road 
could be repaired in a short time with a bulldozer; we wondered 
if the Forest Service just had too many other washed out roads in 
the repair queue or if they intended to cut access to the region.

After reaching the trailhead, we had an eleven mile walk along 
the Emigrant / Yosemite border through pleasant but 
unremarkable terrain to Lord Meadow. The bugs were 
moderately bad, but were beaten into submission by an 
afternoon shower. As the trail turned down into the meadow, we 
got a grand view of the granite amphitheater through which the 
creek flowed. I'd never seen such a large expanse of rounded, 
glacially polished granite studded with domes everywhere I 

We descended to the creek and turned downstream, traversing 
an exciting sloping slab hideously exposed above the roaring 
water. Worried about finding good camping further down the 
canyon, we stopped in a scenic spot about a mile from Lord 
Meadow about 5:00 just before the rain resumed. When the rain 
stopped, we enjoyed dinner as clouds swirled among the domes 
and the sun peeped through once again. The highlight of dinner 
was when Jeff surprised us with a strawberry shortcake, 
complete with fresh strawberries and whip cream!

Sunday began at 6:30 with a marvelous ten mile cross-country 
descent of Cherry Creek Canyon, at least three quarters as 
beautiful as Kai had promised. The stream roared along beside 
us, dropping down countless cascades, and appeared uncrossable 
in almost all sections. Each bend we turned brought new domes 
into sight. The route is conveniently marked on the Wilderness 
Press Emigrant Wilderness map. Evidently it can be difficult to 
find and very tedious when lost, but we managed to pick a good 
path the entire way, staying very close to the stream the entire 
way except when forced away by a narrow gorge and near the 
very end when we turned up toward the trailhead. The upper 
part of the canyon is consistently beautiful, with reddish granite 
in many places and excellent walking. Our concerns about good 
camping were unfounded; in every mile there was at least one 
excellent spot. The lower half of the canyon got brushier and 
required climbing up and around numerous rock obstacles with 
occasional third class moves, but still had copious wildflowers 
and excellent views from time to time. In the lower portion, I 
nearly stepped on a large rattlesnake coiled sleeping on my path and 
Cecil stepped over a baby rattlesnake without even noticing. We also 
saw a large black bear laying on its side dead in Cherry Creek. 
Perhaps it slipped into the rapids and was carried downstream.

The route leaves the creek about a mile before Cherry Lake and 
climbs a thousand feet through dense forest back to the road. We 
took a bearing on a shoulder of the canyon at 140 degrees and 
fortunately found a series of rocks, animal paths, and clearings 
which reached the shoulder with a minimum of the terrible 
bushwacking Kai had done on a previous trip when staying too 
close to the cliffs on the left. We amazingly came out right at the 
switchback in the road and concluded the trip with a boring and 
buggy walk back to the cars. Just as we hit the cars at 4:00 a 
fierce downpour cut loose.

Overall, Cherry Creek Canyon was a very interesting lesser-
known cross-country route. Most PCS groups will find it a solid 
but reasonable two-day trip covering 28 miles (if the road is still 
closed) and only modest elevation gain. Three days gives more 
time to loiter in the canyon and take in each cascade.

- David L. Harris

Too Tired to Climb It, Too Close to Pass It Up

July 31 - August 21, 1997: David Harris and I decided to take a 
long walk this summer. The JMT, if followed 100% on trail, is 
211 miles long. We took a few scenic and not-too-scenic 
detours, making our mileage total closer to 250; we still found 
this to be a pretty mild pace over 3 weeks. Lack of food and 
motivation kept us on the trail most of the time, but along the 
way we managed to climb Columbia Finger, Donahue Peak, Mt. 
Izaac Walton, Mt. Reinstein, Saddlehorn, Mt. Ruskin, Arrow 
Peak, Fin Dome, Mt. Clarence King, Mt. Cotter, Mt. Gardiner, 
Mt. Hale, and Mt. Young.

Following is a description of 3 climbs, which do not have 
descriptions in Secor or Roper. The other peaks above were 
climbed using Secor/Roper descriptions, without incident.

1. Mt. Rienstein and the Goddard Creek Canyon. After walking 
up Goddard Canyon, we climbed Mt. Reinstein, which was easy 
class 2 from Martha Lake. Then the real fun began. David, 
whose cross country ideas got more "creative" as he became 
delirious from insufficient calories, came up with a decent down 
the drainage south of Mt. Reinstein to the Middle Fork of the 
Kings River. Unknown territory, several thousand foot drop, at 
least 10 miles. I was powerless to resist.

This canyon is unnamed, but contains Goddard Creek. The first 
6 miles or so are rough but OK, compared with what faced us 
below. The last 3 miles before the Kings River contained 
extremely heavy bushwacking, through chest high manzanita 
and thorn bushes, often forcing us to stumble down in the now 
raging creek. This route involves heavy losses of skin and morale, 
and I can't think of a good reason for any human being to be there.

2. Traverse from Saddlehorn to Mt. Ruskin. This is a fun 4th 
class traverse on good rock. Saddlehorn is the impressive spike 
of rock seen to the west from Taboose Pass, and as we were 
camped directly beneath it we had to give it a try. Climbing 
Saddlehorn itself involved a few short pitches of solid 5.4ish 
rock on its east side. The ridge from there was all 4th class, as is 
curves around from Saddlehorn south to become the north ridge 
of Mt. Ruskin. We were forced off the ridge a few times to keep 
the route 4th class, but the climbing was straightforward and we 
simul-climbed most of it to the summit of Mt. Ruskin. Both 
summits took about 7 hours round trip from our camp by the 
headwaters of the Kings River beneath Saddlehorn.

3. Traverse from Mt. Clarence King to N and S peaks of Mt. 
Cotter. After an uneventful climb of the South Face of CK, we 
decided to try the traverse south along the ridge to Mt. Cotter. 
This ridge looks very dramatic from 60 Lakes Basin, with 
several deep notches, but we had the rest of the afternoon and 
though it might go. By staying on or near the ridge, we managed 
to summit both the N and S summits of Mt. Cotter. The 
climbing was 90% 3/4th class, never got above the 5.3ish range, 
but was hideously exposed the whole way. It also involved 2 short 
rappels to get around the 2 largest notches on the ridge. We were 
back in camp by 4pm, after starting that morning at 6:30am.

This traverse was extremely fun, quick, and the rock was good. 
It also avoids the class 2 scree-fest of the easy route on the south 
side of Mt. Cotter. The traverse and summit marked another of a 
remarkable string of climbs done by Hiep Nguyen (he had 
walked in to climb with us for the weekend), who climbs only in 
Teva sandals and in most cases refuses to use a rope for 
climbing or rapelling. You have to see it to believe it.

- Craig Clarence

Towering Weekend

I lead a private climb of Tower Peak on Labor Day weekend, 
August 30-Sept. 1, 1997. On Saturday, August 30, we left 
Leavitt Meadows Trailhead and headed south, hiking 22km 
south through several meadow systems, over gently rising 
terrain. On our journey towards the peak, we were treated to a 
stunning, picture perfect view of Tower Peak rising above the 
golden meadows. It was easy to imagine that we were a party of 
Pioneers emigrating on foot to Sonora.

Then we traveled an additional 2km, this time up a steeper trail 
and camped near a meadow just below Tower Lake. On Sun., 
Aug.31 we climbed the trail past beautiful Tower Lake and up 
past the snowbank to a saddle on the north side of Tower. Then 
we moved east to avoid another snowfield (the snowfields were 
too hard to cross in the early morning without crampons.) 
Following the ridgeline, we found a series of well traveled use 
trails over sandy ledges and ramps that led us to within 100 
meters of the summit. We turned left, at the class three chute, 
and climbed it to the top, where we enjoyed the clear view of 
northern Yosemite, Ritter, Banner.

The mountain is wondrously free of poor quality rock. It sports 
the best quality handholds. It is truly a pleasure to climb. 
Permits are self-registration at trailhead and are free.

- Don Martin

Notes and Requests

*** PCS Web Pages Search Feature

The PCS World Wide Web index page (and its text only mirror) 
now includes a link to the Excite search engine. Hop over to 
Excite, and you can search for keywords and concepts in all the 
pages on the web server that hosts the PCS web site.

I searched for the concept "bergschrund" and found it in four 
issues of Scree and eleven trip reports, including classic stories 
of daring PCS climbers overcoming tremendous bergschrund 
obstacles, like "Stalwart 7 Successfully Summit North Palisade", 
by Peter Maxwell, and "From Sea to Shining Summit: Mount 
Marcus Baker", by Steve Eckert.

Tip: Include "PCS" in your list of search concepts. That will help 
exclude non-PCS pages that also reside on the same web server. 
If you haven't rappelled down to the PCS web site lately, it's 
time to make another visit to


- Aaron Schuman 

*** Trailhead Shuttle Service

Year-Round trailhead shuttle service is available. Advance 
reservations are requested to guarantee service for the Eastern 
Sierra Nevada range, including all trailheads for the entire Inyo 
National Forest. I charge from the time I leave my base, which is 
in Bishop CA, until I drop my customers off.

Example: Bishop Pass to Piute pass. (Bishop to Bishop Pass 20 
miles, Bishop Pass to Piute Pass 20 miles. Plus each trip 
includes a base fee of $20.00) Cost $60.00.

If I explain that the price is based on $1.00 per mile It means 
from my base to drop off, plus base fee. This price is for 1-4 
people. If there is more people in the group (I can generally 
handle up to 10) the price may vary. Plus, if I can group 2 or 
more sets of packers together to combine a trip, this will save 
them $$. Hopefully this winter I will get a web page set-up. If 
you know of any one who is willing to trade Shuttle Service for 
web page design Please give them my e-mail address.

With my web page I'd like to have a reservation form to submit. 
To enable early reservations. In the meantime, contact me at 
Kountry Korners Shuttle Service, P.O. Box 1476, Bishop CA 
93515. Toll free 800-872-0316 or local 760 872-4411.

- Candi Williams 

*** Snow Camping Training

The Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter Snowcamping 
Section offers a snow camping and winter preparedness training 
course. It's carefully presented and students are well monitored. 
It consists of a Saturday seminar, an overnight and then a three 
day trip. A student can opt for additional late winter trips or 
other winter training by becoming an assistant. Check it out at


- Albert Pastine 

*** Official Secor Website

Sierra Nevada peak climbers rely on R.J. Secor's guide book, 
"The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes and Trails" (The Mountaineers, 
1992). In among all the useful route descriptions, there are a few 
errors. The PCS web site now includes a repository of 
corrections to Secor. After you read [the first edition of] this 
guide book, but before you climb, consult


The first entries on the Secor pages contain information I 
gleaned from 1997 PCS trip reports, but updates depend on you. 
Send me your observations. What are the discrepancies between 
the guide book and the mountains? Where was it easy to go 
astray? What route did you climb that was complicated enough 
to deserve more detail than the guide book provided? What do 
you wish someone had told you before you made your last trip?

The Secor web pages have been authorized by R.J. Secor and his 
publisher, The Mountaineers. Secor will use our updates when 
he writes his second edition. [We will forward all entries to him 
via his publisher.]

But just one caveat about guide books (and errata web sites): 
Nothing written in any book can substitute for your own ability 
to understand the terrain and topography of the area you travel 
in. You must make wise route finding choices based on your 
own knowledge, experience, and observations.

- Aaron Schuman  650-933-1901

*** Weather Report Web Pages

All can turn to my Gordie's Sierra page


for many web resources pertinent to the Sierra Nevada. There 
are a handful of basic weather links which of course lead to a 
multitude of other satellite, radar, and text weather info. Not 
posted on the Gordie page is a great site, North American 
Organized Weather Links:


Click on "Models", then scroll and click on MRF Models; Ten-
Day Precipitation Outlook USA for good predictions up to ten 
days out. There are also a wealth of other outstanding weather 
stats at this site. I am not responsible for poor modeling nor 
recommending these sites to you!! Always use good judgment.

- Michael Gordon 

*** Tompkins Summits 8000er

Congratulations to Hal Tompkins, who summitted Broad Peak in 
Pakistan recently. I don't think he is currently in the PCS right 
now, but he served as a PCS member and trip leader until the 
early 80s and has been very active in the RCS for many years. I 
believe he's giving a slide show on the climb for the PCS in 

To my knowledge, this is the first PCS member, past or present, 
who has climbed an 8000er. Or is (are) there others?

- Butch Suits 

*** The KJV: On Burying Your Waste

Deuteronomy 23:13-14 says, in the King James Version, "And 
thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when 
thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt 
turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: For the Lord 
thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to 
give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be 
holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee."

A modern translation might read "You must carry a trowel, and 
when you shit in the woods you must dig a hole with the trowel 
and bury your shit. The Forest Ranger will visit once in a blue 
moon to see if you need a rescue and to check your permit, and 
if he sees unburied shit or toilet paper he will cite you."

*** Screaming "Aaaiyee!" is Bad Form

My brother told me this story about Robert Underhill. No idea if 
it's true or if it was lifted straight from the latest edition of 
*Crag Rat Weekly*. If you haven't heard it yet, it goes 
something like this:

Underhill was on U-Notch in the Palisades (so I think the story 
goes), and was climbing the easy ground above the (rather large 
and intimidating) Bergschrund when he fell. He tried but failed 
to self-arrest. As he shot over the lip of Bergschrund chasm, he 
was heard to exclaim: "Here I go to Hell!" Broke his ankle and 
spent the summer brooding and sandbagging his friends.

My brother says this an example of good style. Screaming 
"Aaaiyee!" as you rap off the end of your rope, he says, is an example 
of very poor style. Whenever anything unexpected happens while I 
am climbing, I have taken to yelling "Here I go to Hell!" just in 
case they're my last words. Well, the guy who owns the gym 
asked me to please stop because it was giving him an ulcer.

- Andreas Lehnert 

*** 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 

*** Driving The Cost Down

Did you know driving alone is the MOST expensive way to get 
to [the mountains]? According to AAA, it costs about 37 cents 
PER MILE to drive alone. This figure includes all the costs: gas, 
tolls, parking, maintenance, and wear and tear on your car. It can 
add up to thousands of dollars a year!

By using any of these commute alternatives, even occasionally, 
you'll not only save money, you'll save time and stress by not 
driving alone. Contact us for a FREE consultation: email 
, call (800) 755-POOL, or on the web at


*** Tahoe-Donner Ski Cabin

Need another member or two for a Tahoe area (Northwoods 
Blvd) ski cabin. Flat rate for the entire season. Send email or 
call me at 408-970-0760 home, 408-543-3135 work.

- Tim Hult 

*** Chapter Affiliation

Deliberating changing Chapter affiliation? If you're considering 
this, here is the procedure. There is no problem to change 
chapter affiliation, and how to do it is no secret. Send your 
request to:

	Lori Ives 

Supply the following information:

	To what chapter do you currently belong?

	Where do you live (your current address)?

	What is your Club membership number?

	What Chapter do you want to affiliate with?

- Mark Adrian 

*** Aconcagua Home Page

If there are something I can do for people with questions about 
Aconcagua, let me know and I will try to answer as soon as 
possible. (webmaster, official home page of Mount Aconcagua)


- Mariano Soler 

*** Northern Sierra Peaks Guide

A guide to the peaks in the Tahoe area (see "Tahoe Peaks List" 
item in the September Scree) has been put together by Pete 
Yamagata. His book, "Northern Sierra Peaks Guide" contains 
trailhead directions and route descriptions for 72 peaks. Even 
though most of these peaks are class 1 or 2, advanced 
mountaineers can enjoy climbing them in winter with the help of 
"Winter Ski Ascent" notes included with each description. 
Available for $11 including postage, from, Toiyabe Chapter, 
Sierra Club, P. O. Box 8096, Reno, NV 89507. Sierra Club 
members who provide their membership number get a one dollar 
discount. The only complaint I have is the lack of an 
alphabetical index. Call me at 650-969-2695 if you would like a 
copy of the index.

- Dinesh Desai

*** I Am NOT Frightened of Dying!

Based on what you know about him in history books, what do 
you think Abraham Lincoln would be doing if he were alive today?

  Writing his memoirs of the Civil War,
  Advising the President, or
  Desperately clawing at the inside of his coffin.
- David Letterman

For three days after death, hair and fingernails continue to grow 
but phone calls taper off.

- Johnny Carson


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-news
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.

Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 10/26/97.
Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month.

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