April 2009     Peak Climbing Section, Loma Prieta Chapter, Sierra Club   Vol. 43 . No. 4


General Meeting

Date:           April 14, 2009

Time:          7:30 – 9:30 pm – Normal time!

Where:        PCC

                    3921 E. Bayshore Rd.

                    Palo Alto, CA

Program:    Ama Dablam and others

Presenter:    Julius Gawlas

Nepal: Touristing in the Kathmandu Valley, Everest Base Camp Trek, Climb of Lobuche East and Attempt on Ama Dablam.

Ama Dablam is one of the most recognizable mountains in the world. Its picture is featured in many calendars, books about Nepal and it’s even a symbol of one of the major investment companies. At 6,812 metres (22,349 feet) it towers over the trekkers going to Everest Base Camp. To the mountain’s allure adds that there is no real easy way to the summit – easiest route contains exposed 5.7+ sections above 19,000 ft and high angle ice sections above 20,000 ft. The name means “Mother’s Charm Box” referring to the huge hanging glacier resembling charm box worn by elderly Sherpa women.

In October of 2008 PCS member Julius Gawlas embarked on a five week long trip that started in Kathmadu valley during one of the major Nepali festivals of Durga Puja. Festivities were followed by a trek to Everest Base Camp and summiting of one of Nepali trekking peaks: Lobuche East at 19,800 ft. Finally the group reached Ama Dablam base camp, settled in and made summit bid despite difficult ice conditions.

Come to the meeting to listen about Nepali culture, trekking life, EBC and high altitude climbing in maybe the most stunning mountains in the world.

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 http://tinyurl.com/28ngaw


Leader training, OLT 101/201

Lisa Barboza will be conducting another series of classes mid-week in May.

Editor’s Notes

Help!  We need a Scree Editor! Louise has been pinch-hitting on this task, obviously not her main focus.  You can do us all a great favor by volunteering to do this task right!  Contact Louise at 408-867-6658 or PCSchair@gmail.com.

Chair Column

Donations for Leader Training

The PCS is fortunate to have many active leaders.  For these people to remain qualified to lead trips that we can all enjoy they must maintain currency in wilderness first aid.  Leaders of winter trips also need currency in avalanche training.  These requirements cost the leaders not only cash to take the courses but also time, typically at least a full weekend.  We are greatly indebted to them for doing what is necessary to maintain their qualification.  This is a labor of love for them.

There is growing sentiment that the section should help these leaders cover the cost of training.  One way we could do that is to ask for contributions from members to be placed in a training kitty.  Another possibility is to request donations from participants on trips.  One local section requests $8 per person on each trip.  It is a small amount per person, but it adds up over numerous trips.  Leaders would earn credit toward training by leading trips.

At the PCS meeting in April I would like to open a discussion of implementing some mechanism for collecting funds to assist in leader training.  Please give it some thought and come prepared to share those thoughts with the group.

Mountaineering Committee

The task of this committee is to approve our official trips and evaluate leader applicants.  In this capacity they are deeply involved in our scheduling, evaluating leaders, and assisting the Sierra Club in approving serious mountaineering trips.

Chair: Lisa Barboza

Scheduler: Jeff Fisher

Member: Tim Hult

Member: Bob Suzuki


Storms have caused numerous cancellations of our scheduled trips, but do not give up hope.  More stable weather should be here soon. 

Happy climbing!  See you out there!


PCS Trip Calendar

Mar 28-29 – Mt. Reba Ridges – Ski with Alpine Ski Patrol

Leader:  Charles Schafer

Apr 4 – Mt. Lassen Day Trip

Leader:  George Van Gorden

Apr 24-26 – Red Slate Mtn Ski Mountaineering

Leader:  Louise Wholey

May 1-3 – Mineral King Ski Mountaineering

Leader:  Louise Wholey

May 9-10 – Olancha

Leader:  Tim Hult

May 9-10 – Moses & Maggie

Leader:  Louise Wholey

May 15-18 – Coyote & Angora

Leader:  Lisa Barbosa

May 23-25 – Kern Peak

Leader:  Louise Wholey

June 3 – Tinkers Knob Mid-Week Day Hike

Leader:  Lisa Barbosa

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.

March 29, 2009 – Round Top Peak Ski or Snowshoe

April 4-5, 2009 - Pinnacles climbing, biking, hiking

April 10-12, 2009 - Mt. Shasta Casaval Ridge

April 12, 2009 – Crevasse Rescue Practice (South Bay)

May 2, 2009 – Mt. Lassen Day Climb

May 9-10, 2009 – Ice Axe & Crampon Practice

May 23-30, 2009 – Thompson, Powell, Haeckel, etc.

June 5-6, 2009 – Mt. Shasta

October 2009 – Nepal - Mera Peak 21,300 ft

January 2010 – Kilimanjaro

PCS Trip Details

Mt. Reba Ridges - Ski with Alpine Ski Patrol

Peaks:     Mt. Reba Ridges
Dates:     Mar 28-29, 2009, Sat-Sun
Leader:   Charles Schafer (c_g_schafer@yahoo.com)
Co-lead:  needed

Spend the weekend skiing around Bear Valley with the Lake Alpine Nordic Ski Patrol. We'll probably climb Mt Reba and ski down, then play around practicing some Tele turns, then do some local touring on the second day. Another possibility is a trip to Bear Trap Hut where we can enjoy a real foodfest then spend the night. There are a lot of great tours and some fun slopes to be had with this alternative. We also may be able to expand this option into a three day trip if participants are willing.

Mt. Lassen Day Trip

Peaks:     Mt. Lassen (10,462)
Dates:     April 4 2009, Sat
Leader:   George Van Gorden (gvangorden@gmail.com)
Co-lead:  needed

We will meet at the old ski lodge on Sat. morning at 8 AM. We will follow the unplowed road or use a time saving short cut, if safe, and attempt the peak and plan to return to our cars by 5PM. Participants can travel on skis or snowshoes. We will not bring axes and crampons and if we reach a point where because of icy snow we can't go on safely we will turn around. This is a fairly hard day and participants need to be in good condition.

Red Slate Mtn Ski Mountaineering

Peak:      Red Slate Mtn (13,123+)
Date:      April 24-26, Friday - Sunday
Leader:   Louise Wholey (louisewholey@yahoo.com)
Co-Lead: Jim Wholey

Difficulty: Class 2, advanced skiing skills, strenuous trip

Climb Red Slate Mtn via the beautiful colorful Convict Canyon and the west ridge.  Ski 6 miles with 3000 feet of climbing to reach camp near Lake Wit-so-nah-pah for Friday and Saturday nights.  Summit climb is about 2500 feet in about 2 miles.  Requires excellent physical condition, advanced skiing skills, avalanche training, snow camping, Randonee or Telemark skis, climbing skis, ski crampons, boot crampons, ice axe, helmet, avalanche beacon, shovel, and probe.  Restricted trip - Sierra Club membership and medical form required.  May change date to Apr 17-19 weekend.

Mineral King Ski Mountaineering

Peak:      Sawtooth (12343),Vandever (11947), Florence (12432)
Date:       May 1-3, Friday - Sunday
Leader:    Louise Wholey (louisewholey@yahoo.com)
Co-Lead: Jim Wholey

Difficulty: Class 2, advanced skiing skills, strenuous trip

Space exists for 2 people to climb peaks in Mineral King using skis.  Access to the area depends on weather and road conditions.  Requirements are as for Red Slate Mtn trip. 


Peak:      Olancha (12,123)
Date:      May 9-10, Saturday - Sunday
Leader:   Tim Hult (650-966-2215 work)
Co-Lead: Linda Sun

Difficulty: Class 2, moderate trip

Trailhead is Sage Flat 5770, just off Hwy 395 near the town of Olancha. One night backpack over Olancha Pass 9130, to climb Olancha, 12,123. Camp near Bear Trap Meadow; be prepared for snow. Send email with conditioning and recent experience.

Moses and Maggie

Peak:      Moses (9,331) and No. Maggie (10,234)
Date:      May 9-10, Saturday - Sunday
Leader:   Louise Wholey (louisewholey@yahoo.com)
Co-Lead: Dana Chaney (408 309 3117)

Difficulty: Class 3, easy trip with bushwacking

Access  Mountain Home.  Short hike to camp Saturdayand climb one peak.  Sunday climb other then drive home.  Parts of the climbs are brush-covered.  Plan to bring tough clothes.  We offer two trips because the peaks are fun and this leader cannot do the later trip.

Coyote and Angora

Peak:      Coyote Peaks (10 892) and Angora Mtn (10,198)
Date:      May 15-18, Friday - Monday
Leader:   Lisa Barboza  (lisa.barboza@gd-ais.com)
Co-Lead: Aaron Schuman

Difficulty: Class 3, moderate but long trip

Trailhead: Lloyd Meadows to Jerky Meadow (23 miles N. of Johnsondale).  Day 1: 13 miles 3300 feet  Day 2: 9 miles 4500 feet Day 3: Hike out 13 miles to TH.  This will be a fast and light trip.  Early Spring in the Southern Sierra.  Be prepared to filter water as there are places where it may be dry.  Our campsites will be dictated by proximity to water.  This trip will go if the USFS roads to the trailhead are open.  Limit 6 people. Co-leader needed.  Contact Lisa

Kern Peak

Peak:      Kern Peak (11,510)
Date:      May 23-25, Saturday - Monday
Leader:   Louise Wholey (louisewholey@yahoo.com)
Co-Lead: needed

Difficulty: Class 2, beginners trip

This peak is in the southern Sierra near Kennedy Meadows. Saturday we will backpack from the Black Rock Trail Head at 8,960' for 8.6 miles with 1500' of gain (with ups and downs) to camp at Redrock Meadows at 8,626'.  Sunday we will climb class 2 Kern Peak in 11 miles and 2,884' of gain, with 6 miles of cross-country.   Monday we will backpack out in 8.6 miles and 1800' of gain (with ups and downs).  Note the trail head is 334 feet higher than our camp site.  Trip is suitable for beginners.

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 Scree editor. 

Roundtop Peak Ski or Snowshoe

Peaks:     Roundtop Peak
Dates:     March 29 2009, Sun
Contact:    Arun Mahajan (650-327-8598, arun.mahajan@att.net)
Alt Contact:  George Van Gorden (gvangorden@gmail.com)

Day hike on snow, ice-axe, crampons, skis or snowshoes.  Skis with skins or snowshoes needed for the approach then ice-axe and crampons for the summit area. 

Meet at 8am at Carson Pass Sno-Park on Highway-88, ready to go.  To park there you will need a sno-park permit. 

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

Difficulty: Snow/winter conditions but otherwise intermediate level skiing and you have to have some experience with axe/crampons and be able to handle the altitude of over 10k ft, early in the season.

Pinnacles climbing, biking, hiking

Peaks:     Goal of your choice, class 1-5
Dates:      April 4-5, 2009
Contact:  Jeff  Fisher (650-207-9632, jeff_fisher_5252@sbcglobal.net)

Come down for a weekend of climbing, or if you prefer, hiking or biking. There will be climbers of varying abilities. We have reserved group campsite #79 at the Pinnacles campground on the east side of the park. Camping cost is usually about $8 per person. Shoes, harness and helmet needed if you are going to be climbing. We will meet at the Bear Gulch visitor center at 9AM on Saturday. 

Mt. Shasta via Casaval Ridge

Peaks:     Mt. Shasta (14,179)
Dates:     April 10-12 2009, Fri-Sun
Contact:   Lisa Barboza (lisa.barboza@gd-ais.com)
Alt Contact:  Emilie Cortes (ecortes@axiomainc.com)

Difficulty: Winter, crampons and ice axe.

Two day climb Mount Shasta from the Bunny Flat TH via the spectacular Casaval Ridge.  Conditions permitting as there must be sufficient snow on this route. This is a snowshoe trip; crampons and ice axe proficiency required, no exceptions. Trip is restricted to Sierra Club members. Expect winter conditions. Be prepared for winter climbing at altitude and snow camping. Extreme weather cancels. Must be in excellent physical condition for climbing with recent experience at altitude and carrying heavy pack. This climb is strenuous and not a beginner route. 

Crevasse Rescue Practice (South Bay)

Goal:      Learn techniques
Dates:     April 12, 2009
Contact:  Kelly Maas (kamaas444@sbcglobal.net)

This trip is to Santa Teresa Park in San Jose where we will rig ropes over creek beds to simulate crevasses of ice and snow.  Pretty cool, eh?  Parking fee likely.

Mt. Lassen Day Climb

Peaks:     Mt. Lassen (10, 462)
Dates:     May 2, 2009
Contact:  Arun Mahajan (650-327-8598, arun.mahajan@att.net)

Snowshoe or skis for the approach.  Ice axe and crampons may be needed near the summit area.  Contact Arun for further details.

Ice Axe & Crampon Practice

Goal:      Learn techniques, maybe climb a peak
Dates:     May 9-10, 2009
Contact:  Kelly Maas (kamaas444@sbcglobal.net)

This will be a chance to hone your skills with snow tools.  Likely peak climb.  Contact Kelly for details.

Mt. Shasta

Goal:      Mt. Shasta
Dates:     June 5-6, 2009
Contact:  George Van Gorden (gvangorden@gmail.com)

This will be a chance to hone your skills with snow tools.  Likely peak climb.  Contact Kelly for details.

Mera Peak 21,300 ft, Nepal

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

19 day trip to trek the tallest walkup peak

Rural experience.  Approach from the South East

Kilimanjaro 19340 ft / 5895 m, Tanzania, Africa

Peaks:     Kilimanjaro 19340 ft / 5895 m
Dates:     January, 2010
Contact:  Warren Storkman (650-493-8959, dstorkman@aol.com)

Trip will be similar to Warren’s previous trip to Kilimanjaro in January 2002.  A couple of detailed reports on Summit Post supply myriad detail:



Trip Reports

Nine Lives, Koip Peak, Mar 13-15, 2009

By Louise Wholey

A cat has nine lives and so did this trip!  The nine participants were Alex Sapozhnikov, Norihito Hamaguchi, Chris Kerr, Mike Snadden, Monique Messie, Joshua Sondheimer, Tom Driscoll, Jim Wholey and Louise Wholey, leader and scribe.

What an extraordinary trip!  We were challenged by some serious mountaineering, breakable and hard crust to ski, steep hard-pack snow on the ascent, limited time, steep hard-pack and icy snow for the (mostly) ski descent, but we all came back happy about the adventure, much to the relief of the leader.

Here is our story in photos.

Koip Peak Left of Center

Valley with Ice Blockages – Route went up Left Side

Our route went up the snow on the far left side, then up around the corner toward the hidden summit.  We had to switch from skis to skis with crampons, to boots with crampons, to skis, to boots, to skis again – all of which cost us time.  We had some great ski mountaineering but did not have enough time to reach the summit.

Sunset and Camp

Dinner Group to our Right

Dinner Group to our Left

Skiing up First Bowl

Above the Steep Snow

Ski Descent

The rest of the descent kept us very busy being extra careful.  We skied down a steep bowl with steeper slopes below us.  The last slope was so steep that half the group chose not to try to ski it.  Booting down with crampons and ice axe was slow but less likely to induce a fall.

Booting down a Less Steep Slope

Homeward Bound

Elected Officials

    Louise Wholey / PCSchair@gmail.com

    21020 Canyon View Road, Saratoga, CA 95070


Vice Chair and Trip Scheduler:
Jeff Fisher / jeff_fisher_5252@sbcglobal.net


Treasurer and Membership Roster (address changes):
Jesper Schou / schou@sun.stanford.edu


Publicity Committee Positions

Scree Editor:
    Open position / screeeditor@gmail.com

    Acting: Louise Wholey / PCSchair@gmail.com

PCS World Wide Web Publisher:
    Joe Baker/ pcs@joebaker.us

    1524 Hudson St, Redwood City, CA 94061


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 Monday,  May 4th. 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