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 October, 2001      Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club Vol. 35 No. 10

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


Next General Meeting

Date:           Tuesday, October 9
Time:           7:30 PM
Program:     Le haut-montagne, c'est magnifique!

A slide show by Ron Karpel and Arun MahajanIn.

July this year, Ron Karpel and Arun Mahajan of the PCS went mountain climbing in Chamonix, France and Zermatt, Switzerland.

Several days of unseasonal bad weather forced them to restrict their climbing to easy hiking and to stuffing themselves with fine crepes, cheeses and rosti. Come and see slides of their climbs of Mont Blanc and the classic, mixed snow and rock route on the Cosmiques Arete on the Aiguille Du Midi as well as the slides of the afore mentioned crepes, cheeses and rosti, pig out.

Location:         Peninsula Conservation Center
                        3921 East Bayshore Rd
                        Palo Alto, CA

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 10/28/2001  •  Meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of each month.


Winter Trip Planning Meeting

Date:    Tuesday, October 9, 2001

Time:   6:45 PM. 1/2 hour before PCS meeting.

Place:  The Peninsula Conservation Center. If you cannot attend the meeting please email your trip ideas to me and I will put them on the schedule. If you can provide me a first and second choice for dates it will make planning easier. Hope to see you there,

• Nancy Fitzsimmons, PCS Trip Scheduler.


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.

Cherry Creek Canyon

Destination:  Cherry Creek Canyon (5200’ to 7600’) class 3
Dates:            October 13-14 2001
Map:               Kibbie Lake and Cherry Lake North 7.5 min. quads
Leader:          Kelly Maas, kamaas@accesscom.com, (H) (408) 378-5311
Co-leader:    wanted

Cherry Creek, just outside the western boarder of Yosemite in the Emigrant Wilderness, isn't a peak, but it's a wonderful granite landscape.  Kai led this trip 2 years ago, and it was so much fun that I'm doing it again.  See http://www.climber.org/TripReports/1999/cherryCreek.html for a report on that trip.  At this time of year, the creek slows to a trickle, which permits an up-close inspection.  There is no trail down the canyon, so this is a real wilderness experience.  Be prepared for close to 30 miles, including plenty of cross-country hiking, some high (and low) angle rock and dirt road walking.  If anyone is looking to do some co-leading, this is a perfect opportunity.

Domelands

Peaks:               Rockhouse (8383), Taylor (8802), Sirretta (9977), Class: 2 to 3
USGS Quads:  Rockhouse Basin, Cannell Peak, Sirretta Peak
Dates:               October 13 - 14, 2001
Leaders:           Dee Booth  rdbooth@att.net or Bob Suzuki: bobszk@bigfoot.com
                           After 8:00 pm at 408-259-0772

Join us for a trip to the Domelands in the Southern Sierra.  We will car camp and climb Rockhouse on Saturday.  If the spirit is willing and there is time we will climb Taylor and/or Sirretta on Sunday.  Be prepared for rain and cold.  Bring water for the entire weekend, it may not be available.


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 first ascent of a new route on the North Face of Sheeshadangpoo in Southern China with the noted Chinese climber Wei Hung.

Question #1 I had carpooled with this lady climberess named Bess.  So that she would call me up again, I left a personal item of mine (my socks, not what you are thinking) in her car after the trip, on the return journey home.  But it has been a year now and she has not called.  What could have gone wrong?  Besides, I need those socks.

Pole Propylene from Moccasin, Ca.

Dear Pepe Le Phew,

For one thing, if you wanted to leave a personal item, you should have left something that at least smelt a little better.  I did receive a letter from Bess complaining of a strong and noxious odour from the trunk. She had almost fainted and no amount of detailing could get that smell out.  She had to finally trade in that car.  The dealer gave her a pair of roller blades for the trade in.  Which bog did you put your feet into, dude?

Question #2: I am convinced that a static rope will hold a fall as good as a dynamic rope despite manufacturer's instructions and I want to try my theory out by tying myself to one end and tying the other end to various structures like the chimney of my house, the struts of the Golden Gate Bridge, the top of the Eiffel Tower, etc and then jumping off.  Then, I will start leading on a static rope.

Which part of my body should I attach the rope to?

Hyper-Bole from EdelWeiss

Dear WaterOnTheBrain,

It seems that your head is pretty much solid bone from the neck up, so I would recommend that you tie the static rope around your neck and then jump.  It will not prove anything about the strength of the static line but will almost certainly get you (posthumous) honourable mention in the year 2002 Darwin awards.  You might even make the 5 O'clock news.

Question #3: I will be traveling in the US this summer and will be climbing in the California high Sierra.  I will be traveling with my fiancée and would very much like to get a picture of her standing next to a bear.  How hard is it to find and photograph one of the North American bears?

Dipstique LaTouriste

Dear Dipstique,

Since I rarely take pictures in the mountains unless it is necessary to record one of my many first ascents I am not knowledgeable about photography so I have passed your question on to Kodaque Effstoppe, my photographer friend.  He informs me that photographing North American bears is not difficult and depending on the sex and the sexual orientation of the bear it may be possible to get a picture of your fiancée holding hands with the bear.  The hard part, though, is getting the bear to sign the release form.  They insist on both the release form, which must be witnessed by another bear, and some form of compensation.  This may involve several dollars, some of your food, or a Madonna CD, you never know.  It just depends on the bear.

Question #4: Please settle an ongoing argument I am having with one of my climbing friends.  I say the "Munter Hitch" was invented in Austria, my native country, and was not originally intended to be used as a climbing knot.  He says otherwise.  Who is right?

Arnold S.

Dear Arnold,

You are correct.  Your friend probably owes you a beer or two!  At any rate, the "Munter Hitch" has an interesting and sad origin.  It was invented sometime in the early 1930s by local schoolmaster Otto von Krankenschprocket in the Austrian village of Nichtlichderpumphandleinwinterstein.  Herr Krankenschprocket designed the hitch to be used to tie down and control hyper active children in his school.  The "hitch", as it was known, was tied around the neck of the offending child and had the property that it did not tighten up and could be loosened by merely relaxing.  Unfortunately, if the knot was tied incorrectly and an extra loop was added, the loosening property was lost.  Sometime in the mid 1930s the "hitch" was applied to a particularly energetic young savage, one Manfred Munter, but the knot was tied incorrectly and in short order the hapless brat had expired.  The use of the "hitch" was discontinued as a result of the ensuing uproar.  Late in the 1930s, however, a visiting French mountaineer, Pierre-Gaston Abseil, became interested in the story and applied the knot to a carabiner instead of the neck of a juvenile delinquent.  He discovered to his amazement that he had a knot that was easy to lock off and had no preferred direction.  He christened the knot the "Munter Hitch" in honor of the departed young Munter and the rest, as they say, is history.

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

• Rick Booth


Marion Peak
Observation Peak

August 20-30, 2001

Finally, on our fourth attempt, Richard and I managed to climb both Marion(12,719) and Observation(12,322). Marion offers one of the finest views in all the Sierra. These peaks are not difficult, but getting there can be challenging. In 1999 we didn't allow enough time (we came in from State over the Cirque Crest), and in 98 and 00 the snow was so heavy that we turned around.

This time we chose August to avoid the snow and the mosquitoes and allowed three days to reach Marion Lake. This secluded lake used to be on the John Muir Trail until 1938 when the trail up Mather Pass was constructed. There are bits and pieces of the old trail over Cartridge Pass and beyond. Back then, they didn't believe in switchbacks!

We took Debbie Benham's advice and started up Taboose Pass in the evening to avoid the heat. The 1000 feet of gain we made before camping that evening (few flat places) made the next day easier. When we finally reached the top of Taboose, we were dismayed to see Arrow Peak obscured by smoke apparently from Kings Canyon. We went to bed, pondering Plan B.

Happily, in the morning, the smoke had cleared, and we proceeded up Cartridge Pass and eventually through Lakes Basin to Marion Lake. The couple we met who were headed over Cartridge toward the Kings River were the last people we saw until we hit the John Muir Trail six days later.

From the Helen LeConte plaque to the still flowering Bigelow's sneezeweed, Marion Lake is magical. When I stood on the ridge at dusk overlooking Cartridge Creek, I spotted a doe with twin fawns. Unaware of me, one fawn stood watching as the other ran wildly back and forth in a 50-yard loop, cavorting, jumping, making 180 decree mid-air turns.

The climb up Marion is straightforward, and we threw in Red Point to boot.

The next day we proceeded north over Dumbbell Pass to the tiny lake directly south of Observation Pass. I am told Dumbbell Pass gets its name from the Dumbbell Lakes below it, but as we descended its north side, I thought that perhaps one would have to be a dumbbell to tempt the loose talus there. Not fun. The flat area and small tarn on the south side of the lake (on the map, that is) no longer exists, being buried under tons of rock. As we traversed the south and west side of the larger Dumbbell Lake, we had to wade in one spot (up to our waists) or climb back higher (no way). We had all the privacy we wanted.

Observation was an easy climb, after which we had a refreshing swim, then packed up and descended Observation Pass. Last year the huge snow cornice scared us off from ascending from Amphitheater Lake. In August it was easy.

Observation Peak was used for triangulation by J.N. LeConte in his 1902 survey. Was the brass disk bolted to a rock near our campsite part of that old survey? It looked pretty old. We took two more days to hike out down Cataract Creek, east on the JMT over Mather Pass and back up to Taboose Pass, then down.

Highlights of the trip:

* A broad flat area littered with obsidian pieces on the west side of Taboose Pass. I suspect this dry hummock was used as a trading area where Owens Valley Indians traded obsidian to Kings Canyon and western slope tribes.

* Four American Kestrels hovering, diving, and hunting in the drainage between Marion and Red Point.

* The curious short-eared owl that flew over us twice the evening before we climbed Observation.

* Ripe red currents all the way up Taboose Pass and on top of Red Point.

* Clear evidence that someone had flaked projectile points near our campsite at Amphitheater Lake.

* White-throated swifts above the summit of Marion.

* Exquisite tracery on the petals of the Smooth Grass of Parnassus we observed in wet places.

• Debbie Bulger


A Peak Too Far

Tuolumne Peak,

August 25, 2001

8 PCSers were dropped off at the Murphy Creek trailhead at the western end of Tenaya Lake by Debbie and Gretchen, who were going to take it easy in the Meadows that day. There’s a good trail in along Murphy Creek, currently dry as a bone, past Polly Dome Lakes, and on to the Ten Lakes trail. We left the trail at two tarns and worked our way up, passing a few remaining wildflowers by seeps. As we neared the top, several rocky outcrops appeared, any of which it seemed could be the peak. We first went over to the right. At a saddle we could see we’d reached the edge of a steep face. Allen, Eric, Leonardo and Siva explored up the adjacent 3rd class block and hollered down that this was Not The Peak. The rest of us snacked and ducked the white throated swifts that zoomed by so close and so fast it seemed they might hit us. We tried to ID as many peaks as we could for those of us who had spent less time in this pursuit. Unfortunately the fire in the south of the park caused the view to be obscured by afternoon. We could clearly see only as far as Fairview Dome, whereas in the morning we’d been able to see far along the crest. Next we traversed back to the south side of the peak and followed a rocky slope up to where the true peak awaited at 10,845’; an easy 2nd class walk. Summit photos were taken, food enjoyed, and then it was off down. At the tarns we tanked up on water and headed off at a good clip back to the trailhead. Allen reached the road ahead of the rest of us, and learned from the shuttle bus driver that he’d be making his last run to the Meadows in 5 or 10 minutes. So, shortly after we arrived at the road, the bus appeared to great rejoicing. The driver very kindly dropped us at the gas station, thereby giving us a shorter walk to our campsites. Debbie and Gretchen had attended a talk on granite at the Parsons Lodge while we were out pounding the very same rock. Well earned relaxation followed as several people produced chips, dips and wine. Debbie produced a great spaghetti dinner with grilled sausages, followed by pie, followed by recitations of each person’s scariest mountain experience.

Next day most of us hiked to May Lake and Mt. Hoffman before heading home. Eugene Miya, who had joined us at our campsite, led the way, sensibly shaded from the sun by his black parasol. Again, it became very smoky in the afternoons, but otherwise the weather was great. There were several white Alpine Gentians along the way. And on the way back we stopped to watch two blue grouse, who thought if they stayed still we wouldn’t notice them. Surprisingly, despite seeing and hearing pika and chipmunks during our hikes, there were no four legged beggars on top of Mt. Hoffman.

Dinner at Ferrarese’s in Oakdale capped a great weekend.

Participants: Debbie Benham, Chris MacIntosh, Allen Hu, Bob and Gretchen Bynum, Eric Galloway, Leonardo Alaniz, Pattie Haight, Eugene Miya, Sally Poor, Siva Sankaran.

• Chris MacIntosh


Mt. Conness - North Ridge
And Tresidder Peak

September 1/2, 2001

Dee and I decided to spend part of our Labour Day weekend climbing alpine routes in the Tuolumne.  Judging by the number of cars parked at all the popular rock climbing areas that we observed on the drive out Sunday this was a good decision.  There must have been a dozen cars at Fairview alone and Daff Dome looked like an anthill.  Packed.

Saturday we climbed the North Ridge of Conness.  This is just about as much fun as it gets.  Slide has put out an outstanding trip report which we followed except we didn't stay far enough right on the hike in.  We paid for that one by having to go back down to get to the upper tarn below the East Spur off the North Ridge.  I won't fill in all the details since the Slide report is very good.  We dropped down the backside of the second tower using two rappel points with rings that are there.  Secor says this down climb is supposed to be 5.6.  Whatever.  We then headed back up and left towards the ridge.  There are several options here and it probably goes about third class thirty to fifty feet or so to the right.  To go there would be a mistake because the cruise right on the edge or as close as one can get is what this route is all about.  Grabbing the very edge of the ridge and occasionally shooting a "lookypeekysee" over the edge is a huge charge.  Yeow.  That is a big drop.  We summitted early afternoon and headed down the plateau for the hike out.  The Slide report indicates a short cut down a dry waterfall. We saw two parties head out onto the trail cutting across the plateau. One party took a hard left turn about half way across and went to the edge and disappeared!  The second party seemed to head straight across and go to the edge and disappeared also!  We thought they might be executing some sort of "lemming maneuver".  At any rate we never found any of the short cuts and eventually wound our way to the gap between Conness and White Mountain.  If anyone has any information about these short cuts off the plateau we would be interested in them.

Sunday we headed in to climb Tresidder Peak.  It looks pretty cool from the Cathedral Lakes Trail.  We hiked up the Cathedral Lakes trail past the peak und then headed up the sloping slabs to the broad pass between Tresidder and the Columbia Finger.  We then headed back north to the north arete on Tresidder.  It is a good deal shorter than it looks.  We headed up a slot on the west side past a chockstone to a large sloping ledge.  This was about 100 feet.  The slot was harder than it looked. We next went around the east side and climbed a short 5.5 crack up to some blocky ledges and then to the top.  This pitch was about 50 feet. Except for the rope drag the whole thing could be done in one pitch. The summit has several slings for rappelling around it.  We added one since it looked like the mice had been chomping on one of the slings there.  The rappel goes straight down the west face of the South Summit and is about 75/80 feet.  We had a 60 meter rope and there was plenty left over.  We decided to hike back to the trail by cutting north under Tresidder above the cliff band and then dropping down to the trail. This is not recommended.  It is loose and uninteresting.  Going back to the pass between Tresidder and Columbia Finger is an easy and pleasant walk and whatever little time is saved by the short cut is more than made up for in aggravation.

• Rick and Dee Booth


L'Hermitage

September 9, 2001

It is called The Hermit because it remains distant and apart from all the others, deep in the Evolution Basin.  We resolved to join The Hermit in its solitude. 

Charles Schafer, Jeff West and I entered the wilderness at North Lake on Thursday, and followed the good use trail up to Lamarck Col. Dropping our heavy packs at the col, we flew like freed balloons up the side of 13417  Mount Lamarck.  We gained the summit in only twenty minutes, but it took us thirty to return.  We crossed into Kings Canyon National Park, then traversed and descended large granite blocks into Darwin Canyon, where we made camp. 

Friday, we moved camp a little lower into the canyon, then dropped down another use trail, joining the John Muir trail, and following it down to Evolution Creek.  We found a shallow riffle where we could cross on stones.  We headed up onto a ridge that runs west from The Hermit, then walked up the ridge to the broad ledge described in Secor’s guide.  At first, we sought out the northwest ridge route, but the ledge we were on ended in cliffs.  Although we were equipped with a rope, we were reluctant to commit to roped climbing so early in the day, and so off-route.   It appeared that a parallel ledge, about 100 feet lower, gave access to the northwest ridge.  It wasn’t clear from the route description that two separate ledges set up climbers for the northwest ridge and for the north face.  We traversed our higher ledge and started up the north face. 

Jeff was intimidated by the steepness of the start of the north face route, and spooked by the difficulty we had encountered even finding the route.  He chose to wait for us at the ledge.  Later on, he left us a note in an obvious place and then returned to camp. 

After a scramble over the cliff band on top of the broad ledge, the climbing was a little easier until we approached the summit ridge.  Up high, we stepped airily over gaps, we leaned out away from boulders that impeded the only possible route, and we laid back monstrous flakes.  At last we were in view of the summit block. 

The block itself was a monolith out of a cheesy sci-fi film, twenty-five feet high and fifteen feet on a side, with unweathered, sheer sides.  On the east, an off width crack split the face.  We could have squeezed in with one arm and one leg in the crack, but our other two limbs would have obtained minimal purchase outside on the face.  On the south, a large flake leaned against the wall.  We could scramble up the flake to within eight feet of the summit, but the last moves, up a blank and slightly overhanging face, were sure to challenge us.  We decided on the south approach.  Charles heaved the rope over the block, and I belayed him from a bucket on the north side.  I couldn’t see him climb, and I can only assume that he sprouted suction cups on his fingertips.  He built an anchor on the summit, and I followed him up the south face.  I had never before climbed an overhanging friction slab, and I must agree with the numerous other climbers who claim that Secor underrates the move.  For one step, I took aid.  We sat together on the flat top for several seconds before Charles observed that it was 5:00 p.m., and we really didn’t want to spend the night up there.  We lowered each other off the block. 

Just before the sun set, we crossed Evolution Creek and got on the John Muir Trail.  We were grateful to hike on trail in the darkness.  Reaching the summit of The Hermit made the late return to camp completely worthwhile. 

Saturday, we slept in a little.  We deserved it.  We broke camp and moved up the drainage toward Alpine Col. Below Mount Goethe, we dropped our packs and turned for the summit.  All but the last four hundred feet, we could climb with our hands in our pockets.  The opposite side of the mountain, though, was a thousand-foot drop-off.  The view north across the abyss to Mount Humphreys was astonishing.  We returned, recovered our packs, and then painstakingly worked our way over the enormous broken boulders leading to Alpine Col. We descended over equally difficult terrain to the shore of Lake Goethe, where we camped on the only piece of flat ground anywhere. 

Refreshed on Sunday, we finished boulder hopping to the inlet of Muriel Lake, then quickly gained the Piute Pass Trail.  We marched back to the trailhead at North Lake. 

Ordinarily, a good trip report should end at the trailhead, but in this case, our mountaineering adventure had a special finale.  In the nearby town of Bishop, Galen Rowell, the renowned photographer of landscapes and wildlife, had just opened his Mountain Light Gallery.  He showed a stunning collection of photographs, magnificently displayed.  We could easily have stayed in the gallery until closing time, if it weren’t for the long drive ahead.  We observed with interest that our route on The Hermit pioneered many years ago by Rowell’s mother, Margaret Avery.

• Aaron Schuman


Mt Baldwin (12615 ft)

September 15/16, 2001.

This is a straight forward climb by the north-west slopes and the trip reports for it at the SPS pages were of great help.

Off walking from the Convict Lake Trailhead at 8.50am and in two hours or so, I was at the major creek crossing that had remnants of a concrete bridge and after a steeper bit in the trail, at Mildred Lake at 11.20am. The snow couloir of Red Slate looks impressive from here. I continued on a used trail on the east shore of Mildred, southward, till the point the trail made a sharp east (left) turn. My coordinates,  just past the turn were: N 37 32.054, W 118 52.094, 9952 ft (WGS-84 datum). It is easy to miss this turn.

The use trail rises sharply a few hundred feet to drop off onto a barren sandy plain right below the west face of Baldwin and then heads back, north-east. The trail eventually drops down into the beautiful Bright Dot Lake which I reached at 1.20 pm. I cached the backpacking stuff and with a lighter pack, took off towards Baldwin, now visible as a whiteish peak with a sharp east cliff with swirls and a gentler westerly slope and an easy north west ridge. It was 2pm then. I worked my way to this ridge and the use trail re-appeared and soon went past some slabs and then calcite crystals began to show up and then a most surprising sight, a small calcite mine with crystals glistening in the sun. There was a short, easy class-3 step here and then the faint use trail, partly cairn-ed, made it's way to the grey summit which I reached at 3.30pm. It was a clear day and there were fantastic views of Red and White, Red Slate, Morrison, etc.

Back to Bright Dot in an hour and after re-packing, at Mildred Lake at 6.20 pm. There were only two other parties camped there, though I met nobody at Bright Dot nor at the summit. Sunday morning, after a cold night, I was walking at 6.30am and at the car in two hours.

This is a fairly mellow peak and has great views from the top and a beautiful canyon to hike into and the calcite mine is amazing.

• Arun Mahajan


Mt. Julius Caesar

Southeast Ridge 13,200

September 22 - 23, 2001

On Saturday, September 22, Arun and I left Pine Creek trailhead at 8:20 am.  Our destination for the night was Granite Park, an aptly named area of granite benches, lakes and lovely meadows.  We arrive at a suitable camping spot at about 11,500 feet at 1:30 pm.  We looked at the peak and decided the ridge extending in a southeasterly direction looked like it could be climbed by staying left of the ridge until close to the top then crossing over the ridge to the back.  We weighed the five hours of daylight we had left against and the distance to the peak and the time we estimated it would take us and decided to go for it.

At 2:00 pm we left our camp and made a beeline for the base of the ridge.  Going in this direction was not very efficient since there are a lot of ups and downs.  Despite the extra exertion we reached the start of the climb in half an hour.  We went diagonally up on class two to three boulders to just below the ridge.  We traversed the ribs along the slope passing under a big tower on the ridge.  Our first goal was a rock pillar several feet below the crest of the ridge which we passed below.  Here we thought we could cross over the ridge to the lower angled east side but there was a very steep drop off at this point.  We traversed some more and the climbing became hard third class with some fourth class moves here and there.  Undaunted we crossed over another rib and into a chute that looked very promising.  Arun climbed up and from the top of the chute I could hear him say that he could see the summit.  This chute is at a point where the ridge becomes less jagged and, from a distance, makes a notch in the ridge.  It goes very nicely at third to fourth class on very grainy rock.  In fact, most of the rock on this route was grainy.  No hand hold should be trusted on this rock.

Once on the other side of the ridge we walked/scrambled to the summit arriving at 4:20 pm.  Not wanting to push our luck with daylight we did not linger and left the summit soon after arriving.  Just below the summit Arun pointed out that we could descend the southwest slope to Italy Pass.  This went very well and we were quickly at the pass.  The walk down the pass is very gentle and we were back in camp by 6:25 PM.  As we made dinner we were treated to a beautiful sunset that turned the tops of Mt. Tom and Mt. Humphries crimson and the sky pink.

The next morning we left camp at 7:00 am and were back at the car in just under four hours.  This is a nice route with fun scrambling.  Options for crossing the ridge appeared to be few so finding the chute described above may be critical to making this route work.

• Dee Booth


Fourth Annual Pilgrimage to North Peak

North Peak Right Couloir

October 9th 2001

We left the comfort of our makeshift camp at 5 AM and tramped down the trail around Saddlebag Lake to catch the first light of the day on it's North Side.  Continuing through Cascades Lake and up on the right hand side ledges we made a good time to the base of the North Peak Glacier.

I have never seen the glacier so worn down.  It's size shrunk significantly from years past and several small crevasses were visible.  Looking down the mouth of the bergschrund revealed an enormous  50 ft deep cavity. There is a lot of ice left in that glacier even in its reduced size.

The snow bridge that is commonly used for crossing the bergschrund had dropped down revealing about 15 feet of the edge of the neve.  The angle here was about 70 degree, but previous parties had cut large footsteps into the neve, which reduced the difficulty of the climb for us.

The neve was solid enough to take screws, and blue ice had popped through here and there to offer some trustworthy placements.  Once over the lip, the climbing became easier, but the neve was still hard.  I found a flat spot of ice where the snow had melted near the rocks on the right side for our 1st belay.  The left side of the couloir had a wide band of water ice near the rocks, and it had melted down significantly causing the surface of the couloir to tilt steeply to the left.  The right side had separated from the rocks and the lip that was formed offer easier climbing.  We continued along this line using screws in the neve and rock pros on the wall for protection and for the next belay station.  Finally, the angle eased off for the 3rd pitch to allow us to simulclimb the rest of the couloir.  It took us a little over 3 hours from the base of the glacier to the top of the couloir.

After a leisurely rest and gear sorting, we headed up the chute leading directly to the summit.  This chute is mostly class-3 with only the last 15 feet or so deserving a class-4 rating, and we toped off directly at the summit.  Having enough technical climbing for 1 day, we took the class-2 descent route back to the lake and the taxi boat across.

Participants: Scott Kreider, Arun Mahajan, Maxym Runov, and scribe Ron Karpel

• 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 Muir

Peak:            Mt. Muir   (14000)
Dates:          Nov. 10-12
Leader:        George Van Gorden, gvangord@mhu.k12.ca.us
Co-leader:   Adrienne Van Gorden, avangorden@sccs.santacruz.k12.ca.us

The quota period is over and the Whitney trail is ours.  We'll go up to Outpost Camp (10300) on Sat. and camp in sight of a frozen waterfall.

If anybody wants to carry a rope and a couple of ice screws ( I'm willing to carry the screws), it would be fun to do a little ice climbing.  Sunday we'll get an early start, climb the peak and maybe get back to camp in time to leave that afternoon, otherwise early Monday morning.  Anyone wanting to go down on Sunday night would be welcome to do so.  Trip is canceled if snow closes the road to Whitney Portal.

Mt Muir

Peak:            Mt. Muir, Class 4, 14,012
Date:             November 17-18, Sat-Sun
Contact:       David Harris 909-607-3623 David_Harris@hmc.edu

The ordinary route on Mt. Muir is a short jaunt up the west side from the Mt. Whitney trail.  One feels that a mountain with such a name is worthy of a better climb.  However, from Trail Camp, the east buttress rises impressively to the summit and called out tempting me to explore its ribs and chutes the last time I passed by on a descent from Whitney.

We'll take advantage of the end of permit season to explore this less-climbed route.  On Saturday, we'll hike up to Trail Camp and guard our food from the ferocious marmmots.  On Sunday, we'll make a rapid ascent up the buttress.  It was first climbed by John Mendenhall and rated 4th class, but Mendenhall also called the East Corner of Mt. Banner 4th class, so we might encounter some challenging moves.  If all goes well, we'll descend the trail and be out by dark.

If you are interested, you should be comfortable moving quickly  on loose 4th class terrain.  If you haven't climbed with me, I needa brief climbing bio showing experience on comparable routes.


Hut Work Parties

Editor’s Note: These work parties 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.

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

Chair:
     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
     415-585-1380
     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 10/28/2001  •  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