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March, 2007                                                    Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club                         Vol. 41 No. 3

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


General Meeting


Date:           March 13, 2007

Time:           7:30 pm

Where:        Peninsula Conservation Center

                    3921 E. Bayshore Rd.

                    Palo Alto, CA

Program:    Arctic Ski Tours

Presenter:   Louise Wholey


Come see photos from recent ski trips to remote and spectacularly beautiful areas in the Arctic including Baffin and Ellesmere Islands as well as the North Pole.


Included is travel technique with skis, backpacks and sleds as well as a luxurious winter camping style.



Skiing across Stewart Lake on Baffin Island

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.

Banff Film Festival

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour Comes to the Bay Area!

Tickets go on sale February 15–for the Berkeley shows at REI Berkeley*, Concord and Fremont; for the Los Altos show at REI Mountain View*, San Carlos and Saratoga; for the San Francisco shows at REI San Francisco*; for the San Rafael show at REI Corte Madera*; and for the Santa Rosa* show at REI Santa Rosa.  Will-call tickets will be available any time through the host store (with asterisk) or venue box office–for designated venue only.

Ticket cost: $13 for REI members (if purchased in advance at REI); $16 for nonmembers, will-call, and for tickets purchased at the door. Doors will open at 6:30 pm for open seating. For additional details, call any Bay Area REI Customer Service Department after February 15.


7 pm, Thursday, March 15, Eagle Theater, Los Altos

7 pm, Friday, March 16, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa

7 pm, Monday, March 19, Marin Center, San Rafael

7 pm, Tuesday & Wednesday, March 20 & 21, Cowell Theatre, Fort Mason, SF

7 pm, Thursday & Friday, March 22 & 23, Wheeler Auditorium, UC Berkeley

Contact: REI Bay Area Customer Service

Cost: $13 for REI members (if purchased in advance at REI); $16 for nonmembers, will-call, and for tickets purchased at the door.


2006-2007 PCS Trip Calendar


3/31 – Ski Sugar Bowl to Squaw Valley

Leader: Tim Hult


3/31 – Gray Peak 11573 - skiing

Leader: George Van Gorden


5/11 – Mt. Shasta

Leader: George Van Gorden


5/19 – Navigation Course *Bay Area*

Leader: Kelly Maas


6/2 – Ice Axe/Crampon Practice (Lassen)

Leader: Kelly Maas


6/23 – Iron Mt.

Leader: To Be Announced


6/30 – Mt. Russell

Leader: To Be Announced


7/2 – Thompson 13494 CL2-Powell-Wallace

Leader: Lisa Barboza


7/6 – Williamson/Tyndall

Leader: To Be Announced


7/7 – White Mt.

Leader: Jeff Fisher


7/20 – Red 11699, Gray 11573, Merced 11726

Leader: Lisa Barboza


7/? – Split Mt. in a day hike      

Leader: Jeff Fisher


7/27 – Mt. Emerson, Pilot Knob

Leader: To Be Announced


7/27 – Piute 10541, Petit 10788, Volunteer

Leader: Tim Hult


8/4 – Tbolt, No Pal, Polomonium, Sill, Starlite

Leader: Jeff Fisher


8/10 – Big Kaweah, Red Kaweah

Leader: Lisa Barboza


8/10 – Giraud

Leader: To Be Announced


8/11 – Tuolumne Meadows Car Camp

Leader: To Be Announced


8/17 – Mystery Peak(s) TBD

Leader: To Be Announced


8/18 – Lodgepole Car Camp, Alta Peak, Mt. Silliman

Leader: To Be Announced


8/24 – Agassiz, Cloudripper, Goode       

Leader: Lisa Barboza


8/31 – Goat, State, Marion

Leader: Lisa Barboza


9/1 – Davis, Electra, Rodgers, Forester

Leader: To Be Announced


9/21 – Virginia, Twin Peaks, Dunderberg

Leader: To Be Announced


10/5 – East Vidette, West Vidette, Keith, Bradley

Leader: Lisa Barboza


10/19 – University, Kearsage, Gould Car Camp

Leader: Lisa Barboza


PCS Trip Details


Winter Backcountry Ski Trip:

Sugar Bowl to Squaw Valley


Date: March 31, 2007 (Saturday)


Leader: Tim Hult  (408-970-0760)

Co-leader: Stephane Mouradian


Meet in the parking lot of Sugar Bowl ski area at 7 am (before the lifts open), ski up the ski hill to Mt. Lincoln then traverse the spectacular ridge between there and The lifts at Shirley Lake at Squaw. 

This is a FULL day trip suitable only for those that are advanced skiers with route finding and survival skills.  Avalanche beacons are a must as are shovels for each member of the party, headlamps (with fresh batteries) and ski skins.  Wide metal edged alpine touring (Randonee) skis or Telemark skis are mandatory (no snow shoes). 

The plan is to stay at Tim’s ski lease (a small hut fee applies) on Friday night.  Others may make their own arrangements in Truckee. 

Poor snow conditions or high winds cancel the trip. 

Maximum 6 people. 


Gray Peak 11573 – skiing

Peak: Gray Peak 11573

Dates: March 31, 2007


Leader: George Van Gordon

Co-leader: needed


Red 11699, Gray 11573, Merced 11726

Peak: Red, Gray, Merced

Dates: July 20, 2007


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

Co-leader: Louise Wholey (louisewholey@yahoo.com)


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.


Piute, Petit, Volunteer

Peak: Piute 10541, Petit 10788, 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.


Trip Reports

West of the Minarets

(Davis, Rodgers, Electra)

By Lisa Barboza


We took a trip to Ansel Adam’s Shangri-La and found not a soul, but the whispering wind and the silence of the wildflowers. We camped on meadow not used, wildflowers not seen, ancient lodge pole fallen but not heard, saw cliffs not scaled, and streams not forded far from the beaten track. The wonderful eternal silence of the mountains enveloped us. – This rarely visited paradise was ours alone to behold, and in peak season to boot.


At our Agnew Meadow Trailhead, we climbed over Glacier Pass on the north shoulder of Banner Peak, descended to Twin Island Lakes basin and climbed peaks from there.



Day 1: Agnew Meadow to Thousand Island Lake: 7.75 miles and 1500 feet Thousand Island Lake to Lake Catherine: 3.5 miles and 1200 feet

Day 2: Lake Catherine Mt. Davis 12,303 ft: 2.25 miles, 1200 feet Lake Catherine to Un-named Lake in Twin Island Basin: 2.5 miles and –1200 feet – Lake is at 10,100 feet elevation

Day 3: Campsite at 10,100 feet to Rodgers 12,978 ft: 6 miles RT and 2880 ft.

Day 4: Campsite to Electra 12,242; 9.5 miles RT and 2100 feet of gain

Day 5: Campsite to Trailhead: 11.25 miles gain 1200 feet, lose 2700 feet.


Lake Catherine


Labor Day 2006:


Day 1: We packed for a fast and light trip with our lightweight tent, enough food for 4 days, and no ice axe/crampons. We had great weather, and warm sunny days. We started at Agnew Meadows, chose the Pacific Crest Trail (higher and more direct) over the river trail (up and down but more scenic). We reached Thousand Island Lake in XXX hours, and then went over Glacier Pass. This pass, north of Banner Peak, is XXX feet high and is reached by going to the end of Thousand Island Lake. Incredible streams abound in this area, and one is featured in one of Ansel Adam’s photographs.

Reaching the Pass is an easy climb on granite slabs and steps, navigation – aim for the gap to the north of Banner Peak. Once at the Pass, you’ll climb over boulders, and boulder-hop down to the shores of Lake Catherine. This alpine lake is on the west side of Ritter and Banner, has well protected, flat campsites (Not immediately evident) on the NW side of the lake on some rock benches. We found enough spots for 6 tents, although we were the only ones there on this Labor Day weekend. We had the entire vista to ourselves and we enjoyed the shifting colors on the backs of Ritter & Banner. Snow banks abounded around us but we were on dry soil.


Day 2: At sunrise, we headed up the drainage to the north of our camp to climb Davis. This is CL2 climbing all the way, climbing a small snowfield, and has a few ups and downs. Mt Davis, like its brethren Ritter and Banner, is part of an ancient volcanic caldera. Davis, Banner, Ritter, and the Minarets form the Eastern boundary of the caldera. But, instead of finding igneous rock, you find metamorphosed igneous rock with a high iron content. This is true as well of Rodgers, with iron content so high that it will actually deflect a compass quite well. The Ritter range, composed of highly resistant metamorphic rock, deflected the ancient San Joaquin River southward until it could find a path west through the less resistant granite. This resistant rock however is jointed, and the Pleistocene glacial cirques carved the magnificent spires of the Minarets. Green Peak is the southernmost member of this group, Mt. Lyell the most northern member, although it is in the boundary between metamorphic and granitic rocks.


After climbing Davis, we headed down to our campsite, broke camp, and descended the XXX feet into the valley of the Twin Island Lakes. There is no trail, we stayed to the north of the stream that drains Lake Catherine and went down our own second class route. Route finding

Mt. Davis 12,303


was straightforward, there were no ducks and we relied on map and compass. Once down, we headed north along the drainage to an un-named lake at XXX feet, on the west side of the valley and below a high waterfall. We could not find a single spot around this lake that had ever been used as a campsite. And all of the likely sites were carpeted with wildflowers – a mix of 4 different colors of Indian Paintbrush (Lemmons, and 3 hybrid varieties), meadow flowers, Explorer gentian, as far as the eye could see. Around the poor, rocky soil near the lake was an incredible carpet of wildflowers. It took us about ½ hour to scout a site that would do minimum damage to the ecosystem, and we finally found one about 100 yards east of the lake, on higher ground. There we made our happy camp, minimized flower squashing, and settled in for the night. This is at an elevation of 9000 feet.


Day 3: It dawned cold and dark, we were in the valley bottom at 10,100 feet and cool air pooled around us. Our goal for the day was Rodgers Peak 2880 feet and up-canyon for us. We followed the stream closest to the canyon wall, and were soon below a bench-wall, about 300 feet high, the center of which was cut by a bench-stream. A CL2 scree slope was north of the stream, and CL3 south of the stream. We elected to take the low CL3 route south of the stream. Gaining the top of the bench, we were confronted with a snow slope. Because the snow was quite hard and icy, we decided to traverse the slope at the narrowest point, which then put us on a ledge just above a small lake which fed the bench-stream. This ledge was easily followed, had one 3rd CL section about 100 feet long, but otherwise uneventful. Proceeding up on the south side of Rodgers, a ledge can be found (obvious and in sight) that will take you up a low CL3 route to the CL2 part of the summit ridge. Once at the summit, we were rewarded with an incredible view of Yosemite’s back side, Lyell and Maclure, Ritter and Banner. We took the same route back down to the bench-wall above the valley, and took an easy CL2 scree slope down on the east face of the bench-wall north of the exit stream. We were back in camp by 4PM.

Rodgers Peak 12,978 CL2 Route

Banner & Ritter from Rodgers


Day 4: Our next day was a climb of Electra. The slope south of our camp is composed of some great

granite boulders and benches, mostly CL2 with easy route finding. Alternately, you can follow the creek down to Twin Island Lakes – but we elected for some fun. We went south to the southernmost of the two Twin Island Lakes, and climbed a CL1 scree slope to a small ridge, dotted with Whitebark pines. On the way up, we eliminated some weeds (alien thistle, from Europe), and were rewarded with the best and thickest patches of Explorer Gentian that I’ve ever seen. From the top of the ridge, Electra was a hike across CL1 terrain, to possibly CL2 near the summit. These peaks aren’t visited that often. After a siesta, we hiked back and were in camp by 4PM.


Day 5: We went out the next day, did a bit of easy route finding to get back to Lake Catherine. Basically, you follow the defects in the rock and stay in between the Lake Catherine exit stream and the peaks on the left of the route. We followed our unmarked route back to Lake Catherine, down Granite pass to Thousand Island Lake, and were back at the TH at Agnew Meadows by 5PM.

Our Campsite in Twin Island Lakes Basin


All in all, a great trip but if you go, please be very careful with the wildflowers and try to find a spot where they won’t be trampled.




Basic Wilderness First Aid

When:   March 10, 2007

Where: Peninsula Conservation Center, Palo Alto

Cost:     $52

Contact:  Bruce Rienzo, bruce@oatc.com


The course description is on the web site



As of February 27, 2007 there were a few seats remaining.


Wilderness First Aid Course

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

Where: Peninsula Conservation Center, Palo Alto

Cost:     $90

Contact:  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


Other Wilderness First Aid Classes

Other “first aid” in the wilderness, WFA, courses by Bobbie Foster, bobbie@fostercalm.com, are listed on the website www.fostercalm.com


A Wilderness First Aid Course is offered at Auburn Ski Club at Donner Summit on April 21-22, 2007.  Phone the club at 530-426-3313 x103.  It is sponsored by the Wilderness Medicine Institute, wmi.nols.edu.


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.


3/9 – Pyramid Peak 9983, Dick's Peak 9974

Contact: 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.


3/18 – Round Top

Contact: Arun Majahan 650-327-8598, arun.mahajan@att.net

George Van Gorden, , 408-779-2320, vangordeng321@aol.com

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.


4/6 – Lamont, Sawtooth, Spanish Needle

Contact: 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.  


4/21 – Pinnacles Climbing

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

Climbing hiking and or biking. Class 1-5, you choice. Come down for a weekend of climbing or if you prefer hiking or biking. There will be climbers of varying abilities.

We will reserve a group campsite. Cost is usually about $8 per person. Shoes, harness and helmet needed if you are going to be climbing.


5/3 – Williamson via George Creek

Contact: Lisa Barboza  pcs-vice@att.net


5/18 – Tinemahah

Contact: To Be Announced


6/9 – Ritter

Contact: To Be Announced


Saturday hike in and camp near Lake Ediza, Sunday bag the peak, either hike out Sunday or Monday, depends on how the group feels.  Group size limited to 6. 


6/15 – Ritter & Banner

Contact: 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. 


9/1 – Gardner & Cotter

Contact: Kelly Maas


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



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.

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