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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.
                  October, 2000	Vol. 34 No. 10
     Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 10/29/2000 

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, October 10
Time:		8:00 PM
Program:	"Climbing Mt Killimanjaro" Slide show by Charles Schaefer.
This trip was organized by PCS individuals and included many PCS and DHS members.

Directions:	Western Mountaineering 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.

Christmas Party Location Needed

Over the past several years the Christmas party and meeting has 
been held at the SGI cafeteria which has been graciously 
arranged by John Wilkenson who was an SGI employee.  This has 
changed so I need suggestions as to another venue for the party 
location.  It will be hard to beat the nice SGI cafeteria!  Please e-
mail me with any ideas.

--Rick Booth, PCS Chair,rwbooth@home.com

Letter from a Yugoslavian Climber

I am Vladimir Djordjevic from Yugoslavia, Your fellow climber. I 
am a graduate student of mechanical engineering and also a 
passionate mountaineer. The situation in my country is a 
complete disaster with average salaries at  $40. There is no way 
for me and my fellow climber Milan Popovic to buy some reliable 
equipment for climbing (For example, we are using an ice axe 
with a wooden handle, and ropes as old as myself).  I am 
therefore asking you if you have any extra equipment (anything 
will work: ropes, ice axes, crampons, locks, etc.), which you have 
used and don't use anymore, to share with us. We would be most 
grateful to you. This would further enable climbing for the two of us.

Sincerely and gratefully yours, Vladimir D. Djordjevic
My address is:
Vladimir D. Djordjevic
Nikole Pasica 8/4
34000 Kragujevac
My email address is: vladd@ptt.yu

PCS Elections

It that time of year  again. If you are interested in serving as an 
officer in the PCS in 2001, then let one of the current officers know. 

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.


CloudRipper - Sunday, June 2, 2000

Arun Mahajan, Scott Kreider, and Stephan Meier set off for the 
imaginatively named Cloudripper, a 13525 foot peak located 
south east of South Lake.  After enjoying some delicious and very 
European pastries and croisants at Schatts Bakery in Bishop we 
set off on South Lake road for Parcher's, a small resort mainly 
frequented by fishermen.  We left the cars shortly after 8 AM, 
fortunately we saw someone who told us where the trail started, 
as it was from a descreet unmarked spot off the side of the dirt 
road in Parcher's, and might have been hard to spot.  We followed 
the trail up a series of switchbacks, crossing a pipeline from 
South Lake, where we met a solo hiker who had followed the 
more gradual climb of the  pipeline from South Lake to intersect 
the trail; from this point a sign indicated 3 miles to Green Lake, 
the trail continued to climb fairly steeply for a bit before 
flattening out near Brown Lake.  We found pleasant alpine 
meadows on this section which made for fast and easy hiking to 
Green Lake, where we opted to continue off trail.

Looking due South from Green Lake it was apparent that the 
picnic was over: a seemingly endless boulder field climbed into 
the distance... Arun observed that it might be possible to scamper 
up a slightly steeper  but much shorter gully to the South East 
and then follow the ridge around to the South.  After a few 
glances at the vast boulder field to the South, despite uncertainty 
about the ease of following the ridge, Arun's comparatively short 
gully was an easy sell, and off we went.  Other than a little lose 
scree in the middle, the chute posed no problems and we gained 
~1000 feet rapidly.  At this point we were happy to find that 
Arun's instincts had been good, and that while the ridge was 
steep on the West side, on the East it opened to a gentle plateau 
free of boulders, making  for easy going...  We could now see that 
the trail would have provided another option to bypass the 
boulder field as it too made up to the lower limits of the plateau, 
albeit very indirectly.  From the plateau we followed Scott's 
compass bearing as the summit was not yet visible. After a 
gradual climb we reached a local maximum and saw the plateau 
slope downwards for a while, with a peak visible to the South 
East - Cloudripper?  Brief debate ensued, ending with Scott 
saying "if that is Cloudripper then I'm very confused", and Arun 
and I pretty much convinced that despite it's very respectable 
appearance it was indeed but a false summit at 13374 that we 
needed to bypass.  Scott and Arun set off climbing diagonally 
across what turned out to be table sized boulders while I opted to 
stay low and walk the plateau and then make a direct climb up 
the boulders - we both reached the ridge at about 13300 feet just 
below the false summit at about the same time.  From this ridge, 
the true summit of Cloudripper was visible, while only 200 feet 
higher, a descent to another plateau was required first, making for 
a ~500 foot final climb, most of which was on snow.  Scott and I 
opted to use our ice axes, while not strictly necessary given the 
moderate angle and softness of snow, they provided some extra 
security, while Arun climbed confidently without one. The final 
summit ridge was class 3, though only a few spots were 
significantly exposed provided you stayed on the left side of the 
summit  ridge, and we had little trouble finding a good route to 
the summit, which we reached just after 2 PM;  a 6 hour trip.  
From the summit we were rewarded with gorgeous views of 3 
drainage basins and their associated lakes, as well as Mt Sill and 
the Palisades, and countless other peaks that as it was getting a 
little late in the day we didn't loiter to identify...  The weather 
was perfect, and while this forced us to to imagine 'cloudripping' 
rather than witness it, no one was complaining!

For the return we opted for the most direct route, and yes this 
gave us the chance to experience the dreaded boulder field that 
we had skirted... While it started OK, it soon took on the 
character of a really long and bad movie, as time progressed it 
seemed to get no closer to ending, all the while one getting more 
and more sick and tired of it... Finally somehow it did end, at 
which point we rested and finished off most of our food - and 
Arun finally got to use an ice axe - to cut a piece of chocolate 
from a large slab I'd purchased at Trader Joe's...  The rest of the 
return progressed rapidly and we made Green Lake by 5:45 and 
the cars by 7 PM, making for an 11 hour day.

    -- Stephan Meier

Mount Thompson "Caillasse" - August, 2000

Short report (useful trip planning info):

Topo:  	Mount Thompson Quadrangle, 7.5' series trailhead: 
Sabrina Lake Time of year: early August (00) Conditions: little 
snow, great weather, some smoke afar from Sequoia fires 

Length:	2 days elevation: 13494' Mt Thompson summit, 4400' 
elevation gain from trailhead, camped at 11484' (Sunset Lake) 
drive: about 300 mi to trailhead from Sunnyvale, up Tioga Pass 
(120), down to Bishop (395) equipment: ice-axe summary: 
camped at Sunset Lake the first night, summited and hiked out on 
the second day

Summit Route:	Easy route finding , but very loose scree in 
steep North facing chute to the col between Thompson and Powell.

Long report:

"Caillasse" means scree in French. This was a private and 
bilingual trip, as we conversed in both French and English. And 
the word "caillasse" kept coming to mind while climbing Mount 

Peter Maxwell and I hiked in leisurely on Saturday. We set up 
camp at Sunset Lake, in one of the few rock free sites. On the 
way, we passed 2 beautiful meadows, above Baboon lakes. 
Sunday was going to be a long day, and lazing around camp in the 
afternoon seemed essential. And it was essential.

Up at 5:30am, we were on our way by 6:15am. Back at the car 
around 7pm. Tired, but safe.

So what happened?

I'll start with detailing the route.

We went around Sunset Lake by the right, then reached  the 
yellowish rocky outcrop that separate two huge grey  boulder 
fields, made of large rocks coming down from Thompson and 
Powell. We followed that outcrop almost to its end, at the base of 
Powell, but started traversing the so-called glacier [technically it 
is one, but it is more like a permanent snow field]. We reached 
the bottom of the gnarly chute, in the  rightmost couloir to the 
col. Steep, with ice slabs, loose rock, unconsolidated scree. The 
alternative was very steep rock. We proceeded with care, close to 
each other so that rock loosened by one of us would not have time 
to pick up momentum before hitting the other. At the col, we left 
the ice axes, and contemplated the chute on the other side. Not 
very appealing either, but better. We descended it to the bottom of 
the cliffs: no use trying to cut through the slabs. We then crossed 
to the bottom of the obvious class 2 couloir to Mount Thompson  
summit plateau. Another scree filled couloir.... We reached the 
summit at about 10:45AM: the summit looks like a tall stack of 
pancakes placed at the top of the plateau. Can you tell I was 
hungry by then? We came down the same way, filled with anxiety 
about having to go down the gnarly North facing couloir. It 
actually was worse than on the way up. I think it was partly due 
to the fact that the soil had loosened up with the  heat. I opted for 
the "I'll try to stay on my feet while this whole side of the 
mountain is sliding from under me" approach while Peter gave a 
go at the class 3 loose rock. The amazing thing is that we did not 
get hurt. The return to camp was the usual slog. And the return to 
the car was also the usual interminable slog, with a special class 
3 move on a cliff above Baboon Lake - just for fun ;-).

A few words about fauna and flora for the avid nature lover in 
you: I only saw chipmunks, and mule waste all over the lower 
part of trail. And a handful of backpacking bipedes, including a 
kiwi. Not a trace of bear.  There were more flowers than I 
expected, in the blue and yellow tones. 

The drive home was probably the most dangerous part of the day. 
We saw a bear who was crossing highway 120 in front of our car  
after doing his/her [could not tell - I was driving pretty fast]  
shopping at the Mono Pass trailhead. A lot of trucks and cars on 
580, even this late in the night.

After complaining so much about scree, I know that I will 
experience "caillasse" amnesia, a well-known phenomenon of the 
brain forgetting the bad, and remembering the good. It was a 
great climb.

-- Anouchka Gaillard

The Kaweahs - Jim and Dot's Summer Vacation - August 27-September 4, 2000

"It's summertime and the living is easy"

Primary Objectives: Eagle Scout Peak, North Face Grade III 5.7; 
Black Kaweah, Southwest Face, Class 4; Mt. Stewart, North 
Face, Grade III, 5.6.

Secondary Objectives:  Hamilton Dome, North Arete, Grade II, 
5.7; Lion Rock, South Ridge, Class 4; Mt. Kaweah, South Slopes, 
Class 1.

Climbing Gear: 2-8.5 mm x 50 m ropes (dynamic, NOT static); 2 
Alpine Bod harnesses; 2 helmets; 1 pair Boreal Aces; 1 pair 
Boreal Zephyrs; slings; alpine climbing rack; Estimated total 
weight 20-25 pounds.

Short report: We got skunked!  We carried 20-25 pounds of 
technical gear 21 miles into and out of the backcountry, and did 
not use any of it.

Long report:

Day 1 (Sunday, August 27) - After the obligatory bear lecture by 
the Sequoia Park Ranger and renting 2 nearly useless Garcia bear 
canisters, we drive to the Crescent Meadow trailhead.  As we are 
packing up to head in to Bearpaw Meadow, 3 guys come out from 
an attempt on Black Kaweah. They tell us that they had perfect 
weather, except for summit day.  Jim and I then realize that 
neither one of us has bothered to check the weather predictions 
for the coming week, not that we would have believed them 
anyway.  As Jim says, it never rains in California.  There are a 
few clouds as we hike in, but nothing threatening.  A few people 
with daypacks are heading out as we head in.  They mostly look 
like clients of the High Sierra Camp at Bearpaw.  The 
campground at Bearpaw meadow is deserted.  We are visited 
later that evening by two curious bear cubs, but they soon leave.

Day 2 - We leave Bearpaw and head up to Hamilton Lakes and 
beyond.  Have I mentioned how heavy the packs are?  In addition 
to all of the climbing gear, we are carrying 9 days of food and 
personal gear and those two dang bear canisters.  Our food 
doesn't even begin to fit into the bear canisters.  Jim originally 
wanted to carry just bivy bags, but I insisted on a tent.  It rained 7 
days out of 8 on our last long Sierra trip.  As we are hiking 
towards Hamilton Lakes, we check out Hamilton Dome - it is a 
very appealing looking arete, but it looks like the crux of the 
climb may be getting to the arete.  Maybe we will try it on the 
way out.  We get to Upper Hamilton Lake in time for lunch.  
There is a trail crew stationed there.  They seem to be trundling 
some big rocks on the trail high above the lake.  As we are eating 
lunch, a backpacker stops to talk to us.  He says that the weather 
people are predicting a 30% chance of rain today and tomorrow, 
then clearing out to beautiful weather.  We notice clouds 
gathering over Kaweah Gap.  By the time we finish lunch and are 
ready to head up to Kaweah Gap, the clouds have darkened and 
there is the sound of distant thunder.  Jim gives it a 1 to  million 
chance of raining that day.  As we climb up out of Upper 
Hamilton Lake, the clouds darken and the thunder is more 
frequent.  I am hoping that we make it to Precipice Lake, a little 
below Kaweah Gap, before the rain hits us.  The section of trail 
from Hamilton Lake to Precipice Lake is quite spectacular.  It 
includes a short tunnel through rock.  It is hard to piece it all 
together when looking at it from below - it looks like the trail 
must go across shear cliffs.  Just as we reach the small lake below 
Precipice, we pass two backpackers coming down from Kaweah 
Gap.  They report that it has been raining and lightening and 
thundering for quite a while in Nine Lakes Basin.  When we tell 
them that we are headed to Nine Lakes Basin, one of them warns 
us that the finger of God will smite us.  By the time we reach 
Precipice Lake, it is raining.  The temperature has probably 
dropped 20 degrees. We decide to set up camp there.  We find a 
good spot that puts us close to the base of the North Face climb 
that we covet on Eagle Scout Peak.

Day 3 - It rains all day.  The clouds are low, enveloping us in a 
fog. We might as well be in San Francisco.  We spend the day 
reading and resting our sore muscles.

Day 4 - About 38 hours after it started to rain, it stops.  The rock 
on Eagle Scout Peak is too wet to climb, and the weather too 
uncertain for a committing climb.  We decide to go over to Nine 
Lakes Basin and check out the 4th class route on Lion Rock, 
described as two class 4 moves. There are a scattering of stratus 
clouds in the sky over Kaweah Gap as we head out.  The hike to 
Lion Rock takes a little longer than expected, and we got a late 
start due to the early morning rain.  We start up the ridge of Lion 
Rock, aware that clouds are building over Black Kaweah and 
Kaweah Gap.  The skies are still clear over Lion Rock.  We reach 
a point on the ridge that looks like exposed 4th class, and look for 
ways around it.  We aren't sure that we are on route - we can 
imagine ways that this route may go, but there are some blind 
corners and gaps.  We do have the rope and rack and harnesses.  
In the meantime, the summits of Black Kaweah and Mt. Stewart 
have disappeared into clouds and more and more clouds are 
swirling around Lion Rock.  We debate whether to go for it or to 
back off.  We finally decide to back off, cursing the weather, 
cursing Secor's route description, but vowing to return.  We can 
imagine the story in Accidents in North American 
Mountaineering:  2 climbers off to a late start, off route, 
continued under deteriorating weather conditions.  Slung out in 
screamer suits (whatever the hell that means).  Actually, we 
would be lucky if anyone found us for quite a while.  We haven't 
seen anyone in over 24 hours.  As we descend, the clouds abate 
revealing blue sky.  Then they build again.  We realize that one 
maxim of mountaineering is that the further you descend, the 
better the weather appears.  Another maxim is that the further 
you descend, the easier the route that you didn't do appears.  The 
clouds continue to build, but it doesn't rain.

Day 5 - We had been prepared to attempt the North Face of Eagle 
Scout, but woke to winds and colder temperatures.  Being either 
optimistic or chicken-hearted, we decide that this is a good sign 
and the weather is improving. We decide to hike down towards 
Mt. Kaweah today, and give the weather another day to settle 
down.  As we are hiking through Nine Lakes Basin, we realize 
that climbing Mt. Kaweah will mean an 18 mile and close to a 
6000 foot day.  We continue, hoping that it doesn't tire us out too 
much for a climb the next day.  It feels like a late autumn day 
instead of an August day.  As we are climbing up the south slopes 
of Mt. Kaweah, we can see the clouds building to the north of us, 
over Kaweah Gap.  There is also a lot of low fog blowing over 
Kaweah Gap.  From the summit of Mt. Kaweah, we see that 
there are clouds over both the East and West crests of the Sierra.  
Mt. Kaweah seems to be the only area in sunshine and free of 
clouds.  The storms are more widespread than we had realized.  
We quickly scan the entries in the register.  One signee laments 
missing RJ Secor by six days!  We race back towards Kaweah 
Gap, trying to beat the dark and the rain.  We reach the top of 
Kaweah Gap just as it gets dark enough to need headlamps.  The 
fog is thick and the reflection of the light off of it is disorienting, 
but we make it back to our tent.  It is late and we are tired.  We 
realize that we may have ruined our opportunity to climb the next 

Day 6 - We wake up to a fog enveloping our tent.  We can't see 
the trail, the Gap, 5 feet in front of us.  As I get out of the tent, I 
tell Jim that it is snowing.  He doesn't believe me; then he thinks 
that it is funny.  Four hours later when he is digging the tent out 
from 5 inches of snow, he isn't laughing any more.  It snows until 
about 4:30. Then it gets cold.  It has been an eerily quite storm - 
very little wind.  The world around us is transformed.  There is 
snow on the north face of Eagle Scout Peak, there is snow on the 
trail.  Another day spent reading and playing cards and 
wondering why we hauled 25 pounds of technical climbing gear 
21 miles into the backcountry.

Day 7 -  The temperatures have dropped a lot overnight, 
transforming our world into an icy one.  The talus is glazed with 
treacherous ice.  Our friendly world has become a little bit more 
threatening.  It is sobering to realize how quickly things can 
change.  The good news is that the skies over us are sunny.  The 
bad news is that fog and clouds are already streaming up from 
below.  We hope that the sun lasts long enough to melt the ice 
and free us from our camp site.  Fortunately, the fog stalls over 
Hamilton Lake.  The ice melts and the tent dries out before we 
pack up to head out.  Originally, we had planned two more nights 
at Precipice Lake, to squeeze out every climb we possibly could.  
But now we are running from the fog and the uncertain weather.  
We head down through the fog to Upper Hamilton Lake.  There 
are 4 or 5 tents set up there, and people, and noise.  We have had 
Precipice Lake to ourselves. The fog rolls in and out most of the 
evening and into the night at Hamilton Lake.  One minute you 
can see Eagle Scout Peak, the next it is gone.  Occasionally it 
pokes out above the clouds and looks a bit like a Himalayan 
peak.  We are 7 days into a 9-day trip, and our food just barely 
fits into the Garcia bear canisters.  Jim amuses himself by 
calculating how many calories he needs a day, and then 
multiplying that by 9 days.  He figures that the only way he could 
fit the appropriate number of calories into the bear canister is by 
buying 45 packages of Walkers shortbread, pulverizing the 
shortbread, then pouring it into the canister. He wonders if it 
would be tasty reconstituted as porridge.  I make a mental note to 
do the food planning for our next long trip.

Day 8 - The fog finally dissipates by 4 am.  We wake to beautiful 
blue skies and feel the anguished pain of having run away too 
early.  It looks like a beautiful day to climb, and we are 
retreating.  We load up our packs and head down the trail.  We 
want to get out and home by midnight.  The packs are still heavy 
and the trail undulates.  We regret having given up too soon.  
Then we reach Bearpaw meadow and are enveloped in a cold fog.  
The clouds are streaming up to Hamilton Lake and Kaweah Gap; 
they are just a little later today.  We feel better about our 
decision.  By the time we reach the trailhead, the fog is thick.  
There are families having the ritual Labor Day weekend BBQ at 
Crescent Meadows.  Everyone is bundled up in fleece and down.  
We get back to San Francisco about 11:30 PM.  And there is no 

Day 9 - Misery loves company.  We are delighted to read in old 
newspapers that Donner Summit got 5 inches of snow on Friday 
or Saturday, there was snow in Tuolumne on Friday, and the 
predictions for the mountains include cold and wet conditions.  
We had been feeling that just maybe the backpacker who 
predicted the finger of God smiting us had been right.  But now 
we realize that it isn't personal.  We will probably go back - the 
climbs looked mighty tempting.  But there are days when I begin 
to think that sport climbing may not be all that bad.

-- Dot Reilly

Matterhorn Peak & Excelsior Mtn - August 19 & 20, 2000

On Saturday I hiked Excelsior Mountain (12,446') from Virginia 
Lakes (9,600').  It is a straightforward hike, following a good trail 
to a 'pass' at about 11,000' where the trail starts dropping down 
into the Green Creek drainage.  From that point, the route goes 
continues toward the Sierra crest cross-country.  One can either 
go over top of, or count our up and around the north side of, a 
large two-humped red hill that is the one clearly unpleasant part 
of the hike (no alternatives, the ridge drops off on either side).  I 
did the contour going up and the over-the-top coming back, which 
may be the best combination since the backside is totally firm 
and a lot less high.  Once over this hill, I hiked up towards the 
crest aiming for the lowest point in the ridge along the right side 
of the snowfield.  Once over the crest, an easy traverse south took 
me to the peak, which had fine views of most of the peaks of 
Yosemite from Lyell to Tower.  Register was about 2/3 full, many 
hikers this year.  Signing in, I took the opportunity to answer the 
question Joe Budman asked when he signed in April 30.  Award 
for best register entry, serious category, won by "Live with intent, 
don't settle for content".  Award for best entry, non-serious, won 
by "Life On The East Side Is Good".  Having absolutely no 
acclimatization, I took the hike slowly, taking about 4 1/4 hours 
up; after 45 min. on top, got back to the trailhead in 2 hrs.  It 
looks like about 6 miles each way.

Feeling somewhat acclimatized, on Sunday I climbed Matterhorn 
Peak (12,264'), from Twin Lakes, ascending via the East Couloir, 
returning via Horse Creek Pass.  Started at 7.30am carrying a 
new register book. Reaching the signed intersection with the 
Cattle Mountain trail at 8.45, I realized that the day's agenda 
would probably demand more than the 8-10 hours I had assumed.  
The trail went fine up to the first big 'bowl' at around 9,000'.  
There are trails all over this area.  I followed someone up a trail 
on the left side that was slow going through loose steep scree; 
then halfway up the 'real' trail on the right side on firm dirt 
became apparent, so I sidehilled across to it. Above the bowl 
where the terrain leveled out, I followed a steep use trail up and 
to the right for several hundred feet, ending atop a ridge just 
above a pond.  The now faint use trail continued logically given 
the terrain along the ridge towards Matterhorn, and I followed it 
to the bowl below the peak, reaching this point at about 12noon, 
where I stopped for lunch.  Around 12.30, I pulled out my ice axe 
and started heading across the bowl, catching up with two 
climbers who I teamed up with rather than risking rockfall in the 
couloir.  John had done North Palisade; he was taking George on 
his first peak climb of any kind ever.  George did quite well 
although the going was slow.  The east couloir is mostly snow 
free at this point, unfortunately without snow it is a lot of loose 
rock and scree.  There were maybe a dozen people, all told, on 
various parts of the peak that day.  We finally summited at about 
3.00pm, to outstanding views.  There are literally about three 
dozen listed peaks visible from the summit.  I placed the register 
book into the ammo box along with pen and pencil, and signed 
in.  The award for the most creative item placed in a summit box: 
rubber ducky.  Realizing that I am not entirely versed in Sierra 
Club rules, I did not remove said item. Around 3.30 we headed 
back down.  The climb and hike down to Horse Creek Pass and 
out was long, slow and uneventful.  After confirming that they 
had headlamps, at about 6pm I left the other two upon reaching a 
point where I could show them where they were headed (they 
were mapless), then turned on the jets.  Back at the car at 
7.45pm, 12 1/4 hrs, about 5,300' gain.  Thankfully the Bridgeport 
Market and deli was open; with a turkey sub and a quart of Coke, 
the drive home was uneventful.

-- Mike Mc Dermitt

White Mountain - 14250 ft, 3 September 2000.

It did not look likely that anybody would be in the mountains this 
Labor Day weekend as we slept in the car at Camp-9 with the 
cold wind rocking it and the rain pattering on the windshield. 
Dawn looked even worse but we still decided to race to the Lake 
Sabrina trailhead to meet up with Kai Weidman and Cecil Anison 
to do the scheduled trip to Mt Goddard. The sky was remarkably 
clear at Mammoth and points south but it was still cold at Lake 
Sabrina and Cecil and Kai had heard from the locals that the 
weather would continue to be unsettled. So, changing gears, we 
decided to head up White Mountain. Cecil had hiked it before 
and Hal had ski-traversed from halfway between Boundary Peak 
and White, all the way up to White.

Up Highway 168, closed 30 miles up from Big Pine due to the 
danger of flash floods to the Grandview Campground at approx 
8000 ft where fortuitously, a SUV leaving a camping spot made 
one available to us and then a 4.5 mile hike in Schulman Grove 
among the venerable Bristlecone Pines exuding a youthful 
fragrance that belied their millenial geriatry with a backdrop of 
the Sierra crest, completed the Saturday.

Sunday morning and the unpaved 16 mile stretch from Schulman 
Grove to the now opened gate on the White Mtn road gave no 
problems to my car and I am sure Mike's Landrover treated it 
with even more disdain. Since the Barcroft Lab that is two miles 
up the road from the gate has an open house on the Sunday of 
Labour Day and gets enough visitors that clog up it's limited 
parking, all White Mountain bound hikers were asked to park 
their vehicles at the gate and to either hike from there itself or to 
take a shuttle bus that runs every half hour till 5 pm by the two 
uniformed volunteers who sat shivering in the cold wind, bravely 
manning their posts. Like hardcore mountaineers, sneering at the 
people who were hiking like hicks, the six of us choose to ride up 
in the shuttle to the
Barcroft Lab, Kai Weidman (leader), Cecil Anison (leader), Hal 
Tompkins, Noriko Sekikawa, Mike McDermitt and myself, Arun Mahajan.

9.40 am, fortified by the free cookies generously provided by the 
Barcroft staff, a cold wind making us wear multiple layers, we set 
off on the road. Hal took off, his lungs acclimated by his recent 
stint in the Peruvian Andes, fuelling his rocket like speed, while 
we followed at a more stately pace. White had received a nice 
dusting of snow and presented an imposing sight and despite the 
cold cold wind, amidst several parties of hikers, we summitted a 
little before 12.20 pm to the sight of a rather solid looking hut 
and dutifully signed the register and departed soon after, the cold 
making it inhospitable to linger long. Back at the lab to check out 
the highly singular Barcroft Lab avoiding the doleful gaze of the 
research sheep and then to take the ride back in the shuttle bus.

A small walk in the Patriarch Grove, a few miles down the White 
Mtn Road, on the way back to Grandview to see the Methusaleh, 
the largest Bristlecone Pine tree, completed this scenic but not 
unduly taxing PCS trip.

Trip stats: 10 miles RT from the Barcroft Lab to the summit of 
White Mountain in under 5 hrs. Due to the drastic altitude gain 
and the cold wind that whips up, despite being entirely class-1, 
lots of warm and wind proof layers are recommended while doing 
this high and wonderfully scenic mountain.

    -- Arun Mahajan

Climbing - A Real Pal - September 16-18, 2000

North Palisade, 14242', class 4 Clyde Variation
Lead by Steve Eckert, Organized by Chris Franchuk
Participants: David Shaw, John Cheslick, Jeff Fisher, Michael 
Rinaldi, Linda Roman

NOTE: An HTML version of this report, with waypoints, is at
including some pictures. It will be there only until it gets into

Those who read my too-common or too-long trip reports know 
that I do mostly "mountaineering" climbs, not technical climbs. 
This was a "make a wish" climb for some who asked me how 
they could ever get accepted on a fourth class climb when there 
was always a prerequisite of having been on someone ELSE'S 
fourth class climb: The answer was "let's go try it  and you can 
turn around if you don't feel comfortable". We got 6 out of  7 to 
the top, no injuries and no headlamps required, on a route none 
of  us had ever done before. That's a success all around! [The one 
person who did not summit was smart enough to know his limits 
and stop before the rest of us detected serious trouble - the 
mountain will be there next year, and so will he.]

I'll skip the boring stuff about hiking to Thunderbolt Pass - 
everyone agreed that our compromise route stayed low enough to 
avoid the boulders  and high enough to avoid wasting time in the 
tundra. We camped at the upper reaches of the Barrett Lakes 
drainage (waypoint HICAMP), and  12000' for the first night in 
convinced everyone to sit around talking  instead of going for an 
afternoon walk. The wind was howling at Bishop Pass, making us 
stagger a bit, but decreased long before the alpenglow lit up the 

We left camp about 6am on summit day. After being treated to a 
stunning Palisades sunset, the not-too-shabby western sierra 
sunrise was good enough to snap a few pictures but not good 
enough to linger. We turned our attention to the western approach 
toward the U-Notch and climbed in the shadows as the sun 
warmed the other side of the ridge.

I had followed John Kerr across "the catwalk" and up the 
LeConte route back in 1993, but I was wearing plastic boots at 
the time (which helped kick steps in the snow right over the 
chockstones, but which didn't feel good on the highly exposed 
and downsloping wet friction slabs of the catwalk). This time I 
hoped to do something different, but several participants wanted 
the easiest route and thought LeConte fit the bill.  Lucky for me, 
looking at those friction slabs convinced everyone we should go 
for the Clyde Variation instead. (It also helped that two women 
camped near us said the chockstones on LeConte were very hard 
4th class indeed, probably 5th class.)

I haven't read a report on the Clyde Variation, so I'll go into a bit 
too much detail. It's a great route if you are confident, but take a  
rope to rap off. The holds are great, the rock is solid (once you 
are out of the main U-Notch chute) unlike the LeConte chute, and 
it's got  better views all around. Much better asethetics!

Secor says the Clyde Variation starts 120' below the U-Notch on 
the west... I'd say it's more like 50' vertical. He also says it's 40' of 
easy 4th class, but we must have been having a bad day: The first 
20 or  30 feet (up to a 2" rap sling and a nice ledge) is really class 
3 but  most people wanted a belay anyway. The next bit, unless 
none of us saw the easy way, is actually hard class 4 for another 
30 or 40 feet (I put  in a cam and a sling for pro on the way) up to 
a large ledge that goes  west around a corner. This ledge is above 
the level of the U-Notch but  just a bit, and was our first sunny 
spot of the day.

Going around the corner was more excitement than some wanted, 
even  though it amounted to very exposed class 2. We got out the 
rope again, and I started checking my watch. The ledge, 
according to Secor, leads to  a 3rd class chute: Mark that "hard 
3rd class", note that it's very  steep, convince your head to ignore 
the cliff at the bottom, and you  won't need a rope. I climbed 
without a belay, dragging the rope almost full length to a good 
belay spot and brought people around the corner. 

We noted the headwall above and angled a bit to the right as the 
chute turned into more of a face, and soon the rope came out 
again. One person called it quits here, and we discussed 
turnaround times since it was  already 1pm. This time I took a 
belay to go around yet another corner: Our chute had intersected 
the "chimney variation" at the southern end of  the southeast 
arete, and you had to wave your butt over 300' of air to  get 
around the end of the arete, looking down the chimney at the  
Palisade Glacier. Once over to the east side, a short friction slab 
lead  to a small saddle and easy class 2-3 into the same bowl the 
LeConte  route leads to.

From the bowl we followed a light rock seam up and left, then 
cut back under the peak and wriggled through the keyhole to the 
final summit  block: Two awkward but not highly exposed moves 
and we were on top!  Several used a rope on the way down, but 
none needed a rope above the  arete/chimney corner.

This was the toughest peak several participants had done, but 
everyone accounted well for themselves. I had a lot of competent 
help handling he rope and spotting other climbers, and it was fun 
to give back on a  peak where I had once been the tentative guy 
asking for a top rope.  (Summit and rappel photos are also at the 
URL above.)

We hurried back down, realizing that for the return we could rap 
off the arete near the small saddle instead of going back around 
the corner.  Basically we slid down a straight line from there to 
where we left the main U-Notch chute, with two long and one 
short rappels on a single 50m rope. Back in camp by 7pm, we 
basked in our accomplishment and sat around talking until after 
9pm since the night was warm and calm.

-- Steve Eckert

Tenth Annual Family Camp - September 23-24, 2000

Trip participants: Kai Wiedman, Cecil Anison, her 
children Joseph, Joanna, and their friend Austin; Jim 
Ramaker and his friends, Joe Clay, Tim Halloran, Michelle 
Valdez; John Cordes and April Cordes; Scott Kreider, 
Marilyn Kreider, and their infant daughter; Bob Bynum, 
and Gretchen Luepke Bynum.

The tenth annual family camp was a great success with fun 
for people of different ages and hiking abilities. This year 
we all camped out in the North Pines campground in 
Yosemite Valley. Some people went on strenuous peak 
climbs while others took leisurely strolls in the valley or 
just hung around camp.

Gretchen and I were able to leave home at around noon 
and after a pleasant lunch in the Knight's Ferry we arrived 
in Yosemite Valley at 5:00 PM. After setting up the tent, 
we took the shuttle bus over to the LeConte Memorial 
where we viewed a Yosemite backpacking slide show by 
Kent Gill. Kent was the president of the Sierra Club 1974-
1975. It was very interesting to get the perspective of a 
Sierra Club former president on a variety of issues. Kent 
has been an avid backpacker for many years and has been 
active in conservation causes. After the show, we went to 
bed relatively early and noticed the arrival of John and 
April Cordes around midnight.

On Saturday morning, we were surprised that Cecil and 
Kai had not yet arrived. Jim Ramaker and his crew pulled 
in as we were making breakfast. They had arrived late and 
had spent the night at another campsite. For the day all of 
us except Gretchen decided to hike from the Tuolumne 
Lodge parking lot and head in the direction of Ragged 
Peak. Gretchen wanted to hang around in the valley. John, 
April, and I rode up together and Jim took his group. 
Somehow at the trailhead we missed Jim's group so John 
and I went on a hike while April and their dog Britches 
stayed near Tuolumne.

It was a perfect day for a climb. There were no clouds in 
the sky and a very slight breeze. John and I headed up the 
Young Lakes trail and turned towards Dog Lake. We hiked 
around Dog Lake and then bush whacked our way through 
a forest and finally up a peak whose name I am not sure of. 
John said that it wasn't Ragged Peak, but a smaller peak 
above 10,000 Ft. We summited at about 2:00 PM. The 
temperature was 50 degrees with a slight wind. Due to 
sleeping in the valley and I was not at all acclimatized to 
the high altitude and really felt out of shape.

Upon our descent, we intersected the Young Lakes trail and 
then ran into Jim's group sitting out in a meadow. They 
had seen us at the trailhead, but somehow we didn't see 
them. During the day they had climbed Lempert Dome and 
then hiked up to the meadow. We all hiked back to the 
trailhead together.

When we arrived back in Yosemite Valley, we cooked 
dinner and found out what everybody else had been doing. 
Kai, Cecil and her children had arrived around noon. 
During the day they along with Gretchen took a walk to the 
Indian Caves area. Scott and Marilyn had also arrived on 
Saturday. After dark, we built a fire, roasted 
marshmellows, and then celebrated Kai's birthday with a 
cake that Cecil had brought

On Sunday we again split into several groups. John Cordes 
and April said they were going to do a trail from Foresta to 
El Capitan. Scott and Marilyn headed for home. Two of 
Jim's friends went for a hike to Mirror Lake. Kai, Cecil 
and the children parked at Sentinel Beach and then hiked 
over to the rock area near the Yosemite Falls trailhead to 
do some rock scrambling. Gretchen, Jim, and I met them 
over there. All of us had fun doing some scrambling on the 
rocks, but it was especially fun for Cecil's children. 

Later that afternoon Gretchen and I rode the shuttle bus to 
see its complete route. We got off at the Ahwahnee Hotel 
and on the spur of the moment decided to partake in the 
Sunday brunch. This was a very elegant dinning 
experience that I highly recommend.

After brunch, we walked back to our car at the Yosemite 
Lodge. On the way we spent some time at the visitor's 
center and the Ansel Adams Gallery. I highly recommend 
both of these. At the visitor's center there are many 
informative exhibits about the Yosemite geology and 
history. These exhibits will make us appreciate the peaks 
we are climbing.

We spent the last hour in the park watching the sun set on 
half dome from the side of North Drive. This completed a 
most memorable weekend in Yosemite.

-- Bob Bynum

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 

*** Mt. Ritter
Peak:	Mt. Ritter (4006m, class 3)
Date:	Sept. 30-Oct. 1 (Sat-Sun)
Contact:	David Harris David_Harris@hmc.edu  909-607-3623

Enjoy post-Labor Day climbing on the foreboding North Face of 
Mt. Ritter.  On Saturday we'll pack in to the Ediza Lake area. On 
Sunday we'll scale the Ritter-Banner Saddle, then ascend John 
Muir's famous North Face route of Ritter.  A descent of the 
Southeast Glacier should round out our mountaineering adventure. 
Ice axe and comfort with exposed 3rd class climbing required.
For more information, see Muir's trip report:

*** Langley the Easy Way
Peak:	Langley (14,043)  and Cirque Peaks
Date:	October 20-22 (Fri-Sun)
Contact:	Nancy Fitzsimmons, 408-957-9683	Pkclimber@aol.com
	Adrienne Van Gorden 408-779-2320	 avangorden@sccs.santacruz.k12.ca.us

This will be done as  a backpack trip not as a dayhike so the plan 
is to meet Friday morning and set up camp at one of the 
Cottonwood lakes. We will get an early start Saturday and climb 
Langley with an optional climb up Cirque Peak (class 1).
Sunday we will hike out and drive home. Stormy weather cancels.

*** Moses/Maggie/Homer/Vandever from Mountain Home
Peaks: North  Maggie (10235), Moses (9331), etc
Dates: October 27-29 (Fri-Sun)
Contact: Steve Eckert, eckert@climber.org
Contact: Aaron Schuman, aaron_schuman@yahoo.com

Mountain Home State Forest is stunning in the fall: Colors, big 
trees, no people, and a quick exit if you're snowed on like I was on 
my first visit. Most people go only a few miles in, to bag Moses 
(3rd class) and Maggie (brush and boulders), entering at an even 
brushier and nastier trailhead for Homer's Nose. I happen to know 
that the east side of Maggie is beautiful, and I'm hoping the east 
side of Homer is also... but mostly I'm hoping to visit a drainage I 
haven't been in before. Aaron is concentrating on Moses and 
Maggie, so we may split up on Saturday but will camp together (at 
Summit Lake) both nights. From camp you can explore the upper 
Kaweah River's south fork, climb Vandever, or stroll up to Soda 
Butte for a view of the Little Kern Valley. Join us no matter what 
your skill level, as long as you're comfortable navigating on your 
own if you don't like our pace or agenda!

*** 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.  


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

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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 10/29/2000.
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!