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January, 2007                                          Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club                         Vol. 41 No. 1

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



General Meeting


Date:           January 9, 2007

Time:           7:30 pm

Where:        The ‘Summit Room’

                    Sports Basement

                    1177 Kern Ave.

                    Sunnyvale, CA 94085

Program:   Paria Canyon and Buckskin Gulch in Winter

Presenter:   Kelly Maas

In the 1960's the Sierra Club lost the fight to dam Glen Canyon. A short distance downstream the Paria River flows into the olorado River from Utah.  The Paria is one of the classic anyon backpacks of the desert southwest.  One of its ributaries, Buckskin Gulch, is the longest slot canyon in the orld.  Recently, Kai Wiedman, Tom Driscoll and Kelly spent 4 days exploring these canyons.  They avoided the summer heat, but is the middle of winter the best time to visit canyons that receive almost no sun?  Come find out.


Directions:   This is the old Frys building on Lawrence Expressway.

From 101: Exit south at Lawrence Expressway.  Right on Kern Ave.  If coming north on Lawrence make a U turn at Oakmead Pkwy, then go right on Kern Ave.


PCS Trips

Mt. Diablo

Peak: Mt. Diablo (3849 ft.), class 1

Dates: January 7, 2007 (Sunday)

Leader: Kelly Maas

(kellylanda@sbcglobal.net, 408-378-5311)

Co-leader: Lisa Barboza

Have you had too much food and too little exercise recently?  The holidays are over, so now it’s time to get back into shape hiking 15 miles, climbing 4000 ft.  From Mitchell Canyon we’ll hike up the north side of Diablo to at least the two main summits.  Heavy rain cancels.

For carpooling, meet at 8:00 am at the Park & Ride at 680 and Mission Blvd in Fremont, across from McDonalds.  (It’s the NORTHERN of the two 680/Mission intersections.)  Or meet at the Mitchell Canyon Trailhead on the north side of Mt. Diablo at 9:00 am.

Snow Camping Seminar

Class sessions: Jan 18, 23, and 25

Field session: Feb 3-4

Leaders: Chris MacIntosh, Charles Schafer, Kelly Maas, et al

(cmaci@sbcglobal.net, 650-325-7841,



Learn to be comfortable in the snow; all day and all night! This course teaches participants the basics for camping, staying comfortable, and surviving the snow. Items discussed in the course include hypothermia, cold weather 1st aid, clothing, ski and snowshoe gear, packs, cooking, shelters (including tents, emergency shelters, and snow caves), route finding, and avalanche awareness. Participants must be familiar and comfortable with summer backpacking. In the field session, participants will apply what they have learned including constructing various snow shelters, cooking, and adapting to the environment. Participants will either snowshoe or ski into the field area. To sign-up, contact Chris MacIntosh and send $40. Cost for the course includes a book and other printed material.  This class is a co-production of the Peak Climbing, Ski Touring and Backpacking sections.




Junipero Serra

Peak: Junipero Serra 5862

Dates: January 20, 2007 (Saturday)


Leader: George Van Gordon


Co-leader: Lisa Barboza


This is an annual Loma Prieta Peak Climbing Section tradition and happens almost every January. It's a 12 mile round trip to the summit of the peak. We'll be carpooling from San Jose for this trip as it is a 150 mile drive to the trailhead. This peak is the 2nd highest in the Santa Lucia range. On the summit, we'll find exotic ponderosa pine, white fir, and other plants normally associated with the Sierra. We'll start at the trailhead at 10AM, summit by 2PM and be back at the cars by 4PM. This is a class 1 day hike open to all. Carpooling information to follow, we'll be leaving at 7AM.


Lamont, Sawtooth , Spanish Needle 

Peak: Lamont, Sawtooth , Spanish Needle

Dates: January 26, 2007


Leader: Lisa Barboza  (pcs-vice@att.net)


We'll attempt to day-hike these 3 peaks from the East Side off of HWY 395, camping at or near Rodecker Flat. We'll attempt Sawtooth, Lamont, and if conditions aren't too icy, Spanish Needle. If you want to meet at the trailhead, see the Rodecker Flat TH directions on climber.org. Plan on car-camping. Bring plenty of water, firewood, and warm clothing as it's likely to be cold and windy!  Carpool from San Jose or environs. More information to follow as we get closer to the trip date.   Co-leader needed.


Pyramid, Dick's Peak Snow Camping -Snowshoeing

Peak: Pyramid Peak 9983, Dick's Peak 9974

Dates: February 23-25, 2007 (Thu-Sat)


Leader: Lisa Barboza  (pcs-vice@att.net)


This is a 3 day snowcamping and climbing trip to the Desolation Wilderness area just west of Lake Tahoe. We'll go in through the SNO Park near Echo Lakes, camp above Lake Aloha near Mosquito Pass and attempt Pyramid on Saturday, Dicks on Sunday and snowshoe out to the trailhead. Participants must be skilled in snow camping and winter travel on snowshoes or skis. Ice axe and crampons are recommended. Bad weather cancels. Co-leader needed.


Mt Silliman Ski Trip

Peak: Silliman

Dates: March 9 or 23, 2007


Leader: Tim Hult  (408-970-0760)


Gray Peak Skiing        

Peak: Gray Peak 11573 – skiing

Dates: March 31, 2007


Leader: George Van Gordon


Ritter & Banner

Peak: Ritter & Banner

Dates: June 15-18, 2007

Maps: Ansel Adams Wilderness

Leader: Lisa Barboza  (pcs-vice@att.net)


This will be a snow climb of the easiest routes on Ritter and Banner.  TH will be Agnew Meadow unless snow conditions prevent us from using the bus (Otherwise, we'll have to hike in from Mammoth Ski resort. Friday, we'll hike in from Agnew Meadow, up to Lake Ediza and camp above the lake.  Depending on the snow year, expect to snow-camp.  Ice-axe and crampons are required, helmet as well.  We'll attempt Banner on Saturday, Ritter on Sunday, hike out Monday 6/18. Trip limited to 6 climbers. Carpool from San Jose area.  Contact Lisa for details.


Red 11699, Gray 11573, Merced 11726

Peak: Red, Gray, Merced

Dates: July 13, 2007


Leader: Lisa Barboza  (pcs-vice@att.net)


We're planning a fun fast and light backpacking climbing trip into the south side of Yosemite National Park. We'll leave from Mono Meadows trailhead, backpack in to Ottoway Lake, and attempt Red, Gray, and Merced Peaks. These peaks are 2nd class on our routes. Open to experienced backpackers and climbers, it's a long way in to our first night's camp, about 15 miles. Accordingly, this is a light and fast trip. Carry enough food and gear for 4 days of hiking and climbing in the Clark Range of Yosemite National Park. Plan to be at the TH on Wednesday July 12 evening for an early start. Co-leader needed.


Piute, Petit, Volunteer

Peak: Piute, Petit, Volunteer

Dates: July 27, 2007


Leader: Tim Hult  (408-970-0760)


This is an exploration of the beautiful wilderness of Northern Yosemite. Hike in from Tuolumne Meadows to reach these CL2 Peaks. We'll attempt these peaks at the height of the climbing season, but be prepared for mosquitoes.  Contact Tim Hult or Lisa Barboza.


Davis, Electra, Rodgers, Forester

Peak: Davis, Electra, Rodgers, Forester

Dates: September 1, 2007


Leader: Tim Hult  (408-970-0760)


Virginia, Twin Peaks, Dunderberg

Peak: Virginia, Twin Peaks, Dunderberg

Dates: September 7, 2007


Leader: Tim Hult  (408-970-0760)



Basic Wilderness First Aid

When:   March 10, 2007

Where:Peninsula Conservation Center, Palo Alto

Cost:     $52

Coantact:  Bruce Rienzo, bruce@oatc.com


The following description is from the web site



The Loma Prieta Chapter is sponsoring an 8-hour Basic Wilderness First Aid class on Saturday, March 10, from 8:30 AM to 5 PM, at the Peninsula Conservation Center in Palo Alto. This class meets first aid requirements for most outings leaders. (This class is not sufficient for those leaders who are required to have 16-hour Wilderness First Aid.)


Packed full of interactive hands-on skills and scenario practice, it is designed to prepare leaders to recognize and avoid wilderness hazards and do first aid outdoors with whatever equipment is available or can be improvised. Topics include hypothermia and frostbite, altitude, sunburn, lightning, hazardous animals and plants, bites and stings, assessing and treating injuries, wilderness medical emergencies, and first aid kits.


Instructor Steve Donelan has been training Sierra Club leaders in wilderness first aid for over 20 years, is chair of the Wilderness Emergency Care program which he developed for the American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI), teaches Outdoor Emergency Care and Mountaineering for the National Ski Patrol, is an editor for the Wilderness Medical Society's journal, and runs a lecture series on wilderness medicine at the UCSF Medical Center.


Cost for the class is $52 and includes Mr. Donelan's Wilderness Emergency Care textbook and national BWFA certification from ASHI, valid 3 years.


For further information, contact Bruce Rienzo at 408-253-1514 or bruce@oatc.com To register, send a $52 check payable to Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club, along with your telephone number and email address, to Bruce Rienzo, 10225 Danube Dr., Cupertino, CA 95014.


Space is limited and registration should be completed before March 2. After this, the next BWFA class is tentatively scheduled for September.


Wilderness First Aid Course

When:   May 12-13, 2007,   8 AM to 5 PM

Where:Peninsula Conservation Center, Palo Alto

Cost:     $90

Coantact:  Tom Morse, 650-593-5123



The Loma Prieta Chapter is sponsoring a 16-hour wilderness first aid course taught by Bobbie Foster of Foster Calm.  Bobbie’s class comes highly recommended by the many PCS members who have taken it.  The 16-hour class is very appropriate for PCS activities, and is much better than standard first aid courses.  It’s time and money well spent.  Early sign-up is recommended.

Bobbie will also be teaching WFA several other weekends in March (10-11, 24-25 and 31-4/1) locally, but not sponsored by the Sierra Club.  If the May class doesn't work for any of your leaders, they can sign up for one of her other classes.  Information is at http://www.fostercalm.com and bobbie@fostercalm.com


Other Wilderness First Aid Classes

The best source of training for “first aid” in the wilderness is www.fostercalm.com.  Most first aid classes expect the trainee to have quick access to medical support using the telephone.  In the backcountry that simply does not work!  We all need to be able to take care of our fellow climbers.  These courses can help all of us.

Bobbie Foster, bobbie@fostercalm.com, is a great teacher.  She is conducting WFA several weekends in March [10-11, 24-25, 31-4/1].

Trip Reports

A Summer Odyssey

By Louise Wholey (new Scree Editor)


The Sierra, the magnificent Sierra, captures the imagination of the aesthetic observer. Bright brown granite spires and peaks, rose-colored under the setting sun, cast against a bright blue sky, glacial tarns reflecting the deep sky blue amidst the greens and browns of the landscape - home away from home for an all too brief escape.


Our journey started in May on a trans-Sierra traverse from Kearsarge Pass to Woverton.  We booked the ski trip at the very last minute with SMC of Bishop after Louise returned from an aborted North Pole expedition.  During the week our guide SP spoke of many great adventures. We scanned their catalog, dreaming of scaling peaks in the Sierra.  It was years since we had frequented the beautiful eastern escarpment, but now again with a car in Bishop and an airplane to get there, we were set up for quick access to the best part of the Sierra.  I recalled the pleasure of having PCS companions back in the 70's before our daughter was born.  After a scan of the web Jim and I found our way to a PCS meeting.


A private trip climbing for a week in the Great Western Divide area attracted my attention.  Organizer Linda Sun recommended participating on another trip first, perhaps Bob Suzuki's July 4th outing to Goat, Slate, and Marion Peak.  Recalling SP's enthusiasm for the Cirque/Monarch Divide ski tour, we were excited to see this area, despite the lengthy drive.  It had been about 30 years since we had driven through Fresno, but an early departure Friday gave us time to visit several friends, including the wife of one who was having colon surgery that very day.


The PCS trip with Bob, Jim Ramaker and Eddie Sudol was great fun, a spectacular hike out of Kings Canyon at Roads End, followed by snowy trails, snow fields, ledges and boulders to reach the tops of the peaks.  Eddie provided constant entertainment with his stories, which brought back many memories of my past adventures and misadventures in the mountains.


White Mountain loomed as an easy target for the following weekend.  The traverse of the range offered by SMC stimulated our interest in the east side of the Owens Valley.  The rough road, however, finished off our old car battery.  A jump start, a return to Bishop to buy a new one, then the drive back to the trailhead gave us a bit of a late start.  Thunderheads loomed over the Sierra as early as 10 am.  By late afternoon, rain, sleet and snow chilled us to the bone.  The sheep at the Bancroft Research Station hovered under cover.   We were not entirely sure of the reason for the sheep at altitude but sheep like people will not under stress spontaneously abort a fetus as most animals will.


A week later, on July 15, my family chose to run the TRT50.  I skipped the event to climb Pyramid Peak in the Desolation Wilderness.   Abundant flowers in the beautiful wet meadows below the peak on the south side made it a splendid day.


Next were a couple of week-long big trips.  I was very excited to join Linda Sun and Dee Booth to climb peaks of the Great Western Divide.  Jim and I have twice skied over the high shoulder of Milestone but had no chance to reach the summit.  The two-day approach over Shepherd Pass and across the very wet headwaters of the Kern, then up a climber use trail along Milestone Creek brought us to a scenic campsite below Milestone.  Then, a most unlikely route, up a talus slope, over the crest, down the backside for 60 feet, left across a rib, and up 3rd class ledges to the top brought us amazingly easily to the summit of this incredible spire.  After descent we were early enough to traverse the snowfield to the notch in the ridge for the climb of Midway. 


Upon return to camp, however, we suffered through the daily deluge.  Monsoon weather brought clouds and rain from the south quite early every day.  The best part of the rain was that the horrible mosquitoes also took refuge.  Mosquitoes live for only 2 weeks.  During our week of very warm temperatures they grew fast, from 3/8 inch to 5/8 inch!  Since 70% of them are biting females whose sole purpose in life is to find animal blood for them to lay eggs, we found it nearly impossible to spend time outside shelter.  Headnets and Goretex jackets helped in camp and on approaches.  But once we gained elevations above 13000 feet the air was clear and the views quite fine. 


Among our ascents was the exciting and rewarding summit block on Thunder and the airy traverse to get there.  Linda enjoyed the roped leads on our climbs of Thunder and Jordan.  She is an amazing climber!  I caught on to Dee's enthusiasm for exposed climbing.  It was great fun!


The next week my husband Jim joined me and Darren Dodge, Steve Eckert and Lisa Barbosa for a trip into the Black Divide.  Entry was over Echo Col, below which we learned the best reason to have bear-proof food containers - pesky marmots that were not intimidated by anything a human could throw at them.  We had visions of them carrying our boots off in the night; they certainly enjoyed licking salt off hiking poles and bear canisters.


After tackling Black Giant and Charybdis, we split off from the group to climb the rest of the peaks in the Ionian Basin - Goddard, Scylla and Solomans.  We initially approached Goddard along the Goddard Divide for the delightful exposure.  The holds were not very good.  If you did not like where they were, you could simply put them where you wanted them!  We eventually descended to the lake basin below.  Fortunately the weather had returned to normal so that we could enjoy peaceful long days from our camp at Wanda Lake.  Mosquitoes and rain were non-existent all week, a welcome change for me.  Snow was plentiful, making the ice axe our most useful tool.  A couple of slips on steep snow reassured me that my self-arrest reflex had not diminished with the passing years.


A dive trip late in August to the Turks and Caicos gave us a break from the mountains, with its unfortunate associated de-acclimatization.  Despite that, we joined Bob Suzuki, Stephane Mouradian and Natalie Chun over Labor Day weekend for a fantastic trip into the Palisades to climb Thunderbolt and Starlight.  Bob led both summits brilliantly.  The weather was perfect and the climbing group moved swiftly.  For me these peaks were the last 2 of 3 California fourteen thousand foot peaks to climb; only Polemonium remained.


The next weekend we caught up with news from Dee Booth hiking up Piute Pass on our way to Four Gables.  Sunday we only planned to hike out, but Pilot Knob drew us across Humphries Basin for the view into French Canyon and lower Piute Trail.  The weather was turning cool and the days short, making me think that we would declare the end of the climbing season, retreat to temporary idleness, and wax our skis.


Then we discovered that Steve Landes, Jeff Fisher, and Lisa Barbosa were making yet another trip Sept 22-25 into the Palisades over Bishop Pass to climb North Palisade, Sill, Polemonium and Thunderbolt in a four day weekend.  It sounded a bit ambitious, but hearing Polemonium sprang me into action from my brief retirement.  I quickly bought, then cooked and dried foods for lunches and dinners.  The day after we hiked in to camp we all climbed Thunderbolt by lassoing the summit block for an upper belay on the not-so-straightforward-wearing-hiking-boots summit block.


People sympathized with my desire to climb my last 14er, Polemonium, so the next day Jim, Jeff, Lisa and I scrambled over the southwesterly ridge of peak 13962 and up to the base of our target peak.  The final section was amazingly exposed class 3.  We roped up and Jeff cautiously led us to the summit.  We considered rappelling into the U-notch for our descent, but people were unwilling to risk getting stuck.  Instead we took the very long and convoluted return over Potluck Pass.  Early in the season with some snow covering the fields of huge boulders, this is probably a reasonable route, but for us it was tedious and time-consuming.  We failed to make camp before dark.  Jim’s small simple GPS and a compass, incredibly useful tools at night with no trail across boulders and ledges, kept us from straying down the valley to Fresno! 


One last climbing weekend of Oct 21-22 found four of us, Lisa, Brian, Jim and I, flying to the Wholeys’ second home in Truckee to enjoy climbing while "camping" in the comfort of a modern home.  We hit the northern Sierra peaks, Elwell and Sierra Buttes on Saturday, then English Mountain and Lola on Sunday.  We enjoyed fine wine, superb grass-fed beef and fresh garden vegetables, leaving us four peaks richer on a highly anabolic weekend. 


More Trips


The trip calendar is still a bit thin because we missed having a fall/winter trip planning meeting. The upcoming planning meeting is at Lisa’s Wednesday February 21 at 7:00 PM 4382 Moran Drive, San Jose, CA.  Everyone is welcome.

Leaders, please generate trip ideas for 2007 and either join us at the meeting or get in touch with Lisa at pcs-vice@att.net or 650-493-8099.

Participants, tell us what you desire to climb.


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:  January 2007

Peak: Kilimanjaro Safari

Location: Tanzania, optional safari following



For the following trip listing, please contact:

Jeff Fisher, 408-733-1299, jeff_fisher_5252@sbcglobal.net

·Date:  January/February 2007

Peak: Ojo del Salado (22,300’)

Location: South America



For the following trip listing, please contact:

George Van Gordon, 408-779-2320


Arun Mahajan, 650-327-8598,


·Date:  March 18, 2007 (Sunday)

·Peak:  Round Top 10381

Day hike on snow, ice-axe, crampons, skis or snowshoes

Skis with skins or snowshoes needed for the approach and ice-axe and crampons for the summit area.  Meet at 8am at Carson Pass Sno-Park on Highway-88.  To park there you will need a sno-park permit. 

Call/email to sign up.  Must have experience with ice-axe and crampons.

Elected Officials

     Kelly Maas / kellylanda@sbcglobal.net

     1165 Smith Ave. Unit D, Campbell, CA 95008


Vice Chair and Trip Scheduler:
     Lisa Barboza / pcs-vice@att.net

     4382 Moran Drive,  San Jose, CA 95129


Treasurer and Membership Roster (address changes):
     Toinette Hartshorne / toinette@pipeline.com


Publicity Committee Positions

Scree Editor:
     Louise Wholey/ screeeditor@yahoo.com

     21020 Canyon View Drive, Saratoga, CA 95070


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

     237 San Mateo Av., Los Gatos, CA 95030



Screeis 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.

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,  January 28th. 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