Home | Scree | Back Issues

 August, 2001        Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club Vol. 35 No. 8

World Wide Web Address: http://lomaprieta.sierraclub.org/pcs

Next General Meeting

Date:          Tuesday, August 14
Time:          7:00 PM
Program:    Ice Climbing in Colorado
                    by Ron Karpel

What better way to cool down August heat then by talking about ice climbing? February 2001, Rick Booth and Ron Karpel climbed the super classic ice route

Stairway to Heaven in Silverton, Colorado. Come join us for the story and slides from the climb and other ice climbing interests from around the area.

Location         Peninsula Conservation Center 3921 East Bayshore Rd, Palo Alto

Directions:     From 101: Exit at San Antonio Road, Go East to the first traffic light, Turn left and follow Bayshore Rd to the PCC on the corner of Corporation Way. A sign marking the PCC is out front. Park behind.

Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 8/26/2001  •  Meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of each month.

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.


Peak:           Cloudripper   13,525'
Dates:          August 11-12, Sat-Sun
Map:             Mt Goddard 15'
Leader:        Debbie Benham, 650/964-0558, deborah4@pacbell.net

This peak is class 1 from Seventh Lake via the east ridge. We should have spectacular views of the Palisades once on top! Newcomers are welcome with backpacking experience. Permit for 8.

Ragged, Tuolumne, Hoffman

Peaks:          Ragged Peak (10,912'); Tuolumne Peak (10,845'); Mt Hoffman (10,850')
Dates:           August 25-26, Sat-Sun
Map:              Tuolumne Meadows
Leader(s):    Debbie Benham, 650/964-0558, deborah4@pacbell.net
                       Chris MacIntosh, 650/325-7841, cmaci@attglobal.net

We've reserved two adjacent campsites at lovely Tuolumne Meadows Campground for Friday night (8/24) and Saturday night (8/25). There will be a choice of peaks to climb, one each on Saturday and Sunday.

Reservations are for 10 hikers; $8 reserves your two night stay and is non-refundable. Newcomers to peak climbing most welcome!!

Mt. Langley

Peak:            Mt Langley 14,000 Class 2-3
Dates:          Sept 1-3 Sat-Mon
Leader:        Chris Kramar, ckramar@siebel.com

Join us for a climb up Langley over Labor Day weekend. This is a trip suitable for beginning peak climbers who want to climb a Fourteener. Hike up to Cottonwood lakes on Saturday morning, climb the peak Sunday and return Monday. To sign up, send name, address, contact info and check for $5 (for permit fee) to, Chris Kramar, 4302 Ribera St. Fremont, CA 94536.

Mt Henry

Peak:            Mt. Henry (12,106, cl. 2)
Date:             September 22 - 23, 2001
Leader:        Charles Schafer, charles@paraform.com, Bob Evans, robtwevans@email.msn.com

Meet Saturday AM at the Maxson Trailhead at Courtright Resevoir (7,920) and hike 16 mi. to Lower Indian Lake (about 10,000).  Sunday bag the peak via the west slopes, and out

Florence Peak

Peak:            Florence (12,432’) class 2
Dates:          September 29-30 2001
Map:              7.5 min Mineral King USGS # CA3777
Leader:        Aaron Schuman, aaron_schuman@yahoo.com
Co-leader:   Stephane Mouradian smouradian@hotmail.com, (650) 551-0392(H)

Come join us for an overnight trip in Sequoia National Park.  We will start  hiking early Satrday morning from the Mineral King trailhead.  Florence peak is the main goal of this trip.  If conditions allow, we may decide to climb Vandever (11,947’) Saturday and Florence on Sunday.

Contact the Co-leader after August 20th to sign up.

Telescope Peak

Peak:             Telescope Peak (11,049 ft) class 2
Date:              Saturday, 29 September 2001
Leader:          Richard Vassar 650-949-4485 richard.vassar@lmco.com
Co-Leader:   Jeff Fisher 408-739-1702 han1cannae@aol.com

Day hike Telescope Peak from Shorty's Well (-253 ft) near Badwater (-282 ft, lowest point in the western hemisphere) in Death Valley via Hanaupah Canyon  and steep cross-country ridge until we join the Telescope Pk trail 1.5 miles  from the summit.  We'll leave early to avoid the heat at low elevation. Temperature on the summit should be about 50 deg cooler than Death Valley.

Be prepared for 24 miles (17 miles to Telescope Pk and 7 miles down to Mahogany Flat) and 11,300 ft elevation gain.  Car shuttle required.  Call leaders for details. Participants must have adequate experience and  training.  Advanced registration with the leaders is required.  Co-listed with Day Hiking Section.

Rock Climbing Destinations

Smith Rock

Smith Rock, located in Central Oregon, is considered by many to be one of the best sport climbing areas in the U.S.  Two French climbers, Jean Baptiste Tribout and Jean Marc Troussier, put up the now famous "To Bolt or Not to Be", the first 5.14a in the U.S. in 1986.  At the time, this route far exceeded the grade of any other in the country and put Smith on the map as a premier sport climbing destination.  Tribout returned in 1992 to climb "Just Do It".   At 5.14c, the grade again surpassed those of America's hardest routes.  Smith is also a great place for beginning and intermediate climbers with many quality routes at more moderate grades.  There are also good quality traditional routes at Smith for those that want to take a break from sport climbing.

The rock at the most popular areas at Smith is made of tuff.  The quality of this tuff varies dramatically throughout the park ranging from darker, solid rock to softer, lighter rock.  Basalt is the other type of rock at Smith and can be found at the Gorge, an area apart from the popular walls at Smith and hence, generally less crowded.  One of my favorite climbs at Smith is at the Lower Gorge.  "Pure Palm" at 5.11a is a stemming and palming problem up a basalt column that is considered a Smith classic.

If you visit Smith, don't forget to hike out to the West Side Crags and the Monkey Face area.  Monkey Face gets its name from a 350 foot spire, the top of which sits the face of a Monkey.  The "Pioneer Route", a five pitch 5.7 A1 climb on the Monkey Face affords a spectacular view from the top of the spire and extremely exciting exposure on the way up.  "Just Do It" is located on the spire as well, for those hardman sport climbers.  "Moons of Pluto", a 5.10d arete climb and "Screaming Yellow Zonkers", a 5.10b knobby, face climb on the Mesa Verde Wall at the West Side Crags are highly recommended.

The best time to climb at Smith is during spring and fall.  Winter can be very cold in the desert and summer temperatures sometimes hit 100 degrees.  There is a walk-in campground at Smith complete with solar showers.  For up-to-date information on the park, go to the Smith Rock State Park website at http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_51.php.  For more information about climbing at Smith, visit http://www.smithrock.com.  The "Climber's Guide to Smith Rock" by Alan Watts will give you all the information you need about routes at Smith along with a climbing history of the area.  Besides the climbs already mentioned, recommended routes include Moonshine Dihedral (.9), Wedding Day (.10b), BBQ the Pope (.10b), Chicken McNuggets (.10b), Magic Light (.11a) and Vomit Launch (.11b).

There are two climbing stores conveniently located near Smith Rock if you need gear.  Rockhard, a quarter mile from the Smith Rock parking lot has been in business for 25 years and packs a lot of stuff into their store.  They are also famous for their huckleberry ice cream.  Redpoint Climbers Supply in Terrebonne also carries a complete selection of climbing gear.

Smith Rock State Park is located in the high desert in Central Oregon, two miles east of Hwy 97 near Terrebonne. To the south are Redmond and Bend, about 10 and 30 minutes by car.  Portland is 2.5 hours northwest of Smith.  You can also fly into Redmond if you prefer to skip the drive from Portland.

Bend is a rapidly growing community with many great restaurants and places to entertain yourself on your rest days. Deschutes Brewery is highly recommended for its excellent cuisine as well as its beer.  Their India Pale Ale is one of my favorites as well as the salmon salad.  Breakfast doesn't get any better than at the Wagon Wheel in Redmond.  The service is very friendly and the food is just like home cooking.  Pancakes and the breakfast burrito were breakfast staples during my trip to Smith.

For those that prefer more upscale accommodations, there are motels and hotels in Redmond. Lodging information at the Redmond Chamber of Commerce website is a good place to look for accommodations (http://www.redmondcofc.com).  For lodging information in Bend, check out http://bend-or.com/bend-info/lodging.shtml.

• Janice Hirata

Book Review

Camp 4: Recollections of a Yosemite Rockclimber by Steve Roper

The Mountaineers, 1994, ISBN 0-89886-587-5

The book Camp 4: Recollections of a Yosemite Rockclimber is a fascinating account of the history of rock climbing in Yosemite Valley.  It covers the years of 1933 to 1971 but Roper is mostly concerned with the years of 1947 to 1971 which have been dubbed "the Golden Years" of Yosemite Valley rockclimbing.  It is during this period of time that the first ascents were made of the "big walls" of Yosemite Valley.  These first ascents are certainly marked by their vision and boldness.  In spite of the fact that later routes were harder and bolder there is no denying that being the first to even try these ascents certainly warrants special attention, hence, the "Golden Years" concept is justified.  The Golden Years cover the ten years that Roper spent in the Valley so it is no surprise that this dominates this memoir.  Nonetheless, the description of the early years covering the achievements of Leonard, Brower, Eichorn, and Robinson are as interesting as the Golden Years accounts.  The abrupt ending of the Golden Years is defined by Roper to coincide with Harding's ascent of the Dawn Wall on El Cap.

The book covers the first attempts at climbing in the Valley by various individuals including the now legendary Eichorn, Leonard, Brower and Robinson.  This includes the many attempts on the higher Cathedral Spire.  In spite of the short attention paid to this period Roper fills in many interesting details concerning the structure of Yosemite Valley and the equipment used by these pioneer climbers.  Of interest is the role the Sierra Club played in these early years.  Indeed, the Sierra Club was the only organization with an interest in climbing in the Valley and all of the early climbers were members.  The Sierra Club Bulletin was the definitive document for describing these adventures.  How times have changed.

The early phase of the Golden Years is defined by the climbs of John Salathé.  His invention of the hardened steel piton essentially opened up the possibilities of big wall climbing.  His other contributions included first ascents of the Southwest Face of Half Dome and the Arrow Chimney which essentially defined the first big wall multi-day climb in North America.  Roper gives much credit to this man as a contributor to the Golden Years.

The main part of the book describes the years of 1947 to 1971.  It covers the years spent in the valley by Allen Steck,  Mark Powell, Layton Kor, Chuck Pratt, Royal Robbins, Yvon Chouinard, TM Herbert, Tom Frost, Warren Harding, and a large collection of other contributors to the Golden Years.  I was most struck by the description of the brilliant but humourless Frank Sacherer.  In these chapters Roper makes a large effort to point out the difference in style between the "Valley Christians" as exemplified by Royal Robbins and the supposed heathens as exemplified by Warren Harding.  It is a fascinating account and even though Roper counts himself as one of the "Valley Christians" he gives Harding his due.

Roper's book includes accounts of the contributions of many other individuals than the main characters filling the Golden Years.  Indeed, the inclusion of Mike Borghoff, Jeff Foott, Joe Fitschen, and others indicates that there were many people interested and bold enough to be making first ascents in the Valley.  The last phase of the "Golden Years" includes a description of the efforts of Schmitz, Madsen, Henneck and Lauria and finally Jim Bridwell.  Jim Bridwell seems to have arrived in the Valley during the supposed closing phase of the "Golden Years", indeed, his arrival signals the start of the efforts by a new generation of Valley climbers.

One of the remarkable features of this book is the large collection of pictures.  Most of the picture credits are given to Glen Denny, another participant in the Golden Years and apparently the only one with a camera.  I was keenly disappointed to not see a picture of Bob Kamps, David Rearick or Wally Reed.  On the other hand, it was several hours before I could actually start reading the book because I kept flipping between the pictures, just fascinated to see faces associated with the many prominent names of Valley climbing history.  It is unfortunate the book ends at 1971 since much has happened since then.  This period will have to be left to another motivated chronicler.  Nonetheless this is a fascinating piece of reading and is recommended for anyone interested in Yosemite Valley or climbing history in general.

• Rick Booth

Ask Bôte Ánchoure.

Mountaineering and Climbing Q & A from the Famous French Alpinist

Noted French alpinist Bôte Ánchoure has agreed to answer mountaineering and climbing questions from Scree readers when he returns from the mountains.  This month he has returned from a successful second ascent of the Sasquatch Direct on Mt. Foraker with Russian rising star climber Alexi Bigdropoff.

Question #1: I noticed that you recently climbed the remote Nepali peak "Lhotsa Pountang" with an all women's team.  Why did you do that?

Britney Steers

Dear Britney,

Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh...

Question #2: I am planning to attempt Mt Everest and need to travel to Nepal for this.  What number VTA bus should I take from my apartment in Fremont?

Dial Caliper

Dear Son of Rand-McNally,

Lukla is not on the route of most VTA buses.  I suggest that you get into any VTA bus and offer to pay the driver in Nepali Rupees.  Record the driver's reaction on camera and post it on your web site.

Question #3: Many of my mountaineering friends have referred to a technique for climbing steep snow and ice as the "French Technique".  Can you explain to me what this means?

Roxanna Ben Laden

Dear Roxanna,

Since I am so obviously French this is an easy question to answer.  The "French Technique" for snow and ice travel essentially attempts to put as many crampon points onto the ice as possible.  The alternative is to continuously use the front points of the crampons which tires the calfs quickly.  The "French Technique" is sometimes referred to as "piolet canard" which means "hold onto your ice axe and walk like a duck".

Question #4: I saw the film "Cliff Hanger" and "MI2" and saw Stallone and Cruise just climbing really cool looking steep stuff without using any ropes!  I can hardly wait to try this myself.  Can you recommend what clothes and shoes I should get?

Ima Dumazz

Dear Moron,

The people who climb on steep and difficult rock or ice are very special and talented individuals with years of experience and a mental toughness that is rare in humans.  You, however, have just taken the first step towards insuring your family will be awarded a Darwin Award on your behalf.

Questions to Bote Anchoure may be forwarded through Rick Booth at rwbooth@home.com or Arun Mahajan at arun@tollbridgetech.com.

• Rick Booth

Super Duper Hooper

(and Senger)

Mt. Senger, 12,286
Mt. Hooper, 12,349

July 2-6, 2001

Mother Nature gave us fireworks for the 4th of July. We had planned to celebrate by climbing Mt. Hooper, but she had other plans. We left camp at Sallie Keyes Lakes at 5:30 a.m., but it was already raining before we reached the saddle southeast of Hooper. So we enlisted the help of a whitebark pine who offered to hold our climbing gear until the next day and retreated to camp. It started hailing 30 seconds after we got into our tents.

Two days before, Richard Stover, Dick Simpson, Ann Baxter, 4-legged backpackers Baxter and Secret, and I (Debbie Bulger) had taken the 8:30 a.m. ferry across Florence Lake and packed up to base camp at Sallie Keyes Lakes. On July 3rd Richard, Dick and I climbed Mt. Senger. According to Peter Browning (Place names of the Sierra Nevada), Mt. Senger is named for Joachim Henry Senger, one of the four founders of the Sierra Club. There is a mountain named after John Muir, but so far as I know, none for the other two founders, Warren Olney and William D. Armes.

Mt. Senger is a wonderful climb. Enjoyable and easy with a spectacular view. No scree. No one else had signed the summit register in 2001.

On July 5 we tried again for Hooper, hoping that Mother Nature would cooperate. We picked up the gear at the whiteback pine and ascended easy class 2 slopes to the summit block. I was glad I had brought a 50-ft rope and especially thankful I had brought my climbing shoes.

Even so, I'm no Bob Suzuki or Jim Curl. Richard belayed as I went around to the "easy" north face. It's rated 4th class and quite exposed. I chimneyed up between two large rocks. Standing on the top of the northernmost one, I hesitated. I placed a #6 wall nut for insurance.

I have climbed much more difficult routes, but on the other hand, I was top-roped. The  move before me was easy, but on the other hand, help was a very long day's hike away. I was glad I was out of sight of the guys, so they could not see my indecision.

I silently spoke to myself, echoing the words of my ASI climbing instructor. "Place your foot as if you expected it to stick and stand up on it. Go girl, you can do it." And I did. I was on top! No one had yet signed the register in 2001. The clouds were building. I signed in. Neither Richard nor Dick wanted to come up, so I had Richard lower me using the 7mm loop in place on the south side. Once down, I went around to the backside to retrieve my piece, and we quickly descended to Marie Lake for pancakes.

Yes, pancakes. The Pancake Man was camped at Marie Lake (named for Hooper's daughter). Word of his presence had reached us for days. Garvin Heath, a Berkeley graduate student, had gotten the idea from a couple he met while hiking in Tasmania. They had served pancakes to hungry hikers, and now Garvin was doing the same. At his own expense he had hired packers to haul in supplies to a spot near the Hilgard Branch of Bear Creek: a Coleman stove, 50 lbs. of pancake mix, two huge storage drums, gallons of oil, an assortment of toppings including real maple syrup, not to mention his personal gear. His friends helped him carry everything (in three trips) to the south end of Marie Lake where he set up under a blue tarp, hung out a sign, "Peripatetic Pancakes," and proceeded to give away pancakes to hungry hikers on the JMT. Did I say "give away," perhaps I should have said, "cooked to order."

Pancakes and good conversation. What a deal! When we arrived, Garvin had been at the grill for a week and a half. He estimated he had served about 900 pancakes so far and was looking forward to using up his supplies before he completed his two-week stint. We were happy to help him out.

Afterwhich we scurried back to camp before the rain began again in earnest. And hail. The next morning we hiked out.

The wildflowers were at their peak. At times the perfume from the lupine was overpowering. Besides all the usual suspects, there were many that I had to look up after I got back to the truck: white schoenolirion, which grew side by side with the familiar California corn lily; western bistort, sporting a white pom pom atop a long stalk, Sargent's catchfly; the cute, mouse tail ivesia with its fuzzy leaves resembling mouse tails; Drummond's thistle; narrow-leaved owl clover; Bigelow's sneezeweed; and Copeland's owl clover.

All in all, a scramble/climb super-de-duper-de-booper, special deluxe a la thrilling Mt. Hooper.

• Debbie Bulger

Feeling Goode On Hurd and Cloudripper

Mt Goode, Hurd Peak, Cloudripper

June 16-17, 2001

The Bishop Pass trail runs roughly north-south through Bishop Creek Valley, and it's flanked on the West by Hurd Peak (12,219) and Mt. Goode (13,085), and on the east by Cloudripper (13,525) and Picture Puzzle Peak (13,280). On the weekend of June 16-17, nine of us set out to climb some of these peaks.  The group included leader Bob Suzuki, Pat Callery, Jesse Hull, Arun Mahajan, Mike McDermitt, Rick Rattray, Sue Gygax and Wayne Martin from Bishop, and your scribe Jim Ramaker.

After a restful night at Deadman Summit, we met at South Lake at 7:30 on Saturday morning for the usual introductions and gear sorting. Departing at 8, we arrived at the far end of Long Lake (10,800) at 9:30 and set up camp. That was it -- 1.5 hours, our entire hike in!!! After a break, we hiked up the trail to the far end of Saddlerock Lake and then turned west toward Mt. Goode. The only mistake here was taking too direct a route, too close to the east ridge of Goode, which took us up sandy scree and steep brushy ledges. Circling around to the left onto the gentler southeast face would've made for easier climbing.  Higher up we crossed talus fields and a couple of softening snowfields -- ice axes were helpful though not absolutely essential.

We topped out at 12:30 p.m., and after a nice rest, Bob proposed that we hike back to camp and then climb Hurd Peak. Most of us were already tired from our first day at altitude and preferred to remain horizontal for awhile. We pooh-poohed Bob's plan and started using various delaying tactics, such as taking photos and fiddling with gear, so that the Hurd Peak idea would have to be discarded. We also looked hopefully at some billowing clouds south of the Sierra crest, suggesting to Bob that even if we were to attempt Hurd, the peak would surely be raked by a vicious thunderstorm by the time we got there. But by 4 p.m. we were back at our camp, the clouds weren't doing anything, and the west slope of Hurd Peak was staring down at us from the other side of Long Lake.

"All right, who's going?" Bob asked. As usual on my first day in the mountains I felt weak and wanted only a nap, but for some reason I joined in along with Arun and Pat. My rationalizations were that there were a few bugs in camp and there wouldn't be any on the peak, and that it might be interesting to get so tired that my legs collapsed. The four of us trudged over to the base of the cliff and started up. "I feel like death," Bob mumbled by way of encouragement. We struggled uphill over some brushy ledges, negotiating a short vertical section by pulling on bushes. "Bob, why are we climbing this stupid peak?" we moaned, as Pat regained his sanity and headed back to camp. "It's not even on the list!" (meaning the sacred SPS list of 247 Sierra Peaks)

"Because," Bob explained, "Every time you hike up to Bishop Pass it hangs over you, and now you'll be able to say that you've climbed it."

As Arun and I contemplated this flawless logic, our second wind slowly kicked in, and we actually found ourselves making progress up the class 2-3 scree gully and getting in range of the summit ridge. I spotted a ramp off to the left that looked more solid than the gully and headed up it in a brilliant energy-saving move. In a few minutes I was on top of the narrow ridgetop with a 30' vertical dropoff between me and the summit. An old rappel sling circled a block at the lip of the dropoff -- I love finding rappel slings when I'm trying to downclimb unroped. I went back down the ramp for several hundred feet and circled around, finally joining Bob and Arun on the summit.

We couldn't find the summit register, so we checked a slightly lower summit to the north and then Bob traversed some class-4 to a third summit. Still no go. Bob seemed disappointed that there wasn't a fourth, fifth, and sixth summit tower for him to go and investigate. Back at the true summit, I finally found the register in a glass jar buried in the rocks, ending our torment. After a brief rest, we descended the gully just north of the one we'd climbed, which had nice scree for the descent and no vertical step at the bottom.  We finally got back to camp at 8 p.m. Sleep was not long in coming that night.

On Sunday morning we were up before 5 a.m. to have a go at Cloudripper (except for Arun, who set off to solo Agassiz). From our valley, Cloudripper appears as a long, almost level ridge with a consistently steep west face. We spotted two scree gullies that we thought might go -- an S-shaped gully to the left (north) of the summit, and another gully to the right of it. The headwalls of both looked steep, but we figured that our straight-on view was exaggerating the steepness. The S-shaped gully was lower angled at the bottom, but it had a hidden section we weren't sure about and was also further from our camp. The right-hand gully offered a more direct route, and was shorter than the S-shaped gully because it started from atop the low, rounded ridge between Ruwau Lake and the Chocolate Lakes that buts against the face of Cloudripper at right angles. After lengthy debate, we decided to try the right-hand gully, except for Sue and Wayne, who preferred the S-shaped gully.

We hiked cross-country and then via trail up past Ruwau Lake, then headed eastward up the rounded ridge to the base of our gully. From here the gully looked more reasonable -- just your basic Sierra Scree fest. We headed up, climbing slabs and blocks on the left when possible to avoid the loose rubble. There were a couple of thin snowfields in the gully, but we avoided them because we didn't have crampons. About 500 feet from the top of the gully, a more solid looking, class-3 gully branched off to the left, and Bob, Pat, Rick, and Jesse went that way, while Mike and I plodded onward.

The gully headwall that we had feared might be class-4 was actually class-2 scree, and Mike and I soon reached the ridgetop. Terrain on the other (east) side was moderately steep, with ribs of shattered rock plunging down to scree hundreds of feet below, and the summit tower plainly visible 500' feet to our left along the ridge. Luckily a beautiful system of sandy scree ledges led leftward, averaging about 30' below the ridgecrest, and the ledges took us all the way to the base of the easy class-3 summit tower.

From there, we saw Bob and crew several hundred feet back along the ridge. They'd encountered a couple of class-4 sections on the way up to the ridgetop, and were trying to climb a different summit tower, much steeper and harder than ours. A glance at the map confirmed that we were at the marked summit, so we yelled to them to come join us, then scrambled to the top. There we found the summit register and confirmed by sighting against the horizon that our (north) summit tower was a few feet higher than theirs. After 20 minutes or so they joined us, and then Sue and Wayne also appeared, having made excellent time in the S-shaped gully. By 10 a.m. all eight of us were relaxing in the warm sun, taking photos, eating, and reading the register. Because Cloudripper sticks out two miles from the Sierra Crest, it offers wonderful views of the major Palisade peaks and the Palisade Glacier. Views to the north were also excellent, with Goddard, Humphreys, the Abbot group, and dozens of lesser peaks in view. We scanned Agassiz for Arun but could see no movement on its slopes.

Sue and Wayne decided to descend their S-shaped gully, while the rest of us reversed the ledge system that Mike and I had used and then descended the scree gully. As is usually the case, especially when a party is tired, we got spread out vertically and dropped some scree bombs on one another, but luckily took no hits. Back in camp around 1 p.m., it was uncomfortably warm for almost 11,000'. We packed up and waited about 30 minutes for Sue, Wayne, and Arun to appear, then decided it would be okay to leave because they were all experienced and neither of their routes offered any real danger. In the event, they got to camp shortly after we left and got to the trailhead not long after we did at 3 p.m. All in all, a great trip -- three summits and home to the Bay Area at the uncharacteristically early hour of 11 p.m.

• Jim Ramaker

Mt. Agassiz Side Trip

A short note on this side trip to Mt Agassiz (13893 ft).

After bidding farewell to the PCS team as they went for Cloudripper, I set off at 6.30am from Long Lake on the trail towards Bishop Pass and topped it at 8 am. Agassiz is not much harder than class-2 from here and is a talus fest and resembles climbing Mt Dana for instance. There is some snow on the peak and if you would like to avoid the talus and are starting the climb at this morning hour, get your axe and crampons, the snow is sufficiently hard.

Starting at 8.15, I was at the summit at 11, my lame excuse for this slow time is still going to be that I was tired from the day before. The view from the top is astounding. Mt. Sill and North Palisade and the Palisade Glacier dominate the view.

Back at camp by 2.30 only to find that the rest of the PCS crew had already returned from their Cloudripper trip and had quietly folded their tents and stolen away. Wayne and Sue returned from Cloudripper at about the same time and we had a pleasant hike out to get back to the South Lake parking lot in just over an hour.

Many thanks to the leaders, Bob Suzuki and Pat Callery for their leading and for accomodating my request for a last moment sign-up and for letting me splinter off and do Agassiz.

• Arun Mahajan

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.


Dates:          Aug 11-19 (Sat-Sun, full week)
Peaks:          Climb-O-Rama (see below, many options)
Contact:       Steve Eckert, eckert@climber.org

This year we'll enter via Bear Creek (near Lake Edison, west side) and hang out around the many bear lakes (White, Black, Teddy, etc). From this area you'll have access to Hooper, Senger, Seven Gables, Gemini, Merriam, Royce, Feather, Julius Caesar, Hilgard, Mist, Recess, Volcanic Knob, Gabb, Bear Creek Spire, Dade, Abbot, Mills.

Bear Creek rivals any stream in the Sierra for waterfalls and pools, and the high tundra between Julius Caesar and Seven Gables is the sort of place where you wander from tarn to tarn thinking each is more beautiful than the last. Peaks in the area range from crud piles to surprisingly nice views, and the campsites are second to none.

We'll try to camp together, as always, and split into groups for the peaks based on what people are interested in and how fast they are

Sierra Emblem Challenge

Peaks:          10 Emblem Peaks in 10 Days
Date:             August 2001
Contact:       Bob Burd, snwbord@hotmail.com
                      Steve Keltie, dns306@cs.com

Info:               http://members.nbci.com/snwburd/emblem/

The Sierra Emblem Challenge is a series of dayhikes to the most impressive peaks in the Sierra Nevada. All of these hikes are very strenuous in both miles logged and vertical feet gained. Ten of 15 Emblem Peaks have been chosen for this 10-day event beginning Aug 4, 2001. The Challenge is open to anyone. This is a Wilderness experience, with serious risks that are each participant’s responsibility. No emergency services of any kind is available to those in trouble.

Lone Pine Peak

Peak:            Lone Pine (just under 13000)
Dates:          Sept. 15
Leader:        George Van Gorden, 408 779 2320, gvangord@mhu.k12.ca.us
Co-Leader:  Bill Kirkpatrick, wmkirk@earthlink.net

Up to the Whitney Portal without the hassle and exhaustion of Whitney.

We will meet at the Meysan Lake trailed early Saturday, hike for all we're worth (which at least for me won't be that much) up to the second

Meysan Lake which is situated in a spectacular bowl, scramble up a bit of talus onto a sublime plateau overlooking the Owens Valley and the beautiful metropolis of Lone Pine, and then ascend the few remaining feet to the summit.  We should get back to our cars by nightfall.

Winchell: A Chute Less Traveled

Peak:            Mount Winchell, Class 4-5, 13,775'
Date:             September 22-23, Sat-Sun
Contact:       David Harris 909-607-3623 David_Harris@hmc.edu

Mount Winchell is usually climbed by the classic East Arete.  But Secor says the West Chute of Mt. Winchell goes at "Class 4-5" from the Dusy Basin and was first climbed by none less than Eichorn, Dawson, and Olmstead in 1930!

Let'sgo find out what the route is really rated.  On Saturday we'll pack in over Bishop Pass to the base of the route, with an optional excursion up Agassiz.

On Sunday we'll start early and find our way up the "difficult chimneys" to the summit.  I'm looking to put together two two-person rope teams.

You should be comfortable on 5th class terrain at high altitude.

If you haven't climbed with me, please include your climbing resume and a reference.

Mt Kilimanjaro

Peak::           Mt. Kilimanjaro  19,400 ft.
Date:             January 2002
Contact:       Warren Storkman, 650-493-8959, dstorkman@aol.com

Six nights on Kilimanjaro - plus four nights at the Marangu Hotel under $800.00. Safari after trek, optional

Hut Work Parties

Editor’s Note: Although these work parties are not peak climbing trips, they are listed here because many people in the PCS are also active in the Ski Touring Section. This gives us the opportunity to help another section.

Peter Grubb Hut

Date:             Aug 11-19, Sat-Sun 
Leaders:      Chris MacIntosh 650-325-7841
                      Dick Simpson 650-494-9272, rsimpson@magellan.stanford.edu
                      Debbie Benham 650-964-0558

Help renovate classic backcountry hut near Donner Summitused by cross-country skiers and snowshoers.  Painting, new kitchen, new outhouse, general clean up.  Sign up for 1, 2, or more days.

Benson  Hut

Date:             Sep 8-9  Sat-Sun
Leaders:      Carol Vellutini (707-546-6308) and
                      Ed Schreiber (707-253-0293).

Maintenance weekend at backcountry hut on Pacific Crest Trail south of Donner Summit.  Stay at Club's Clair Tappaan Lodge in Norden Fri night, overnight at the hut Sat, return Sun.  Tools, food, supplies provided; you bring simple backpack gear.  

Peter Grubb

Date:             Sep 22-23, Sat-Sun
Leader:        Debbie Benham (650-964-0558)

Prepare classic backcountry hut near Donner Summit for use by cross-country skiers and snowshoers next winter.  Stay at Club's Clair Tappaan Lodge Fri night, overnight at the hut, return Sun.  Tools, food, supplies provided; you bring simple backpack gear.

Bradley Hut

Date:             Oct 13-14, Sat-Sun
Leader:        Dick Simpson 650-494-9272 rsimpson@magellan.stanford.edu

Maintenance at backcountry hut near Squaw Valley. Stay at Club's Clair Tappaan Lodge in Norden Fri night, overnight at the hut Sat, return Sun.  Tools, food, supplies provided; you bring simple backpack gear.

Truckee River Day

Date:             Oct 14, Sun 
Leaders:      Dick Simpson 650-494-9272 rsimpson@magellan.stanford.edu
                      Harvey Ceaser 925-937-1406 ceaser3@Juno.com

Help restore Truckee River drainage with hundreds of other volunteers.  Specific projects to be determined as date approaches.  Organized jointly with Bradley Hut work party (above).

Elected Officials

     Dee Booth / rdbooth@worldnet.att.net
     408-354-7291 home
     237 San Mateo Avenue, Los Gatos, CA 95030

Vice Chair and Trip Scheduler:
     Nancy Fitzsimmons / pkclimber@aol.com
     408-957-9683 home
     1025 Abbott Avenue, Milpitas, CA 95035

Treasurer and Membership Roster (address changes):
     Scott Kreider / pcs-treasurer@climber.org
     408-737-8709 home
     1007 S Wolfe Road #5, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Publicity Committee Positions

Scree Editor:
     Bob Bynum / pcs-editor@climber.org
     510-659-1413 home

PCS World Wide Web Publisher:
     Jim Curl / pcs_webmaster@yahoo.com
     San Francisco, CA

Publicity Chair:
     Rick Booth / rwbooth@home.com
     408-354-7291 home
     237 San Mateo Avenue, Los Gatos, CA 95030

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

Our official website is http://lomaprieta.sierraclub.org/pcs/

Subscriptions and Email List Info

Hard copy subscriptions are $10. Subscription applications and checks payable to “PCS” should be mailed to the Treasurer so they arrive before the last Tuesday of the expiration month. If you are on the official email list (lomap-pcs-announce@lists.sierraclub.org) or one of the email lists the PCS feeds (either the sierra-nevada@climber.org discussion list or the california-news@climber.org read-only list), you have a free EScree subscription. For email list details, send "info lomap-pcs-announce" to "listserv@lists.sierraclub.org", or send anything to "info@climber.org". EScree subscribers should send a subscription form to the Treasurer to become voting PCS members at no charge. The Scree is on the web as 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 8/26/2001  •  Meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of each month.

Peak Climbing Section, 789 Daffodil Way, San Jose CA 95117

"Vy can't ve chust climb?" - John Salathe                                              First Class Mail - Dated Material