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July, 2006                                                    Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club                         Vol. 40 No. 7

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



General Meeting


Date:              July 11

Time:              6:30 – 9:00 pm


Program:      Annual Outdoor BBQ

                        and Gear Swap


As usual, the July meeting is our annual BBQ and gear swap meet at Serra Park in Sunnyvale. The park has been reserved from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM. All family members are welcome. Bring your own food and drink. Alcoholic beverages are permitted. Don't forget a plate, glass, cutlery and maybe a big roll of paper towels. The charcoal for the BBQ will be provided.
Please bring $3 to contribute to the park reservation fee and the charcoal.

Historically, a gear sale and/or swap meet activity has been a part of the BBQ. Please bring your extra gear if you wish to participate in this event.


Location:               Serra Park in Sunnyvale

730 The Dalles Ave
Sunnyvale,  CA 94087



From I-280, turn North on DeAnza Blvd. in Cupertino, then left on Homestead, then right on Hollenbeck.  The park is on your left.

From I-85, turn East on Fremont, then South on Hollenbeck.  The park is on your right.



PCS Trips

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


Dates:   July 15-16 (Sat. - Sun.)

Peaks:   Iron Mountain (11,149’)

Class:    2

Map:      Cattle Mountain 7.5

Leader: Charles Schafer      c_g_schafer@yahoo.com               (408) 354-1545

Saturday we’ll hike in via the Beck Lakes trail and we’ll set up camp.  Sunday we’ll climb the peak, and hike out via the Fern Lakes Trail.  There are several alternate routes, and we’ll pick one that is suitable for the skill level of the group. 

This region of the Sierra is one of my favorites because of its scenic beauty, and we’re doing a loop trip so we can explore it a bit.  This trip is suitable for beginners with backpacking skills who are in reasonably good shape.




Dates:      August 12-16, 2006
Peak:       Mt Goddard (13,568')
Class:      2-3
Leader:    Debbie Benham, H: 650/964-0558
CoLeader:  Ted Raczek, H: 408/532-7732


A west side entry from Florence Lake, THEN we'll hike
on the John Muir Trail to Goddard Canyon.  We'll climb
Goddard from Martha Lake via the southwest ridge.   8
on permit.

MUST have prior backpacking experience.  $5
nonrefundable permit fee required to hold your spot.
Contact Debbie to sign up.



Dates:     August 19-20,  2006
Peaks:    Mt Warren (12,327')
               Lee Vining Peak (11,690')
Class:     1-2
Leader(s):  Debbie Benham, H: 650/964-0558
                   Chris MacIntosh, H: 650/325-7841


Come and enjoy lovely Yosemite National Park at Crane
Flat Campground for the weekend! Saturday, we'll hike
up both peaks as they're right next to each other,
then, return to the campground for general imbibing!
Sunday, we'll pick a peak. We've reserved two
side-by-side campsites at Crane Flat (Fri/Sat nights).
10 participant limit.  $10 nonrefundable campsite fee
holds your spot. Contact either leader to sign up.
This trip is great for newcomers!! :-)

Dates:    August 19-20, 2006

Peaks:   Mt Silliman

Class:    2

Leader:  Tim Hult, 408-970-0760

Group size 4. This is a straight forward ascent up a classic peak with easy access via class one trails.


Dates:    August 25-27, 2006

Peaks:   Mt Ritter, Mt Banner 12,945'

Class:    3; ice axe, crampons

Leader:  Tim Hult, 408-970-0760


Group size 4. We will access this spectacular part of the Minarets area going in from Agnew Meadows (Devil’s postpile) via the spectacular high Trail. 10 plus miles in on Friday, all day climb on Saturday, Walk out and drive home on Sunday. There is a fee to ride the shuttle bus to Agnews’ meadows.

Dates:    August 25 – 27 (Friday – Sunday)

Peak:          Mt. Gabb (13,741’)

Class:         2

Leader:       Charles Schafer c_g_schafer@yahoo.com

                   408 354-1545
Co-Leader:  Aaron Schuman climberaaron@comcast.net

Friday we’ll hike in over the Bear Creek trail and make camp at Lake Italy.  Saturday we get to climb the peak, and on Sunday we hike back out.  The area is pretty spectacular, and the hike along Bear Creek is really nice.  We should be able to get some scenic views from the summit of Mt. Gabb as well.

This trip should be suitable for relative newcomers who are in good physical shape.

Dates:         August 26-28, 2006

Peak:          Mt. Langley (14,026 feet)

Class:          2

Map:            USGS Mt. Langley topo, 7.5'

Leader:       Tom Driscoll (650) 938-2106


Co-Leader:  Nancy Fitzsimmons (650) 938-2106


A leisurely trip to climb California's southernmost fourteener. We'll hike in on Saturday and camp near one of the Cottonwood Lakes.  Sunday we'll dayhike the peak via Old Army Pass, and hike out and drive home on Monday.  This is suitable as a beginner's trip as most of the route is on trail or use trail.

Limited to 6 people.

Dates:      September 2-?, 2006

Peaks:      Piute, Pettit, Volunteer, Rodgers, Electra and Forester

Class:      3; ice axe, crampons

Leader:    Tim Hult, 408-970-0760


Start September 2.

Part 1 (start 9/2/06): Saddlebag Lake to N. Yosemite Peaks: Piute, Pettit, Volunteer (2nd and 3rd class)

Part 2 (permit for 9/8/06): Rush Creek to Thousand Island Lake objective to climb Rodgers, Electra & Forester (12058)

These 9 days will be free form in their schedule, involving possible car shuttles, and a change of trailheads in the High Country of East Yosemite. We will start on the non- quota trail out of Saddlebag lake moving cross-country to the vicinity of Piute, Pettit and Volunteer peaks. This country is little visited, but previous reports have it as beautiful in its emptiness. High snow this year should see this area uncharacteristically loaded with wildflowers however making this late season trip particularly attractive. None of the peaks are terribly challenging, but the XC travel may tax some. The group will decide if we will return to the same trailhead or turn this into a shuttle trip with a car(s) parked at Twin Lakes or in Tuolumne meadows. Our goal will be to complete part one by September 5th.

Part 2 of this unique trip is a bit free form as we will either use the permit I have on the Sept 9th (a safety permit I secured as an insurance policy), or get a new one on Sept 7th or 8th. This will allow us to take one day off (Sept 6th?) to get cleaned up in town and reposition ourselves for part 2. An early start date for part 2 is preferred as it too is challenging in its scope with long distances of XC travel involved. This early start option assumes securing a permit in the middle of the week, after a holiday for non- popular trailheads will not be hard. As planned, we will do the long hike up Rush creek to Thousand Island Lake (10+ miles), then ascend North Glacier Pass (class 2) to access the seldom visited and remote headwaters of the San Joaquin River / Lake Catherine area for our attempts on Rodgers, Electra & Forester a run up to Mt. Davis is possible from the pass as well. If the group decides this plan is not optimum for whatever reason, alternative permits, trails, objectives or scenarios may be discussed, including moving the trip to a West side entry via Clover Meadow ranger Station for a hike to Isberg pass (see Eckert Report on climber.org on this approach).

Participants may leave the trip after part 1, but joining the trip for part 2 may require extreme flexibility on the part of the joinee.



Dates:   September 22-24

Peaks:   Excelsior Peak, Glass Mountain

Class:    2

Leader:  John Wilkinson, 408-947-0858, johnfw1@mac.com

Enjoy great views and easy scrambling as we climb these two contrasting peaks. We'll camp near Virginia Lakes on Friday and climb Excelsior on Saturday, Glass Mountain on Sunday. Whether we drive out to the start of the Glass Mountain climb on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning remains to be determined. This is a very suitable trip for beginners. Contact leader to sign up. Limit 12.

Dates:      October 7-9

Peak:       Mt Russell

Class:      3

Leader:    Stephane Mouradian smouradian@hotmail.com


We will follow the Rockwell Variation to the East Ridge route.  The trailhead is Whitney Portal.  Must be fit to climb a fourteener and comfortable on class 3.


Trip Report

The North Guard Story

By Lisa Barboza


What happens inside the heart and vitals of a climber? Some are made bold by the moment, some irresolute, some carefully judicious, some paralyzed and powerless to act.  In the wake of Patty Rambert’s fall on May 31, We elected to become carefully judicious, stay that way, and bring along a length of rope and some protection.


9 June – 2006 On the waxing gibbous moonlit night, Bob Suzuki and Linda Sun drove down from San Jose, while  Lisa Barboza and Toinette Hartshorne drove a little later. Kevin Trieu came up from LA and joined us at Road’s end in King’s Canyon NP.  It was a clear, bright moon and the scenery, even at night, was fantastic, the grey granite walls shining bright in the moonlight.  This is truly a fantastic canyon, easily the equal of Yosemite in some ways, with ramparts rising from the Valley floor at 5000 feet to 10 to 13 thousand feet. We spent the night a Cedar Grove campground, and in the morning, received the obligatory lecture from the ranger regarding backcountry rules and practicies.  Since we were camping over 8000 feet, we didn’t need bear canisters, and since it’s still early spring, we gladly dispensed with them. 


We started our jaunt at 5035 feet; we would eventually climb to camp at Lake 10514 up the Sphinx Creek trail, and finally climb North Guard (13,327) the next day.  Two miles into the hike on the canyon floor, we had to cross what I would call, if I were in Alaska, a braided stream. The South Fork of the Kings River had jumped it’s banks with snowmelt and overflow.  Our bridge was but a wade away, isolated on one side by the raging waters – we elected to attempt the creek crossing on a well-placed log across the stream, which was completed successfully with a few wet boots.  Then, another 2 miles to the Bubb Creek crossing, another beautiful, and above water footbridge, for a few hundred feet of gain, and finally, the long slog up Sphinx Creek to our campsite.  During this part of the trip we gained 5200 feet in the space of about 6.25 miles.  The granite steps below the sphinx, a marvelous stone formation, were cut in the 1930s and are a bit steep.  Once we crossed Sphinx Creek, at a massive treefall, we started going cross country.  After about a 400 foot gain, through open forest and somewhat swampy meadows, you’ll pick up the stream again at about 9000 feet.  Snow level started at about 8400 feet, and conditions were variable.  If you stood in place for too long you were likely to posthole, and those of us who mastered the step and slide did fine.  You’ll cross a few talus slopes east of the creek, and after climbing up a few benches, we came to lake 10514 at about 6:30 – we were even able to find a few campsites, and thus avoided camping in the snow.  Although we could certainly have chosen it –


10 June 2006 – We got an early start (late for some of us and early for others) – 7:00 AM – We climbed to then next paternoster lake above 10,514, then headed due south for about a mile, and then southeast for another mile (crow flying mile) to a col between the flank of North Guard and another, unnamed peak.  There was a fine cornice, and a fine view of the north face of Brewer, directly to the Southeast.  After a bit of confusion regarding which was the actual peak (a memorable quote “The map doesn’t match the scenery, and Topo maps don’t lie”), we settled on a northeasterly course to the next small ridge, and then a northeasterly course to the summit.  We stayed on the snow for much of the time, transitioning to rock when a good way was obvious.  There was a clear line of CL2 to low CL3 rock to follow to a small gendarme about 1/3 mile west of the summit block.  We went above the gendarme on easy CL3 climbing up the 3rd gully to the summit block.  At the base of the summit block, we were still in CL3 climbing, when we got to the base of the leaning summit pillar, which hangs out into space on the northeast side about 900 feet above a wondrous glacial valley. And now the rope.  Going out to the pillar is really 2 CL3 friction steps with an excellent handhold on the pillar.  A great view from the top, and then it was down, another route down, where we tried to go down the 4th gully, only to determine that we were better off going around the gendarme and following our original route back to the col.  A tired party ended up at camp at 7:30 PM, tired, but happy. 




11 June 2006 – After some discussion after our late start, we elected to not climb Francis Farquahr, and hike directly out.  Our 9 am departure put us back at the trailhead at 415 PM, after a long downhill tramp of about 11 miles. All in all, a great, fun, early season climb with lots of snow.



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:

Lisa Barboza, lisa.barboza@gd-ais.com

·Date:  July 7-9, 2006

Peaks: Mt Lyell, Mt Maclure

For the following trip listing, please contact:

Bob Suzuki, w: 408-678-3541, SuzukiR@sd-star.com
Chris Prendergast, h: 408-926-8067,                                     chrispp@earthlink.net

·Date:  July 8-10, 2006

Peaks: Pettit (10,788'), Volunteer (10,481')
Difficulty: class 2 peaks, class 2 backpack


For the following trip listing, please contact:

Dee Booth, Linda Sun, lindasun@sbcglobal.net

·Date:  July 22-30, 2006

Peaks: Milestone, Table, Thunder, Jordan, Barnard

Difficulty: class 3, class 4, rope


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)


Peaks: 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 the following trip listing, please contact:

Steve Eckert, http://www.climber.org/WhosWho/Steve_Eckert.html

Bob Suzuki, http://www.climber.org/WhosWho/Bob_Suzuki.html


·Date:  August 12 - 20

 Peaks: Gannett, Fremont, Arrowhead, Lester, Ellingwood,

             Stroud, Winifred, Elephant

 Difficulty: class 3 & 4, ice axe, crampons, glaciers, rope

 Location: Rockies



For the following trip listing, please contact:

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

·Date:  October 2006

Peak: Kala Pattar (18300’)

Location: Nepal, Everest Base Camp


For the following trip listing, please contact:

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

·Date:  January 2007

Peak: Kilimanjaro

Location: Tanzania, optional safari following














I have a pair of unused crampons which I would like to offer in return for a donation to the Loma Prieta Chapter.  They are traditional style 12-point adjustable crampons with neoprene straps. They also have their rubber point guards.  I can't find a brand name on them, but they were undoubtedly bought at REI.

I would like to suggest a minimum $25 donation. They'll go to the highest (or perhaps only) offer.


   Chris MacIntosh (cmaci@sbcglobal.net; 650-325-7841)

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,  July 30th. 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