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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.
     This publication may not be posted on any public news group.
                  August, 2000	Vol. 34 No. 8
     Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 8/27/2000

This issue of Scree will be on the Official PCS Website at

The EScree is distributed to email lists as described on "the back page".

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

Date:		Tuesday, August 8
Time:		8:00 PM

Program:	Climbing in the Caucuses and 
Crimea by Maxym Runov. This will give us all an 
insight into climbing in Russia and the Ukraine!

Directions:	2344 El Camino Real, Santa 
Clara (between San Thomas and Los Padres).

(PDF version has a drawn map here)

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.

Mountaineering Committee Seeks Reviewers

The PCS Mountaineering Committee is in the process of 
reviewing and revising the leadership guidelines and first-aid 
requirements, and is looking for PCS members who would want 
to take part in this activity or review the revised policies prior to 
publication.  If you're interested, contact Kelly Maas (408) 378-
5311 or maas@idt.com

PCS Trips

PCS trips must be submitted through the Scheduler (see back 
cover for details). Trips not received from the Scheduler will be 
listed as PRIVATE, without recourse.

*** Mt. Goddard
Peak:	Mt. Goddard (13,568 ft.), East Ridge 
Rating:	Class 3
Dates:	Sat-Mon; September 2-4
Contacts:	Cecil Anison (cecilann@earthlink.net)
	Kai Wiedman (650)347-5234

Mt. Goddard is one of the dominant peaks of the High Sierra.  
This solitary giant's position west of the crest makes it visible from 
many points in the range. We will climb the more interesting East 
Ridge, first climbed by Walter Starr, Jr., who wrote the definitive 
guide to the John Muir trail.  You may recall that he died while 
attempting a solo climb of Michael Minaret and his body was later 
recovered by none other than Norman Clyde.  This climb entails a 
very demanding 40 mile round trip.

*** Kearsarge, University, & Independence
Peaks:		Kearsarge (12,618'), Independence (11,742'), University (13,589'), Class:   1-3
Dates:	September 15-17, Fri-Sun
Map:	Kearsarge Peak, Mt Williamson 7.5' topos
Contact:	Bob Suzuki, rsuzuki@dsptlg.com, bobszk@bigfoot.com, (W) 510-657-7555 x223, (H) 408-259-0772

Try these 3 late summer day hikes from the Onion Valley 
campground at 9200', and enjoy the company of your fellow 
PCSers in the quieter eastern Sierra. Co-organizer wanted.

*** Tenth Annual Yosemite Family Camp
Peaks:	To be determined (Looking for 	hike/climb leaders)
Dates:	September 23-24
Contact:	Cecil Anison (cecilann@earthlink.net)	(408)395-4525

The trip will be in Yosemite Valley this year and family members 
are welcome, as usual. Plan on lots of fun as we hike, climb, 
explore, and commune in this spectacular setting. Space is limited 
to three reserved campsites so be sure to sign up early.

Mt. Lola - A great hike on Father's Day weekend - June 17, 2000 

The five of us, Aaron Schuman (fearless leader), Pat Ibbetson  
(fearless co-leader), Cynthia Schuman, Chris Macintosh, my11-
year old daughter Candice and your faithful scribe met at Andy's, 
a Pullman Car restaurant in Truckee.  A few of us had a heavy 
breakfast and some only coffee.   We then drove a half-hour or so 
north on Highway 89.

After taking a paved side road west? For a few miles, our leaders 
consulted a road map and Patrick's guidebook and we turned onto 
an unpaved road.  Patrick managed to find a reasonable way to 
get within a mile and a half of the peak.  He and I ferried the 
other climbers, who left their low-clearance vehicles behind.  We 
parked next to a stream flowing through a lovely meadow and 
began the hike at about 10:30 a.m.  I managed to bump the 
bottom of my van on a rock, cracking my transmission fluid pan, 
which I had to replace upon my return to the Bay Area.

Later in the summer when the snow melts, a fine trail will appear 
leading all the way to the top of Lola (9,100 feet).  But on our 
hike the trail soon disappeared under snow and our leaders 
guided us through the forest up to the south ridge of the peak. We 
stopped for a snack at an obvious clearing a few hundred meters 
below the summit.  It offered shade, dry ground, fallen logs for 
sitting, and great views of the still-snowy peaks surrounding us 
and two reservoirs to the south.

Aaron helped Candice up some steep snow and around noon she 
made it to the top-- her first SPS summit.  Chris was feeling 
energetic and wanted to do "North Lola" but decided against it.  
After about 25 minutes we started our leisurely hike back and 
returned to the vehicles about 4 hours after we started walking.  
Mid-June turned out to be a great time to do this easy peak.  We 
enjoyed great weather and it was fun to hike on firm snow.  After 
our return to the vehicles, the members of the group went their 
separate ways to celebrate the rest of Father's Day weekend.  

My thanks to Aaron and the rest of the group for making 
Candice's first Sierra peak such an enjoyable and memorable 
experience.  Thanks to Pat for taking on this trip as a PCS 
leadership checkout.

 Tony Cruz

Independence Peak  - July 1, 2000

On Saturday July 1st Arun Mahajan, Stephan Meier, and I set out 
for Independence Peak from the Onion Valley parking lot.  

After about 30 minutes of hiking on the trail to Robinson Lake 
we hit a flatter section of trail and could see a relatively open 
section where we had a clear shot at the south ridge of 

The going was slow lower on the mountain as the scree was 
disagreeably loose and required extra energy to pedal up the pea 
sized gravel.  We headed for a prominent horizontal teetering 
block on the ridge to the far right (south) of the summit following 
a gully.   Once on the ridge we proceeded towards the summit 
reaching a flat area at the top of another, more inviting chute.  We 
continued on the very top of the ridge only dropping to the right 
hand side only just prior to the final summit.  Heading down we 
opted for the inviting looking chute and this made for a speedy 
slide back to the cars.  Stephan with his ski poles polished his 
scree skiing skills as Arun joyfully shot down hill at full gallop.

  Round trip was about 6 hours making this a very reasonable 
length dayhike.  (Note: Although warnings about bears abounded 
there were no bear boxes available for food storage other than 
those reserved for car campers.)

 Scott Kreide

Independence Peak and Olancha Peak - July 2, 2000

On Sunday July 2 I climbed Independence Peak (11,742' per SPS 
list or11,744' per Secor) alone from Onion Valley via the south 
ridge (3rd cl)as per Secor.  The route went exactly as described.  
A leisurely start at 9am put me at Robinson Lake shortly after 10, 
and after a break I started up a talus slope to a chute which led 
me to the ridge after 70min. at about 11.30.  Another hour along 
the ridge took me to the summit.  The register showed that Arun 
Mahajan and two others had summitted the prior day.  Took 30 
min. for lunch then headed back along the ridge to a bit past 
where the route takes one back onto the west side. We then 
turned directly down on a developing use trail, eventually plunge 
stepping down scree slopes to reach the trail well below 
Robinson Lake at 2pm and my car at 2.30pm.  This was my first 
third class peak. Since every trip offering I can recall which 
involved a 3rd-class peak said "prior 3rd class experience 
required", by soloing this peak I have hopefully gotten a toe in 
the door.

The early finish allowed time for the long drive down 395, up to 
Kennedy Meadows and well beyond to the Monache Meadows 
trailhead.  The driving directions posted on Climber.Org for this 
trailhead are very good.  The Monache Jeep Road was quite an 
adventure, with the last 9 miles taking about 70 minutes.  Very 
pretty area.  The hike to Olancha Peak is about15 miles round-
trip with a gain of about 4,200'.  I started off on a cool Monday 
morning at 7am.  The route follows a stock trail east for a short 
while then reaches the PCT going north, eventually reaching a 
point where one heads up forested then scree slopes to the peak, 
which is topped with a radio relay station that is actually visible 
from the PCT.  I summitted at 11.45am, staying 45 min. and 
enjoying views of Langley, Whitney, the Kaweahs, Great West 
divide.  The register is in a bolted box which box though 
apparently placed in 1959 looks about one year old.  The one 
register book was placed in 1994 although the first entry is not 
until 1997; it is exactly half full.  A number of entries this year, 
including one yesterday.  Heading down at 12.30, I reached the 
trail after about 50 min. then sped back arriving at the trail head 
just after 3 pm.  Then it was a very long and winding drive back, 
several hours down to Kernville and eventually Bakersfield 
where the day ended, with a heightened appreciation for the 
vastness of the southern Sierra.

 Mike McDermitt

Recess Peak - July 1-3, 2000

Remember that euphoric feeling during 5th grade when it was 
time for recess? Recapture that feeling. Recess Peak has 1000' of 
pleasurable class3 climbing on the southwest arete. As Secor 
says, "the problem is approaching the arete."

Richard and I left from the Bear Creek Diversion Dam and 
followed one of the most beautiful trails in the Sierra. At times 
one can look into the clear water of forest-lined Bear Creek and 
see trout swimming 12 feet under the clear, cold water. Whiffs of 
Douglas fir alternating with the vanilla of Jeffrey Pine scent the 

It was peak wildflower time. We observed a huge variety of 
flowers including chocolate-dipped mariposa lilies, leopard lilies, 
Sierra crane orchid, California geranium, five-fingered 
cinquefoil, pussy paws, as well as the usual shooting stars, 
larkspur, lupine, columbine, and mule ears.

We left the Bear Creek Trail at its 9000' high point and climbed 
due north to intersect the John Muir Trail which we followed a 
short way west. We left the John Muir Trail at 9800' to travel 
north again. There we picked up a little used unmarked trail 
which went generally east to the snow survey cabin, then we 
continued to the 10,600' ridge near the outlet of the smallest lake 
due east of Recess Peak.

Others must have camped there before because we found a last 
year's peppermint tea bag. Was it yours? The ridge commanded 
an inspiring view of Recess and better yet, had a pleasant breeze 
which discouraged the mosquitoes. From our camp we could see 
firsthand the source of the discontinuity in the contour lines on 
the topo map.

After setting up camp, we left to climb Volcanic Knob, an 
interesting plug about a mile away with a little class 3 summit. A 
petite Yosemite toad (Bufo canorus) greeted us as we descended, 
and its buddies serenaded us to sleep that evening.

The next morning our route took us over bump 11,705. The most 
exposed section is from this hill to the southwest arete of Recess, 
but can be bypassed downhill if the exposure is bothersome. 
Then, climb the crest of  the wave to the summit.

The views are terrific: Seven Gables as Hawthorne never 
imagined, Mt. Mills looking like a roller coaster ride, and even 
Ritter and Banner in thedistant north. Lake Thomas Edison to the 
west. As I opened our plastic container of peanut butter for lunch, 
Richard thoughtfully reminded me that I had a Recess peanut 
butter cup.

The next day we returned directly to the Bear Creek Trail by 
following the outlet creek downhill to first the John Muir Trail 
and then the Bear Creek Trail.

There are few PCS names in the Recess register. Get going. You 
are missing something special.

 Debbie Bulger

North Palisade - July 2, 2000

On July 1, 2000 Dee and I started up the North Fork of Big Pine 
Creek for an ascent of the North Palisade via the U-Notch.  We 
chugged up past Sam Mack Meadow to the tarn at an elevation of 
12165 feet at the base of the Palisade Glacier.  This is 
approximately 4200 feet of elevation gain.  We camped on the 
snow near the tarn.  This tarn is open now and offers a great 
source for water.  Camping near this tarn is marginal. This area is 
essentially the terminal moraine for the Palisade Glacier. One 
party of two was bivied on top of a flat rock and another party of 
one was bivied on top of another flat rock.  These are the only 
two clearly flat spots in the area outside of the snow so later 
season camping is suspect.  The big rock would probably support 
three bivie bags.

The next day Dee and I headed up to the 'schrund at about 5:30 
AM.  The snow bridge at the right hand edge of the 'schrund is 
gone.  We decided to climb the rock face next to the 'schrund.  
This goes by climbing the vestiges of the foot of the snow bridge 
up to a small icy platform. From here the rock can be climbed.  
One move up and two choices are presented: either stay on the 
fractured and detached flake and climb up about fifteen or twenty 
feet or go up a few moves and traverse left.  Ichose to traverse 
left since that goes directly to a rappel anchor next to a nice 
platform.  Once on the platform with the rappel slings the 
problem is over.  How hard?  Secor says 4th to 5th class.  
Probably.  I lead it in crampons, for what that is worth.  Once the 
vestige of the snow bridge melts back this will get harder.  My 
memory fails me in recalling what the rock looks like below the 
fractured flake.

Once past the 'schrund we headed up the couloir.  The couloir is 
steep, icy and dangerous.  There are steps kicked in the snow and 
plenty of ice axe handle holes so it is readily negotiated.  All the 
way up the couloir I kept thinking of the Norman Clyde story 
where he fell in some couloir and sailed over the berschrund 
hollering: "Here I go to Hell!". Norman survived, I doubted I 
would fall, and I doubt if Norman ended up in Hell.  The view in 
the couloir is stunning.  The couloir is convex so the sight of the 
'schrund disappears shortly.  The sun rarely touches the interior of 
the couloir so the view is of two dark walls, a shadowed snow 
field steeply dropping to an edge, and the brightly lit Palisade 
Glacier some 500 plus feet below.

At the top of the couloir is the U-Notch itself.  Directly at the top 
of the U-Notch is the Chimney Variation.  This is two 100 foot 
pitches (or so) of 5.4 rock.  The hardest move is right at the end.  
Fun in mountain boots!  From the top of the Chimney a steep slab 
is traversed on the right.  This goes to a notch.  From the notch 
head down and then back up towards the summit (it is right 
there).  This is unrelenting third class.  At the very end is a fourth 
class move above a scary slot that gets to the summit block.

Going down reverses the ascent.  Be very, very, wary of the 
rappel anchors in the chimney.  They are mostly good but there is 
one or two losers in there.  When in doubt, back 'em up.

Round trip time from near the 12165 tarn was about 12 hours.  
We were at the top of the couloir within 3.5 hours but seemed to 
bog down somewhat after that.

On Monday morning we awoke to sharply colder temperatures 
and increased wind.  We decided to pass on the Swiss Arete.  Bad 
decision.  The front moved through and the temperatures returned 
to balmy by 11:00 AM or so. Instead, we participated in a rescue 
effort of a climber who had what was probably acute altitude 
sickness.  He was yanked out with a helicopter.

This is, without a doubt, my favorite route on my favorite 
mountain. The chug in includes hiking past the Lon Chaney cabin 
and Sam Mack Meadow.  Camping is at the foot of the Palisade 
Glacier, apron to the Gods: Temple Crag, Gayley, Sill, 
Polemonium, North Palisade, Starlight, T-Bolt, Winchell, and 
their cousin Agassiz.  The ascent includes ascending the glacier 
to the bergschrund, crossing the bergschrund, ascending the 
spectacular couloir, viewing the panorama of Dusy Basin from 
the top of the couloir, ascending two pitches of fifth class rock in 
mountaineering boots, unrelenting third class rock, and finally 
the fourth class curve ball at the end: the pull up onto the summit 
block above the scary slot.

For mountaineers whose interests go beyond tapping the summit 
of one peak in order to move on to the next, this route, on this 
mountain, is absolutely a must do.

 Rick and Dee Booth

The Weather God Smiled at Us - Mount Rainier, Kautz Glacier Route - July 7th 2000

The main climbing route on Mount Rainier via Camp Muir and 
the Disappointment Cleaver can be described as a "zoo".  Not 
only this is the most common route for climbers, tourist like to 
take the hike up to Camp Muir and back as a day hike.  The trail 
can be packed with hikers shoulder to shoulder.  On the other 
hand, the Kautz Glacier route is less popular with climbers, and 
it requires that one crosses the Nisqually Glacier with it's many 
open crevasses, leaving the tourists behind.

After crossing the Nisqually, our route ascended steeply to the 
ridge above the Wilson Glacier, and we set up our first camp on a 
large flat snow shelf at elevation of 7,800 ft.  It rained on us a bit 
that evening.  Starting early the following day we continued up 
the ridge along the edge of the Wilson Glacier and up through the 
"Turtle Snowfield" to Camp Hazard.  They say that camp Hazard 
is named after a person, but I think there is more too it.  Camp 
Hazard is located on a high ridge at 11,600 ft.  The rock ridge 
continues for additional several hundreds of feet to a point where 
it is covered by the open edge of the Kautz Glacier.  Looking 
from below, it is amazing that the entire glacier doesn't simply 
come crashing down and cover the entire area, but it doesn't, if 
flows to the left and to the right leaving the ridge bare.

We didn't plan to go all the way up to camp Hazard.  It was a 
mistake, which cost Ted his summit bid, but of course we didn't 
know that at the time. Melting snow into drinking water is a 
laborious job.  We had spent a couple of hours every night doing 
just that.  Near camp Hazard there were 2 sources of running 
water, apparently, glacier melt.  Ted traverse the snow field to our 
right to try to catch some of this water, and while collecting water 
some rocks came tumbling down hitting his foot.  Even though he 
was wearing plastic boots, the injury was too great for him to feel 
comfortable to push for the summit the following day.  After 
watching the rock fall activity for 2 days, I think the topography 
of the area creates 2 natural drainage paths, running either side of 
the ridge, which supports the camp.  These drainage paths carry 
everything the glacier releases down the mountain, water melt, 
chunks of ice, and rock debris.  You want to collect the water; you 
are likely to collect some rocks too.  The camp itself is protected 
by the unusual topography, but I understand that it does get hit 
every so often, hence, the ranger recommends against staying 

Friday dawned clear and bright, but we didn't wait for dawn.  We 
were up at 2 AM and started climbing around 3:30.  The route 
descends a couple of hundred feet to skirt a long ridge of seracs 
then climbs a steep chute on the other side.  This is the crux of 
the route. Estimates on how steep the chute is vary from 35% all 
the way to 55%.  My inclinometer showed 35% for the entire 
chute and 42-44% for the steepest section, but it was icy.  We 
setup a series of fixed ropes in hopes of easing the climb for 
some of the less experienced in our group, but they used only one 
of them on the way up. Since I thought that self arrest in the steep 
section of the icy chute was almost impossible, I set up a series of 
running protections which where removed by Joe, who was the 
last person in my group, except for those protections which were 
also used for the fixed ropes.  I wander; the other rope team 
climbed one of the steep sections without any protections.  The 
chute in my mind is simply the back of the Kautz glacier.  At first 
look, it is no different then many snow chutes in other places, but 
it is way too icy and broken up to be simply last season's snow.  
There are many small cracks throughout, but nothing more than 
an inch thick.

Above the chute our route kept angling to the right till we finally 
hit the Columbia Crest (the rim of Rainier's crater) at the same 
point the standard RMI route does coming from the 
Disappointment Cleaver route.

We got to the summit around 10:00 AM.  It was bright and clear 
with visibility of several hundred miles in every direction.  The 
temperatures must have been in the 40s despite the light wind.  
We took pictures, ate summit chocolate and headed down.  Back 
in the chute, now soften by the warm sun, everybody used the 
fixed ropes to rappel, and I down climbed while Maxym  gave me 
a belay from below.  Down-climbing was not terribly hard, except 
for the few spots where hard glacier ice appeared unexpectedly 
through the snow.  One group, which came behind us, used a 
boot-axe belay to descend the steep sections.

Back at camp by 3:30 PM, we decided to spend a 3rd night on the 
mountain and descended back to Paradise the next morning.

Generally, this is not a very hard mountain to climb, but the 
weather is the major factor. We were lucky this time.  The 
following day, the weather turned ugly again with high wind and 
thick clouds.

Participants: Huy Nguyen, Joe Budman, Maxym Runov, Nathan 
Trinknein, and Ted Raczek. Leaders: George Van Gordon, and 
Ron Karpel.

 Ron Karpel

Four Gables "Where is that summit register?" July 8-9, 2000

PCS trip 12,720' Class 2 South Slope

As we marched across the plateau of Four Gables, boots 
crunching down on jagged, hard snow, all eyes were focused on 
the furthest end point, the summit. As each of us reached the 
jumble of upended boulders, each climber looked toward an 
apparent man-made pyramid pile of rocks on the precipiced edge. 
Each took it apart and said, "What? Where's the register?" Well, 
there ya' go. We double checked altimeters, rearranged topo 
maps, recounted our route, and declared this our summit. We 
secretly think Arun kicked it over the cliff ["To hell with the SPS 
list I say"]!  Participants: Debbie Benham (leader), Tom Curl, 
Tom Johnson, Arun Mahajan, Diane Medrano, Dot Reilly 
(annointed coleader), Noriko Sekikawa, and Steve Shun.


For Debbie - when I alerted everyone at the North Lake trailhead 
how important it was to bring rain gear, including flies for the 
tents, as there was rain in the forecast. We had beautiful weather.

For Tom - bringing all rain gear. Seeing the gorgeous views of the 
canyon and the panorama of Bear Creek Spire, Merriam, Royce 
and Feather peaks.

For Dot - hearing about REIoutlet.com.

For Diane - clamoring over boulders on Four Gables and seeing 
Sky Pilot on the way to the summit.

For Arun - squishing all the mosquitoes. Kicking steps in the 
steeply angled snow slope and stepping on the razor sharp snow 
cups on the summit plateau.

For Steve - returning to the beauty of the high Sierra.


A couple, just hiking up to Piute Pass as we were on our way out, 
commented that they were going in for nine days. When Arun 
discovered they were backpacking, not peak bagging, he uttered, 
in complete astonishment, "Can you believe that? They're going 
in for nine days and they're not going to climb one peak. What a 
waste of time!"  

Voila! a great trip,

 Debbie Benham

Peak with Two Names - Gandalf Peak - The Thinking Person's Mountain - July 14-16, 2000

This peak is otherwise known as Palisade Crest (13520'), and on 
July 14-16 four adventurous hobbits ventured into Highsierraland 
to tackle this class 4 pinnacle.  Participants were Peter Maxwell 
(organizer), John Kerr, Arun Mahajan and Larry Sokolsky.  For 
Peter and John it was their second attempt, after a bungled trip 
one year ago in which they took the wrong route to get to 
Scimitar Pass.  The "bozo experience factor" (BEF) gained from 
this trip was put to good use and the same mistake was not made 
again. BEF helped us in other ways too, as will become clear.

We started hiking at some leisurely time after 9 am and plodded 
our way up the south fork of Big Pine Creek.  With "only" 5-6 
miles and 3300' elevation gain the hike in looked a breeze, but 
the large amount of boulder hopping required beyond Willow 
Lake made it seem a lot longer and more strenuous.  BEF helped 
us avoid the bog which one encounters by following the trail on 
the south side of the creek for too long.  This bog is at the exit of 
the gulley just before the one through which descends the exit 
creek from Elinore Lake.

The worst part of the hike was shortly after turning southwest to 
head up to Elinore Lake, when we encountered swarms of 
mosquitoes the likes of which none of us had ever seen before.  
They were in our eyes, mouths, ears and all over our clothes.  
Even high speed panic application of bug repellant couldn't stop 
the unwelcome experience of being an involuntary donor to the 
Mosquito Red Cross.  Luckily this infested area was small and 
very shortly after they became merely "numerous", a state which 
lasted to the lake.  We were fortunate to have a breeze each 
afternoon which kept them down considerably, more so than the 
night - getting out to relieve oneself was an invitation to the many 
mosquitoes who didn't seem to know that they were supposed to 
be sleeping.

I demonstrated that meals do not always have to be dehydrated by 
bringing out real food: tortillas, refried beans, cheese, lettuce and 
salsa.  John was very skeptical, making references to the high 
altitude bean problem. He was right, and severe indigestion 
lasting half the night took away some of the advantages of going 
to bed at 8 pm.

Summit day saw us out of camp at 6:35 am, just 5 minutes later 
than schedule.  After about an hour Larry turned back - he, too, 
was having stomach problems which unfortunately were not 
going away.  Shortly after the rest of us traversed around the nose 
of the ridge leading up to Scimitar Pass we encountered a 
horrible area of steep, loose scree and rocks.  It was almost 
impossible to avoid sending down showers of stones and rocks 
and we were glad we had such a small group.

Once on the top of this ridge it was evident just how much more 
snow was there compared to last year.  It was severely sun 
cupped and subject to postholing so we avoided it and climbed on 
the rocks, avoiding also the larger permanent snowfield at the 
base of the ridge.  The little spires of snow made a very pretty 
sight though, appropriate for several Kodak moments.

Once at Scimitar Pass we ditched the ice axes we'd been carrying 
and had a well-earned rest break.  John's sobering comments 
went something like, "We don't want to rush this.  If you fall you 
die".  He was referring to the exposed class 3 climbing lasting all 
the way to the peak.  The "thinking person's mountain" definitely 
earns the title here, with careful attention being required for route 
finding.  Secor's description is accurate, but just gives 

Initially we had to negotiate the Sierra crest to the notch 
separating this from the summit.  The rock was exceptionally 
good, offering some of the best class 3 climbing I've ever done, 
and the take-your-breath-away vertical drop down to the glacier 
far below is what mountaineering is all about.  Downclimbing the 
notch was also far from trivial, once again requiring careful 
attention to the route.

The class 4 section was just after the notch, being a 160' sloping 
slab. This turned out to be the easiest part of the climb since the 
slab has cracks in just the right places for climbing, and the slope 
is not too great.  John had provided the ropes and gear, and also 
led this section. He had no trouble putting in protection using 
Friends.  Other reports have hinted at difficulties on this slab - 
without Friends it would have been a different story.  The 50m 
rope was barely long enough, and Arun, who was belaying, had to 
change position and stand up on a rock to give John the extra 2' 
he needed.

From the top of the slab it was a simple class 3 scramble to the 
summit, where we arrived at 12:45 pm.  Thinking we might 
rappel down we carried the ropes up, then discovered there were 
no slings up there, so carried them back down again, being 
unwilling to sacrifice a sling.  We didn't spend much time on the 
summit, it being a little cool and breezy.  Instead, we took the 
summit photos, entered our names for posterity in the register, 
and climbed back down to the top of the slab to eat lunch, where 
it was more protected.

Going down we took the large snowfield, despite the sun cups, 
since it was easier than the talus, which wasn't all that solid.  Ice 
axes were handy here for balance, although Arun proved it could 
be done without, thereby demonstrating that he'd carried it all the 
way for nothing.  The main drama on the way back down was the 
steep loose section we had trouble with on the way up.  The base 
alternated between loose rock, small scree and hard-baked mud, 
so we never knew if our boots were going to stick, slide an inch 
or a couple of feet or more.

We were back at camp just after 6pm, making for an 11.5 hour 
day.  Despite a later start with dinner than the previous day, we 
still managed to get to bed by 8 pm.  The temperature was such 
that Larry commented "Another tropical night".  It was so warm 
we hardly needed a sleeping bag, quite remarkable at almost 

The last morning was much more laid back - up at 7 am and away 
by 8:30. There was no sign of the mosquito infestation on our 
route down, adding evidence that they were very local.  We 
messed around a long time fighting the bushes lining the main 
creek, trying to find a way across.  One should be careful not to 
go too far downstream here.

Arriving at the cars shortly after 1 pm, it was into Bishop for 
lunch. John's desire for good beer was voted down in favor of 
faster service at Sizzler, where the lemonade made substantial 
inroads into various degrees of dehydration.  John still got his 
beer though, as he produced an amber ale from his car shortly 
after we returned.  "A perfect temperature for beer with taste", he 
said, as only someone coming from the UK would say.

 Peter Maxwell

Touching the JetStream' - A Sierra Club sponsored PCS trip - July 22-23, 2000

At 13,057 ft, Mt Dana towers above Tioga Pass, with its hulking 
mass visible from Tuolumne Meadows to Lee Vining Canyon. 
Many have hiked Dana due to accessibility of a high altitude 
gain, acclimatization and conditioning, and, spectacular views 
from the summit. With that in mind, and, in the tradition of John 
Muir, our wandering group of ne'er-do-wells sauntered toward the 
top, encouraged by the glorious sunshine and slightly cooling 
breeze. Participants:

Debbie Benham (leader), Bob Bynum and Gretchen Luepke 
Bynum, Christopher Franchuk, Patty Haight, Prakash Jayaraman, 
Chris MacIntosh (coleader), Brad Mayer, and Jim Schollard. 

Having taken the use trail from Tioga Pass, we rambled through 
carpets of larkspur, lupine, Indian paintbrush, and Yosemite aster. 
Climbing, steeply, Gretchen noted the beautiful structures of 
metamorphic rock interspersed with the granite seen lower down 
on the mountain. Jim remarked on the beauty of the day, not a 
cloud in the sky, with a full day ahead to explore more peaks. 
[And so he did! Jim went on to summit Gibbs.] From Dana's top, 
we marveled at the blue of Mono Lake, clarity of the far off 
ranges, and, tallied the peaks we had climbed (oh so many now). 
For Prakash, a first summit in the Sierra and a first time with the 
Peak Climbing Section! Congratulations. Heading down, many of 
us skirted a snowfield, but, Patty and Brad, brave souls, ran 
down, beating us to the Dana saddle!

Often, campground stays get short shrift. To let you know, our 
two campsites were lovely and on the periphery of Tuolumne 
Meadows Campground. However, we have some interesting 
moments, like: (a) when Chris MacIntosh arrived at 1:30 in the 
morning, along with Prakash and Christopher, and turned around 
to see a bear's butt sticking out of the rear of her Isuzu Trooper! 
(b) Saturday evening happy hour; (c) attending the Ranger 
Program Saturday night with Chris MacIntosh accurately 
answering the ptmarigan question and Debbie Benham knowing 
all three posted speed limits of Tuolumne Meadows; (d) admiring 
the ranger's oral tradition of story-telling and genuine love of the 
high Sierra; and, last but not least, (e) Bob's bringing of the 
marshmallows and subsequent roasting.

Sunday found us having brunch at the picnic tables followed by a 
short hike of Gaylor Peak at 11,004'. None really wanted to go 
home and we meandered to our cars ever-so-slowly.  The 
camaraderie was remarked on and felt all 'round, and for this, I 
thank you all!

 Debbie Benham

Crystal Range Ramble - July 23, 2000

There were four of on this demanding hike (Death March). Using 
a car shuttle, we succeeded in traversing the highest section of 
the Crystal Range and managed to reach the summit of four 
peaks. Participants were: Richard Vasser, Nancy Fitzsimmons, 
Dan Tischler, and George Sinclair.

After leaving a car at the Horsetail Falls trailhead, we drove up to 
Wrights Lake and hiked in from there. Three miles of trail 
brought us to beautiful Smith Lake. Beyond here it was almost all 
off-trail until about the last one mile of the hike. I think most of 
us saw more talus then any of us hope to see again in awhile.

Our first peak - Mt. Price, involved a little class 3 crossing the 
ridge from peak 9,650 (0.5 mile west of Price) to Price. It was a 
beautifully clear and sunny day and we admired the view in all 
directions from the top of Price.  Desolate Lake Aloha was 
directly below us. From Price it was a short hike to Mt. Agassiz 
and its spectacular summit (class 3) rock that dramatically 
overhangs the eastern side of the peak.

From Agassiz to Pyramid was a long haul over miles of broken 
talus. On the  way we climbed peak 9,686. After a short section 
of class 3 going along the ridge below our last peak, we finally 
reached the summit of Pyramid late in the afternoon. We signed 
the register, took a few photos, and began the long descent down 
to Twin Bridges.

This was the most difficult part of the day, as the 4,000 foot 
descent seemed to take forever, and the rugged terrain working 
around Toem and Ropi lakes and down Pyramid Creek did not 
help. We finally reached the cars at about 7:30. Everyone was 
quite tired, yet satisfied in having climbed four peaks in one day.

 George Sinclair

The best backpacks are named for 
national parks or mountain ranges. Steer 
clear of those named for landfills.

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 

*** Colosseum
Peak:	Colosseum (12,473, class 1)
Date:	August 19 - 20, 2000
Contact:	Charles Schafer, (408) 354-1545
Contact:	Bob Evans, robtwevans@email.msn.com	Days: (408) 998-2857

Saturday: Sawmill Pass trailhead (4,586) over Sawmill Pass 
(11,347)  to Woods Lake (10,600), about 10 miles.

Sunday: Bag Colosseum (12,473) via class 1 S.W. slopes and 
out.  Cedric Wright an option depending on participants and 
circumstances. $5/person permit fee reimbursement.

*** Pine Creek Derby 
Peaks:	Merriam Peak, class 2, 13280   	+ Royce Peak, class 2, 13103 
Dates:	Aug 26-27, 2000 (Sat-Sun) 
Maps:	Mt Abbot 15' or Mt Hilgard 7.5'  
Leader:	Aaron Schuman 
Contact:	aaron_schuman@yahoo.com 
Details:	http://sj.znet.com/~cynthiam/royce.html 

Join me for a weekend backpack in the rugged, scenic 
backcountry behind the Rowana tungsten mine.  

Saturday, we'll start at Pine Creek, at 7400 feet, and hike 8 miles 
on trail to our high lake at 11700 feet, for 4300 gain.  

Sunday, we gain 1100 to the saddle, 900 up Royce, back to the 
saddle, and 700 up Merriam.  Then we break camp, hike out, and 
drive home.  Big mountains!  We're going to be working pretty 

Previous groups traveling on this route in August have needed ice 
axes in the steep snow in the couloir leading up to the saddle.  
Participants must be equipped and skilled in self arrest.  

I have a permit for six people.

*** Labor Day Combo
Peaks:		 Red Top (9973), Sing Pk (10520+), Gale Pk (10680+), Madera Pk (10509)
Dates:	 Sep 2-4 (Labor Day, Sat-Mon)
Maps:	Sing Peak 7.5" quad
Leader:	Steve Eckert, eckert@climber.org

I just got a permit for the Chiquito Pass trailhead, which I'll be 
exploring for the first time. Fast and slow alike are welcome, but 
Rebecca and I will take a moderate steady pace whether or not 
anyone stays with us. Beginners are welcome -IF- you are able to 
navigate on your own and smart enough to know your limits -OR-if 
you find a partner to help. This private trip requires a 6 mile 2000' 
backpack to Spotted Lakes, with a bit of cross country but mostly 
trail. The scenery should be great, as we cross into the southern 
tip of Yosemite without PAYING for the privilege.

The "combo" part of the trip is this: The slower folks can hang out 
in camp or on a ridge while the faster folks knock off a few extra 
peaks. Madera might just be a pipe dream, but we should be able 
to get Red Top the day we hike in, Gale+Sing or layover the next 
day, and MAYBE, with an early enough start, a fourth one before 
lunch and the hike out. Rebecca is taking a book and aiming for a 
single peak, so you'll have company if you aren't gung-ho.

Bear cannisters are absolutely required, no climbing gear needed.

Most of the permit slots are already filled, but as of last week no 
one else had requested a permit for this trailhead... so you are 
welcome to get your own permit and join us! For details, see   
http://www.climber.org/eckert/RangerContacts.html and search for 
Chiquito Pass (Minarets Wilderness info just updated!)

*** Sawtooth, Needham, Vandeaver, Florence
Peaks:	Sawtooth (12,343'), Needham (12,520+'),	Vandeaver (11,947'), Florence (12,432')
Class:	1-3
Dates:	September 2-4 (Sat-Mon)
Map:	Mineral King 7.5' topo
Contact:	Bob Suzuki	rsuzuki@dsptlg.com, bobszk@bigfoot.com	(W) 510-657-7555 x223, (H) 408-259-0772

Saturday, from Mineral King in Sequoia NP, we'll do a long day 
hike to climb Sawtooth and Needham. Sunday we'll leave for an 
overnight backpack to climb Vandeaver and Florence. Permit for 
7; this trip is almost full. Co-organizer wanted.

*** Merriam and Royce
Peaks:	Merriam (13103') & Royce (13280'), Class 3
Date:	September 16-18
Contact:	Peter Maxwell (408) 737 9770

This trip is a more leisurely version of what is often done over a 
regular weekend.  With a whole day at our disposal, we should be 
able to bag both peaks without being too rushed.  There's still an 8 
mile hike in with 4300' elevation gain to get to camp so 
participants need to be in good shape and can walk at a 
reasonable pace.  The intended route comprises the east faces of 
both peaks, which are rated class 3.  However, it is possible that 
we'll take the snow slope leading to the saddle between the peaks.  
Participants need to be experienced in class 3 climbing since the 
plan involves downclimbing one of the faces.  They also need to 
be proficient with an ice axe and know how to use one for self 

*** Khumbu region of Nepal
Peak:	Island Pek or Mera Peak
Date:	Oct-Nov 2000
Contact: 	Tim Hult 408-970-0760,  Timdhult@aol.com

Four week trip into a spectacular and storied region of the 
Himalaya. These are "minimal" trekking peaks open to qualified 
class 3 peak baggers with snow experience.   Views of Everest 
and all those places you've heard about.  Experience and 
compatibility with groups on long "wilderness" trips a must.  

*** Argentina -  January 2001
Peaks:	A Seven Summit Mountain                 Aconcaqua  6959 m
Contact: 	Warren Storkman, 650-493-895

*** Denali
Peak:	Denali, 20,320 ft.
Date:	May-June 2001
Contact: 	Tim Hult 408-970-0760,  Timdhult@aol.com

Been there twice but unfortunately haven't done it yet as weather 
and sickness (the flu) have kept me off the summit. Third time a 
charm?  Looking for qualified partners for this major, no nonsense 
peak.  Must have extensive experience in the following: high 
altitude climbing (18,000 ft +), excellent winter camping skills and 
equipment, proven ability to get along with partners on a multi-
week trip. Ice climbing and crevasse rescue will be taught if 
required. Prefer those with the ability to ski or willingness to learn 
how to ski with a pack on - need NOT be an expert!  Serious 
inquires only.


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

Our mirror website is
and our official website is

Elected Officials

	Rick Booth / pcs-chair@climber.org
	408-354-7291 home
	237 San Mateo Avenue, Los Gatos, CA 95030

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	408-354-7291 home
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	510-659-1413 home

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	650-943-7532 home
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	650-508-0500 home
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Subscriptions and Email List Info

Hard copy subscriptions are $10. Subscription applications and checks 
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the last Tuesday of the expiration month. If you are on the official email 
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both plain text and fully formatted Adobe Acrobat/PDF.

Rock Climbing Classifications

The following trip classifications are to assist you in choosing trips for 
which you are qualified. No simple rating system can anticipate all 
possible conditions.
	Class 1: Walking on a trail.
	Class 2: Walking cross-country, using hands for balance.
	Class 3: Requires use of hands for climbing, rope may be used.
	Class 4: Requires rope belays.
	Class 5: Technical rock climbing.

Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 8/27/2000.
Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month.

"Vy can't ve chust climb?" - John Salathe	First Class Mail - Dated Material
First Class EMail - Dated Material as soon as it's published!