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Scree for January, 1999

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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.
                  January, 1999	Vol. 33 No. 1
     Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 1/24/99.
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This issue of Scree will be on the Official PCS Website at
   http://lomaprieta.sierraclub.org/pcs/scree
 

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Next general meeting (PCS meetings are the second tuesday of each month)
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Date:	Tuesday, January 12
Time:	8:00 PM
Program: 	Ski Mountaineering

Eugene Miya will share his expertise on ski mountaineering with us.

Location: Western Mountaineering, Santa Clara
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.


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Internet users take note: The PCS email list and 
website have moved to Climber.Org, where there are 
now 22 climbing-related email lists if you also 
count the ones for the Colorado Mountain Club. 
Check out the new service by sending any email to 
"info@climber.org" or visiting http://www.climber.org
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Trip Planning Meeting
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Date:	Tuesday, January 5, 1999
Time: 	8:00 PM
Place:	Home of Arun Mahajan, arun@tollbridgetech.com

The backcountry permits for Inyo NF are now available 6 
months in advance. This means that permits for trips in 
June are already available, and permits for trips in July can 
be issued in January. As a result, I like to hold the 
summer's trip planning meeting in January.

Directions From 101:

1. Take the Oregon Expressway exit in Palo Alto.

2. Go west, through a few lights. After Bryant is the Alma 
exit. It is a sharp right. If you miss it, you will know because 
you go under an overpass.

3. After taking the exit, follow the exit road till it meets Alma.

4. Go north (right turn) on Alma for a few blocks passing 
roads like California, Santa Rita, Rinconada, Seale. These 
roads are on the right. The CalTrain tracks are on the left of Alma.

5. After Seale is Tennyson. My townhouse is in a 4-plex, 
1745 Alma, the second unit from the road. It is north of 
Tennyson but south of the next road, Lowell. Off street 
parking on Tennyson or Lowell, there is none in the 
complex for guests, I am afraid.

From 280:

1. Take the Page Mill Road exit in Palo Alto.

2. Drive east on Page Mill, go through El Camino.

3. Alma (north) is a sharp right turn within half a mile of the 
El Camino junction.

4. Follow the directions mentioned in 4 above.

Bring your calendars and trip ideas. And if you can think 
ahead for fall trips, bring those too.  This meeting is 
primarily for trip leaders and would be leaders.

Toiyabe NF is sticking to its March date for permits. If 
anybody has information about other areas permit 
schedule, please post to the list.

-- Ron Karpel


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Your Information Superhighway At Work
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Greetings from Auburn, Alabama! This is the information 
superhighway at work. Although The Scree is published for 
members of Peak Climbing Section of the Loma Prieta 
Chapter in California, this issue is being assembled and 
edited 2500 miles away. I am in Alabama visiting my 
mother during Christmas. Using my dated, but reliable 
Macintosh Powerbook 170, I am receiving e-mailed trip 
write-ups and reports just like at home and then putting the 
Scree together with Word. The file is then e-mailed to Steve 
Eckert for distribution.

-- Bob Bynum, Scree Editor


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New Members for the Mountaineering Committee
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With the appointment of new officers for the club last 
November, we also have new members for the 
mountaineering committee.

George Van Gorden, the new PCS Chair, asked me to 
serve as the chair of the mountaineering committee in 
addition to my position as Vice Chair/Scheduler.  Last year 
Arun Mahajan served as both Vice Chair/Scheduler and 
chair of the mountaineering committee. This proved an 
efficient arrangement as both functions have a lot in 
common.

As the bylaw specifies, the Mountaineering Committee 
Chair appoints the members with the approval of the PCS 
Chair.  After some searching, I got the following 
distinguished members of the PCS to come aboard as 
members of the committee for the new year  Debbie 
Benham, Bob Suzuki, and Kelly Mass.

I like to thank the members of last year's committee Arun 
Mahajan, Kelly Mass, and Peter Maxwell. They have done 
an excellent job. They work for maintaining the club's 
operation and safety. I hope we can live up to their 
standard.

-- Ron Karpel


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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.


*** Annual Beginners Snow Camping Seminar
Dates:	Eves: Tues., Jan. 12th, Thur. Jan. 14th, Tue. 
        Jan. 19th; Weekend of Jan. 23/24 or Jan. 30/31.
Leaders: Chris MacIntosh, 650-325-7841 
         
         Tom Wolf, 650-961-2682

A planned winter overnight trip in the Sierra can be 
wonderful or cold and miserable. A forced overnight due to 
storm, injury or equipment failure presents far more 
hazards in winter than in summer.  For the 26th winter, 
PCS (and STS) leaders present a snow camping seminar 
to help backpackers, climbers, and others enjoy winter 
sports safely and comfortably. Participants learn do's and 
don'ts of winter planning, clothing, food etc. as well as 
making emergency and non-emergency shelters in the 
snow, then put these skills into practice on a weekend trip 
to the Sierra ( traveling by skis or snowshoes. $40 cost 
includes 3 books and equipment maintenance).


*** Treasure of the Serra Padre
Peak:	Junipero Serra Peak, 5862 ft, Class 1
Date:	Sunday, January 10 1999.
Maps:	Junipero Serra 7.5'
Leaders:	Arun V. Mahajan , 
	(h) 650-327-8598
	Ron Karpel 
	(w)510771-3231, (h)650-594-0211

The native Americans called it Pimkolam Peak, it has also 
been called Santa Lucia Peak, and now goes by the name 
Junipero Serra after the venerable padre. At 5862 ft, it is 
the highest peak in the Santa Lucia Coast Range. It is also 
the high point of Monterey County and the highest peak 
that you can get to in the Bay Area.

Join us as we take an enjoyable and mildly strenuous (6 
miles and 3900 ft gain, one way) tramp to this peak. There 
is trail all the way to the top. Carpool suggestions from Bay 
Area: Meet at the Carl's Jr. that is at the Dunne Avenue exit 
on 101 in Morgan Hill at 7 am on Sunday, January 10. We 
will carpool from there. Non Bay Area People: Contact the 
leader for directions to the trailhead.


*** Tam Times Two
Peak:	Mt. Tam (east peak and west peak), class 2
Date:	Saturday, January 30
Leader: 	Steve Eckert  650-508-0500
Co-Leader:	Jeff Fisher 

This has become a classic hike for the leader... including 
redwood groves, lunch on the beach, and a loop route that 
includes both East and West peak of Mt Tamalpias (that 
big lump north of the Golden Gate). You might not think 
there is class 2 on this well-trailed peak, but we guarantee 
you'll use your hands without leaving named trails. Short 
days require a fast pace. Send email or call for meeting 
time and lace, and be prepared to convince us you can do 
20+ miles and 5000+ feet of gain/loss "in good style".


*** Pyramid Peak
Peak:	Pyramid Peak, Class 2 - 9,983'
Date:	February 13/14/15      Saturday-Monday
Leader:	Palmer Dyal, H: 650-941-5321 pdyal@msn.com
Co-Leader:	Wanted
Topo:	Pyramid Peak 7.5'

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

We will have time to build snow caves on the first day and 
view the marvelous glaciated scenery of the whole Tahoe 
basin from the peak on the second day.

There will be a choice of returning on Sunday or Monday 
depending on the weather, etc.  This will be a good trip for 
beginning climbers.


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Riding El Nino's Tail (Matterhorn)
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May 23-25, 1998

Ten miles north of Bridgeport, Pat Callery and I awoke after a 
restful night in the sagebrush to gray skies from horizon to 
horizon.  Throwing our wet sleeping bags in the car, we drove 
down to the familiar trailhead at Twin Lakes, where we were 
soon joined by Jim Curl, Dot Reilly, Milushe Kudnrnovska, and 
trip leader Kai Wiedman.  It was early Saturday morning on 
Memorial Day weekend and time for another one of Kai's assaults 
on the Sawtooth Ridge.

After breakfast by the lake and the usual sorting of gear, we 
headed up the trail into Horse Creek Canyon about 8:30.  We hit 
snow at the top of the first long, forested hill.  Jim, Kai, and Pat 
put on skis, while Dot, Milushe, and I donned snowshoes, and we 
continued up the rugged canyon. The plan was to climb 
Matterhorn that afternoon, head west across the ridge to tackle 
Blacksmith Peak on Sunday, and hike out on Monday.  El Nino 
had other plans

Around 1 o'clock, we stopped for lunch at the top of a huge hill in 
the canyon and had lunch at about 10,000 feet.  The weather 
turned cloudy and a bit windy, with the jagged peaks of the 
Sawtooth Ridge socked in above us.  We turned right (north), 
climbed up out of the canyon, and set up camp in a large open 
snow bowl next to snow-covered Matterhorn Lake. The 
mountains were still shrouded in dark clouds, so we decided to 
postpone our climb.  Jim, Kai, and Pat took off on skis to yo-yo 
the slopes above our camp, while Milushe and I played on some 
class-3 ledges and hiked to the base of the spectacular Horse 
Creek Tower above our camp. Dot was suffering with a recently 
broken hand that was still quite painful, and had to restrict her 
activities all weekend.

Around 5 we gathered at camp to melt snow and cook.  The cold 
wind picked up and sent most of us to our tents by 7:30.  After an 
11-hour sleep (close to the PCS record), we threw open the tent 
flaps and gazed into cloudless, crystal clear skies, with every 
ledge on the neighboring peaks etched by fresh snow.  Because 
we hadn't been able to climb the day before, we agreed to forget 
about Blacksmith Peak and just do Matterhorn, so Kai told us 
there was no need to do anything radical like leave camp early.

After lengthy cooking and relaxing, we finally left camp at 9:45, 
with Jim, Kai, and Pat on skis, and Dot, Milushe, and I on 
crampons.  We ran into several other parties returning from 
Matterhorn or skiing up in the high snow bowls, including a large 
group of experts from the Southern California Ski 
Mountaineering Section, who were carving turns and crossing icy 
slopes with apparent ease on their wide random skis.  We 
wandered upward in the warm sun while occasional snow and 
rock slides clattered down the huge wide face of the Dragtooth to 
our right.

At 11 we started up the east couloir, the snow a bit soft as the sun 
had been hitting it for about five hours already.  This couloir is 
not real steep, with an average angle of about 30 degrees.  Part 
way up it, the skiers stashed their skis and donned crampons.  At 
11:45 I reached the notch and talked to a couple of guys with 
alpine ski gear, then headed up the last 300 or so feet to the top.  
In summer, you head left, then double back to the right along the 
ridge -- easy class 2 all the way.  Or you can climb straight up the 
class-3 rock at the top of the southeast slope.  In search of some 
sportier climbing, I decided to try that, though the class-3 rock 
was buried by the El Nino snow.

Things went fine until the last 20 feet, where the slope steepened 
to about 60 degrees, topped by a 8-foot high vertical cornice of 
soft unconsolidated snow.  Yikes.  I climbed up to the vertical 
step and hacked away at the cornice with my ice axe, looking for 
something solid enough for a secure foothold.  I probably 
should've downclimbed 200 feet or so to the standard route -- if I 
fell, an arrest was unlikely until I tumbled down to the lower 
angled slope, and even there, sharp rocks poked through the snow 
like sharks' teeth.  Deep snow had made easy class-3 rock into 
something quite different.

Finally I carved out a stable foothold at waist level, shoved my 
cramponed boot into it, reached up over my head and over the lip 
of the cornice, and planted my ice axe shaft all the way to the 
hilt.  Now all I had to do was make the move and hope the whole 
shebang didn't come down on top of me.  With a thrash I flopped 
over the top, and a couple minutes later I was on the summit, 
letting my breathing slowly return to normal.

Jim Curl, Kai, and Pat also decided to avoid the tourist route off 
to the left.  They went even farther to the right than I did -- Kai 
and Pat climbing an exposed class-4 rock step that scared even 
Kai, and Jim tackling a short vertical squeeze chimney with ice in 
the back of it. Oh those fun-loving PCSers, doing stuff like this 
with dangerous fall potential, while a well-trodden footpath to the 
summit lay just a couple of hundred feet away.

We all relaxed on the summit for a bit, and then Jim Curl and I 
went down to check on Milushe.  As I feared, she was following 
our somewhat fool- hardy path to the top.  We advised her to go 
down to the tourist route, and after trying a couple of different 
routes and after a stern warning from Kai, she finally agreed to 
do so.  But then she found she couldn't downclimb the class-3 
rock and snow she'd just come up.  As he's done for others in the 
past, Jim Curl went down, climbed up next to her, and coached 
her down.

Finally, around 2 p.m., Milushe, Kai, Jim, Pat, and I were all 
back at the notch (Dot had stopped farther down because of her 
hand).  Milushe really wanted to summit, and Kai and I agreed to 
go back up with her as we'd kind of left her stranded on the way 
up.  Undaunted by her trials, Milushe quickly led Kai and I up 
the normal tourist route.  Someone from another party had told us 
that it had "a class-5 move" -- ludicrous of course, but it did have 
some awkward class-3 moves up snow-covered blocks.

The three of us soon topped out and started heading down -- a 
good thing, because the wind was picking up, thin clouds were 
racing over the summit, and a thick cloud bank was moving in 
from the west.  We quickly descended the east couloir, while Jim 
tried skiing the lower half of it.  He made one nice turn, slipped, 
slid down a couple hundred feet, then got up and continued.  
Below that, the three skiers had a great run back to camp, while 
Milushe and I got in some great sitting glissades.

Back in camp we dried gear, melted snow, and played with the 
shovels to enlarge our kitchen and improve our snow walls.  A 
long leisurely supper ensued, as we all watched Kai go through 
his ritual of wine, soup, chicken curry, tea, and gourmet cookies.  
The clouds moved in over the peaks and the wind picked up as 
night came on, and strong gusty winds to about 40 MPH knocked 
the tents around all night. Just before dawn it stated snowing, and 
at first light we looked out of our tents into a full-on spring 
blizzard.

We ate breakfast in the tents, then packed up quickly as blowing 
snow stung our faces.  It was about 30 degrees though, and the 
snow wasn't accumulating enough to cause avalanche problems, 
so there was no real storm hazard.  Still, it was quite something 
for Memorial Day.  As we descended the first steep hill below 
camp, I looked back at the others a few hundred feet above me, 
barely visible in swirling whirlwinds of snow. Descending on 
crampons was effortless, but the skiers were having a hard time 
on the crusty, frozen snow.  It sure wasn't doing any melting this 
day.

By 9 we were down out of the wind, and the snow slowly turned 
to sleet and then rain.  We reached the cars at 10:30 a.m., washed 
up, then gathered in Bridgeport for brunch.  The excellent Hayes 
Street cafe had a long line, so we made do with the dark, gloomy 
Sportsman's cafe.  Our drive home was enlivened by more snow 
flurries while driving over just-opened Sonora Pass, where we 
marveled at the 12-foot vertical walls of snow cut by the 
snowplows on both sides of the road.  May 25, and the El Nino 
winter was not in any hurry to loosen its grip on the mountains.

-- Jim Ramaker


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Seven Gables I - Heat And Dust
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August 7-9, 1998

Charles Schafer led this trip into the central Sierras from the 
west. Climbers included Landa Robilliard, Kelly Maas, Roger 
Crawley, Andy Skumanich, and your scribe, Jim Ramaker.  We 
assembled at the boat dock at Huntington Lake on Friday 
morning, and boarded the boat ferry that takes you to the 
trailhead at the south end of the lake.  The boat is an old scow 
like the one in the Humphrey Bogart movie "African Queen," and 
it held over 20 tightly packed climbers and backpackers.  Fare is 
$15 round-trip.

After fiddling at the trailhead (7300'), we started toiling uphill in 
the hot sun about 9:30 a.m.  Sorry, but this trailhead gets my 
nomination as one of the worst in the Sierras.  The ferry runs on 
bankers' hours, so on the first day you can't start hiking before 9 
a.m., and on the last day you can't really do any climbing because 
you have to complete the long hike out to the ferry landing before 
the last boat at 5 p.m.  In addition, the first ten miles of the hike 
up to Seven Gables meanders through low elevation woods and 
meadows -- on this day, hot, buggy, and polluted by horses from 
the huge pack station.

In the late morning we toiled up some hot, unshaded switchbacks, 
then worked our way up past Sally Keys Lakes.  Finally around 4 
p.m. after more than 10 miles of hiking, we broke above 
timberline into the alpine scenery around Heart Lake, then 
popped over Selden Pass (10,800') to the incredibly beautiful 
basin of Marie Lake.  This mile-long lake has many grassy 
peninsulas and was surrounded by gorgeous meadows and cliffs 
still streaked with snow.  The plan was to continue across another 
ridge and camp at Sandpiper Lake below Seven Gables, but right 
at 6 p.m. we passed a gorgeous campsite on a bench above Marie 
Lake and the tired team rebelled. After mild resistance, Charles 
gave in and we camped there for the night. The clouds that had 
been building all day dissipated at sunset, and weather for the 
rest of the trip remained clear and mild. Bugs were moderately 
bad, and we got to watch Charles eat supper through his bug 
headnet.

Saturday we crossed the ridge to Sandpiper Lake and headed up 
Seven Gables, an easy climb up brushy class-2 cliffs and a huge 
scree terrace above. Near the summit we had to cross a frozen 
snowfield and some people wished they'd brought crampons to go 
with their ice axes, but the runout below wasn't bad and it was 
safe as long as you went carefully.  Above that came 100 feet of 
nice class-3 blocks, and we stepped onto the airy summit 
(13,080') with its tremendous drop-off to the east about 11:30.

The view was so good and the weather so pleasant that a 
profound lethargy overtook the team, and no one except Charles 
could get up any enthusiasm for the long complex traverse over to 
Gemini (12,880 and 1.5 miles away). Secor says that the route 
goes down the cliff just 20 feet below the summit, and after much 
exploration by Charles and Kelly, they finally found the elusive 
slot.  But looking at a potential return to camp of around 8 p.m., 
the team slowly decided that it would be okay for once to have a 
relatively easy day on a PCS trip, with no route finding struggles 
up and down loose gullies and no late return to camp.

About 1:30 we headed for our home away from home, glissading 
down the now-softened snow.  Around 4 we stopped for a long 
rest on the shoulder of the ridge above our camp, reclining on a 
nice sofa-like ledge with a spectacular view to the north.  We 
talked and dozed in the sun, and soaked up the relaxing alpine 
antidote to hard days in front of the computer in Silicon Valley.  
In ones and twos, we departed and wandered back to camp.

In a meadow on the way back, a ptarmigan confronted me in a 
frightening display, extending her wings and running right up to 
my feet, where she stood and puffed up her chest and hissed at 
me. Stunned by this assault, I withdrew, and her motive soon 
became clear as two chicks scurried up a nearby snow bank.  
After much excited peeping and calling, mother and chicks were 
reunited.  For those who don't know, a ptarmigan is a rare, 
ground-dwelling, alpine bird known for its lack of fear of people 
and for changing color from mottled brown in summer to pure 
white in winter.

Back at camp, the team spent a pleasant dinner hour, with bottled 
beer appearing from a nearby snow bank and the bugs nearly non-
existent compared to the night before.  On Sunday, with 13 miles 
to go before the 5 p.m. ferry, we didn't have time to climb a major 
peak like Hooper or Senger. But Kelly and I wanted to get a little 
more climbing in, so we got up at 5:30 a.m. and tackled the 
beautiful 1000-foot, class-3 cliff above our camp.  Except for a 
couple of brushy spots, this gave us super climbing up smooth 
rounded slabs and ledges.  We almost got stopped by cliffs a 
couple times, but there was always a ramp or ledge that gave safe 
passage. About 6:40 we arrived on the ridge top and traversed it 
for a few hundred feet to a small summit at 11,600'.  The view 
down to our lake and down the other side into the Seven Gables-
Gemini basin was spectacular at this early hour, and reminded us 
why we love the mountains.

Back at camp we had breakfast, packed up, and departed at 9. 
The first hour of hiking, up to and over Selden Pass in the 
morning light was incredibly beautiful and the cameras were 
really clicking away.  Then the fun was over, and about six hours 
of hiking in the warm sun finally brought us to Huntington Lake 
at 4.  After our hot dusty hike, washing up and swimming in the 
lake felt like heaven, and as we cruised across the lake on the 
cool, breezy ferry ride, we realized that the pleasure of climbing 
must sometimes be purchased with an equal measure of 
discomfort and pain.

-- Jim Ramaker


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The best backpacks are named for 
national parks or mountain ranges. Steer 
clear of those named for landfills.
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Seven Gables II - Rainy Day, Climb Away
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Hooper, Senger, Gemini, Seven Gables
September 4-7, 1998

This ambitious four-day trip over Labor Day weekend was led by 
Bob Suzuki and included Rich Leiker, Maggie Hudson, Eddie 
Sudol, Eddie's friend Skip, and myself (Jim Ramaker).  After 
spending Thursday night at the Badger Flat campground on the 
road to Florence Lake, we caught the 8:30 a.m. ferry across the 
lake under dark threatening skies.

The 3500-foot gain, 13-mile hike up to Marie Lake has three 
parts -- a long, relatively flat stretch through forest and meadow 
past the large pack station, a steep uphill stretch on manzanita 
slopes, and a long up and down ramble through woods and past 
some alpine lakes. With the cool cloudy weather, the hike in was 
infinitely more pleasant than when I'd done it four weeks earlier 
on a hot August day.  In this El Nino year, the woods were 
carpeted with wildflowers and the meadows were still lush and 
green -- more like mid-July than Labor Day weekend.

About 4 p.m. we arrived at Marie Lake and set up camp in a light 
drizzle. Most of us then took naps and fell sound asleep for 
awhile. I find this helps my acclimatization greatly on the first 
day of a climbing trip. Around 6 the drizzle let up and we cooked 
and ate supper, and then it returned to soothe us to sleep. 
Counting the nap, we got about 11 hours of sleep that night.

Saturday we got up before dawn at 5:30, and when we left camp 
at 6:30, the weather was sparkling with just a few tiny clouds.  
We headed west toward our first objective, Mt. Hooper (12,349), 
and climbed up class-3 blocks on the east slope, foregoing easier 
ground around on the southeast slope.  By 9 a.m. we were at the 
interesting summit block -- a 20-foot tall monolith split by a 
single narrow crack.  Secor rates it class 4, which raises the 
perennial issue of just what class 4 means. The crack is too 
narrow for good jamming, and the actual climbing difficulty is 
probably around 5.6.  However, there's no big exposure, so the 
class-4 rating is a good compromise I guess. Bob and Skip soloed 
the crack after a little thrashing.  Eddie and I did it on belay, and 
Maggie and Rich traversed around the west side of the block to 
an exposed class-3 crack on the north side.  If you're going to 
Hooper, I'd say you won't need a rope as long as everyone in the 
party is a strong class-3 climber or better.  But if anyone is less 
experienced than that, bring a short rope and a couple of slings.

Our next objective was Senger (12,286), 2.5 miles to the 
southwest.  We hiked across some beautiful slabs and meadows 
to Selden Pass, taking a lunch break at noon under increasingly 
cloudy skies.  From Selden Pass we headed up the valley 
northwest of Senger, and climbed a snow slope and some easy 
class-2 rock to Senger's huge summit plateau.  As we took a 
break on the summit, the clouds rolled in and it started hailing, 
and we headed down in visibility of about 50 feet. Descending to 
the west, we soon found ourselves on an unfamiliar, low-angle 
slope, and couldn't agree on the direction to our descent route. 
Changing direction, we were soon utterly lost in the impenetrable 
mist. Consulting maps and compasses, we made an educated 
guess about where we were and changed direction again.

Then the clouds below parted a bit, revealing the first corner of a 
lake, then slowly the entire lake, which I recognized as Heart 
Lake. Finally getting our bearings, we found the saddle leading to 
our snow slope, descended it, and hiked back to camp in steady 
soaking rain.

By the time we got back to camp at 5, most of us were pretty wet 
-- even Gore-Tex seems to soak through after hours of steady rain 
with pack straps pressing on it.  The experience showed us the 
wisdom of not wearing a couple items of clothing on a cold, wet 
day -- even a very thin layer of dry polypro can do wonders for 
your warmth when you strip off your wet clothes, put on a dry 
layer, and climb into your sleeping bag.  And that's what we all 
did.  After a short nap, we got up to cook and eat, then returned 
to our tents for another long sleep.

The weather pattern continued on Saturday -- sparkling and clear 
in the morning, then increasing clouds leading to rain and hail as 
the day wore on.  Our objectives this day were Gemini (12,880) 
and Seven Gables (13,080), and we again left camp about 6:30. 
(Eddie wasn't feeling well and stayed in camp.) We headed east 
this time, over a ridge and down into the spectacularly beautiful, 
rarely visited lake basin just west of Seven Gables.  Small lakes 
and fjords, pocket meadows, clean granite slabs, small trees and 
bushes -- this lake basin is a backpacker's dream.  We climbed up 
past a waterfall, and around 9:30 we emerged onto the more 
austere terrain near Seven Gables Pass and got our first close-up 
view of Gemini.  It looks pretty steep from the pass, but it's not 
once you get on it -- just pleasant class-2 slabs.  Ignore Secor's 
confusing reference to the "West Spur," and just climb straight up 
the wide chute that makes up the north face.

After a break on the summit, with its tremendous views over 
toward Mt. Humphreys and the Abbot group, we descended and 
crossed over to the bottom of the 1500' south face of Seven 
Gables.  We clambered over and around some car-sized granite 
blocks, and then Rich led us up smooth, class-3 slabs and ledges 
just as the first raindrops started to fall. Higher up, the angle 
eased off and we slogged up a long scree slope as the rain turned 
to hail and then snow.  At 1 p.m. thunder boomed a couple times 
and we all gathered under an overhanging rock to discuss what to 
do.  At the back of the overhang, snow trickled through a crack 
and piled up in a melancholy fashion.  Prudence said to descend, 
but prudence was not leading this trip.  We knew that going back 
down those smooth, somewhat exposed slabs would be no picnic 
in snow, and that if we could somehow get over to the northwest 
face, the descent was easy scree almost all the way.  Trouble is, 
on Seven Gables, the only reasonable way from the south face to 
the northwest face is straight over the summit.

Standing under the overhang, we hadn't heard any thunder for 
awhile, so Bob made a leadership decision -- go for it.

A half hour later we reached the top of the south face and 
surveyed a dismal, somewhat frightening scene.  An very 
exposed, snow-plastered, knife-edge ridge led over to the summit 
about 100' away.  While we had another discussion in the 
blowing snow, Bob scampered across the ridge and summited.  In 
search of the "100-foot, class-3 crack" described in Secor, I 
descended about 50 feet and started traversing northward.  I 
found the crack (it's about 50 feet high, not 100), and climbed 
most of the way up it with Skip.  But right at the top was an 
exposed move on downsloping, snow-covered holds. Damn -- I 
could talk to Bob 10 feet above me, but we'd left the rope in 
camp, and he said it didn't look safe from his vantage point.  But 
he said the ridge he'd done wasn't too bad, so we decided to try 
that.

I descended, climbed back up, and traversed the ridge.  At two 
spots it felt like class-4 -- a move on the knife edge with 1500 
feet of air on the right, and an awkward step around a bulging 
corner on a wet, downsloping ledge, with one mediocre hold 
around the corner and a death fall below. With a little coaching, 
everyone made these moves without complaint, and at 2:15 we 
were all celebrating on the snowy summit.  Bob hopped out onto 
the actual high point, which juts out over the 1500-foot east face 
like a diving board.  Skip crawled out there, and the rest of us 
decided to forego this additional excitement.

I led down a short class-3 section and a snow slope to the broad 
scree terrace northwest of Seven Gables. Then it was down down 
down the brushy cliff to Sandpiper Lake and a long break, and 
then up and over the ridge back to Marie Lake.  Sun broke 
through the clouds as we arrived in camp at 5:30, and it was 
actually hot for a few minutes. But then clouds and rain returned.  
We ate in the tents, then gathered outside for a bull session in the 
dark as the rain let up around 7 p.m.

On Monday we departed at 8, hoping to make the 3 o'clock boat.  
After a snack break at 11, Bob, Rich, and Maggie left early and 
around 11:30 I realized they might be trying to make the 1 o'clock 
boat.  So I raced along the trail, finally catching up to them at 
1:05 just as they descended the last hill to the boat landing and 
just as the boat was just pulling in -- a fitting end to a highly 
successful trip.

We'd done the 13 miles in five hours. As afternoon storm clouds 
gathered over the peaks again, we relaxed in the cool breeze of 
the boat ride with smiles on our faces.

-- Jim Ramaker


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yosemite From Another Perspective
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

October 31, 1998

On many occasions I've seen Yosemite from the marmot's 
perspective, up high, but waddling slowly, glued to the granite by 
my own weight. I've seen golden eagles cruising thermals above 
me, but to see what the eagles see, I might as well sprout wings 
on my back.

Yesterday David Harris, Jon Richards and I flew to Yosemite in 
the Cessna that David shares with the Stanford Flying Club.

We left Palo Alto, crossed the Bay, the Diablos, and the valley of 
the San Joaquin.  We soared up Yosemite Valley, with El Capitan 
just below us to the left and Glacier Point on our right, close 
enough to touch.  We turned south, passing Mt Clark, and circling 
the three smooth domes of Mt Starr King.  I reflected on climbs 
I've made of those peaks, and how differently the mountains 
appeared while I was on them.  We made another turn up the 
valley, covering the distance of multi-day hikes in minutes.  Half 
Dome stood by. David noted that he had never hiked the Grand 
Canyon of the Tuolomne, and neither had I, so we turned north, 
and explored its ice scoured precipices and waterfalls.  With a 
few minutes left in our flight plan, we crossed over the Merced 
almost out to the headwaters of the San Joaquin for an 
unobstructed close up view of Mts Ritter and Banner, and the 
ghostly Minarets.  We passed around the Clark Range to the east, 
climbing to 12000 feet to make the pass, then swooped down 
Yosemite Valley one last time.  A mist had begun to fill the 
valley, enshrouding Cathedral Spires.

David handed me the controls of the plane.  My job was an easy 
one; drop down to 6500 feet, and hold that elevation, while 
maintaining a compass bearing to Livermore.  I learned that my 
intuitive sense of where the horizon lies is different from the 
reality of it.  To fly level, I had to monitor the instruments, not 
just the sky, and to point the nose of the plane downward took 
real concentration.

I was surprised to discover how broad the Central Valley is.  
Driving, we always rocket across those flatlands at approximately 
the same speed as a Cessna can fly, but then slow down for the 
windy uphill grades.  The plane, which flies as straight and fast 
in Yosemite as it does over Modesto, reveals how narrow the 
Sierra Nevada is compared to the whole width of California.

David took back the controls to land us in a light rain for our 
brief stopover in Livermore, then flew us back home through the 
controlled air space of the lower San Francisco Bay.  I drove 
home from the Palo Alto airport with my Honda hovering eight 
feet above the pavement.  This morning, still thrilled about my 
visit to a Yosemite in a new dimension, the vertical dimension, I 
am still flying.

"People wonder why I don't express more interest in traveling 
around the world.  The fact is, I really haven't completed 
exploration of my own backyard!  Two dimensionally, I am 
jealous as Hell over your flying over the Himalayas!  JEZUZ!!! 
But - after all - the other day I walked by some fresh green moss 
in my garden; this is a terrible confession for an old grizzled 
mountaineer to say - but that moss looked mighty impressive to 
me!"

  -- Ansel Adams, in a letter to Dorothea Lange, 2/22/1959

-- Aaron Schuman


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Telescope Peak 11049
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

November 14th, 1998

The web page for this report including pictures is at
  http://home.earthlink.net/~karpel/Telescope98.html

After many plan changes and participants dropping in and out, 
the seven of us finally gather at the Mahogany Flat trailhead in 
Death Valley for our hike up to Telescope Peak. The ranger's 
warning of a significant snowfall the Wednesday before were 
proven wrong. There was some snow visible on the higher peaks, 
but no more then an inch or 2. Wildrose's southern slops were 
completely free of the white stuff. Snowshoes ice axes and 
crampons were left in the car. Bob insisted on carrying his ice 
axe, but it stayed in its holster the entire trip. I carried my ski 
polls, but I used them only on the way down to help absorb some 
of the impact of the hard trail on my ankles.

A couple hundred feet into the hike, we all stopped to get rid of 
extra clothing. This was a tee shirt and sunscreen weather; not 
what one would have expected in mid November. There were a 
few patches of snow on the shady side of the mountain, but never 
more then a couple of inches deep, and always well stamped out.

Three and a half hours including 2 lengthy brakes got us to the 
summit. The weather was as close to perfect as could be 
expected. Temperatures were around 60 degree, perfect visibility, 
and warm sun. The only negative was the lively wind that blew at 
around 10-20 mile an hour. We spent about 1 1/2 hours basking 
in the sun, eating summit chocolate, taking pictures, and 
identifying the summits of the high Sierras which were clearly 
visible to the west.

On the way down, Bob, David, Joan, and I made a detour to 
summit Mt Rogers. We got back to the cars by 3:40.

Participants: Bob Suzuki, David Hough, Jeff West, Joan 
Marshall, Milus Kudrnovska, Nancy Fitzsimmons, and scribe: 
Ron Karpel.

Special thanks to Bill Kirkpatrick for scheduling this trip for such 
a beautiful day.

-- Ron Karpel


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unofficial 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.


*** Mt Baldy
Peaks: Mt. Baldy/Gorgonio
Dates:	Jan. 22, 23, 24
Contact:	Tony Cruz


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pinnacles Hike
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

December 13, 1998

Ten of us showed up for this day hike in Pinnacles National 
Monument: Bill Fitzpatrick and his wife, Ann, Tony Stegman, 
Andy Macia (spelling?), Joan ?, George Van Gorden, Arun 
Mahajan, Ron Perkins, Bill Hauser, and Roger Crawley.  The 
pancakes at the Hyatt Coffee Shop were splendid with lots of 
butter and maple syrup; but, of course, it's surpassed by the 
Bishop Grill's biscuits and country gravy plate.

So, we drove down to the east entrance station and walked up to 
North Chalone Peak and ate our lunch there.  The weather was 
fine and the sky was clear. We enjoyed views of Junipero Sierra 
Peak in the Coast Range and San Benito Peak to the southeast.  
At this time of year the sunlight is at a low angle and produces 
shadows in the rock formations that make them dramatic to look 
at. We encountered a few groups of rock climbers in the Bear 
Gulch area, but almost no one on the trails.  In the afternoon we 
got over to the Balconies Trial which is a little spectacular with 
steps gouged into the rock and railings to hang on to.  When we 
left the Monument and drove north it started to rain; our timing 
was lucky.  Most of us stopped in Hollister at the San Andreas 
Micro Brewing place for delicious beer and burgers and stuff. 
Everyone comported themselves in a suitable civil manner.

-- Roger Crawley


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Zeal for Freel
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

December 12, 1998

In summertime, Freel Peak is a stroll in the park, a lark,  a day 
hike from the edge of town in South Lake Tahoe to a  nearby high 
point.  How ordinary!  On December 12, 1998, we set out to 
make Freel Peak an adventure.  

We parked our cars at the corner of Oneidas and Chibcha, in 
Myers, a suburb of South Lake Tahoe.  I looked over the  crew for 
the outing:  Scott Kreider, Noriko Sekikawa, Jim Curl, Tom Curl, 
Rich Leiker, David Harris, Stephane Mouradian, Patricia Kroeni, 
Jonathan Claman, and Tim Kutscha.   Kelly Maas was the leader, 
and I was his assistant.

We picked up a thirteenth trip mate, an eager golden retriever 
who apparently lived in one of the nearby houses.  She started  up 
the trail with us, stayed with us for two days, attaining  the 
summit and returning home. (Who can imagine what pets do 
while their people aren't paying attention?  I think my cats spend 
their private time on the phone with their stockbroker, trading 
securities and amassing a boundless fortune.)  

The 1940s era topo map showed a confusing tangle of unpaved 
forest service roads, but the reality was that there was one 
obvious main route and a number of conspicuously smaller spurs. 

We followed the road for five miles to a location named Fountain 
Place.  The snow on the road was firmly packed by snowmobiles, 
and we crossed it quickly and easily. Fountain Place is shown on 
my street atlas as a town, but we didn't see any buildings there, 
not even the ruins of a hunter's cabin.  

Tom's old leg injury was hurting him, and so he and his brother 
Jim spent the night in Fountain Place while the rest of us pushed 
on ahead.  

We left the road and headed north, up an unnamed drainage.  
David, a geyser of energy, walked out in front, trampling down a 
path with his snowshoes that the rest of us could follow more 
easily.  About halfway up to the summit ridge, we found a flat 
spot, and set up our tents on the snow. 

The sun set early, and by five o'clock, we were sitting by our 
small campfire under a dazzling blanket of stars. It was 
December, and the night seemed to last forever.  When dawn 
finally melted away the last of the shooting stars, we arose, and 
discovered that a wind had come up and some clouds were 
moving in. I hoped we could still get to the mountain top, but I 
resolved to watch the weather closely to make sure we didn't get 
trapped in a storm. 

Leaving camp set up, we hustled up to the ridge. As we ascended, 
familiar sights hove into view:  Round Top and Pyramid Peak 
were first, followed by Lake Tahoe, Heavenly, Tallac, Dick's and 
Jack's Peaks, and Mount Rose.  But then, as the clouds gathered, 
the scenery began to disappear. Jim overtook us, having skied up 
alone from his lower camp. After we passed timberline, the wind 
howled. Spindrifts the size of skyscrapers towered over the north 
flank of Freel.  The wind-stripped upper slopes were about half 
bare of snow.  We kept our snowshoes on anyway, because where 
there was snow, we wanted the snowshoe cleats to grip the 
shallow, polished, wind hardened crust.  

Someone standing beside me shouted over the roar of the gale, 
asking how fast I thought it was blowing.  I had no idea, but I had 
to lean hard on my poles just to stay upright. A gust knocked me 
down.  As I was laying on my side on the scree, with my back to 
the wind and snowshoe edges dug in to keep me from sliding, I 
glanced up the slope and saw  Stephane and David laying in the 
same exact pose.  When the gust abated, we got up and climbed 
higher.  Another gust lifted me off my feet.  I hit the ground 
running so I wouldn't fall down.  Running in place while sailing 
like a human box kite, wearing snowshoes, is harder than it 
sounds!  We gathered on the summit, at 10881 feet, the highest 
point in the Tahoe Basin.  We didn't linger.  

Descending, the raging wind was in our faces, laden with pinhead 
sized ice crystals.  I buried my cheeks in the crook of my elbow.  
Tim wore a neoprene face mask, with only tiny holes over the 
nostrils and mouth.  That was a piece of gear we all needed for 
this climb.  

Noriko was still struggling up the slope with Kelly as we hustled 
down.  She accepted some good advice, and retreated back to the 
timber while Kelly sprinted for the top. Even though Noriko 
didn't go to the summit, she deserves credit for the toughness, 
confidence and determination she displayed on the mountain.  

Back at camp, I saw that my tent had lifted off its stakes and 
blown a short way before catching on a tree.  Stephane showed 
me how he had dug small holes for each stake, and then turned 
the stakes at oblique angles and buried them. Extracting the 
stakes was a chore, but his tent stayed put. 

Down below, the weather was milder, and we hiked out easily. 
Tom was waiting for us by his car.  He had passed the day 
pleasantly in town, nursing his sore leg, sipping a beer and 
watching televised football at a cafe.  Scott knocked on a few 
doors until he found where the retriever lived. We savored the 
moment, an exciting finish to a great year of mountaineering.

-- Aaron Schuman


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gear Comments
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Occasionally we see discussions about gear on the PCS e-mail 
broadcast list. Since winter is coming up, I feel that it is 
beneficial to publish this discussion on snow shoes.


Snow Shoes

I'm in the market for some snowshoes and I'm especially 
interested in comments about Atlas and MSR.

-- Kelly Maas


There is nothing to discuss.  The MSR are hands down better 
then the rest and they far cheaper.

Why better: They have more crampons underneath to grab into 
icy snow.  Being solid and having side edges they are better on 
traverse.  The tails can be extended to provide more flotation, or 
shortened for better control and going downhill.  They also have 
better friction for going downhill facing forward.

-- Ron Karpel


I tend to disagree: The "crampons" suck and need to have a file 
taken to them to make them useful. The side rails are useful only 
when the flex of the shoe itself doesn't impair their ability. Often 
these shoes flex on a steep sidehill and don't quite provide good 
lateral support. As someone else stated, the long-term durability 
is also very questionable.

I do like the "modular" style of these shoes. On moderate powder 
w/ a daypack, the shorter length allows you to travel a bit faster 
without the annoying heel slap of longer shoes. That the MSR's 
are plastic is good and bad: Snow doesn't tend to adhere to and 
add weight to the shoe. The down side is that they have not so 
great traction on steep downfall's, but this also means they 
become great skis.

The December issue of Rock & Ice has gives the Sherpas the 
highest score, as I have heard previously. They are also pretty 
expensive next to the MSR's.

-- Michael Gordon


It seems there are conditions where the MSRs are great (crust 
over solid corn) and conditions where they are not (powder). 
Same with most gear.

Think about how much you will use them. My Sherpas are 15+ 
years old and going strong. They came with a LIFETIME 
warranty, and I've had the bindings repaired for free but the 
footbed is not damaged at all yet. I use them often. The new ones 
may not come with as good a warranty or materials: caveat emptor.

The "laced" footbed (a tough sheet with actual lacing to connect it 
to the tubular frame) is remarkably effective in conditions where 
the snow can push up between the lacing. Traction is much 
greater than with the Atlas style where the smooth footbed fabric 
wraps around the frame with no lacing.

You don't need crampons on the bottom unless you are on ice! If 
you are in soft corn (e.g. 90% of Sierra use) the bottom crampons 
are just an excuse for snow to collect. If you NEED crampons, 
WEAR crampons! It's very rare to be on ice hard enough to need 
good snowshoe crampons without also being on ice hard enough 
to support your weight. Kicking steps or wearing REAL crampons 
may be a safer solution. You can't arrest in snowshoes.

The guides on Denali all provide Sherpa. There are no choices 
I'm aware of. (They are expensive, but "cost per use" is lower and 
field failures can kill.)

-- Steve Eckert


I have the Tubbs Kathadin. I have rented Atlas and also Red 
Feather and Sherpas before I bought the Tubbs. I have seen a 
couple of friends use the Polar Paws of Bob Wallace fame and 
seen quite a few friends use the new MSRs.

If I had to buy something now, I would buy the MSR because:
1. Light weight
2. Modular, you can get an attachment if you want more flotation
3. Pack very well
4. Have edges instead of tubes, so you can traverse
5. Also have serrated tracks on the inside for traction, maybe they 
borrowed this concept from the Polar Paws?
6. Cheaper than the Katahdins, though I have seen the Atlas'es 
and other Tubbs brands

I bought the Tubbs just before the MSR's came out and they 
were also twice the amount. The bindings swivel nicely and have 
a good claw for uphill traction. I like them very much and I 
thought they were the best of all the snowshoes that were 
available, as far as I knew. The problem is while traversing hills.

The Atlas and Sherpas are also good, but a little lower in my 
personal scale than Tubbs Katahdin.

The Red Feather would be good for snow plodding on flat 
terrain but not PCS trips.

Polar Paws were all metal, is that a good thing to have in the 
snow? They conduct the cold and all that, so at least on that count 
it may not be a good thing.

The negative against the MSR's (this was told to me by Steve 
Eckert) is that a few years down the road, after a period of use, if 
they break while in the back country, then you may well have no 
snowshoe, since they appear to be of some kind of uniform 
material. Now, the Atlas and the Tubbs and the Sherpas have 
webbing. So, if the webbing breaks you can still lash it together 
and be mobile. So, only time will tell if the MSR's are good in the 
long run or not. But, at that price, they are hard to beat.

Another advantage of the webbing being the added amount of 
traction you get with the snow catching in the webbing as you 
climb up.

I have also heard (unverified) that there are folding snowshoes 
with shock-corded tubes, like tent poles almost. I have not seen 
those.

I used to imagine that it would be a boon if someone invented 
snowshoes with snap-on bindings, much like the step-in 
crampons, and I have also heard that someone already has.

-- Arun Mahajan


Having been behind Ron, slipping and not being able to get a grip 
on the snow and ice with my Tubbs as Ron was effortlessly 
climbing on his MSR's. I would concur with him completely. 
However, there is  some discussion.

I am 188 lbs, and at the time 215 and could not get enough 
flotation on the Ms's even with the back panels attached.  
Something to consider for the heavier among us-- then add 40-50 
lbs of gear. The Tubbs and the Atlas's I used to own were far 
superior (being wider and longer).. so if the MSR's matched your 
weight I would evaluate all specifications mentioned earlier (i.e., 
in previous email) as:

1) MSR with longer tails
2) Atlas
3) Feathers: similar to Atlas almost a clone in the model I saw.
4) Tubbs a distant last

-- Rich Calliger


I have a pair of MSRs (I forgot the model name something with 
Denali in it???) that I love.  They perform extremely well IMO 
and I have done about 20 climbs in them so far.  This weekend in 
great basin NP we encountered a fair amount of steep climbing.  
My MSRs worked beautifully, while the people with traditional 
snow shoes seemed to have some trouble in those spots.

Sadly, what they have in performance, they lack in craftsmanship.  
On my first climb ever using them (Quartzite Peak, Great Basin 
NP, Jan 1998) one of the bolts holding the crampon to the 
floatation deck was severed and I had to travel through neck deep 
powder with only one snow shoe on.  Also, they are pretty small 
but you can buy extension decks for them.  I bought the ones 
recommended for my weight (210 lbs without pack) and used 
them this jan.  Halfway to the peak, one of the decks disappeared 
into the powder never to be seen again.

Needless to say, I was pretty ticked.  I went to the hardware store 
and purchased some bolts and lock nuts and after fixing them, 
they have worked very well.  I lost my other deck a few months 
later in Kings Canyon.

If you are heavy enough that you need the extension decks, I 
would be very careful about attaching them.  Tony Cruz almost 
lost his this weekend in GBNP.

Even though they aren't the best made snowshoes, they certainly 
outperform any of the others I have looked at and would 
recommend them, feeling that what they lack in craftsmanship is 
made up for by superior performance in adverse situations.  In 
many situations where you would need crampons versus normal 
snow shoes, the MSRs will perform admirably.  Just keep in 
mind they are a little flimsy...

-- Pat Ibbitson


SNOWSHOE OPINIONS, My $00.02 worth = Buy the MSR`S!! 
Ron Karpel is right. I've had (and still do have somewhere I'm my  
closest) other kinds of snowshoes, like Tubbs - Atlas  and I have 
also rented a few differing brands, but the MSR`S are really my 
favorite. I like the way they feel when walking, it seems they 
slide forward in a more natural manner, and I don't seem to step 
on one snowshoe with the other a soften. but their most 
outstanding feature is their ability to traverse, they have full 
length cleats which really seem to grip. the little detachable tails 
(which were on sale at REI for $12.00, but I missed the sale) Are 
perfect for peak bagging, where you might have a heavy load one 
day and a light load the next.

Also-snowshoe oddities: I have a pair of RAMER "ASSAULTS" 
snowshoes. These are really strange little gizmos that are actually 
just an anti-postholing device. They look like a pair of oval fry 
pans strapped to your feet. They are designed for ascents of steep 
slopes with deep snow. under the right conditions they can really 
work well -step-in bindings like a crampon.

Bottom Line: Don't' spend 300 bucks on snowshoes, get these 
MSR`S you won't regret it.

-- John Zazzara


See the December issue of Rock & Ice for a discussion on 
snowshoes.  This is not a formal review of snowshoes but a 
discussion of factors to consider. Their is a comparison chart 
though of the various brands.  With regards to the  MSRs the 
comment is "1/2 the price for 2/3 the performance."

-- Greg Johnson


-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Least Climbed Sierra Peaks
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Over  the past few weeks, people on the broadcast list have been 
discussing seldom climbed peaks. I thought it would be useful to 
list these in one place.

Check out Excelsior. It is about 12,700 and is a simple peak to 
bag. A few years ago when I climbed it with my Uncle, there 
were only about 50 names signed in since 1980, the earliest entry. 
It has great views, and the face looks like it would be a great 
technical climb rock climber s. 

-- Eric Beck

I can think of peaks like Cartago and Lamont that seem to be 
staggeringly unpopular.

-- Arun Mahajan

Try the "true" Mt. Powell, not what the SPS thinks is Mt. 
Powell. Doug Mantle climbed the "real" Mt. Powell. He wrote to 
tell me there is a 1997 register there with only four entries 
including Doug's. So, that's my vote for a "least climbed, but 
named, Sierra peak".

-- Mark Adrian

I climbed Trojan Peak (13,947') in September. I was the second 
person to sign in this year. A direct assault from the Williamson 
bowl is +3 on crappy rock but there are easier routes. There's a 
fun traverse over to Mt Barnard (13,990'). Barnard is climbed a 
lot more but it did have the original 1936 summit register on it.

-- Neal Robbins

I climbed Mt Stanford in 1992. The summit register had been 
placed in 1940 and was still only about half full. What's more, the 
first two pages were photocopies of entries dating from the first 
ascent. In one small book we had the entire history of everyone 
who had climbed the peak. 

-- Peter Maxwell

I vote for Tunemah Peak.  Yes, I know it's on the list, but it's a 
very remote peak.  Wren Peak is dayhikable via the Deer Cove 
trail near Cedar Grove, but I`ve never seen any reports from 
anybody who's climbed it. Maybe that's another candidate.

-- Gary Craig

The least visited peaks will be those nobody has climbed or 
knows about, certainly not any on the SPS list. On a 40-year old 
map of Kings Cyn and Sequoia Parks on my wall I see peaks I 
never hear anybody talk about, and submit a few of them here as 
examples. Palmer Mtn, Sentinel Ridge, Ball dome, Cross Mtn, 
Stag Dome, Slide Peak, Burnt Mtn. Some of these are in 
Secor's book.

-- Ron Hudson


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info@climber.org. 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 
    http://www.climber.org/pcs/Scree/Scree.html


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Rock Climbing Classifications
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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.


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Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 1/24/99.
Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month.
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"Vy can't ve chust climb?" - John Salathe

First Class EMail - Dated Material as soon as it's published!