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February, 2006                                          Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club                         Vol. 40 No. 2

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



General Meeting


Date:              February 14

Time:              7:30 - 9:00 pm

Program:      Circling Tibet's Holy Mountain,

a Journey to Mt Kailash

Presenter:      Arun Mahajan

Come and follow the journey of PCS member, Arun Mahajan, as he and his group leave the bustle of Kathmandu and travel by road over to Tibet and then to Lake Manasarovar to the nomadic settlement of Darchen in south-western Tibet. Then the group does a two-and half day trek to circumambulate Mt Kailash which takes them over the Dolma La (pass) at 18600+ ft.

To the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Jains and the Bonpos, Mt Kailash (22,000+ ft) or Kang Rimpoche, is the center of the universe and in combination with the southerly Lake Manasarovar (Mapham Tso), the holiest of holies. A visit there and a circumbulation (kora) of Mt Kailash on foot is said to wash out the sins of a lifetime.

No matter your beliefs or lack thereof, there is consensus that the the shimmering waters of turquoise Lake Manasarovar with the ice dome of Mt Kailash on the north and the huge imposing massif of Gurla Mandhata (25,000+ ft) on its southern shores, is one of the most stunning locales in the world.


Location:               THE NORTH FACE

Directions:           217 Alma Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301

From San Jose (Northbound Highway 101):  Take the University Ave Exit and turn left (south) going toward Stanford.  Turn right on Alma Street.

From San Francisco (Southbound Highway 101):  Take the University Ave exit and turn right (south) going toward Stanford.  Turn right on Alma Street. 


PCS Trips

PCS trips must be submitted through the Scheduler (see back cover for details).


Mt Tamalpais Conditioning Hike


Date:      Sunday, February 12, 2006

Peak:     Mt Tamalpais, 2571', Class 1

Leader:  Debbie Benham, 650/964-0558


From the lush redwoods of John Muir Woods to the
summits of all three peaklets, this lovely loop will
be worth all 15 miles (about) and 3000' gain. Heavy rain
Carpool meets 7:45am at Edgewood Rd. and Hwy 280 Park and Ride, or, Muir Woods parking lot, 8:45ish.


Trip Planning Meeting


Date:          Wednesday, February 22, 2006, 7:30 p.m

Location:  Tom Driscoll and Nancy Fitzsimmons

                    2149 Junction Av #3

                    Mountain View, CA 94043

                    Phone 650-938-2106.


Tom and Nancy have kindly volunteered their home for us to meet to plan for this summer.  You are all invited.




  Basic Wilderness First Aid - 8 Hours

Date:      Sunday, April 2

This 8 hr class will teach you the skills to deal with a wilderness first aid  emergency. It is FUN and you will feel a lot more confident in yourself. You can make a difference!!!! This class focuses on practicing skills and covers wilderness first aid topics: patient assessment, shock and bleeding, head and spinal injuries, wounds, musculoskeletal injuries, heat and cold illnesses and
much more. A three year Basic Wilderness First Aid certification is available upon successful completion of this course and passing a written wilderness exam. There are pre-class reading assignments.

Class will be taught by Bobbie Foster of Foster Calm. She has been teaching wilderness first aid in the Bay Area for 12 years.

Pre-requisites: None

Cost:                  $45


For sign up information, please contact Bonnie Ruesch at bruesch@att.net or (408) 391-8323


Trip Reports


Location:    Climbing at Lee Vining, CA

Date:          January 21-22, 2006

Leader:       Rick Booth / rwbooth@comcast.net

I usually try to get to Lee Vining several times each winter season for ice climbing in Lee Vining Canyon.  This years first trip was over the January 21 to 22 weekend.  The ice in Lee Vining took a strange turn this year. It was very good before Christmas and then disappeared during the warm spell.  It had pretty much returned in time for this weekend trip.  Trip participants were Scott Kreider, David Altmar, Vicky Wong, Karen Carlsen, Bill Shahwan, and Rick Booth.  Vicky, Karen, and Bill were new to ice climbing.

We crammed all six of us into two rooms at the Lake View Lodge which is the ex Best Western.  Saturday morning we were up reasonably early, only half hour late, to breakfast at Nicely’s and then off to the Poole Power Plant to park for the trudge up Lee Vining Canyon.  The snow was not particularly deep and Bill managed to post hole through in several places.  We arrived at the right hand wall, Chouinard Falls, and found the usual crowd.  I chose a line just to the right of the far left edge of the wall and put up a line in this area.  The following picture illustrates the route.  This photo is from Vicky Wong.  The far left route was taken by another party but the usual courtesy in Lee Vining Canyon was in force and anyone who wanted could climb either our route or the far left route.



Both these routes are about WI3.  We climbed both these routes several times and one or two routes to the right that had been set up by other people.


After a full day of this Karen and Bill headed down to the motel and Scott and I retrieved the ropes and packed out.  After showering we all headed off to the Double Eagle Resort in June Lake for dinner.  This is about the best restaurant in the area open during the winter and is a very good restaurant indeed.  We hijacked a waiter for the following picture contributed by Karen Carlsen.  From left to right it is Rick Booth, Bill Shawhan, Karen Carlsen, Vicky Wong,  David Altmar, and Scott Kreider.



Sunday morning we repeated the same process except we made it to Nicely’s on time.  During the night it had snowed some which complicated the drive into the Poole Plant somewhat.  Again, we hike dup into Lee Vining Canyon and set a route up the middle of Chouinard falls through a stepped area.  The overall climbing was easier, however, the “chandelier” in the middle of the route provided a challenge to everyone.  We climbed this route and others and hiked out at about 3 PM.


Final notes:  This was a good trip.  Bill, Vicky, and Karen did well as first time ice climbers and survived the usual beginner process of over hammering the ice and not using their feet (boots).  The temperature in Lee Vining Canyon on Saturday was unusually cold but Sunday was more or less normal.  We ran into a few people from the CMC, Steve Aho, Jennifer Hopper, and Eric Burt.  The ice climbing community is pretty small and after a few trips to LV Canyon faces get pretty familiar.  A 70 meter rope is useful on the Chouinard Falls wall.


Rick Booth

Los Gatos, CA



Location:    4 Peaks at Indian Wells

Date:          January 27-29, 2006

Leaders:    Steve Eckert, Lisa Barboza


Present on this trip were the following: Lisa Barboza, Brian Roach, Steve Eckert, Lee Kenyon, Vince Coit, Andre, and Chelsea.  Steve led the trip, and Lisa functioned as a co-lead. Our trip was set up as a car-camp at the campsite; the climbing consisted of day hikes to the nearby summits.  This region is comprised of granite batholiths characteristic of the Southern Sierra.  Desert plants such as creosote and chaparral scrub are present at the 2000-3000 foot level; transitioning to Joshua trees, and a mixed conifer forest of Pinon, Coulter, Jeffery, Sugar pine as well as a few relict groves of White Fir.


27 January 2006: After a 7 hour drive from San Jose, we met at noon at Waypoint POWERS, just short of the Hwy 14-395 junction.  The road up to that point is navigable with a street auto; after that, a 4WD or high clearance 2WD vehicle is required as there are shallow creeks to cross.  POWERS is 2.7 miles from the pavement on a wash-boarded road.  There is an old square rock-walled cistern just past the small cofferdam, on the left. It’s a great place to meet.  We met at noon; decided to climb Five Fingers, a granite complex of eroded batholithic granodiorite.  Deserts can make distances very deceiving; the peak looked like it was 500’ above us, although it’s about 1000 feet above the trailhead and a very fun climb.  It took us about 2 hours round trip to climb, with a very low 3rd class summit block.  The Route – climb up the South face to a notch between the high point – which is the index finger to the right of the “thumb”; it is marked by a squarish block of granite.  Once at this square notch; go around to the North side of the mountain; you will see an obvious chute after about 150 yards; go up this chute; as you near the top you will see human-cut half-moon steps in the granite in a low 3rd class chimney; the summit is very easily reached; for the descent, we sand-jumped down the southwest face, and drove to our campsite. 

The camp is 7.2 miles from the pavement further on down SE164; see the excellent Trailhead directions on the climber.org website. The campsite is a large set of granite formations, with 2 Coulter Pines. It’s also the Trailhead for Owens Peak.  There are adjacent spots for parking; also several flat spots to the East about 100 yards from the parking area.  The granite formations are wind-eroded and quite beautiful.  Temperatures hovered within  40 ± ° F; however, there was a 20-25 mph wind, which made it a bit chilly.  Cover from wind can be found in the complex of boulders; also, a kitchen can be set up as well.  A clear view of the peaks showed light snow on the northeastern faces, none at all on the southern exposures, so we decided to go without snowshoes.  This trip doesn’t require crampons or ice axe unless you’re trying a northern exposure; even then, there wasn’t that much snow.


Saturday, January 28th: Owens Peak, 8453, Jenkins Peak, 7921. We arose bright and early at 530 am for a 700 am start.  We hiked up the Owens Ck Canyon from the trailhead.  The trail follows the creek bed (dry at this time of the year) up to approximately the 7800 foot level. This is a use trail, easy to follow at the bottom, harder to follow at the upper reaches. At this point you start climbing up the left hand side of the ridge, below a striped and banded rock pinnacle formation that is a false summit roof pendant.  The striping and banding is characteristic of a ‘roof pendant’ – rock formations comprised of metamorphasized sedimentary rocks that were former continental shelf seabed.  The Granite Batholith came in under the folded seabed, which composed the ancestral Sierra prior to the granitic intrusions.  Roof pendants are common, particularly in the southern and eastern Sierra.  When you get about 500’ below a false summit roof pendant, cut to the right across a dark banded talus field composed of slate, another metamorphic rock.  On the right, you will see a very prominent granite outcrop where there is a use trail.  The use trail is right below the granite outcrop on the right hand (northern) ridge.  This use trail leads directly to the summit, and the summit is also a roof pendant, sitting on the granite batholith.  We arrived at the summit at 10:00 am; early; as a result, we decided to climb Jenkins peak, to the south of Owens peak.



To get to Jenkins peak, you drop to a saddle to the south of Owens Peak between it and Jenkins Peak.  You can clearly see the snow-covered PCT on the East side of Jenkins, and it crosses onto Jenkins at the saddle.  From Owens Peak, the ascent ridge is obvious; once you reach the saddle, get on the PCT for about 2 miles – The snow was about a foot deep in places, but snowshoes weren’t required. Before we chose the route we eventually took, we discussed going up a southeast facing slope, which we probably could have taken; but the northern ridge of Jenkins also has a rocky, CL3-5 spine, so you would want to stay at the base of the spine and traverse in a southerly direction to Jenkins summit. Eventually, we reached the chosen ascent ridge, distinguished by a rocky spine. When you reach the base of it, you’ll want to follow a use trail up the south side of the spine.  This trail leads directly to the summit, which we reached at 1:30 PM.  These peaks are transitional peaks between familiar southern Sierra Peaks and Sky Islands of the Sonoran Desert; as a result, this area has a very unusual variety of endemic plant, a variety of unusual yuccas, and in Jenkins case, a Joshua tree just below the 7921’ high summit.  There are also some unusual relict White Firs along the PCT. During the Ice ages, this area was quite wet and these firs are descendents of the former floral expansion.  Jenkins peak, formerly called N. peak, Morris, was named after a naturalist and climber named Jim Jenkins, who died in 1979 in a car accident.  His mother, the famous Ruby Jenkins, and others petitioned the US Board of Geographic Names to change the name, and succeeded in doing so in 1984.  The summit register is particularly interesting as there is a copy of the name transfer papers.

After Jenkins, we were able to return to camp by 3:30 PM.  It was very cold and windy, even windier than the previous day; but we were able to make a fire in a notch in the granite boulders after a rousing supper. We decided to climb Morris, the last peak on our clean-out list, the following day.


Sunday, January 29th, started with a wonderful sunrise, the wind had died overnight.  At 7:30 AM, In order to get to the peak, we drove about 1 mile to a creek crossing, where we parked and climbed a spiny ridge to Morris.  On the way up, we passed several signs marking the Blue Max mine, as well as several mine structures, loading bins, and mine shafts.  You’ll go up the obvious ridge on the topographic map, intersect the PCT, hike about 1 mile south, then climb the obvious ridge to the Morris Summit, which we reached at 10:00 am.  We were back in camp by noon, and packed up and drove home.  I highly recommend this trip because for those who are snow-bound, or want a taste of summer-like hiking, this is a very fun trip.  Temperatures in the dry air rarely got above 50F, but the dryness and sunshine make it feel like a summer jaunt.

Steve did his characteristically great job of leading, everyone had fun and learned a lot about this amazing part of the Southern Sierra.  This trip featured easy access, some great rock climbing if you desire, and satisfying peak bagging. Owens peak is even on the SPS List!


-- Lisa Barboza

Private Trips

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

For the following trip listing, please contact:

Warren Storkman, 650-493-8959, dstorkman@aol.com

·Date:  May 2006

  Mt Kailas in Tibet, or, Meno Nani (7728m) in Tibet


For the following trip listing, please contact:


Bob Suzuki, SuzukiR@sd-star.com

Bob Evans, 408-998-2857, robtwevans@email.msn.com


·Date:  Sat.  7/22 - Sun.  7/30 (9 days)


Kern Pt (12789 ft, class 2), Picket Guard (12,302 ft, class. 3)

Whale Back (11717 ft, class 3), Glacier Ridge (12,416 ft, class 4) For obsessed peak baggers: at least 60 miles and 15,000 feet.

Possible bonus jaunts to Milestone or Triple Divide.

Elected Officials

Tom Driscoll / pcschair2006@sbcglobal.net

     2149 Junction Ave #3, Mountain View, CA 94043

     650-938-2106  home

Vice Chair and Trip Scheduler:
     Bill Kirkpatrick / pcs2006@earthlink.net

    28 N. First St #100,  San Jose, CA 95113

    408-497-2957 work

Treasurer and Membership Roster (address changes):
     Landa Robillard / kellylanda@sbcglobal.net

     408-378-5311 home

Publicity Committee Positions

Scree Editor:
Joerg Lohse / JoergPCS@gmail.com

     1233 Elm Lake Ct, San Jose, CA 95131

     408-452-1406 home

PCS World Wide Web Publisher:
     Rick Booth / rwbooth@comcast.net

    237 San Mateo Av., Los Gatos, CA 95030

    408-354-7291 home

Publicity Chair:
      Paul Vlasveld / pvlasvel@yahoo.com

     789 Daffodil Way, San Jose, CA 95117

     408-247-6472 home


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/

Email List Info

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, February 27th. Meetings are the second 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