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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.
                  June, 2000	Vol. 34 No. 6
     Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 6/25/2000 

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, June 13
Time:		8:00 PM
Program:	Climbing the Vinson Massif in Antartica by Dana Isherwood

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.

PCS Leadership Clinic - Date Change to Saturday, June 17

The PCS Mountaineering Committee is organizing a leadership 
clinic. The full write-up of this event is in the April 2000 Scree. 
The clinic will be at Sunol Regional Park, Saturday June 17 from 
9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Please call or email for more details on 
where to meet.

-- Kelly Maas (408) 378-5311, maas@idt.com

Letter from Leonard Daughenbaugh!

Editor's Note: Mr. Leonard Daughenbaugh, a member of the 
Inyo County Search and Rescue Team, asked me to print this 
letter in the Scree in response to an item published in the January 
2000 Scree. This letter is the personal opinion of Mr. 
Daughenbaugh and is not in an official position of Search and 
Rescue or the Inyo County Sheriff's Department. It was not 
sanctioned by nor does it represent the opinion of either of these 
organizations or any of its other members.

Since Mr. Daughenbaugh's letter appeared to be official, I felt 
that as the Scree editor I needed to investigate Mr. Daughenbaugh's
position with SAR.

I spoke with Sgt. Randy Nixon who is the search and rescue 
coordinator for the Inyo County Sheriff's Department. Sgt Nixon 
told me that Mr. Daughenbaugh had said that he was going to 
write this letter. Sgt. Nixon then told him that he could write a 
letter as long as it was a personal opinion.

Inyo County Search and Rescue is a fine organization that we 
should all support. They are volunteers whose services we may 
someday save our lives!

-- Bob Bynum, Scree Editor

Dear Editor:

Mr. Yoav S. Altman's letter in the January 2000 edition of Scree, 
and the fact that there was no comment in subsequent editions, 
seems to indicate that, in the Loma Prieta Peak Climbing Section, 
discovering a dead body, then just leaving it in place without 
making a report is not considered unusual or inappropriate. In 
any case, it appears possible that your organization has not 
considered the serious problems that this official or unofficial 
policy can cause others.

In the first place, leaving a body on the mountain and not 
reporting it can cause a considerable amount of unnecessary 
stress and apprehension for the victim's family. In this instance, 
the victim's girlfriend reported him overdue late Saturday 
afternoon. She indicated that he was on a "power hike" to the 
Palisade area. She wasn't sure which one, but she thought he was 
either going to climb the U-Notch or the V-Notch. According to 
Mr. Altman, he and his climbing partners discovered the body on 
Saturday morning, well before the victim was reported missing. 
Our SAR team members, who had arrived on the glacier early 
Sunday morning, were not notified until late that afternoon when 
Mr. Altman and his partners told another of our team members at 
the trailhead about their discovery the previous day. By the time 
SAR team members were able to verify the fatality, it was almost 
dark and beginning to snow, which required the team to postpone 
the recovery until the next day. If, however, someone in Mr. 
Altman's group had been willing to walk out and report the 
incident at the time of discovery, the victim's family would have 
been saved at least twenty four hours of stress and apprehension. 
As a matter of fact, the team could probably have informed the 
family early on Saturday afternoon, even before they reported the 
victim missing. It would also have allowed the team enough time 
to complete the recovery on Saturday, or at the latest Sunday 
morning, instead of having to wait until Monday.

Secondly, not reporting the discovery of a body puts search and 
rescue personnel at unnecessary risk. Had the SAR team been 
informed of the fatality on Saturday, the victim could have been 
flown out that day or early the next day without the need for a 
full callout of members. As it was, a full hasty team was 
dispatched on Saturday night to clear the trail and approaches, 
and search teams were moved into the area on Sunday morning 
both on foot and via helicopter. It should be noted that there was 
a helicopter problem on Sunday could easily have added another 
five names to the fatality total. The team on the glacier then had 
to hike out Sunday night in a snowstorm. Because of the snow, it 
was somewhat difficult the next day to find the victim again. 
Only a few inches of the team's marker remained above the snow. 
If there had been another three inches of snow, the victim would 
probably still be there. Also, if there hadn't been that chance 
meeting between Mr. Altman and one of our team members at the 
trailhead late Sunday afternoon, the snow would have covered the 
victim entirely before the rescue team could have gotten there. 
And, if so, the victim would definitely have remained on the 
glacier until spring. Lastly, because of the season, there didn't 
appear to be any animal damage, which is always a possibility 
with a body left out. And, to the best or our knowledge, no one 
else had to come across the scene.

According to his letter, Mr. Altman also seems to feel that the 
newspaper report contained "several inaccuracies." The first 
"inaccuracy," according to Mr. Altman, was that the victim was 
"mountaineering" not on a "power hike." As mentioned before, 
"power hike" was the victim's description of what he was doing, 
so that's what we called it.

The second "inaccuracy" was the fact that the radio news reported 
that Mr. Altman and his partners had discovered the body on 
Sunday afternoon. Base camp was informed that another group of 
hikers had discovered the body. That was put together by the 
news media with the fact that it was late Sunday at the time.

Further, Mr. Altman seems to believe that the victim's death isn't 
"one of those 'can't happen to me' situations." As described, 
however, the victim was solo climbing in the Palisades, arguably 
the most hazardous climbing area in the Sierra. Further, he told 
his girlfriend he was going to climb the "U-Notch [or the V-
Notch];" then, during the trip, he apparently changed his plans. 
This meant that no one knew where he was. As to whether or not 
the victim was wearing his helmet, there are several other 
scenarios that could describe the position and condition of his 
helmet. These actions violate at least two of the most basic 
precepts of safe mountaineering, i.e. climbing in a hazardous area 
alone, and not letting someone else know where you are. If the 
victim was "routinely and knowingly" accepting these 
unnecessary risks, by definition, it certainly seems likely that he 
felt, consciously or unconsciously, that it "couldn't happen to 

We are not writing this to condemn Mr. Altman, his climbing 
partners, their actions, or their inaction. We are merely 
explaining some of the possible consequences of not reporting the 
discovery of a body on a mountain, utilizing the aforementioned 
incident as an example, while, at the same time, responding to 
Mr. Altman's claim that our report about this incident contained 
"several inaccuracies."

In any case, since Mr. Altman's letter was actually in the Loma 
Prieta Peak Climbing Section Newsletter, it seemed appropriate 
and fair to request that the response be printed there also.

County Search and Rescue Team Members

A Note to Joe Kelsey: Your description of the programming on 
our local Bishop radio station seemed to me to be at least 
somewhat sarcastic. ("in a stretch of their usual concept of local 
news, limited to the LADWP, Caltrans plans to reroute 395 
around one town or another, and Mammoth town councilmen 
punching each other.") It's definitely a quality of life issue. I've 
been living in Bishop for the last eleven years, but I lived in San 
Jose [I was a Peak Climbing Section member, too.] for the twelve 
years previous to this. During this time, I dealt with the local Bay 
Area media that "in a stretch of their usual concept of local news, 
limited to "murders, rapes, armed robberies, car jackings, home 
invasions, assorted other mayhems and perversions, fatal traffic 
accidents, major drug busts, gang activities, malfeasance in 
government and private industry, ad nauseam. The main reason I 
left the Bay Area was to get myself and my family away from 
both the reality of those situations and having to be treated to all 
the gory details every time I turned on the radio or TV. There 
were other reasons, however, such as smog, traffic, fourteen-hour 
round-trip drives to get to the east side, no peace or quiet, 
double-locked doors and burglar alarms, uptight people, constant 
noise, crowds, not being able to let the kids play in the front yard 
alone, etc. While it appears from your comments that our area 
isn't "sophisticated" enough for you, please understand that it's 
the lack of this so-called "sophistication" that makes this area 
such a pleasant and stress-free place to live. So, since you like 
your living situation and I like mine, please, let's do each other a 
favor. I will not be sarcastic regarding your choice of life style if 
you are willing to treat mine with the same respect. How about 

-- Leonard Daughenbaugh

Get even with a bear that raided your food 
bag by kicking his favorite stump apart 
and eating all the ants.

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.

*** Four Gables
Peak:	Four Gables 12,720', Class 2
Dates:	July 8-9 (Sat/Sun)
Map(s):	Mt Darwin, Mt. Tom; 7.5'
Leader:		Debbie Benham (h) 650/964-0558, deborah4@pacbell.net
CoLeader:	wanted

We'll hike over Piute Pass and camp in the moonscape of 
Humphries Basin at Desolation Lake. Summit Sunday, then hike 
out the same day. Permit for 8.

Backpacking experience required. Asking $10 deposit; fully 
refundable attrailhead. Questions? please contact leader.

*** Leap Over Large Abysses
Peaks:	L.O.L.A., class 1, 9148	Donner Peak, class 1
Dates:	Jun 17-18, 2000 (Sat-Sun)
Maps:	Donner Pass
Leader:	Aaron Schuman, aaron_schuman@yahoo.com
Co-leader:	Pat Ibbetson, djpat@yahoo.com &
Details:	http://sj.znet.com/~cynthiam/lola.html

Hike with us, as Pat and Aaron Lead Our Lively Adventure.

June at North Lake Tahoe is the greenest time in the greenest 
place in the Sierra Nevada. We're taking a couple of moderately 
paced day hikes under the pine canopy to two not very big peaks 
with gorgeous lake views. Send us your own expansion of the 
acronym L.O.L.A., and you too can be part of the Legend Of Low 

*** Vogelsang, the Easy Way
Peak:	Vogelsang (11,493), class-2
Dates:	June 17-18
Map:	Vogelsang
Leader:	Ron Karpel, ronny@karpel.org 650-594-0211

Take a leisurely stroll up a beautiful high Sierra Summit. Saturday 
climb 1300 ft. from Tuolumne Meadow to Vogelsang High Sierra 
Camp. We'll set our camp near Vogelsang Lake to escape the 
mosquitoes that are likely to be looking for us near Vogelsang 
HSC proper. Sunday, we will bag the summit (additional 1200 feet) 
following the ridge line from Vogelsang pass. There is a bit of rock 
scrambling there, but it is easy, and it can be avoided by 
descending a couple hundred feet on the trail to the South and 
climbing the scree slop. I expect a few patches of snow here and 
there, but nothing which requires an ice axe. The slope to the 
summit is facing South and I expect will be clear of snow.

This trip is suitable for children (accompanied by parents) and 

Mt. Whitney - March 25,26, 2000

As exciting as the winter hike up to Mt. Whitney was the drive to 
the Whitney Portal. The road is officially closed several miles 
before the end, but since there was no gate (just a road closed 
sign) I decided to drive ahead and see how far I could get.

After the rockfall hazard sign, the road is nearly covered with 
boulders, some small but some the size of a car! There was a path 
cleared out, just big enough for one car to drive around the rocks. 
In a few places I had to get out and move a few rocks that had 
fallen, but the path through the rocks was generally easy to follow 
(utilizing parts of both lanes and at times the shoulder). The last 
half mile had several large snow patches, but I'm sure those are 
gone by now.

Seeing several other cars parked next to the trailhead on Friday 
night was a comfort - I wasn't the only crazy one, and there would 
be help moving rocks if more fell!

Disclaimer: if you decide to drive to the Whitney Portal and a 
huge rockfall happens while you're hiking and your car is stuck 
until June, you didn't get the idea here...

In the morning, I started hiking up the trail with 4 other guys - 2 
of them soon turned off to go towards Iceberg Lake and the 
mountaineers route, while the other 2 were going to do the 
standard route and then snowboard down!

The snow was solid from 8500' up, and I put on snowshoes. 
Although I have never been to Mt. Whitney before, the route 
finding is very easy and there are few obstacles to going along the 
general path of the summer trail.

I had planned to camp at 12,000' and then go to the top the next 
day, but it was only early afternoon when I got there so I kept going.

The slope from 12,000' to the trail crest at 13,600' is quite steep 
and the snow up here was much more solid, making crampons 
useful. (This is the slope that is, looking up, to the right of the 
summer switchbacks).

From the crest to the summit, the trail was clearly visible and 
largely snow-free except for a few large and annoyingly steep and 
mushy piles of snow. I slept near the top and then hiked down 
(mostly sliding) in the morning.

Many people have done the hike up to Whitney this winter - 
there were very few days without signatures in the register. New 
Year's must have had quite a party on the summit - dozens of 
people signed the register...

The spectacular winter view is well worth the effort.

-- Joe Budman

Spinach Noodle - April 8-9, 2000

Official PCS trip, lead by Aaron Schuman with one lone participant (me).

Back in late 1995, as a warm-up for climbing Telescope Peak 
from below sea level, I did a solo loop that included Lamont, 
Spanish, and Sawtooth. It was a long hard day that convinced me 
I didn't need to be in that area again, but when Aaron planned a 
trip there and agreed to climb Spanish from the hard side, I 
agreed to go. Later we found out that Eric Beck climbed Spanish 
Needle two days after we did (pity - we could have used the 

Part of my reason for going was to see if my fear near the top of 
Spanish had been justified, or just because I was alone and 
climbing wet rocks in the fog. You can read that trip report at:

Aaron checked with some friends via email and called a ranger or 
two, and we decided the road to Rodecker Flat (mentioned in the 
Jenkins guidebook) was open far enough to give it a try. (Turn 
west from 395 onto Sand Canyon Road at waypoint SND395, at 
the sign showing Brown Road to the east.) SURPRISE! The road 
is well-maintained and quite drivable even for little cars, but it 
ends at the edge of the Owens Wilderness. Joshua Trees 
outnumber all other tall plants here, and you're about 3 miles 
short of the nice campsites at Rodecker Flat (see waypoint 
SNDCAR, below).

A warm but windy night departed as we ditched our extra 
sweaters and started wondering if we had enough water bottles. 
It's an easy road walk to waypoint RODECK (the flats), then a bit 
of trail, then you either sidehill in sand or fight scrub in the 
drainage. Alarming tales of loose boulders with bad attitudes 
can't be ignored, but the main problem with the South Fork of 
Sand Canyon is the brush. We tried to cross the canyon around 
5500' (waypoint CROSS), thinking we would sidehill up toward 
the peak, but soon found ourselves picking our way over rock ribs 
in third class crud. Your best bet is to stay in the drainage until 
6000', then angle southwest in the gully that leads directly to the 
low point (waypoint SADDLE) between the obvious pinnacles 
overlooking the PCT and the true Spanish Needle. Don't go TOO 
FAR south, or you'll climb Point 7800 a quarter mile away (as at 
least one register entry moaned about).

We hit the saddle around 2pm and headed south toward the peak 
by kicking steps through a few patches of snow on the north face 
and by running the knife edge ridge in places. You know you're 
approaching the peak when both the east and west faces are 
cliffs. The Jenkins instructions may leave you thinking "the first 
keyhole" is near the saddle, but it's not... it's right under the 100' 
vertical monolith that comprises the summit. By the time you 
reach the keyhole, you've already had to do a bit of easy third 
class and you're less than 50 yards from the summit. Then the fun 
starts!(By the way, looking from the saddle down toward the PCT 
to the southwest, I can't help thinking that climb would be easier 
than the traverse that Beck describes well in his trip report. 
Jenkins has you approach the saddle from the northeast, but 
someone ought to try it from the southwest to avoid the nasty 

From the boulder that creates the first keyhole, face south and 
tremble at the thought of climbing the sheer and featureless face 
looming above you. Turn to the west and wonder if that class 5 
crack would be better than the Jenkins route. Then turn to the 
east and find his first "sapling" - well, OK, it's not a sapling 
anymore. It's the 10" diameter tree level with where you are. 
(Jenkins wrote the book a few decades ago, you see.) We had to 
kick steps in the snow over to that tree, wondering where the 
blocks he describes are. No blocks, just a set of parallel cracks 
that rise from the tree onto the smooth shoulder Jenkins calls a 
"ledge". Right. Think downsloping exposed no hand holds lichen 
covered (oh, and THIS time a patch of SNOW on it) granite. My 
fear in 95 was justified. There isn't much of a way to protect this 
stretch, and there are no handholds while you cross the shoulder 
to the boulder which Jenkins calls a gendarme (at 4' high, it's a 
little short cop, eh?). Now turn southwest and spot the second 
"sapling", actually an 8" tree, blocking the best route on the 
ridge. Once you're under it, the rest is easy (even the second 
keyhole and the 3' step-across to the summit itself). Just don't 
look down.

We found a plastic tube register found lying near the first 
keyhole, and carried it to the top where we encountered the metal 
ammo box with the REAL register in it. Victory! Uh, but now we 
gotta get back down that slab and it's almost 3pm. Fortunately the 
weather was perfect and the wind had died down, so we picked 
our way down 1000' of basket-sized rocks to the welcome sand of 
the north side of the south fork of sand canyon (say THAT 5 times 
fast, or see waypoint SAND below). We made it to the car before 
dark, and had a relaxing dinner with lukewarm beer and a bright 
sliver of moon before driving to the Chimney Peak campground 
(waypoint CHIMNY) for a below-freezing night.

Sunday morning we waited around for an SPSer who was 
supposed to join us on Sawtooth, but no one showed up. Off we 
went, south on the PCT from Canebrake Rd (waypoint 
CANPCT), to the saddle (SAWTRL) where we could see the 
lower reaches of Sand Canyon. Some brush along the ridge gives 
way to a few summit blocks (and the famous register where 
someone wrote "blah, blah, blah" all over a multi-page entry by 
Pat Ibbetson). We lazed around for a while, then tried to 
remember which canyon Jenkins recommends descending. Sadly, 
I think we took the wrong one (from waypoint SAWJCT, you 
should probably go due west whereas we went southwest into the 
gully just north of Point 6919). Our gully went as second class, 
but was not the beautiful draw I remember from the last trip. 
Getting old, or getting lost? Next time I'll go for the most sheer 
canyon with the highest spires guarding the entrance.

-- Steve Eckert

Lamont, Sawtooth, Crag - April 22, 2000

Bob Suzuki, Joan Marshall, Dee Booth and I were originally 
planning on climbing Taylor Dome, Sirretta, and Rockhouse 
Peaks, but since forest road 22S14 is still closed (thanks, Richard 
Carey, for alerting us to call the rangers) we made a change of 
plans and did Lamont, Sawtooth, and Crag Peaks instead.

The weather reports were mostly good for the weekend, but a few 
clouds looked potentially menacing as we met in Onyx Saturday 
morning .Lamont Peak was the warmup hike for the day. The 
trailhead is well marked, and there is a parking area to the left of 
Canebrake Road across from the beginning of the trail. Soon we 
found ourselves in the clouds, but the trail was easy to follow 
most of the way up. Shortly before the trail dips ~100 feet en 
route to the final short climb we mistakenly followed a use trail 
that went slightly to the left but dead-ended soon after - there is a 
fairly good trail the whole way, so if you think you're off route, 
back up and find the real trail. The summit is an easy 1 minute 
boulder hop, and the register is mostly signed by SPS and PCS 
groups. We stayed on top a few minutes hoping that the clouds 
would break, but no such luck. While I was optimistic that the 
clouds were just fog from the Owens Valley being burned off and 
blown away, Bob told us about an epic all-night adventure in a 
snowstorm on nearby Spanish Needle. No such fun this time - the 
clouds burned off as we descended and we got a few looks down 
at the valley and the lamont pinnacles.

We then drove down the road and parked near the sign that says 
0.2 miles to the campground. The PCT trailhead is marked but 
tough to find ifyou drive by too fast - it starts near the .2 mile 
sign. We followed the PCT to the saddle of Sawtooth Peak and 
then began the cross-country hike up the ridge. I think it's best to 
climb the hill in the foreground of Sawtooth from the ridge and 
continue approximately on the ridge line from there (described 
very well in Arun Mahajan's report of last year).The pines and 
brush are not too thick and there were only a few places where 
there isn't an easy way around the trees. The summit view is quite 
nice - not as spectacular as the more northerly Sawtooth Peak, but 
the Owens Valley, Spanish Needle, Olancha Peak, and snow-
covered peaks of the High Sierra give a nice panorama. Spanish 
Needle still has a solid dusting of snow on it from the storm 1 
week ago although Sawtooth is snow-free. For the descent, we 
took Dee's advice and followed the beautiful little canyon 
described in the Jenkins guidebook. A little water still runs in the 
canyon but the rock scrambling is very straightforward.

We were back at the cars around 5 and drove to the campground 
at Kennedy Meadows for the night along the beautiful (and 
paved!) Kennedy Meadows road. The beautiful meadows 
surrounded by hills resembled a lower-elevation Tuolumne 
Meadows in the evening light. Sawtooth and Lamont are easily 
doable in a day that still leaves time for some relaxing - where 
else in the Sierra can you do 2 peaks in an easy day?

There is a general store at the intersection of the road that leads 
to the campground and a restaurant a few miles before that. The 
area has some private property but is still very quiet since fishing 
season doesn't start until next week.

The campground was less than half full (but we were told that the 
situation is quite different once the fisherman arrive en masse) 
and we got to sleep early to compensate for the lack of sleep of 
the previous night. I was told not to reveal the identities of the 
people who cooked and camped vs. ate at the restaurant and slept 
in a car!

The next day's objective was Crag Peak and possibly Chimney 
Peak if we had time later, so we set off at 7:30 down the PCT. 
The trailhead is found on the campground loop road and there is 
a relatively large parking area. This 5-mile section of the PCT is 
quite scenic, following a river through a glacially carved valley. 
We knew that we'd have to cross the river eventually, and while I 
was trying to mentally prepare for a cold wade across by 
mentioning the virtues of a relaxing foot rinse partway through a 
hike, we soon found that the trail crossed a bridge.

There are a few slight ups and downs but the trail is almost flat 
for the first few miles and then gains less than a thousand feet en 
route to the meadow 5 miles from the trailhead. There were a few 
backpackers camped here, and we took off cross-country in the 
direction of what we thought was Crag Peak in the distance: 
only1.5 miles away but 2500 feet of elevation gain remaining. 
Don't go the way we did! Here's why: we headed in the direction 
of a hill in front of Crag Peak whose ridgeline leads to the 
summit. There were a few cliffs on this hill with what appeared 
to be an easy passage between them. As we started to climb, 
though, what appeared to be little tufts of grass from a distance 
turned out to be thick, thorny manzanita and other much less 
pleasant brush. Ugh. As is the case when you're sitting on101 in 
traffic, every path to the left and right of us seemed better than 
the one we were on, yet they turned out to be just as steep, sandy, 
and prickly. Wearing shorts probably didn't help, but eventually 
we got to the steep cliffs and ended up circling them completely 
on the right side on some large rocks. There were a few patches 
of snow to traverse here (around 8200 feet elev.), and we soon 
got to more forested, less brushy terrain. We made much better 
time from this point on, heading in a fairly straight line to the 
right side of Crag Peak's ridge. From our direction, this was the 
peak with a steep and narrow summit ridge with the pinnacle on 
the left side. There were only occasional snow patches after we 
left the shadier north-facing slopes, and we saw some bear prints 
in one of these snow patches. No sight of Mr./Mrs. Bear, though. 
What I originally thought were glissade marks of hikers further 
on was also probably made by bears since I again found bear 
prints further above. Do bears glissade!?

After a few more minutes of thorny brush and nasty bushwacking 
before the summit area, we found ourselves on the summit ridge, 
large class 2 blocks. Just before the final 20-foot climb to the 
high point is the short, narrow knife-edge which had sounded 
much scarier that it was. You can straddle the rock and move 
across on your behind or be bravel ike one member of our group 
(hint: his name begins with B and ends with OB), but the 
exposure is not that bad (maybe 20 feet). The final rock section is 
even less directly exposed. We were the first people to sign the 
register in 2000. There are only a few groups who visit this 
summit each year - again mostly from the SPS and PCS. 
Although the ratio of bushwacking to climbing is very high (I 
wanted to rename the peak "crap, then crag"), the view is very 
nice: a large meadow below, Olancha Peak (still snow-covered), 
the Whitney area, the Kaweahs, and the peaks of the Mineral 
King area.

For the descent we came down the ridge and then followed the 
forested slopes just to the southeast of the ridgeline that goes 
directly from Crag Peak to the PCT. Much easier than the route 
up! Steep and forested areas seem to correlate well with an 
absence of brush on this peak. We reached what we thought was 
the PCT but was really a good use trails lightly to the west of the 
PCT and led us south to the PCT near the meadow from which 
we had started the bushwack. If you do Crag from this direction, 
hike the extra mile on the PCT and take the more forested route - 
your legs and clothes will be much happier.2 hours of trail 
walking got us back to the cars at 7 and the long drive back to the 
Bay Area brought the pleasant weekend to a close.

NOTE: Sherman Pass at 9200 feet remains closed. There are a 
few patches of snow above 8000' on the north-facing slopes from 
the storm that passed through this area about a week ago, but a 
few more sunny days have probably melted most of that..

Don't let the rangers convince you that there is significant snow 
in this area of the Sierra right now! They're just being lazy in 
opening the roads.

-- Joe Budman

Moses Mountain - April 30, 2000

Maybe it was because we had just seen Charlton Heston in The 
Ten Commandments on the tube for the first time since I saw it as 
a kid in the 50s. Maybe it was because Passover had just ended. 
Or maybe it was because I just needed to get back to the Sierra. 
Whatever the cause, Richard Stover and I headed for Moses 

We began our dayhike of this 9331 ft. peak from Mountain Home 
State Forest, a sequoia wonderland east of Porterville and west of 
Golden Trout

Wilderness. Even if you don't climb, this unique park is well 
worth visiting. Over 5200 old-growth sequoia, young sequoia, 
mature douglass fir, white fir, incense cedar, sugar pine and more 
give one a sense of what a marvel the sequoia forests must have 
been before we attacked these gentle giants with a vengeance.

On the cross country hike to the base of Moses, we passed tree 
after tree which would have been given a name of a president or 
general had they been growing in a more traveled spot. Instead of 
a few trophy groves as found in other parks, here were thousands 
of gigantic trees growing freely in a natural setting. A sight not to 
be missed.

We followed Steve Eckert's advice and took the trail to Redwood 
Crossing, then without getting our feet wet, stayed on the west 
side of the river, took a compass reading from the map and made 
a beeline to Moses. If you are on the right trajectory, you should 
pass the boundary marker and benchmark for the northwestern 
corner of the northernmost section of Mountain Home State 

Unfortunately, we were not able to start hiking from Shake Camp 
since snow covered parts of the road and the gate was locked. 
Our climb was about two miles longer because of that, but we 
had most of the park to ourselves.

Whether we took the brush filled or rocky gully described in 
previous reports, we couldn't say. The one we ascended was 
directly below the summit and filled with snow. As we sat on a 
rock for a snack, a golden eagle soared into view.

The climb up was uneventful, however, by the time we 
descended, the sun had melted enough snow to force us onto the 
rock to avoid the danger of plunging through the snow into the 
rushing water beneath. As a result, we downclimbed some high 
3rd and 4th class sections, sometimes using a long sling for hip 

Once down, we meandered through the forest examining more 
magnificent trees and vowing to return to explore some more. On 
the drive back to Springville, we stopped often to admire the 
profusion of wildflowers including rare calypso orchids, speckled 
Clarkia, lupine, blue fiesta flower, wally basket, and baby blue 

-- Debbie Bulger

Claustrophobia on the Summit - May 13, 2000

The weather Saturday morning was cloudy, but the summit was 
out of the clouds. The road was open for driving to the Bumpass 
Hell Parking lot near Helen Lake. From there, a 1/2 hour walk on 
the plowed but closed road got us to the upper parking lot. There 
were 5-8 feet of snow at this area, but higher up on the ridge 
there were many bare spots. To gain the ridge, some of us took a 
shorter steeper path, keeping a straight line to the summit, while 
other gained the ridge a little lower skirting the steep and ice 
section on it's right. Another 1 hour or so of following the ridge 
on mostly stiff snow got us to the summit. It was windy, and the 
clouds where forming a low ceiling above the summit, but we 
managed to find a place protected from the wind and the sun 
popped through a few times to warm us up a bit for our early 
lunch break.

We started down, and as we descended, so did the clouds. About 
half way down the ridge, it started snowing, and we made the rest 
of the way to the cars in the intensifying storm. Hopes for 
bagging Brokeoff the same day melted as quickly as the fresh 
snow hitting the plowed pavement, and with forecast which 
expected things to get worst, we headed home. On the way down 
to Red Bluff I managed to get a last glimpse of Lassen popping 
out of the clouds again, but it was too late.

At least we bagged Lassen which is way better then the previous 
couple of years when bad weather turned us back without 

Participants: Arun Mahajan, Bill Kirkpatrick, Fi Verplanke, 
George Van Gordon, Jan Nicholas, Linda Smith, Maxym Runov, 
Ron Karpel, Ted Raczek.

-- Ron Karpel

Private Trips

Private trips may be submitted directly to the Scree Editor, but 
are not insured, sponsored, or supervised by the Sierra Club. 
They are listed here because they may be of interest to PCS members.

*** Mt Shasta
Peak:	Mt. Shasta 14,162 ft.,Class: 2/snow
Date:	June 3-4
Contact:	Kai Wiedman (650)347-5234
Co-Contact:	Cecil Anison cecilann@earhlink.net

Mt. Shasta is a climbers' mountain, singular in its magnificence. 
Sargent's Ridge will be an airy, challenging route with steep 
traverses and mixed climbing. Please join us on this exhillarating 

*** Morrison and Bloody
Peaks:	Morrison (12,277'), Bloody (12,552')
Maps:	Convict Lake, Bloody Mtn, 7.5' topos
Class:	2, snow
Dates:	June 3-4 (Sat-Sun)
Contact:	Bob Suzuki, w: 510-657-7555, h: 408-259-0772 bobszk@bigfoot.com
	Sam Wilkie, w:408-765-7548, h: 650-941-1794 sam.wilkie@intel.com

Have you ever noticed the sheer face of Mt Morrison as you drive 
south of Mammoth Lakes on highway 395 and wondered how it 
would feel to summit this spectacular peak? Well, this is your 
chance! We'll also climb nearby Bloody Mountain on a separate 
day hike. Expect snow, and be prepared.

*** Where is Mt. Powell?
Peaks:		Mt. Thompson (13,494), Mt. Powell (13,360), class-2 snow
Dates:	Sat-Sun, June 10-11
Maps:	Mt. Thompson, Mt. Darwin (W)
Contact:	Ron Karpel, ronny@karpel.org,
Bob Suzuki, bobszk@bigfoot.com,(H)408-259-0772 (W)510-657-7555 X223

Not only the SPS and the USGS disagree about the location of the 
"real" summit of Mt. Powell, the USGS itself changed it's mind a 
few times in the previous millennia. So, where is Mt. Powell? come 
and help us find out. There are 3 summits to chose from, and if 
you know Bob, he will probably make us climb all 3. As for me, I 
just have my eyes on the snow couloir on its northern slope.

As for Thompson, it's the higher mountain, but it is overshadow by 
it's wandering neighbor. We will have to climb it simply because it 
is there. Ice axe and crampon experience required.

*** Gilbert and Johnson
Peaks:	Gilbert (13,106'), Johnson (12,871')
Maps:	Mt. Thompson, 7.5' topos
Class:	2/3, snow
Dates:	June 10-11 (Sat-Sun)
Contacts:	Dee Booth, 408-354-7291(H) rdbooth@worldnet.att.net
	Rick Booth, 408-354-7291 rwbooth@home.com

Join us for an early June trip into the Sierra. We will start at South 
Lake and hike into Treasure Lakes where we will camp. On 
Saturday we will also climb Johnson. On Sunday we will climb 
Gilbert and hike out. Participants should be prepared for snow, 
bring ice ax and crampons and know how to use them.

*** Darwin
Peak:	Darwin (13,830) Class 3-4
Date:	July 1-4
Contact:	Chris Kramar (510)-796-6651

Darwin, king of the Evolution crest, is one of the finest summits in 
the Sierra. Walter Starr, Jr. wrote that the Evolution country was 
"the region where the grand crescendo of the Sierra touches at 
once the heart of the mountaineer and the artist."

We will start at North Lake and take the Lamarck Col route to 
Darwin Canyon to position ourselves at the foot of the glacier. 
Expect snow and rock travel that may be roped at times. Mt. 
Mendel will also be attempted.

*** South Lake/Bishop Pass
Peak:		Mt. Goode, Gilbert, Johnson Black Giant, Mt. Solomons, and Mt. Goddard
Date:	July 1-4
Contact:	Tim Hult 408-970-0760, Timdhult@aol.com

This trip will get us into an area loaded with class 2 and 3 peaks. 
Expect long days and miles. Early season conditions may require 
ice axe and crampons. Extensive snow coverage may turn this 
into a ski trip!

*** Rainier via the Kautz Glacier
Pealk:	Mt Rainer, Snow, Ice, Glacier, Altitude
Dates:	July 5th-9th 2000 .
Leaders:	George Van Gordon: 408-779-2320, gvangord@mhu.k12.ca.us
	Ron Karpel: ronny@karpel.org

This is a private trip, not affiliated with the Sierra Club.

The Kautz Glacier route using Camp Hazard as high camp is 
much less traveled then the normal Disappointment Cleaver route, 
which is likely to be extremely crowded at this time of year. This 
trip involves both glacier travel and a short moderately steep alpine 
ice climbing (around 45%). We will travel roped up on the glacier 
and use pickets and ice screws for belay on the steep ice section.

Participants must be experienced in using ice axe and crampons 
for snow travel and have previous training in glacier travel and 
crevasse rescue techniques.

*** The Isherwood Special
Peaks:		Mt. Rose (10,776) with optional climb of Mt. Tallac (9,735)
Dates:	July 7-9, 2000
Leaders:	Bill and Dana Isherwood dana@isherwoods.net
	 (925)254-0739 (h) or (925)423-5058 (Bill at work)

Climb Mt. Rose, Tahoe Basin's third highest peak, and leave your 
sleeping bag, tent, backpack, etc. at home. Join us for a decadent 
weekend at the private Carmel Ski Lodge in Truckee. Spend 
Friday and Saturday nights at the Lodge. Climb Mt. Rose 
Saturday and celebrate your ascent at a fun filled "happy hour", 
followed by a pot luck barbeque, and your favorite climbing videos 
Saturday night. Optional climb of Mt. Tallac on Sunday. Limited to 
12. Cost: $15/person/night (private rooms for couples). For 
reservations, call Bill or Dana Isherwood .

*** Palisade Crest
Peak:	Palisade Crest 13520', Class 4
Date:	July 14-16
Contact:	Peter Maxwell (408) 737 9770, peterm@aoraki.dtc.hp.com

We'll start off hiking the South Fork of Big Pine Creek, heading to 
camp at Elinore Lake. This hike in involves a large amount of 
boulder hopping. The route up the peak, which will occupy a long 
day, will be the Northwest Ridge, which leads off from Scimitar 
Pass. There is considerable exposure along the Sierra crest 
between the pass and the base of the roped portion of the climb.

This is a class 4 peak for experienced climbers only. The trip is 
private and participants should be known to the organizer, or be 
able to be vouched for by someone known to the organizer.

I'm going to be away until May 31, but send me email if you're 

*** Polemonium Peak
Peak:	Polemonium Peak (14,000+')
Maps:	Mt Goddard 15' & North Palisade 7 1/2' topos
Class:	4, rock
Dates:	July 21-23 (Fri-Sun)
Contact:	Bill Isherwood, bi@llnl.gov	w: 925-423-5058, h: 925-254-0739

Polemonium Peak is one of those Sierra points over 14,000' that 
can be debated as whether it should be considered a separate 
mountain or not. But here's a chance to hedge your bets, if you 
want to make sure you get all the 14'ers. (Note that this is not the 
peak labled 'Polemonium' on the North Palisade 7 1/2' map, but is 
the high point just south of the U-notch.) Starting at the South 
Lake trailhead, we will go over Bishop Pass and make camp at 
one of the lakes in Dusy Basin. From here, there Is some high 
traversing over talus and ascent of the Polemonium Glacier to 
reach the SE ridge route, as described by R.J. Secor. With good 
route finding there should only be a couple of pitches of 4th class, 
but everyone should be experienced in ice ax, crampons, 5th class 
climbing, and prepared for rappelling and possible off-route 
contingencies. Still looking for an assistant leader.

*** 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

Vice Chair and Trip Scheduler:
	Dee Booth / pcs-scheduler@climber.org
	408-354-7291 home
	237 San Mateo Avenue, Los Gatos, CA 95030

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	408-293-2447 home
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	510-659-1413 home

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	650-943-7532 home
	223 Horizon Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94043-4718

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	650-508-0500 home
	1814 Oak Knoll Drive, Belmont, CA 94002-1753

Subscriptions and Email List Info

Hard copy subscriptions are $10. Subscription applications and checks 
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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 6/25/2000.
Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month.

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

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