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Scree for September, 1998

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.
                  September, 1998  Vol. 32, No. 9
     Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 9/27/98.

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

Date:	Tuesday, September 8, 1998
Time:	8:00 PM
Program: Trekking In Peru

The program will be presented by Charles 
Schafer. Trekking in the Corderilla Blanca in 
Peru including the Inca Trail and Machu 

Location: Western Mountaineering
 ((PDF version of EScree has a drawn map here)) 
2344 El Camino Real, Santa Clara 
(between San Thomas and Los Padres), 
parking in the rear.

>From 101: Exit at San Thomas Expressway, 
Go South to El Camino Real. Turn left and 
the Western Mountaineering will be 
immediately to your right.

Carpool Point Alert!

At two of our commonly used carpool points, Livermore 
Airport and Murray Avenue in Gilroy, there are some 
issues that need to be addressed. At Livermore Airport 
you need to go into the office and get a permit indicating 
how long you will be there.

At Murrey Avenue in Gilroy, there was vandalism of a PCS'rs
car on a recent trip. We should not use this point anymore.

Aaron Schuman  is 
compiling information on carpool points for the PCS 
website. We want places that are legal, lighted and safe, 
where you have had good experiences:

-- Bob Bynum, Scree Editor

Fall/Winter Trip Planning Meeting

Date:	Tuesday, September 22, 1998
Time:	7:30 PM
Purpose:	To plan and schedule climbing trips for 
		fall and winter 1998
Place:	Home of Arun Mahajan
	1745 Alma Street, Palo Alto, Ca 94301.
	Phone: 650-327-8598

Directions: Coming from 280, take the Page Mill exit, 
east bound and once you pass thru El Camino, take the 
ramp for Alma (North) which is a sharp right turn.

Coming from 101, take Oregon Expressway and head 
west. A few lights later (you have to cross Middlefield) is 
the sharp right turn for Alma Street. As you get to Alma, 
take a right turn to go north. Once on Alma (north), drive 
for a few blocks. On your left will be the train tracks. My 
townhouse is in a brown shingled four-plex with a gray 
roof, between Tennyson and Lowell. Off street parking on 
either Tennyson or Lowell.

It is hard to believe, but fall and then winter will be upon 
us soon and it is time to plan for trips for these seasons 
as well. To those (like me) who feel cheated of their 
climbing in  this year's all-too-short-summer, never fear, 
to paraphrase the poet Shelly PB, who knew a thing or 
two about the seasons, if winter comes, can spring be far 

This is the meeting where trip leaders and prospective 
trip leaders gather to propose and schedule climbing trips 
for fall 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!

-- Arun Mahajan (arun@tollbridgetech.com)

Avalanche On Mt Dana!

There was an avalanche July 3 on the east face of Mt. Dana. I 
don't have the full story, but apparently several skiers were 
seriously injured, requiring a helicopter rescue. Some friends and I 
saw the accident site July 4 when we were skiing up Glacier 
Canyon to the Dana couloir. The winter storms built huge 
overhanging cornices on the east face of Dana and one section had 
collapsed, nailing the skiers on the snow slope below. My rough 
estimate of the slide: about 1000 feet and about 200 feet wide at 
the toe, with lots of chunks of ice embedded in the debris. Judging 
from the number of ski tracks we saw, people like to stay high on 
this slope to speed up access to/exit from the couloir. We traversed 
much lower, near the lake, which seemed to be beyond the runout 
zone. Even at that distance, we could see several skis planted 
vertically in the debris. Apparently there had been no time!

-- Butch Suits

Wilderness First Aid

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, November 14 
and Sunday, November 15 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 
choice of day, and 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

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.

*** Florence Peak
Peaks:	Florence Peak (12,432'), Class 2
	Vandever Mountain (11,947'), Class 1
Dates:	Sept 4-6th, Fri-Sun (3 days)
Map:	Mineral King USGS 7.5 min
Leaders:	Debbie Benham   H 650-964-0558 (until 9 PM)
	Judith Dean     H 650-854-9288 (until 9 PM)

Join us for a lovely Labor Day stretch in beautiful Sequoia 
National Park! We'll hike into Franklin Lakes our first day, then 
climb two, very easy, non-technical peaks Saturday, then hike 
out and home on Sunday. Especially invited are those new to 
peak bagging with a bit of backpacking experience.

*** McDuffie, Black Giant, & Charybdis
Peaks:	McDuffie, Black Giant, & Charybdis   (Class 3)
Dates:	September 4 thru 7, Fri thru Mon 
Maps:	North Palisade, Mt. Thompson,  Mt. Goddard 7.5'
Leader:	Charles Schafer (408) 324-6003 (w)

If you've ever climbed to the top of Bishop Pass, looked off into 
the interior of the Sierra, and thought that those magnificent 
peaks on the horizon looked awfully appealing; then this trip is 
for you.  Secor says the three peaks are easily day hiked from 
Helen Lake (at Muir Pass), so I want to give them a try from just 
west of Black Giant.  We will hike in over Bishop Pass on Friday 
and set up camp near Black Giant. Saturday we will climb the 
three peaks (or just two, if that's all we can do).  Sunday we will 
either climb McDuffie (if we didn't get it on Sat.) or go for 
something else in the neighborhood.  Monday we will hike out.

This should be a lot of fun, but it is a pretty ambitious trip so we 
are looking for experienced class 3 climbers to join us.

*** Tuolomne Family Car Camp III
Peaks:	Warren, Gibbs; class 1
Dates:	Sep 12-13       Sat-Sun 
Maps:	Mono Craters 15 min. 
Leaders: 	Cecil Ann       H 408-358-1168
	Aaron Schuman   H 650-968-9184
	W 650-943-7532
Details:	http://sj.znet.com/~cynthiam/warren.html

Bring your grandparents and your grandchildren to enjoy the 
pine air and cathedral views of Yosemite's Tuolomne Meadows.  
Hearty adults and teens will enjoy the two day hikes, to Mt 
Warren (8 miles, from 9000 to 12327 feet) and Mt Gibbs (12 
miles, up from 9600 to 12773 feet).  The Tuolomne Family Car  
Camp, now in its third year, has become a real PCS tradition!  

Contact Cecil Ann, not Aaron, to reserve a spot at our group 

*** Arrow Peak & Ruskin 
Peaks:	Arrow Peak, Mt. Ruskin, and more if time permits, (Class 3)
Dates:	September 18 thru 21, Fri thru Mon 
Maps:	Mt. Pinchot & Marion Peak  7.5'
Leader:	Charles Schafer, (408) 324-6003 (w)

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 perhaps 
try 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 then possibly cross over to Pyramid if time permits.  
Monday we hike out. 

Neither of the variations are required, and may not even be 
attempted. But either way this should be a great trip. It is a 
pretty ambitious undertaking, though, so we are looking for 
experienced class 3 climbers to come along.  By the way, if this 
looks familiar it is a repeat listing of a trip listed earlier in the 
year which didn't happen.

*** Izaak Walton
Peak:	Izaak Walton  12099', Class 3
Dates:	September 18-20, Fri thru Sun
Leader:	Peter Maxwell  (408) 737 9770

The intent of this trip is to have a good time exploring the Silver 
Divide area.  We start by taking a ferry boat across Lake 
Thomas Edison (costs around $10), then hike up towards 
Bighorn Lake, 3200' higher up.  We may camp before that, at 
Mott  Lake, or we may go beyond, depending on how time 
goes.  At some stage we'll cross the Silver Divide at Rohn Pass 
(11240') and then climb the peak via the class 3 northeast ridge.  
The third day is the hike out and catch the boat back.

*** A Climbing Marathon?  Not
Peaks: 	Dragon Peak 12,927+, 3; Rixford, Mt 12,887, 2; 
	Bago, Mt 11,870, 1; maybe Gould, Mt 13,005, 1s3
Dates:	Sept. 19-20 (Saturday-Sunday)
Maps:	Mt Pinchot
Leader:	Bob Suzuki, 408-259-0772, bobszk@bigfoot.com
Co-Leader:	Ron Karpel 510-771-3231 ronny@luxsonor.com

Web page: http://home.earthlink.net/~karpel/Dragon.html

Four peaks in 1 weekend?  This could have been another one 
of those Suzuki-Karpel climbing marathons, but I hope not.  
Starting at Onion Valley, Kearsarge Pass is a short distance, 
and Gould and Dragon are close by. Rixford is connected to 
them with a high plateau.  So it looks reasonable to climb these 
peaks in 1 day.  And even if we delay climbing Rixford for early 
Sunday, Bago being lower and class 1 should not be too 
difficult.  Since Bob already climbed Gould, it will be up to the 
rest of us and depending on how quickly we get there if we 
climb Gould. Climbing Gould would add about 300 ft elevation 
to the first day climb.

*** Navigation Trip and Peak Climb

Peaks:	Mt Mendenhall 12277', maybe Bloody Mountain 12544', class 2-3
Dates:	Sep 19-20    Sat-Sun
Maps:	Bloody Mtn and Convict Lake 7.5 min
Leader:	Kelly Maas  H(408) 279-2054, W(408) 944-2078, maas@idt.com

This trip is planned as a follow-on to the navigation class, with 
lots of navigation practice and a bit of peak climbing too.  We'll 
travel from Mammoth Lakes to Convict Lake following some 
trails, but also with plenty of off-trail travel.  Participants should 
be comfortable traversing hard class 2 terrain with a pack on, 
and I can't rule out the possibility of a little bit of class 3. This 
means that light packs will be required.  We'll probably climb 
some unnamed peaks and perhaps even Bloody Mountain, but 
the emphasis will be on navigation practice. Everyone is 
expected to bring compass and maps.

*** Kearsarge and Independence
Peaks:	Kearsarge Peak (12,598')  class 1,
	Independence Peak (11,744')  class 3
Dates:	October 3-4, Sat-Sun
Map:	Kearsarge Peak 7.5"
Contacts:	Ron Karpel, ronny@luxsonor.com
	(W) 510-683-4668 X231, (H) 650-594-0211
	Bob Suzuki, bobszk@bigfoot.com
	(W) 510-657-7555, (H) 408-259-0772

Why think the peak climbing season has to end with summer? Try 
these 2 fall day hikes from the Onion Valley campground at 9,200', 
and enjoy the company of your fellow PCSers in the quieter eastern 

*** Marble Mountains
Peaks:	Kings Castle 7405', Black Marble Mtn ~7500', class 2
Dates:	Oct 9-11    Fri-Sun
Maps:	Marble Mountain Wilderness topo from Wilderness Press
Leader:	Kelly Maas  H(408) 279-2054, W(408) 944-
	2078, maas@idt.com, Co-Leader: wanted

This is a 2 1/2 day backpack and peak climb through the Marble 
Mountain Wilderness, the little brother to the north of the Trinity 
Alps. If that clue doesn't help to locate it, it's northwest of Mt. 
Shasta off Hwy 5.  The peaks aren't high and most of the trip is 
on trail (including the Pacific Crest Trail), but it should be a great 
new area to explore, with many pretty lakes, and mountains that 
don't look like the Sierra.  If we have time we can climb Boulder 
Pk which would put us at almost 8300 feet!

*** Rockhouse Jail
Peaks:   Rockhouse Peak, Taylor Dome, Sirretta Peak; class 2
Dates:   Oct 17-18       Sat-Sun
Maps:    Lamont Peak and Kernville 15 min.
Leader:  Aaron Schuman   H 650-968-9184
                         W 650-943-7532
Details: http://sj.znet.com/~cynthiam/rockhouse.html

Car camp in the scenic Rockhouse Valley, in the Domelands
Wilderness of the Sequoia National Forest.  Day hike to
Rockhouse Peak (8383 feet), Taylor Dome (8802 feet), and
Sirretta Peak (9977 feet).  Savor the experience; it
might be our last snow-free trip of 1998.

*** Mt. Whitney
Peak:	Mt. Whitney , class 1
Dates:	Oct. 23-25
Leader:	George Van Gorden   H  408 779 2320  before 9:00 PM

After permits, the good old easy trail although summit day 
(Sat.)from 10,300 ft. is rather long, but ah, the brisk Oct. air, 
intimations of winter if it hasn't already arrived, that last glorious 
ascent into the light before the dark descends make the 
mundanity of such a slovenly slog all worth it.

Seven Gables (13,075)

August 7-9

Six of us - Charles Schafer (leader), Jim Ramaker, Landa  
Robilliard, Kelly Maas, Andy Skumanich, and  Roger Crawley 
enjoyed perfect weather, a plethora of wild flowers, lovely Sierra 
lakes and meadows, and a great mountain climb over three days 
Aug.7-9.  We met at the Ranger Station on the road in to Florence 
Lake, secured a permit, and boarded the 8:30 am ferry to cross the 
lake.  It was hot and there was a plethora of mosquitoes on the 
trail to Sally Keyes Lakes and Selden Pass.  Seven Gables is only 
about one mile from the pass.  At 5 o'clock we made camp at on 
the east side of one of the Marie Lakes. In the morning we went 
around the shoulder of a ridge and dropped a little to Sand Piper 
Lake and the base of our mountain.  There's a short, steep section 
up through some bushes and ledges and then about 400 yards of 
open sandy and rocky terrain to the saddle on the east rim. We 
made our way over boulders up to a ridge near the summit.  We got 
out our ice axes for a short crossing of steep, hard snow and 
scrambled up easy rocks to the top. Views were the normal 
outstanding with very clear air and no clouds. Charles started 
down to try and find a route with a third class chimney and some 
ledges over to a pass to the south and thence over to Gemini 
(12,866). It didn't look like much fun and when we considered 
how long it would take, one by one, the rest of us became 
mutinous.  Charles finally let us have our way. But he groused. 
That's a fact.  On the way down we all tried to ski and glissade 
down the snowfield.  On the way back there was ample time and 
in the warm sunshine we flattened ourselves on some granite and 
dozed and gazed at the shimmering lakes.  Next morning we 
headed down and cooled ourselves in Florence Lake while waiting 
for the ferry.

-- Roger Crawley

Clyde Minaret

*** Short Report (i.e.  useful info if you plan a trip there):

Topo:  Devils Postpile (15 minute)

Trailhead:  Minaret Lake, leaving from Devil's Postpile.  The 
bridge washed out in January 1997 is still not replaced.  Either go 
0.9 miles south to Red Meadows where there is a bridge, or wade 
the San Joaquin River, which was running very high.

Time of Year:  end of July in El Nino year (98).

Conditions:  mostly snow free to Minaret Lake, large amount of 
snow to Cecile Lake.

Length:  2 1/2 days with 12 hour summit day.

Elevation: 12281' Clyde Minaret summit, trailhead, 7600'.

Equipment:  crampons, ice-axe, one rope, slings, very small rack.

Summary:  camped at Minaret Lake (9850') because it was free of 
snow, summitted from there.

Summit Route:  Starr's Route.  Up the drainage to Cecile Lake, 
climb the red rock to the ledge running across the northeast face, 
climb 45 degree snow field to rightmost chute, climb chute to 
ridge, follow ridge to summit.  5 hours up, 6 hours down due to 
slow downclimbing required.

Comments:  Rated as class 4 but everyone thought it was solid 
class 3 and a rope really wasn't necessary, but it was good to have it 
anyway.  A belay at the top of the chute while descending might be 
appreciated by some.  Crampons and ice axe indispensable.  Much 
loose rock was encountered.

*** Long report:

According to Webster's:  minaret:  a slender lofty tower attached 
to a mosque and surrounded by one or more projecting balconies 
from which the summons to prayer is cried by  the muezzin

Five of us responded to the "summons of Clyde" on July 31 and 
August 1,2, and set forth to climb this lofty tower.  The group 
consisted of John & Chris Kerr, Charles Schafer, Conor Rafferty 
and Peter Maxwell.  Both Conor and I had attempted this peak 
last year and failed due to inadequate equipment (no crampons or 
ice axes).  Another necessary addition to Secor's description:  he 
makes no mention of having to ascend a 45 degree snow slope just 
to get to the start of the rock portion of the climb, if one starts 
from the area of red rock in the cirque above Cecile Lake.  The 
convenient ledge running across the northeast face is cut by this 
snow slope, which perhaps melts out much later in the season, but 
if it's there, the only way to avoid it is to take either the Rock 
Route or the Glacier Route, starting from the north side of the 

This time we weren't going to make the same mistake so made sure 
we were properly equipped.  Conor, who lives in New Jersey and 
keeps up his skills by scaling 5.8 fences, was out here on a climbing 
vacation and turned up in a rental car with a model name of 
"Achieva" - how could we go wrong with such a good omen?

Unlike many people who climb in the Minarets, we started from 
Devils Postpile rather than Agnew Meadows, heading towards 
Minaret Lake.  The first thing we had to achieve was to get to the 
other side of the San Joaquin River.  The bridge near Devils 
Postpile that got washed out in the 1997 floods was still out (your 
tax dollars not at work) and the river was running much higher 
than last year, making wading it a dicey proposition.  Conor tried 
at one point where it looked shallow but almost got swept off his 
feet, without being encumbered with a backpack, so we decided to 
walk the 0.9 miles south to Red Meadows where there is a bridge.

The trail to Minaret Lake is beautiful and highly recommended.  
The cascades of Minaret Falls made a delightful lunch backdrop.  
An earlier start would have put us beyond this, but all the messing 
around with the attempted river crossing, plus the extra 1.8 miles, 
plus our leisurely 9:15 am initial departure meant we didn't get all 
that far by lunch time.  We got to Minaret Lake by mid-afternoon 
and decided to stay there, rather than push on to Cecile Lake, 
which is 600' higher up and guaranteed to be surrounded by snow.  
There were also very ominous clouds building all around us and 
that, coupled with the much lower than average temperatures put 
us off the snow camping concept.

We had plenty of time to make cups of tea and prepare dinner.  
John gave us several different versions of "a study in rocky repose ", 
each involving sprawling out on the rocks in a position of total 
relaxation.  The cool temperature and the wind kept the 
mosquitoes at bay and we weren't bothered by them at all.

In deciding what time to get up the next morning, Chris was 
insistent that she had almost never known any group to get their 
act together and leave within 90 minutes of waking up.  We were 
no exception to this rule so after a 5:30 wake up we were on the 
way around 7:00.  Camping at Minaret Lake meant extra time was 
involved.  It took around 45 minutes to get to Cecile Lake, more 
or less following the drainage up, and discovering a nice ledge 
system to go up the final headwall.  As anticipated, the lake was 
still largely frozen over and surrounded by snow, much as it was a 
month earlier the previous year.  The ranger had told us everything 
was about a month late this year, and this was an accurate 
description of everything we found.

We encountered the first of what was to be a fair amount of loose 
rock throughout the climb while scrambling up the red rock to get 
to the ledge across the face.  Even though we took a lot of care 
everyone sent pieces down as unwelcome presents to those below 
them.  Chris dislodged a very large rock which hit her foot as it 
fell.  Luckily nothing was damaged but it left sobering thoughts 
with us.  We weren't on the ledge for long before we encountered 
the snow slope.  Our route was Starr's Route, and we had to 
determine exactly which couloir to aim for.  The best thing is to 
ignore counting chutes, as there are more than the three 
mentioned, and simply head for the rightmost, before the obvious 
arrete which separates this from the Rock Route.  From where we 
were this involved climbing up and diagonally to the right on the 

Once off the snow we dumped our crampons and ice axes - no 
point in lugging these to the top - thereby eliminating any chance 
of returning via the Rock Route should we have wished to do so.  
The climbing was solid class 3, with the chute narrowing until it 
was almost a chimney just before cresting onto the ridge at the top 
of the gendarme separating this from the Rock Route. Although 
very steep, handholds were good, and the only problem was that 
we had to be constantly careful of loose rock, carefully testing 
before putting any weight on anything.  We noticed a few slings on 
the way up so figured some people considered rope necessary.

Very close to the summit we encountered the "short class 4 move" 
described in Secor, which involved a vertical wall of about 10'.  
However, nobody thought this was class 4, since there's no significant 
exposure and plenty of holds. From here it was 5 minutes to the 
summit, which was attained at noon - 5 hours for the climb.  It was 
warm and there was not a breath of 
wind, and very difficult not to resist the temptation to spend the whole 
afternoon up there. John took the opportunity to give us yet another 
demonstration of his "power lounging" technique while I marveled at 
the steep, craggy nature of the rocks and peaks around us.

Going back down was slow progress as everything was sufficiently 
steep that downclimbing was necessary.  On several occasions 
Charles piped up with "Did I tell you I hate downclimbing?".  
Progress was sufficiently slow that at the top of the main chute, 
where it was the narrowest and steepest, we figured rappelling 
down might be faster.  This one section was much more potentially 
class 4 than the wall at the top and some people would appreciate 
a belay here.  As I was putting my camera on a convenient rock my 
pack took on a life of its own and decided to start tumbling down 
the chute with my rappel device inside!  By a stroke of luck it 
wedged itself just about at the end of the rope, about 25m down.  I 
guess I could have borrowed someone else's rappel device, but to 
save time I just used the rope as an aid to speed up the 

After that first rappel we decided we weren't saving any time so 
continued unroped downclimbing.  The snow had softened up 
somewhat by the time we got to it, but it still looked formidable.  
We all had to downclimb this also, some using crampons and some 
not.  Not wanting to return via the red rock route due to the 
unstable rock, we went all the way to the bottom of the snow, then 
cut northeast across the cliff faces above Cecile Lake until we 
could descend by the easy ridge leading to the northwest side of 
the lake.

The snow descent had some interesting moments.  Chris was 
carefully doing a stomach glissade, lying on the ice axe, and was 
priding herself at her control when she went right over the edge of 
a bergschrund.  Luckily it was not very wide at that point or she 
would have experienced more than the abrupt stop that happened.  
For Conor and myself, it was the "fun run" at the end of the slope 
when both of us slipped and slid the last 100' or so trying to self 
arrest in snow that was too soft and ending up plowing into the 
bushes. Charles saw me coming straight toward him, crampons 
first, and fled in panic out of the way.

>From there it was plain sailing back to camp, where we arrived at 7 
PM, almost exactly 12 hours after we'd left.  This was one of the 
rare peaks where coming down took more time than going up:  5 
hours up and 6 hours down.  As a celebration of our climb, Conor 
offered fine brandy.  Charles insisted that we hadn't "conquered" 
the mountain, but had merely "visited" it.  Mosquitoes visited us, 
also, as it was warmer and there was less wind, but luckily there 
were not hordes of them.  Looking back at the peak we realized 
that our route was clearly marked by a prominent dark straight line 
running up the gully (although this was not evident from close up).

The return to Devil's Postpile took only 3.5 hours.  People were 
less worried about getting wet so we waded the river rather than 
make the detour.  Also, we weren't sure if what we'd done had 
been dangerous or not, but there were plenty of signs warning us 
that wading the river was, so this heightened the sense of 
adventure.  We found that the best place to cross at the very broad 
bend downstream from where the bridge used to be, just before the 
river goes into a much narrower canyon.  The water depth here 
was barely above the calves.  Those of us without fancy sandals 
plunged in boots and all, not bothering to try to keep them dry.  
Conor didn't even bother to empty the water out and I could hear 
him squelching during the short walk back to the cars.

-- Peter Maxwell

*** Steve Eckert Adds: Ice Axe Arrest Info

Thanks for sharing this moment of learning! My experience 
suggests that a "standard" ice axe pick arrest is non-functional 
most of the time in the Sierra Nevada. The soft afternoon corn 
snow does not provide enough drag to make the pick effective. 
(Those who think it is working are usually doing the work with 
their toes.) You need to get the point (end of the shaft) in the 
snow with enough leverage to stop yourself. If your wrist loop only 
attaches to the head of the axe, it's hard to get enough leverage 
without wrenching the axe out of your hands. If your shaft does 
not have rubber (or bicycle handlebar tape) on it you cannot hold 
on with wool or fleece gloves. With a proper wrist loop, you can 
drive the shaft in like a picket and hang off the axe OR you can 
face down slope and use it like a canoe paddle to brake. Practice 
with runout!

-- Steve Eckert

Bear Creek Spire, NE Buttress

August 15, 1998

A web version of this report is at 
http://home.earthlink.net/~karpel/BearCreekSpire.html  "I feel so 
fulfilled, that climbing another mountain tomorrow can only 
detract from this weekend's sense of achievement." That is how 
Arun express his satisfaction from climbing Bear Creek Spire. He 
was not alone. Indeed, we all felt quit satisfied in our achievement 
on this terrific mountain.

We left the trailhead at Mosquito Flat at 8 AM that morning, 
setup camp at Treasure Lakes, and continued around Dade Lake to 
the saddle between BCS and the peaklet on its northeast. This 
point is literally the beginning of the Northeast Buttress. By now, 
dark clouds gathered around us and it seems as it was raining in 
several places. But we were in the dry, so we decided to go ahead 
in spite of the weather. The Buttress itself is an enjoyable class-3 
climb, and despite its look, the rock was solid for the most part.

At it's upper end, the buttress abuts the east face of BCS, and here 
the climb turns to class-4. A couple of pitches got us to the summit 
ridge. The ridge started with a delicate move, but quickly eased to 
class-3. The exposure on the ridge remained high until we 
descended a bit on the west side and merged with the standard 
northwest route. One could get here from Cox Col by climbing the 
northwest slope. Once on the ridge we were surprised to see the 
extend of the storm brewing around us. There were dark clouds 
everywhere. It looks like it was raining in several places, and we 
felt a drop or two ourselves. Dade and Abbott to the North were 
in the clouds, but we were still in the dry, so we press on. From this 
point to the summit was another pitch of class-4 a short traverse 
and then we stood in front of the final summit bolder. The summit 
bolder looks like an oversized refrigerator tilted on its side. The up 
most part is really one of the corners. Sitting on top with legs on 
either side feels like riding a humongous camel. And the ferocious 
wind made it feel as if the camel is swaying trying to kick you off. 
Jim hanging on protections to one side belayed the rest of us one at 
a time to the top, and back down again. Jim and Bob free climbed 
the entire route, while the rest of us used belay as we felt needed. I 
was on belay almost the entire time it was offered.

The register is on the ridge below the summit bolder were there 
was barely enough room for the 8 of us. The storm was still 
brewing around us, and it was getting late, so we quickly returned 
to the rappel point and came down the west face. Then we 
descended the northwest slope to the top of Cox Col. From the top 
of Cox Col to the snow field below was a short section of loose 
class-3. And then partly glissading partly heal stamping, we made 
it down the snow slope back to our camp by Treasure Lakes. It was 
now 8:30 PM, almost completely dark, but the sky was clearing up. 
The storm had pass, and we were still dry.

We got up late on Sunday, people were still tired from the long 
climb of the day before. The prospect of climbing the loose rock on 
Abbott did not look very attractive to anybody. So we took our 
time packing and hiking out, and headed home.

Participants: Bob Suzuki (leader), Nancy Fitzsimmons (co-leader), 
Arun Mahajan, Dot Reilly, Jim Curl, Linda Smith, Sam Wilkie, 
Ron Karpel (scribe).

Special thanks to Jim Curl and Bob Suzuki who expertly and 
patiently belayed the rest of us to the summit.

Alternate Route:

It seems to me, and we had a confirmation from a guy we met on 
the trail, that it is possible to avoid the ridge traverse. From the 
point on the buttress where it meets the face and become class-4, 
traverse to the left on many obvious ledges (looks like class 2 from 
the top). Then once below the summit, climb directly up 2 class-4 
pitches to the summit area. Secor calls this the Northeast Face 

-- Ron Karpel

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.

*** 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"
		(7/15-8/5 contact Rich Leiker)

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.

*** Dana Coulor
Peak:	Dana Coulor, Class 3 Snow
Date:	September 26, Saturday
Contact:	George Van Gordon, after August 20 408-779-2320

*** Mount Tyndall from Anvil Camp
Peaks:	Tyndall, 14,018'
Dates:	October 10, 11, 12
Maps:	Mt. Williamson 7.5
Contact:	Bill Kirkpatrick, W (408) 279-3450; H (408) 293-2447,

Tyndall is a class-2 peak, but we may need ice axes and 
crampons to get over Shepherd Pass.  

Telescope Peak via Surprise Canyon

Peaks:	Telescope Peak 
Dates:	November 13, 14, 15
Maps:	Telescope Peak
Contact:	Bill Kirkpatrick, W (408) 279-3450; H (408) 293-2447,

Contact leader for more details.

Work Parties

The following list of trips are work party trips for the purpose 
of maintaining the Sierra Clubs huts. These are listed separately
from peak climbs and are considered to be private trips.

Dick Simpson, a PCS leader, is organizing the following work 
parties where the participants help to build backcountry ski and 
snowshoe huts. People of all skills are needed. Optional peak 
climbs (class-1 and class-2)  are possible. Car camping nearby 
(or a simple backpack in some cases).  Tools and supplies and 
food will be provided.

Please contact Dick at 650-494-9272 or rsimpson@magellan.stanford.edu
if interested for any of the following.

New Bradley Hut Work Party
Dates:  September 12-13, Sat.-Sun.
Dates:  September 19-20, Sat.-Sun.
Dates:  September 26-27, Sat.-Sun.
Dates:  October 3-4, Sat.-Sun.
Dates:  October 10-11, Sat.-Sun.
Dates:  October 17-18, Sat.-Sun.
Dates:  October 24-25, Sat.-Sun.
Dates:  October 31 - November 1, Sat.-Sun.

Peter Grubb Hut Work Party
Dates:  September 26-27, Sat.-Sun.

Great Western Divide Backpack

August 15-22

Three days into this trip an injury occurred that led to a helicopter 
rescue and caused us to exit early. We didn't climb a single peak. 
However, I am grateful that we returned safely. The participants 
were Ron Perkins, Chris Bidle, and PCS'ers Bill Kirkpatrick and 
Roger Crawley.  We started from Cedar Grove in Sequoia-Kings 
Canyon at about 5 PM on Friday and hiked up the twenty 
switchbacks on the Bubbs Creek trail to our camp at Sphinx 
Creek.  Next day we crossed Bubbs Creek one-half mile below 
East Creek and camped at East Lake.  It rained in the late 
afternoon. We continued up passed Lake Reflection and to the 
base of Milly's Foot Pass.  Instead of heading for the obvious notch 
on the left, I went up the broken ledges above the fan of rocks on 
the right that Warren Storkman told me about.  It wasn't safe 
without a rope so I told the others to go left to the notch.  Then I 
watched Chris slide down a snowfield; he stopped after 200 feet.  
He got up and seemed to be okay and he climbed back up.  I 
continued on my route, reached the top, and came down the ridge 
to the top of the notch where Chris arrived first.  Chris showed us 
the cut on his leg; it was a deep eight-inch 
long gash.  We patched him up and went down the Kern side of 
Milly's to the first flat area. In the morning the cut was oozing 
blood a little and we all agreed that Chris should not move.  Bill 
and Ron stayed with him while I hiked back down to the Cedar 
Grove Ranger Station, arriving at 7 PM.  The Rangers could not 
have been nicer and after questioning me and conferring with 
rangers in other locations by radio they arranged for a helicopter to 
evacuate Chris early the next morning. The N.P.S. helicopter 
operates out of a heliport near the Ash Mountain Entrance 
Station (on the road up to Sequoia NP from Visalia). I drove down 
there that night and in the morning talked to the crew before they 
took off.  In only one hour they returned and delivered Chris!  I 
drove him to a hospital in Visalia. Now he has a story to tell and 
an ugly scar to show.  We drove back to Cedar Grove and the next 
afternoon we picked up Ron and Bill. When ordering a helicopter 
rescue the following points are important: try to get the victim to a 
flat landing site; be able to tell the authorities very precisely the 
rescue location, i.e., longitude-latitude coordinates; provide a 
detailed description of the terrain and land features; provide an 
assessment of the condition of the victim and a profile of him - 
weight, general health, drug tolerance.  Before the helicopter 
landed the pilot made a pass and observed the ripples of a nearby 
tarn to determine wind strength and direction. The National Park 
Service certainly came through for us.  The Ranger told me this 
was their 55th rescue this summer.

-- Roger Crawley

Mt Hutchings & Goat Mtn

August 22-23, 1998

Johnny get your goat.  On August 22, 1998, we set out to climb 
12207 foot Goat Mountain in Kings Canyon National Park.  The 
party consisted of Scott Kreider, Jeff West, Gwendal Grignou, Greg 
Johnson, and yours truly, trip leader Aaron Schuman.

They are unstoppable.  Our plan was to start at 5035 foot Cedar 
Grove, camp Saturday at 8600 foot Upper Tent Meadow, and 
summit Sunday morning.  But since we arrived early at Upper 
Tent, I polled the team, and the decision to continue to 10473 foot 
Grouse Lake was unanimous and enthusiastic.  When we reached 
10300 foot Copper-Granite Gap, not far from the lake, I asked if 
anybody wanted to make a detour to 10785 foot Mount 
Hutchings, and even though we were almost out of water, 
everybody wanted to visit the peak.

Hutchings was a short, enjoyable scramble to a high point with a 
stunning view into Kings Canyon.  The highest rock challenged us 
with a six foot nearly vertical face.  It was studded with plenty of 
half inch deep hand and foot holds, but it threatened us with an 
awkward landing if we should fail to grab those rungs securely. 
Some members of the group only looked admiringly upon the 
summit block, but you should still consider them to be successful 
ascenders of the peak.

Since from the summit of Hutchings, we had an unimpeded close-
up view, we scouted the route up Goat Mountain.  Everybody took 
a turn using the topographic maps and the compass, getting 
practice correlating the printed page with the scenery.  I decided 
that Sunday we would take a route going northeast from Grouse 
Lake to the low point on the south flank of Goat Mountain, then 
turn north and follow the ridge to the summit.

We descended to Grouse Lake, dined, slept under the starriest sky 
that ever hung over the Sierra Nevada, woke up to sleeping bags 
covered by frost, and tried out my route up Goat.

And now it is time to play "two truths and a lie."  Guess which one 
of these three statements is false:

1.  We chose the cadillac sized granite blocks of the south flank 
over the sandy scree of the west flank because we preferred the 
mountaineering challenge.

2.  Since Hutchings, the south flank and the summit of Goat are 
all in a line, I didn't realize how many gendarmes I had put in our 

3.  Climbing a false summit or two on the way to the true summit 
happens all the time and is no big embarrassment.

The top of Goat Mountain, on a clear morning, offers one of those 
unlimited Sierra Nevada vistas that we have all come to love. We 
admired Goddard, North and Middle Palisade, Split, Brewer and 
Thunder Mountains.  We told each other many nearly truthful 
stories about our adventures on the peaks that we now saw.

We had spent three hours climbing Goat, but we hurried down in 
one hour so that we could temper the midmorning heat with a 
plunge in Grouse Lake.  To answer your predictable questions:
*  Of course it was, it's melted snow.
*  None of your business.
*  They're still being developed.

Back on the trail to Cedar Grove Road's End, we plummeted into 
the canyon at (according to my altimeter) 2300 vertical feet per 
hour. The air got denser, hotter and dustier with each step we took.

We could handle the temperature, because we knew we could get 
soft-serve ice cream at the soda fountain at Cedar Grove.  Much 
to our dismay, they no longer serve ice cream!  Don't they know 
that ice cream is the Eleventh Essential?  "If you're really 
desperate," the server gloated, "there's ice cream 17 miles up the 
road at Kings Canyon Lodge."  We *were* desperate, and we were 
going that direction anyhow.  The Lodge has a grubby hunter's bar, 
with unchained growling dogs and moth-gnawed mounted 
trophies, but they now possess the ice cream monopoly on upper 
highway 180.

Fortified, we drove back home.  Scott and I carpooled with Jeff, 
picking him up in Gilroy.  Back where Jeff's 1971 Pontiac LeMans 
was parked, we were irritated to discover that over the weekend, a 
thief had removed one hubcap and the lug nuts from one wheel, 
but apparently had been frightened off before he could steal the 
tire.  Jeff couldn't drive home with the wheel all wobbly, and there 
is nowhere to buy spare lug nuts at 10:00 PM.  A parade of Gilroy 
lowlife characters watched as Jeff popped off his other hubcaps, 
removed one lug nut from each wheel, and fastened the tire with 
the cannibalized lug nuts.  With four mostly secured wheels, Jeff 
was at last able to drive home.  We avidly disrecommend Murray 
Avenue in Gilroy as a carpool rendezvous spot.

-- Aaron Schuman


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


Elected Officials

	Roger  Crawley /rcrawl@earthlink.net
	650-321-8602  home
	761 Nash Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025

Vice Chair and Trip Scheduler:
	Arun Mahajan / arun@tollbridgetech.com
	650 327-8598 home
	1745 Alma Street, Palo Alto, Ca 94301.

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
	761 Towhee Court, Fremont CA 94539-7421

PCS World Wide Web Publisher:
	Aaron Schuman / aaron_schuman@yahoo.com
	650-943-7532 	http://www.sierraclub.org/chapters/lomaprieta/pcs/
	223 Horizon Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94043-4718

Publicity Chair
	Steve Eckert list_owner@juno.com 650-508-0500

Subscriptions and Email List Info

Hard copy 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. 
The Scree is on the PCS web site (as both plain text and Adobe 
Acrobat/PDF at:	 

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 9/27/98.
Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month.

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