Home | Scree | Back Issues

Scree for July, 1998

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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.
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     This publication may not be posted on any public news group.
                    July, 1998  Vol. 32, No. 7
     Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 7/26/98.
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[note: Clair Tappan trips mistakenly included in the hardcopy Scree
were dropped from the EScree... leaders do not have documentation on
file with the PCS MtnComm according to the Chair. Contact Dick Simpson
if you are interested in ski hut work trips. Those of you receiving the
hardcopy Scree should not regard the hut trips as official PCS trips.
I apologize for allowing the hardcopy Scree to run over budget by
not catching the extra page in time. -- Steve Eckert, PubComm Chair]


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Next general meeting (PCS meetings are the second tuesday of each month)
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Date:   Tuesday, July 14, 1998
Time:   6:30 PM Start charcoal
        7:00 PM Start BBQ
        8:00 PM Start of meeting
Program: BBQ and SWAP MEET

Bring your own main course to BBQ and your own
liquid refreshment (alcohol IS allowed) and a side dish
to share for the potluck. A $2.00 donation will cover
the picnic area and charcoal.

Electrical outlets are available at the table. Kids play
area is 20 yards away. Bring your summer trip reports
and mark your extra equipment for the swap meet with
your name and a price.

Location: Junipero Serra Park, Sunnyvale, CA,
USA, North America, Planet Earth, Solar
System, Milky Way Galaxy

From I-280 turn North on DeAnza Blvd. in Cupertino
then left on Homestead then right on Hollenbeck. The
park is on your left.

From I-85 turn East on Fremont then South on
Hollenbeck. The park is on your right.

A 90 person picnic area is 20 yards from the parking
lot between the 2 sets of tennis courts. Park or unload
here. Extra parking is 1/2 block away on the North side
of the park and 1 block away on the West side.

Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday
7/26/98. Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month.


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Trail Repair
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Pacific Crest Trail Repair
Tahoe National Forest
Date: July 17-20
Contact: Larry Krumm, 408/270-4513

Would you like to repair the wilderness?  I am leading a work party
July 17-20 in the Tahoe National Forest.  A party of 12 (including a
cook) will work form a 'car camp' basecamp to clear logs and
restore tread to the Pacific Crest Trail. Cost: nothing. Food for the
whole trip is included.


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PCS Policy on Official Sanction for Advanced Trips
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A PCS leader may lead official trips that need the use of
'mountaineering hardware' (ropes, ice axes, carabiners and the
like). These would be either/or trips that are class 4 and above and
trips in the snow that need at least an axe.

1. Submit to either Arun or Kelly or Peter, the trip description in
an application form.

2. The mountaineering committee members and Hal Tompkins
(the PCS MC and Hal form the chapter Mountaineering Oversight
Committee) will then approve/disapprove of the trip based on the
plans, leader qualification for that class of trip.

3. The chapter MOC then informs the leader of the
approval/disapproval and sends the information to the national MOC.

4. The national MOC informs the chapter MOC of its approval.

5. Chapter MOC tells leader of approval.

6. Leader asks all participants to fill waiver forms and approves
qualified participants. This may be done while awaiting national
MOC approval.

7. After the trip is done, a list of all trip participants (sign in sheet
including names/address/sierra club membership number of all
participants) and the liability release signed by all participants
should be sent to Cathy Benton at the address on the top of the
application form. A trip report has to be sent to the chair of the
PCS Mountaineering Committee as well.

8. The approval process is expected to take six weeks at least, so
please plan to apply accordingly.

9. The training trip application form, general trip application form,
sign in sheet and liability release are available on the PCS web site
at these URLs:

http://www.sierraclub.org/chapters/lomaprieta/pcs/Organization/app-trn1.pdf

http://www.sierraclub.org/chapters/lomaprieta/pcs/Organization/applicat.pdf

http://www.sierraclub.org/chapters/lomaprieta/pcs/Organization/liabrel.pdf

http://www.sierraclub.org/chapters/lomaprieta/pcs/Organization/signin.pdf

If you need more detail, contact the PCS mountaineering committee:

Arun Mahajan arun@sentientnet.com, 650 327-8598
Kelly Maas maas@idt.com, 408-279-2054
Peter Maxwell peterm@aoraki.dtc.hp.com, 408-737-9770

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Official (PCS) Trips
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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.


Twin Peaks
Peak:   Twin Peaks 12,240 class 3
Dates:  Jul. 25 - Jul. 26
Leaders:        Debbie Bulger   408-457-1036
        Arun Mahajan    408-244-7912

Last year we climbed Virginia Peak. This year we are going back to
get Twin. The trail from near Bridgeport leads us through amazingly
beautiful country over Virginia Pass and into Virginia Canyon. I
suspect the wildflowers will be spectacular this year. Perhaps the
exposure will be equally spectacular. It may depend on the snow
level.


Matterhorn Peak
Peak:   Matterhorn Peak (12,279), class-2
Dates:  July 25-26
Maps:   Matterhorn Peak
Leader: Ron Karpel rkarpel@usa.net
Co-Leader and Contact : Nancy Fitzsimmons
Nancy_Fitzsimmons@BayNetworks.com       (408) 957-9683

This is a loop trip. Saturday we will start from Twin Lakes, take the
Robinson Creek trail and camp in Little Slide Canyon. Sunday we
will climb the peak by the Southwest slope and return to Twin
Lakes via Horse Creek. This trip is suitable for strong backpackers
and hikers with a desire to take on mountain climbing.


Mt. Irvine and others
Peaks   Mt. Irvine, Class 3
Trailhead:      Whitney Portal
Date:   August 7-9
Leader: Chris Kramar 510-796-6651

The first day we hike to Meysan Lake. There is a possibility of
climbing a peak on this day for those who are able. The second day
climbs of Le Conte, Irvine, Mallory and McAdie (TBD) are possible.
The third day we hike out.


Seven Gables
Peaks:  Seven Gables & more if time permits (Class 2)
Dates:  August 7 thru 9 Fri thru Sun
Maps:   Mt. Pinchot & Marion Peak  7.5
Leader: Charles Schafer (408) 324-6003 (w)  charles.schafer@octel.com

This trip is to a fairly remote section of the Sierra, but it is a west
side entry so it should be really scenic..  We will hike in from
Florence Lake on Friday and set up camp beside Seven Gables.
Saturday we will climb Seven Gables and traverse over to Gemini if
it doesn't look to be too painful.  Sunday we will hike out, with an
optional climb of Mt. Senger if time permits.

There will be plenty of snow yet so ice axes and crampons will be
required.  This should be a lot of fun, but it is a pretty ambitious trip
so we are looking for experienced class 3 climbers to fill out the
roster.


Great Western Divide Backpack
Peak:   Milestone Mountain, 13,641', Class 3
Dates:  Aug. 15-22, 1998
Map:    Mt. Whitney
Leader: Roger Crawley  650 321 8602, rcrawl@earthlink.net

From Cedar Grove in Sequoia Kings Canyon Nat'l Park we will
hike the Bubbs  Creek trail to our first camp at East Lake. Then we
will crawl over the  Kings Kern Divide via Millys Foot Pass.  The
following days we will move down the line of 13,600'  peaks that
form the Great Western divide. My goal is to climb 3 or 4 of em:
Thunder Mtn, Table Mtn, Midway Mtn, and  Milestone Mtn.  They
are all class 3 climbs.  Permit for 6 persons.


Rodgers Peak
Peak:   Rodgers Peak (12,978') Class 2/3
Dates:  Fri, Aug 21, thru Sun, Aug. 23
Leaders:        Debbie Bulger (408) 457-1036
        Debbie Benham (650) 964-0558

This striking peak on the eastern border of Yosemite should offer
spectacular views to both the east and west. After a long backpack
in (roughly 16 miles) from the June Lakes Loop, Rush Creek
trailhead,  we will set up base camp near Rodgers Lakes. The
exposed east ridge may be a challenge for strong newcomers. We
plan to stay together. Sunday we pack out and drive home. Limited
to 8.


MT. Whitney & Muir
Peaks:  Whitney & Muir, Class 3
Trailhead:      Whitney Portal
Date:   August 21-23
Leader: Chris Kramar 510-796-6651

This will be a loop trip. The first day we will travel to Iceberg Lake.
The next day we will take the Mountaineer's route to the top of
Whitney, then top off Mt. Muir as we proceed back to our second
night's camp via the walking trail. Third day we hike out.


Johnny Get Your Goat
Peak:   Goat Mountain; class 2-3, 12207'
Dates:  Aug 22-23, Sat-Sun
Maps:   Marion 15 min. or Marion & Sphinx 7.5 min.
Leader: Aaron Schuman  H 650-968-9184   W 650-943-7532
        aaron_schuman@yahoo.com
Details:        http://sj.znet.com/~cynthiam/goat.html

Saturday, pack four steep miles up from Zumwalt Meadow (5035)
in Kings Canyon, along Copper Creek, to our campsite at Upper
Tent Meadow (8600). Sunday, hike two miles on trail to Granite
Pass (10347), then follow the ridge for two miles to the summit
(12207) of Goat Mountain.  Enjoy stunning views of the sculpted
stone of Cirque Crest and the unimaginable depths of Paradise
Valley.  This trip will be quite strenuous but only of moderate
technical difficulty.


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Notes and Requests
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Medic/First Aid Classes

To help trip leaders and would-be leaders get the required First
Aid certificate, the 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 First Aid classes will be Saturday, August 22
and Sunday, August 23 at the Peninsula Conservation Center in
Palo Alto (from Bayshore/Hwy. 101 at San Antonio, turn toward
the Bay; turn left at 1st stoplight, then right at Corporation Way to
park behind PCC). Class is 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (1 hour for your
bag lunch) and is limited to 12 people. To sign up, send a check for
$38 with a stamped, self-addressed business-sized envelope to:
Health Education Services, 200 Waverly, Menlo Park, CA 94025.
Cancellations get partial refund if a substitute attends (you get to
keep the Wilderness First Aid book). For more information, call
650-321-6500.

-- Marg  Ottenberg


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Unofficial (Private) Trips
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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.


Palisade Basin
Peaks:  Your choice
Dates:  July 2-5 (Thu-Sun)
Map:    Mt. Goddard 15 min.
Contact:        Jim Curl, 415-585-1380, jimcurl@juno.com
Co-contact: Dot Reilly, der@gene.com

This is a non-led trip to the Palisade Basin. The approach over
Bishop Pass and Thunderbolt Pass is about ten miles, half of which
is moderate cross country terrain.  We will be camping together, but
your climbing itinerary is up to you.  Possibilities for peak climbing
abound in this beautiful area.  Be prepared for snow.


Trinity Alps Backpack
Peaks:  Various peaks
Dates:  July 3 - 5
Leader: George Sinclair (650) 941-2160 geosinc@aol.com

Avoid the heavy snowpack and mosquitoes of the Sierra with a visit
to the Trinity Alps. I went here last year at this time and the
conditions were great.


ABC:  Anarchist Brewer Climbers
Peaks:  Mt.  Brewer, North Guard, South Guard,
        Deerhorn, Francis Farquhar, West Vidette,
        Charlotte Dome
Date:   July 3-9 (Friday - Thursday)
Contact:        David Harris, harrisd@leland.stanford.edu (650) 725-8811
        John Bees, jbees@dri.edu, (702) 851-0949

Join a merry band of climbers for a week in the Northern Great
Western Divide. We are planning to share a campground, but go
our separate ways to climb everything from 2nd class slag heaps to
fifth class walls. The approach will give the opportunity for Deerhorn
or one of the Videttes. We'll make a base camp near East Lake,
giving access to technical and non-technical routes on Mt. Brewer,
North Gurad, South Guard, and Francis Farquhar.  Some of us may
attempt the classic face of Charlotte Dome on the way out.
Anything else in the vicinity is fair game too.  If you are looking for
technical climbs, find your own rope partner.  If you prefer 3rd
class, you are welcome to join the contingent doing those routes.
Be aware that this is an "anarchist" trip with no central leadership
except coordination of the permits and an opportunity for good
company in camp.


Oh My Goddard!
Peak:   Mt Goddard
Dates:  July 3-5
Contact:        Tim Hult Ph: (408) 970-0760 AFTER June 17th

Climb Mt. Goddard with Tim Hult over the long weekend.  Class 3
climb, but a stiff hike in.  Space for 3 people


Kings Canyon Peakfest
Peaks:  Goat Mountain, 12,207'
        Kid Peak, 11,458'
        State Peak, 12,620'
        Dougherty Peak, 12,244'
        Marion Peak, 12,719'
        Kennedy Mtn, 11,433'
Dates:  July 3, thru July 10
Contact:        Debbie Bulger   408-457-1036

This week-long backpack will take us to three base camps. The
peaks are mostly second class. After ascending from the trailhead
in Kings Canyon, we will proceed in a counter-clockwise loop, both
on and off trail, climbing as we go. If the terrain, sun cups and
cornices cooperate, we will cross from Volcanic Lakes to E.
Kennedy Lake on our way to Kennedy Mountain. Ice ax required.
Crampons strongly recommended. Long weekenders (Fri-Sun) who
wish to climb only Goat and Kid are welcome, however preference
will be given to those opting for the whole trip.


Mt. Ritter: The Annual Pilgrimage
Peaks:  Mt. Ritter (13,150'), Banner Peak (12,890')
Dates:  July 5-10, 1998
Contact:        Alan Ritter, jar@storz.com
                W: 314-225-7600 x5362 (7:30am-5:00pm CDT)

Not one to give up easily, I will return to my namesake peak for a
sixth attempt in July. We will meet at the Agnew Meadows trailhead
on Sunday, 5 July, hike to Ediza Lake or nearby, and attempt Mt.
Ritter on the first nice day thereafter. Route will be the Southeast
Glacier, Class 3 per Secor.  Ice axe and crampons required, given
that Mammoth has seen almost 400" of snow by 1 March.
Assuming success on Ritter, we may try neighboring Banner Peak
a via the Ritter/Banner Saddle route, mostly class 2, but with a bit
of class 3 snow just below the saddle.  Success on both peaks may
leave us with time to explore the Ritter  Range and surrounds,
which is worth the trip even without the climbs.


Arrow & Rushkin
Peaks:  Arrow, Mt. Ruskin, and more if time permits (Class 3)
Dates:  July 10 thru July 13, Fri thru Mon
Maps:   Mt. Pinchot & Marion Peak  7.5'
Contact: Charles Schafer (408) 324-6003 (w) charles.schafer@octel.com

This trip is to an area which is not as often visited as some other
Sierra locations, but not for lack of beauty or interesting mountains
to climb.  We will hike in over Taboose Pass on Friday and set up
camp near the headwaters of the South Fork of the Kings River.
Saturday we will climb Ruskin and do a traverse over to Marion if it
doesn't look to be too much of a killer.  Sunday we will attack Arrow
via a classic 3rd class route, and also cross over to Pyramid if time
permits.  Monday we hike out.

There will be plenty of snow yet so ice axes and crampons will be
required.  This should be a lot of fun, but it is a pretty ambitious trip
so we are looking for experienced class 3 climbers to fill out the
roster.


Scotch on the Rocks
Peaks:  Lyell (13,115') and Maclure (?) class 3
Dates:  July 17-19
Contact:        Bill Kirkpatrick (408) 293-2774 Wmkirk@earthlink.net
Co-contact: Alex Keith (650) 325-1091   akeith@crc.ricoh.com

Starting from Tuolomne Meadows, we will pack through the Lyell
Canyon on Friday.  We will summit Lyell on Saturday and, if
conditions permit, Maclure. The topo is Mt Lyell.  Be prepared for
snow.  Permit for 6


Bear Creek Spire
Peak:   Bear Creek Spire (13,713 ft.), Northeast Ridge  Class 4
Dates:  July 25-26
Maps:   Mt. Morgan, Mt. Abbott, Mt. Hilgard
Contact:        Kai Wiedman (650)347-5234
        Cecil Ann    cecilann@earthlink.net (408)358-1158

If you're ready to move beyond the typical PCS slog, this is the
climb for you.  We're looking for a few hardy souls willing to
experience high adventure, vicious exposure and the beauty of a
classic line.  If you can appreciate a knife edge ridge, clean solid
rock, and can stomach the spiralling abyss beneath your feet,
please give us a call.


Clyde Minaret
Peak:   Clyde Minaret (12281') Class 4/5
Dates:  July 31 - August 2
Contact:        Peter Maxwell (408) 737 9770

By a few feet Clyde is the highest of the Minarets, that fabulous
craggy range visible from 395.  The trip is spread over three days
(Friday -Sunday) because the climb is likely to be a very long day.
We'll camp at one of the Minaret Lakes and then spend all
Saturday doing the peak. Depending on which route is taken the
difficulty is either Class 4 or low Class 5.  Ropes and climbing gear
will be needed, as will ice axes and crampons - there is a large,
steep snow field to cross to get to the start of the climb.

This is not a beginner trip.  The actual number going will depend on
who is interested and their level of ability.  Interested experienced
climbers should contact me and I'll collect a list.  If you come, you'll
be expected to sign the standard liability waiver.


Mount Ritter
Peak:   Mount Ritter (13,143) Class-2
Dates:  August 8-9
Maps:   Mt Ritter, Mammoth Mtn (E)
Leader: Ron Karpel rkarpel@usa.net
        http://home.earthlink.net/~karpel/ron.html
Co-Leader and Contact: Nancy Fitzsimmons
        Nancy_Fitzsimmons@BayNetworks.com (408) 957-9683

This is a private trip with ice axe and crampons. Previous
experience with ice axe and crampons are required. Saturday, we
will start from Agnew Meadows and hike to Ediza Lake. Sunday we
will climb Mount Ritter via the Southeast glacier route.


Bear Creek Spire & Mt. Abbot
Peaks:  Bear Creek Spire (13,720'+), Mt. Abbot (13,704'); class 3, 4
Dates:  Aug 15-16
Maps:   Mt. Abbot 15 min
Contact:        Bob Suzuki, w: 510-657-7555, h: 408-259-0772,
         bobszk@bigfoot.com
Nancy Fitzsimmons, w: 408-764-1761, h: 408-957-9683,
        Nancy_Fitzsimmons@baynetworks.com

This weekend we'll attempt two of Moynier and Fiddler's "100 Best
Climbs in the High Sierra." After an early Saturday morning
backpack into Treasure Lakes we'll tackle the class 4 northeast
ridge and summit block of Bear Creek Spire. Sunday's challenge
will include ascending the steep snow and loose rock of Abbot's
north couloir. Climbing harness, rappel device, helmet, ice axe and
crampons required. Only climbers with the requisite gear and
experience will be considered.

Editor's Note: Bob Suzuki has informed me that this trip is full.
however he is keeping a waiting list.


Return to The Palisades
Peaks:  Temple Crag (12,999'), Gayley (13,510'), Palisade Crest (13,520');
class 4
Dates:  August 21-23, Fri-Sun, 3 days
Maps:   Mt. Goddard 15 min.
Contacts:       Bob Suzuki, w: 510-657-7555, h (>8pm): 408-259-0772,
        bobszk@bigfoot.com
        Rich Leiker, w (>3pm): 408-453-4253, h (<2pm): 510-792-4816,
        leiker@san-jose.ate.slb.com     (7/15-8/5 contact Rich Leiker)

One of the Sierra's highest and most rugged areas will be the
setting for these three climbs. From a basecamp at Elinore Lake
our routes will include the southeast face of Temple Crag, the
southwest ridge of Gayley, and the northwest ridge and class 4
summit pinnacle of the  Palisade Crest. Expect a late return to the BA.


Ten Days in Milestone Basin
Peaks:  Your choice
Dates:  Aug 29 - Sep 7
Map:    Mt. Whitney 15 min.
Contact:        Jim Curl, 415-585-1380, jimcurl@juno.com
Co-contact: Dot Reilly, der@gene.com

Join us for a fun trudge with huge packs over Shepherd Pass to
spend a long week in the Milestone Basin area.  The peak climbing
potential is vast and we currently have no set itinerary.  Climb along
with us or on your own, but be self-sufficient.  This is not a led trip.


South of Mono Divide
Peaks:  Hooper (12,349'), Senger (12,286'),
        Seven Gables (13,075'), Gemini (12,866'); class 1-4
Dates:  Sept 4-7, Fri-Mon, 4 days
Maps:   Mt. Abbot 15 min.
Contacts:       Bob Suzuki, Rich Leiker
same info as "Return to The Palisades"

If you can appreciate a typical PCS slog, this maybe the Labor Day
trip for you! Long miles, rock slabs, talus, scree and sand - this trip
should have it all! If you think you can stand the sweat and the
pain, please give us a call.


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Delenda Est Cartago
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May 17, 1998

"I am feeling very Punic today!"  With these words we stepped out
of our everyday world and into the desolate time and place of
Hannibal.  The bleak, flea bitten village of Cartago, California sits
aside the tremendous alkaline salt pan that was once the basin of
briny Owens Lake.  The despondent pioneer who named the town
must have been reminded of the site of Carthage, for when the
Romans finally defeated the Carthaginians in the Punic Wars, they
razed the city and plowed salt into the land that once sheltered it,
so that nothing would ever grow there again.

We had meant to climb Cartago Peak from Horseshoe Meadows
trailhead, but the extraordinary snowfall of 1998 left that road
closed. So like the mountaineers of Norman Clyde's generation, we
climbed all the way from the desert to the summit.  Our group
consisted of Steve Eckert (leader), Arun Mahajan, Dee Booth, Bob
Evans, David McCracken, and co-leader and chief trip report
exaggerator, Aaron Schuman.

The water that once irrigated Owens Valley and fed Owens Lake is
now diverted to the swimming pools of Los Angeles.  We parked
alongside the L.A. aqueduct (3700') and walked through the sand
and the sage brush.  Stepping tall and slipping backwards on the
soft surface, we painstakingly walked into a higher region of
joshua trees, then gnarled cedars, and then up to pinyon pines. We
crossed a band of granite boulders, challenged by the weight of our
weekend backpacks, and reached the first level area (8400'). The
first goodly patches of snow were here (but not even a trickle of
running snowmelt); we could melt some snow on our camp stoves
for drinking and cooking water.  We made camp.

We set out for the summit on Saturday afternoon, but after gaining
another 500 feet, we admitted how tired we were from the
backpack to our camp.  We returned.  A strong south wind had
picked up. Far below, we could see the salts of Owens Lake being
whipped upward into a huge alkali storm.  I had read about how
the L.A. Department of Water and Power had created this
particular environmental disaster by draining the lake, but I had
never before seen it.  I hoped there would still be paint on my car
when I returned.  We huddled in what meager shelter we could
find, behind snags and boulders, ate and rested.

Arun dined on couscous, the national dish of ancient Carthage and
the co-located modern state of Tunisia.  During the night the half
gale roared:

Our tent poles shook and our tent flies pounded like the oars and
sails of Roman warships, but the sky was clear and the stars were
dazzling.

Sunday at dawn we set out for the mountaintop.  The merciful
wind had calmed.  Though we quickly came into the area with
heavier snow cover, we found no place on the mountain where
there weren't substantial patches of bare rock and gravel.  Four of
our number carried snowshoes, but never needed them to cross the
shallow, hard frozen snowpack.  We found other good campsites
up above, including a flat, wooded (but waterless) one around
9200 feet.

Cartago Peak is not shown on any published map; it is informally
named by climbers.  We wondered if such an unknown destination
could be worth climbing, but we were not disappointed.  The
complex summit and fine views more than made up for the
difficulty in finding a route to an unmarked point.

We dropped a couple hundred vertical feet to cross a small saddle,
then gained the summit plateau.  As our friend Owen Maloy had
promised, it was "a wonderland of rocks".  On a flat area of sand
and snow, there were a dozen towers each rising one hundred to
one hundred and fifty feet.  Just looking at them, we couldn't tell at
all which was the tallest summit.  Owen had described it as the
southernmost tower.  Mark Adrian had supplied us with UTM
(Universal Transverse Mercator) coordinates for the true summit,
accurate to within ten meters.  Steve's GPS (Global Positioning
System) locked on to seven satellite signals and correctly
pinpointed the 10480' peak.  Getting guidance from outer space
sure made the mirage of the ancient Mediterranean disappear like
Caesar's ghost!

Bob remained behind on the plateau taking photos while the rest of
us scrambled over the boulders to the top.  There was a stunning
view of the precipitous north face of Olancha Peak, especially
interesting since several of us had made an easy climb up
Olancha's southeast slopes last year.  We also saw the snowy
summits of Kern Peak, Mount Muah, Owens Peak, and Mount
Langley, and across the desert to White Mountain Peak and
Telescope Peak.  "Delenda Est Cartago," vowed Roman Senator
Cato the Elder, "Carthage must be destroyed," and memorializing
the absolute Roman devastation, Arun sprinkled a small package
of salt on the topmost rocks.

After returning to camp, we tried a different route to avoid the
rocky band, but ended up instead in a patch of dense brush.  We
broke through, then plunged down the sandy east flank, past the
wildflower strewn homes of roadrunner and snake, all the way to
the aqueduct and the ruins of the ancient civilization we left
behind.  No, wait!  It was back to the ruins of the modern
civilization ... and really, it wasn't even ruined, just a little dusty.

Steve Eckert adds a detailed route description, waypoints and map. See
   http://www.sierraclub.org/chapters/lomaprieta/pcs/Reports/1998/cartago.html

-- Aaron Schuman

Editor's Note: The previous month's report of the same title was
related but not a dup. Steve Eckert intended for his report, which
appeared in the June 1998 Scree, to be a supplement to this report.
Steve's write-up was edited so it would fit within the Scree. I
eliminated the detailed GPS data because not all readers of the
Scree are interested. I think that readers who are interested in the
detailed data are most likely to own GPS units and are technically
savvy enough to look up Steve's full report on the PCS website.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tahoe Peaks
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Memorial Day Weekend

This was a car camping trip that consisted of seven people: Dan
Tischler, Nancy Fitzsimmons, Kelly Maas, Landa Robillard, Rich
and Dee Booth, and myself.  We camped at the Forest Service
campground at Fallen Leaf Lake, which had empty sites all
weekend.  Perhaps the weather and heavy snowpack kept many
people away.

On Saturday we climbed Mt. Tallac, which is just to the north of
Fallen Leaf Lake,  by a route that ascended the distinctive "cross"
on the east face.  This involved a climb of over 3,000 feet, and
included crossing some very steep snow near the top.  Ice axes
were used on the upper part of the climb.  Summit views were
somewhat limited due to clouds.  Lake Gilmore was completely
frozen over.  To avoid going down the steep gully we climbed up,
we went down the north face about 300 feet before we were able to
traverse back to the east face.  However this also involved a short
section of very steep snow.

On Sunday we drove to the north side of Lake Tahoe - about a 45
minute drive via the Nevada side - and climbed Mt. Rose.  This
was a slightly easier climb than Tallac, although the mountain sits
somewhat farther from the road then one would expect.  You get
your first view of it after hiking about three miles.  In all Mt. Rose
involved a climb of about 2,700 feet.  The final ridge leading to the
summit was exposed to a severe wind which made walking very
difficult.  The summit is marked by a wood sign and the bottom
portion of an old Sierra Club register (no top portion or book).
Below us to the north we could easily see downtown Reno.

On Monday we awoke to rain and, after spending some time at the
visitor center near Fallen Leaf Lake, we headed home.

-- George Sinclair


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sawmill? What Sawmill?
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

June 6, 1998
Official PCS mountaineering trip to Baxter & Colosseum
Leaders: Steve Eckert and Aaron Schuman
Participants: Marcy Barnett, Mike DeLorenzo, Brian Wachter

The trip REALLY started with filling out paperwork to convince
the Mountaineering Oversight Committee we were qualified to
lead the trip and knew how to screen people. That part is pretty
easy, and other PCS leaders should not be avoiding the process.
We mused as we hiked as to how a place with no trees came to be
called Sawmill Pass. Not many trees along Sawmill Creek, either -
the canyon is too narrow.

The hard part was the pack into camp: 5600' of gain with ice axes,
crampons, and gear to camp on snow. There is good water once
you get over the ridge into the main drainage, about 3 hours into a
9 hour hike at our moderate pace. We found a dry place at Sawmill
Lake, but the solid snow started 9k and there were no clearings
above the one we found at 10k. (Actually a lone backpacker told us
about it before we got there, so we chose to go no further.)

Weather was an issue, with clouds coming and going at all hours
of the day. We opted for an early (5am) start even though the plan
for  Saturday was just a short steep climb of Baxter. We hoped the
snow would ice up overnight, allowing crampons, and we wanted
to be down before the storm hit. (It turned out the storm never
happened, and the sun was baking us all afternoon.) Marcy hung
out in camp with blisters and either a touch of altitude sickness or
allergy problems.

Secor mentions that the easy route on Baxter is closed due to big
horn sheep restrictions. The third class face (see picture in the web
version of this report) was plastered with snow, making it a 35
degree snow slope instead of loose crumbly rock. Very nice. You
should definitely consider this one for early season, both to avoid
the sheep closures and to avoid the rotten rock. We had some loose
talus getting from the top of the snow to the ridge, and then it's
good second class to the summit. The chute we picked is two
gullies east of the one that Secor seems to describe (see picture in
the web report). It has no headwall, it had no snow slumps, and it
seemed less steep. (Call me chicken, call me safe, but don't call a
medic.)

The summit has an east, west, and south bump, and we went to
them all. It's only a few minutes between them, and in the clouds
we could not tell which was higher. DeLorme's software and
Secor's writeup do not agree, and the topo map is inconclusive.
The register was buried in snow, so doing all three seemed
reasonable (just in case? hypoxia? paranoia? peakbaggeritus?).

On Baxter at 10am, we had a snack and talked about the afternoon.
In the warming snow, the chute was a steep glissade and we
dropped quickly to the bowl. Mike headed back to camp and the
rest of us headed toward Sawmill Pass as the sun came out and
slushed up the snow. I had snowshoes, but everyone else in the
group had left them in the cars... making the almost flat 2+ mile
walk between the peaks a knee-deep slog at times. We decided the
snow chutes up through crumbly cliffs would be too soft to attack
in the late afternoon, so we skirted them and ascended the west
ridge of Colosseum.

Tina Stough had been there (on a day hike?) just one day earlier,
so we missed being the first register signers of the year. On top at
430pm, we agreed that the ugly climb to a boring peak was OK
after all, since the view toward Clarence King was spectacular
from Colosseum. Do this peak with snow on it if you can. There
would be a lot of sand otherwise.

We raced the sunset back to camp, ending a 15 hour day by eating
in the dark and hopping into the tents just before the wind started.
A little light hail overnight and much colder temperatures
contrasted with the perfectly clear sky Sunday morning, but the
clouds returned during our hike out and by the time we reached the
cars the peaks were gone again.

One never conquers a mountain, but it's nice to be allowed a
summit visit now and then. Two in one long day is more than can
be asked for, especially in the company of interesting people.

-- Steve Eckert

PS: Mountaineers looking for a good meal on the way up are often
disappointed in Bakersfield, but we discovered that the Oswell exit
of highway 178 in Bakersfield (one exit east of Mt Vernon) seems
to have a wide variety of restaurants: see the waypoint "FOOD"
below if you have a GPS, and head southeast from the exit. You
can't see any of them from the freeway, and most are not visible
until you turn into the mall area.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Harringtons & the Kennedys
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

June 13-14

Harrington is one of the classic peaks of the Sierra. Being away
from the Sierra Crest and relatively low elevation, 11,000 ft. has
caused it to be often ignored. But this peak has a beautiful summit
that is well worth a visit. It has been climbed only 3 times  since
1996. All by PCS and SPS groups. We were the first entry in the
register this year.

In the weeks prior to the trip we spent time planning the trip,
investigating route choices and snow conditions. Thanks to the
mountaineering committee members Arun Mahajan, Kelly Mass,
and Peter Maxwell for helping make this an official Sierra Club
Mountaineering trip which included the use of ice axe and other
necessary climbing gear. Also thanks to David Harris for providing
crucial up to the moment information about snow conditions on the
summit.

There are 2 trailheads leading to Frypan Meadow, from which both
peaks can be climbed, Lewis Creek and Deer Cove. We chose
Deer Cove because it has no major creek crossing. Another big
advantage for Deer Cove is that it is on Forest Service land not on
the National Park and thus requires no permit. We could have
saved the time and hassle of getting the permit and started on the
trail earlier, but I wanted to be as legal as possible. So we got a
permit.

After setting camp in Frypan Meadow we headed for Kennedy.
We immediately lost the Kennedy Pass trail under the snow, so we
continued cross country. A long and tiring climb up the Southern
ridge brought all but me to the summit. I stopped 500 ft short of
the summit, too tired to continue. Clouds were drifting in and out,
but I was able to snap a few pictures of the group climbing up to
the summit. We were back at camp by 8:30 PM exhausted from
the 7,500 ft elevation and the 14 mile hike, half of which was done
with full packs, the other half kicking steps through the snow.  At
camp we meet Kai Wiedman and Dot Reilly who were also going
to attempt Harrington the following day.

The partly cloudy weather of Saturday was replaced by extremely
warm Sunday. Temperature on the summit were in the mid 70.
And the sky was mostly clear. Snow line was at about 9000 ft.
with patches down to 7500 ft.

We started late on Sunday to allow everyone a good rest after the
long day we had on Saturday.  (Dee stayed back in camp nursing
bad blisters.)  The unmaintained trail to Grizzly Lake disappeared
under the snow after about a mile and we continued cross country
trying to follow the trail path as best we could. Harrington's
impressive summit block came in to view. We could see 2 sets of
steps in the snow. One set going to the South ridge which we
assumed belong to Kai and Dot. The other set going to the North
ridge which we assumed belong to David Harris and his girl
friend. We followed the steps to the North ridge up the wide snow
couloir to the saddle between Harrington and the snow hump just
to its North. This seemed to be a reasonable class 3 climb if the
rock was clear. But the wet snow, which covered all but a short
wet section of rock, made it a bit more interesting. Ice axes were
used for self belay. Self arrest was almost impossible as Ahmad
demonstrated on an unfortunate, but harmless slide.

Once on the saddle we examined the ridge going up to the summit.
There was snow accumulation in several places, it was hard to see
how it could be climbed. Bob Suzuki took a belay and started to
pass the first snow field, but he quickly found a way on solid rock,
and we all followed unbelayed. As we were climbing we found
that the climb was not too bad. Snow did cover some of the route
making the climb a bit more challenging, but never harder then a
high class 3. Some of us used ropes for belay at several places, but
it was not strictly necessary. Almost at the top, Steve, Arun, and
Karon made some exposed moves using snow for hand holds. But
Jim was able to kick steps right through the snow, and the rest of
us followed the more protected route

On the way down El Nino snow pack treated us to some great
glissading. I estimated we glissaded some 2,000 vertical ft in
several runs. The longest was continues for about 500 ft. We got
back to camp after 6:00 PM, packed up, and headed to the trail
head. Unfortunately, it was 10:30 PM when we got to the
trailhead, too late to drive all the way home.

Participants:  Steve Eckert, Dee Booth, Arun Mahajan, Karon
MacLean, Jim Ramaker, Bob Suzuki, Ahmad Zandi, Ron Karpel

Some notes:

The Deer Cove trail is a bit faint in few places. In particularly, we
missed the last junction about 1/4 of a mile before Frypan
Meadow, which cost us precious time. The 15 minutes map
displays the trails wrong in several places. The 7.5 minutes map is
fine. There is a good bear box in Frypan Meadow.

See home page: http://home.earthlink.net/~karpel/ron.html

-- Ron Karpel


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Harrington by Harris
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

June 6-7

Laurie Price and David Harris attempted to climb Mt. Harrington
from Cedar Grove this weekend (June 6-7).  We were turned back
at the north end of the summit ridge because the ridge had
overhanging cornices and significant snow cover at what appeared
would be difficult, exposed 3rd class moves.  It is possible to
bypass the snow on rock, but I would recommend that any party
attempting the ridge in the near future carry proper gear for
technical rock.

The snow level in the area is nearly continuous above Frypan
Meadow at 7800', though camping in the meadow is good.  The
trail from Frypan to Grizzly Lakes is long unmaintained and
appears to be non-existent in places; it is also mostly covered in
snow.  We had a challenging four mile navigation exercise from
Frypan to the summit ridge in fog restricting visibility to about 100
yards.  It was complicated by what appears to be a software bug in
my Avocet altimeter; the altimeter started to read 400 feet high
during the first 2000 feet of climb in the morning, causing
navigation confusion that was only fully resolved by pressing the
mode buttons in the altimeter until I discovered it was reading the
correct altitude again.  I intend to purchase a GPS after this
experience.

For those contemplating Mt. Harrington in the future, the south
ridge looks like very appealing 4th class climbing, though the
approach is awfully long

for the amount of climbing available.  Harrington and Kennedy
can both be climbed from a base camp at Frypan Meadow (about 4
miles to each camp); making the approach and doing a summit the
same day in current conditions would be extremely strenuous.
There is a bear box at the meadow.

--  David Harris


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Buena Vista Peak
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Sunday June 14, 1998

Today I hiked up the striking dome known as Buena Vista Peak
overlooking the Redwood Mountain Grove of Giant Sequoias in
Kings Canyon NP.

Although the forecast was for snow, around 11 a.m. it became
quite obvious that no significant threat was going to materialize,
and I headed up the road to Kings Canyon NP, arriving at the gate
in about 20 minutes. I then took the General's Highway southeast
to the Kings Canyon Overlook, which is at the very tip of the sharp
hairpin turn west of Buck Rock. Around the back side of the
hairpin and a couple hundred feet south of the vista point parking
lot is a small dirt parking area with room for 2 or 3 cars. I brought
my full overnight pack with me, hoping to get some exercise, but
when I got out of the car and discovered how pleasant it was I
decided to take only my camera and ice axe.

There is a faint one-mile-long trail that goes almost to the top of
the 7,605 foot dome, but it was buried under what I would call the
best snow I have ever had the pleasure of hiking on. With no trail
to be seen I hiked up the crest of the ridge and walked south along
the gentle half mile slope to the base of the dome. The north face,
although not vertical, was way too steep for my liking, so I
traversed around to the east face and climbed up the most
enjoyable 200 foot snow slope I've ever had the pleasure of
experiencing.

Near the top the slope became a bit more challenging and it
became obvious to me that the trail climbs the south side of the
dome (it doesn't appear on any maps). On top of the slope are 5 or
6 very large (10 feet tall?) boulders. The tallest of the boulders was
the one perched along the edge of the vertical 2,200 foot west face
of the dome. There is large depression in the large boulder, and an
all too conveniently placed 3 foot diameter rock resting along side
the larger one. One quick class 3 move and I was on top.

Being so close to Alta Peak, I expected the summit to be cloudy,
and it was, but only to the south and west. To the north and east
was one of the most spectacular panoramas I have ever seen
anywhere. This is one peak that definitely lives up to its name! Six
thousand feet of Spanish Mountain's 8,000 foot south face were
only a few miles away. Behind it were countless peaks, the most
impressive of which was gigantic Mt. Goddard, which dwarfed
everything in sight. To the east was 8,500 foot Buck Rock
(Obelisk's "brother" according to Native American legends)
standing guard over expansive  Weston Meadows. Three groves of
Sequoias grow on or near the slopes of Buena Vista Peak and can
clearly be seen: Buena Vista Grove, Redwood Mountain Grove,
and Tenmile Grove. Many more grow on the slopes of the lower
peaks nearby.

The 30 minute hike up the peak was made much shorter by
glissading down the northeast slope of the dome. I stopped to
investigate some really big boulders (20+ feet high) on the way
down but still reached the car in about 20 minutes from the top.

Hiking Buena Vista Peak isn't exactly a world class
mountaineering feat, but the short trip to its summit is just as
enjoyable, if not more. If you are ever in Sequoia or Kings Canyon
NP with an hour to kill, this would be a most rewarding way to do
it.

-- Pat Ibbetson


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
THE BACK PAGE
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

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