Nov 2008     Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Clu b   Vol. 42 . No. 11

General Meeting

Date:       Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008

Time:      7:30 pm

Where:    Peninsula Conservation Center                 3921 E. Bayshore Rd.

                Palo Alto, CA

Program:    Kilimanjaro, Section Elections

Presenter:  Chris Franchuk

At 19,341 feet Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain, yet it requires no technical climbing skills to reach the summit.  Join Chris Franchuk in his 2006 ascent via the Marangu Route, from the jungle trailhead through moorland to the icy crater.  We will also explore the wildlife found within Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti and Lake Manyara National Parks in Tanzania.

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 and enter in the back of the building.

For a Google map click

Nominations for PCS Officers

The nominating committee is pleased to announce the following slate of candidates for 2008-2009. Annual election of PCS officers occurs at the November meeting and additional nominations, if any, will also be accepted from the floor, at the meeting. The meeting will be on the 11th of November. Elected officials take office on January 1st, 2009.

Chair:           Louise Wholey

Vice-chair:   Jeff Fisher

Treasurer:    Jesper Schou

We offer many thanks to the PCS Nominating Committee:

Toinette Hartshorne, Stephane Mouradian, Arun Mahajan

Editor’s Notes

Scree Features

Features this month include

Page Trip Report

10     Adventures in Upper Basin by Debbie Bulger

11     Bivy Gear Note by Louise Wholey

11     Palisades, Not Bad for a Gimp, By Emilie Cortes

14     Black Hawk Peak by Louise and Jim Wholey

15     Taylor Dome and Sirretta Peak by Louise Wholey

16     Kearsarge Peak by Louise Wholey

New Scree Editor

With the shift of officers comes a need for a Scree Editor.  Please contact the Section chair if you would be willing to enjoy this task.  It has been a fun task for the past two years.

Publicity Committee Chair

For the coming year we seek a volunteer to chair the publicity committee.  For our Operating Rules: The goal of the PubComm is to maximize awareness of and participation in activities which further the goals of the PCS. As such, the committee is basically the outward looking arm of the PCS, which will be responsible for all PCS publicity.

From the Chair

By Lisa Barboza

Hi everyone – We have elections coming up on November 11th, and I urge you to attend so we can get your vote.  It’s an amazing time in the world, with a new president-elect to work on our national challenges.  While our PCS election isn’t nearly as important, please attend, as we also have a great slideshow by Chris Franchuk about his successful climb of Kilimanjaro. 

Our bylaws haven’t been amended since 1997 and technology, as well as how we operate, have changed significantly since the last amendment.  I’d like to vote on these as well during annual elections at our November 11th meeting.  We’re publishing them in the Scree to get the word out. I’ve made some modifications in the bylaws, and I invite you to read them.  If you have comments (which I greatly desire), send me an email (  Primarily, I have updated the bylaws to make them more up to date, reflect current committee standings, and to allow an officer who desires to continue to serve, to do so for 3 consecutive terms.  Please tell us, your 2008 Steering Committee, what you think.  We’d like your feedback – so read the bylaws – and let us know.  Thanx everyone – LISA

So here we go:  The changed sentences are underlined, my comments are in italics, and proposed changes are in bold font.

The PCS Bylaws, along with the PCS Operating Rules, are the laws which govern the organization and operation of the Peak Climbing Section. The bylaws must not conflict with the Loma Prieta Chapter bylaws or the Sierra Club bylaws.

As detailed in Article IX, the Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present at a duly constituted meeting of the section. Amendments must be published in the Scree before the meeting at which a vote is taken.

The most recent amendment to the bylaws was voted into effect on October 14, 1997, by a vote of 26 to 0.

By-Laws of the Peak Climbing Section of the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club

Revision History:

Jan 1978 - unknown edits (starting point for 1995 revision)

Oct 1995 - Article III altered to have membership last one year from subscription date instead of all memberships expire on Dec 31.

Oct 1997 - Article IX, Section 2 added (sunset clause for operating rules)

November 2008 – Updated Bylaws to simplify membership requirements, updated committee names to reflect current practice, and to allow officers to serve consecutive terms to a maximum of three continuous terms.

ARTICLE I. Name of Section

Section 1. The name of the Section shall be the Peak Climbing Section of the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club.

ARTICLE II. Purposes

Section 1. The purposes of the Section shall be to explore, enjoy, and preserve the mountain ranges and become familiar with their scenic resources; to preserve their forests, waters, wildlife and wildernesses; to enlist public interest and cooperation in protecting them; to cultivate comradeship in and understanding of mountain climbing; and to further the purposes of the Sierra Club.

ARTICLE III. Membership

Section 1. The membership roster shall be those members of the Sierra Club who subscribe to the Peak Climbing Section newsletter or who, already having access to the newsletter, send to the Secretary a written request for membership. Membership shall become effective on the first of the month following request for subscription and shall expire after one year.   This is something I wish to change: Once a member, always a member unless the webmaster and treasurer get a request to be removed.  It’s a lot of extra effort, and we’ve had very few people asking to be taken off the list.  So I would amend this to say:  Section 1. Membership in the PCS is free. The membership roster shall be those members of the Sierra Club who subscribe to the Peak Climbing Section newsletter, via either the website or the email broadcast list.  Membership does not expire.  Members may cancel their membership by emailing the treasurer.

ARTICLE IV. Officers

Section 1. Elected officers. There shall be three elected officers for the Section: the Chair, the Vice-Chair, and the Secretary/Treasurer.

Section 2. Qualifications for Office. Any member of the Peak Climbing Section may be elected to office. No Section officer shall hold an office for more than one full term consecutively, or for more than one full term and one partial term served consecutively.   I don’t know of a reason why we wouldn’t want a dedicated officer to serve more than one term.  Many of our sister outings organizations allow multi-year terms (although I propose that officers wishing to serve be re-elected).  So the wording would read as follows: Any member of the Peak Climbing Section may be elected to office.  Section officers hold office for a term of one year, and may be re-elected to serve a consecutive term, to be limited to no more than three consecutive terms.  A member may serve any number of non-consecutive terms. 

Section 3. Term of Office and Election. Officers shall serve for a term of one year. Election of officers shall be held annually at the regular meeting in November. A Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the Chair and announced at the October meeting. If any of the Nominating Committee members do not meet the approval of a majority of the members present, the Chair shall call for nominations from the floor to replace the disapproved Committee members. Committee members nominated in this fashion shall be approved by a majority of those members present at the October meeting. The Nominating Committee shall publish a list of candidates for the offices to be filled in the issue of the Section newsletter preceding the November meeting.

Additional names may be placed in nomination from the floor immediately prior to the election. A candidate may be nominated for only one office at the yearly election. Voting shall be by written ballot. A majority vote of the Peak Climbing Section members present shall be required to elect. If no candidate receives a majority on the first ballot, another ballot shall be cast, dropping the name of the candidate receiving the fewest votes on the first ballot. This procedure is repeated until a majority is obtained.

Installation of officers shall take place immediately following the election.  Our Operating Rules (see website ‘details’ specify  that newly elected officers take office on the start of the calendar year in January.  We did this because an officer elected in November has the Christmas party to plan and many other details to learn in just one month. So the new amendment reads: Installation of officers shall take place on January 1st of the succeeding calendar year following the election.

Section 4. Vacancies. A vacancy in the office of Chair shall be filled by the Vice-Chair. Vacancies in the other offices shall be filled for the balance of the term by election at the next regular meeting following the occurrence of the vacancy.

Section 5. Duties of Officers. The duties of the officers of the Section shall be as follows:

a. Chair. The Chair of the Section calls and presides at the meetings of the Section, enforces the By-Laws of the Section, and appoints and may remove members of committees to carry out the work of the Section.

The Chair of the Section shall attend, or appoint an alternate to attend, the meetings of the Executive Committee of the Loma Prieta Chapter.

b. Vice-Chair. The Vice-Chair of the Section is responsible for the selection of leaders for, and the scheduling of, the outings of the Section, subject to the approval of the Mountaineering Committee. During the absence or disability of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall act in his place.

c. Secretary/Treasurer. The Secretary/Treasurer of the Section shall keep an up-to-date roster of members; keep minutes of all meetings (and notify members of meetings); and manage all financial matters of the Peak Climbing Section, keeping proper records thereof.  We don’t keep minutes of our meetings, and the treasurer retains the responsibility of membership rosters and finances.  So the amendment reads as follows: …shall keep an up-to-date roster of members; and manage all financial matters…

Section 6. Removal of Officers. An officer may be removed by a 3/5 vote of members present at a duly constituted meeting of the Section, provided that a petition signed by five members of the Section has been placed in the immediately preceding issue of the Section newsletter. Upon receipt of such a petition for recall, the editor of the Section newsletter shall print the petition in the next issue of the Section newsletter.

ARTICLE V. Meetings

Section 1. Section meetings shall be held monthly or when called by the Chair. Notices of meetings of the Section shall be given to the membership through the Section newsletter prior to the date of the meeting.

Upon the written request of ten percent of the membership, the Chair shall call a meeting within thirty days of the receipt of the request.

Section 2. Quorum. A quorum for the conduct of business shall consist of ten members or ten percent of the Section membership, whichever is larger.

ARTICLE VI. Committees

Section 1. Standing committees shall include a Mountaineering Committee, which maintains a list of peaks and lists of member and leader qualifications, conducts training seminars, and assists the Vice-Chair in scheduling outings; an Equipment Committee, which maintains the equipment belonging to the Section; a Publicity Committee, which publishes the Section newsletter and announces meetings; and a Social Committee. We added several new committees in October of 2007, and we don’t have an equipment committee any longer.  Also, we gain operational flexibility by describing the functions of the committees in the operating rules.  So the amended paragraph would say:  Section 1: Standing Committees shall include a Mountaineering Committee, Training Committee, Publicity Committee, Social Committee, Webmaster/Email Broadcast Committee, Scree Publication Committee.  The Nominating Committee is temporary for the purpose of seeking qualified new officers prior to annual elections.  The functions of the committees are described in the operating rules.


Section 1. No dues shall be assessed or collected by the Section. Voluntary contributions will be accepted.

ARTICLE VIII. Operating Rules

Section 1. Rules for making more explicit the operating procedures of the Section may be adopted or modified by the following method. Rules as defined in this article shall not be in conflict with the By-Laws.

a. A proposed rule shall be presented at a duly constituted meeting of the Section for discussion.

b. Upon approval of the proposed rule by a majority of those members present, the proposed rule shall be published in the next issue of the Section newsletter.

c. The proposed rule may then be adopted or rejected by a majority vote at the next duly constituted meeting of the Section.

ARTICLE IX. Amendments

Section 1. These By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority of the Peak Climbing Section members present at a duly constituted meeting of the Section prior to submission of the amendment to the Executive Committee of the Loma Prieta Chapter for approval, provided that the proposed amendment is
published in the Section newsletter immediately preceding the meeting.

Section 2. Amendments or standing rules which modify or clarify these bylaws shall be signed by the Section Chair, attached to a printed and signed copy of the bylaws, and kept on file at the Loma Prieta Chapter offices. Each amendment or standing rule must be accompanied by a record of when the final vote was taken. Those amendments or standing rules not so documented are revoked as of December 1997.


Loma Prieta Chapter 2009 Trips

Fundraising Outings Committee

Leaders: Karen Maki and Gary Bailey

Photo courtesy Gary Bailey


Cruise May 23 – 30, 2009

Denali and more May 30 – June 7, 2009

Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club will be sailing the Alaska Inside Passage on the beautiful Diamond Princess. See immense glaciers, wildlife, and spectacular scenery.  There will be adventures ashore in picturesque Ketchikan, fascinating Juneau, and gold rush Skagway.  And check out the optional special 8 day/7 night post cruise excursion to Talkeetna, Denali National Park, and Fairbanks.

For more information see

Send questions to


May 1-16, 2009 

In collaboration with the Angeles Chapter we  are offering  the only Sierra Club trip where you will be able to see Tibet and Southern China. We will see such sights as Potola Palace, a massive, awe-inspiring structure, once the center of the Tibetan government and the winter home of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s holiest shrines,—Jokhang Temple, Barkhor— You will see the Tibetan Plateau, the “Roof of the World”, home to some of the tallest mountain ranges in the world.

For more information visit

Send questions to

A Time to Live…

From Emilie Cortes

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Victoria Theater, San Francisco

7:30PM, Doors at 6:30PM

Tickets $10 online and $12 at the door

The show is sure to sell out or order tickets on line at:

http://www.victoria calendar. htm

Find out more at: 695760


More Bay Area Events

From Emilie Cortes

The Savage Summit

Jennifer Jordan—author, filmmaker and expert on K2 and women mountaineers--shares tales of extraordinary courage and achievement. (Women of K2 film screening at 6:15 pm. Jennifer Jordan at 7:30 pm.)

When: Wednesday, November 12 at 6:15 pm

Where: Mountain View Public Library, Second Stage

Cost: Free (Limited seating, first come first served on day of event only. No advance seating available.)

MORE INFORMATION: 650-903-6000

Climate Change in the Sierra

Jim Branham, Executive Officer, Sierra Nevada Conservancy

California is already experiencing the effects of climate change. The Golden State experienced the driest spring in a generation this year, leading the governor to declare a water emergency. This summer 2,000 more wildfires scorched the state, forcing evacuations throughout the state, including the Yosemite-Mariposa area and the northern Sierra. Branham will describe the effects of climate change in the Sierra and what his organization is doing to assist in mitigating the impacts of the state's changing climate.

When: November 25, 2008 - 5:15 p.m. reception, 5:45 p.m. program

Where: Club Office, MLF: Environment & Natural Resources

Cost: $8 members, $15 non-members

Buy tickets:

STEEP From Marcus Libkind

The CAL Hiking and Outdoor Society (CHAOS) is hosting a showing of the movie STEEP plus "The Lost People of Mountain Village." Tickets are $6 and the beneficiary of the event is Snowlands Network. It's Friday, December 5, 2009, Morgan Hall, Room 101, UC Berkeley, doors open 7:00 PM and show begins at 7:30 PM.

STEEP is a “super-charged chronicle of extreme skiing.” The world’s best skiers go beyond their dreams to conquer the steepest runs ever faced. From the shear cliffs of Grand Teton, to the treachery of Chamonix France, to the untouched Alaskan peaks of Valdez, these “extremers” sacrifice their lives for a thrill – but what a thrill it is. Fantastically beautiful images of the most magnificent peaks on the globe, along with devastating avalanches and fatal spills, only serve to push them harder.

In "The Lost People of Mountain Village" a lost backcountry skier high in the Rocky Mountains stumbles on a monumental complex of structures – apparently completely uninhabited – the only thing that experts agree on is that we may never know what really happened. This is a serious movie. It is also hilarious.

Marcus Libkind,

For more info visit

"Going to the mountains is going home."  John Muir

"To know the Wilderness is to know a profound humility ... and responsibility."  Howard Zahniser


Cost-2-Drive: Finally a solution to the 'charging for carpooling' conundrum

From Arun Mahajan

Ever wondered how much to charge your carpool mates while on that long drive to the Eastern Sierra?  Should you just split the gas costs?  Should you charge anything from 5-cents to several dollars per mile?  Should you be using the proceeds thereof to buy some credit default swaps?  Or maybe contribute to that bailout plan?  Or maybe fund those naked short sells?

If you answered yes or you-bet-chya if are not into the whole brevity thing, then gosh-darn it, you mavericks need to visit this web page:

     Arun Mahajan,

     Well-fed chairman of the PCS treasury

Mountain Hygiene (TP Use and Abuse)

By Two Legs (posted on pct-l)


Some background, first:  Each member of my family, two adults and three children (now all adults themselves), is an Outward Bound alumnus.  The kids each did a 30 day OB course as teenagers, and then my husband and I did a 30 alpine mountaineering course in the San Juan Mountains at the ages of 50 and 52 respectively.  On Outward Bound courses, Leave No Trace is strictly adhered to.  That means no soap, shampoo, deodorant or (gasp) toilet paper.  (The only ones allowed toilet paper or Wet Ones are menstruating females, but at my age I was not included in that group!).

We were taught, literally, How to Shit in the Woods.  And we did so, absolutely by the book.  We learned to use stones, sticks, leaves, snow ... and snow, by acclamation, was the absolute favorite of everyone.  Where, how, how deep to dig the cat hole (except way above timberline where one correctly smears one's feces thinly on the flat side of a south facing rock to be quickly composted by sunlight, because there are insufficient organisms in the soil to break down organic matter), how to cover it, and then perform scrupulous hand hygiene.  The very best stones to use were water-smoothed and water-washed river stones (believe me, there was a terrible price to be paid for using a stone that had sand clinging to it).  But one learned to put a couple of stones in one's pack or pocket, at the time of refilling one's water bottle at a stream, for later use ... way way way away from the water.  The cathole is always to be dug and used far away from campsites and water sources, and the poopy stone or stick or leaves are buried in the cat hole.  It is 15 years since my OB course and training, and I now carry toilet paper (which I NEVER bury), but sometimes for old times' sake I pick up a smooth stone or two, or harvest a couple of large soft leaves, and "do it the Outward Bound Way."


The average hiker who has never done an Outward Bound or NOLS course and had to do without TP for two to four weeks (!!!!) probably has a hard time imagining that this can be liberating and satisfying.  By the fourth week, there is no longer a sense of deprivation or anxiety about "doing without" all the comforts and amenities that normal people, including most backpackers, "don't leave home without."  I can understand that, because on my first day of the Outward Bound course, when we were told "how it was going to be," I hyperventilated quite a bit.  We were already way out in the woods at that point and quitting was not a really viable option, but I was having grave doubts about being successful at this business of roughing it.  By the end of the third or fourth day, we were all feeling pretty comfortable with it.  Nonetheless, I never EVER contemplated using a pine cone.  The very thought makes me shudder.  No sticks with bark, of course, either.  Yes, indeed, snow is the best.

Judith Gustafson, Ojai, CA


Snow Camping Course 2009


    Snow camping allows you to backpack in all seasons. By snowshoeing or skiing far into the wilderness, you can visit the Sierras with its thick layer of snow and enjoy the scenery far from the crowds; no competition for the “best” campsites! The skills obtained from the Loma Prieta's Snow Camping Seminar prepare you for camping happily in the snow, and give tips for day skiers or snowshoers caught out overnight. Participants must be experienced summer backpackers as this course will give you winter information and tips but doesn’t teach basic backpacking.

One full day on Saturday, January 24, 2009, in the Palo Alto area and one weekend field trip on Jan 31-Feb1, 2009. Limited to 40 participants for the classroom session, and 25 participants on the outing.

$40 cost includes books, instruction, and some common equipment used on field trip.

To sign up, send $40 check, payable to BSCS, to P.O. Box 802, Menlo Park, CA 94026. Include name of each person, phone #, email, postal address, Sierra Club member number (if oversubscribed, preference will be given to members). Upon receipt, we will acknowledge and send info and directions.

Questions? Contact Chris MacIntosh at 650/325-7841,, or Steve Sergeant at 408/937-8116, .

Note: This course is only offered every other year so don’t plan to wait until next year! - Ed.

Avalanche Courses

NPS – See Charles Schafer

Sierra College – FT 38,39 level 1,2 at Truckee

AIARE Avalanche Course Providers

Alpine Skills International           

11400 Donner Pass Road

Truckee, CA 96161        


Bardini Foundation, Inc   

POB 1422

Bishop, CA 93515-1422  

760 872 4413

Donner Summit Avalanche Seminars         

PO Box 83

Norden, CA 95724         

530 386 5331

Kirkwood Mountain Resort          


Kirkwood, CA 95646      

209 258 7360

Lake Tahoe Community College: Wilderness Ed Program

One College Drive

S. Lake Tahoe, CA 96150-4524    

530 541 4660 ex 463

Mountain Adventure Seminars      

PO Box 5450

Bear Valley, CA 95223   

209 753 6556

Shasta Mountain Guides 

POB 1543

Mt. Shasta , CA 96067   


Sierra Mountain Center    

174 West Line St.

Bishop, CA 93514         

760 873 8526

Sierra Mountain Guides   

PO Box 446

June Lake, CA 93529      

760 648 1122

PCS Trip Calendar

Nov 15-16 – Crag & Smith

Leader: Lisa Barboza

Nov 16 – Snow Mountain (7056)

Leader: Kelly Maas

Nov 22 – Mt Sizer, Henry Coe Park with the DHS

Leader: Landa Robillard

Nov 22 – Mt. Lola Climb & Ski

Leader: Louise Wholey

Dec 11-14 – Mt. Langley

Leader: Lisa Barboza

Dec 29 – Backcountry Skiing Tahoe

Leader:  Louise Wholey

Jan 3 – Junipero Serra Peak

Leader: Lisa Barboza

Jan 10 – Mt. Diablo (north side)

Leader: Kelly Maas

Jan 16 – Backcountry Skiing Tahoe

Leader:  Louise Wholey

Private Trips Summary

Important: 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 Scree editor.  Details on these trips follow the trip reports. In this issue.

November 8-9, 2008 – Pinnacles: Hike, Bike or Climb

December 5-7 – Mt. Langley

December 16-19 – Mt. Williamson via Bairs Creek

May 2009 – Nepal/Tibet, Mt Kailsh - Lasa

October 2009 – Nepal - Mera Peak 21,300 ft

PCS Trip Details

Crag & Smith

Peaks:     Crag Peak. (9480', Class 3), Smith Mtn. (9533', Class 2)
Dates:     November 15-16
Leader:   Lisa Barboza (

Co-lead:  Louise Wholey (

Beginner trip, with car-camp at Kennedy Meadow in the southern Sierra.  Arrive Friday evening, leave Sunday afternoon.  Be prepared for fall mountain conditions, but snow cancels. 

Saturday: climb Crag Peak. -- round trip 8.6 miles on trail plus 4.4 miles cross-country, with 3200' gain.  Sunday: climb Smith Mtn. -- round trip 4 miles cross-country, 1400' gain; and drive home.

Snow Mountain (7056)

Peaks:     Snow Mountain (Class 1, 7056), North Coast Range, Mendocino National Forest
Dates:     November 16, Sunday
Leader:   Kelly Maas (408-378-5311,

Co-lead:  Needed

This 15 mile day hike ascends 4000 feet from the Deafy Glade trailhead to this dual summit mountain.  Besides being the namesake peak of Snow Mountain Wilderness, it is also the high point of two counties - Colusa and Lake.  Car camping is available nearby, enabling our 8:00 AM start.  For birders, a Saturday afternoon stop at the Sacramento Wildlife Refugee, off Hwy 5 between Maxwell and Willows, is a must.  Bets will be taken on whether or not there will be any snow.  Contact the leader for more details.

Mt. Lola Climb & Ski

Peak:       Mt. Lola (9,148)
Date:       November 22, Saturday
Leader:   Louise Wholey (
Co-Lead: Jim Wholey

Join us for a day on Mt. Lola just north of Truckee.  We will carry skis to the snow level and hope to get in a little skiing as well as a climb of the peak from the north along the trail.  Any kind of skis is fine, or none at all for those who have not been bitten by the ski bug.  Climbing skins may be used if the snow is too soft to walk.Lck of snow may cancel.  Contact leader about lodging.  Trip can be done as a day trip from the Bay Area.

Mt Sizer, Henry Coe Park with the DHS

Peak:       Mt Sizer, Henry Coe Park (3,216)
Date:       November 22, Saturday
Leader:   Landa Robillard (408/378-5311)

Join the Day Hiking Section of our chapter to scale local Mt. Sizer.   

Backcountry Skiing Tahoe

Peak:      Tamarack Peak or Castle Peak, depending on snow
Date:       December 29, Monday
Leader:   Louise Wholey (
Co-Lead: Jim Wholey

Join us for a day of backcountry skiing in the Tahoe area. Requires advanced skiing skills, avalanche training. Randonee or Telemark skis, climbing skis, avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe.  Location determined by snow conditions.  We seek powder snow and may climb and descend multiple times.  Contact leader about lodging. 

Junipero Serra Peak

Peak:      Junipero Serra (5862), King City
Date:      Jan 3, Saturday
Leader:   Lisa Barboza  (
Co-Lead: needed

This is an annual January Loma Prieta Peak Climbing Section tradition. 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.

Mt. Diablo (3849) from the north

Peak:      Mt. Diablo (3849)
Date:      Jan 10, Saturday
Leader:   Kelly Maas (
Co-Lead: needed

15-mile round trip.  Too much food and too little exercise recently?  The holidays are over, so now it's time to get back into shape.  From Mitchell Canyon we'll hike up the north side of Diablo to at least the two main summits.  Heavy rain cancels.  For carpooling, we meet at 8:00 AM at the Park & Ride at 680 and Mission Blvd in Fremont, across from McDonald's -- note, this is 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. 

Backcountry Skiing Tahoe

Peak:      Tamarack Peak or Castle Peak, depending on snow
Date:       January 16, Friday
Leader:   Louise Wholey (
Co-Lead: Jim Wholey

Join us for a day of backcountry skiing in the Tahoe area. Requires advanced skiing skills, avalanche training. Randonee or Telemark skis, climbing skis, avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe.  Location determined by snow conditions.  We seek powder snow and may climb and descend multiple times.  Contact leader about lodging. 

Private Trip Details

Note: 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.

Pinnacles Climb, Hike, Bike

Peaks:     Rocks and routes, trails, peaks, and roads
Dates:     November 8-9
Contact:   Rick Booth (

Contact:  Jeff Fisher (

Come to the interesting and popular Pinnacles National Monument for a Fall trip. This is a great area with plenty of good hiking and road biking in addition to rock climbing.  This is a private trip; no rock climbing instruction is available so be prepared to operate on your own.  A group camp site has been reserved at the campground for Saturday night, November 8.

Mt. Langley (14,026)

Peaks:     Mt. Langley (14,026)
Dates:     December 5-7, Fri-Sun
Contact:  Leader pending …

Climb a 14-er in serious winter conditions.  Details pending …

Mt. Williamson (14,370+) via Bairs Creek

Peaks:     Mt. Williamson (14,370+)
Dates:     December 16-19, Tue - Fri
Contact:  Leader pending …

Climb a 14-er in serious winter conditions.  Details pending …

Mt Kailsh, Nepal/Tibet

Peaks:     Mt Kailsh – Lhasa
Dates:     May, 2009
Contact:  Warren Storkman (650-493-8959,

Camping 14 days, Hotel 7 days

Mera Peak 21,300 ft, Nepal

Peaks:     Mera Peak (21,300 ft), Nepal
Dates:     October, 2009
Contact:  Warren Storkman (650-493-8959,

19 day trip to trek the tallest walkup peak

Rural experience -  Approach from the South East

Trip Reports

Adventures in Upper Basin, Aug 10-17

Prater (13,329) & Bolton Brown (13,538)

By Debbie Bulger

No question about it, Taboose Pass is a difficult trail. The first part of this trail is sand (like walking on the beach) and further up it is cobble-sized rocks. Not to mention the 6000’ elevation gain in 6 miles.  Difficulty aside, this historic pass was one of the four major trans-Sierra trails used by the Indians. The evidence of what must have been a bustling flea market can be seen at the Taboose Pass crest. The ground is littered with obsidian shards. Here the Paiutes brought obsidian, salt, and pinenuts to trade for acorn flour, baskets, and shells brought by the Miwok and Yokut.

Richard Stover and I camped the first night at a hidden spot near an abandoned section of the trail at 10,000’. We were not yet over the pass, but had climbed 4600’ in temperatures over 90 F. Descending towards the Kings River the next day, we decided to contour off-trail to the north at about the 10,500’ level instead of taking the trail. Much more difficult, but loads more fun. Finally on the third day, we reached our goal: Lake 11,599 (often called Prater Lake) in Upper Basin.

Upper Basin, ringed with peaks, is best visited in August to avoid mosquitoes. It is filled with lakes large and small, puddles and seeps of every description—all eventually coming together to form the headwaters of the mighty Kings River. The spectacular U-shaped basin bears many signature marks of the glacier that formed it. The granite is finished with glacial polish, and there are glacial erratics deposited everywhere.

“Prater Lake” is exquisite. Its shore was dotted with Baby Elephant Heads and the most amazing Arctic Willow. These miniature trees are only inches high but fill the ground around the lake like a bonsai forest producing fluff in quantity as it goes to seed.

The next morning we were up early to climb Prater. Until you reach the “sidewalk in the sky,” Prater is just a routine second class climb. I had brought a short rope hoping to entice Richard to go all the way to the summit, but he was content to remain below and photograph me. In my enthusiasm to yank off the camera case, I got carried away, and the case went flying over the precipice, nowhere to be seen. “You can say goodbye to that,” Richard calmly remarked. (Secretly he was hoping to get to buy a new camera). Aah, the rope to the rescue. I was able to climb down and retrieve the case from a crack where it had luckily landed, almost out of reach.

Debbie Retrieves Camera Case

That night we woke at 4 a.m. and watched a dazzling meteor shower. At 11,500’ we had an incomparable view.

The climb of Bolton Brown the next day was a little more challenging.  I’ve always been intrigued with Bolton Brown, Professor of Fine Arts at Stanford. Brown not only was the first person to climb (solo) Mt. Clarence King, he also explored the Sierra with his wife Lucy. In 1899, the Browns spent two months in the Sierra with their 2-year-old daughter, Eleanor. It was Bolton Brown who aptly named Split Mountain, Striped Mountain, and Arrow Peak.

Richard and I ascended Bolton Brown via the saddle to the west of the mountain taking the mostly third class northwest ridge to the summit.  The route passes over towers, some airy, and around gendarmes. By 1:30 p.m. as we reached the summit, I saw a plume of smoke rising far to the west. By the time we were back in camp, the whole upper basin had filled with smoke, and our throats felt like we were in Beijing.

Debbie Climbing Bolton Brown

Richard had had enough exposure for the day, so we decided to descend via a second class route which proved scarier than the third class.  After we watched a football-sized rock ricochet down over 1000’, we opted for the more stable third class rock on the north face. I had to talk Richard down in a few spots, but generally it went well. About 600’ down the face we traversed west on scree and jumbled rock, then climbed up to the tower nearest the western saddle. From there we angled down second class rock and scree to the upper bowl we had passed through on the ascent.

We got back to our campsite area after dark and, despite a full moon, spent a weary hour locating our tent. I am definitely decorating it with reflective tape after this.

We slept in the next day, recovering, and then packed up to start hiking out. Our campsite that evening was high on the ridge, looking out toward Taboose Pass. We took advantage of our location to explore the lakes high above us the next day. These are essentially in a cul-de-sac and are rarely visited by hikers since they are not on the way to a peak or a trail.

On our last day, eating breakfast above a small cascade, I observe the willow seeds filling the air with their hope of new life. I imagine I am a Miwok with my load of acorns looking toward the pass for the first signs of Paiute traders. Surely it has not changed much in 150 years.  Thunderstorms are threatening; it is time to go home.

Bivy Gear Note

By Louise Wholey

After a recent unplanned overnight on a day hike I went shopping and found some great emergency items to add to one’s day-pack:

Waterproof-windproof matches

Metal cup (even in light weight titanium) or water bottle

Adventure Medical Kits bivy bags

   Heatsheets Emergency Bivvy, small, 3.8 oz

   Thermo-Lite 2.0 Bivvy Sack, larger, 6.9 oz

Replacement standard space blanket

Multi-function tool with both pliers and scissors

Add these to regular items:

  Extra clothes to stay warm and dry


  Lots of food and water


Palisades, August 30-Sep 1, 2008

Not Bad for a Gimp

By Emilie Cortes

Before we travel to Sill, we must set the stage…In May 2008, I participated in an 8 hour solo mountain bike race at the 24 Hours of Adrenalin at Laguna Seca.  Don’t ask me what I was thinking.  I was just 4 weeks away from leaving for Alaska for an attempt of the Upper West Rib of Denali and in the best shape of my life.  I wrecked badly in my very first lap and suffered a concussion (was unconscious for 10-15 mins) and a broken collarbone.  My recovery was unusually protracted – I obviously missed out on Denali and I had to endure 6 month with recovery and rehabilitation from 2 surgeries and a frozen shoulder (secondary injury from all the time spent in a sling). 

After the first surgery to insert a pin into the marrow of my collarbone to keep the bones together to give them a chance to fuse, I got to work rebuilding my fitness and combating the severe atrophy that had occurred. I began working out and did a moderate climb of Mt Morgan (class 2, 13.8k ft) with the PCS.  Slowly I built up my hiking, pack carrying and climbing strength but was still plagued by the pain from the pin sticking out of my shoulder under the skin.

My climbing partner, Jeff B, was very supportive and hung with me in the climbing gym as I worked my way back up from 5.4s to 5.9s, specifically preparing for an attempt of the Palisades traverse.  Jeff had dreamed of completing the Palisades traverse, having climbed North Pal and Thunderbolt Peak and saved his 2008 planned attempt for me – in fact, this was my birthday present.  Now, you might be thinking with all this lead up, that the Palisades traverse is a bit much to bite off.  There were a few things working in our favor – Jeff knew the region, was in great shape, and was prepared to lead all pitches.  On my side, I have a record of doing well at high altitudes, felt confident I could follow up to 5.8 outdoors, and I am known as being the “energizer bunny”. 

Mt Sill on left with Swiss Arete in line of shadow

We slept overnight in the Big Pine backpackers’ lot and started off about 8:30am on Saturday August 30th.  My pack weighed a cool 61# and Jeff’s an even cooler 72#.  Despite our efforts to pare down, 3 days of hearty food and full climbing rack and rope were just downright heavy.  We set off at a slow consistent pace to avoid over exerting ourselves on the approach.  No way around it though, 8 miles and 3000ft gain with 61# (or more) on your back is tough no matter what.   I feel silly for giggling when another climber friend of mine, John, told me about his attempt of Sill years again where the guides used pack mules to transport their gear.  I thought to myself, “Why use pack mules when you can carry everything on your own back?!?!”  Boy, those pack mules started sounding AWFULLY GOOD around the time we hit Third Lake.

First Lake

After seven hours of hiking, we reached Sam Mack Meadow and decided to camp there.  We figured it would be faster and easier in the morning with our day packs than to suffer up the steep trail and moraine with the heavy packs.  We made our temporary home on a nice flat sandy campsite near the glacial stream and chatted with a team of three climbers that were descending all the way. 

We knew high wind gusts up to 70mph were forecast for Sunday, our planned summit day. Sure enough, the winds began howling around midnight, blasting through even the protected Sam Mack Meadow.  Sam and I roused each other around 2am.  I said “how ‘bout that wind?”  He said “Let’s get up in another hour.”  Ah, how that extra hour of sleep sounded so delicious! 

Waking again at 3am, the wind was no better and we decided to set off anyway to check out the conditions up higher.  Our day packs felt ridiculously heavy to me – caused, I believe, by my less than optimal fitness, the unavoidable exertion from the day before, and the fact that a full rack is much heavier than what I would carry for a foray up something like Shasta.  Finally, I left my pride by the wayside and Jeff took the rope from my pack.  With mine lighter and his heavier, we began to travel at the same speed and make better time. 

Passing some weary climbers still stationed at Camp Gayley at the base of Mt Gayley and the Palisade Glacier, they shouted a warning that it was “really bad up there” and “we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into”.  Such a strong warning shook me a bit, but like frogs in boiling water, we kept marching along getting used to the new environment we were entering.  The winds gusts were sustained and very strong (50mph?) and I felt I was bordering on mild hypothermia as any break would result in shivering.  We rationalized that as the sun came up and would hit us, we would warm up. 

Sure enough, we overcame Glacier Notch and broke into the sunlight.  This helped quite a bit, but not as much as we expected.  The winds were just too strong and would cut through our layers.  By now we had come so far and only the most fun part was between us and the summit.  We marched forward…

Climbing some lovely fourth class rock to access a small ledge reawakened my passion for climbing and I felt so alive and in the moment, something I hadn’t felt for nearly five months and had really craved.  Jeff took the lead and I shivered violently during the first pitch but drank in the views.  We couldn’t hear each other over the winds, and communication by tugs was difficult due to the rope drag, but we managed.  The first few moves felt like 5.8 and only for a second I doubted whether I was up for this challenge.  I also felt extremely focused as the situation began to feel a bit desperate– I needed to stay focused and get through the moves. 

Emilie on a Chilly Belay

With the pin sticking out of my shoulder and my limited range of motion, I had to be creative but always found a way to work through the problem at hand.  I continued to shiver violently during the belays and then bask in the warmth of the climbing.  I didn’t find the infamous “reach around” difficult at all – I felt immune to the exposure by that point and seemed to flow over to the system of cracks that quickly came into reach.  The cracks themselves proved another matter.  In fact, the fellows we ran into at Sam Mack had commented that they felt this was the true crux.  The leader described it as an extended layback where it was difficult to jam his large fingers into with a perceived difficulty of 5.9.  I began to layback, searching for something to leverage my small hands against inside the crack.  As I shifted my weight back into my shoulders, I heard a pop and felt a searing pain where the pin sticks out of my shoulder.  I took a small fall, Jeff held me, and I hung there for a moment, stunned with the intense pain that refused to fade.  I was convinced the pin had broken through the skin and we now had a serious issue at hand at around 13,900 ft.  I pulled it together and found my way up the cracks to some easy low fifth class climbing and joined Jeff.  I told him what had happened and said I didn’t want to look at it or talk about it – I would do my best to tune out the pain and keep it together to get down safely. 

Jeff Leading

The final fourth pitch (Jeff was running it out) led us to the top of Mt Sill.  We both had mixed emotions…On the one hand, we were both disappointed as we realized this would be the only one of the five Palisades peaks we would reach today – not only due to my shoulder but also due to the late hour – it was 2pm.  But on the other, we had climbed Mt Sill via the Swiss Arete – a truly beautiful and classic Sierra climb.  It’s difficult to express the high that I experienced from making it to the top of this 14er. I felt like no matter what, I’d be able to get back out there to climb.

We shoved some food and water down and began a section of exposed fourth class climbing to find a descent route between Sill and Polemonium.  Jeff located a break that looked like straightforward rappelling down to the glacier.  Thankfully, he had brought some clean webbing so that we could sent up our own rappels as this was not a standard descent (we had no desire to suffer through the standard scree descent).  Three raps down and we hit some terrain that I was very uncomfortable on.  It was steep and loose and all I could focus on was the bergschrund down below.  I asked Jeff for a belay to get down to the next section where we would reevaluate.  Jeff scrambled down the section with no issues at all.

Descent Route

The bergschrund was over 12 feet wide and impossible to jump across.  We did a free hanging rappel into the bergschrund which was spectacular.  We walked to the end of the bergschrund and there was a 30 ft cliff.  I climbed over the lip of the glacier but we weren’t out of the woods yet.  There was yet another 30 ft cliff.  We lassoed the rope over an ice horn (no ice screws) for a sketchy rap onto the glacier.  My crampons sparked against the rocks as I slithered onto the glacier. 

The sun was beginning to set and we decided to cross the length of the glacier toward Thunderbolt to reach the glacial moraine that wraps back around and down near the base of Mt Gayley.  This was much longer return, but ensured we wouldn’t get stuck on a steep section of the glacier in the dark.  We cruised across the glacier practically at a slow jog, reaching the moraine right as the sun was setting. I LOVE scrambling, but now that it was dark, we were nearly out of food and water, and still being blasted by high winds, scrambling over car sized boulders became mind numbing and I lost sense of time.

The crux of this descent was to find where to cut left before Mt Gayley in order to meet back up with the faint climbers trail.  In the dark it was impossible and ultimately I suggested to Jeff that we head back to a somewhat sheltered sandy spot to wait till first light.  We found a little spot wedged between two boulders and laid down the climbing rope for additional insulation.  We laid the rope bag and a backpack on top of us and kept all our layers, including climbing helmet, on in order to insulate as much as possible. No matter which way you slice it, an open air bivy at ~12,000ft is a nasty endeavour.  We both shivered all night, spooning and hoping our significant others would forgive us!  It truly was the longest night of my life – these words mean nothing until you have experienced this yourself.

Bivy Spot

First light came after an eternity and we began searching for the trail.  I was beat and my contacts were blurry so Jeff hiked ahead to find the trail.  It didn’t take long and in an hour and a half we were back at camp.  It was Jeff’s turn to be beat and he passed out in the tent.  I still had some energy and sense about me to make some water and a hearty breakfast.  I woke Jeff back up to eat and drink and then we both crashed for a few hours before facing the difficult task of packing back up and descending.

As is often the case when you are dead tired, the rest of the descent is a blurred memory.  At the time it seemed to be endless, but looking back at those 4 hours I can’t remember many details.  What stands out though, is when we reached the parking lot and saw the car window glass shattered everywhere.  My car had not escaped someone’s wrath and my windshield was smashed in as well with 5 or 6 distinct hammer impacts.

Shattered Windshield

The excitement didn’t end there as we realized they also slashed a tire (once we started to drive off).  The next 24 hours included getting the tire changed, calls to insurance companies, a hairy drive through Yosemite and a visit to a body shop in Manteca that just so happened to have my windshield in stock.  I took all this in stride since our descent was so epic – happy to deal with the little inconveniences that daily life throws at you!

Black Hawk Peak (10348), Oct 18-19

By Louise and Jim Wholey

Abstract: Participants: Jim and Louise Wholey

Day 1: Kennedy Meadows to Sheep Camp, 8.5 mi, 2500 ft

Day 2: Sheep Camp to summit, 3 mi, 1500 ft climb, pack out.

After driving a long way out on Eagle Meadows Road (5N01), not only did we find 5N01D to be impassable in our Subaru Outback, but we found ourselves very close to Kennedy Meadows and not Black Hawk Peak.  We retreated to the hiker parking lot at Kennedy Meadows to take the normal trail route.  Recent rain cut down on pulverized dirt.

Though not yet winter the peak was snowy on the north side.

Black Hawk Peak

We decided to approach it from beyond Sheep Camp up the beautiful dry granite ledges.  No doubt the pleasant climbing was the reason this peak was chosen for the SPS List.

The sun rose late and so did we; the weather was better than the snowy cloudy previous day.  We hiked less than a mile up the trail to Lunch Meadow, crossed the stream, and ascended the ridge southwest toward the summit, keeping somewhat left to void a false summit.  There was some snow high on the peak where we saw a couple ptarmigan not yet fully changed to their winter white feathers.

Ptarmigan changing colors for winter

The descent was fun, but hiking out on my rather sore foot was not.  I later found out that the change in shape of my foot after the broken bone healed caused a change in my walking biomechanics.  My foot is swollen behind the 2nd and 3rd toes, but not the injured 4th.

Kennedy Meadows was deserted except for a skeletal crew to take care of the local bovines.  These are the reason for the strange horse droppings on the trail.

Taylor Dome and Sirretta Peak, Oct 25

By Louise Wholey

Abstract: Participants: Colin Greenblatt and Louise Wholey

Guidebook: Exploring the Southern Sierra: East Side

Taylor Dome: 4 mi, 1155 ft climbing, class 3 summit

Sirretta Peak: 6.4 mi, 2047 ft climbing, class 2 summit

Toward the end of the week the Three Spanish Sisters trip dissolved.  Jim offered us a flight to Bakersfield and the use of his rental car to go climb a peak – or two.  He planned to ride the Kern Wheelmen century to get their Spooktacular bike shirt.  We decided to go for the reward of neat climbs and views.

Taylor Dome – summit and crack on the right

Colin with Owens Peak behind

Louise on Taylor Dome with Olancha far behind

The Taylor Dome hike was so short that while I was hiking along enjoying the splendid woodlands, Colin surprised me by saying “We’re here!”  A short cross country north and south of the ridge brought us to a fun scramble up a north side crack - with some side movements to avoid the chockstones - to the summit.

Sirretta was a bit more trail then a fine “use path” from a large cairn on the trail to the ridge and left to the class 2 summit.  The day was typical of late fall in the Southern Sierra, clear and great for hiking, or, should I say, “Spectacular!”

Kearsarge Peak, Oct 10-11, 2008

By Louise Wholey

"The weather will be a bit of a challenge but I think we'll have fun."  Lisa Barboza

Little did we know!  After 27 hours, two bent hiking poles, two pairs of torn or burnt wind/rain pants, five cold, tired, and hungry climbers emerged from the slopes of Kearsarge Peak.   The occasion was a “simple” day-hike of one of the peaks above Onion Valley – in a snowstorm.  Participants were Lisa Barboza (leader), Jesper Schou (co-leader), Frank Martin (gear guru), Brian Roach (patient other half), and Louise Wholey (scribe).

We knew the forecast was for a storm moving in by mid-day but the bright blue sunny skies of the morning fooled us into thinking the forecast was wrong.   We proceeded up the right-hand trail out of Onion Valley to Golden Trout Lake where we broke off to the right up scree to the top of some ledges.  The first reasonably climbable gully to the right took us to the top of a ridge from which we could see the peak.  We descended a couple hundred feet to the base of the summit pyramid.  Our path was often on scree rather than talus, less slippery in the snow cover from the previous storm.  Soon Mother Nature began depositing new snow.

Kearsarge Peak in the Gathering Storm

On top the prevailing wisdom elected an “easier” way down than what we had climbed.  We descended talus made more difficult with a layer of new snow until we reached a mine.  From there we found a trail and followed it for a long time.   While the travel was not easy, as there was snowy talus and scree loose enough for several climbers to slide off the edge for a short ride, we had a well-defined route.

Then we lost sight of the trail.  Rather than hunt for it (it even showed on the GPS!), the debatable wisdom in the fading daylight was to scoot down the gully 3000 feet to the road.  If this sounds like a bad idea as you read, be aware that you are wiser than we were at the time.  At altitude man is stupid!

We did not reach the road but found instead a set of cliffs that were impassable in the now gone daylight.  Our party was tired and not moving very fast.  The potential for injury was very high on the snow covered rocks and ledges.   We elected to bivouac in the trees of the ridge to the south side of our gully.   We found a large tree with a small flat area and gathered some of the plentiful firewood.  Lisa started a fire, one that kept us almost comfortable for the next 10 hours.  Brian gathered live branches for “bedding”. 

My three layers on the bottom, not including any fleece, and five layers on top were minimal protection from the 10°F temperatures that night.  Some had fleece pants and tops, but the night was long and cold even with that much cover and a fire.  I shudder to think what might have happened without the fire, if perhaps someone had been injured up higher where there was neither firewood nor protection from the storm.

We shared what food we had and wished we had a way to melt snow on our fire to obtain much-needed water.  Nobody had brought a pot on our day-hike!  We placed our frozen water bottles near the fire and added snow as the ice began to melt.  Several clear Nalgene bottles cracked in dozens of places.  Yikes!  Be careful of the temperature shock.

The night was long.  At various times we heard Lisa’s voice call out “Frank, you shoe is burning!”  Frank had selected a spot right in front of and slightly uphill of the fire, a spot he retained for the whole night.  “Louise, get next to the tree and warm up!” was the wisdom as Louise would wake from a brief slumber shivering vigorously.  She was laying on a space blanket over some snow a bit further from the fire than optimal.  Her emergency bag unfortunately blocked the heat of the fire and also soon became too torn to be of value. 

Initially we took turns “sleeping” and tending the fire.  After a while it became obvious that nobody could sleep through the demise of the fire, so at times everybody was semi-comatose.  At 3 am Lisa’s plea for more firewood roused most people, after which we had a plentiful collection sufficient to last through the coldest hours.  We kept the fire burning even more vigorously.

Morning dawned clear and beautiful.  In fact it would have been a great day to climb a peak!  But our objective was simply to get back to the road and our cars.  We climbed up to where we could bushwhack across a couple of ridges to the trail we had failed to follow the previous day.  We passed many deer tracks while hearing shots from afar, mostly by hunters sitting in their vehicles on the road.  The trail was where we expected and we were soon at the road.

The most notable thing was the harmony.  Everyone worked together to make the difficult travel and subsequent night out work.  Not a word of discord like “Why the h… are we here?” was heard through the whole 27 hours.

Lessons learned:

Lisa said not returning the same way we came and then not hunting for the trail when we lost it were our biggest errors.

Jesper decided that for October trips “Just say No”.  Just joking, of course.  But do take a metal water bottle or cup.

Louise thinks that group decisions should rule the group.

Frank learned that hiking the PCT which he recently completed uses a different set of muscles than peak-climbing.

Brian noted that while everything now smells of smoke, the smoke zone was the warmest.

Elected Officials

    Lisa Barboza /

    664 Canyon Road, Redwood City, CA 94062-3022


Vice Chair and Trip Scheduler:
Rod McCalley /

    3489 Cowper St., Palo Alto 94306


Treasurer and Membership Roster (address changes):
Alex Sapozhnikov /

    4616 Cabrillo, San Francisco, CA, 94121


Publicity Committee Positions

Scree Editor:
    Louise Wholey/

    21020 Canyon View Drive, Saratoga, CA 95070


PCS World Wide Web Publisher:
    Joe Baker/

    1975 Cordilleras Rd, Redwood City, CA 94062


Scree is the monthly journal of the Peak Climbing Section of the Sierra Club, Loma Prieta Chapter.  Current and back issues are posted on the web in PDF and html.

PCS Official Website

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PCS Announcement Listserve

If you join the PCS Announcement Listserv you will receive announcements and updates of trips and meetings. Use web page or send an email with the message body "subscribe lomap-pcs-announce" (no quotes) to  

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 Monday,  Nov 24th. 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