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 March, 2004     Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club Vol. 38 No. 3

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

Next General Meeting

Date:         Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Time:        7:30 PM

Program:  Climbing in the Cordillera Blanca. A slide show by Mark Miller

Location       Any Mountain, Cupertino. 20640 Homestead Rd. Cupertino, CA 95014

Directions:     From I-280, exit DeAnza Blvd/Sunnyvale-Saratoga Rd. Follow signs toward Sunnyvale. Turn left onto Homestead Rd. Any Mountain is on the left.

Deadline for submissions to the next Scree is Sunday 3/28/2004  •  Meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of each month.

Four Page Scree

This month’s Scree is four pages as opposed to the usual eight pages. In the past, I have been using trips reports from PCS trips plus trip reports from all of the Climber.org email that I receive. This month and in the future, trip reports in this publication will only come from PCS and private trip reports. This publication is intended for PCS members and therefore should contain trip announcements and trip reports from the membership. This new policy is the result of various complaints from Climber.org members.

• Bob Bynum, Scree Editor

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.

Chalone Peaks

Peak:            North and South Chalone Peaks Pinnacles
Dates:          March 6, 2004
Leader:        GeorgeVan Gorden, vangordeng321@aol.com

We will climb these two peaks in Pinnacles by using the south wilderness trail. This trail is very little used and is very much wilderness. On this trail we also have a chance of seeing the condors. We will meet at Carl Jrs. in Morgan Hill at 8:00 am and carpool from there. The drive down takes about one and a half hours and the hike will take six to seven hours.

Mokelumne Peak

Peaks:          Mokelumne Peak 9334', class 2 snow
Dates:           March 13-14, 2004 (Sat-Sun)
Map:              7.5' series Mokelumne Peak quad
Leader:         Pat Callery haishan1@yahoo.com; Stephane Mouradian

Mokelumne Peak is a very prominent mountain, plainly visible from both highways 88 and 4, set in isolated splendor far west from the Sierra Crest. We will approach the peak from the north, starting from Highway 88 near Silver Lake. This trip will be long and strenuous, particularly on Sunday. Participants must be in good physical condition and be proficient with ski or snowshoe travel and winter camping.

Participants should also have experience climbing with ice axe and crampons, and experience with avalanche safety equipment such as beacon, probe, and shovel.

Mt Diablo

Peaks:          4 Peaks of Mt. Diablo (3,849'),
Dates:           Saturday, March 20, 2004
Difficulty:       Class 1
Leader:         Bob Suzuki, 408-259-0772(H) SuzukiR@sd-star.com; Sue Leeder: 831-457-9555(H), SueLeeder@OneBox.com

Carpool Time: 7:00 AM

Carpool Location: No Host at Cubberly High (Middlefield & Montrose) in Palo Alto

Time at Trail Head: 8:15 AM

Trail Head Location: Rock City near South Gate (opens 8 am)

Enjoy an 18 mile loop in this beautiful East Bay park. Wear boots as sections of trail may be muddy. Heavy rain cancels. Co-listed with the Day Hiking Section.

Rock Climbing in Yosemite NP

Dates:                 May 8-9, 2004
Maps:                  Yosemite NP
Guide Books:    Too many to list
Leader:               Ron Karpel, ronny@karpel.org ; Rick Booth, rwbooth@comcast.net

This is an official trip of the Sierra Club. You must be a Sierra Club member to sign-up. We are organizing a weekend long trip to Yosemite NP for clean and simple rock climbing fun. You must have a partner, and one of you needs to be able to lead SAFELY the routes you are going to climb, while the other partner must be able to follow (at least). You also must use your own gear. You must use a helmet. I will be happy to keep a "looking for a partner list", but you will need to make the contact. To sign-up, send a climbing resume (rock climbing), the name of your partner (or if you want to be on the "looking for partner" list), and your Sierra Club member number to the above e-mail address or call Ron Karpel at 650-594-0211 at home. Cost of site is $6/night.

2004 Winter/Spring Official Trip List

This is the list of trips planned for Spring and Summer. Please do not contact the leaders until the trips are announced in the "Scree" or on the broadcast list.

Sat 6 Pinnacles George Van Gordon
Sat 13-Sun 14 Mokelumne Peak, 9300+, ski/snowshoe Pat Callery
Sat 20 Mt Diablo Bob Suzuki, Sue Leeder
Sun21 Roundtop Arun Mahajan
Sat 10-Sun 11 Mt. Lassen George Van Gordon
Sat 8- Sun 9 Yosemite Rock Climbing Ron Karpel, Rick Booth
Sat 29- Sun 31 Montgomery Peak Kelly Maas
Sat 3- Mon 5 Feather and Julius Caesar Charles Schafer,
Bob Suzuki
Fri 16- Sun 18 North Pal by U-Notch Kelly Maas
Sat 17- Sun 18 Yosemite Car Camp Debbie Benham, Linda Sun
Sat 31- Sun, Aug1 Tuolumne Meadow Car Camp Debbie Benham
Thu 12- Mon 16 Goddard Kelly Maas
Fri 13- Sun 15 Hooper, Sanger Charles Schafer
Sat 21- Sun 22 Four Gables Charles Schafer
Fri 3- Mon 6 North Pal, Polemonium Jim Ramaker, Bob Suzuki
Fri 3- Mon 6 Steward, Lion Rock Charles Schafer
Sat 18- Sun 19 Mt. Russell Stephane Moradian
Sat 18- Sun 19 Mallory, Irvine Arun Mahajan, Scott Kreider
Sat 9- Sun 10 Virginia Debbie Benham, Tom Driscoll
Sat 16-Sun 17 Whorl Pat Callery

Advance Private Trip List

Sun 21 Roundtop Arun Mahajan
Sat 22- Sun 23 Diamond Peak Bob Suzuki
Sat 29- Mon 31 Shasta from Clear Creek George Van Gordon
Sat 12- Sun 13 Needham Bob Suzuki
Sat 19- Sun 20 Iron Mountain Bob Suzuki
Fri 27- Sun 29 Lyell, McClure Bill Kirkpatrick, Bob Suzuki
Fri 10- Sun 12 Polemonium Chris Kramer

Mt. Winchell and Mt. Gayley

September 19-21, 2003

Mount Winchell (13,775') and Mount Gayley (13,510') are located in one of the more 'exclusive neighborhoods' of the sierra - the Palisades. With neighbors like North Palisade, Mt. Sill, Starlight and Thunderbolt peaks, it is easy to see how these fine climbs might be overlooked. As we discovered on an early fall trip to this spectacular area, both of these climbs are worthy objectives and should not be overlooked.

Friday Sept 19th

Our group consisted of Steve Eckert, Greg Jacobus, Paul Morash, Suzanne Pletcher, Susan Zaleschuck and myself. Five of us met at 7:30 a.m. and began our leisurely hike into Sam Mack Meadow (Suzanne would join us in camp later). Even with a relaxed pace and ample breaks we were in camp by 1:00 p.m. Rather than put our extra time to productive use, most of us chose to read, snooze and otherwise laze around camp enjoying the beautiful weather until dinner time.

Saturday Sept. 20th

We were up and moving by 7:00 a.m. for the day's objective, Mt. Winchell. Our route out of Sam Mack Meadow took us southwest up a steep talus slope along the small stream that feeds the meadow. As we crossed the stream near the top of the slope, we had to be extra careful due to ice that had formed on some of the rocks. We continued following this small drainage to it's source - a small lake just south of Sam Mack Lake. We passed this lake along the east shore while admiring the unique ice patterns that had formed in shallow parts of the lake. We also spotted a couple of nice bivy sites that had been carved out of the talus.

From here we meandered up and down and through the moraines until we were at the foot of the southeast face. We then followed the first shallow gully that took us northeast and towards the east arte (our intended route). Rather than following this gully all the way to the east arte, we took a more direct route by turning into a steep chute that headed northwest. This chute, which has a prominent band of white rock near the top, terminates on the east arte. Once on the arte, we enjoyed solid, 3rd class climbing all the way to the summit where we topped out around noon. We spent an hour or so enjoying the expansive views and warm weather and then headed back down. Instead of retracing our ascent route, we stayed true to the arte down to about 13,000 ft where the angle eases and the fun down climbing ends.

Others contemplating this route might want to get onto the arte as low as possible (it looked to us like it would go all the way from it's beginning at ~12,400'). While this is not the most direct route, it would be the most aesthetic. After a relaxed hike back, we were in camp at 4:00 where we spent the remainder of the afternoon and evening watching a seemingly endless parade of climbing parties trudging into the already crowded meadow.

Sunday Sept. 21

Since I wanted to make it back to the trailhead at a reasonable hour, I was able to convince everyone that we should leave for Mt. Gayley at first light (6:00 a.m.). Mt biggest fear as we worked our way out of the meadow in the early morning light, was stepping on one of our late arriving neighbors who may have been forced to sleep on one of the last flat spots left in the area - the trail! Luckily, there were no such unfortunate encounters and in no time at all we were at Gayley camp surveying the next portion of our climb.

Our plan was to ascend to Glacier Notch via the Palisade Glacier and then climb the southwest ridge of Gayley. During yesterday's climb we'd all had a good look at the section of the glacier we would be on - and it looked nasty! Lots of rubble and rock fall - an unpleasant route at best. As we worked our way through the boulder field towards the glacier, I kept glancing at the west face of Gayley wishing a route would materialize. Then, almost simultaneously, Suzanne, Paul and I all pointed out a defect in the west face that might work - serendipity? Perhaps not, but it was a hell of a lot closer than continuing over to the glacier, so we all agreed to give it a go.

We dropped our crampons and ice axes at the base of the west face and headed up a steep (and sometimes loose) gully that angled off to the southeast (climbers right). About half way up, this gully ends and we worked our way left on a couple of short ramps until we found a steep chute that led us up to the southwest ridge (Note: we hit the ridge about midway between Glacier Notch and the summit). From here it was an easy climb along the 'yellow brick road' to the summit where we arrived at 9:00 a.m. After a quick snack we retraced our route back to camp, packed up and headed back to the cars (3:15 p.m.) and civilization.

My thanks to everyone who joined me on this perfect sierra weekend for a couple of very enjoyable class 3 climbs.

• Ron Norton

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. 

Lonely at the Top

Peaks:          Lone Pine Peak (12,943')
Dates:           Mar 6-7 (Sat-Sun)
Difficulty:       Class 2, ice axe, crampons, skis, snowshoes, snow travel.
Contact:    Aaron Schuman, climberaaron@comcast.net

Lone Pine Peak is a jagged ridge, and outlined by March snow, it will horrify even stout hearted climbers. But approached from the east, there is a gap in the peak's defenses. We will attempt to pass through that gap and make a class 2 ski and snowshoe winter ascent. And yes, it will be Lonely at the top.

Note: This trip is filled but, there is a waiting list.


Peaks:          Roundtop
Dates:           March 21, 2004
Difficulty:       snow/winter travel.
Contact:    George Van Gorden, 408-779-2320 (before 9pm); Arun Mahajan, arun.mahajan@att.net, 650-327-8598, (after 9 pm)

Join us on this private trip to Roundtop and celebrate the arrival of spring. The peak is approached by snow shoes or skis from the Carson Pass trailhead and you need ice axe and crampons for the final few hundred feet. We will meet Sunday morning at Carson Pass snowpark at 8:00 am. We should be back to the cars by 3:00. Please note that the parking at the Carson Pass trailhead is a 'SnoPark', meaning that you need a day-permit, per car, to park there. Permits are to be had at some outdoor stores and possibly, even the Kirkwood XC Ski Area.

Some AAA offices also sell them. There is also a substantial fine if found to be without one. Bad weather will cancels.

Birch Society

Peaks:          Birch Mountain (13,602'), Mount Tinemaha (12,520')
Dates:           Apr 2-4 (Fri-Sun)
Difficulty:       Class 2, ice axe, crampons, skis, snowshoes, snow travel.
Contact:    Aaron Schuman, climberaaron@comcast.net

Two big peaks, both just east of the Sierra crest, are dusty and thirsty in the summer, but in April, they are a pleasure to do as an early spring snow climb. We'll make our approach up Tinemaha Creek, camp two nights at a flat site near the creek headwaters, climb Birch from the south and Tinemaha from the north.

Note: This trip is filled but, there is a waiting list.

Nepal/ Chulu West Climb + Trek

Peaks:          Chulu West (21,752'), Trek Manang Region
Dates:           Oct 4-24 (Mon-Sun)
Difficulty:       Trekkers Peak Class A, Moderate to Difficult (Or Trekkers Can Skip Peak)
Location:    Nepal - Manang Region
Contact:    Warren Storkman, Dstorkman@aol.com

This trip to Chulu West (21,752') is a Class A trekkers peak from the Manang region of the Annapurna Circuit. We would leave for Nepal early October 2004. Trek Charges are US $1045.00 per person 16 day trek also covers internal air. Peak permit is US $350.00 for up to 4 persons – above 4 persons US $40.00 each. Extra Sherpa equipment allowance US $250.00 each sherpa. After peak climb the group will cross the Thorung La foot pass to reach the Jomson airport and then fly back to KTM. On the way to Jomson we'll visit Kagbini, a village that is the same as it was 500 years ago. Those who only want to do the trek without the peak climb are also welcome.

Elected Officials

    Pat Callery / pcs-chair@climber.org
    1225 Bracebridge Court
    Campbell, CA 95008
    408-871-8702 home

Vice Chair and Trip Scheduler:
    Linda Sun / lindasun@sbcglobal.net
    P. O. Box 3208
    Saratoga, CA 95070

Treasurer and Membership Roster (address changes):
    Jeff Fisher / han1cannae@msn.com
    876 Lewis Avenue
    Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Publicity Committee Positions

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

PCS World Wide Web Publisher:
     Roger Dettloff/ pcs_web_roger@pacbell.net
     Redwood City, CA

Publicity Chair:
     Arun Mahajan / pcs-pub-chair@climber.org
     650-327-8598 home
     1745 Alma Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301

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 $13. 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  the email list the PCS feeds (pcs-issues@climber.org), 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 3/28/2003  •  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